Wunderground launches new Local Climate Change section

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2012

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In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, wunderground has launched a new Climate Change Center, which gives people resources to understand how the climate is changing both globally and in their local neighborhoods. I am particularly pleased with our Local Climate Change feature, which allows one to see how temperature and precipitation have changed over the past 100+ years at the nearest station with a long period of measurements. Predictions from climate models on what the next 100 years may bring are overlaid for each station. Data for most U.S. stations goes back to 1895; we have data for a few stations in Europe that extend back to the 1700s. Berlin has the longest period of record in this database, with data back to 1702.


Figure 1. Screenshot of the Local Climate Change page for Washington, DC. Measured temperatures since 1820 are shown in grey. By clicking on the "Show post-1900 trend:" box, we see that the trend since 1900 has been for an increase in temperature of 1.5°C (2.7°F) per century. Moving the thin vertical red line over the image using the mouse shows that the warmest year on record in Washington D.C. was 1991. Predictions for a future with low emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are shown in yellow; the high emissions prediction is shown in red. Separate tabs are available to examine precipitation and snow.

Skeptical?
Also included in the new Climate Change Center is a section addressing the common skeptical arguments made against climate change. We offer three levels of explanation. The "Basic" level is the default, but one can also see more technical in-depth discussions by clicking on the "See All Explanation Levels" link. The material was developed by physicist John Cook for his excellent skepticalscience.com web site, which is widely referenced in the climate science communication community.


Video 1. I'm featured in this video on extreme weather and climate change done by veteran videographer Peter Sinclair for the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media this month. I'm also featured in Part 1 of this series. Our new Climate Change Center has a section for climate change videos, which includes a twice-monthly feature from GreenTV detailing the world's notable wild weather events of the past two weeks.

Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I'd like to thank Wunderground meteorologist, Angela Fritz for spearheading the creating the new Climate Change Center; it's a product I'll be referring to frequently in the future, and one we'll be updating in the coming months with data on local sea level rise, fire risk, and drought.

Jeff Masters

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I don't see anything besides one little storm that will move ashore within the next hour..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
Quoting EugeneTillman:

Is that applicable to hurricanes too?


YUP! =] just take Hurricane Charley for example. Headed straight for Tampa. At the last few hours went to Orlando.
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 843
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Who would've thought our worst severe weather of the day would be happening in Minnesota?
Now that made me laugh!
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 661
#848, Thanks BF, I guess new convection could pop up just because of the heat and moisture out there...

not very much rain out there right now.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The station is messed up...it's in the mid-30s right now there.


I loaded the Wundermap and the station to the right of that one was +47 so, just a bit off, lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Who would've thought our worst severe weather of the day would be happening in Minnesota?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Whats up TAwx13? 2012 is currently running third behind 2008b and 2011

Hi Nigel.

Both years had well above average to record (2011) Sea Surface Temperatures, so it makes sense that the current ones would be below that. I think we may follow 2010 rather closely in terms of SSTs/TCHP.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
Quoting EugeneTillman:
What is the Tampa Shield?


LOL!! We here in Tampa seem to miss EVERY weather event. It always goes above, below or around us! Therefor, we have a shield. Old tale that I heard is that the Indians performed a ritual here so that we would never get hit with severe/damaging storms. SO far so good and I have lived here 31 years!
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 843
Looks like our squall line is finally forming, few pop of storms developing right along the front in the GOM. Lets see how this unfolds.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
Quoting EugeneTillman:
What is the Tampa Shield?

Something that residents across the area came up with because thunderstorms seem to die off when approaching the area, or go around the city. Where I live now also has one, in my opinion. Look here:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
The NAM4 no longer shows a squall line impacting Florida, just a few isolated, weak thundershowers.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:





Whats up TAwx13? 2012 is currently running third behind 2008b and 2011
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7470
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Boundary from previous convection keeping moisture out and therefore keeping instability down is what the SPC's been saying since very early this morning.

Kudos to Jed for putting it into words more easily understood.

And, emcf30, you are one of those who came into this forum last December and insulted the entire wu community for (edit) not being charitable and not even being a community. Shame on you. A wonder you and your pals have not been banned.


I have not, nor will I do anything to get banned for. I just stated fact for someone's idiotic statement at the time, that's all.

Have a good day.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
The Tampa shields worked again in keeping severe weather away!!!!! No hurricanes, no tornadoes, no 70mph winds as people thought. I am dissappointed because I thought we would see very beneficial rains but that really didn't happen either.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Water Vapor shows the new storms forming quite nicely...



I think we may be seeing the beginnings of a new squall line that has been anticipated with the storm.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334

Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
My favorite part of the Miami NWS Discussion...

.LONG TERM...
DRY AND COOLER TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE ON MONDAY WITH NORTHWEST
FLOW CONTINUING. HIGHS ARE EXPECTED TO ONLY REACH THE UPPER 70S TO
LOWER 80S. THE UPPER LEVEL LOW ACROSS THE NORTHEAST WILL CONTINUE
TO DEEPEN AND THE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO DIG INTO THE
SOUTHEAST. MUCH COOLER AIR IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FILTERING SOUTH
INTO THE SOUTHEAST STATES AND FLORIDA. BY 12Z TUESDAY...850MB
TEMPS ARE EXPECTED TO BE AROUND 4C NEAR THE LAKE AND 6-7C ACROSS
DEEP SOUTH FLORIDA. THE EKDMOS BIAS CORRECTED IS INDICATING THE
POSSIBILITY OF TEMPERATURES IN THE LOW/MID 40S ACROSS THE INTERIOR
FOR TUESDAY MORNING. HOWEVER...MOST OTHER GUIDANCE IS INDICATING
UPPER 40S/LOWER 50S AND AROUND 60 FOR THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS.
WITH THE LOWER THICKNESS VALUES EXPECTED...WENT CLOSER TO THE
EKDMOS AND HAVE TEMPERATURES IN THE MID/UPPER 40S INTERIOR AND THE
MID/UPPER 50S FOR THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. DRY WEATHER AND
COOL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MIDDLE TO END OF THE
WEEK.
The urban heat island effect never ceases to amaze me, as the lowest temperature for Orlando for the next week is forecast to be 53F.  Yet interior South Florida is going into the mid 40s?  That just strikes me as odd.  150 years ago, I bet if interior South FL had lows in the mid 40s in late April, interior Central FL would be in the upper 30s - lower 40s (localized microclimate effects aside).
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 950
850. reedzone
8:57 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Pop up storms have formed in back of *Round One*. This may actually be the start of our dangerous squall line...

Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
849. TropicalAnalystwx13
8:57 PM GMT on April 21, 2012




Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
848. Barefootontherocks
8:57 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting seflagamma:
Not seeing much behind these showers we have been getting all day (and some of us last night)...

Where is the rain we are forcasted to receive tomorrow coming from??




New convection?

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
324 PM EDT SAT APR 21 2012

.SHORT TERM...
CLOUD COVER AND EARLIER RAINFALL HAS KEPT THE REGION VERY STABLE
THROUGHOUT THE DAY. ONLY LIGHT/MODERATE STRATIFORM RAIN HAS
FALLEN DURING MOST OF THE DAY. ACTUALLY LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES
MAY BE SET ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION AS TEMPERATURES HAVE ONLY
RISEN INTO THE LOW TO MID 70S. THE WARM FRONT HAS NOT MADE MUCH
NORTHWARD PROGRESS EITHER. THE CONVECTION NEAR THE KEYS ALSO STOLE
THE ENERGY FROM THE SQUALL LINE...AND IT IS FALLING APART AS IT IS
MOVING EAST. SOME SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY MAKE IT INTO
COLLIER COUNTY FROM THE FIRST SQUALL LINE...BUT MOST GUIDANCE
SHOWS THIS FALLING APART AS IT MOVES INTO A MORE STABLE
ENVIRONMENT.

THERE ARE SOME BREAKS IN THE CLOUDS WEST OF THE GULF COAST AND IF
THERE IS ANY HEATING SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY DEVELOP IN
THIS REGION OF DIFFERENTIAL HEATING.
THE LOCAL WRF-NMM AND HRRR
BOTH CONTINUE TO SHOW THE POSSIBILITY OF DEVELOPMENT NORTHWEST OF
KEYS THIS AFTERNOON...AND THIS AREA OF STORMS MOVING INTO MAINLAND
MONROE AND MIAMI DADE COUNTY LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY
EVENING. THERE WAS SOME DEVELOPMENT WEST OF THE KEYS THIS
AFTERNOON...AND THIS MAY BE WHAT THE MODELS WERE KEYING ON. THE
WARM FRONT IS ALSO EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTHWARD...AND IF THIS
OCCURS...MORE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS
THE REGION. WAS TEMPTED TO DROP THE FLOOD WATCH ACROSS THE
AREA...BUT WILL KEEP IT FOR NOW BECAUSE THERE IS STILL THE
POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 147 Comments: 17512
847. masonsnana
8:53 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting spathy:


Teddy look at the line of storms SW of cape coral FL. They are starting to pull NNW?


Link
NNE?
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 661
846. Jedkins01
8:52 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
These images say it all:






















Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6867
845. Barefootontherocks
8:49 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting emcf30:


I agree Jed. Very good analysis.
Boundary from previous convection keeping moisture out and therefore keeping instability down is what the SPC's been saying since very early this morning.

Kudos to Jed for putting it into words more easily understood.

And, emcf30, you are one of those who came into this forum last December and insulted the entire wu community for (edit) not being charitable and not even being a community. Shame on you. A wonder you and your pals have not been banned.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 147 Comments: 17512
843. seflagamma
8:49 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Not seeing much behind these showers we have been getting all day (and some of us last night)...

Where is the rain we are forcasted to receive tomorrow coming from??




Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
841. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
8:47 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
330 PM EDT SAT APR 21 2012

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH
MONDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BUFFALO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH MONDAY
EVENING.

* LOCATIONS...SOUTHERN ERIE AND WYOMING COUNTIES AND THE WESTERN
SOUTHERN TIER

* TIMING...SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH MONDAY.

* HAZARDS...ACCUMULATING HEAVY WET SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...10 TO 16 INCHES.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST TO 40 MPH.

* VISIBILITIES BELOW A HALF MILE AT TIMES.

* IMPACTS...WIDESPREAD DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES CAUSING POWER
OUTAGES. HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DEVELOPING.

* FORECASTER CONFIDENCE...HIGH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52274
840. Littleninjagrl
8:43 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Our weather man just said he is not buying what the models area saying. He said he just doesn't see it happening. Oh well....guess i'll go on about my business then =[
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 843
839. pcola57
8:41 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The station is messed up...it's in the mid-30s right now there.


That's gotta be it...
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6656
837. GeoffreyWPB
8:41 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
My favorite part of the Miami NWS Discussion...

.LONG TERM...
DRY AND COOLER TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE ON MONDAY WITH NORTHWEST
FLOW CONTINUING. HIGHS ARE EXPECTED TO ONLY REACH THE UPPER 70S TO
LOWER 80S. THE UPPER LEVEL LOW ACROSS THE NORTHEAST WILL CONTINUE
TO DEEPEN AND THE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO DIG INTO THE
SOUTHEAST. MUCH COOLER AIR IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FILTERING SOUTH
INTO THE SOUTHEAST STATES AND FLORIDA. BY 12Z TUESDAY...850MB
TEMPS ARE EXPECTED TO BE AROUND 4C NEAR THE LAKE AND 6-7C ACROSS
DEEP SOUTH FLORIDA. THE EKDMOS BIAS CORRECTED IS INDICATING THE
POSSIBILITY OF TEMPERATURES IN THE LOW/MID 40S ACROSS THE INTERIOR
FOR TUESDAY MORNING. HOWEVER...MOST OTHER GUIDANCE IS INDICATING
UPPER 40S/LOWER 50S AND AROUND 60 FOR THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS.
WITH THE LOWER THICKNESS VALUES EXPECTED...WENT CLOSER TO THE
EKDMOS AND HAVE TEMPERATURES IN THE MID/UPPER 40S INTERIOR AND THE
MID/UPPER 50S FOR THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. DRY WEATHER AND
COOL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MIDDLE TO END OF THE
WEEK.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
836. TropicalAnalystwx13
8:40 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting pcola57:
Has anyone noticed that Dodge Center MN. set an all time record low of -54 degrees?!? I couldn't believe it when I read it.I've been checking for weather my way off and on and noticed it in the weather of the world box on my home page...Now that IS COLD!!

The station is messed up...it's in the mid-30s right now there.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
835. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
8:39 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting Grothar:
Hey KEEPER,where are your Plymouth animations??
what ya what radar or vis sats
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52274
834. TropicalAnalystwx13
8:37 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting EugeneTillman:
TORNADO WARNING

AT 325 PM CDT...LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO 14 MILES
NORTHWEST OF GLUEK...OR ABOUT 7 MILES EAST OF BIG BEND CITY. RADAR
SHOWED THE TORNADIC STORM MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268
833. Jedkins01
8:36 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Jed, good input.

I'm seeing on the buoys winds shifting to the SSE @ around 165 degrees at 15 knots or so. I think that flow might be about to set up.

Another thing, there's an area of good and fair weather between the low and the current squall, we could see instability increase as it heads over FL.


Yeah I see what you're saying, the satellite image is actually behind schedule and a couple strong cells have just popped on long range radar, they are out of range but you can see a few cells popping. Hopefully that means the line will fire up. I don't want tornadoes and destructive weather but a strong squall line feeding off the deep moisture over the southern gulf could easily bring 1 to 3 inches for everyone even if it is moving fast. We need the heavy rain, and I love crazy thunderstorms, too :)

Instability is growing ahead of the front.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6867
832. pcola57
8:35 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Has anyone noticed that Dodge Center MN. set an all time record low of -54 degrees?!? I couldn't believe it when I read it.I've been checking for weather my way off and on and noticed it in the weather of the world box on my home page...Now that IS COLD!!
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6656
830. hurricane23
8:34 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Thank all the Dense cloud cover just about all day long across SFL has really put a cap on heating today and has reduced any severewx across the area.ULL is now forecast to move a tad further north and has shifted the severe threat towards the lake. Flood watches will likely be lifted.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
829. nigel20
8:33 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting Grothar:



Now pay attention!!


Whats up Grothar...are you guys expecting a cold blast?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7470
827. CybrTeddy
8:30 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Jed, good input.

I'm seeing on the buoys winds shifting to the SSE @ around 165 degrees at 15 knots or so. I think that flow might be about to set up.

Another thing, there's an area of good and fair weather between the low and the current squall, we could see instability increase as it heads over FL.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23013
826. Jedkins01
8:28 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting emcf30:


I agree Jed. Very good analysis.


The scary thing is, if a strong moisture flow does actually re-establish in front of that cold front, its likely the thunderstorms could be quite violent because dynamics are looking quite impressive tonight, that upper low is looking pretty stout and all indications are that surface low continues to deepen. Furthermore, the lack of convection along the cold front has allowed rather impressive instability to gather there.

Basically the weather will probably end up in 2 extremes tonight I believe, either the moisture flow won't get reorganized ahead of the cold front and parent low, and like wise shower and storms activity will remain very limited despite continued deepening and strong dynamical support. Or, the moisture flow will get re-established triggering a powerful squall line to develop.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6867
825. Twinkster
8:27 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Link


Does anyone see a training effect possibly setting up over gainesville for the next few hours?
Member Since: June 7, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 937
823. JNCali
8:21 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
It's cold and wet here west of Nashville.. I'm grumpy :(

Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1032
822. Grothar
8:21 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Hey KEEPER,where are your Plymouth animations??
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23727
821. emcf30
8:20 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Quoting Jedkins01:
Alright here's the bottom line.

I've been assessing the meso analysis maps from the SPC all morning into mid day and the satellite maps and I'm starting to believe all the models are wrong and this system may be a bust. The reason why is that MCS that got stuck near Cuba and south Florida overnight basically focused the moisture flux for the low pressure center way down there and cutoff the crucial southerly flow for the low pressure system. This is why I now believe the first area of showers and thunder storms weakened so much as it came into the Tampa Bay area. If the deep southerly flow does not establish itself in front of the cold front I'm thinking this whole event this evening may never materialize...


That being said, you are probably wondering, what exactly will happen. To be honest I can't say because I don't see any way to accurately predict if moisture flow will re-establish in front of the cold front. That being said its hard for me to call what will happen tonight.

However, I do think that if a strong southerly flow does not re-establish in front of the cold front that this event will fail to materialize and we won't get even close to what was expected. Like I said, I can't really predicted changes in moisture flow and convergence and no models predicted this so I don't have much to work with regarding future behavior.


If it actually does re-establish, large thunderstorms should explode into a strong to severe squall line as instability has been building ahead of the front.




I agree Jed. Very good analysis.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
820. nigel20
8:20 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
April 20, 2011

April 20, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7470

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.