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Arctic Blast Has Half the Lower 48 States In Its Icy Grip

Arctic Blast Has Half the Lower 48 States In Its Icy Grip

The weather pattern producing the cold air outbreak features a contorted jet stream that resembles a giant snake on a weather map, with a huge ridge of high pressure shunting the jet stream to the north of Alaska (bringing milder-than-average conditions there), only to come surging southward above the West, and carving out a deep trough across the … Read More

Gradual Climate Changes Could Cause Sudden Impacts

Gradual Climate Changes Could Cause Sudden Impacts

Abrupt shifts in the climate have already begun, with more possible by the end of this century according to a report released Tuesday by the National Research Council. At the same time, even gradual changes to the climate could reach tipping points, leading to more unforeseen impacts. The report recommends creating an early warning system, instead … Read More

For First Time in 20 Years, Cold Records May Beat Warm

For First Time in 20 Years, Cold Records May Beat Warm

That means that December will be a crucial month for determining the winner for 2013. The last time daily record lows outnumbered daily record highs in the U.S. was in 1992. The Arctic air mass moving south from Canada, which is set to send temperatures plunging from Seattle to Texas by the end of this week, tilts the odds in favor of cold temperat… Read More

Snow Cover May Help Usher in Historic Cold to Northwest

Snow Cover May Help Usher in Historic Cold to Northwest

As a Thanksgiving-eve storm, which snarled air and road traffic up and down the East Coast on Wednesday, comes to a close, it’s leaving the country with the largest snowpack for this time of year since at least 2003. This snow cover is likely to play a big role in helping to usher in a wave of potentially historically cold air during the week after… Read More

Arctic Storms, Warming Mean More Methane Released

Arctic Storms, Warming Mean More Methane Released

Underneath the Arctic Ocean sits a large reserve of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Understanding how much of that is making it to the atmosphere is an important but relatively new area of research. The latest findings published on Sunday in Nature indicate that more could be escaping than previously thought thanks to stormy weather. The East Si… Read More

U.S. Winter Outlook Dominated by Dire Drought News

U.S. Winter Outlook Dominated by Dire Drought News

Drought, and not widespread snowstorms, may be the biggest story this winter, according to the official U.S. winter outlook, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday. The outlooks shows that the winter of 2013-14 is likely to feature an expansion and intensification of drought conditions across the Southwest … Read More

Globe’s Unbroken Warm Streak Approaches 29 Years

Globe’s Unbroken Warm Streak Approaches 29 Years

The last time the globe had a cooler than average month was February 1985, and the last cooler than average October occurred in 1976, shortly before Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford in that year's presidential election. The streak of hot October's extends back in even further, with the last below normal one coming in 1976.… Read More

Scientists Warn of Polar Bear Attacks in Warming Arctic

Scientists Warn of Polar Bear Attacks in Warming Arctic

A polar bear attack in Canada that left two people injured has brought new warnings from scientists of a dangerous rise in human-bear encounters in a warming Arctic. The friends had just walked out of the door in the pre-dawn hours after a party when the young polar bear crept up behind them, unheard and unseen. By the time, the bear was driven off… Read More