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Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

To understand why the West has been so dry since the turn of the century, cast your eye further west — to the natural waxing and waning of Pacific Ocean winds. Strong trade winds have been forcing heat into ocean depths, contributing to a temporary slowdown in land surface warming over the past 15 to 20 years that some have called a warming hiatus… Read More

Experimental Forecast Projects Tornado Season

Experimental Forecast Projects Tornado Season

The 2011 tornado season wasn’t supposed to happen, not in our modern era of advanced technology and storm warnings. Those warnings had led to a steady drop in the death tolls as people received more accurate information and earlier warnings than in the past. But the 1,691 tornadoes in 2011 — the second most for any season going back to the 1950s… Read More

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

El Niño has finally proved the haters wrong. After months of being derided as “El Limbo” and “El No Show,” scientists declared the phenomenon here almost a year to the day after declaring an El Niño Watch. Sure, it’s later and wimpier than initial forecasts, but better late and weaker than never. Unless of course you’re suffering from drought in … Read More

How Did Your City Fare This Winter?

How Did Your City Fare This Winter?

Winter is officially over, at least in the meteorological sense. Just don't tell Washington, D.C. residents who spent yesterday shoveling out their cars. And come to think of it, don't tell West Coast residents who just dealt with the winter that wasn't.… Read More

Whiteout? Map Shows Last Time All 50 States Had Snow

Whiteout? Map Shows Last Time All 50 States Had Snow

Boston probably has enough snow for the rest of the country. But the last time all 50 states shared in Massachusetts' snowy fortune (or misfortune depending on how you feel about it) was five years ago this week.… Read More

Southwest, Central Plains Face ‘Unprecedented’ Drought

Southwest, Central Plains Face ‘Unprecedented’ Drought

Climate change is creating an “unprecedented” risk of severe drought in the Southwest and Central Plains. Rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall mean that future drought could be more extreme than any drought seen in at least the past 1,000 years and the effects could reverberate for urban dwellers and farmers across the regions. The 1930s Dus… Read More

A Country Divided by Seasons and Warming

A Country Divided by Seasons and Warming

The U.S. is no stranger to differences among its sometimes bickering states, so perhaps it’s no surprise that even global warming finds itself with some regional rivalries. A Climate Central analysis of regional and seasonal temperature differences in the contiguous U.S. since 1970 reveals a country divided along temperature lines, just as it is i… Read More

Moisture Shortfall, Heat Threaten Southwestern Forests

Moisture Shortfall, Heat Threaten Southwestern Forests

Pinecone-littered forests draped over tens of millions of acres of mountaintops through the American Southwest are in danger of being scorched out of existence by global warming. It’s not just rising heat that threatens to put a meteorological flamethrower to lush montane swaths of a region better known for its low-altitude cacti and desert plains… Read More

Gallery

Tripod Fire Satellite View The August 2006 Tripod Complex Fire burned some 180,000 acres of beetle-damaged forest in central Washington State.

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