WEBINAR: The Keeling Curve - Atmospheric CO2 Levels Keep Climbing

Join us for a webinar Thursday, Feb. 26 at 2:30 PM Eastern featuring Pieter Tans, NOAA Senior Scientist for Climate Monitoring & Diagnostics.

https://climatecentral.webex.com/climatecentral/onstage/g.php?
MTID=efc17b18357a70aa37f2466e9266f3b50


Event number: 661 993 619
Event password: ccwx         




Climate Research

Taking a look at the paleoclimate record and using a collection of climate models, this report predicts future drought risk in the Southwest and Central Plains will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100-1300 CE).

Our Coverage


This Week in Climate News

Climate Talks Draw Praise, Herald Hard Slog Ahead

Whiteout? (NOAA) Map Shows Last Time All 50 States Had Snow

Climate Milestones by Presidential Term (Interactive) – Based on last week’s Climate Matters


Tweetable Fact

Snow, or lack thereof. Take a look at the contrast across the country: http://bit.ly/17UruQj (% average snowfall since Dec. 1) #climatematters

There have been some big winter storms lately. Is there any trend to this? http://bit.ly/1Fu36CE http://bit.ly/17gxCkT #climatematters

We've seen some big winter storms lately. This is part of a bigger trend: http://bit.ly/1Fu36CE http://bit.ly/17gxCkT #climatematters

Check out the record high vs. record low battle so far this year: http://bit.ly/1BmNf7C #climatematters

Record highs are outpacing record lows by almost 5 to 1 so far this year nationally. http://bit.ly/17rp9Lz #climatematters


From NASA

This NASA study shows that Antarctic sea ice increases do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last few decades (complete with visuals).

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Where is the snow cover?

View and download five-minute interval swath images for Terra and Aqua MODIS. Data is posted approximately 2.5 hours after the spacecraft observation at varied pixel sizes (4km, 1km, 500m, 250m).


From NOAA

For more than 6 months, NOAA has been issuing El Niño watches, but never an advisory. In the latest ENSO blog, NOAA looks at whether recent precip patterns resemble those expected during El Niño.

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Also, NOAA is releasing their January climate numbers tomorrow. You'll be able to find a summary and the full report at www.climate.gov at 11 am Thursday.


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For More Information

Contact Us: climatematters@climatecentral.org

Story Highlights

  • A look at % of normal snowfall this winter clearly shows record highs for some, but just as clear are the stark lows across the West Coast.

  • Any given year can have crazy weather. It’s when you zoom out and look at the longer-term picture that you see patterns start to emerge.

  • Mid-latitude winter storms have increased in both intensity and frequency nationally since 1950.

  • Overall, there were 2x as many extreme winter storms in the U.S. in the second half of the 20th century than the first.

  • So far this year, record highs are outpacing record lows nationally (8,389 record highs to 1,703 record lows).




When we look back on the winter of 2014-2015 in years to come, we’ll tell stories about how unusually cold and snowy it was — or wait, no, make that unusually warm and dry. Or actually, both.


SNOW – OR LACK THEREOF


On-Air Graphic - AVAILABLE: WITH a title - WITHOUT

Snow, snow, and more snow, that’s what’s been dominating the headlines the past few weeks. However, other than the most recent winter storm that cut across the middle of the country and cut up along the East Coast, it’s really only a small area of the U.S. that is getting pounded with such high amounts of snow – yes, that’s you coastal New England.

The graphic above shows the % of normal snowfall so far this winter (Dec. 1-Feb. 17) for stations across the country. The record snow clearly stands out around Boston and scattered locations from southern Arizona into the Texas Panhandle. However, just as clear is the stark lack of snow across the West Coast. In fact, Mt. Shasta Ski Park in northern California is temporarily closed until the next storm arrives.


ARE WE SEEING ANY LONG-TERM TRENDS?

These snowfall extremes are impressive, but any given year can have crazy weather. It’s when you zoom out and look at the longer-term picture, as the 2014 National Climate Assessment did, that you see patterns start to emerge. As you can see in the graphics below, mid-latitude winter storms have increased in both intensity and frequency nationally since 1950. Overall, there were twice as many extreme winter storms in the U.S. in the second half of the 20th century as there were in the first half.

This is consistent with what you’d expect in a warming world. Higher temperatures lead to more evaporation from lakes, rivers and oceans, and warmer air can hold more moisture. What goes up must eventually come down, so climate science projects that extreme precipitation should increase. And that's just what meteorologists have observed, not just for snowfall, but for precipitation overall.


On-Air Graphic - AVAILABLE: WITH a title - WITHOUT

On-Air Graphic - AVAILABLE: WITH a title - WITHOUT

NOTE: The analyses behind these graphics are explained in more depth in these two published reports:


RECORD COLD AND RECORD HEAT

It’s not just the snow dominating the headlines, it’s also the cold. If you live in the Midwest or the Northeast, this week started with some of the coldest air in many years, and another bout of potentially record-breaking cold is coming later this week. Out West, however, it’s been one of the warmest winters on the books. Daily records are being set from the Northwest to southern California over to Utah, among other places. So far this year, we are actually setting high temperature records at a blinding pace. To date, record highs have outpaced record lows by 5 to 1 across the country, with 8,389 high records and just 1,703 low records.


On-Air Graphic - AVAILABLE: WITH a title - WITHOUT


On-Air Graphic - AVAILABLE: WITH a title - WITHOUT




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