Climate Research

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This Week in Climate News

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NASA's 2013 Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel (HS3) mission will investigate whether Saharan dust and its associated warm and dry air, known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), favors or suppresses the development of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean.


Since the summer solstice is this week, it's a great time to learn more about NASA's newest mission - a solar satellite called IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectograph).


Check out this cool imagery just released by NOAA that tracks seasonal vegetation across the globe, using the NASA/NOAA Suomi satellite.


NOAA will have their monthly climate teleconference on Thursday, June 20th at 11AM to discuss May 2013 and seasonal outlooks. They will also have a climatologist from the National Drought Mitigation Center providing a summary of U.S. drought conditions and impacts.

Tweetable Fact

A look at how much solar power can be generated over the year from typical rooftop installation in


Solar power facts: Sneak preview: Average U.S. home uses 32kWh of electricity/day

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  • Happy Summer Solstice! This seems like a great time to talk about solar power, since we are entering the peak season for solar power generation: generally mid-June to early September.

  • The energy generated from solar power varies by location, time of year, and cloud cover - we take a look at all three for your city in the graphic below.

Click here for a high-resolution version
Click here for the interactive version

To embed the interactive, simply copy and paste the code below:

<iframe width=650 height=380 frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src=""></iframe>

Most of us have been in summer mode since Memorial Day, but the first official day of summer arrives on June 21 - the Summer Solstice. That’s also the day when the sun is up the longest, so on average, you’d expect it to be the best day of the year to generate solar power. It’s right up there, but not necessarily the best day because clouds play a role, too.

The graphic above shows how much solar power can be generated from the typical rooftop installation (in yellow) at different times of the year, while also showing the average cloud cover (in blue) during those same times for . It’s no surprise that the sun's high sun angle provides the best opportunity for solar power - but that's only if it’s relatively sunny.

The graphic below highlights a few solar power facts:

Click here for a high-resolution version

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