Weather: researchers want “zooms” to improve standard hurricane forecast cone

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The graph is the track of the hurricane emitted by the National Hurricane Center, but even more specifically the trajectory prediction cone – colloquially known as the “cone of uncertainty”.
Even if the center of a storm remains in the cone 60 to 70% of the time, according to the data from the center of the hurricane over the past five years, the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes often extend much further than this defined limit.
Now, researchers from Colorado State University (CSU) maybe found a better way to educate the public about hurricanes to help keep them safe.

The problem is how people perceive the limits of the trajectory prediction cone.

In general, people perceive the areas highlighted in the cone as “at risk” and the areas outside the cone as “safe”. Researchers call this perceived notion “the containment effect”.

Enter the new tool designed by CSU researchers. It’s a series of moving dots, called “zoomies”, rather than a static image of a cone, and it seems to be more effective.
Learn more about this innovative solution here.

Hurricane Outlook

It’s been three and a half weeks since the last advisory was issued for a tropical system in the Atlantic – July 9 for Hurricane Elsa.

However, the season remains well ahead of pace, reaching five named storms earlier than any previous season on record. Elsa was appointed on July 1. On average, the fifth named storm of the season usually doesn’t form until late August. The previous record was set last year when Tropical Storm Edouard formed on July 6, 2020.
In recent weeks, the tropical Atlantic has been relatively calm, largely due to the dry air and dust of the Saharan desert limiting the development of storms. It is important to note, however, that July is one of the least active months of the hurricane season.

So, we generally expect this slowdown. Now we are entering the season within the season. The majority of storms are observed from mid-August to mid-October.

This week, although sea surface temperatures are warm enough for tropical development in the tropical Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, the dry air and vertical wind shear – the change in wind speed and direction with height – continue to suppress any new emerging system.

Still, expert forecasters expect this season to be above average. Just give it a few more weeks and the storms will probably start to swirl around.

Seen from space

This image shows a substantial discharge of sediment into the Arctic Ocean from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite last week. The release comes from melting glaciers due to unusually warm temperatures near Agent Pynt, which is on the east coast of Greenland.
The amount of ice that melted last Tuesday would alone be enough to cover the entire state of Florida in two inches of water.
Learn more about the impact of climate change on the Greenland ice sheet here.

Western Drought Update

The highest drought levels worsened and spread across California and the Pacific Northwest last week as wildfires continue to plague the region.

Exceptional drought – the worst level of drought – covers nearly 50% of California and the worst drought category population is now nearly 14.5 million people. Washington and Oregon continue to experience record levels of exceptional drought in both states.

In the southwest, however, heavy monsoon rains reduced drought conditions, improving classifications in several states.

“In Arizona, Tucson received more rain in 6 days than in the whole of 2020, when the annual precipitation of 4.17 inches was the lowest on record,” according to The summary. In addition to Arizona, improvement was noted in New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and southern parts of Utah and Nevada.
Over the weekend, another monsoon rain event even resulted in Following rain, not only in the southwest but as far north as Washington State. The impact of this weekend’s rain will be factored into this week’s drought update on Thursday.

Weekly weather number

83

The total number of flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Tucson, Arizona. It is significantly ahead of the beat compared to previous years. The 20-year average is 30 warnings.
Monsoon rains for Arizona may have significantly reduced the state’s drought levels over the past week. Tucson received more than 8 inches of rain in July, nearly four times as much as the city normal precipitation for the month.
This year’s monsoon lightning has already exceeded all of 2019 and doubled all cloud-to-ground strikes from last year, according to the Phoenix NWS. According to this measurement, it is the most active start of the monsoon since 2014.

Weather in brief

A large sandstorm wreaked havoc in northwest China’s Dunhuang city on July 25. The sandstorm created a wall of up to 100 meters (328 feet), engulfing a freeway and reducing visibility to less than 5 meters (16 feet). Local police imposed traffic controls on the city’s highway, with visibility reduced to less than five meters.

Olympics face sweltering heat in Tokyo

Since the start of the Olympic Games, temperatures in Tokyo have not only been hot, but also very humid. Some have called the heat “the worst in Olympic Games history”.
High temperatures over the weekend hit the ’90s, but heat indices soared well into the triple digits, reaching at least 106 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. These “temperature sensations” have caused heat-related illnesses in more than two dozen people.

With one more week before the closing ceremony, temperatures will remain hot and humid with high temperatures reaching 95 degrees and the afternoon “feels like temperatures” soaring into triple digits.

Get the latest news on the Tokyo Olympics here.



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