People have become familiar with “bomb cyclones” this winter, as several powerful winter storms brought strong winds and heavy precipitation to the U.S. east coast, knocking out power and causing flooding.
Meteorologists can tell you whether it will storm 10 days before your wedding, and climatologists can determine if you’re likely to have a hot and dry summer almost a year in advance. But the time period in between, known as the subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescale, has remained a major weather-climate prediction gap despite growing public demand.
A new analysis of heat wave patterns appearing today in Nature Climate Change concludes that climate change driven by the buildup of human-caused greenhouse gases will overtake natural variability as the main cause of heat waves in the western United States by the late 2020s and by the mid-2030s in the Great Lakes region.
Those long, intense plumes of moisture in the sky known as atmospheric rivers are a vital water source to communities along the U.S. West Coast. In their absence, desiccating droughts can develop. But in their presence, they can cause extreme rain and floods that can disrupt travel, cause landslides, and trigger infrastructure failures.
New NOAA research is showing we can predict snow levels in the mountains of the West in March some eight months in advance. This prediction can be down to the scale of a mountain range, which will improve regional water forecasts.
The Evaporative Demand Drought Index, or EDDI, provides early warning of oncoming droughts and crop impacts by measuring the "thirst" of the atmosphere.
In one of our nation’s most relentless hurricane seasons, NOAA research scientists were on the front lines of gathering key data used to help produce forecasts that saved lives and protected property. They also worked behind the scenes pushing the frontiers of weather forecasting skill in storm track, wind speeds and rainfall amounts by running and refining experimental forecast models for the future. And they tested new drones in air and water to assess their ability to gather data that can improve hurricane prediction.
Catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey that led to more than 60 deaths and thousands of rescues showed again that an accurate NOAA forecast by itself is not enough to ensure people grasp the risks and make sound decisions that save lives and property.
Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth’s ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced today.
Extensive, mature forest cover can mitigate the impact of severe heat waves, droughts and other weather extremes over large regions, according to new NOAA research published in the journal Nature Communications.
The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.