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Archive for the 'Extreme weather' Category

Join Emma, Callum, Trevor and Bogdan for a discussion on the recent hurricanes to make landfall in the US and find out how hurricanes are different from other types of storms, what makes Irma and Harvey special and how good we are currently at forecasting hurricanes.

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Emma interviews Bogdan about his research and latest book titled 'Tornadoes and Waterspouts in Europe'. The book can be purchased here

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Tornadoes have been all over the news lately, with two particularly violent and destructive events affecting Oklahoma in mid to late May. What causes the storms that tornadoes develop from? Why do damaging tornadoes develop so often in that part of the United States? Are we safe across the Pond? 


Professor David Schultz, now working at the University of Manchester, lived and worked in Oklahoma for several years, studying the development of severe storms. We catch up with him to tackle these issues head on.


Production and interview: Sam Hardy


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Extreme cases of precipitation and temperature can lead to extreme events such as e.g. flooding drought and fires, which have the potential to cause large damage as well as disrupt and threaten lives.

In this episode we are "Going to Extremes" and discuss extreme rainfall and flooding events in the UK, as well take a look at extreme events elsewhere on the globe, such as drought and fires in the Americas and Australia and we also touch on the extreme cases of smog in Beijing, China.

As record breaking events are now reported quite often, we delve into the question what role climate change plays in the kind of extreme events we observe and whether they are becoming more frequent.

Finally we reflect on responding and adapting to extreme events and look towards the challenges a changing climate brings.

We mention a lot of different studies and sources of information, please find links to some of them below. Hope you find them useful!

The Great Flood of 1953

UK rainfall and flooding, which has been a big deal over the last years: the New York Times reckons that the combined insurance payout for 2007, 2009 and 2012 floods in the UK was $6.5 billion!

Coverage by the BBC - The science behind Britain's wild weather in 2012

MetOffice weather summary for 2012 , Infographic by MetOffice, MetOffice Blog on rainfall

England and Wales Precipitation record started in 1766, find out about it here.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also provides an annual State of the Climate summary, including Anomalies & Events.

Number of Hurricanes in the Atlantic

Warmer, wetter world study - summary & paper

Historical heat waves analysis - Summary & paper

The 2005 Amazon drought was equivalent to more than 80 times the size of Wales in terms of area affected. Second mega-drought was in 2010 with a smaller drought in between 2007. Find the details here:

NASA mega drought study (and coverage in the Guardian)

Australia heatwave & wildfires

Interesting paper looking at the challenges society faces: summary and full paper

***Correction for Hurricanes Episode***We said the storm naming was done by the German Weather Service, but it is actually the University of Berlin. Apologies for the error. Find out all about it here on their website

Also apologies for some minor dodgy recording this time round, some syllables and even full words didn't record properly.

Panel: Hugo Ricketts, Grant Allen, Will Morgan, Nicky Young and Jennifer Muller

Production: Jennifer Muller

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Listen to the bonus track for the Hurricane - episode!

Hear Dr Helen Macintryre based in Boston talk about what it was like on the US East Coast as the hurricane Sandy made landfall and how people prepared for the storm.

Interviewer: Jennifer Muller

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sandy_goe_2012302_1745_front.jpgHurricanes have been big news lately after Sandy caused severe destruction and loss of life across the Caribbean and United States of America recently. How do hurricanes (or tropical cyclones) form, what was special about Sandy and was it made worse by climate change? Join the Barometer Podcast team to find out in our latest episode.You can watch the video of Sandy's evolution that Jennifer mentions below:Also you can watch an amazing view of Sandy recorded from the International Space Station below:Header image is taken from NASA's Earth Observatory collection of Sandy images. The actual image is from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 13 (GOES-13) on the 28th October 2012.Musical interlude courtesy of FreqMan at Freesound.Featuring: Will Morgan, Niall Robinson, Jennifer Muller, Nicky Young, Hugo Ricketts & James Allan.Production: Will Morgan

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Storms are one of the most dangerous weather events, causing havoc and devastation across large areas but how do they form? Join the Barometer podcast team as we guide you through a tangled web of duelling air masses, rotating spheres and stings in the tail. We also have an interview with Dr Clive Saunders from the University of Manchester, as he tells us about hail, lightning and more. We discuss a "sting-jet" which is where the cloud front curls around like a tail, which we discussed during the podcast. You can see some examples of time series of frontal passages from the Whitworth Observatory in Manchester from the 29th November 2011 (which we discussed on the podcast) and the 3rd January 2012. Below are some videos that explain the "Coriolis force or effect" that we discuss in the episode. As you'll gather from the podcast, it isn't something that is particularly suited to an audio format!Featuring: Will Morgan, Hugo Ricketts, Niall Robinson, Nicky Young, Kimberley Leather & Gary LloydInterviewee: Dr Clive SaundersProduction: Gary Lloyd, Will Morgan & Nicky Young

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Let’s twist again

tornado_oklahoma.jpgTornadoes are one of Earth’s most destructive natural weather phenomena, knocking over and sweeping up anything in their path. Their size, intensity and the path they travel over are unpredictable. With wind speeds ranging from 40 miles an hour to over 300 miles an hour, tornadoes are very difficult to study. However, many scientists have successfully managed to dodge lightning strikes and flying cows to record data to help better understand tornadoes. They have also captured some pretty spectacular images and videos.Join us in this episode to find out what it is really like to be a storm chaser as we speak to Dr. Lindsay Bennett from the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds. You can find out more about the work in which Lindsay has been involved in her presentation here. We’ll also be finding out what tornadoes really are, how they form, and some interesting facts about which parts of the world they are found in. Visit The Weather Channel here for further information on severe weather as well as national and local weather forecasts, radar, and maps, and forecasts for world weather.twisterdot.jpgtoto.jpgBelow is a time lapse video of a tornado from the Weather Channel.

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