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Archive for the 'Weather' Category

The Barometer is back! Join Hugo, Richard, Simon and Emma for discussion on how weather impacts sport and find out, amongst other things, why it takes more than just good driving skills to win a Grand Prix and the surprising way some ski resorts generate snow. 

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Join Hugo and Bogdan to find out more about weather balloons. What are they? What do they measure?

Watch a short video of a balloon launch from Capel Dewi (Wales) here



Hugo with a weather balloon.
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Today's episode focusses on the science behind the NAWDEX project as explained by special guest Prof. Geraint Vaughan from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).

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NAWDEX logo (via http://www.nawdex.ethz.ch/)
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Welcome to our first of hopefully daily updates on a project called NAWDEX, in which Hugo and Bogdan will be describing the day-to-day life during a field project. We aim to post daily updates on the science and practical aspects of field work.

NAWDEX (North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment) is an international project looking at the jet stream. One of it's aims to understand how diabatic processes (ie. heating and cooling) within clouds and how they affect the structure of the jet stream.

Today we will briefly introduce the project and who is taking part. Tomorrow we'll tell you about our first weather balloon launches. Please feel free to contact us, if you have any questions about the project or just weather in general.

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The mobile lab and weather balloon antenna at Capel Dewi
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This is an ex-Hurricane

Hurricane Bertha is no more but she may or may not be heading for the UK this weekend. Join the Will, Sam H and Tim on the Barometer Podcast to find out about her journey, why such weather systems are difficult to forecast and the chances of bad weather at the weekend.

The podcast was recorded on Thursday 7th August, 2014. Check the Met Office website for updated forecasts and weather warnings here.
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Ex-Hurricane Bertha contemplates her next move (left side of image). Image of the North Atlantic on Thursday 7th August 2014 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the TERRA satellite. Image courtesy of NASA.

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Recent UK Air Pollution

After an episode of poor air quality last week, Sam is joined by Will Morgan and Eoghan Darbyshire to chat about all things air pollution.

The conditions required for such UK air pollution events, the sources and the health impacts are all discussed. Was all the media hype justified? How often do these events occur? What's the outlook over the next few weeks? Find out by listening to this episode of the Barometer!

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A Stormy Valentines

On a stormy Valentine’s Day, Sam is joined by Professor David Schultz and Tim Slater from the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester, to discuss the recent bad weather that we have been having.

Dave and Tim reflect on what has been a rather tumultuous week, which unfortunately looks set to continue. So wrap up warm, and hold your loved one’s tight, it’s going to be a wet and windy Valentine’s night!

Is it raining in your heart?

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Sam I spoke to our colleagues at the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester who have recently launched a publicly accessible weather and air quality forecasting tool called ManUniCast. It aims to supports the teaching in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science at the University of Manchester, whilst also educating the public about how weather and air-quality (including atmospheric composition and air pollution) forecasts are made.

Sam spoke to Professor Dave Schultz, Dr Doug Lowe and Dr Jonathan Fairman about the creation of ManUniCast and what to expect in the future.


You can access ManUniCast here. There is also a blog, which will include frequent updates about how the forecast is fairing, as well as accounts for Twitter and Facebook. The team are very keen to get feedback on ManUniCast, so feel free to get in touch.


Presented by Sam Illingworth
Edited by Will Morgan
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St. Swithun's day, if thou dost rain,

For forty days it will remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days 'twill rain na mair.


Ever heard of St. Swithun's day on the 15th July? Who was this St. Swithun and what has he got to do with a 40 day weather prediction?
In this episode,  Sam will discuss the St. Swithun's day weather folklore, so listen to find out whether this myth gets busted or not!


And for those of you like things modern, check out Sam's updated myth below:

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain,

For forty days, Atlantic weather systems may well remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days, the Azores High could dry the air.

 


Mythbuster: Samuel Illingworth
Chat & editing: Jennifer Muller

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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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