Monday, 02 October 2017 09:01

Hurricanes 2017: All time Records

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria set all time historic records of intensity, duration and catastrophic damage.  This is byfar the worst most destructive hurricane season the United States has ever had. We have suffered hundreds of deaths, massive destruction of property and land, and Billions in damage.  These hurricanes were well predicted and emergency evacuations ordered days in advance of the landfall thanks to NOAA's forecast teams, emergency managers and local governments and privte sector meteorologists and firms.  Tracks of the storms clearly show the destruction.  Harvey developed rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and stalled over the Texas coastal region. Irma moved rapidly across the Carribean islands and up the Florida west coast.  Maria hit the windward islands and flattened Dominica as the Cat 5 eye passed directly over then on to USVI and Puerto Rico.  NASA showed the devastation in LANDSAT images of Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands where the lush green vegetation turned brown as leaves were torn off.

The European Center for Medium Range Forecasts provided an excellent long range prediction of the track and total precipitation in Hurricane Harvey over Texas.  Windy.com provided a map of 10-day total accumulated precipitation which matched Harvey's track and record precipitation remarkably well. Harvey approached the Texas coast with 95 to 115 kt winds and had a very large slowly moving classic satellite image shown below


The models continued to increase their precipitation forecast as the storm oscillated over the land and Gulf of Mexico for 4 days, dumping huge amounts of rainfall. Windy's ECMWF 6-day forecast from 082517 is shown below. NASA's Earth Observatory provided an analysis from the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) of more than 500 mm fom 25-28 August 2017.  They also noted that record precipitation of 49.2 inches was observed from 25-29 August. NASA's Soil Moisure mission SMAP also showed significant increases in soil moisture in the Houston area which contributed to the rapid runoff and wide spread devastating record floods.


















The River Forecast Center predicted record floods from the early forecasts of heavy rains.  This helped emergency managers announce manditory evacuations early as the storm approached, thus saving lives and property. AccuWeather also alerted its commercial clients to the flood emergency and told them to protect staff and equipment. The TV networks were on top of the warnings and kept the public informed as the storm approached.





I have published a new book:

WEATHER or NOT: Meteorological Decision Sources

Make your own weather and climate related decisions

by Dave Matthews, PhD

Copyright 2017 by Dave Matthews, PhD

You can go to Amazon Kindle eBooks to have a look and order the book.  This book deals with all forms of weather and climate information sources that can improve your life's decisions.  New and improved October 2017 version is now available that includes information about the 2017 devistating hurricane season and links to clear figures. Amazon automatically updates your original version.

I will donate 90% of the royalties from the first year to the victims of this year's catastropic hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria via the Rotary hurricane victim recovery fund. Your reviews are appreciated.

Weather impacts your decisions every day, and having accurate forecasts help you decide what to wear or do, or possibly save your life when severe weather hits. Chances are you’ve gone online to find out what the weather’s going to do before, but there’s a lot of options.

The Internet puts a ton of weather data at your fingertips, but it’s not the easiest to navigate. It’s also sometimes difficult to tell whether or not a source is reputable. It is my hope that this book will provide a source of information that you can use each day to plan your life and work from vacations and sports, flights and sailing, to planting and harvesting, and understand better complex issues like climate and climate change. I have provided examples in figures that demonstrate how to navigate the pages where you can find this information.

We’re bombarded with weather information every day, so it’s important to know how to independently assess the truth. This book provides a ready source of truthful scientific information that you can easily use, understand and evaluate. It is designed as an electronic “e-book,” that can be used as a real-time reference to free web sites and Apps which are maintained by scientists around the world. You can see what is really happening and make your own decisions.

To illustrate my point, I’ll discuss severe storms, flooding, summer snows on Greenland, winter storms in the Antarctic and Andes, and surfing waves and sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, etc. Many of these examples address climate change and sea level rise issues like the extent of glaciers and their recession and growth. I have provided examples in figures that demonstrate how to navigate the complex web pages, while showing interesting cases that provide information on severe storms, flooding, summer snows on Greenland, winter storms in the Antarctic and Andes, surfing waves and sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, etc. Many of these examples address climate change and sea level rise issues like the extent of glaciers and their recession and growth.


As I do the final edit and formatting of this book we have experienced an Epic Hurricane Harvey and resulting 1000-year flood in Texas. The sources I discuss in this book did an outstanding job of predicting this truly catastrophic storm. Windy.com’s prediction of the total 10-day accumulation of precipitation was 45 to 55 inches along the Gulf Coast near Houston. Today, on September 4, 2017, the ECMWF 10-day forecast has Hurricane Irma heading to the south Florida east coast with 222 mm of rain around Miami and on up into Virginia. This track has been changing, hence the need to closely monitor conditions and use the latest National Hurricane Center warnings. At this time the NHC is showing a track across the Caribbean Islands toward south Florida and Cuba possibly again into the Gulf of Mexico.


Friday, 04 November 2016 10:19


GLOBE home page sample:  

 GLOBE presents many opportunities to enhance student learning about scientific methods in a natural, environmentally friendly manner that challenges them while doing fun things in their surroundings. The program has evolved since 1994 into a worldwide science and education program that provides a rhobust student and teacher friendly system for communicating and learning. Please examine the GLOBE web site for further information about this wonderful learning program.

This video link captures the essence of the GLOBE experience. Most recently, during our 20th GLOBE Annual Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, in July, GLOBE students visited Rocky Mountain National Park to take part in a Student Research Experience:

GLOBE Communities - European Phenology Campaign starts Janurary 2017


In 1945, UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.

Slovenian Man and Biosphere Program MAB

MAB is UNESCO's intergovernmental research programme that provides opportunities for nature conservation and sustainable development.  The purpose of the MAB Programme is to study the impact of human activities on the changes in the living environment and promote sustainable development.

Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.  Julien Alps selected as MAB site.  It is an area of alpine mountains and karst plateaux, with an alpine climate characterised by cold winters and short summers, although the valleys opening towards the Mediterranean region to the south have milder climatic conditions. Biosphere Reserves in Slovenia are coordinated thru Triglav National Park.

The Karst

The Karst Biosphere Reserve encompasses the kocjaske jame Regional Park including the kocjan caves, designated both as a World Heritage site and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.

Kozjansko & Obsotelje

Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve is marked by a closed chain of pre-Alpine hills, unconnected areas of tertiary lower hills and a chain of lowland fields.


UNESCO CHAIR: Water Related Disaster Risk reduction University of Ljubljana

EUROParc  Working for Nature

Slovenia parks

Natura 2000

In April 2004, Slovenia designated the Natura 2000 sites and undertook to suitably protect them. The network was enlarged in 2013. It defined 31 sites for bird conservation and 323 sites for the conservation of habitat types and species. Thus there are 354 Natura 2000 sites in total, encompassing 7683 km2 (7.677km2 terrestial, 6 km2 marine), which makes approximately 37 percent of the country.












Tuesday, 01 November 2016 21:59


GLOBE  http://www.globe.gov/about/overview

GLOBE - Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment

GLOBE presents an opportunity for students, teachers, and scientists to learn and develop scientific thought processes and to understand our environment.  In the early 1990’s Vice President Al Gore had an idea to help children around the world use the internet to communicate and learn about each other and their environment.  His goal was to have at least one computer in every school around the world.  He wanted students to improve their understanding of science and math thru making observations that they could share.  I had an opportunity to meet Dr. Sandy McDonald, Director, Forecast Systems Laboratory, (now in ESRL) NOAA, when he was helping Al Gore develop the early stages of GLOBE in 1993.  At the time I worked with the US Bureau of Reclamation and was a visiting scientist at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado.  NCAR and UCAR hosted many meetings on GLOBE and UCAR now hosts the GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO).  

One of my interests has been to promote GLOBE in various regions.  After returning from Morocco in 1988, I maintained interests with the Direction de la Meteorologie National and with friends at the Casablanca American School.  Morocco joined GLOBE after helping make the connections there.  Today, I am interested in helping Slovenia join GLOBE.  This effort dovetails with US Ambassador, Brent Hartley’s interest in developing a partnership between the Slovenian Triglav National Park and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.  Environmental science and biodiversity are common interests of Triglav and Crater Lake park rangers and environmental scientists.

Lyn Wigbels, International Coordinator, GLOBE Implementation Office relayed this information about recent GLOBE Student Research Experience: "I was pleased to hear about the Ambassador’s project which sounds like a great venue for involving students in the GLOBE Program.  Over the years, GLOBE activities have been organized in national parks.  Most recently, during our 20th GLOBE Annual Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, in July, GLOBE students visited Rocky Mountain National Park to take part in a Student Research Experience:

This video truly captures the essance of the GLOBE scientific discovery process and clearly demonstrates how it works to engage students from around the world in learning about nature and their environment.  It shows how students apply the scientific procss and communicate their discoveries to others working with their mentors.

Joining GLOBE can be a life changing process that enables teachers, scientists, GLOBE partners, and alumni to improve their understanding of earth.


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