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Rainbows Are Way More Complicated Than We Thought

Some don't even have all the colors of the rainbow

(Newser) - How long have you spent thinking about rainbows—like really thinking about them? National Geographic reports atmospheric scientists Jean Ricard has spent enough time thinking about rainbows to develop a new rainbow classification system, which he presented Friday at an American Geophysical Union meeting. According to the presentation , Ricard created... More »

Fall Actually Starts Today, by One Count

Meteorological summer is over

(Newser) - It might look and feel a lot like summer out there, but it's already fall, at least according to meteorologists. "Meteorological fall" begins today and includes the entire months of September, October, and November. Most people consider the autumnal equinox, which happens on Sept. 23 this year, to... More »

Latest Task for Drones: Study Earth's Ozone Layer

Global Hawk will survey the tropopause

(Newser) - Today's science vocab lesson: tropopause. It's the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere, where ozone exists as a harmful greenhouse gas, and the higher-up stratosphere, where the same gas plays an important role in protecting the Earth from the sun's UV rays. And that boundary region is about... More »

Nor'easter Poised to Wallop NJ, NY Tomorrow

Wind gusts expected to hit 60mph could mean more power outages

(Newser) - That's it, Mother Nature: You're off New York and New Jersey's Christmas card lists. The National Weather Service is now warning that a brewing nor'easter could bring sustained winds of up to 40mph and gusts of up to 60mph to the storm-battered region, causing yet more... More »

Is Sandy the Face of Climate Change?

Some politicians think it's a wake-up call; scientists aren't ready to say

(Newser) - The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy has plenty of people asking: Did climate change do this? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to hint as much in his speech today, saying there was a "new reality" in weather patterns. "We have a 100-year flood every two years now,... More »

Upside of Drought: Fewer Tornadoes

Tornadoes at nearly 60-year low

(Newser) - Cheer up, drought-ravaged America : At least you're not being ravaged by twisters. There have been only about 300 tornadoes reported since mid-April, the lowest number reported in almost 60 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. In an average year, three times that many tornadoes would hit. "The simple... More »

US Has Hottest Spring Ever

It was 5 degrees above average

(Newser) - It's been the hottest spring ever in the contiguous US—by far: The months of March, April, and May clocked in at two degrees warmer than the previous record. With an average temperature of 57.1 degrees, it was five degrees hotter than the average spring. At 64.3... More »

US Heat Wave Worst Since 1995

As death toll hits 22

(Newser) - At least 22 deaths have now been attributed to the heat wave scorching the US this week, which one AccuWeather meteorologist yesterday predicted would “be more significant and impact a larger area than the deadly 1995 heat wave." That disaster killed a whopping 750 people over four days,... More »

Woman Freezes to Death in Driveway in Northeast Chill

In parts of New England, it may feel like 50 below

(Newser) - New England has been hit with a blast of winter cold from Canada so severe that at least two people have died, including one woman whose frozen body was found in a driveway in Connecticut, the AP reports. She apparently fell Saturday night and froze while temperatures were near zero;... More »

Rain of Fish Hits Aussie Desert Town

Lajamanu is 326 miles from nearest river

(Newser) - Forget about cats and dogs—it literally rained fish for two days in one tiny, landlocked Australian town. Meteorologists say the spangled perch likely got sucked up by a thunderstorm, frozen, then dropped above the town, the Telegraph reports. Local records say it is the third time the town, Lajamanu,... More »

Over-the-Top Weatherman Goes Viral

Jim Kosek's Baltimore forecast is closing in on 1 million views

(Newser) - Jim Kosek of doesn't like to give boring forecasts, so when he braced Baltimore for the first of its recent storms, he let it all hang out. The result has drawn nearly 900,000 views on YouTube. "This is Al Roker meets Sam Kinison," writes Eric... More »

Blame El Niño for Recent Storms

Strongest warm-water phenomenon in a decade drenches coasts

(Newser) - The strongest El Niño in more than a decade is the culprit behind the wretched weather bombarding much of the country this winter, from the snowstorms that buried the mid-Atlantic states in December to the rains that drenched California last month. “Ocean temperatures are somewhere upwards of two... More »

Vancouver Hopes for White Olympics, Naturally or Not

Vancouver has already made 21 million gallons of snow, just in case

(Newser) - Continued warm weather in Vancouver, which will host the Winter Olympics in less than a month, has led to a massive snowmaking effort and a bit of anxiety. Cypress Mountain, one of four outdoor venues used in the Games, has been closed early to “protect the integrity of the... More »

Tropical Storms Ana, Bill Aim for US Shores

Ana is the season's first named system; Bill could morph into a hurricane

(Newser) - Ana and Bill are on the move, but meteorologists aren't worried just yet, the Miami Herald reports. Both tropical storms formed in the Atlantic today and are moving westward, but a possible US landing is 5 or more days away. The National Hurricane Center says they could strike anywhere from... More »

El Niño May Soak Parched California This Winter

(Newser) - El Niño is back. Meteorologists say water temperatures in the Pacific are rising to levels not seen since 2002 and could even hit 1997-98 levels. That year’s wet winter brought mud slides, blackouts, and floods to the Bay Area, as rainfall nearly doubled, the San Jose Mercury News... More »

Forecasters Warn of New El Niño

(Newser) - A new El Nino could be approaching. Sea-surface temperatures have been warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean, suggesting the potential for the development of the El Niño climate phenomenon in the next three months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More »

Lightning Predicts Hurricane Intensity: Study

It may be useful in hurricane forecasting

(Newser) - A day before the gustiest part of a hurricane hits, nature sends a warning sign via lightning, researchers tell USA Today. A study of Category 4 and 5 storms yielded a strong correlation between the hurricanes’ intensity and lightning, making the latter a powerful gauge for places that don’t... More »

Scientists Ready Biggest Tornado Chase Ever

50+ researchers to go on monthlong twister hunt across middle US

(Newser) - Researchers from 19 universities in four countries are preparing for a massive $10.5 million tornado chase, LiveScience reports. The project, dubbed VORTEX2 (Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment), will send 50 scientists in 40 research vehicles chasing super-cell thunderstorms, which tend to generate the nastiest tornadoes, across South Dakota,... More »

Hurricane Forecast Gathers Strength

Early start to season could mean more and stronger storms

(Newser) - The 2008 hurricane season could be more intense than originally predicted, forecasters warned yesterday. July saw the earliest hurricane to ever form so far east in the Atlantic, prompting experts to up their season estimates from 15 to 17 named storms and from seven hurricanes to nine. Five of the... More »

Global Warming Caused by ... Cleaner Skies: Study

Pollution crackdown has let more sunlight in, making Europe toastier, scientists say

(Newser) - Reducing aerosols and other pollutants has been a major part of Europe’s campaign to reduce global warming, but a new study turns conventional thinking on its head, New Scientist reports. "The decrease in aerosols probably accounts for at least half of the warming over Europe in the last... More »

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