Extreme Weather

Are there more hurricanes due to climate change?

The climate.gov article Can we detect a change in Atlantic hurricanes today due to human-caused climate change? by Chris Landsea and Tom Knutson (5/11/2022) is a great example of the challenges in understanding complex systems. If all you want is the answer: Atlantic hurricanes display distinct busy and quiet periods:  Busy …

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What is the status of Lake Mead?

Most of the western half of the U.S. continues to have various levels of drought (see U.S. Drought Monitor) and Lake Mead has reached a new low. The graph here is from the data on the Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, End of Month Elevation (feet) page by the Bureau …

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How many billion dollar disasters in 2021?

The NOAA Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters page keeps track of these events. During 2021, there were 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events across the United States. The total cost from these events of 2021 was $145.0 billion and is the third most costly year on record, behind 2017 and 2005. The total costs …

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How dry is Arizona?

From the climate.gov article Western Drought 2021 Spotlight: Arizona by Tom Di Liberto (7/29/2021): Looking back even farther by using a drought indicator known as the Standardized Precipitation Index, the current drought in Arizona is also the worst on record back to the late 1800s. Going back even farther than …

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How Low is Lake Mead?

The Bureau of Reclamation posts the end of month elevation for Lake Mead dating back to 1935. I created the graph of minimum yearly end of month elevation starting in 1940 since Hoover Dam was only created in 1935. Here is the R code to create the graph including importing …

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What do we know about hurricanes?

The article NASA and Hurricanes: Five Fast Facts by Katy Mersmann (6/1/2021) has the answers. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season starts today, June 1. Our colleagues at NOAA are predicting another active season, with an above average number of named storms. At NASA, we’re developing new technology and missions to study storm formation …

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Are hurricanes getting stronger?

Climate Central provides some graphs and facts related to hurricanes in their article Stronger Hurricanes (9/23/2020).  The graph shows the trend in Atlantic water temperature and here are the related key concepts from the article: Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, known as the Main Development Region for tropical …

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How much of the U.S. is in drought?

The United States Drought Monitor is your source for drought information. Starting with the main graph, copied here, you can select regions and then down to state levels. From the data tab you can select time series graphs, download tabular data by selected region, as well as obtain GIS files. …

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