Death From a Clear Blue Sky: Extreme Non-Convective High Winds

EarthzineArticles, Extreme Weather Theme, Original

Figure showing Selected non-convective “synoptic” wind gust maxima (yellow numbers, in mph) across the upper Midwest U.S. on October 26-27, 2010.

Figure showing a Visible satellite image at 2132 UTC on October 26, 2010, showing an intense mid-latitude cyclone centered near the Minnesota/Canada border. The cloud-free region separating the low (dark) clouds over Wisconsin from the bright white clouds over Ohio and Lake Huron is the signature of a dry slot. Image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.From the days of ancient mariners to the modern era of remote sensing , it has been known that it doesn’t take a hurricane, tornado or thunderstorm to create damaging and even deadly winds. The wind-related death of young Declan Sullivan at Notre Dame University is a reminder that non-convective winds can be as dangerous as major storms. What brings hurricane-force winds “out of a clear blue sky?” What can we to to mitigate the harm they can do?

Average Recurrence Interval of Extreme Rainfall in Real-time

ParzybokArticles, Disasters, Extreme Weather Theme, Original

Table showing three common ways of expressing the frequency (“return period”) of events.

Cropped image of Average Recurrence Interval (years) of the maximum rainfall in a 24-hour period during the period February 17-24 2004 storm across the North Island of New Zealand (Natural Hazards Centre, 2004).Knowing how much rainfall fell at a particular location during a certain amount of time is useful, but expressing the rarity of rainfall in terms of a “return period” provides an objective and useful perspective of the rainfall. Average recurrence interval (ARI) maps of rainfall provide information that is analogous to the 100-year flood, but for rainfall instead.

Extreme Weather Theme

Jeff KartExtreme Weather Theme, Original

Image of a lightning bolt

Image of a lightning boltArticles published for Earthzine’s Extreme Weather theme (March 21-June 21, 2011) examine aspects of weather extremes from multiple perspectives. Topics explored include severe flooding, killer tornadoes, cyclones, and record heat waves in various regions of the globe.

Call For Papers – It's Not Your Grandfather's Weather or Is It?

EarthzineAnnouncements, Extreme Weather Theme, Original

Roping tornado. Courtesy of NOAA.

Roping tornado. Courtesy of NOAA.Severe flooding, killer tornadoes, cyclones, and record heat waves impact communities around globe. Earthzine is soliciting articles for its 2nd quarter theme issue March 21-June 21, 2011 on Extreme Weather in the 21st Century, a theme that will look at aspects of weather extremes from multiple perspectives. Guest Editor for Weather is Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd.