Something that shook-up the media more than the media getting shaken-up in Monday morning's 4.4 earthquake in Los Angeles is the revelation that the Los Angeles Times has a set of code written to automatically post an article when the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that an earthquake occurred in California.
Astronaut Koichi Wakata took this photo of New York City from the International Space Station today, taking advantage of clear skies before the rain moves in tomorrow. While this picture of NYC is pretty cool, it doesn't come close to the other breathtaking views Wakata has shared from 230 miles up.
One of the biggest issues this winter was (and continues to be) the incredible amounts of ice that fell in lieu of snow across much of the southern United States. Parts of Texas have seen several major ice storms in the last few months, and locations along the Gulf Coast saw over an inch of solid ice from sleet and freezing rain at the end of January — including Mobile, Alabama, which saw its worst winter storm in over two decades.
Dubai saw an impressive thunderstorm this past Friday that veiled its famous skyline behind a wall of extremely heavy rain. The desert emirate, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and home to the tallest building in the world, receives between 3 and 4 inches of rain each year during its comfortably warm winters.
The above 3D radar image shows a supercell thunderstorm near Abilene, Texas this evening as it reportedly produces hail up to the size of golf balls. The storm has a great structure — a long anvil extending towards the northeast away from the main convection, cloud tops that reach over 40,000 feet, and two cores (main areas of heavy rain and hail) that are split in half by the storm's updraft.
While the east dealt with incessant snowfall — with some areas setting all-time snowfall records — the west saw one of the warmest and driest winters ever recorded. The period from December 1 through February 28 (known as meteorological winter) was the warmest ever recorded in California, while the lack of precipitation during those three months caused the third driest winter on record in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
As investigators try to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that mysteriously vanished without a trace last weekend, pundits are also at a loss as they try to come up with theories to satisfy their editors and producers. Since the flight went missing on Saturday, talking heads and writers have desperately tried drawing parallels between this incident and the 2009 crash of Air France 447, but the two events are likely unrelated aside from the fact that both happened over water.
A cool feature of strong cold fronts as they move over open water is the large area of cloud streets they can leave behind. As the cold, dry air interacts with the warmer ocean water, it creates narrow bands of convection (rising and sinking air) parallel to the direction of the wind. If conditions are right, these narrow bands of convection sometimes appear in the form of long, thin rows of cumulus clouds known as "horizontal convective rolls," or cloud streets.