Renewed flooding in Sri Lanka kills 11, affects 1.05 million

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:21:GMT den 07. februar 2011

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Renewed flooding in Sri Lanka due to heavy monsoon rains has killed at least 11 people and inundated the homes of 1.05 million people over the past week. The floods occurred over the central, north, and east portions of the island, and have the potential to devastate the rice crop and cause hundreds of millions in damage. Many of the areas affected were also hard-hit by January's 100-year flood, which killed 43 people, affected over 1 million people, and did at least $500 million in damage. Those floods destroyed 21% of Sri Lanka's rice crop. Heavy rains from the annual northeastern monsoon are common in the region from December through February, but this year's rains have been enhanced by the strong La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. According to the United Nations, the rains in January in Sri Lanka were the heaviest in nearly 100 years of record keeping. The flood that resulted was a 1-in-100 year event, according to The U.N. Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. Rainfall at Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, during the 42-day period December 1 - January 12 was 1606 mm (63"), which is about how much rain the station usually receives in an entire year (1651 mm, or 65".) Satellite estimates of rainfall over Sri Lanka for the first week of February show that up to 12 inches (300 mm) of rain has fallen. The latest rainfall forecast from the GFS model projects that a tropical disturbance (91B) near Sri Lanka will bring an additional 1 - 3 inches of rain to the flood area this week, so the flood waters will be slow to recede.


Figure 1. AP video of the latest flooding in Sri Lanka.

Jeff Masters

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125. Levi32
01:13:GMT den 08. februar 2011
By the way, I'm sure most of you have seen or heard of this story, which is the same explanation we've been hearing from most climate scientists regarding all the snow in the U.S. the past couple of winters. Dr. Masters also supported the idea of heavier snows due to increased moisture around the U.S. from a warming world.

Al Gore - "In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow."

This quote comes from his blog.

Well, it's kind of funny how the winter so far has been much drier than normal in the eastern United States:

Dec 1st-Feb 4th Precipitable Water Anomalies:



If you're wondering about last winter, where the east coast received record annual amounts of snow, it was dry then too:

Dec 2009-Feb 2010 Precipitable Water Anomalies:



Of course, colder air means less moisture in general, so if you're wondering if atmospheric moisture is increasing on average around the eastern United States and contributing to increased snowfall, here's the NCEP reanalysis graph of DJF precipitable water over the eastern U.S. and the immediately surrounding Atlantic waters for the last 60 years.


Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
124. Neapolitan
01:11:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Bill Nye on America's "horrible" science education

Cory Doctorow at 7:51 AM Sunday, Feb 6, 2011




Popular Mechanics interviews Bill Nye the Science Guy on the state of US science education (Nye: "It's horrible."). He's anxious that science education ramps up too late ("Nearly every rocket scientist got interested in it before they were 10.") and, of course, that teachers are intimidated out of teaching the good science of evolution and other controversial subjects:

They're doing their job but they're under tremendous pressure. The 60 percent who are cautious--those are the people who are really up against it. They want to keep their job, and they love teaching science, and their children are really excited about it, and yet they've got some people insisting they can't teach the most fundamental idea in all of biology. There's the phrase "just a theory." Which shows you that I have failed. I'm a failure. When we have a theory in science, it's the greatest thing you can have. Relativity is a theory, and people test it every which way. They test it and test it and test it. Gravity is a theory. People have landed spacecraft on the moon within a few feet of accuracy because we understand gravity so well. People make flu vaccinations that stop people from getting sick. Farmers raise crops with science; they hybridize them and make them better with every generation. That's all evolution. Evolution is a theory, and it's a theory that you can test. We've tested evolution in many ways. You can't present good evidence that says evolution is not a fact.

Very sad.

"Teaching creationism in public schools has consistently been ruled unconstitutional in federal courts, but according to a national survey of more than 900 public high school biology teachers, it continues to flourish in the nation’s classrooms...Researchers found that only 28 percent of biology teachers consistently follow the recommendations of the National Research Council to describe straightforwardly the evidence for evolution and explain the ways in which it is a unifying theme in all of biology. At the other extreme, 13 percent explicitly advocate creationism, and spend at least an hour of class time presenting it in a positive light."

And some wonder why Americans students continue to fall behind those in other nations? Progressive nations are teaching physics and advanced mathematics to their youth, while we're busy pretending that silly superstitions and mythologies created by backwards, technologically unsophisticated people a few thousand years ago have some bearing on who we are and where we came from. It's very depressing...

Here...

And here...

And here...
Member Since: november 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13535
123. GeoffreyWPB
01:07:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Wind still whipping out there. Front coming through.
Member Since: september 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11157
122. sunlinepr
00:53:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Member Since: august 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
121. Neapolitan
00:48:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Levi32:
NASA's February sunspot prediction is down to a maximum of 58 in July, 2013. This weak of a cycle resembles cycles not observed since the Dalton and Maunder minimums.

It would be really nice if the sun would dip into a profoundly deep Maunder minimum for a decade or so to help offset the ongoing warming of the planet. Observations and modeling suggest that it would come nowhere close to reversing or stopping the warming, but even the little bit of heat retardation it would provide would be helpful so far as GW goes. Of course, once it would come back out of the minimum, we'd be in even more serious trouble than we are now. Yikes...
Member Since: november 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13535
120. Patrap
00:48:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Bill Nye on America's "horrible" science education

Cory Doctorow at 7:51 AM Sunday, Feb 6, 2011




Popular Mechanics interviews Bill Nye the Science Guy on the state of US science education (Nye: "It's horrible."). He's anxious that science education ramps up too late ("Nearly every rocket scientist got interested in it before they were 10.") and, of course, that teachers are intimidated out of teaching the good science of evolution and other controversial subjects:

They're doing their job but they're under tremendous pressure. The 60 percent who are cautious--those are the people who are really up against it. They want to keep their job, and they love teaching science, and their children are really excited about it, and yet they've got some people insisting they can't teach the most fundamental idea in all of biology. There's the phrase "just a theory." Which shows you that I have failed. I'm a failure. When we have a theory in science, it's the greatest thing you can have. Relativity is a theory, and people test it every which way. They test it and test it and test it. Gravity is a theory. People have landed spacecraft on the moon within a few feet of accuracy because we understand gravity so well. People make flu vaccinations that stop people from getting sick. Farmers raise crops with science; they hybridize them and make them better with every generation. That's all evolution. Evolution is a theory, and it's a theory that you can test. We've tested evolution in many ways. You can't present good evidence that says evolution is not a fact.
Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
119. Levi32
00:47:GMT den 08. februar 2011
All solar indices have been essentially flat-lined since mid-2010, and even dropped off some in January, 2011.

Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
118. JRRP
00:41:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Levi32:
NASA's February sunspot prediction is down to a maximum of 58 in July, 2013. This weak of a cycle resembles cycles not observed since the Dalton and Maunder minimums.


they forecasted 59 on January

Member Since: august 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5816
117. Patrap
00:39:GMT den 08. februar 2011
I cant wait for the Parades to start rolling Uptown.

DE-moted eh..
Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
116. Levi32
00:39:GMT den 08. februar 2011
According to the latest report from the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center, the mean January, 2011 sunspot number was 19. This is a slight increase from December, 2010, but in the grand scheme of things, what should be an explosive increase in solar activity is simply not occurring yet. NASA hasn't updated their solar cycle graphs yet, but I have superimposed the January count onto the sunspot graph (slightly larger purple dot at the end).

Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
115. Grothar
00:35:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Für Safe?
Meine Deutschen saugt anscheinend Herrn General Grothar


Das ist Herr Oberstleutnant. LOL
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
114. Levi32
00:31:GMT den 08. februar 2011
NASA's February sunspot prediction is down to a maximum of 58 in July, 2013. This weak of a cycle resembles cycles not observed since the Dalton and Maunder minimums.

Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
113. GeoffreyWPB
00:26:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Grothar:
TO GEOFFWPB:

Sorry about the game last night. Hope you're feeling better.


It was just a dream. I think I'm really an Inn Keeper in Vermont.
Member Since: september 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11157
112. Patrap
00:24:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Vostok, Antarctica (Airport)

Summer way down under

Low Drifting Snow
-46 F
Low Drifting Snow
Humidity: 37%
Dew Point: -55 F
Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
111. Patrap
00:21:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Für Safe?
Meine Deutschen saugt anscheinend Herrn General Grothar
Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
110. flsky
00:14:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Grothar:


I hope they understood English! They probably thought you were looking for the umbrella stand.

If I remember right, they were Dutch - so, of course, they spoke English.
Member Since: Oktober 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1958
109. Grothar
00:14:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Der wunderground Bediener ist in San Fransisco vorbei durch diesen Regenschirmstandplatz verrückten Amerikaner.


Wv Das Loop




Wie wissen Sie für sicher?
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
108. flsky
00:12:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Afternoon............Impressive looking squall line for this time of the year approching Central and South Florida. Hopefully nothing too severe emerge from this one but I don't like the pattern that seems to be setting up for March and April when the stronger ones will show up.

Actually, March and April are our least rainy months. It will be interesting to see if this changes this year.
Member Since: Oktober 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1958
106. Patrap
00:09:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Der wunderground Bediener ist in San Fransisco vorbei durch diesen Regenschirmstandplatz verrückten Amerikaner.


Wv Das Loop

Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
105. Grothar
00:02:GMT den 08. februar 2011
Quoting flsky:

We get them every year in DB. I once had to tell a family of European tourists not to touch them. The parents were letting their kids play with them!


I hope they understood English! They probably thought you were looking for the umbrella stand.
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
104. Grothar
00:01:GMT den 08. februar 2011
TO GEOFFWPB:

Sorry about the game last night. Hope you're feeling better.
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
103. flsky
23:52:GMT den 07. februar 2011
Quoting Grothar:


That is why you should never touch them on the beach. There is a chemical that really does harm. We have had them on our beaches for years. They leave a welt that last for weeks.

We get them every year in DB. I once had to tell a family of European tourists not to touch them. The parents were letting their kids play with them!
Member Since: Oktober 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1958
102. sunlinepr
23:40:GMT den 07. februar 2011
Quoting Surfcropper:
Ever notice everything discussed on this blog is rooted in disaster?

Hurricanes, Floods, Ice storms, Heat Waves, Tornadoes, Global Warming, Solar Storms, Deaths, Destruction, Record Breaking Catastrophies...we're all going to die at the hands of random universal physics!!

Never once has Dr. Masters focused on a nice, breezy, sunny day somewhere. Its like severity is all we desire.




POSITIVE NEWS Link

LEDs Light up Tanzania's Homes

Jan 31, 2011
Positive News Issue
Illumination, a company selling solar LED lamps, are on a mission to replace the paraffin lanterns in Tanzania's 1.5 million homes. If they reach their goal, it could reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by around 800,000 tonnes. It will also eradicate the huge number of burn injuries, and help prevent life-threatening diseases associated with fume inhalation, such as liver failure and chemical pneumonia.....

Another link PNN-Positive News Network
Link
Member Since: august 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
The solar F10 Radio Flux was forecasted to be up to 100 by February of 2011, but it's still stuck down near 80.

Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Jedkins01:


Last years lack of severe weather and lightning in Florida was the lowest Ive ever seen in 16 years living here. So this next year will have to be more active severe weather wise and thunderstorm wise in Florida.


Same here, it pretty much shut off by July too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Correct, should be neutral by hurricane season.


Though there is a pretty good chance it will remain near weak La Nina/neutral conditions through the summer and then restrengthen into a 2nd-year La Nina next winter.
Member Since: november 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Surfcropper:
Ever notice everything discussed on this blog is rooted in disaster?

Hurricanes, Floods, Ice storms, Heat Waves, Tornadoes, Global Warming, Solar Storms, Deaths, Destruction, Record Breaking Catastrophies...we're all going to die at the hands of random universal physics!!

Never once has Dr. Masters focused on a nice, breezy, sunny day somewhere. Its like severity is all we desire.

Nice, breezy, sunny days don't generally kill people, that's all. They don't destroy property. They don't initiate mass evacuations. They don't cause food prices to soar, or energy to run short, or infrastructures to crumble, or nations to go to war over dwindling resources. They don't cause political or societal upheaval. In short, the chaos and confusion brought about by both natural and man-made catastrophes have always shaped civilizations and species; is it really any wonder we're fascinated and horrified by them?
Member Since: november 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13535
Quoting BahaHurican:
Looks like a change coming between tomorrow and Wednesday.... well back 2 the jacket and socks, I guess...
Weather is just plain weird up here...Its suppose to get back to normal in ten days.....cough, hack
Member Since: september 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21209
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Similar to 2008's I would hazard to guess..
Higher than normal tornado season. Average amount (vs less than amount last season) of thunderstorms over the summer in Florida. And of course - a more active hurricane season, though probably less than 2010's, more like 15-17 named.


Last years lack of severe weather and lightning in Florida was the lowest Ive ever seen in 16 years living here. So this next year will have to be more active severe weather wise and thunderstorm wise in Florida.
Member Since: august 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7445
I'm gone for a while... will check in later to see how far that front has progressed...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Nasty creatures, they are.
The ocean is brimming with them. Especially way down, where the really scary ones live.....
Member Since: september 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21209
Quoting hydrus:
Large and cool looking dome of high pressure near you...
Looks like a change coming between tomorrow and Wednesday.... well back 2 the jacket and socks, I guess...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Forecasters specifically noted that there wouldn't be any severe weather today, just "scattered showers". However, just as I called for, I suspected there would be chance of isolated severe weather, and sure enough 4 severe reports today. Nothing special, but still, they downplayed any threat of strong storms. They didn't even mention heavy rain ,just light to moderate showers... Right, the PWAT got to about 1.85 today. We had a burst of torrential rain earlier.
Member Since: august 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7445
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

yep i remember when i was boy
we go out to the banks jigging for cod
the flesh of im would get torn up in the lines
if ya got the stuff on ya it would burn the skin right off yer hands


Nasty creatures, they are.
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
Quoting BahaHurican:
I dunno why, for me at least, a tropical wx blog somehow likely to be focused on tropical wx...

I post every day we have a great day... like today was excellent, with high near/over 80 F. OTOH, I'd rather read about the storms...
Large and cool looking dome of high pressure near you...
Member Since: september 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21209
I dunno why, for me at least, a tropical wx blog somehow likely to be focused on tropical wx...

I post every day we have a great day... like today was excellent, with high near/over 80 F. OTOH, I'd rather read about the storms...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


That is why you should never touch them on the beach. There is a chemical that really does harm. We have had them on our beaches for years. They leave a welt that last for weeks.

yep i remember when i was boy
we go out to the banks jigging for cod
the flesh of im would get torn up in the lines
if ya got the stuff on ya it would burn the skin right off yer hands
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Google is our friend.

The 360-degree Rainbow

Posted by: JeffMasters,

Most people don't realize it, but a rainbow is actually a full circle. You usually can't see the full circle, since half of the rainbow lies beneath the horizon, where it is not raining. After all, there is no weather underground. However, if one is in an airplane or overlooking a waterfall, the 360-degree rainbow can be seen. I know--I have seen them twice from research airplanes that were flying through rain showers. Check out the 360-degree rainbow image at the bottom. Note that there is a separate optical phenomena, called a glory (caused by diffraction), surrounding the shadow of the airplane.

Unfortunately, I only had a 23mm wide angle lens, and could not capture the entire 360-degree rainbow. To my knowledge, no one has captured a photograph of a full NATURAL 360-degree rainbow. You can easily photograph one using a sprinkler, as this photographer has done here.
Member Since: juli 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128287
Afternoon all.

A fading la nina giving way to a neutral season is pretty bad for us, IIRC.... I seem to recall one study that suggests threats to US coast and Caribbean islands are greatest during neutral years.... even if the season doesn't get above 15 NS, we're more likely to see steering patterns that favor landfall as opposed to early recurvature over the ocean waters....

Will be very interesting to see how quickly la nina fades, and whether it stays faded...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


He had a blog about rainbows once..


lol

sky stop that

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Surfcropper:
Ever notice everything discussed on this blog is rooted in disaster?

Hurricanes, Floods, Ice storms, Heat Waves, Tornadoes, Global Warming, Solar Storms, Deaths, Destruction, Record Breaking Catastrophies...we're all going to die at the hands of random universal physics!!

Never once has Dr. Masters focused on a nice, breezy, sunny day somewhere. Its like severity is all we desire.




Because fair weather isn't exciting, what kind of real weather enthusiast gives a a crap about fair weather?


I'll take stormy weather any day over fair weather, unless what I'm doing absolutely requires fair weather. But most of the time I'm doing something outside, stormy weather just makes it more exciting :)
Member Since: august 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7445
Quoting BahaHurican:
Geez, Grothar, that manowar looks like some eerie other-world creature come to take over the world! Look at those "antenna" and that freaky blue colour! Hard to believe anybody who got stung by one did so on land....


That is why you should never touch them on the beach. There is a chemical that really does harm. We have had them on our beaches for years. They leave a welt that last for weeks.
Member Since: juli 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Funny you should mention that, did you see this?

DELRAY BEACH — With blue- and purple-colored, balloon-looking animals lining the beach all weekend, it's not hard to believe Delray Beach Ocean Rescue's James Scala when he says 197 people were stung by Portuguese man-of-war on Sunday alone.

Scala said 46 people were stung Friday, and another 84 on Saturday at Delray Beach.

Clint Tracy, a Boca Raton Ocean Rescue captain, said the man-of-war were first seen on the beach Thursday.

Lifeguards flew purple warning signs to notify swimmers.

He said many of the man-of-war were probably pushed to the shore by winds blowing east.

Geez, Grothar, that manowar looks like some eerie other-world creature come to take over the world! Look at those "antenna" and that freaky blue colour! Hard to believe anybody who got stung by one did so on land....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: september 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11157
Quoting 7080734:
What do you think 2011's Severe Weather Season will be like with la Nina dieing down?


Similar to 2008's I would hazard to guess..
Higher than normal tornado season. Average amount (vs less than amount last season) of thunderstorms over the summer in Florida. And of course - a more active hurricane season, though probably less than 2010's, more like 15-17 named.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.