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Changes in jet stream since 1960 responsible for uptick in extreme weather

Changes in jet stream since 1960 responsible for uptick in extreme weather

Science
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified a link between jet stream variability during the last half-century and increases in extreme weather in Europe, including storms, flooding, drought, heatwaves and wildfires.Using tree rings from the British Isles and Mediterranean, scientists at the University of Arizona sussed out late-summer weather patterns across Western Europe going back nearly three centuries, to 1725."We find that the position of the North Atlantic Jet in summer has been a strong driver of climate extremes in Europe for the last 300 years," Valerie Trouet, a scientist at Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, said in a news release.The work of Trouet and her colleagues helped provide context for modern observations of the jet stream's seasonal patterns. Their data -- p...
US hits record for costly weather disasters: $306 billion

US hits record for costly weather disasters: $306 billion

Technology
With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $ 306 billion. The U.S. had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $ 215 billion in 2005. Costs are adjusted for inflation and NOAA keeps track of billion-dollar weather disasters going back to 1980. Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history hit last year. Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $ 125 billion, second only to 2005's Katrina, while Maria's damage in Puerto Rico cost $ 90 billion, r...
US firm picks UK for weather satellites

US firm picks UK for weather satellites

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA miniaturised instrument to monitor the weather will be the first payload to fly on one of the UK's new publicly funded demonstration satellites. US-based Orbital Micro Systems will launch their microwave radiometer aboard the 30cm-long spacecraft next year to retrieve temperature, humidity and precipitation measurements. If successful, OMS plans a 40-strong constellation of similar satellites. OMS is moving into Britain because of the support offered to new space firms. Originating in Colorado, the company is opening a data-processing centre in Harwell, Oxfordshire, and a hardware facility in Glasgow, Scotland. "The UK's In-Orbit Demonstration programme is unique; it doesn't exist anywhere else," says OMS CEO William Hosack. "The speed with whi...
Ben Nevis gets automatic weather station

Ben Nevis gets automatic weather station

Science
Live weather data is being recorded again at the top of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest peak, after a 113-year gap. Researchers have installed an automatic meteorological station that digitally collects information on temperatures, wind speeds and rainfall levels.Until 1904, the same measurements were gathered by men who lived in a shelter at the summit.The weather station was carried up the mountain, in the Scottish Highlands, by a team of researchers on Tuesday.The new station means visitors to the UnEarthed exhibition in Edinburgh next week will be able to take a look in real-time at weather conditions on the mountain, something that was not possible previously. Dr Barbara Brooks and her team from the NERC National Centre for Atmospheric Science carried the equipment up the mountain on Tues...
Eclipse weather forecast: Best in West, least in East

Eclipse weather forecast: Best in West, least in East

Technology
The early eclipse weather forecast looks best in the West and least in the East with patchy clouds muddling up the picture in between. As of Friday, the forecast for Monday's total solar eclipse shows Oregon and Idaho as the most promising for clear sky views, while South Carolina is the most likely to find the sun and moon blocked by clouds. The National Weather Service also is optimistic about good viewing from St. Louis to Nashville, but forecasts can change. Overall, about half the nation is likely to get favorable eclipse viewing weather, said Mike Musher, a meteorologist at the weather service's Weather Prediction Center. The troublesome area, not easy to forecast and not likely to be all clear, is from Wyoming to western Missouri. "It's going to be twitchy for everybody from Nebras...