Hurricane Aletta: 2018's first major Pacific storm already Category 4, no threat to land... yet

Hurricane season is on. Hurricane Aletta is now a Category 4 storm, and is the first major hurricane of the 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season. A second, as-yet-unnamed and still-forming storm is right behind it. That storm could become the year's second named hurricane within the next few days. Read the rest

Spectacular slow-motion footage of lightning strikes

In Transient: Extended and Unused Footage, Dustin Farrell shares some of the great shots of weather events that got trimmed or omitted from his beautiful film Transient. Read the rest

Stormlapse: America's prettiest dark clouds

This is a compilation of time-lapse storm video shot by Ryan McGinnis in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. The music is by Hanu Dixit.

I am a storm photographer based out of central Nebraska. Each Spring, I trek across the Great Plains of the United States to document nature's most powerful and awe-inspiring phenomena. My camera can only give you a small sense of the wonder that comes from standing beneath a 60,000 foot tall mountain of swirling wind and water, but to that end I do the best that I can to capture a glimpse of that majesty.

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Stormchaser explains why powerful storms can have green coloration

Pecos Hank has seen his share of storms, as evidenced by his cool footage of ominous green-hued clouds. He explains the science behind why massive thunderstorms can "go green," as they say in stormchaser parlance. Read the rest

Watch: Man catches explosive lightning strike that destroys his yard

38-year-old Daniel Modøl Norway happens to be filming the stormy sky from his backyard in Norway when lightning suddenly crashes less than seven yards away. Although we don't see the actual bolt, we do see a flashing pink sky, and it's LOUD (you've been warned!). Modøl loses control of his camera for a moment. When he regains control we see that yard has been charred with debris and smoke everywhere.

According to PetaPixel, "He immediately headed for cover indoors, where he found his ceiling fan off and burn marks around an electrical outlet where his modem was." He decided not to film the rest of the storm outside. Good thinking. Read the rest

Study finds that hurricanes with female names kill more because they aren't taken seriously (Old news)

The Washington Post's Jason Samenow reports that "people don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly."

The conclusion is that of a wide-ranging study, Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes, which found that the death toll nearly triples when a severe hurricane is given a feminine name.

Abstract

Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations? We use more than six decades of death rates from US hurricanes to show that feminine-named hurricanes cause significantly more deaths than do masculine-named hurricanes. Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.

The study was formulated to track individual willingness to seek shelter. In other words, sexism is what's killing them, not the storm. The death toll since 1950: 50 deaths from female storms compared to 23 from male storms.

Meteorologists seem unimpressed: "I am not ready to change the naming system based on one study," the WaPo quotes ones.

UPDATE: Sorry about the oldnews: turns out this is three years old and has been widely contested. Read the rest

Man struck by lightning while sitting at his office desk

On Monday, Nick Gemayel was seated at his office desk in his Rochester, New York auto repair shop when he saw a bright flash spark from a light switch and heard a loud crack. Then he realized that his hand hurt like hell was blistered. A co-worker reported that he had seen lightning strike the building. It apparently arced from the light switch into Gemayel. Hospital doctors treated and released him. No word yet on what superpowers he may now have.

(Associated Press) Read the rest

Dozens of prairie storms unfold in this stunning 4K timelapse

Chad Cowan shared this taste of his upcoming long-form timelapse of massive thunderstorms sweeping across the American plains.

He gives a little background on how he was inspired by Tom Lowe:

This collection of timelapses was gathered over the last six years. The project started out as wanting to be able to see the life-cycles of these storms, just for my own enjoyment and to increase my understanding of them. Over time, it morphed into an obsession with wanting to document as many photogenic supercells as I could, in as high a resolution as possible, as to be able to share with those who couldn't see first hand the majestic beauty that comes alive in the skies above America's Great Plains every Spring. After more than 100,000 miles on the road and tens of thousands of shutter clicks later, this is the result. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Keep an eye out for a long form version of my storm timelapses, as these are a small sample of what I've been able to gather. I'm not sure yet how the extended version will be released.

FRACTAL - 4k StormLapse (Vimeo / Chad Cowan) Read the rest

California has a storm of "biblical proportions" every 200 years

The incessant rain in California for the last several weeks is just a taste of what's to come in the formerly drought-plagued state, says Rachel Becker in The Verge.

Snip:

The most recent was a series of storms that lasted for a near-biblical 43 days between 1861 and 1862, creating a vast lake where California’s Central Valley had been. Floodwaters drowned thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of cattle, and forced the state’s government to move from Sacramento to San Francisco.

More than 150 years have passed since California’s last, great flood — and a team of researchers with the US Geological Survey have predicted what kind of damage a similar flood would cause today. Their simulation, called the ARkStorm, anticipates that a stretch of the Central Valley 300 miles long by 20 miles wide would be underwater. Cities up and down the coast of California would flood. Winds would howl 60 to 125 miles per hour, and landslides would make roads impassable.

Image: Christopher Michel / Bay Area Storms 2017 Read the rest

Daydream 4K: a breathtaking journey through the American Southwest

Videographer Ron Risman, who we've featured on Boing Boing many times, specializes in nature and night sky time lapse video (and also conducts workshops). This time, Ron made a gorgeous video of the Southwestern US.

As I nod off at my desk I begin to day dream about the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest. Suddenly I am whisked away to this enchanting land of red rock hoodoos and truly grand canyons as far as the eye can see. Much of this magnificent area has an elevation of 8000-10,000 ft above sea level and with no city in sight for hours - the skies are so dark that viewing our galaxy is as easy as opening our eyes and looking up.

This film was captured while in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona this past September and early October. I was leading two advanced timelapse workshops (TimelapseWorkshops.com), and spent another few days ahead of time scouting locations with my guest instructor, Sean Parker.

In total we drove over 30 hours to get to all of these locations - yet each minute was filled with anticipation of what mother nature would bring.

Anyone who has met me knows my love for the southwest. I have been photographing this area for the past 20 years and since launching my timelapse workshops in 2013 I continue to attract amateur and professional photographers from all over the world (including Brazil, Turkey, China, Denmark, Scotland, and the United States) who fly in to learn how to capture and create breathtaking time lapses using their DSLR's.

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ISS captures three hurricanes in time-lapse video, two in Pacific and one in Atlantic

Cameras on the International Space Station captured this footage of three major hurricanes on Earth on August 30. Two of these storms are in the Pacific Ocean, and one is in the Atlantic Ocean. Read the rest

How intense are the El Niño rains in LA? Oh, El Pollo Loco roof collapsing intense

Is Los Angeles prepared for the El Niño storms we're getting? An #ElPolloLoco in Lincoln Heights wasn't. Jacqueline Garcia shot this video of the roof about to collapse from the rain at about 1pm today, LA time.

“They evacuated people but when rain stopped they reopened,” she says.

[ABC 7]

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WATCH: Astonishing time-lapse of storms roiling America's heartland

Clouds darken and gather before they unleash fury onto wind-swept plains in The Chase, a remarkable new film by Mike Olbinski. Prepare for a memorable journey. Read the rest

Watch amazing video of lightning in slow motion!

Zeus is pissed. Read the rest

Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) slams Philippines, may be most powerful typhoon to ever hit land

The powerful storm named Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Super Typhoon Yolanda, as it is referred to within the Philippines) hit the central islands of the Philippines on Friday, with reported wind speeds of 190 to 195 miles per hour at landfall. For comparison, a commercial airplane takes off at speeds in the range of 160mph.

Haiyan is reported to be the strongest typhoon in the world in 2013, and may be the most powerful recorded tropical cyclone to ever hit land. Read the rest

The wild rivers above California

Atmospheric rivers are meteorological phenomenon that we humans only discovered in 1998 and which supply about 30-to-50 percent of California's annual precipitation. In the NOAA satellite image above, the atmospheric river is visible as a thin yellow arm, reaching out from the Pacific to touch California. Or, more evocatively, reaching out to slap California silly with a gushing downpour.

An atmospheric river is a narrow conveyor belt of vapor about a mile high that extends thousands of miles from out at sea and can carry as much water as 15 Mississippi Rivers. It strikes as a series of storms that arrive for days or weeks on end. Each storm can dump inches of rain or feet of snow.

The real scare, however, is that truly massive atmospheric rivers that cause catastrophic flooding seem to hit the state about once every 200 years, according to evidence recently pieced together (and described in the article noted above). The last megaflood was in 1861; rains arrived for 43 days, obliterating Sacramento and bankrupting the state.

As you might guess, climate change is also involved. Evidence suggests that warming global temperatures could increase the frequency of atmospheric rivers. That, combined with the 200-year event expected soon and the fact we're learning so much much more about these storms, means that you should expect to hear the phrase "atmospheric river" more often.

Scientific American has two interesting stories on the phenomenon right now. The first, which I quote from above, is a blog post by Mark Fischetti. Read the rest

Why do trees fall over in a storm?

The more accurate version of this question would really be something like, "Why do some trees fall over in a storm while others stay standing?" The answer is more complex than a simple distinction between old, rotted, and weak vs. young, healthy, and strong. Instead, writes Mary Knudson at Scientific American blogs, trees fall because of their size, their species, and even the history of the human communities around them.

“Trees most at risk are those whose environment has recently changed (say in the last 5 – 10 years),” Smith says. When trees that were living in the midst of a forest lose the protection of a rim of trees and become stand-alones in new housing lots or become the edge trees of the forest, they are made more vulnerable to strong weather elements such as wind.

They also lose the physical protection of surrounding trees that had kept them from bending very far and breaking. Land clearing may wound a tree’s trunk or roots, “providing an opportunity for infection by wood decay fungi. Decay usually proceeds slowly, but can be significant 5-10 years after basal or root injury.” What humans do to the ground around trees — compacting soil, changing gradation and drainage “can kill roots and increase infection,” Smith warns.

Read the full piece at Scientific American Blogs

Image: West Philly Storm - Trees Down, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from kwbridge's photostream

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