In a talk I was giving last week on the physics of thunderstorms, to a joint meeting of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Engineering and Technology, I could not resist mentioning tornadoes. Always spectacular and at times devastating, I have been fascinated by them for years. We tend to hear more about tornadoes in the US, and they do have around 75% of the world’s tornado occurrences, but there are many other locations across the globe that have the right conditions for tornadoes to form.
On 23rd March 2017 - World Meteorological Day - the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its new, online, digitised International Cloud Atlas, which is the global reference for observing and identifying clouds. It contains a number of new cloud classifications, including the eagerly-awaited asperitas, a dramatic undulated cloud which has captured public imagination.
The WMO have today released their State of Global Climate in 2016 report, detailing a record global temperature, exceptionally low sea ice, continued sea level rise and increasing ocean temperatures, with extreme weather and climate continuing into 2017.
The authoritative annual statement is based on several international datasets maintained independently by global climate analysis centres, as well as research institutes and national meteorological and hydrological centres.
To celebrate World Meteorological Day (#WorldMetDay) on 23rd March, the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) are running a competition with @StormHour. The theme of this year's World Meteorological Day is 'Understanding Clouds', so we are running a mini cloud competition.
Image: Highest gusts of over 60 knots (69 mph) recorded on 25 January 1990 (Source: Met Office)
On 25th January 1990 - otherwise known as Burns Day to the Scots, the day marking the birthday of their national poet, Robert Burns - an intense depression tracked across southern Scotland bringing severe gales and storm force winds to many parts of England and Wales.
Analysis from the Met Office and WMO show that 2016 was the warmest on record. The Met Office’s provisional full-year figures for global average near-surface temperatures showed that last year was one of the warmest two years on record, marginally exceeding the record temperature of 2015. The analysis used the HadCRUT4 dataset, produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre and University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which estimated global temperature. When compared to the 1961-1990 long-term average, this is +0.77±0.1 degC, compared to +0.76±0.1 degC for 2015.
Chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis will increase slightly across northern areas of the UK over the next 48 hours, according to the US Space Weather Prediction Centre.
Recent activity on the surface of the sun, which first happened on 9th October, has led scientists to extend the possibility of seeing the Aurora over parts of Europe, including the UK, Scandinavia and Russia on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th October.