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A newly discovered atmospheric optical phenomenon called… Steve

Image: 'Steve' (Source: ESA - Dave Markel)

If Boaty McBoatface is anything to go by, social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to naming things for science. The most recent example of this is Steve; a recently discovered phenomenon all thanks to the power of social media and citizen scientists – something that wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago. 

Mother-of-Pearl clouds thought to have inspired Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'

Research published in the Royal Meteorological Society's Weather journal suggesting that mother-of-pearl clouds inspired Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' has gained lots of attention at #EGU17 conference in Vienna. It was even featured on BBC News >> 

Read the full Weather article for free here >> 

International Cloud Atlas & new cloud classifications

On World Meteorological Day (23rd March 2017), 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 media interest and public imagination.  The RMetS originally reviewed examples of asperitas  provided by Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society. 

Spinning up enthusiasm for meteorology

Tornadoes. A climate view of tornadoes. Possibly the hardest brief yet. There is very little that is certain about climate change and tornadoes. When and where a tornado outbreak in the US occurs is predominantly determined by weather patterns that bring together the warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the cold dry air from the North. Because these weather patterns are very variable from year to year, it is hard to establish any long term effect of climate change.

Let’s twist again like we did last summer

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.

A traveller’s guide to Sydney, Australia

Sydney is a cosmopolitan city, surrounded by vast unspoilt beaches, sparkling harbours, famous landmarks, renowned vineyards and numerous world heritage sites. It is the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, where millions of travellers – both gap year students and vacationers alike - flock to each year. Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with warm summers and mild winters, so there are many outdoor activities to enjoy all year round.

Weather and energy trading

It is no secret that the weather and energy consumption have always been intrinsically linked.  The basic theories of supply and demand drive a lot of the relationship – if the weather is very cold we will demand more power and knowing what the weather might do months, seasons or even years ahead will help shape predictions on how much power we need to generate. But weather is just one factor that effects our power requirements and prices, and until recently, other core factors like UK politics, geopolitical events, the economy, etc.