Summertime is here

Installation by one of my favorite critters. Variously called balloon spiders or parachute spiders [generation dependent?] – they are tiny – and they spin out a long filament of their web into the wind till the lift is greater than their miniscule weight. Take off and fly like a balloonist until they reach a useful obstacle which they homestead.

Checked back through the blog and they’re 3 days earlier than last year. Pretty much always a June discovery and a solid sign of summer for me.

The Weather Report gets an upgrade almost 40 years in crafting


January 2018 “Bomb Cyclone”

❝ Weather forecasters need a ton of knowledge and a fair bit of experience with local weather patterns to do their job well. They also need a good forecast model. These computer models take in measurements from weather stations on the ground, satellites in orbit, and balloons in between and then simulate the physics of weather forward in time a few days.

For the first time in about 40 years, the guts of the US model got swapped out for something new… The upgrade brings us a new “Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere” (or FV3) dynamical core, which simulates the basic atmospheric physics at the heart of this endeavor, a change that has been in the works for a while.

❝ The new core had its origins in simulating atmospheric chemistry but ended up being adapted into other models. A few years ago, it was selected to replace the old core in the US Global Forecast System model. And for more than a year now, the new version of the model has been running in parallel so its results could be compared to the operational model.

RTFA for the details. I’ve mentioned before – and only my opinion – that every science geek is also a weather geek. One of those at-hand examples that fits into everything from work, errands, necessities and recreation. It’s complex; but, understandable, science that affects everyone.