12 news posts related to Weather

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Washington’s state climatologist predicts this will be an El Niño year

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond

Nick Bond is a University of Washington associate professor of atmospheric sciences who studies the link between ocean and atmosphere. He also serves as the state climatologist for Washington. Early reports suggest that the winter of 2018/2019 will be a weak to moderate El Niño year. For the Pacific Northwest, that probably means less snow in the mountains than the average. 

Read more at UW Today »

Glaciers in Mongolia's Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age

The Gobi-Altai mountain range in western Mongolia is in a very dry region but ice can accumulate on mountaintops, such as Sutai Mountain, the tallest peak in the range. In the picture, friends of Jigjidsurengiin Batbaatar descend this mountain after helping to install a weather station.

The simple story says that during the last ice age, temperatures were colder and ice sheets expanded around the planet. That may hold true for most of Europe and North America, but new research from scientists in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the UW tells a different story in the high-altitude, desert climates of Mongolia. The recent paper in Quaternary Science Reviews is the first to date ancient glaciers in the high mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. 

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Ice core shows North American ice sheet’s retreat affected Antarctic weather

Sea ice and icebergs in the Southern Ocean in 2017 off the coast of West Antarctica. The new study looks at the year-to-year variability of storms in this region.

Researchers at the University of Washington were among the co-authors of a new study that uses ice core data to see how Earth’s climate behaved at the end of the last ice age, when the Laurentide Ice Sheet covering much of North America retreated about 16,000 years ago. The study led by the University of Colorado Boulder is published online this week and will be in the Feb. 

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UW atmospheric scientists flying through clouds above Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

Roger Marchand with UW students Litai Kang (left) and Emily Tansey (center) in front of the Hiaper research aircraft.

University of Washington scientists are part of an international team that is spending six weeks in the remote Southern Ocean to tackle one of the region’s many mysteries: its clouds. What they discover will be used to improve climate models, which routinely underestimate how much solar energy bounces off clouds in that region. Simulating how much solar energy is absorbed or reflected on Earth is key to calculating the future of the planet under climate change. 

Read more at UW Today »

Q&A: UW’s Shuyi Chen on hurricane science, forecasting and the 2017 hurricane season

Hurricane Katrina

The United States just suffered the most intense hurricane season in more than a decade, and possibly the costliest ever. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in mid-August. Hurricane Irma struck Florida in early September, followed just two weeks later by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Now, with the close of hurricane season on Nov. 30, new UW faculty member Shuyi Chen, professor in the UW’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences and an expert on hurricanes, answered a few questions about the state of hurricane forecasting and the 2017 storm season. 

Read the Q&A at UW Today »