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WeatherBrains 652: Smoke From A Distant Fire

WeatherBrains Episode 652 is now online (July 16, 2018). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a meteorologist at the Naval Research Laboratory. Dr. David Peterson, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Last year was a record year for wildfires across the globe, and their impact on the atmosphere remains highly uncertain. Thanks to new research from expert scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the world is gaining more insight into what drives these massive and escalating events. NRL meteorologist Dr. Peterson explained his findings from his recent research, “Wildfire-Driven Thunderstorms Cause a Volcano-Like Stratospheric Injection of Smoke,” during a press conference at the European Geosciences Union’s annual General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, held from April 8 to 13. “Our research shows that the stratospheric impact from five wildfire-driven thunderstorms, known as pyrocumulonimbus or pyroCb, was comparable to a moderate volcanic eruption,” Peterson explained the NRL pryoCb research team’s findings and that it’s an interdisciplinary collaboration with scientists from both the Marine Meteorology and Remote Sensing Divisions within NRL. The significance of volcanic eruptions in the climate system has been recognized for several decades, but pyroCb research is relatively new, originating at NRL in the early 2000s, according to Peterson.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 120 at Death Valley, CA, and 41 at Naples, ID
  • NASA Sponsored Joint Korea/US Air Quality Campaign
  • Birmingham reached 105F on this date in 1980
  • Tropics all quiet in Atlantic basin
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: The 101 is out this week due to poll work for the runoff election in Alabama on July 17th.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 652:

Example of large pyroCb

News from the US Naval Research Laboratory

NRL research into cirrus clouds

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson –  Out

David Peterson –  Nice plain language summary of our pyroCb study (actual paper is accepted, but not available yet)

Univ. Wisconsin pyroCb blog:

NRL pyroCb research website (near-real-time satellite imagery):

Kim Klockow-McClain –  Out

Bill Murray –  Gets the buzzer

Kevin Selle –  Out

Rick Smith – Weather Safety at Venues and Public Gatherings

James Spann – Can Billions of Corn Plants Affect the Weather in Nebraska?

Aubrey Urbanowicz –  Out

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, Kim Klockow-McClain, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

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