Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Big News, Little Time

TUE 19 MAY - 8:45 AM. The development of this year's first tropical system signals the annual shift on this site to tracking Atlantic basin storms. (5/21 Edit- "invest 90L" apparently dissipated but heavy tropical rains will affect Florida and the southeast coast all weekend.) To speed your access to relevant information, I have many improvements planned, and hope the tropics will permit time to complete the upgrades.

A larger issue looming on the climate analysis horizon is the start of a neutral to weak El Nino trend heading into summer. This shift will most certainly impact the outcome of Atlantic basin tropical systems. Long range projections suggest a weak to moderate Nino persists into the winter month. If this coincides with the slowly rebounding solar minimum, the Northern Hemisphere could be in for one heck of a blockbuster winter regarding coastal snowstorms and frequent cold spells.

Spread of H1N1 Influenza A remains a top concern with regard to the inter-disciplinary aspects of climate, weather and infectious diseases. Consider looking over this intriguing Accuweather report about the connections between El Nino and Influenza. The CDC believes cases among school-age children should decrease once summer vacation begins, but the increasing rate and severity of infections reinforces the uncertainty on what's really driving the virus right now. A separate website, called "Foot's Flucast" is being developed to monitor flu activity heading into our summer, and the southern hemisphere winter.

Frequency of posts will decline after June 29, as I am joining the Baltimore Ecosystem Study as part of a Summer Research Fellowship with Towson University. It will be an exciting time of hands-on field investigations throughout the Baltimore region, as I will assist a research scientist from UMBC in the areas of urban hydrology and geomorphology (that's the study of how ground water behaves in urban environments and landforms.) Where appropriate and approved by my mentor scientist, I hope to post an overview of the project later in the summer.