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In Weather News

The Pensacola News Journal reports that Drones to study hurricanes

Frank Marks, the director of NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, says the new study starting this week will use the Global Hawk, a jet-powered unmanned drone used by the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hurricanes are an obvious choice for drone use, as there are no other aircraft around and the Global Hawk has extended flight time to observe the storm without risking a crew. It has the speed, altitude, and loiter time to sample parts of the hurricanes that manned flights avoid for flight safety reasons. The Hurricane Hunters may be crazy, but they are not suicidal.

Dr Jeff Masters has an in depth explainer on Causes of the Russian heat wave and Pakistani floods. The quick answer is that the main jet stream in the area, the high-speed air current in the upper atmosphere, has shifted significantly to the North, which is pulling the monsoon rains further North, but is pulling away the normal clouds and showers in Russia.

These shifts in jet streams may also be causing the upper level lows over the Atlantic that are sucking the life out of tropical waves with increased wind shear and dry air when we have very hot sea surface temperatures that should be producing a lot of storms.

A major problem with global climate change is that we can’t predict how things will work any more, because the circumstances have altered to such a great extent that the standard weather models are becoming less and less useful.