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World Weather Review: June 2017

In Arizona, USA, an ongoing heat wave has seen some of the highest temperatures ever recorded. Temperatures in Death Valley reached 54°C and flights to Phoenix were cancelled when airport temperatures reached 48°C. The heat wave has led to wild fires.

High temperatures across southern Europe have also caused problems – Portugal and Spain in particular have been tackling forest fires to which they were vulnerable after a dry winter and spring.

Gordon Tripp - the Weatherman

Gordon Tripp is the author of The Weathermen*, a laypersons guide that covers 2,000 years, exploring the many strands that tell the story of weather history – recording instruments, charts, wind circulation, weather diaries, jet streams and so on. The book also documents the lives of over 100 men whose biographies provide the signposts along the way. These were essentially men of their times, be that of The Enlightenment, the Crimean War, the days of the British Empire or of two World Wars.

What does a cloud feel like? theWeather Club Tue, 27/06/2017 - 14:00

 “What do you think a cloud feels like?” I asked the assembled Brownies

“Cotton wool, cotton candy, fluffy, cool, wet ….”

A simple garden pond decoration that produces mist by forcing water through a very fine mesh, combined with a large shallow bowl of water, creates a cloud for children to feel. Most of them end up slightly disappointed as a cloud feels like nothing very much, but it is a good conversation starter!

Seven climate change hotspots theWeather Club Mon, 26/06/2017 - 16:08

An article in The Guardian explores 7 climate change ‘hot spots’ – key parts of the world where climate change could have devastating effects, be it the impact of hurricanes, heatwaves, drought or flooding.

Have you ever had that sinking feeling?

At 1039 GMT on 7 December 1972 Jack Schmitt from the crew of Apollo 17 took one of the most iconic, and certainly most reproduced photographs of all time.  NASA named it photograph AS17-148-22727, but very shortly after the picture went public it became known as ‘the blue marble’.  It is of course the picture of the near full-earth disk taken on route to the moon, with the sun directly behind the Apollo 17 spacecraft.  Interestingly it was not the first of these kinds of images from of earth.

Study explains science behind newly recognised cloud: asperitas

Clouds have always been a feature of paintings and photographs, but images captured by amateur photographers confirmed the existence of a dramatic cloud form with a roughened, wave-like base. Citizen science has now helped experts to explain how the newly-recognised ‘wave-like’ asperitas cloud is formed.