Last spring, Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic drought that caused over $5 billion in damage to agriculture as well as substantial impacts to fisheries, infrastructure, human health, and vegetation. The drought was not only severe, but it also spanned the winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17, which had unusual and unexpected precipitation that affected the drought’s evolution.
Understanding how wildfires impact air pollution and the composition of Earth’s atmosphere is critical for communities near and far because smoke from wildfires can travel long distances and have adverse health impacts on citizens.
NOAA’s best severe-weather model just received an upgrade developed by NOAA researchers that will help the National Weather Service provide more accurate hazardous weather and aviation forecasts. Scientists are also using it to advance a wide array of future forecast tools.
New NOAA research demonstrates that drones and weather balloons can gather data needed to improve weather forecasts in severe working environments.
Summer is finally here, and that means families all over the country are starting to fire up the barbecue grill and open up their beach chairs. But summertime also means hot weather — sometimes dangerously hot.
A team of 20 NOAA scientists are in Goa, India, to meet with 200 of India’s leading ocean, atmosphere and fisheries scientists to mark a decade of productive collaboration on ocean and atmospheric observations, with life-saving economic benefits for both nations. The NOAA and Indian scientists will also board NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown to launch new observational buoys in the Indian Ocean to improve the vitally important Indian Ocean observing system of buoys, a key tool for India and the United States to forecast everything from monsoons to severe weather in the United States.
People have become familiar with “bomb cyclones” this winter, as several powerful winter storms brought strong winds and heavy precipitation to the U.S. east coast, knocking out power and causing flooding.
Meteorologists can tell you whether it will storm 10 days before your wedding, and climatologists can determine if you’re likely to have a hot and dry summer almost a year in advance. But the time period in between, known as the subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescale, has remained a major weather-climate prediction gap despite growing public demand.
A new analysis of heat wave patterns appearing today in Nature Climate Change concludes that climate change driven by the buildup of human-caused greenhouse gases will overtake natural variability as the main cause of heat waves in the western United States by the late 2020s and by the mid-2030s in the Great Lakes region.
Those long, intense plumes of moisture in the sky known as atmospheric rivers are a vital water source to communities along the U.S. West Coast. In their absence, desiccating droughts can develop. But in their presence, they can cause extreme rain and floods that can disrupt travel, cause landslides, and trigger infrastructure failures.
The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.