TIME weather

New Ultra High-Def Satellite Shows Mind-Blowing View of a Forest Fire

A forest fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest imaged with (left) and without (right) SWIR, in Aug. 2014.
A forest fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest imaged with (left) and without (right) SWIR, in Aug. 2014. Courtesy of DigitalGlobe

The new technology can penetrate thick clouds of smoke to reveal clear images

State-of-the-art imaging technology on board DigitalGlobe’s recently launched WorldView-3 satellite offers unprecedented views of world events. The technology, known as Shortwave Infrared Imagery, or SWIR, can penetrate thick clouds of smoke, as shown in the above image of a forest fire. The photo reveals a clear image of an August fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest.

Previous images of the event were covered in a dense cloud of smoke.

TIME Television

Meet Clint Youle, One of the World’s First TV Weathermen

Clint Youle
From the Sept. 3, 1951, issue of TIME TIME

Sunny, with a chance of groundbreaking television

Weather presenters are a special breed, often adored for their catchphrases (see, for example, Al Roker’s “Here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods”) and their hilarious on-air mishaps.

On this day 63 years ago, TIME profiled one of the world’s very first TV weathermen, Clint Youle. Though he spent much of his life as a beloved weather icon, he “got into television almost by accident,” as the 1951 article points out. He got his start as a radio newswriter, but transitioned to television in 1949 when Chicago station WNBQ was seeking someone to do on-air forecasts. He’d taken a three-month meteorology course in the Army — and that was enough to land him the gig. As TIME reported, he soon developed a shtick that gained him quite a following:

Comfortably stationed before a 3-by-4-ft. map of the U.S., Youle starts out with a quick survey of local conditions (“Did you notice that sun today? It’s going to stick around for a spell”), sketches in symbols for his predictions (e.g., a sun for fair weather). Then he branches out to cover the outlook for most of the U.S., tells why weather forecasts sometimes go wrong, how a barometer works (“It’s just a scale for weighing the air above it”), explains the theory of weather fronts (“When warm air comes into contact with cold air, that makes weather”).

Over the past two years, Youle’s neighborly, screen-porch approach to the weather has brought him thousands of devoted listeners, who deluge him with fan mail. When Chicago soldiers were sent off to Korea, their relatives wrote to Clint for a report on Korea’s climate. A southern Illinois coal-mine owner asked—and got —information on how to adjust a barometer for use in his mine. Among Youle’s most appreciative fans are the personnel of Chicago’s U.S. Weather Bureau, grateful for someone who appreciates the weatherman and who knows how to handle critics when forecasts go wrong. Said one weather official: “He makes a real, honest effort to understand weather forecasting and to put it over.”

By 1951 — only a few years after Youle got the job — the gig had grown to two local weather shows and a 45-second spot twice a week on John Cameron Swayze’s network telecast. By then, Youle’s salary had spiked to $40,000 a year.

In 1999, Youle died at age 83. The New York Times credited him as the very first person to present the weather on a national television news program. The Daily Show even did a bit to honor him, in which Jon Stewart attempted to maneuver his way around a weather map. Turns out it’s harder than it looks.

Read TIME’s full profile of Clint Youle: Radio: Weather Guesser.

TIME Music

NYC’s Electric Zoo Festival Got Shut Down by Bad Weather

Electric Zoo 2013 - Day 2
A general view of atmosphere during the Electric Zoo Festival at Randall's Island, in New York City, on Aug. 31, 2013 Daniel Zuchnik—Getty Images

“We apologize to fans, but your safety is our main concern,” say organizers

New York City’s Electric Zoo Festival was shut down midway Aug. 31, with organizers citing treacherous weather conditions as the cause for cancellation.

Rolling Stone reported that there were still six hours left for the festival to end when attendees were asked to evacuate the grounds at Randall’s Island, where the popular music festival takes place. Chase & Status, Alesso, Bingo Players and Kaskade were some of the acts scheduled to perform on the final evening.

The final day of Electric Zoo was canceled last year as well, but for very different reasons: city officials forced the festival to a halt after two attendees succumbed to drug overdoses and four others were hospitalized. There were also 31 arrests made.

A flash-flood warning was issued just before the event was halted, following which the festival tweeted: “Electric Zoo NY has been shut down for the remainder of the festival due to extreme weather conditions. We apologize to fans, but your safety is our main concern.”

The organizers also made it clear that there would be no re-entry even if weather conditions improved, but have not yet revealed whether festivalgoers would be reimbursed for the canceled day, Rolling Stone said.

EDM artist Kaskade, whose show was among those canceled, took to Twitter to express his displeasure. “Soooooo…… Who has the keys to @barclayscenter???” he joked.

[Rolling Stone]

TIME weather

Stormy Weather Chases Summer Away Over Labor Day Weekend

So long, summer

The Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, has been wet, windy and distinctly unsummery in many parts of the U.S., with strong thunderstorms expected through the middle of the country and into the Northeast.

While conditions for possible tornadoes settled down significantly Sunday, a strong jet stream that dipped south over the weekend dropped heavy rain that created floods in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Several feet of standing water left stalled and stranded cars Saturday on the streets of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Read more from our partners at NBC News

TIME weather

Hurricane, Tropical Storm Bring Huge Waves to Both Coasts

A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif. on Aug. 27, 2014. Southern California beachgoers experienced much higher than normal surf, brought on by Hurricane Marie spinning off the coast of Mexico.
A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif. on Aug. 27, 2014. Southern California beachgoers experienced much higher than normal surf, brought on by Hurricane Marie spinning off the coast of Mexico. Chris Carlson—AP

Two storms may be on opposite coasts on Thursday, but Hurricane Cristobal and Tropical Storm Marie were delivering similar conditions to both sides of the country. Neither storm is expected to make landfall, but both were bringing strong rip currents and massive surf, which have already proved to be deadly on the East Coast. Spectators and thrill-seekers flocked to Southern California beaches to view, or ride, the waves — some of which reached 20 feet — due to Marie, according to NBC Southern California

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME weather

Farmers’ Almanac Forecasts Another Frigid and Snowy Winter

"Shivery and shovelry are back"

Winter is coming, and it’s going to be as bitterly cold and snowy as last year’s, according to the 2015 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac, which goes on sale this week.

“Shivery and shovelry are back,” managing editor Sandi Duncan told the AP. “We’re calling for some frigid conditions, bitter conditions.”

The Associated Press reports the guide “forecasts colder-than-normal and wetter-than-usual weather for three-quarters of the country east of the Rocky Mountains.”

The 2014 edition‘s prediction of a “C-O-L-D” winter was spot-on, given the polar vortex. The editors even correctly called a snowstorm to hit at the same time the Super Bowl was taking place, although fortunately for the players and fans, it swept in hours after the game.

The Farmers’ Almanac has been published every year since 1818, and claims its predictions are accurate around 80% of the time. Those forecasts are based on a secret mathematical formula that reportedly considers factors modern meteorologists don’t pay much attention to, like sunspots, tidal action, and the position of planets.

TIME weather

Wild Weather: U.S. Hit by ‘Most Unusual Year’ for Temperatures

A car sits in dried and cracked earth of what was the bottom of the Almaden Reservoir on Jan. 28, 2014 in San Jose, Calif.
A car sits in dried and cracked earth of what was the bottom of the Almaden Reservoir on Jan. 28, 2014 in San Jose, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

"This is the most unusual year on record"

If you haven’t seen anything like this year’s weather, well, neither has anyone else.

This year is on track to set a temperature record that climate researchers say is unique since the first time stats were taken in 1900.

A typical year in the U.S. would see near-average temperatures or a spike in either extremely cold or extremely warm temperatures. But this is the first year in which both cold and warm temperatures have ranged far outside the norms, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME natural disaster

Damage from California Earthquake Could Top $1 Billion

6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
A building is seen destroyed following a reported 6.0 earthquake on Aug. 24, 2014 in Napa, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Strongest to strike northern California in 25 years

The earthquake that struck northern California over the weekend is estimated to have caused at least $1 billion in damage and economic losses.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake was the strongest the area has experienced in 25 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS estimated the high economic loss from the widespread damage the quake caused. More than 60,000 Californians were left without power in the quake’s wake. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the effected area on Sunday, which includes Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties.

The USGS said there is a 29% probability for a strong aftershock within the next week, though there is only a 5-10% chance that any aftershock will be stronger than the initial quake within the next week.

TIME weather

6.0 Earthquake Shakes Northern California

6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
A building is seen destroyed following a reported 6.0 earthquake on Aug. 24, 2014 in Napa, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

SANOMA, Calif. (AP) — Officials say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 has been reported in California’s northern San Francisco Bay area.

Leslie Gordon of the U.S. Geological Survey says the tremor struck at just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday about 10 miles northwest of American Canyon, which is about six miles southwest of Napa. The USGS says it’s the largest tremor to shake the Bay Area since the 1989 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake.

The tremor set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses in the middle of night. Power was knocked out in some areas.

The USGS says the depth of the earthquake was just less than seven miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the Napa wine country.

A member of Napa County dispatch tells The Associated Press that there has been one report of structural damage, but additional details were not available.

There was no immediate report of injuries.

TIME weather

Flash Floods and Stranded Drivers in Arizona After Heavy Rain

Fast and furious rainfall in the Phoenix area damaged houses, stranded drivers and forced at least one airborne rescue, which was broadcast live on television Tuesday. The Associated Press reported nearly 3,000 homes were left without power by the storm, which dumped up to two inches of rain in the span of an hour, in a state unused to so much precipitation

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