Weather Blog

Watch: Tornado trashes streets in Italy as cameras roll

Watch: Tornado trashes streets in Italy as cameras roll

Two photographers in Milan, Italy somehow managed to escape serious injury when a tornado roared literally right next to them as they had their cameras rolling.

Reports are that 12 people were hurt but thankfully no one was killed when the tornado touched down on Monday.

The videos show the incredible debris that this tornado was carrying along for the ride.

The first one was taken by someone who had the tornado come down his street -- you can actually see a bit of the tornado about 1:30 in:

Hurricane-force winds bring 'Tarp-nami' 2 -- the sequel!

Hurricane-force winds bring 'Tarp-nami' 2 -- the sequel! »Play Video
Photo of wayward tarp at Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game during ferocious thunderstorm on July 26, 2013. (From YouTube video by Steve Brittenham)

One of my all-time favorite blogs was about the "Tarp-nami" -- when a massive thunderstorm suddenly struck a Knoxville, Tenn. minor league baseball game and blew the tarp around, nearly smothering a member of the grounds crew.

Well, thanks to another impressive thunderstorm that struck Albuquerque on Friday, we now have the sequel.

As I chronicled in my last blog entry, the storm brought 89 mph winds and a ton of rain.

It just so happened the storm also struck just as their minor league team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, were just getting under way.

Their grounds crew tried to apply the tarp as well, also with no success.

Incredible thunderstorm brings hurricane-like weather to Albuquerque

Incredible thunderstorm brings hurricane-like weather to Albuquerque
Storm strikes Albuquerque Zoo. (Photo via Instagram user sammywells17)

They're in the middle of the desert, but you can forgive those around Albuquerque if they felt they were suddenly in the middle of the tropics -- well, at least a dusty tropicale.

An extremely intense thunderstorm brought a microburst of wind and rain to the town, blasting the city with winds usually reserved for tropical storms.

The Albuquerque airport first reported a gust of 89 mph as the edge of the thunderstorm approached. Those winds were generated from an intense downburst of rain -- think of dumping a bucket of water and the blast of wind created on the ground when the water strikes the pavement.

Think our weather's zany? Try Mars and its daily 123° swings

Think our weather's zany? Try Mars and its daily 123° swings
Mars rover Curiosity at the "Rocknest" site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

If the warm days of summer have you pining for some cooler weather, perhaps a trip to Mars is in order.

Sure, you'd need to build a spaceship, ask your boss for about 2 years off from work, and solve that whole "Mars has no oxygen, water, or Starbucks (yet)" issue but if you could get there, it would definitely be colder than a Seattle summer.

Tony Rice, a fellow weather blogger and volunteer with the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program, maintains the @MarsWxReport Twitter feed, which gives the current weather once a Martian day (40 minutes longer than an Earth day) from the Mars rover Curiosity.

Photos: The "Full Buck / Thunder / Perigee / Super Moon" looms large

Photos: The "Full Buck / Thunder / Perigee / Super Moon" looms large
Photo: Anita Neifert

Clear skies over the past few days have given quite a show for photographers eager to capture the full moon as it rose over the Cascades. But there might have been a little confusion over what to call it.

Some referred to it as the "Thunder Moon", others the "Super Moon" and others still, the "Buck Moon."

Turns out, they're all correct.

Photographers capture rare sight of 'airglow' over Mt. Rainier

Photographers capture rare sight of 'airglow' over Mt. Rainier
The Milky Way and the green tinge of airglow as seen on this photograph by Darren Neupert on July 12, 2013.

The Northern Lights have been making relatively frequent appearances over the Northwest this summer, but the green tinge captured in photographs above Mt. Rainier on the night of July 12th wasn't the aurora.

It was instead what's known as "airglow."

Unlike aurora, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.

Sharknadoes -- COULD THEY HAPPEN HERE?!?

Sharknadoes -- COULD THEY HAPPEN HERE?!?
Screen grab from SyFy preview video for movie "Sharknado"

Sharks.

Tornado.

Sharknado.

Social media and water coolers were abuzz Friday with the next DVD blockbuster sci-fi (emphasis on the 'fi') movie "Sharknado" that aired on the Sy-Fy channel Thursday night.

But this jaw-dropping (jaw-clenching?) story brought up an important facet of meteorological studies that have been historically and woefully underfunded: The science of shark-infested tornadoes from hurricanes that strike the Pacific Coast of the United States.

World's hottest-ever recorded temperature turns 100

World's hottest-ever recorded temperature turns 100
The thermometer at the Furnace Creek resort is already at 120 degrees before noon in Death Valley National Park Friday, June 28, 2013 in Furnace Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

If you needed an excuse to perhaps grab an ice cream cone or a Popsicle, you can say you're celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the hottest temperature ever (reliably) recorded on Earth.

It was July 10, 1913 when Death Valley, California recoded a high temperature of 134 degrees -- a number yet to be matched anywhere else on the planet (at least, officially).

That hot day was among a stretch of heat where Death Valley would reach 130° two days later and then 131° on the 13th. It stands today as the only three recorded temperatures at or above 130 degrees there stretching back to 1911. (There is more to that story I'll get to in a bit.)

Mother Nature lights up the skies in her own way this 4th of July weekend

Mother Nature lights up the skies in her own way this 4th of July weekend »Play Video
Northern Lights appear over Anacortes early on the morning of July 6, 2013. (Photo: Eddie Murdock)

First the fireworks on Thursday night, then some natural sky lighting early Saturday morning.

A solar flare triggered another display of the Northern Lights that was visible around the Puget Sound region. Eddie Murdock was out at 1 a.m. snapping dozens of photographs as the lights came on display over Anacortes and turned them into a nice time lapse video. (See above)

Dramatic video shows 'seas of fog' around San Francisco

With its perch right on the chilly Pacific Ocean, San Francisco has quite the foggy reputation and several foggy days have been immortalized in postcards and print. But I'll bet you've never seen the fog quite like this.

Photographer Simon Christen just released his video "Adrift," culminating a two year project that he says "is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area."

His project aimed to "capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."

In the meantime, he got quite a lesson on Bay Area meteorology.

Massive storm dumps nearly 2 feet of hail in New Mexico

Massive storm dumps nearly 2 feet of hail in New Mexico
Photo courtesy: Santa Rosa Fire Department

SANTA ROSA, N.M. -- A massive thunderstorm turned a summer day into a winter wonderland in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on Wednesday by dropping more than a foot of hail around town.

The hail, some of which was golf-ball and paint-ball sized, according to a report from the Guadalupe County Communicator, damaged some roofs and skylights as it fell non-stop for 20 minutes.

"I have lived here all my life and I have never seen this," Guadalupe County Manager George Dodge told The Communicator as he drove around the city surveying the damage.

How this West Coast heat wave made history

How this West Coast heat wave made history
Cheng Jia, of China, poses by a digital thermometer at the Furnace Creek Vistitor Center in Death Vally National Park Friday, June 28, 2013 in Furnace Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

With plenty of records falling -- some of them that have stood for quite some time -- I thought I'd recap just how this current mega West Coast heat wave will be remembered in the meteorological history books.

First, the big kahunas: