Blog: General

February 16

HealthCast: Growth and Development Impacts

Nationally, the U.S. population grew by 0.7 percent to 323.1 million at the end of 2016, according to the U.S. Consensus Bureau. Population change in the United States consists of one birth every eight seconds, one death every 11 seconds, and one international migrant every 29 seconds for a net gain of one person every 15 seconds. By 2050, the American population will likely surpass 390 million people. As population and land development increase, growth and development impacts become more important to the quality life and health. How the land is developed, what is done to the landscape, and where structures are built take on...

February 2

Worst NFL Championship Weather Ever?

We’re down to crunch time until the NFL Super Bowl LI kicks off. It’s nearly time to crunch down on snacks, sit on the cozy couch and watch Lady Gaga do her thing at half time. The game’s in Houston. NRG Stadium has a retractable roof. So ideally, weather shouldn’t be a problem as far as the Patriots and Falcons are concerned. 71,795 football fans will be packing the seats, flashing their cameras to the field for kickoff! But all this got me thinking… what was the absolute worst weather that has fallen on a past Super Bowl or NFL Championship? Disclaimer:...

January 19

HealthCast: Temperature Extremes

Weather has no biases, affecting everyone and everything. The weather had a direct influence on our evolution from the moment the human species walked upright. Even in today’s ever-evolving technology we live and die by the day-to-day variation in temperature. The human body has developed incredible ways, both physiological and technological, of managing temperature extremes. Coping with Cold Weather When the outside air temperature starts to dip below 57°F, the body temperature starts to drop. An increase in the body metabolism naturally curbs the decrease in core temperature. Eating food (especially protein) as well as hard exercise can boost the metabolic rate. Any...

January 12

California Drought, Improvement At Stormy Price

Drought By The Numbers   2017 is still young. But the California drought is now entering its SEVENTH year. That fact is just impressive to type into words. It’s been so long now, that it may feel like it’s just another day at this point for some Californians. That’s easy for me to say. I’ll avoid further cliché. Essentially, we are looking at one of the worst regional droughts the USA has ever had to live through. The four-year period between fall 2011 and fall 2015 was the driest in CA since record keeping began in 1895 (Source). Of course impacts...

Noctilucent clouds over Uppsala, Sweden. Source: Wikimedia.
December 15

Noctilucent Clouds: Season Underway

‘Tis the season to head south and play with nature’s hide-and-seek masters. I’m talking about the never-always seen, but always gorgeous noctilucent clouds. Okay… maybe that’s an unrealistic proposition. Antarctica or the Arctic Circle likely aren’t in our vacation plans anytime soon. I’ll use this blog to ‘transport’ us there. You’re welcome. Now we don’t have freeze and still see one of the most beautiful natural occurrences over our planet. Always bundle up if you go cloud hunting on these fellas! They only occur in the coldest and highest places on (or in this case, above) Earth. That’s the mesosphere (which lies...

December 7

There’s a Weather Index For That!

We are all familiar with the direct impact weather conditions can have on our day-to-day lives. There are days where hanging out at the beach seems like a no-brainer. On the contrary, we have all experienced circumstances that prevented us from doing something as simple as driving to the supermarket. As technologies have advanced we have been able to not only observe and report current conditions, but also accurately provide weather forecasts. To some degree, we can literally predict the future. But what if we took that one step further? What if we were able to forecast the potential for...

October 27

25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard

25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard If you lived in the Upper Midwest on Halloween back in 1991, chances are you can recall what you were doing as one of the most significant early season snow storms on record affected parts of the Upper Midwest. Heavy snow started in earnest on Halloween, which made it a very memorable night for trick or treating. I was a cow that year and vividly remember snow piling up on my snout as I slid on the slippery sidewalks from house to house. Boy was that fun! 1991 Halloween Forecast Interestingly, the initial...

October 20

HealthCast: Winter Weather and Human Health

What kind of weather do you think is the cause of most heart attacks? A. Floods B. Lightning C. Tornadoes D. Heat Waves E. Winter Storms Although heat tends to strain the heart, winter storms prompt the most heart attacks. Cold Killer Winter heart attacks are often more damaging. The cold itself is to blame as well as the exertion and strain of shoveling ice and snow. This physical activity often creates excess stress on weak hearts. In addition cold air constricts blood vessels putting even more stress on the heart. Heart attacks, however, are not the only killer in...

3d view of Matthew
September 28

Blending Data with Aeris Maps

With Tropical Storm Matthew heading towards the Caribbean, we’ve been testing our upcoming tropical layers for the Aeris Maps Platform. In the process, we also experimented with combining different layers with some of the advanced AMP features such as blends: With the above image, we combined the flat-dk and water-depth base layers. Then added the high-resolution visible satellite imagery with a hard-light blend: flat-dk,water-depth,sat-vis-hires:blend(hard-light) The hard light blend allows the blue from the water layer to mix with the darker areas of the visible satellite while leaving the clouds white. Adding the lightning strike density layer to the map, which...

September 22

Autumnal Equinox and Fall Color

Autumnal Equinox At exactly 10:21 am EDT on Thursday, September 22nd the sun’s most direct rays will be shining directly over the equator, which marks the beginning of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Interestingly there are 2 equinoxes a year, one in September (Autumnal) and one in March (Vernal). Note that at this time of year, there are approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night across the globe! Fall will continue over the next 3 months until Wednesday, December 21st, when the sun’s most direct rays will...