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Setting a Precedent for the Story of the Perfect Storm

From its earliest days, the National Geographic magazine has covered earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and all manner of violent weather. It was National Geographic founder Edward Everett Hayden who set the tone for these dramatic stories with his riveting account of a storm that sunk 185 vessels on the east coast of the U.S. in 1888.

After Sandy: A winter without El Nino

El Niño patterns typically bring stormy weather to the southern U.S. and drought to places like Australia. But the National Weather Service has cancelled its El Niño watch. It just fizzled out, says Mark Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. This is unprecedented…

Climate Change Wins Big in 2012 Elections

Clint Eastwood was on the right track when he talked to an empty chair at the end of August. There was an empty seat all through the fall, as the candidates for U.S. president went back and forth on most of the critical issues that Americans face. The one crisis that neither candidate mentioned during…

Old Volcanic Ash Causes New Problems for Alaskans

Residents on Alaska’s Kodiak Island were haunted last week — not by Halloween ghosts, but by the remnants of a long-ago volcanic eruption. Ash dating back to the 1912 eruption of Novarupta was stirred up by strong winds and dry conditions along the Alaskan coast. The ash rose as high as 4,000 feet and prompted aviation warnings. People said it looked like smog.

Get Prepped: Hurricane Sandy Edition

Hurricane Sandy (aka “Frankenstorm”) an enormous Category One hurricane is on its way to the eastern seaboard with the potential to be one of the most devastating storms on record. (See also: Hurricane Sandy Could Be One of Most Destructive Storms.) Sandy is a huge: As of this writing, the storm’s strongest hurricane-force winds extend…

Cloud Enthusiasts Lobby for Recognition of New Cloud Type

Oh, to be counted among the nimbus and the stratus! That’s what the fans of the undulatus aspertus want. The undulatus cloud, which resembles agitated waves, was first discovered in 1951, but has not yet been declared an official cloud type. Now members of the Cloud Appreciation Society are developing an app that they hope will help their beloved cloud the earn the recognition it deserves.

Hottest Rain on Record?

Usually it doesn’t rain when the temperature gets over 100°. But last week in Needles, California a thunderstorm rolled in on a hot afternoon (115°). Most of the rain didn’t get to the ground, but it briefly made the area feel like a sauna.

August 12, 2012: Climbing an Electric Rock Face, Fishing in Alaskan Waterways, and More

This week on “National Geographic Weekend,” join host Boyd Matson as we wait out a storm near Mt. Kenya’s summit, add another branch to the human family tree, use the fastest camera on earth to record lightning, risk our lives for the sake of discovering butterflies, out fish Alaska’s grizzlies for salmon, give the gift of electric light using a disposable camera flash and discarded AAA batteries, ride a horse from Calgary to Sao Paulo, and find America’s wackiest roadside stops.

Hot Enough For You? Here’s Why

For Americans sweating it out around the country, the news won’t come as much of a surprise: the first five months of 2012 have been the hottest on record in the continental United States. This past June 164 all-time heat records were broken or tied, and July is off to a sweltering start. What’s causing the latest heat wave?

This Father’s Day, Turn Your Dad Into a Weather Man

  My father used to say that if you want a reliable weather forecast you should step outside and see if you get wet. There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in that advice.  For all the amazing technology we’ve developed for detecting and predicting the weather, there is absolutely no substitute for real-world, on-the-ground…

Pitcairn Islands Expedition: Top Sunset & Cloud Photos

Many nights on the Pitcairn Islands expedition you’d find the team watching the sunset. Amid the oos and ahhs you’d hear numerous cameras clicking away as various team members tried to capture brief moments in the ever-changing show.

Tornado Hunter’s First Video of the Year

On his first day of research for the year, NG Emerging Explorer Tim Samaras captures footage of a massive tornado cutting across a Kansas highway just in front of the expedition team.

EPA Makes Historic Announcement: First Greenhouse Gas Rule for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited greenhouse gas rules for new power plants this week. Using the Clean Air Act, the agency standard would set the first national limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions new power plants can emit. The EPA proposed the rule after delaying it several times since July 2011. Power plants are the largest…

Help Needed for Survivors of Devastating Floods in Madagascar

Dozens of people have died and tens of thousand are homeless in the wake of devastating floods that swept through the African island country of Madagascar during a recent cyclone. The disaster was aggravated by ongoing deforestation and environment degradation. Survivors need our help.

Extreme Winter Weather–Groundhog Day Edition

When is partly cloudy and 70 degrees Fahrenheit considered extreme? When it happens in Washington, D.C., on February 1st and the temperature ends up more than 25 degrees above normal. To be fair, no weather records were set yesterday and we average about one 70 degree day every other February here at the nation’s capital.…