June 11, 2013

Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced an ambitious plan to build an extensive network of flood walls, levees and bulkheads along New York City’s 520 miles of coastline in an effort prepare the city for the threat of rising sea levels and powerful storm surges. The plan also calls for fortifying existing infrastructure and carries a total cost that is likely to exceed $20 billion if the vision outlined by the report is fully implemented.

June 18, 2013 Rain Triples the Norm in Much of N.J.

Are you sick of rainy days? It has largely felt like every day in June has had its rain spell. Halfway through June we were within 2 inches of the New Jersey record for rainfall in June. The New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers and CECI affiliate, David A. Robinson, indicates that with the increased rain, we could be wetter than normal for the month. For more information click here.

June 18, 2013 Revised FEMA Maps Cheered by Shore Residents, Criticized by Environmentalists

The new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps give less strict requirements for rebuilding after Sandy, but environmentalists fear the consequences. A lower elevation requirement decreases the cost of rebuilding and flood insurance. Residents are finally ready to start building with the new restrictions and are ready to move on with their lives. However, many residents were opposed to the new restrictions. Rutgers Environmental Monitoring Professor and CECI affiliate Richard Lathrop states, “I think there was a rush to get out some of the information that maybe wasn’t ready for primetime.” For more information click here.

June 25, 2013

Weather Extremes Tied to Jet Stream. Over the course of the past few years the jet stream that drives weather systems over the Northern Hemisphere has been acting in increasingly unexpected ways leading to volatile and seemingly paradoxical weather events, according to Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Jennifer Francis. This past June the town of McGrath, Alaska recorded an all-time high of 94 degrees Fahrenheit when just a few weeks earlier temperatures were as low as 15 degrees which was an all-time low for so late in the year. Francis argues that changing conditions in the arctic are causing the jet stream to slow down and become wavier, dipping further North and South than is typical. The theory is drawing increasing attention from scientists who say it could help explain recent trends of unusual weather which include flooding in Alberta, Canada and early season wildfires in California.