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November-December 2016

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Weather Front

NOAA Rolls Out Tailor-Made Climate Change Maps

Record-breaking extreme weather events are becoming ever more frequent. Although no single event can be attributed directly to global warming, every increment of change in global temperature creates a “new norm”—a new baseline against which extreme events occur. What that norm means for the weather in any one city or county is what keeps public officials up at night.

This is why NOAA recently introduced Climate Explorer, a new Web-based tool in the updated version of its U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit. The tool allows a user to visualize on a map the impacts of various climate scenarios on a range of conditions such as flood and drought risk, sea-level inundation, and hurricane vulnerability. Users can also add layers to reveal levels of impact on people and structures. The maps, which toggle between map and satellite views, are detailed enough to zoom in on individual neighborhoods and streets. Projections can be viewed to 100 years out, and historical data tables, maps, and graphs are also available on the tool, which is available at

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.       

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