What is the cause of strong winds?

What is the cause of strong winds?

What is the cause of strong winds? Photo: wwwuppertal The wind is simply air in motion, flowing from high atmospheric pressures to low pressures. Moving anything requires a force. Strong winds are due to a strong pressure gradient force. A… More »

What are the plant hardy zones and how do they relate to climate?

What are the plant hardy zones and how do they relate to climate?

What are the plant hardy zones and how do they relate to climate? USDA If you are involved with gardening, you probably are aware of the hardy zones listed on seed packets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the zones… More »

Is there really a “State Tournament Snowstorm”?

Is there really a "State Tournament Snowstorm"?

Is there really a “State Tournament Snowstorm”? March in Madison, WI by sarae A persistent anecdotal piece of weather lore around Madison is that the WIAA (Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association) State Basketball Tournament is always accompanied by a snowstorm. With… More »

Sun pillar

Sun pillar

Sun pillar Sun pillar at sunrise by CaptPiper The other morning, I saw a column of light above the rising sun — what was that? A rising, or setting, sun behind high clouds will sometimes project a vertical shaft of… More »

What is sleet?

What is sleet?

Sleet is translucent balls of ice that are frozen raindrops. The most common forms of precipitation are rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet. In Wisconsin, precipitation usually begins as ice particles in a cloud. The temperature conditions below the cloud base determine if the precipitation ends up as rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet. More »

Where does the water come from in Midwestern snow storms?

Where does the water come from in Midwestern snow storms?

Where does the water come from in Midwestern snow storms? ENLARGE Photo: NOAA/NASA GOES Project Water can travel a long way to dump onto the Midwest as snow. This picture shows the storm system that cause the massive February 2011… More »

Do abundant snowstorms suggest global warming is not occurring?

Do abundant snowstorms suggest global warming is not occurring?

Do abundant snowstorms suggest global warming is not occurring? ENLARGE Graphic: Rutgers University Global Snow Lab This graphs shows the area of land covered by snow over the past few decades in North America. No. These storms are individual weather… More »

Why do bridges ice before the road?

Why do bridges ice before the road?

Why do bridges ice before the road? People in cold climates are used to signs warning that “bridge freezes before road.” Water on surface will freeze once the surface becomes cold enough, but why does the road cool faster? ENLARGE… More »

What is freezing rain?

What is freezing rain?

What is freezing rain? ENLARGE Photo: Mike Giovinazzo Freezing rain covers everything with a sheet of ice. When water particles fall from clouds and reach the surface as precipitation, they do so primarily as rain, snow, freezing rain or sleet.… More »

Why does snow disappear?

Why does snow disappear?

Why does snow disappear? ENLARGE Photo: Amanda Graham Sublimation in action. When the snow builds up on my patio, it starts to evaporate after a few days, even though the temperature is still below freezing. On average, what percentage of… More »

What are the northern lights?

What are the northern lights?

What are the northern lights? Aurora Borealis over Iceland, by Moyan Brenn The northern lights, also called aurora borealis, are an evening light show seen as a diffuse glow or as overlapping curtains of greenish-white and sometimes red light. Auroras… More »

When does tornado season start?

When does tornado season start?

When does tornado season start? June, 2004 tornado near Madison, WI by i am your hero Wisconsin has had tornadoes in every month of the year except February. We can have tornadoes almost anytime, although the chances of having one… More »