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 »

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 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 the overnight low temperature occur on a windless day?

When does the overnight low temperature occur on a windless day?

When does the overnight low temperature occur on a windless day? Frosty sunrise by Marilylle Soveran As summer begins to fade, the first cool nights of the season start. When the sky is clear, the winds are calm, and the… More »

Is global warming real?

Is global warming real?

Is global warming real? Image: NASA Over the past two decades, the global average surface temperature has increased noticeably. This observed warming trend indicates a significant global change and is consistent with other observed changes on our planet: There is… More »

How long have satellites been used to study Earth’s weather?

How long have satellites been used to study Earth’s weather?

How long have satellites been used to study Earth’s weather? NASA image of Explorer VII satellite, 1964 The first successful meteorological experiment conducted from a satellite was launched on Explorer VII on October 13, 1959, just over 50 years ago.… More »

Numerical Weather Forecasting is younger than rock ‘n roll!!

Numerical Weather Forecasting is younger than rock 'n roll!!

Before 1960, the idea that a reasonably accurate two-day weather forecast could be made routinely was a pipe dream – now it’s a routine reality. In fact, it was not until just after World War I that a theory concerning the structure, life cycle and precipitation distribution associated with mid-latitude cyclones, the weather systems that bring snow and rain to Madison, was first proposed by a group of Norwegian scientists, led by Vilhelm Bjerknes, an ambitious but professionally frustrated physicist. More »

How accurate are weather forecasts?

How accurate are weather forecasts?

How accurate are weather forecasts? Image: NOAA In general, weather forecasts are getting better, due to improvements in computer models, observations and our understanding of atmospheric. Accuracy depends on the purpose of the forecast and how far out it extends.… More »

Is there a relationship between sun spots and climate?

Is there a relationship between sun spots and climate?

Is there a relationship between sun spots and climate? 12th century sunspot drawing, from NASA. Since the invention of the telescope in the 1600s, observers have recorded variations in the numbers of dark spots – “sunspots” – on the Sun’s… More »

How can we determine how far away lightning is?

How can we determine how far away lightning is?

How can we determine how far away lightning is? Make your own lightning Because of the vast differences in the speed of light and the speed of sound, the flash of lightning precedes the rumble of thunder. It takes sound… More »

What is space weather?

What is space weather?

What is space weather? Space weather describes the conditions in space that affect Earth and its technological systems. Space weather storms originate from the sun and occur in space near Earth or in the atmosphere. Space weather, like weather here… More »