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 »

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 »

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 »

Is springtime also pothole season?

Is springtime also pothole season?

Is springtime also pothole season? Spring pothole by Jezz Yes. Early spring can be considered pothole season. Many roadways are constructed in layers. The top layer is water resistant and curved to drain water off the road and onto 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 »

Do tides and seiches occur on lakes?

Do tides and seiches occur on lakes?

Do tides and seiches occur on lakes? NOAA Tides are changes in water level caused by the gravitational pull on water by the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun. Tides are of interest mainly in oceans and their… 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 »