Weather: [More data + more computers = better forecasts]

Weather: [More data + more computers = better forecasts]

Weather forecasts improve, but who’s ever satisfied? Check some around-the-corner technologies that will paint a better picture of tomorrow — especially in hot, stormy summer days. What is the promise of GPS, better radar and “hyperspectral” instruments? More »

Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm

Typically, the swirl of stormy weather obscures the cells at the heart of severe thunderstorms. This uncommonly clear view of an entire thunderstorm cell, with the top of the growing cumulonimbus tower topping out at 40,000 feet, reveals many interesting features, including “fall streaks” of what may be hail from the underside of the overhanging anvil portion of the cloud. Shortly after this photo was taken on May 22, 2011, near Madison, the storm pelted the Sun Prairie area with large, damaging hail. 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 »

Tornado prediction

rubble of buildings and damaged car on side of road, sky still cloudy

Three essential elements drive a tornado: Wet air, dry air, and wind shear. What explains the big improvement in tornado prediction? More »

What are the different types of thunderstorms?

What are the different types of thunderstorms?

What are the different types of thunderstorms? A supercell thunderstorm over Chaparral, N.M., photographed by Greg Lundeen for NOAA Thunderstorms can be classified by severity or structure. For example, the National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as one that… More »

How many lightning bolts hit Wisconsin each year?

How many lightning bolts hit Wisconsin each year?

Wisconsin gets hit by lightning about 300,000 times a year; most of that during the spring and summer. That’s about five flashes for each square mile in the state. For about 20 years, the continental states have had a national lightning detection network. The network indicates that there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes a year. More »