Weather Blogs

February 16, 2014

Having the weather woes? If you are in the East, you are probably complaining about the cold and snow. If you are in the West, that complaint probably sounds like bragging. California is struggling with its worst drought on record and 55% of the lower 48 states have dry or drought weather. It’s time for a break! ©Browning Newsletter Here’s the good news. From East to West, a break is coming! Hooray! It’s just a break, not the end of winter, nor the problems of winter. For a short period of... more

February 2, 2014

Imagine walking out on a cold winter morning and finding the landscape covered with icy snowballs, donuts and jelly rolls. That’s what happened after the late January blizzard. From Illinois to Pennsylvania, people discovered a playground of snow rollers, rare snow formations normally only found at the South Pole! Have a donut, complements of the latest blizzard! SOURCE: NOAA The blizzard brought record-breaking cold – temperatures not seen in a generation. With it, it brought the recipe for... more

January 19, 2014

It’s called the PDO, the long-term weather pattern sucking the Golden State dry. Think of it as the Pretty Dry Oscillation – the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The official name means Pacific (a Pacific Ocean pattern) Decadal (it lasts more than 10 years) Oscillation (it goes back and forth). It is why California is stuck in a drought. It’s as simple as hot and cold. Hot air holds more moisture than dry air. Just think of how steamy and sticky the air can feel during a heat wave. The Pacific... more

January 13, 2014

An ancient story tells of Damocles and a sword. Damocles was a nobleman who exclaimed how fortunate his king was. The annoyed king offered to allow the nobleman to sit on his throne. Damocles scrambled onto the throne and found himself surrounded by luxury. Then he looked up. Gulp! Overhead was a sword, held by the single hair of a horse's tail! With power came great danger and worry. Damocles left the throne and crept away. The Sword of Damocles by Richard Westall. 1812 Look north. Hanging... more

January 6, 2014

It's been a cold one! Take Saturday, January 4. The the Earth’s orbit around the Sun put the globe the closest it gets to the Sun each year. During the next two days, it was so cold that … It was so very cold on January 6! (shiver) Wind chills brought temperatures in parts of the Midwest to -70˚F! Without the winds, temperatures were a balmy -30˚F in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota. An Arctic vortex—yes, air that normally lurks around the North Pole—swirled its way around the Midwest... more

December 15, 2013

As I write this, another storm is sweeping through the nation. Heavy snow and ice left tens of thousands without power, grounded air flights and made driving a misery. Does it help to know that the storm is female—Winter Storm Electra? Of course, any storm named after an ancient Greek who helped kill her mother and gave her name to a sexual hang-up is bound to be unpleasant. US snow cover—Winter Storm Electra didn’t feel like a girly storm! In the past, only tropical storms were named.... more

December 9, 2013

Even as Arctic air is freezing us this December, the North Pole is moving farther away! If you think that is puzzling to you, imagine how bewildering it is for Santa to have his workshop racing towards Russia. Of course, it is not the real poles that are moving; it is the North and South Magnetic poles. The North Pole is the top of the axis that the solid Earth spins around. The Magnetic North Pole is the axis that the dense liquid core of the Earth spins around. It is currently in Northern... more

November 24, 2013

Crashes are messy. When it is crashing weather systems during the Thanksgiving Holiday it becomes unbelievably messy. Welcome to the holiday mess of 2013. When cold air crashes into warm, wet air, it creates a mess, like the weather during the Thanksgiving travel week. What is happening is simple. A cold front marched across the United States during the last week of November. On Thursday, November 21, it brought high winds and blackouts to Southern California valleys and snowy whiteouts to the... more

November 17, 2013

This Thanksgiving Day, 200 tons of cosmic dust will slam into the Earth’s atmosphere! While most sky watchers are excited about the two meteor showers that will flame through the skies before the holiday, it’s what you won’t see that is impressive. According to scientists, micro-meteors, cosmic dust, pour down on the earth every day. They may even be changing the climate. The galaxy is messy, filled with debris from novas, melting comets and colliding asteroids. Scientists are studying how much... more

November 13, 2013

Once again, South Dakota has had record-breaking snowfall, although, fortunately not the four to five feet dump that it saw in October. Don’t be surprised—so far 18 states, from Washington to Pennsylvania, have broken snow records. For drivers, snow is a nuisance, but in the Western US and on ski slopes, the cold stuff is white gold! There’s been even more rain than snow. In October, states broke more than 2500 precipitation records and November shows signs of also being active. Notice, a lot... more

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