Weather Blogs

June 14, 2015

When you think of Red, White and Blue you normally think of the flag and the Fourth of July. If you are a scientist in Antarctica, however, you may be thinking about the latest studies on the red, white and blue of the world’s coldest continent. Some of the ice in Antarctica is deep blue or turquoise. Source: Wikimedia by Andreas Tille Most ice is clear or white. In Antarctica, however, an estimated 1% of the continent is covered with stretches of blue ice. Less beautiful (and much creepier),... more

June 12, 2015

I’ve recently blogged about “blood rain” and have blogged about raining “cats and dogs”. Now it’s time to look at the weirdest rain of all—critter rain. A 1557 woodcut showing a rain of frogs in Scandinavia. Public domain Rainfalls of animals have been recorded for centuries, with some of the oldest records dating from 77 AD by the Roman Pliny the Elder. While these stories of falling fish, frogs and bugs are strange, over the past two centuries scientists have confirmed that they do occur.... more

June 9, 2015

If you’ve ever been close to a lightning strike, you know just how powerful a stroke of lightning is. With temperatures five times hotter than the surface of the Sun and enough electricity to briefly power a city, one of Zeus’s thunderous bolts is clearly something beneath which you don’t want to find yourself. Surprisingly, only about 10 to 20 percent of all lightning within a storm is the lightning that we see. In fact, the vast majority occurs within the storm cloud rather than between the... more

June 2, 2015

When Texas decides to end a drought, there are no half-measures. The Texas and Southern Great Plain drought is ending with record floods. The weather is doing the springtime Texas two-step and a lot of areas are getting trampled! What a Difference a Month Makes! The map below shows the weather on May 5. Note the dark-colored dry and drought regions. The next map shows the weather on May 26. The month of May brought tremendous rain in the Great Plains and now there are no severe drought and... more

May 26, 2015

Ana was a rule-breaker. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is supposed to start in June.  Tropical Storm Ana developed in early May. Tropical storms are supposed to develop in the tropics. Ana was born north of the tropics. El Niños are supposed to keep tropical storms from developing in the Atlantic. Nothing stopped Ana. Even Ana’s start was messy. She started as a crazy schizophrenic. Basically, there are two types of storms​—tropical and extratropical (cold fronts). Ana was both! Her top, what... more

May 5, 2015

In the West the California rainy season just ended. It was dry with several grim records for drought. In the East, the Atlantic Hurricane season looks like it might begin a month early. What connects both of these weird, warped seasons is hot water. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, the US is in hot water! North America is surrounded by hot water and it’s creating weird weather. The water temperatures are amazing. All of the waters area above normal and some temperatures are as much a 5°C (9°F... more

April 19, 2015

It’s nice to get a lift—but for two students in Oregon, it got pretty scary! They were in the parking lot at Lane Community College when a tornado hit. It tossed around some cars and then sucked up the Jeep they were in. They were lifted about 5 feet in the air and then—thankfully—dropped. Aside from the scare of their lives, neither student was hurt. Another car next to them was dropped on its roof and flattened and a blue Toyota Corolla was tossed on top of a red Durango SUV. Several people... more

April 13, 2015

It’s enough to make a superstitious person hide under a blanket for the rest of the year. A week after a “blood moon” came a “blood rain”. All of this occurred within 3 weeks of a total solar eclipse. If you don’t know the science, then all you know is that the sun disappeared, the moon turned red and then bloody-looking red rain fell from the skies. Yikes! Sometimes the weather is scary! Most people understand eclipses. The solar eclipse was the moon passing between the earth and the sun. The... more

April 2, 2015

California is in a horrible drought. Everyone was relieved last winter when they were told that there might be an El Niño. El Niños, warm conditions in the Tropical Pacific, bring heavy rainfall to California. Right? A Standard El Niño would bring rainfall to California. Source: The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) Errrrr—not always. Sometimes you get “peek-a-boo” El Niños! Now it rains, now it’s dry. According to global satellite observations, we have had El Niño... more

March 17, 2015

It was so-o-o easy. Scientists would predict an El Niño. Boom—three months later, the El Niño would arrive. In North America, it brought cozy warm winters, rainy days in California, few hurricanes and excellent crop conditions. Summers were cooler, food cheaper and good times were had by most Americans. It used to be easy to predict El Niños that would bring California lots of rain. Source NOAA Sigh! Those were the days. Now scientists say that we are experiencing El Niño conditions and will... more


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