Weather Blogs

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

November 4, 2013

Have you heard the saying, “It’s an ill wind that blows no good”? It must be about hurricanes. There are times when these terrible storms can bring both good and bad news. We can see this with Tropical Storm Sonya in the first week of November. As I write this, Tropical Storm Sonya is approaching Mexico. It is the eighteenth storm to roar through the East Pacific. Most of these storms swung out to sea but Sonya will be the fourth storm of the season to swing east and land in Mexico. Fortunately... more

October 21, 2013

Can you imagine trick or treating among the flowers in May? That’s when Halloween used to be. It used to be the late May/early June evening before All Saints Day. (Hallow meant holy and een was short for eve or evening.) Then it was shifted to October and went from a gentle day of prayer to a scary evening of witches, bonfires and spooky fun. Why? What is so scary about October? Halloween, the evening before All Saint’s Day was moved from spring to fall and became much scarier! Source:... more

October 14, 2013

Days are getting shorter. Temperatures are getting cooler. Leaves are falling. And appetites are growing. You see squirrels gathering nuts and expanding their little gray waistlines. Bears and badgers are putting on the pounds preparing for winter hibernation. Admit it – even you probably feel it as you lose your zest for summer salads and begin to lust for a big slab of pumpkin pie. This autumn surge in appetites is vital for the survival of many animals. Unable to migrate to warmer climates,... more

October 6, 2013

October arrived with a bang! For the first time in modern records the US experienced a simultaneous threat from tornadoes, blizzards, extreme wildfires and—oh yes—an approaching tropical storm. Ugh! Everywhere you looked, the US faced rotten weather. On October 4, the NOAA hazard map warned of Blizzards, Severe Weather, High Winds, Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Karen!Click to enlarge picture above. The problem is that the Arctic air mass is unusually cold. It was the coldest Arctic summer on... more

September 30, 2013

It snowed in the Rockies last month—two weeks early. Yes, I know the folklore: “The chill is here, near and far, in all the months that have an r.” Still, in September I want to see colorful falling leaves, not white stuff on my driveway. Click to expand snowfall map. When does the first snow usually arrive in your state? Here in the West, it came two weeks early. As I contemplated snow, I found there are many of weird facts about our winter precipitation. For example: A single snowstorm... more

September 10, 2013

Look up! You can see the biggest somersault in the solar system. The sun is in the middle of a giant slow motion flip. Its magnetic field is reversing its poles. Already the North Pole has become a South Pole. Over the next few months, the sun's South Pole will become a North Pole. It is a crazy time—the peak of the solar cycle. Enjoy the view; it happens once every eleven years, so it will be a while before you see it again. Mankind has been studying the mysteries of the sun and its cycles... more

September 9, 2013

Do you want to hear some good news? The Arctic Ice has returned! If you were worrying about polar bears, which get their main source of food from hunting seals on the frozen Arctic ice cap, you can relax this winter. The polar sea ice has grown 60% in just one year! Polar bears’ main sources of food are the seals lurking below the Arctic sea ice. This will be a good hunting year. Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Credit: Scott Schliebe Scientists were astonished. After last year’s huge... more

September 1, 2013

Once again, more than 50% of the contiguous US, where most people live, is in drought. Sigh! This is the third year in a row that the nation has been dry, dry, dry! Click here to enlarge. Source: droughtmonitor.unl.edu We are better than we were at the start of the year, when more than 61% of the “lower 48” was in drought. But the hopeful days of early summer, when there was more rain, particularly in the Midwest, have withered. Currently 60% of the nation as a whole and 62% of the contiguous... more

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