Monthly Archives: January 2013
Wednesday is the 62nd anniversary of the coldest day ever in Madison — Jan. 30, 1951 — when the temperature dropped to minus 37 F.
As we described in a column a couple of years ago, to get the air that desperately cold in Madison a healthy snow cover is necessary. This January, we had a warm spell near mid-month that effectively melted most of the snow remaining from our December snowstorm. Thus, even though last week’s cold was the worst of the season thus far, it was a lot less cold than it might have been had it occurred while we had a deep, fresh snow cover. Continue reading
Clear-air turbulence, abbreviated “CAT,” occurs high in the atmosphere at the cruising altitude of passenger jets. CAT happens in clear sky conditions and where the wind direction and speed changes quickly with height. If you flew on a plane that experiences a jarring bumpiness and yet there are blue skies out the window, then you’ve experienced CAT. It is most common over mountains, near fronts and around the jet stream. It is also more common in winter than summer. Continue reading
Weather has a big impact on our economy at all levels — local, state and national. In our local economy, weather influences various business decisions, such as when to plant or harvest, when to pour concrete or shingle a roof in construction projects, or in predicting peak demand for electricity or gas for home heating. Continue reading
No. Sound is a sequence of pressure waves that propagate through a compressible medium, such as air or water. Sound has to move molecules in order to travel. Sound is transmitted from a source to the surrounding molecules, which vibrate or collide and pass the sound energy along until it eventually reaches our ears. The closer the molecules are to each other, the farther the sound can travel. This is why sound travels farther through water than it does through air and why it is impossible for sound to move through space. Continue reading