Monthly Archives: October 2013
Our amount of daylight hours depends on our latitude and how Earth orbits the sun. Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted from its orbital plane and always points in the same direction — toward the North Star. As a result, the orientation of Earth’s axis to the sun is always changing throughout the year as we revolve around the sun. Sometimes the axis points toward the sun and other times away from the sun. Continue reading
The ozone hole occurs high in the stratosphere, about 18 miles high, and over the continent of Antarctica. It is not actually a hole, but the appearance of very low values of ozone in the stratosphere. Typically, the Antarctic ozone hole has its largest area in early September and lowest values in late September to early October. Continue reading
Our autumnal weather in southern Wisconsin last week was tame in comparison to the devastating blizzard that hit the western portions of South Dakota earlier this month. On Oct. 4, Rapid City, S.D., approached its all-time single-day snowfall record when it received 19 inches, ranking it the third-snowiest day in the city’s history. Interestingly, the two record-setting days ahead of it occurred in late April (in 1970 and 2001). Continue reading
Yes! If you were out late on Tuesday night, you might have seen the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, also called aurora borealis, appear as a diffuse glow or as overlapping curtains of greenish-white and sometimes red light in the night sky. Continue reading
As the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, we have news to report regarding current understanding of that tremendous storm.
One of the major questions confronting atmospheric scientists in the face of that unusual event was whether Sandy was a direct result of a warmer climate. This is a difficult question because there are so many elements that conspire to produce major storms. Continue reading