Monthly Archives: November 2020
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ends today and will go down as the most active hurricane season on record.
A total of 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes have formed throughout the season have formed throughout the seasons. Twelve of the named storms made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916. Continue reading
Our recent weekend storm on Nov. 14-15 was the first strong storm of the autumn/winter season.
As you found yourself caught in the strong winds, you may well have wondered how do storms like this one come to be?
That has been the central motivating question in meteorological science for most of the past 100 years. During that time, meteorologists have learned a great deal about how such storms are formed. Continue reading
Both La Niña and El Niño refer to big changes in the sea-surface temperature across much of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
The water temperatures off the west coast of South America are typically 60 to 70 degrees. During a La Niña, these waters get as much as 7 degrees colder. These La Niña conditions recur every few years and last nine to 12 months, though some events have lingered for as many as two years. This cooling results from a strengthening of the winds over the tropical Pacific and its interaction with the underlying ocean waters. Continue reading
After a rather persistently cold October in which the monthly averaged temperature was 3.5 degrees below normal, the first week of November has been remarkably pleasant with high temperatures at or above 68 every day since Election Day.
Naturally, such warm weather in November arouses curiosity regarding the frequency of November days with high temperatures at or above 70 degrees in Madison. Continue reading
Tides in the ocean are caused by the gravitational force between Earth and the moon. There are also atmospheric tides.
Lunar gravity affects the density of the thermosphere, which is the largest layer of the atmosphere. This is also where many satellites and the International Space Station orbit Earth. This lunar-induced drag is small, but it has to be included in the models used to predict the satellites’ orbits. The moon also affects the pressure at Earth’s surface. Continue reading