Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

Has this been an unusually hot start to summer?

The recent stretch of warm, humid weather has got some people wondering if we have gotten off to an unusually hot start to summer this year in Madison.

There are a couple of ways one could approach that question. One way is to consider the departure from average for our daily high temperatures since May 1. From that perspective, we have been consistently warmer than normal with May daily highs averaging 3.2 degrees above normal and, June (through Friday) averaging 1.9 degrees above normal. Continue reading

Category: Climate, History, Seasons

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What is an atmospheric river?

Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere — typically 250 to 375 miles wide and well over 1,000 miles long.

These sky rivers transport water vapor outside of the tropics to mid-latitude and polar regions. We estimate that 90% of Earth’s north to south water vapor transport is done through atmospheric rivers. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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Did weather forecasting play a role in D-Day?

Last week was the 78th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe that began with the landings on the beaches at Normandy. The combined land, air and sea assault of June 6, 1944, remains the largest such event in history.

The success of the invasion was extraordinarily dependent on weather conditions. More than three months before the invasion, a combined British and American forecasting team began rigorous forecast exercises designed to iron out the physical and logistical kinks of such a coordinated effort. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology

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How can you report tornadoes?

The National Weather Service is always looking for trained volunteers to provide severe weather reports, including reports of tornadoes.

Its spotter training sessions are free and last between 90 minutes and two hours. Trained volunteers receive certificates and are added to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, database of weather spotters. They also receive a Spotter ID. A virtual training option is also available. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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What does the hurricane season look like?

The official Atlantic basin hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, with an average of 10 to 15 storms each year.

The peak of activity in the Atlantic basic runs from mid-August to mid-October. During that subset of the entire season, more than 70% of all storms in the last 100 years have occurred. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Severe Weather, Tropical

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