Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

Why was there a reddish tint in the snow this month?

On April 11, there were widespread reports and photos of dust residue on vehicles and tan/brown-colored snow in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

The origins of these residues can be traced back hundreds of miles to Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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Is there a windiest time of year in Madison?

Given our recent weather, and with the pollen season dawning in southern Wisconsin, one may wonder if there actually is a windiest time of year in Madison.

Of course, a windy day can come along just about any time of year (the record gust of 83 mph in Madison occurred in June 1975) but the climatology suggests that March and April are the windiest months of the year with average wind speeds of 11.3 and 11.4 mph, respectively. November through February are not far behind, logging a four-month average of 10.5 mph. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons, Weather Dangers

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When does winter really end?

Last year’s 7 inches of snow on April 18 provided vivid evidence that, though early April often brings the first string of nice spring days to southern Wisconsin, we are not truly out of the woods until the end of the month.

Despite the possibility of such an outlier event, recent research at UW-Madison has considered the variability of the end of winter based purely on temperatures above the surface. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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What is the Coriolis force?

Newton’s laws of motion mathematically describe how objects move when forces are exerted on them.

Earth is spinning like a top, even though to us who are standing on Earth, it seems that we are not moving. Newton did not account for Earth’s spin in his equations. The Coriolis force appears as an extra term when Newton’s laws are transformed to account for Earth’s spin. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena

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What weather is hazardous to flying?

While there are weather hazards, flying is pretty safe.

Thunderstorms are a potential hazard, and aircraft avoid thunderstorms to avoid any potential threats or dangers. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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