Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

How did January measure up?

What a strange month January 2023 was in Madison.

The cloudiness was remarkably persistent and, though we don’t have a measurement of that variable for the month at hand, anecdotal assertions we have heard suggest that Madison got only about 8% of its possible January sunshine this past month. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on How did January measure up?

What is intermittent snow?

A weather forecast of snow indicates a steady fall of snow. The forecast may be modified by terms such as “light,” “moderate” or “heavy” to indicate the intensity of the snowfall.

The intensity is measured in terms of visibility during the snowfall:

Light snow — visibility of 1 kilometer (1,100 yards) or greater.
Moderate snow — visibility between 0.5 kilometer (550 yards) and 1 kilometer (1,100 yards).
Heavy snow — visibility of less than 0.5 kilometer (550 yards). Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on What is intermittent snow?

What is the status of sea ice around Antarctica?

The Southern Ocean around Antarctica freezes to form sea ice every year. Scientists use observations from satellites to monitor the sea ice extent throughout the year.

Sea ice melt in Antarctica is a seasonal occurrence that usually begins in September (the end of Southern Hemisphere winter) and continues into February (end of Southern Hemisphere summer). As the pole warms during summer, the sea ice around the continent breaks up and melts. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on What is the status of sea ice around Antarctica?

How wild a January are we having?

Here we are halfway through the month of January, and it has been remarkably mild for those of us in southern Wisconsin.

Through Saturday, January has been 10.3 degrees above normal in Madison and 10.6 degrees above normal in Milwaukee. In fact, since Christmas Day, the temperature in Madison has averaged just shy of 9 degrees (8.93 degrees) above normal in what is usually one of the colder stretches of the year. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on How wild a January are we having?

Are there rivers in the atmosphere?

The term “atmospheric river” has been in the news recently due to the flooding along the West Coast.

An atmospheric river is a narrow band of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere. It is a narrow moisture plume that is a few thousand miles long and only about 250 to 375 miles wide. The term was coined in the early 1990s. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather

Comments Off on Are there rivers in the atmosphere?