Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

Did the notion of numerical weather prediction turn out as originally expected?

The urgency to defeat fascism in World War II resulted in an explosion of technological innovations. A good number of the resulting inventions have had direct application to weather forecasting, including radar and the rise of the computer.

It isn’t well known that the first efforts to harness this emerging computing power to the problem of weather prediction, launched in the United States and Great Britain, were driven primarily by a desire to control the weather. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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Was the whole autumn unusually warm, or just November?

If you thought November was warmer than usual around southern Wisconsin, you were exactly right.

Madison averaged 7.6 degrees above normal for the month, which ranked as the third warmest November on record (since 1870). Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

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What is the status of the Arctic sea ice?

The year 2016 will go down as one with below-normal Arctic sea ice coverage.

While not quite a record-setting year like 2012, throughout much of 2016 the extent of sea ice was more than two standard deviations below the average. At the end of October the Arctic sea ice was at its lowest coverage for the month since satellite-based data records started in 1978. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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What is a November gale?

A gale is a sustained wind between 39 mph and 54 mph.

Gales are usually caused by large differences in the air pressure between a low pressure system and a strong, high pressure system. Continue reading

Category: Seasons, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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Is Madison’s all-time latest freeze record in jeopardy?

With all the beautiful fall weather we enjoyed through October and the first week of November, it may have escaped notice that Madison’s temperature has not reached or dropped below the freezing point of 32 degrees yet this season.

In fact, by not having done so this morning, we are now tied for the second-latest first freeze ever, dating back to 1938. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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