Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor
Despite a prolonged deep freeze that straddled the end of December and the first week of January, during which we had below-zero morning low temperatures on 12 of 13 consecutive days, the month of January is likely to end at just about normal for Madison.
We are not, however, out of the woods just yet. Climatologically, the last week of January/first week of February is the coldest time of the year as a result of several physical factors. Continue reading
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has completed its scientific analysis and the globally averaged surface temperature for 2017 was the third-highest since record keeping began in 1880.
The warmest year is 2016, and 2015 is the second warmest. Since 1977 global temperatures have been at least nominally above the 20th century average. The six warmest years on record have occurred since 2010. Continue reading
Like Earth, the north and south poles of Mars have ice caps that grow and shrink with Mars’ seasons.
Mars’ ice caps are made mainly of water ice, although Mars is cold enough to also have frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice. Continue reading
The term “bomb cyclone” refers to the formation and rapid development of a mid-latitude cyclone. A mid-latitude cyclone is a large-scale, low-pressure system, characteristic of the middle latitudes, that has counter-clockwise flow around its center (in the Northern Hemisphere).
A primary measure of development in these storms is a drop in the atmospheric pressure at the center of the storm. Air near the ground is forced to move inward to the center of the circulation — this is known as convergence. Continue reading
Sixty-six million years ago, the age of the dinosaurs ended abruptly, coinciding with the extinction of about 75 percent of the total number of living species.
Evidence and climate modeling indicate that global wildfires resulted from a collision with a massive asteroid that could have lofted large amounts of soot into the atmosphere. The smoke would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, which would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to the mass extinctions as evidenced in the fossil record. Continue reading