Category Archives: Climate
After a rather persistently cold October in which the monthly averaged temperature was 3.5 degrees below normal, the first week of November has been remarkably pleasant with high temperatures at or above 68 every day since Election Day.
Naturally, such warm weather in November arouses curiosity regarding the frequency of November days with high temperatures at or above 70 degrees in Madison. Continue reading
Last week was an alarming week in weather and climate news.
Hurricane Sally bore down on the Gulf Coast with fury and flooding, while four other tropical storms churned away simultaneously in the Atlantic. This is only the second time ever, and first since 1971, when such prolific tropical storminess has characterized the Atlantic basin. Continue reading
The Farmers’ Almanac recently published its 2020-2021 winter forecast. For the Midwest region, it predicts a cold winter with normal to below-normal temperatures.
But don’t count on its forecast, as there is no proven skill. The Farmers’ Almanac does not share how it makes its forecast, so it cannot be judged scientifically. Continue reading
Memorial Day weekend weather can be absolutely glorious in Wisconsin or it can be rainy and cold.
Perhaps no other major holiday suffers from such a Jekyll-and-Hyde split in our expectations, and there are really good scientific reasons that underlie this duality. Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a reduction in air traffic. This reduction has had at least two impacts so far, one relating to the exhaust from aircraft engines and the other to weather forecasts.
Exhaust from aircraft engines can be seen sometimes as condensation trails, or contrails. The exhaust of an aircraft contains both gas and tiny particles called aerosols. Both of these are important in the formation of contrails. Contrails form when water vapor condenses and freezes around the small particles that exist in aircraft exhaust. Continue reading