Category Archives: Climate

How long were Madison lakes frozen this year?

Lakes Mendota, Monona and Wingra opened during the second week of April.

Lake Mendota officially froze Dec. 16 and opened April 12, for an ice season of 117 days, which is 12 days longer than the median duration. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

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How are we doing with heating degree days this year?

How are we doing with heating degree days this year?

A heating degree day is a weather index designed to make weather data easier to use in planning.

The index estimates fuel consumption needs, and fuel distributors use it to schedule home deliveries. Electric and natural gas utilities predict power demands by adding up this index over time. Continue reading

Category: Climate

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How unusual is this kind of cold ?

We are at the beginning of the most intense cold air outbreak of the winter thus far with high temperatures today not likely to rise above zero. It may be similarly cold tomorrow. Having two consecutive days in a row … Continue reading

Category: Climate

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What is the status of the ozone hole?

The ozone hole occurs high in the stratosphere, about 18 miles high, and over the continent of Antarctica. It is not actually a hole, but the appearance of very low values of ozone in the stratosphere. Typically, the Antarctic ozone hole has its largest area in early September and lowest values in late September to early October. Continue reading

Category: Climate

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Was Superstorm Sandy a direct result of climate change?

As the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, we have news to report regarding current understanding of that tremendous storm.

One of the major questions confronting atmospheric scientists in the face of that unusual event was whether Sandy was a direct result of a warmer climate. This is a difficult question because there are so many elements that conspire to produce major storms. Continue reading

Category: Climate

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