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Category Archives: Meteorology
El Nino is an atmosphere/ocean phenomenon in which the waters of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean are warmer than normal for an extended period of time.
This unusual warmth forces changes in the distribution of deep convective thunderstorms over the tropical ocean which, in turn, affect the position and strength of the jet stream. Since the jet stream acts a conduit of winter storms and can regulate intrusions of cold arctic air, changes in jet stream characteristics can have a profound influence on our winter weather. Continue reading
On Wednesday morning, we will officially enter fall as the autumnal equinox occurs at 3:20 a.m.
On Wednesday, in common with every location on Earth, we will enjoy exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.
Of course, 12 hours of daylight in Madison (latitude 43N) is substantially different from 12 hours of daylight at the North Pole (latitude 90N) where the sun will barely be visible above the horizon for the 12 hours of “daylight.” On the very next day, the sun will not appear above the horizon at the Pole and will not come back for six months. As the days march on, the same fate will gradually overtake other latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere until by Dec. 21, the sun will not rise even at 66.5N. Continue reading
This year there have been many fires on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada.
Most of these fires are in remote regions and were started by lightning strikes. This smoke has drifted over our region. It will not have much of an effect on our temperature or precipitation. However, official weather reports include observations on sky conditions and visibility. Continue reading
The National Weather Service in Milwaukee confirms that three separate tornadoes occurred in our state on Tuesday.
EF-1 tornadoes, with winds estimated at up to 110 mph, struck Lake Geneva and a location just outside of Big Bend. An EF-0 tornado, with winds estimated at up to 80 mph, struck southwest Waukesha. Continue reading
Sitting nearly in the middle of the vast North American continent, Madison has what is known as a continental climate.
Continental climates are characterized by large annual extremes in temperature and humidity as well as very distinct seasons. The continental nature of Madison’s climate is what makes a year’s worth of weather in Madison usually a lot more varied than a year’s worth in Seattle, for instance. Continue reading