Category Archives: Meteorology

Is another transition around the corner?

As we head into the second half of August a subtle transition in our weather begins to occur — one that is probably hard to detect at first but that eventually becomes very obvious and then lasts for approximately eight … Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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Has global warming stopped?

In a recent interview on the Glenn Klein Show on WRJN radio, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, asserted that “the climate hasn’t warmed in quite a few years … that is proven scientifically.”

This statement is entirely untrue but echoes a line of argument that many climate change and global warming skeptics have introduced into the discussion for a number of years. The so-called “global warming hiatus” argument suggests that since the beginning of the present century there has been a slower rate of increase in the global average surface temperature than climate models suggested would be the case. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

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What is a heat wave?

A heat wave is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and usually humid weather. The World Meteorological Organization is specific in its definition by stating that a heat wave is when the daily maximum temperature for more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 9 degrees.

Heat waves are caused by very hot, stagnant air masses. Regions that suffer under intense hot spells are usually dominated by a surface high-pressure system with a mid-tropospheric ridge aloft. Dew points are also high, and to compound matters, wind speeds are often low. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Weather Dangers

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What forces are in play when high winds knock down objects?

Wind is air moving from areas of high atmospheric pressure to low pressure. Violent destructive winds, as well as gentle summer breezes, result from a complex interplay of different forces.

One of these forces results from a pressure gradient, or how fast pressure changes over distance. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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Why do thunderstorms scare dogs?

Some dogs seem to have a great fear of thunderstorms, as do some humans.

Their fear can drive them through closed doors or windows, or send them cowering to an isolated spot in the house. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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