Category Archives: Meteorology

Are April showers likely to be snow?

After a benevolent first week of April, we have really been brought back to reality as temperatures in Madison have been increasingly chillier since the monthly high of 79 was recorded on April 6.

April 14 was particularly chilly, with the high only getting to 40 under persistent clouds. It could be worse, however. Last Friday it snowed over southern New England — with totals as high as 9 inches in southern New Hampshire and widely greater than 2 inches in the northern suburbs of Boston. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology, Seasons

Comments Off on Are April showers likely to be snow?

Does it rain only on Earth?

It does precipitate on other planets and moons in our solar system.

On Earth, when particles fall from clouds and reach the surface as precipitation, they do so primarily as rain, snow, freezing rain or sleet. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena

Comments Off on Does it rain only on Earth?

What is a red flag warning?

The National Weather Service issues, and cancels, fire weather watches (FWW), and red flag warnings (RFW) in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

The weather service will not issue official warnings until certain threshold values, called red flag criteria, are forecast to occur. Red flag criteria differ from state to state. They usually include relative humidity values of 20% or less, winds of 20 mph or higher, and dry fuel conditions. Red Flag Warnings are usually only issued during the spring and fall fire weather seasons. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

Comments Off on What is a red flag warning?

How is tornado intensity determined?

A deadly tornado outbreak took place Wednesday through Friday in the southern United States.

Tornadoes are classified based on the damage the tornado does, which enables us to estimate the wind speed of its rotating winds.
All tornadoes are assigned a single number from the Enhanced Fujita scale, abbreviated EF, according to the most intense damage caused by the storm. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

Comments Off on How is tornado intensity determined?

New book from Jonathan Martin of The Weather Guys delves into the origins of modern meteorology

The technology that allows us to know the temperature, humidity and chance of precipitation on an hourly basis is something on which we’ve come to expect and rely. But ever wonder how the technology of predicting the weather came about?

UW-Madison professor Jonathan Martin, one of the writers of the State Journal’s “Ask the Weather Guys” column, answers that question in his new book “Reginald Sutcliffe and the Invention of Modern Weather Systems Science,” which came out March 15. He’ll be discussing the book during a virtual event through Mystery to Me bookstore later this month. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology

Comments Off on New book from Jonathan Martin of The Weather Guys delves into the origins of modern meteorology