Category Archives: Meteorology

What happened during last week’s lunar eclipse?

What happened during last week’s lunar eclipse? Our recent lunar eclipse, visible in Madison at 5:25 a.m. Wednesday, resulted from the Earth being directly between the sun and the moon, thereby casting a shadow on the moon. The degree of … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena

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What is the status of the ozone hole?

Ozone occurs about 18 miles above the surface. Ozone is both caused by and provides protection from damaging ultraviolet energy emitted by the sun. The development of an atmospheric “ozone layer” allowed life to move out of the oceans and onto land.

The ozone hole occurs high over the continent of Antarctica. It is not actually a hole, but rather 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, Meteorology

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What is the meteorological origin of these beautiful fall days?

The beautiful, crystal clear early fall days that we have recently enjoyed are characteristic of September in southern Wisconsin.

Such days are often quite cool to start, with morning temperatures in the 40s, but often warm by late afternoon when temperatures can soar to the mid- to high 70s. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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Do September temperatures foretell the nature of the winter?

After the recent abnormally cold period, which has left us 3.2 degrees colder than normal thus far in September, a lot of people have been wondering if September temperatures can be a harbinger of what is to come in the winter.

Everyone recalls last winter as a persistently cold season during which we experienced a four-month period (December 1 – March 31) with an average temperature that was 7.44 degrees below normal. Interestingly, last September was 2.7 degrees above normal and last October was 1.0 degrees above normal. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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What is an equinox?

The equinoxes (from “equi,” meaning “equal,” and “nox,” or “night”) occur when the sun’s rays strike the equator at noon at an angle of 90 degrees.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal or spring equinox occurs around March 20, and the autumnal or fall equinox occurs on September 22 or 23. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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