Category Archives: Meteorology

How did this winter compare to others?

Now that the traditional winter season (December, January, February) is over, we can consider how this season stacked up against the preceding 69 winters in terms of its hemispheric intensity. One way to measure this intensity is to consider the … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Uncategorized

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How is the ice cover on the Great Lakes?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitors and reports on the ice coverage of the Great Lakes. The average concentration of ice on Lake Superior is currently 5.7 percent, compared to 4.6 percent last year and 55.5 percent in 2015. … Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Phenomena, Seasons

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How good are the groundhog predictions?

  For well over 100 years, the emergence of the groundhog in early February has stirred the imaginations of shivering, winter-stressed humans across the United States. Of course, no reasonable person harbors the expectation a rodent could best a human … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology

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What was Madison’s coldest day?

Today is the 66th anniversary of the coldest day in Madison’s history.

On Jan. 30, 1951, the temperature in the city reached a morning low of minus 37 degrees. That is far below any temperature we have experienced in the city in the last 25 or more years. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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Why does the morning low temperature sometimes occur after sunrise?

Those who keep a particularly vigilant eye on the weather might have noticed that on certain mornings, in all seasons, the lowest temperature is often recorded just after sunrise.

One of us had a morning paper route as a boy and was puzzled for years about this seemingly counterintuitive phenomena. How could the temperature continue to fall for the few minutes after sunrise on a cold winter morning? Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena

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