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Category Archives: Phenomena
On Thursday, many locations in southern Wisconsin experience snow squalls in which the falling precipitation was momentarily quite intense.
This event was an example of shallow convection – as opposed to the deep convection of summertime thunderstorms. Thursday’s shallow convection was spawned by a conspiracy of circumstances occurring at different levels in the atmosphere. Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a reduction in air traffic. This reduction has had at least two impacts so far, one relating to the exhaust from aircraft engines and the other to weather forecasts.
Exhaust from aircraft engines can be seen sometimes as condensation trails, or contrails. The exhaust of an aircraft contains both gas and tiny particles called aerosols. Both of these are important in the formation of contrails. Contrails form when water vapor condenses and freezes around the small particles that exist in aircraft exhaust. Continue reading
The COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand across the U.S. and globally. What happens when spring and warmer weather arrives?
Some viral respiratory diseases, such as influenza, are seasonal, and cases decrease in the spring and summer. However, we do not know what to expect from the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Continue reading
Saturday was a bright, sunny day, and if you were walking by an undisturbed field of snow, the snow may have appeared to sparkle.
With the raging fires in Australia, you may have heard news reports of pyrocumulus, or fire clouds.
In Latin, pyro means “fire” and cumulus means “pile up.” Cumulus is a type of cloud that is common in Wisconsin, particularly in summer. Cumulus clouds are those puffy white clouds with tops that have a cauliflower appearance. Continue reading