Category Archives: Seasons

What is a polar vortex

The term “polar vortex” was popularized by media outlets in 2014, when the country experienced a brutal January cold snap.

The polar vortex is a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that spins counter-clockwise around the North Pole. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

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Did Madison break any snowfall records last month?

As we begin Winter Weather Awareness week in Wisconsin (Nov. 4-8), too many of us probably feel like grizzled veterans already. What an end to the month of October! It was a chilly month overall, with the average temperature ending … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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What are the chances for a snowy Halloween?

The last half of October has been a bit cooler than normal, and there is a real chance we will see our first accumulating snow of the season this week. Overall, the chances for snow are relatively slim in October … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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Why has October been so stormy?

Thus far, October 2019 has been an active weather month over North America. The month began with a week-long period of moderate to heavy rain over the Great Lakes states associated with an energetic jet stream racing across the northern … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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Why does the rate for change of day length vary?

We define the length of the day as the time between sunrise and sunset, so that we can apply some simple mathematics.

Atmospheric conditions can make the actual sunrise and sunset vary slightly from the calculated times. As the Earth moves around the Sun, the length of the day changes. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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