Category Archives: Severe Weather

Why are there so few hurricanes every year?

We are about five weeks away from the climatological peak of the hurricane season, which stretches from early June to November.

During that period, even in a particularly active year, not many hurricanes actually develop. Forming over tropical oceans ensures that warm sea-surface temperature (SST) provides a mature hurricane with a means to warm and moisten the air that flows toward the important eye-wall convection. Thus, it is not surprising that hurricanes struggle to develop if the SST is not 79.7 degrees or warmer. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Tropical

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Is that photo of circular lightning?

When we see a flash of lightning, it looks as though it forms all at once.

However, a lightning bolt is actually produced in many steps. The bolt occurs so quickly that it looks like a single brilliant flash, but high-speed photography can reveal several distinct bolts. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather

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Do cell phones network with weather forecasts?

Cell phones do not directly interfere with weather forecasts. However, there is concern with how cell phone signals travel through the atmosphere, particularly the 5G network.

The 5G technology is designed to carry more data and make wireless connections faster. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Uncategorized

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What is the Beaufort scale?

The Beaufort scale is a method of estimating wind speed based on the general condition of the surface of a large body of water with respect to wind waves and swell.

It is based on observation of sea state rather than accurate wind measurements. This scale allows sailors to estimate the wind speed just by observing the state of the sea surface. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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What is a cyclone?

A cyclone is a general term for a weather system in which winds rotate inwardly to an area of low atmospheric pressure.

For large weather systems, the circulation pattern is in a counterclockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and a clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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