Category Archives: Severe Weather
It has been a fairly wintry week across the Great Lakes states, including here in southern Wisconsin.
Through Saturday night, it had snowed on five straight days in Madison, a total of 4.4 inches. The same pool of cold air above the ground that led to Madison’s intermittent snow showers stretched all the way across the Great Lakes. In fact, the Saturday morning temperature at 1.5km above the surface at Buffalo, New York, was minus 14 Celsius (about 7 degrees Fahrenheit). Continue reading
Another entry in the category of unprecedented weather extremes comes from the tropical Atlantic basin where, last week, Hurricane Fiona wrought devastation to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, still reeling from its assault by Hurricane Maria eerily precisely five years earlier.
Fiona dropped upwards of 30 inches of rain on the south shores of Puerto Rico before heading north into the Atlantic, where it systematically strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of more than 130 mph. Continue reading
Hurricanes are large-scale, organized storms that form in the tropical latitudes.
They are fueled by the enormous amount of heat released when water vapor, evaporated off the warm tropical ocean surface, changes phase to liquid and ice in the thunderstorm clouds of the hurricane.
They are smaller in areal extent than the storms that commonly affect us in the mid-latitudes here in Madison. Continue reading
Our bodies need nitrogen to make proteins. The atmosphere’s composition is 78% nitrogen, but the nitrogen in the air is not available to our bodies.
The two atoms in the airborne nitrogen molecule are held together very tightly. For our bodies to process that nitrogen, the two atoms must separate. Continue reading
Many locations across the country (and the world) have been experiencing unusually heavy rainfalls this summer.
Though in Madison we have had a relatively benign month of August in terms of temperature and humidity, we have still managed to find ourselves 2.09 inches above normal for rainfall for the month prior to Sunday’s rain. Continue reading