Category Archives: Severe Weather

Where are we on hurricane season thus far?

The official season stretches from June 1 through Nov. 30. One measure of the activity of a season is the number of named storms — those that reach or exceed sustained winds of 39 mph — that season accrues.

This year, for the sixth year in a row, Atlantic tropical storms formed before the official start of the season with Arthur and Bertha developing in May. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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What is the heat index?

The heat index indicates how hot it feels.

It is expressed as a function of air temperature and the relative humidity. The heat index temperature is for standing in the shade and light winds; when exposed to direct sunlight, the heat index value can be increased by up to 15 degrees. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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What is the longest lightning bolt?

The World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, investigates and certifies meteorological records.

On Friday, a WMO committee of experts confirmed a new world record for the longest single lightning flash. The single flash occurred on Oct. 31, 2018 and covered a horizontal distance of 440.6 miles, plus or minus 5 miles, across parts of southern Brazil. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather

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Was that a tropical storm last week?

The western Great Lakes region was visited by a rare tropical storm Tuesday when Cristobal made its way into southern Wisconsin.

Rainfall from eastern Iowa to central Wisconsin was intense, with Madison, La Crosse, Wausau and Rhinelander all recording just under 2 inches of rainfall overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Even more impressive rainfalls were recorded in eastern Iowa, as Dubuque got 2.16 inches, Cedar Rapids got 2.35 inches and Iowa City was hit with 3.47 inches. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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How important were weather forecasts for D-Day?

Saturday marked the 76th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe and the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

The assault was enormous and relied on mobilization of a far-flung naval armada to deliver the necessary men and machines to the beaches at the appointed time. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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