Category Archives: Severe Weather

What was Madison’s coldest day?

Today is the 66th anniversary of the coldest day in Madison’s history.

On Jan. 30, 1951, the temperature in the city reached a morning low of minus 37 degrees. That is far below any temperature we have experienced in the city in the last 25 or more years. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

Comments Off on What was Madison’s coldest day?

Did the notion of numerical weather prediction turn out as originally expected?

The urgency to defeat fascism in World War II resulted in an explosion of technological innovations. A good number of the resulting inventions have had direct application to weather forecasting, including radar and the rise of the computer.

It isn’t well known that the first efforts to harness this emerging computing power to the problem of weather prediction, launched in the United States and Great Britain, were driven primarily by a desire to control the weather. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

Comments Off on Did the notion of numerical weather prediction turn out as originally expected?

What is a November gale?

A gale is a sustained wind between 39 mph and 54 mph.

Gales are usually caused by large differences in the air pressure between a low pressure system and a strong, high pressure system. Continue reading

Category: Seasons, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

Comments Off on What is a November gale?

What role did weather play in the Peshtigo Fire?

The Peshtigo Fire was the largest wildfire in U.S. history and occurred on Oct. 8, 1871.

The fire swept through the eastern and western shores of Green Bay, burning more than 1.28 million acres. Continue reading

Category: Phenomena, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

Comments Off on What role did weather play in the Peshtigo Fire?

How are hurricane intensities measured?

An obvious hurricane threat is its powerful wind, which can blow in a single spot for many hours.

Wind damage is such a hallmark of hurricanes that hurricane intensities are classified by meteorologists using the Saffir–Simpson scale, which rates hurricanes on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the damage their winds would cause upon landfall. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

Comments Off on How are hurricane intensities measured?