Category Archives: Severe Weather

When is hurricane season?

The peak of hurricane activity in the tropical waters south and southeast of the United States is typically in early to mid-September.

But hurricanes can occur any month of the year; the calendar isn’t the important thing — the ocean temperatures and the lack of wind shear are. Continue reading

Category: Seasons, Severe Weather, Tropical

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What is a freeze and a hard freeze warning?

A freeze warning is issued when the nighttime low temperatures across the whole county or forecast zone are predicted to be at or below 32 degrees.

A freeze warning is issued when low temperatures are expected to be 29 to 32 degrees, and a hard freeze warning is issued when temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or less. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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How strong a wind will knock someone over?

We have had some hefty winds this past week.

The wind can displace objects, including people. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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Why does the severe weather threat increase as spring and summer approach?

As the threat of winter snows recedes across the country, it is replaced by the threat of severe weather — thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

The severe weather season, though broadly spanning March through August across the United States, is actually quite regional. It begins in March in the southern states, moves to the southern Plains during April and May, and then farther north toward the Great Lakes states during the summer. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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What is a fire cloud?

With the raging fires in Australia, you may have heard news reports of pyrocumulus, or fire clouds.

In Latin, pyro means “fire” and cumulus means “pile up.” Cumulus is a type of cloud that is common in Wisconsin, particularly in summer. Cumulus clouds are those puffy white clouds with tops that have a cauliflower appearance. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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