Category Archives: Severe Weather

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

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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

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Can Pacific hurricanes influence our weather in North America?

Super Typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm of the year, delivered a devastating blow to Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The word “typhoon,” used commonly in the west Pacific, is a synonym for “hurricane.” The storm, which intensified from a category 1 to a category 5 hurricane in 24 hours, had estimated sustained winds of 190 mph for nearly a day after reaching that incredible strength. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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How does Hurricane Hermine measure up?

On Friday Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida, making it the first to make landfall in the state in more than a decade.

Hermine, which weakened to a tropical storm shortly after landfall as is commonly the case with weak hurricanes, was poised to redevelop and pose a threat to the Mid-Atlantic states and possibly southern New England into the middle of the week. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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What forces are in play when high winds knock down objects?

Wind is air moving from areas of high atmospheric pressure to low pressure. Violent destructive winds, as well as gentle summer breezes, result from a complex interplay of different forces.

One of these forces results from a pressure gradient, or how fast pressure changes over distance. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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