Category Archives: Weather Dangers

What is the difference between mist and fog?

Both a mist and a fog are water droplets suspended in the atmosphere in the vicinity the earth’s surface that affect visibility.

They both differ from a cloud only in that the base of a fog or a mist is at the earth’s surface, while a cloud’s is above the surface.

The difference between a mist and a fog is associated with the atmospheric visibility. A fog and a mist are both composed of microscopic water droplets or wet hygroscopic particles suspended in the air. Particles cause light to be refracted and reflected in many directions, reducing visibility. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Weather Dangers

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What is an atmospheric river?

Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere — typically 250 to 375 miles wide and well over 1,000 miles long.

These sky rivers transport water vapor outside of the tropics to mid-latitude and polar regions. We estimate that 90% of Earth’s north to south water vapor transport is done through atmospheric rivers. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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How can you report tornadoes?

The National Weather Service is always looking for trained volunteers to provide severe weather reports, including reports of tornadoes.

Its spotter training sessions are free and last between 90 minutes and two hours. Trained volunteers receive certificates and are added to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, database of weather spotters. They also receive a Spotter ID. A virtual training option is also available. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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How common are extreme winds in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains?

This winter has already delivered some notable disasters, and it is important to carefully consider the anatomy of such high impact weather events in order to, as accurately as possible, understand to what degree an event is attributable to the … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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Do car tires protect you from lightning strikes?

Lightning is a huge electrical discharge, or spark, that results from vigorous motions that occur in thunderstorms. While you can be safe in a car in a lightning storm, it is not because of the tires. Rubber tires do act … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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