Category Archives: Weather Dangers

Is springtime pothole season?

Many drivers probably consider early spring to be pothole season.

A pothole is a structural failure in a road surface.

Potholes result from a combination of traffic and water in the underlying soil. Continue reading

Category: Seasons, Weather Dangers

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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

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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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What is a heat wave?

A heat wave is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and usually humid weather. The World Meteorological Organization is specific in its definition by stating that a heat wave is when the daily maximum temperature for more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 9 degrees.

Heat waves are caused by very hot, stagnant air masses. Regions that suffer under intense hot spells are usually dominated by a surface high-pressure system with a mid-tropospheric ridge aloft. Dew points are also high, and to compound matters, wind speeds are often low. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Weather Dangers

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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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