Monthly Archives: August 2013
The National Weather Service, or NWS, is a part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NWS provides “weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy.” Continue reading
Forming over tropical oceans ensures that warm sea-surface temperature (SST) provides a mature hurricane with a means to warm and moisten the air that flows toward the important eye-wall convection. Thus, it is not surprising that hurricanes struggle to develop if the SST is not 79.7 degrees F or warmer. Tropical cyclones also require environments in which the wind speed and direction changes very little with increasing height, in other words, where the vertical wind shear is small. Continue reading
The organized storms we experience here in Madison in fall and winter are known as mid-latitude cyclones. One of the most notable characteristics of these storms is the presence of strong temperature, humidity and wind contrasts at what are known as fronts. In fact, fronts are such an integral part of the structure of these storms that they are often referred to as frontal cyclones. Continue reading
During our mini heat wave of July 16-19, the Northern Hemisphere reached its warmest day of the year, by one measure, on July 17.
On that day, at about 1 mile above sea level, it was warmer than 23 degrees everywhere in the hemisphere. Just a day or two later, the buildup of cold air at that elevation in the atmosphere began again for the coming winter season. Continue reading