Monthly Archives: June 2014

When is Wisconsin’s tornado season?

Tornadoes can happen in just about any location and at any time, although the chances of having one in late fall and winter are small.

For example, there have been only six tornadoes in Wisconsin during the month of November, and Wisconsin has never recorded a tornado in February.

On average, there have been 21 tornadoes touch down in Wisconsin in a year, with a record 62 tornadoes in 2005. For the 20-year period between 1991 and 2010, there was an average of nine tornadoes in the month of June. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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When is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the day when the sun is farthest north. In 2014, this occurs on June 21 at 5:51 a.m.

As Earth orbits the sun, its axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees from its orbital plane. Because Earth’s axis of spin always points in the same direction — toward the North Star — the orientation of Earth’s axis to the sun is always changing as Earth orbits around the sun. Continue reading

Category: Seasons

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Did weather play a role in D-Day?

Friday marked the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe and the beginning of the end of Nazi tyranny and murder in World War II. A perfect combination of full moon (for nighttime aerial navigation purposes), low tide (so that German mines in Brittany would be exposed) and light winds were necessary to give the invasion any reasonable chance of success.

Thus, days on which the tides and phase of the moon were optimal were known some weeks in advance. As late May arrived, it became increasingly clear that choosing among those optimal days for invasion would depend crucially upon the weather and the ability to make an accurate forecast of weather conditions.
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Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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What causes urban flooding?

Urban flooding occurs when water flows into an urban region faster than it can be absorbed into the soil or moved to and stored in a lake or reservoir. It can be caused by flash flooding, coastal flooding, river floods or rapid snow melt.

On Tuesday, the Madison area experienced urban flooding caused by an intense rainfall. On that day, a daily record rainfall of 1.46 inches fell at Dane County Regional Airport, breaking the city’s previous May 27 record of 1.27 inches. The city sewage system and draining canals did not have the necessary capacity to drain away the large amounts of rain that fell in a short period of time. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Phenomena

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