Monthly Archives: January 2018

Is winter winding down?

Despite a prolonged deep freeze that straddled the end of December and the first week of January, during which we had below-zero morning low temperatures on 12 of 13 consecutive days, the month of January is likely to end at just about normal for Madison.

We are not, however, out of the woods just yet. Climatologically, the last week of January/first week of February is the coldest time of the year as a result of several physical factors. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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What was 2017 weather summary?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has completed its scientific analysis and the globally averaged surface temperature for 2017 was the third-highest since record keeping began in 1880.

The warmest year is 2016, and 2015 is the second warmest. Since 1977 global temperatures have been at least nominally above the 20th century average. The six warmest years on record have occurred since 2010. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

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Is there snow and ice on other planets?

Like Earth, the north and south poles of Mars have ice caps that grow and shrink with Mars’ seasons.

Mars’ ice caps are made mainly of water ice, although Mars is cold enough to also have frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Uncategorized

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What is a ‘bomb cyclone’?

The term “bomb cyclone” refers to the formation and rapid development of a mid-latitude cyclone. A mid-latitude cyclone is a large-scale, low-pressure system, characteristic of the middle latitudes, that has counter-clockwise flow around its center (in the Northern Hemisphere).

A primary measure of development in these storms is a drop in the atmospheric pressure at the center of the storm. Air near the ground is forced to move inward to the center of the circulation — this is known as convergence. Continue reading

Category: Phenomena, Seasons, Severe Weather

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Does this cold wave prove the globe is not warming?

What had been a warmer than normal December, with the first 22 days averaging nearly 4.8 degrees above normal, was transformed to slightly below normal by a dramatic cold wave to end the month. Over the last week of December … Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized

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