Monthly Archives: August 2019
Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity that is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. When lightning strikes the ground, it is hot enough to fuse silica sand and clay together into fulgurites: shafts of glass produced … Continue reading
As we head into the second half of August the days are noticeably shorter. That change is even more dramatic in the polar regions where the summer ice melt season is nearing its end.
This year’s melt has been particularly dramatic, with the Arctic sea-ice extent likely heading to its lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979. The previous low extent record was set in 2012. Continue reading
Warm rain results from the joining together of a cloud’s liquid water droplets. For the rain to be warm, temperatures throughout the cloud must be above freezing, so ice particles are absent.
Rainmaking is not easy. A single, small raindrop is a collection of about 1 million cloud droplets. A typical cloud droplet is usually 10 times smaller than the periods in this article. Continue reading
We are about five weeks away from the climatological peak of the hurricane season, which stretches from early June to November.
During that period, even in a particularly active year, not many hurricanes actually develop. 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 or warmer. Continue reading