Monthly Archives: September 2021

What is the ozone hole?

Ozone is a colorless gas made up of three oxygen atoms (chemically denoted as O3). It occurs naturally in small amounts in the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere), about 18 miles above the surface.

Ozone in the stratosphere is a result of a balance between sunlight that creates ozone and chemical reactions that destroy it. Ozone is created when oxygen (O2), is split apart by ultraviolet energy emitted by the sun into single oxygen atoms. The single oxygen atoms can rejoin to make O2, or they can join with O2 molecules to make ozone. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Phenomena

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When does autumn begin?

The changes are subtle but apparent to the keen observer at this time of year — the first changes of color on trees, the earlier sunset and the rapid temperature drop that follows.

Summer is ending and fall is taking its place. This fact is formalized at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday when the autumnal equinox occurs. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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Why do tornadoes happen in hurricanes?

When hurricanes make landfall, they can spawn tornadoes.

The friction over land is much stronger than friction over water, where the hurricanes form. Frictional force quickly weakens the farther you get from the ground. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather, Tropical

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Are we near the end of hurricane season?

It has been a particularly impactful hurricane season in the Atlantic thus far. As of Sunday, there have been 12 named storms — Larry being the current storm of interest.

Hurricane Ida was a very impactful storm, and tens of thousands remain without power in the metro New Orleans area. The so-called remnants of Ida also walloped the northeastern U.S. on Wednesday and Thursday, resulting in dozens of deaths and widespread flooding in many states not usually so affected. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons, Tropical

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