Monthly Archives: January 2022
On the morning of Jan. 30, 1951, the temperature in Madison fell to its all-time record low of minus 37 degrees.
It is difficult to put that amazing record low in perspective. Consider that the coldest morning of this winter season was less than a week ago, when the temperature Wednesday dropped to minus 18 — a full 19 degrees warmer than the all-time record. Continue reading
The amount of moisture in the air, which is the humidity, is a very important aspect of weather.
There are a few ways to express the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Each way has advantages and disadvantages. Two of the more common are the dew point and the relative humidity. Continue reading
Two of the more popular (and telling) measures of the severity of a winter are extremes of cold and the presence of snow.
One reasonable way to consider extremes of cold might be to count the number of mornings on which the temperature drops below zero. So far this winter (defined as beginning on Dec. 1), we have had just five such mornings here in Madison. Continue reading
Permafrost is ground that has a temperature below freezing for at least two consecutive years.
Permafrost varies in thickness from less than a couple of feet to more than 4,000 feet thick. Permafrost is mostly located in polar regions, although it also occurs in some high mountains where it is called alpine permafrost. Much of the permafrost in Alaska is tens of thousands of years old. Continue reading
This winter has already delivered some notable disasters, and it is important to carefully consider the anatomy of such high impact weather events in order to, as accurately as possible, understand to what degree an event is attributable to the … Continue reading