Monthly Archives: October 2023
Hurricane intensities are classified using the Saffir–Simpson scale, which rates hurricanes on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the damage their winds would cause upon landfall. Major hurricanes are those classified as Category 3 and higher on this … Continue reading
The surface waters of our polar oceans freeze seasonally, forming a layer of sea ice that varies in thickness from centimeters to meters. The era of polar orbiting satellites has enabled the monitoring of sea ice distribution for more than four decades.
Seasons are reversed between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, so the sea ice maximum and minimum occur at different times of the year. Generally speaking, around mid-September the extent of the sea ice at the south pole is reaching a maximum, while in the Arctic it is approaching a minimum in September as our Northern Hemisphere summer comes to an end. Continue reading
A waterspout is a whirlwind that forms beneath a cumulus cloud over water. Before you see the waterspout, you may see a funnel-like cloud hanging from the cloud base. The Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and Chesapeake Bay are common regions for waterspouts.
The Great Lakes also have waterspouts, though seasonally. August and September are the most common months for Great Lakes waterspouts to develop, with the full season considered to run from the end of July into October. Continue reading
On Friday, the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison celebrated its 75th anniversary.
When the department was founded in June 1948, the modern science of meteorology was arguably just a few years old, and even basic understanding of the nature of the mid-latitude cyclones that batter us from October to May was truly in its infant stages. Continue reading
As we enter the month of October and the traditional end of the warm season, it’s interesting to note that the average temperature last month, through Sept. 28, was 4.0 degrees above normal in Madison.
That is by far the biggest deviation among traditional warm-season months — June, July, August and September. All were warmer than average this year: June was 0.8 degrees, July just 0.5 degree and August only 1.2 degree above the respective norm. Continue reading