Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

Is 2022 an active tornado season for the U.S?

Tornados can occur anytime of the year, so it is too early to answer this question.

Tornado season is based on when the ingredients for severe weather come together in a particular region. Because a change in wind with height is closely related to the presence of a jet stream, tornado season moves north and south during the year with a jet stream. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Severe Weather

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How does the recent humidity stack up against prior Mays?

The dramatic shift in our weather that took place over the last week will likely be memorable for a number of reasons.

First, on Tuesday Madison reached 90 degrees for the first time this year, the fourth earliest first 90-degree day in Madison’s history. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology, Seasons

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Was April colder and gloomier than normal this year?

The recent month of April here in Madison was noteworthy on a number of levels.

First of all, we had snow on seven different days during the month, not quite the record of 13 from April 1950, but substantially above the average of about four days over the last 70-plus years. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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Why is May 6 such a special day in weather science history?

Immediately after World War II, it became fashionable to imagine technologies that might allow human beings to control the weather.

In fact, one goal advanced by influential scientists was actually to explode nuclear bombs in the right locations and in the right quantity so as to alter the weather in favorable ways. Such an enterprise would require accurate forecasts of the weather thought possible by using the brand new computer technology to make the millions of requisite calculations. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology

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How do radars see tornadoes?

A weather radar consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits pulses of radio waves outward in a circular pattern. Precipitation scatters these radio waves.

“Reflectivity” is the amount of transmitted power returned to the radar and measured by its receiver. The intensity of this received signal indicates the intensity of the precipitation.
Measuring the time it takes for the radio wave to leave the radar and return tells us how far away the storm is. The direction the radar is pointing locates the storm. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather

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