Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year.

It is an astronomical event caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its orbit around the sun.

Monuments such as Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, demonstrate that ancient cultures knew the path the sun traveled through our sky changed in a routine way throughout the year. They undoubtedly observed that how high the sun appears in the sky varied throughout the year and that the higher the sun gets in the sky, the longer the length of daylight. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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Is hot first part of June a sign of things to come?

A barely colder than normal May has been followed by an extremely warm and dry first two weeks of June.

Through Friday, Madison has had five days with high temperatures above 90 degrees, and the month has thus far averaged more than 11 degrees above normal. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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How dangerous is hot weather?

Hot weather can be dangerous, particularly if the humidity is high as well.

Much of the Upper Midwest had temperatures near or above 90 degrees over the weekend, except along the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Several locations set record high daily temperatures — in Madison, Saturday’s high of 92 degrees tied the record for the day set in 1934. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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Where does water exist?

Evidence of the presence of water in our atmosphere is ubiquitous.

Water occurs in the Earth’s atmosphere in all three of its phases — solid (snow and ice), liquid (rain and dew) and gas (invisible water vapor). As we begin to emerge from the recent cool spell and really enter spring/summer, we may begin to see more dew on the ground and on the windshields of cars in the morning. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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How unusual was this cold first half of May?

The first two days of this month had high temperatures of 87 and 84, respectively, and daily average temperatures (the average of the daily high and daily low) that were 15 and 19 degrees above normal.

In the next 12 days, the daily average temperature has been just shy of 6 degrees below normal. In fact, during that nearly two week stretch, nine days have had overnight lows in the 30s, including a streak of eight straight days from May 7 through Friday. The morning low on Tuesday was 30 degrees — notably cold and memorable for most of us, but only the 61st coldest morning in the first half of May in Madison’s history, far behind the all-time lowest of 19 degrees recorded on May 1, 1978. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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