Author Archives: WeatherGuys Editor

What was that stuff that fell on Wednesday and Thursday?

Last Wednesday and Thursday many locations in southern Wisconsin experienced snow squalls in which the falling precipitation was momentarily quite intense.

This event was an example of shallow convection — as opposed to the deep convection of summertime thunderstorms. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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How common is April snow in Madison?

The recent late March and early April snow in Madison may have stirred memories of, or raised questions about, past such late winter/early spring snows.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to Madisonians, April snow is by no means unusual here in town. Thirty Madison Aprils — out of 84 — since 1939 have had at least one 1-inch snowfall event. Continue reading

Category: History, Seasons

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Where in the U.S. are the most weather warnings issued?

Certain meteorological conditions may pose threats to life and property. Under these conditions, the National Weather Service (NWS) issues advisories, weather watches and weather warnings.

A weather watch informs us that current atmospheric conditions are favorable for hazardous weather. When the hazardous weather will soon occur in an area, a warning is issued. Weather watches and warnings are issued for a wide variety of hazardous weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, high wind speeds and flooding. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather

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Is mathematical pi used in meteorology?

The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is a constant value. The size of the circle does not matter; this ratio is always the same value and is called pi.

The existence of this constant was known by the Babylonians and the Egyptians dating back to at least 2000 B.C. The numerical value is represented by the Greek letter for p, or π. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology

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Is Wisconsin getting windier?

Before we delve into the question of whether Wisconsin is getting windier, let’s review some basics regarding wind.

Wind is moving air. Weather reports include observations of wind speed and direction measured at the height of approximately 1.5 meters (about 4.9 feet) above the surface. If the wind speed is strong — greater than 17 mph — and highly variable, the weather report will include the wind gust, which is the maximum observed wind speed. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

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