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Category Archives: Meteorology
This set of circumstances does not mean that her thermometer is faulty and in need of replacement. Instead, it reflects a nearly daily reality that goes undetected for most of the year until the cold season. It turns out that the air does not radiate heat away nearly as well as the solid ground beneath it. As a consequence of this difference, given 13 hours of nighttime with clear skies, the ground radiates a lot more energy away (and cools rapidly) while the air above struggles to cool as efficiently. Over those many hours, this difference results in a big difference between the ground temperature and the air temperature even as little as 5 or 6 feet above the ground. Continue reading
A gale is a strong, sustained wind impacting maritime weather.
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
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
This year, the autumnal equinox occurred on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 1:50 a.m. Central Time. During the equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator as its position moves from one hemisphere to the other. The word “equinox” is derived from the Latin word “aequus,” which means “equal,” and “nox,” which is the Latin word for “night.” During the 24 hours of the equinox, there are about 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night.
You may hear that daylight and nighttime are of equal length on the equinox. But during the equinox at our midlatitude location, there are approximately eight more minutes of daylight for two reasons: the sun’s shape and atmospheric refraction. Continue reading