Category Archives: Phenomena
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
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 the morning of August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first voyage to the Americas. He sailed south along the west coast of Africa, searching for the easterly “trade winds,” discovered earlier by the Portuguese, that would propel his fleet westward toward what he thought was India.
The trade winds are a component of a global-scale tropical circulation feature known as the Hadley cell. This cell is driven by the fact that the equator is heated more intensely than latitudes to its north and south, resulting in the production of collections of thunderstorms girdling the globe roughly along the equator. Continue reading
Fires require something to burn plus air to supply oxygen and a heat source to get the fuel to its ignition temperature.
Once a fire starts, weather is one factor of how it will spread and if it will grow. The important weather factors are temperature, wind and humidity. Warmer temperatures allow fuels to ignite quickly, and low humidity keeps the fuel dry and easy to burn. Wind brings oxygen to the fire and also can help to spread it. Continue reading
Ozone (O3) is a molecule formed by three oxygen atoms.
Ozone that resides in the stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet rays of the sun, protecting life on Earth’s surface from these high-energy electromagnetic waves. O3 also can occur near the ground, where it is considered a pollutant, as it is a chemically reactive gas that can cause respiratory problems when breathed. Continue reading