Category Archives: Phenomena
This winter has already delivered some notable disasters, and it is important to carefully consider the anatomy of such high impact weather events in order to, as accurately as possible, understand to what degree an event is attributable to the … Continue reading
On Nov. 7, numerous “holes” appeared to be punched out of a cloud deck across the Upper Midwest.
Punch holes can occur after a plane flies through the cloud if the cloud droplets are supercooled, with their temperatures below freezing. Continue reading
The extreme and persistent drought that has plagued parts of California for several years will be at least slightly remedied by the torrential rains that fell over the weekend over much of the central and northern part of the state.
These rains were associated with a phenomenon called an “atmospheric river.”
Atmospheric rivers are organized flows of deep, moist air from the subtropics and tropics that bring many locations in California a large portion of their annual precipitation. Continue reading
Ozone is a colorless gas made up of three oxygen atoms (chemically denoted as O3). It occurs naturally in small amounts in the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere), about 18 miles above the surface.
Ozone in the stratosphere is a result of a balance between sunlight that creates ozone and chemical reactions that destroy it. Ozone is created when oxygen (O2), is split apart by ultraviolet energy emitted by the sun into single oxygen atoms. The single oxygen atoms can rejoin to make O2, or they can join with O2 molecules to make ozone. Continue reading