Category Archives: Severe Weather

Is 2022 an active tornado season for the U.S?

Tornados can occur anytime of the year, so it is too early to answer this question.

Tornado season is based on when the ingredients for severe weather come together in a particular region. Because a change in wind with height is closely related to the presence of a jet stream, tornado season moves north and south during the year with a jet stream. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Severe Weather

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How do radars see tornadoes?

A weather radar consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits pulses of radio waves outward in a circular pattern. Precipitation scatters these radio waves.

“Reflectivity” is the amount of transmitted power returned to the radar and measured by its receiver. The intensity of this received signal indicates the intensity of the precipitation.
Measuring the time it takes for the radio wave to leave the radar and return tells us how far away the storm is. The direction the radar is pointing locates the storm. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Severe Weather

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More April snow?

The snow showers that visited our area on Thursday afternoon represented the fourth time snow had been in the air in Madison this month of April.

These showers were associated with the development and passage of a strong and sprawling cyclone that brought blizzard conditions to a number of locations in North Dakota and Montana from Tuesday night into Thursday. The town on Glenburn, North Dakota, received 30.5 inches of snow as of Thursday morning, with 30 to 36 inches variously reported around Minot. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Severe Weather

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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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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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