Category Archives: Weather Dangers

How common are extreme winds in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains?

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

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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Do car tires protect you from lightning strikes?

Lightning is a huge electrical discharge, or spark, that results from vigorous motions that occur in thunderstorms. While you can be safe in a car in a lightning storm, it is not because of the tires. Rubber tires do act … Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Phenomena, Weather Dangers

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What is a red flag warning?

The National Weather Service issues, and cancels, fire weather watches (FWW), and red flag warnings (RFW) in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

The weather service will not issue official warnings until certain threshold values, called red flag criteria, are forecast to occur. Red flag criteria differ from state to state. They usually include relative humidity values of 20% or less, winds of 20 mph or higher, and dry fuel conditions. Red Flag Warnings are usually only issued during the spring and fall fire weather seasons. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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How is tornado intensity determined?

A deadly tornado outbreak took place Wednesday through Friday in the southern United States.

Tornadoes are classified based on the damage the tornado does, which enables us to estimate the wind speed of its rotating winds.
All tornadoes are assigned a single number from the Enhanced Fujita scale, abbreviated EF, according to the most intense damage caused by the storm. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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What is Madison’s longest stretch of frigid temperatures?

After a relatively mild start, this winter has suddenly turned a bit more menacing.

With last Thursday’s 3.5 inches of snow, Madison officially moved above its seasonal average snowfall for the first time all winter. We have received 36 inches, while the average to date is about 33 inches. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Weather Dangers

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