School and Work - A Balancing Act
Wet and Active Summer of 2015
Although August has been relatively quiet, cool, and dry, the summer of 2015 will be remembered as a wet and active season across the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Unlike last year, this summer featured close to average temperatures, only at max one degree below normal. June and July were the main contributors of both severe weather and rainfall across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as the result of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS) and the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill.
Tornadoes: Nature's Most Violent Storm
Tornadoes are one of the most awe-inspiring, yet destructive weather phenomena on the planet. They come in all shapes, sizes, and strengths, and are spawned mainly from rotating thunderstorms called supercells. But how exactly do these beasts come about, and how are they categorized? It is a little more complex than the commonly heard explanation "warm air from the Gulf meets cool air from Canada"...read on to learn more.
Flooding, Wildfires, Yet Still In A Drought
For the past year, everyone has been talking about the California drought. While the locals are worried about browning lawns and further water restrictions, the rest of the United States is keeping an eye on the price of groceries as the drought impacts California farmers. Forest fires have also been raging wild across the state due to the abundance of dried out tinder. One such fire even jumped Interstate 15, igniting cars in traffic. However, the tropical activity this summer brought a turn of events for the arid state.
The Urban Heat Island Effect
Image above courtesy of NOAA
"90s in the city, but 80s in the suburbs this afternoon" Sound familiar? Being stuck in the big city during a heat wave is brutal compared to spending it in the country. But why does this phenomena occur?
Northeast Drought: Temporarily Over, or Just Beginning?
The California Drought: How Serious Is It?
It was a popular topic all winter, eventually leading to a State of Emergency: California is undergoing a drought. And not just any drought, an exceptional drought (also referred to as D4, the highest rank on the Drought Intensity Scale). However, this didn't just happen overnight. Droughts are considered a creeping disaster: they have a slow onset (in this case four years in the making), making it difficult to determine when a drought actually starts, and harder yet, when it will end. So what exactly exacerbated these drought conditions?
February 2015: Just How Cold Was It?
This last month was certainly one for the record books in many parts of the Northeast! After a relatively quiet start to the winter, February was a brutal reminder that old man winter would have a strong hold on us. Between the bitter cold and frequent snow and ice events, many are already searching for signs of spring. However, let's take a step back and review exactly what happened, and just how unusually cold this past February was.
Cooler air has begun making its presence felt across the northern portion of the country the last few weeks. Ever wonder how seasonably mild temperatures during the day, suddenly dip into the frosty 30s overnight? Some may be thinking a cold front moved through, but many times this cooling happens with high pressure in control. Give up? The answer is radiational cooling.
(Above) Frost on WeatherWorks Meteorologist Mike DiDomizo's windshield.