If you’re an American, it’s tough to avoid corn. This ubiquitous starch turns up in soft drinks, compostable cups, and automobile fuel—and even plays a role in U.S. heat waves, including the intense one of 2011.
Hazy skies and fiery sunsets were noted across much of the central United States after the huge Wallow Fire developed in Arizona. But there’s also a quantitative way to track fire’s impact on the surrounding air.
The Sun drives our climate, so a slowdown in solar activity would surely put the brakes on global warming—wouldn’t it? That question percolated through the media following a set of reports from a solar physics meeting.
An email exchange following Part I revealed the enthusiasm of the Boulder weather community for clouds and the presence of many instruments probing the atmosphere over Boulder—and, in the end, the height of the formation.
Like a creature from a hydrologic horror flick, Devils Lake, North Dakota, has been expanding off and on for 70 years, most dramatically from the mid-1990s onward. Some of its tendrils have blocked rail lines and roadways for years.
The less-than-predicted amount of oil reaching coastlines after the Deepwater Horizon spill illuminates the difference between a projection and an actual forecast and
the challenges of making short-term projections of natural processes that can act chaotically.
In December 2010, media dutifully reported the heavy snow that battered the northeast U.S. and the United Kingdom’s coldest December in at least 100 years. Meanwhile, the sparsely populated Canadian Arctic basked in near-unprecedented mildness.
Strong jet streams often plow into the West Coast in wintertime, but the heaviest rains and snows occur when the flow dips far south over the Pacific, allowing it to bring an atmospheric river of warm, moist air from the subtropics to California.
Issuing a five-day weather forecast was once a daring enterprise. Today, we’re not only accustomed to long-range weather forecasts but also to seasonal-scale outlooks. Hurricanes and sea ice show how far we've come.
If predicting snow is a tough business, measuring it is no piece of cake either.
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