Questions tagged [meteorology]

The study of how the earth's atmosphere works, including weather forecasting. Use this tag for questions about the earth's weather. When asking questions specifically about the atmosphere, also include the [atmosphere] tag.

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3
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2answers
868 views

What is the life-cycle of agricultural water used to grow crops/animals?

A là this Slate article: 1 gallon of water is required to grow a single almond 220 gallons to grow a large avocado 5,000 gallons to grow 1 lb of beef None of these things weighs anywhere near ...
5
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0answers
176 views

Is there anywhere on Earth *without* a rain shadow where we would otherwise expect one?

My understanding of rain shadows is that they occur in a region where year-round wind direction is the same (or nearly so), and there's a mountain range close by, such that the mountains block ...
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1answer
3k views

What causes the 'calm before the storm'?

The old adage "The calm before the storm" certainly has an observational scientific meaning to it -- something that many (including myself) have experienced -- that on a hot summer's day, when a ...
7
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1answer
122 views

Vortices in the Atmosphere Sustained only by PGF

In a cyclone, the pressure gradient force (PGF) and the Coriolis force sustain the spinning motion and causes the direction of spin (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the ...
9
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1answer
143 views

How would weather change on a tidally-locked terrestrial planet?

On Earth, weather is very much affected by the Earth's rotation around its axis and around the Sun. Even locations that are almost on the equator do have strong annual variations in precipitation and ...
7
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1answer
173 views

The spiraling cyclone track - Cyclone Nathan

In the northern part of Queensland, Cyclone Nathan has had a spiral type of track, as can be seen below: Image credit: Tropical Cyclone NATHAN Forecast Track (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) As can be ...
8
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3answers
409 views

Predicting school closures with historical weather prediction data?

I'm interested in predicting when the local schools will be closed due to snow and other winter weather. I have a list of school closure dates and a rough sense of the criteria used to determine the ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What causes these banded clouds?

A set of banded clouds can be seen in MODIS imagery during several days in January and February over the Gulf of Maine. They tend to occur with very cold winds from the NW following storms. There are ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Minimum sea-level pressure and maximum wind speed intensity relationship in Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricane to hit the US. After looking into the minimum sea-level pressure (MSLP) and maximum wind speed (MWS) intensity data from NOAA'...
10
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1answer
2k views

Why do tropical cyclones around Australia have erratic paths?

According to the Australia Bureau of Meterology: Research has shown that cyclones in the Australian region exhibit more erratic paths than cyclones in other parts of the world. A tropical ...
12
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1answer
502 views

Two severe cyclones connected by a monsoonal trough

At the time of writing, areas around the Northern Territory (TC Lam) and Queensland (TC Marcia) in Australia are in the path of severe cyclones (category 4 at the moment, with the Queensland one - TC ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Numerical weather forecasting - resources for a programmer?

There is a community wiki question over at A good book or source for climate science and meteorology basics? that talks about meteorology basics. Building on that, but with a slightly different focus,...
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0answers
178 views

Bulk and dynamic viscosity in the atmosphere

I'm studying the physics of the atmosphere but I'm struggling with the matter of viscosity (Navier-Stokes equation) for gravito-acoustic waves. From Landau-Lifschitz : $$ (T)_{ij} = -p\delta_{ij} + \...
4
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1answer
982 views

Negative values of relative humidity in CFSR

I recently started using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) 6-hourly products (http://rda.ucar.edu/datasets/ds093.0/), and I noticed many values of relative humidity are negative. Is this ...
17
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3answers
20k views

Why does the Inter tropical Convergence Zone shift?

I am currently learning at school about the climatic conditions (mainly winds, difference in pressure, Coriolis effect, etc.) that cause and affect the monsoons received by India. One of the factors ...
6
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1answer
266 views

What type of storm cloud is this?

We have had (and are still experiencing) waves of storms passing through this area of the central Queensland 'Capricornia' coast, Australia. This area is a subtropical coastal environment, close to ...
15
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1answer
341 views

Can climate models reliably predict meteorological extremes?

This question is related to and extension of my previous question which was about the methodology used to predict future climatic extremes: What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes ...
8
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1answer
531 views

Snow from Fire: Could graupel, or even snow, fall from pyrocumulus clouds?

Pyrocumulus clouds often form in areas that experience prolonged fire conditions, particularly forest fires, but are also associated with volcanic eruptions and even nuclear explosions. This question ...
21
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5answers
3k views

Is there a database of global rainfall time series?

Is there any institute out there collecting time series data of precipitation, and making them accessible online? I need data for a few different locations, but: Low spatial resolution is fine. For ...
13
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2answers
6k views

What is the lowest latitude at which snow has been recorded at sea level?

We have had some stations report snow that have not reported snow in the past 55 years at sea level. I have read that Tampico, Mexico at 22°N is one of the stations that has recorded snow in the ...
12
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1answer
746 views

Dry atmospheric temperature profile (dry adiabatic vs. isothermal)

I'm trying to understand why there are differing predictions of the atmospheric temperature profile. It is well established that the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) is: $$ \frac{\mathrm{d}T}{\mathrm{...
13
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1answer
3k views

Are cloudy nights warmer than nights without clouds?

I have noticed this winter that nights without clouds (especially when the 12h before the night where not cloudy) were way colder than the cloudy ones. It makes sense to me because the clouds can ...
30
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3answers
6k views

How would an icicle “grow” upwards?

The other day a friend of my dad's showed him a picture of an icicle that appeared to be "growing" upwards out of a crack in a sidewalk. There were no roofs, overhangs or vehicles parked near by... It ...
22
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2answers
754 views

How can the average coldest day of the year be before the winter solstice?

There are parts of the U.S. where, on average, the coldest day of the year comes before December 21st. [source] How can this be? Why would temperatures start rising again even while days are still ...
14
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1answer
840 views

How does a 'fire tornado' form?

A 'Fire tornado' or 'Firenado' or 'Fire whirl' are a fearful feature of forest fires world wide. Having seen one up close, I can attest that they are both awesome and utterly terrifying, but I am ...
7
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1answer
804 views

Statistical weather prediction

Assuming I have time evolution of air temperature, air pressure, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and cloudiness, how can I predict weather based on this information? I know that high ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Intuitive explanation of precipitation amount

I'm trying to learn how to make sense of numbers in a forecast. I can interpret temperature and wind speed, but I don't know what to make of rainfall. What does it mean, for a human, that there will ...
10
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1answer
290 views

Regarding various types of atmospheric pollution

Does all the car pollution (from about 150 million cars at least in the U.S. and a lot more in all of North America and the rest of the world) all the smoke-stack pollution of various factories and ...
15
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1answer
339 views

What is the predictability of El Niño/La Niña?

What is the maximum period of time into the future that an El Niño event can be forecasted with reasonable accuracy and what are the limitations in predicting the time limit?
7
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1answer
266 views

LWC and Absolute Humidity

What is the difference between "liquid water content" and "absolute humidity" in meteorology? Both have units of mass/volume.
8
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1answer
236 views

What's with this anomaly in this sounding (the CAPE and CIN readings)?

This sounding is from 2 hours after the 2.6 mile wide El Reno tornado on May 31 2013.
14
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1answer
4k views

What is the meaning of -999 degrees Celsius?

I was checking the weather forecast just now, and it is showing that it "feels like -999 °C". I never heard or saw -999 °C before. I searched other weather channels, and they were showing that it ...
13
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1answer
678 views

What type of cloud formation are these dark low-hanging clouds?

I was thinking it could have been a non-rotating wall cloud, but I'm not sure. YouTube video Picture taken on September 9 2014... between 5-7 pm in North Georgia, about 40 miles north of Atlanta.
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2answers
993 views

Why aren't there more questions and concerns about chemtrails? [closed]

Chemtrails are amazingly obvious in our daily life but why aren't we more concerned? The information and patents for the chemicals we? are spraying are readily available. The chemicals are huge ...
13
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1answer
435 views

Will dust storms be more frequent in the future?

I noticed that in some science fiction movies set in the future on Earth, like Wall-E and Interstellar, dust storms are very prominent. Are there any scientific hypotheses suggesting that dust storms ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between an inertial instability and a symmetric instability?

Inertial and symmetric instabilities are fluid instabilities present in atmosphere and ocean. What are the difference between an inertial instability and a symmetric instability?
8
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2answers
834 views

How are 'Morning Glory' clouds maintained?

Reading the Physics.SE question What is the current physical theory of what causes the 'Morning Glory' roll cloud over Northern Australia? (pictured below): Image source: NASA Astronomy picture of ...
8
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1answer
133 views

Why does air seem to affect local surface temperatures so much?

Last winter, several areas in the US and Canada were hit by a "polar vortex." I happen to live in one of those areas and was amazed how much the temperature seemed to change so suddenly just because a ...
12
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2answers
875 views

From where do weather radar maps get their data?

I see maps like this one all the time online and in the news. A moving map that shows clouds and stuff moving around with time. Where do they get the data from? Is it from a single source location or ...
7
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2answers
479 views

Relationship between illuminance and cloud cover

Is there a clear formula or table relating the illuminance in (lux) to status of the sky in terms of cloud cover? For example, mostly cloudy would be 2000-3000 lux.
7
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1answer
421 views

Pressure as a function of altitude

My city's altitude is almost 950 meters, yet the weather stations provide a read of 102.14 kPa which is around 1 atm! Shouldn't the pressure be a function of elevation? I doubted that the data ...
11
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1answer
411 views

What does the term “Snow Interval” mean?

When looking Weather Station readings from the National Weather Service website, what does the term "Snow Interval (inches)" actually mean? 6 hr and 24 hr readings are obvious, but I can't seem to ...
9
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3answers
843 views

What is the reason why there are radiosonde measurements in the atmosphere?

I have seen weather balloon measurements of air. Why is this done? Aren't the measurements we take on the ground enough?
12
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1answer
176 views

Are the “polar vortex” and “cut-off lows” over/near the Great Lakes new phenomena?

In recent years, I've heard weather reporters describe "cut-off" low pressure systems which park over Southern Ontario for days at a time. In summer months, they bring us long stretches of cool cloudy,...
7
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1answer
338 views

What are the advantages in looking at an OLR map versus looking at IR satellite imagery?

Conceptually they seem to be showing the same information. But in the context of a Madden Julien Oscillation (MJO) or equatorial waves especially over the equatorial oceanic layers which one is more ...
14
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3answers
11k views

What is El Niño Modoki?

What are the characteristics that distinguishes a El Niño Modoki from a "normal" El Niño? What are the effects of El Niño Modoki on atmospheric and oceanic processes? How does it affect weather ...
9
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1answer
145 views

Where does the symmetry of cloudy bands come from?

Reading Meteorology Fundamentals by Sylvie Malardel, it says: We observe a symmetry of the cloudy bands with respect to the rotation axis of Earth and between Northern Hemisphere and Southern ...
15
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8answers
7k views

Is it possible to create an enclosed manmade weather system?

There are plenty of experiments, usually geared toward kids, that involve "making a cloud in a bottle" or something similar. These exercises are neat for what they are, but pale in comparison to the ...
15
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1answer
265 views

What is the status of meteorological data exchange standards?

How do the web services exchange meteorological data? One method is transferring NetCDF and GRIB data and hooking them up to your software. I read here about the possibility of using WFS and WCS. ...
10
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1answer
646 views

Resources for learning the technical parts of atmospheric modeling

I'm a computer/atmospheric science undergrad and I'm trying to get into atmospheric modeling. Any recommendations for resources to get going or to learn about approaches? I can handle fairly technical ...