The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
22
votes
2answers
767 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
votes
1answer
851 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
votes
1answer
833 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
294 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
votes
1answer
341 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
votes
1answer
279 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
votes
1answer
240 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
votes
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
734 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.
-19
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
443 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
848 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
votes
1answer
134 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
votes
2answers
896 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
votes
2answers
515 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
votes
1answer
441 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
votes
1answer
419 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
votes
3answers
865 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
votes
1answer
182 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
votes
1answer
354 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
8answers
8k 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
votes
1answer
270 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
votes
1answer
673 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
425 views

Relation between direction of shear and tropical cyclone formation

In an earlier question/answer Why are there no cyclones in the southern Atlantic basin there was a point raised about direction of shear(abetting/retarding) cyclone formation. It appears ...
5
votes
1answer
583 views

How to determine that sustained wind speed exceeded the threshold value?

Certain maritime ports and airports have ranges of operation relation to the wind, usually according to a given threshold value of sustained wind speed. If I have the instantaneous values from ...
27
votes
2answers
31k views

Why are there no hurricanes in the southern Atlantic basin?

We see tropical cyclones (going by different names e.g. hurricane, typhoon, cyclone) all over the tropics, but it seems that there are never any storms in the southern Atlantic. See this map of ...
16
votes
1answer
375 views

What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes using the results of climate models?

What is the accepted methodology to predict future climatic extremes using the results of climate models? I have recently read a report about climatic extremes considering climate change (MICE, 2002)....
9
votes
1answer
210 views

Monsoonal interactions with mid latitude disturbances

For the past few years in succession India has witnessed extreme flooding events caused by monsoonal troughs colloding with what appears transitory mid latitude disturbances and these appear to ...
32
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does Coriolis determine the rotation direction of a cyclone but not my drain?

It is a common misconception that Coriolis is responsible for the direction the water swirls down a toilet, tub or sink drain. E.g. does a toilet flush the other way in the southern hemisphere? (If ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Strangely bright morning twilight over Switzerland

Yesterday morning (04.11.2014) I woke up at 6:40 as usual and noticed that it was relatively bright out. I had a better look around 7 and concluded that it was definitely quite a bit brighter than it ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

How to get cell indices from latitude and longitude in WRF model grids?

I am using Weather Research and Forecasting model WRF and the WRF Preprocessing System WPS and could not get a satisfying answer from wrfhelp. Can anyone guide me in transforming latitude and ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

Pressure of condensation of an air parcel

If a parcel of air ascends adiabatically, would condensation be reached at the lifting condensation level (LCL) or the level of free condensation (LFC)?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate relative humidity?

I am involved in developing a weather based application which needs to calculate relative humidity and display it. I grab other weather variables like temperature, precipitation, wind speed and ...
9
votes
3answers
582 views

Obtaining hourly weather data, including direct and diffuse insolation

I really need some reliable measured hourly weather data for a few sites across the world. It needs to include solar diffuse and direct values or their equivalents. I've tried the usual sources: Met ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

A parcel of air in an isothermal layer

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out a solution to this problem: There is an isothermal layer of air which has a temperature of 0 °C extending from the surface to 1 km height. A parcel is 0.5 °C ...
5
votes
1answer
437 views

How do I interpret the specs of a weather balloon?

I'm planning a high-altitude weather balloon project (to around 100000 feet, or 30 km) some time down the line to take video and pictures of near space altitudes and I have some questions I need to ...
7
votes
1answer
250 views

Resources to determine temperature probability for a given location on a given date

What tools or resources are available (free) on the web to determine the probability of a given point on the earth to be at or above (or below) a specific temperature on a specific date. Some [...
14
votes
2answers
877 views

How can odor travel be tracked

Odd question, but what data would be needed to to calculate how far winds will carry a strong odor (such as the smells of a restaurant, pizza parlor or burning wood/building? There is wind direction ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How do urban areas affect rain?

Urban areas these days can be quite large, and they can have strong effects on the environment: the urban heat island effect being the most obvious, but there may be other, more subtle effects. The ...
11
votes
1answer
764 views

How much energy is needed to alter the path of a hurricane?

Suppose we spot an Atlantic hurricane very early. How much energy should we expend to alter its track: with nuclear detonations (let's forget about the side effects for the moment)? with a large ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

Equinoxes and solstices: start of the season or mid-season?

In the United States, the upcoming autumnal equinox is marked on most calendars as the "first day of autumn." Similarly the solstices are commonly called the "first day of summer" and "first day of ...
3
votes
3answers
909 views

Regarding the melting glaciers and icebergs, why isn't the extra water vapor in the atmosphere mentioned in discussions of global warming?

As is reported on the major news networks, many glaciers and big icebergs are melting, which reportedly causes a tremendous increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Now a lot of ...
10
votes
2answers
719 views

Why is q used for specific humidity?

$q$ is the symbol used for specific humidity in many textbooks and papers (at least in meteorology and climatology, I'm not familiar with it in other disciplines). Where does this symbol come from, ...
11
votes
1answer
265 views

Sea breeze - magnitude of horizontal pressure gradient?

What is the range of horizontal pressure gradients typically caused by the differential heating of land and water under sea breeze conditions?
13
votes
1answer
879 views

How significant is a 5-10 mb drop in pressure over a 20 minute period?

I would be interested in seeing how significant a 5-10 mb drop in pressure would be at the surface, and 80 m in the air. The temporal scale would be 20 minutes. If the pressure starts to steadily ...
21
votes
1answer
15k views

Do tornadoes have eyes?

In the movie Into the Storm (2014) near the end, storm chaser Pete sees the eye of a massive tornado. In 1928 (real life), Will Keller was in his barn when a huge tornado passed through. He reported ...