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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3answers
973 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
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2answers
923 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, ...
6
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1answer
5k views

Why is Sacramento so warm for its latitude?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California It has high winter temperatures and high summer temperatures too.
13
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1answer
465 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?
7
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0answers
432 views

Calculating Monthly Accumulation value of the Clearness Index KT

I have an hourly data file of a particular location which contains the following variables (extracted from the Meteonorm7.0 data base, for a typical one year of data): GlobHor (W/m2): Horizontal ...
30
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1answer
3k views

What factors determine the number of Hadley cells for a planet?

We know (think?) that Earth has three Hadley cells per hemisphere, but from observing gas giants such as Jupiter, we see that they have many more cells. According to a link from a comment in this ...
9
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1answer
143 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 ...
10
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1answer
7k views

What is the primary cause of the “Norwester” winds that affect parts of India & Bangladesh?

I am primarily interested to know: What is Norwester (localy called Kalboishaku as because in occurs during the Bengali Month Boishak which falls between Mid April to Mid May). What causes Norwester....
14
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1answer
150 views

Have there been any attempts to measure profiles through deep convective systems using dropsondes?

In-situ measurements in deep convective systems, tropical cyclones, etc., are difficult to perform. Few if any people would like to fly a small aircraft close to its core, and radiosondes or larger ...
7
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2answers
608 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
464 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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Why don't cold fronts and other steep-gradient weather effects just dissipate?

Why don't cold fronts and other steep-gradient weather effects just dissipate? Why do they last so long? Why doesn't the heat dissipate toward the cooler region?
12
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1answer
218 views

Why is heavy precipitation from atmospheric rivers more likely to hit the West Coasts than the East Coasts?

As an example of an atmospheric river, see http://www.wired.com/2014/03/california-atmospheric-river-rain/. These events have been known to hit areas like California and Bergen, Norway.
9
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1answer
1k views

How does the pole-to-equator temperature gradient scale with height contours?

Are the pole-to-equator temperature gradients lower at higher heights than at lower heights (like 850 mb/500 mb)? If so, why is it the case? Especially given that the zonal circulation tends to be ...
9
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3answers
886 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?
32
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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 ...
5
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1answer
597 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 ...
10
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1answer
721 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 ...
5
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2answers
327 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)?
11
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1answer
584 views

Why is Montana warmer than Wyoming?

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) data shows the mean temperature from 1971-2000 for Montana was 5.97°C (42.74°F) and Wyoming's was 5.54°C (41.98°F). Montana is at a higher latitude, so this ...
14
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2answers
1k 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 ...
11
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1answer
283 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?
7
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1answer
261 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 [...
26
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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 ...
13
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1answer
159 views

Great Lakes - cookie cutter clouds

On 2014-07-10, in the afternoon, the GOES East satellite image in the visible showed a mass of cloud in central North America. However, in the middle, the Great Lakes stood out in a most extraordinary ...
11
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1answer
784 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 ...
10
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1answer
962 views

What are Tetens coefficients?

Tetens coefficients appear in a few meteorological/climatological models that I've been looking at,for example APSIM: svp_A = 6.106 svp_B = 17.27 svp_C = 237.3 ...
15
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2answers
6k views

July/August hottest months (northern hemisphere): because of continued warming or other effects?

In the northern hemisphere, July and August are the hottest months statistically1, but the days start shortening after June 21st. Is this just because the Northern Hemisphere keeps heating up after ...
10
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1answer
547 views

Why do rainbows appear to have a fixed structure?

Why do rainbows appear to have a fixed structure when a bunch of raindrops are 1. moving, and 2. granular?
8
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1answer
128 views

Why does the Northern polar vortex usually have two centers?

From http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Polar_vortex polar vortex A planetary-scale mid- to high-latitude circumpolar cyclonic circulation, extending from the middle troposphere to the ...
8
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2answers
189 views

What determines the differences in results between various weather models?

It's often said that the ECMWF model is more accurate than the GFS. But what are the reasons why? Also, how does the NAM compare with these two and other forecasting models?
12
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1answer
299 views

How can you explain this storm phenomenon?

It's been a while since this happened, so I don't have many details. About 3 years ago, we had a popup storm here in Louisville. It was completely unexpected and unpredicted. That's not the strange ...
12
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2answers
162 views

What is a source of worldwide temperature data that also includes extreme weather?

I often need to calculate heat balances for large biogas plants, an important factor is outside temperature. I normally use the weather data from Klimadiagramme.de where I can find the mean monthly ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Why do some places have rain frequently? [closed]

There are some places on Earth which holds the record of being "The wettest place on Earth". On what factors these places differ from other normal places? An example of wettest place on Earth is ...
6
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1answer
200 views

Am I observing orographic rainfall?

I don't know an awful lot about meteorology, so please bear with me. My wife (who has a Geography degree) told me that rain can be generated when moist air is pushed up the side of a mountain. This ...
4
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1answer
478 views

How are jet streaks formed?

"Jet Streak Dynamics I: The four-quadrant model" - explains their effects on frontogenesis. But how are they formed to begin with?
12
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1answer
446 views

How is the Rossby Radius used to determine that synoptic weather systems are 1000-2000km across?

In one of his presentations, Sandy MacDonald (of NOAA and ESRL) talks about the Rossby Radius of Deformation in connection with the size of synoptic weather systems: he describes how it sets the ...
20
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1answer
788 views

What data does a skilled meteorologist look at to predict thunderstorms?

An uneducated layman like me would just look at CAPE numbers and make rough guesses on possible thunderstorms. In a related but non-duplicate question, vertical wind shear is discussed. If we are ...
9
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1answer
66 views

Is there a reliable way to identify regions with negatively-correlated winds?

When examining the potential for large-scale electricity grids, and when identifying the lowest-cost ways to generate clean electricity, a recurring theme is of spreading wind generation across a wide-...
8
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1answer
431 views

How does the amount of mass in an atmosphere affect the seasonal changes and dynamics of the planet's climate?

I was thinking about this question, which may turn out to be simple, about climate dynamics: How does the amount of mass in an atmosphere affect the seasonal changes and dynamics of the planet's ...
10
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1answer
142 views

Is there a convenient place to get vertical wind shear info for my location?

Now that it's thunderstorm season here in New Hampshire, it would be nice to be able to find out what the vertical wind shear is like at the altitudes that affect thunderstorm formation, to guess ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Is the urban heat island effect stronger during a particular season or part of the year?

It is known that cities tend to be warmer than the surrounding landscapes, and this is known as the "urban heat island effect". In the summer there is greater heat output from air conditioning ...
5
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1answer
2k views

If there's acid rain, is there such thing as acid snow?

If so, would the acid snow just be as damaging?
9
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1answer
486 views

How can I downscale daily values of relative humidity?

I have a dataset (The ISIMIP interpolation of CMIP5 output) that contains daily values of the following variables: ...