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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15
votes
2answers
14k views

Why are deserts mostly located on the western side of continents?

I read somewhere in a book that mostly desert found in the western part of a continent. So my question is that why is it so? I searched on the internet but I didn't get a reasonable answer for that.
5
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0answers
81 views

Using salinity to predict rainfall

Recently, a new method has been proposed by Ray Schmitt (WHOI) and collaborators to use salinity patterns in the ocean to predict weather events (more specifically, rainfall) at scales from weeks to ...
6
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2answers
124 views

Is pollution a contributing factor to freezing rain?

I have been to different places with nearly the same freezing temperatures, around -2°C, but only at some specific places I repetitively experienced freezing rain. One common factor at these places ...
1
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0answers
145 views

Modification of an air mass

If an air mass that exists in North America starts moving south west or south east what kind of modification will affect it and how would you characterize it in it's final state? My answer is that it ...
19
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5answers
5k views

Is it true that a butterfly flapping its wings can result in a tornado in a distant location?

I have heard that extreme storm events can be caused simply by a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in a distant location. Is it true that such a small disturbance in the air in one location can ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Why is there no middle ground between tornadoes and hurricanes?

A tornado has an effective area of destruction about the size of a city block. A hurricane spans several hundred kilometers. However, there doesn't seem to be a continuum between the two. Why are ...
18
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6answers
15k views

Why doesn't the 71% water of the earth dry or evaporate?

Perhaps a simple question, we know 71% of the earth's surface contains water as oceans. If Earth's age is 4.543 billion years, then I guess it should be decreased with drying or should have been dried ...
24
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2answers
2k views

What is the steepest surface that can hold snow?

I know it depends on the type of snow (dry or wet) and the rougness of the surface. I'm looking for an approximate rule of thumb answer. Assuming a reasonably smooth surface, at what angle it's likely ...
9
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3answers
3k views

What causes clouds to appear blue?

In a thunderstorm cloud about sunset time, I saw these clouds, including some (in the upper right) that were a unique shade of blue. I don't think I've seen clouds quite that color before. I tried ...
2
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0answers
118 views

How to plot orography for vertical profile of a certain variable along pressure levels in GRADS

I am using GRADS (1, 2, 3) to plot ERA reanalysis relative humidity profile for latitudinal average of 15N to 37N, and along the longitude from 40E to 130E. The orography is quite obvious and thus ...
7
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1answer
3k views

Why does wind blow offshore in the morning?

I live in San Diego, CA, and surfers capitalize on dawn hours because the offshore (seaward) winds help "hold up" the waves, i.e. prevent them from crashing before the surfer gets to ride it a while. ...
3
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2answers
894 views

What was the density and composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Cretaceous warmest period?

There was time during the age of dinosaurs when the polar regions were ice free. The earth was obviously much warmer but a run-away greenhouse effect did not occur. This was most likely because the ...
6
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1answer
304 views

Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) - How to interpret the index?

How the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) index can be interpret? Let's suppose I have got an MJO index value of 0.6 in a given day, what this does mean? Does 0.6 represents a weak MJO? Data from ...
2
votes
1answer
766 views

How to calculate relative humidity from temperature, dew point, and pressure?

Is there a formula given the temperature, dew point, and pressure to find relative humidity? I have seen several calculators like this one, but I would like to know how to calculate this myself. I ...
4
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2answers
147 views

Did temperature for the US state of Illinois reach an all-time record low 1/31/2019?

The State Climatologist Office for Illinois says the all time low temperature of Illinois was -36 °F, with a report of -37 °F in 2009 being disqualified. This morning, the station Sinnissippi ...
12
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1answer
506 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 ...
10
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

How can temperature be calculated given relative humidity and dew point?

While looking into the better indicator of how miserable it feels outside, either dew point or relative humidity, I came across this statement: The optimum combination for human comfort is a ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Just how dry could Ben Nevis get? Is this surprising?

The BBC article Soggy Ben Nevis can be remarkably dry describes results of a crowdscience effort to transcribe historical meteorological records recorded manually by researchers living on top of "Ben ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can relative humidity be over 100% near (within 30-60m) the surface?

I am processing a big meteorological data set, which is a global forcings dataset derived by other datasets and observations, and calculating relative humidity from qair,temperature, and pressure ...
3
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0answers
67 views

Roughly what proportion of a cloud does 'rain out'?

What proportion of the water in a cloud will 'rain out'? Or, comparing the cloud before and after it has rained, what proportion of the water is left afterwards? I really have no idea so am just ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Temperature Advection using finite differences with gridded data

Advection of a scalar quantity, such as temperature (T), by the horizontal wind, is defined as follows: $-\textbf{U}\cdot\nabla T$ where $\textbf{U}$ is the horizontal wind vector, $\textbf{U}=(u,v)$...
-1
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2answers
335 views

What are the farthest Time Zone locations? [closed]

What place in the world has the farthest time zone? I heard it was Kiribati but then I found that Apia (Samoa) is further. So, is there anyplace that is the farthest in time than these two? What about ...
2
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2answers
56 views

Data for plotting tephigrams

I want to plot some tephigrams. Where can I find pressure, temperature and dewpoint data in text format?
2
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0answers
42 views

Any appreciable differences in microclimate on the shores of small mountain streams?

I have land in India (the tropics), in the hills, on a slope from 6800 feet - 5200 ft altitude (roughly). At that lowest point there's a stream of about 10-15m across. On one side is our land, on the ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

How do I interpret this “sky cover” chart?

The image below is a screenshot of forecasted sky cover in percentage for various parts of Arizona. Is the sky cover percentage the percentage of each pixel that has cloud, or is it the percentage of ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Why is convective precipitation associated with heavy rains?

Why is convective precipitation associated with heavy rains? As per wikipedia's page on Atmospheric Convection: "Moist convection leads to thunderstorm development, which is often responsible for ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What causes a rainbow, its colours and its shape?

What is the cause of rainbows? Do they appear due to rainfall or any other natural phenomenon. What makes it form a semi-circle in the atmosphere and its colours?
12
votes
2answers
319 views

How to tell if fog is made out of water droplets or ice crystals?

I understand that clouds can be made out of water droplets and/or ice crystals. And that fog is nothing else than low-lying clouds. However, I've experienced fog in a wide ranges of temperatures. I ...
23
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2answers
1k views

What is the cause of the jet streams?

Jet streams are fast-flowing currents of air in our earth's atmosphere. An enormous amount of energy is necessary to keep a jet stream going. Where does this come from and why?
6
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2answers
98 views

Does snow melt on ice?

I looked up nearly everywhere on the internet, but couldn't find any evidence that snow wouldn't melt because of ice. When I look it up, it instead tells me how salt can melt snow. I'm NOT looking up ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Would the enthalpy of fusion for melting ice fields be a causative factor for colder winter weather?

Would the enthalpy of fusion for melting ice fields be a causative factor for colder winter weather? As an example, NASA estimated the annual loss of the Greenland ice field 2002-2013 as more than ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Where can I find information about monthly seasonal change in a given area?

I have searched Google for almost an hour with no result. I'm looking for something like, "Indonesia, January to August is rain season, September to December is hot season". I can't use the old ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

How averaging works in GFS model from NOAA?

We have downloaded grib2 files for GFS model from NOAA and extracted irradiance (Downwards shortwave radiation flux) data. Following is a sample output for cordinates at [52.0,4.0]: ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do anticyclones bring clear skies in summertime?

It's obvious that in summer anticyclones bring hot weather. But why clear skies? Heat evaporates the moisture and should lead to the cloud formation, shouldn't it?
17
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3answers
1k views

How do I explain why the Tibetan plateau is colder than lowlands at similar latitudes?

A common layman explanation for why does it get colder to higher elevations (considering only the troposphere here) qualitatively boils down to The Sun heats the Earth's surface and the Earth's ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Topography and flash flooding

I'm looking for a study or document showing the effect of the topography, slopes, the sea level and the tide on flash flooding occurrence. Thanks in advance
9
votes
2answers
354 views

What are the sunniest places on Earth? (including oceans)

This question did arise when thinking on offshore solar power plants, what's their potential, and how efficient would they be compared with land based counterparts. Recently, it is becoming more ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Where is the calmest place on Earth?

I have done some research online, and I've found out that Antarctica has the calmest winds (lowest maximum wind speed) recorded on Earth. However, it is uninhabitable for human life. Other very calm ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Easterly Jet Stream

If most of jet streams are westerly, that is to say, they blow from west to east, why does the tropical/equatorial jet stream blow from east to west?
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Where can I find a list of snow fall recording stations in my zip code?

Where can I find the locations on snow fall recording stations in a particular United States county or zip code? Is there a way that I can find an hour by hour recent history of snow fall? Hour by ...
12
votes
1answer
426 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
824 views

What is the consensus among geologists about climate change being caused by humans?

I'm terribly frustrated with the way that climate change has been debated in Europe. I live in the Netherlands and members of one of the biggest parties here, the Party for Freedom (PVV), frequently ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Have there ever been simultaneous cyclones in the same ocean but different hemispheres?

I'm teaching a physics class, and I'm getting to the point where we are talking about the Coriolis effect. I usually show a couple of photos/videos showing a storm in the Northern Hemisphere and a ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

Rainbow dynamics?

How would steam refract light compared to fog and how would the rainbow appear? Does the temperature of the water drop or ice crystal effect the rainbow in any way? I know the size of the water drop ...
1
vote
1answer
355 views

If storms form above low pressure regions, why doesn't the eye of a hurricane, a low pressure region, have any storms?

If this is due to the Coriolis Effect, my other question would be how does the wind go upwards to form the storm clouds?
10
votes
1answer
318 views

Unstable North Polar Vortex?

What would cause a polar vortex to become unstable a split into 3 smaller ones? How rare is this and what long term effects could this cause if the vortex stays unstable? http://www.severe-weather.eu/...
1
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0answers
49 views

Figuring out the temperature at the tropopause

Either I am misunderstanding something, or reading conflicting information. Likely the former. First off, the tropopause is defined as the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. That ...
4
votes
1answer
257 views

Do solar storms affect Earth's weather?

Solar storms have a direct effect on Earth, creating charged particles. What are the direct and indirect effects of large solar storms on Earth's atmosphere? Do solar storms affect Earth's weather?