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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13
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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 ...
13
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1answer
155 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

How accurate are climate proxies in giving us a clear picture of global average temperatures throughout Earth history?

Since reliable modern records of climate only began in the 1880s, proxies provide a means for scientists to determine climatic patterns before record-keeping began, though it appears that the the ...
13
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2answers
176 views

Are clouds significantly easier to simulate in weather models than climate models?

Cloud forcing is still one of the major uncertainties of radiative forcing in climate modeling because there are so many uncertainties in it (and parametrizations). But also because the timescale of ...
13
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1answer
876 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 ...
13
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1answer
2k views

St. Elmo's Fire not dangerous?

I know that St. Elmo's Fire is a form of plasma that occurs during thunderstorms that is similar to lightning because it is formed by a difference in charges. But why isn't it dangerous if St. Elmo's ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Are there water molecules in the oceans which will almost never fall down as rain?

Some oceans are very deep. But is there also current (convection) deep in the ocean so that all water molecules will ones be evaporated and fall down as rain or is it very quite at the bottom so some ...
12
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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 ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Why is WRF most often configured at 3:1 nesting ratio?

In WRF application, nested domain has always been used for weather/air quality modeling for the place of interest in a better resolution. The figure below illustrates this: I have noticed that the ...
12
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1answer
5k views

Plotting wind barbs in python

I'm trying to plot wind barbs in basemap and I have two separate netCDF files. Here is what I am trying to produce, or something like it: How do I read a uwnd variable in a netCDF file in python? <...
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2answers
4k views

Is spectrum of sunlight the same in the summer as in the winter?

Of course we receive less sunlight in winter, because the sun is lower in the sky, so the light has to travel through more atmosphere, and loses strength. Does this mean that the blue light is more ...
12
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2answers
154 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 ...
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2answers
7k views

What determines how fast clouds move?

Do cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere move faster than cumulus and stratus clouds in the lower atmosphere? What about clouds associated with extratropical systems, compared with clouds in the ...
12
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1answer
332 views

Do clouds float on anything?

Clouds of the same type have such a consistent altitude, it appears as if they're floating on an invisible layer. Is this true? Put another way, is there a significant change in air composition at ...
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2answers
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Can an Atlantic hurricane enter Mediterranean sea?

I can't find any examples, has it just never happened before or is it impossible because of environmental factors?
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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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2answers
461 views

Bifurcation Scenarios in the Atmosphere

I read that the mathematical definition of bifurcation is that, at a critical value of a parameter that governs the dynamical system, the system changes to a topologically different system than the ...
12
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1answer
183 views

Why does every tsunami travel differently?

Tsunamis are quite interesting, as they only happen after a large displacement of water. Usually, the waves travel quite weirdly. Sometimes there are waves which bounce off of land and go back to sea....
12
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1answer
505 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
2k views

Is there any correlation between La Niña/El Niño and seismic activity?

I've read in the past that extreme precipitation levels may have an effect on seismic activity, and wondered if anyone has ever analysed the La Niña / El Niño cycles to see if there are any ...
12
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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 ...
12
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1answer
420 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 ...
12
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2answers
315 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 ...
12
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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,...
12
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1answer
67 views

Why is the diurnal temperature range on the Cascade volcanoes so small?

Ski-mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest I am frustrated that the snow pack isn't refreezing at night. There is about a 20F difference between the day and night temperatures in Seattle. Looking at ...
11
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3answers
229 views

Is it right practice to validate temperature data with reanalysis data?

For a project I am working on I received raw data from many meteorology stationes. Is it right practice to test this data against air temperature from noaa's ncep/ncar data?
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3answers
323 views

Wind profile below the aerodynamic roughness length

The vertical profile of horizontal windspeed is often given by the so-called "log-law": $$u(z)=(u^*/k)\ln(z/z_0),\ \mathrm{for}\ z>z_0,$$ which can be found here. As can be seen from the ...
11
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3answers
293 views

Does finer input data lead to a better model accuracy?

Climate and chemical transport models all need input files including meteorology data, emission inventory, surface data (e.g. land use type) to initialize the simulation field. Take the case of WRF ...
11
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2answers
5k views

How can I plot a Skew-T log-P diagram?

For displaying atmospheric soundings the use of Skew-T Log-P diagrams is very common. The manual THE USE OF SKEW T, LOG P DIAGRAM IN ANALYSIS AND FORECASTING from the Air Weather Service explains what ...
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2answers
160 views

Water on Mars and Earth

If water on Earth came from meteorites, why doesn't Mars have substantial water? What made it more highly probable on Earth than on Mars?
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2answers
176 views

What ice phenomenon are we seeing in this video?

I don't know what this YouTube video shows, but it appears to be half glacier and half "the blob." It almost appears to be "growing" although I assume it's being pushed somehow. Can someone tell me ...
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2answers
315 views

How do meteorologists grade their past forecasts?

In every professional field, practitioners may come home at the end of the day and say "Yeah! I knocked it out of the park!", or alternatively "Oh, man. Gotta do better tomorrow." What about ...
11
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1answer
267 views

Are sandstorms like regular storms?

What's the difference between sandstorms and regular storms? Are they more than just strong wind within deserts?
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1answer
525 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 ...
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1answer
200 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.
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2answers
346 views

Propagation of sound after lightning

In an area of frequent thunderstorms, I notice a 'crack or whoosh' sound if a strike is nearby but little or no thunder. Yet I can hear for 30 seconds or so after a distant flash when the thunder ...
11
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1answer
238 views

How are low pressure zones tracked across the ocean?

When you look at a surface pressure chart e.g.: (from http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/surface-pressure/#?tab=surfacePressureColour&fcTime=1437480000) you can see low pressure zones ...
11
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1answer
418 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 ...
11
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1answer
279 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 ...
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1answer
3k views

Winds in a northern hemisphere hurricane

In the Northern Hemisphere, do surface winds around the center of a hurricane move counterclockwise and inward or counterclockwise and outward? I'm guessing they move inward.
11
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1answer
629 views

What is the motivation of using the Enhanced Fujita Scale in place of the Fujita Scale?

In 2007, the US started using an Enhanced Fujita Scale in place of the Fujita Scale. From a "civilian's" perspective, the Fujita Scale seemed to measure wind whereas the Enhanced Fujita Scale measures ...
11
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1answer
805 views

Why does the meandering pattern of the jet stream itself propagate?

It is well known that the jet stream follows an overall meandering pattern, but what is less well known is that this meandering pattern itself moves as a wave with a velocity much slower than the ...
11
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2answers
597 views

How do we measure (or empirically calculate) the amount of entropy in the atmosphere and oceans?

Here's a paper on the entropy budget1, where moist entropy is defined in equation (8) as $$ s = (1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln T - R_d \ln p_d) + q_t C_l \ln T + \frac{q_v L_v}{T} - q_v R_v \ln \mathcal{H} $$ ...
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3answers
511 views

Is increase in atmospheric $\mathrm{CO}_2$ concentration affecting Earth's atmospheric pressure?

It's well known that the $\mathrm{CO}_2$ levels around the world are increasing, leading to an increase in overall surface temperature, etc. But I'm wondering, are these gases (or the effects from ...
11
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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 ...
11
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1answer
763 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 ...
11
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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?