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
13
votes
1answer
600 views

Why (actually) is the night sky so bright in the city? How far up is that happening?

The recent news reported by the New York Times, the BBC and the NPR web sites (for example) as well as in the Iceland Review and Iceland Magazine sites, about the shutting-off of Reykjavik's ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the formula used for atmospheric visibility?

I am working on NCEP GFS data to plot various maps. One such plot I would like to have is visibility. I have seen some of the sites showing visibility charts and the source of the data was shown as ...
13
votes
1answer
821 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
votes
1answer
467 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
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
13
votes
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
votes
2answers
192 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
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
989 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
votes
1answer
4k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
951 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
votes
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
votes
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? <...
12
votes
1answer
220 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.
12
votes
2answers
5k 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
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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
votes
1answer
300 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
votes
1answer
375 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

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?
12
votes
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,...
12
votes
2answers
500 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
votes
1answer
186 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
votes
1answer
519 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
652 views

How much does COVID-19 affect weather forecasts?

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quantity and quality of weather observations and forecasts, as well as atmospheric and climate ...
12
votes
1answer
447 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
votes
1answer
448 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
votes
1answer
188 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
votes
1answer
80 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
votes
3answers
244 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?
11
votes
3answers
350 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
votes
3answers
322 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
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
170 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?
11
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
325 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
votes
1answer
297 views

Are sandstorms like regular storms?

What's the difference between sandstorms and regular storms? Are they more than just strong wind within deserts?
11
votes
1answer
595 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
28k views

Why does it rain more at night than during the day?

I'm living near a sea, and it rains mostly and heavily at night from 11 PM to 3 AM. The weather is mostly clear during daytime. Air is generally cooler at night, and cool air holds less moisture ...
11
votes
2answers
388 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
votes
1answer
294 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
votes
1answer
466 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
663 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
votes
1answer
937 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 ...

1 2
3
4 5
17