26 votes
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With all the rain Seattle gets, why is widespread flooding relatively rare?

Regarding climate, it does not rain in Seattle as much as people think; Seattle is in the snow shadow of the Olympic Mountains. It doesn't rain much in summer at all. Seattle gets rather dry in July ...
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19 votes

With all the rain Seattle gets, why is widespread flooding relatively rare?

Catastrophic flash flooding is usually a sign of poor city/road planning in flat areas or due to torrential downfall of rain. The reality is that all the terrain in Washington allows water to drain, ...
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19 votes
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Do tornadoes have eyes?

Yes, if one takes the common meaning of the term "eye of the storm" to be the area of relatively low wind speed near the center of the vortex, most tornadoes can be said to have eyes. Cyclostrophic ...
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  • 4,925
10 votes
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Snow from Fire: Could graupel, or even snow, fall from pyrocumulus clouds?

It is likely snowing somewhere in these clouds and graupel exist transiently on their way to becoming hail, but its not likely that you will see either at the surface. You can make a first order ...
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9 votes

Two severe cyclones connected by a monsoonal trough

Let us state the obvious reasons first: Warm SSTs along the Timor Sea as well along the Queensland coast favour the formation of Tropical Cyclones - The following two URLs show the SSTs along the ...
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7 votes
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What is the synoptic/atmospheric setup that is causing the U.S. severe weather outbreak in May 2019?

Summarizing the comments I made above in this question and in this one - Does this weather pattern have a name ? I believe significant parts of the US are experiencing a Stationary Front for the ...
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7 votes
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The spiraling cyclone track - Cyclone Nathan

Hurricanes backtracking and looping seem to be quite common in the Atlantic (Nadine, Jeanne, Alberto, Dennis), and West Pacific (Ernie, Nari, Fung Wong, Parma, Roke) but not so much in the East ...
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6 votes

With all the rain Seattle gets, why is widespread flooding relatively rare?

We do get flooding in the Puget Sound lowlands, but it actually happens most often when a mid-winter warm front brings a moderate amount of rain to higher elevations, causing sudden, extensive ...
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6 votes
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Are Southern Hemisphere 'Polar Blasts' caused by global warming?

Looking at the southern hemisphere polar jet, there is a large trough (meander) in the jet stream bringing cold air a long way north from the Antarctic to south eastern Australia at present. The ...
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5 votes
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How are lightning and thunderstorm intensity linked?

Is the ratio of IC to CG lightning relevant? Yes. Primarily, severe storms tend to have very few cloud-to-ground (CG) strikes. Thus, the ratio of IC:CG is likely going to be very high.1 2 However, ...
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5 votes
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Why do hurricanes hitting the US East Coast seem to go north once hitting land?

It is mostly due to the Coriolis effect (aka Coriolis Force). (Another reference here) Because of the Coriolis Effect, parcels of air (think of boxes of air) in the northern hemisphere are deflected ...
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4 votes
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Does the Columbia Basin, North Cascades and Idaho Panhandle/Clearwater get a lot of violent, rotating supercellular thunderstorms?

Note: These inputs are of a meteorologist who has quite actively tracked severe weather around the US for a couple decades... but also hadn't spent as much time in or attention on the west and ...
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4 votes
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Website that contains the maps of atmospheric pressure and wind speeds

Check out this beta data portal from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies / University of Wisconsin-Madison CIMSS Tropical Cyclones Data Archive http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/...
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4 votes

Are Southern Hemisphere 'Polar Blasts' caused by global warming?

In general, climate is the statistics of weather over a long period of time. In general, an individual weather event cannot be attributed to global change / global warming. An increase in the ...
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4 votes

With all the rain Seattle gets, why is widespread flooding relatively rare?

Because soil drainage would be higher and the ground would take long to saturate Floods don't always happen in Rainy weather all the time because first the soil needs to be saturated (the point where ...
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4 votes
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Why do 30% of all typhoons in the western north pacific (WNP) affect Taiwan?

Cyclone tracks are influenced by the environmental wind. These can include subtropical ridges, mid latitude upper level troughs , other tropical cyclones (Fujiwara effect) and other transient highs ...
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  • 6,208
3 votes
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What makes a typhoon suddenly turn by 90 degrees? (e.g. 2021 In-fa/Fabian)

My first observation upon looking at the picture was that Typhoon In-fa (the southernmost one in the picture) nearly stalled prior to making the right angled turns in its path. There is a clustering ...
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3 votes

With all the rain Seattle gets, why is widespread flooding relatively rare?

To add some concrete data to some of the great answers already here: Seattle is actually not particularly rainy, especially compared to other parts of WA, but also compared to other cities in the US. ...
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3 votes

Tornados from landspouts or gustnados

Although there is a superficial resemblance between tornados and dust devils, they are very different. There is no connection between the two. I have seen lots of dust devils in reality, but tornados ...
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3 votes
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What influences the movement (speed and direction) of tropical cyclones?

Cyclones generally drift in a westerly/north westerly direction due to the Beta Drift and Beta Effect For atlantic hurricanes the forward speeds are summarized here by latitudinal range -Average ...
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2 votes

Appearance of Tornado

The characteristic funnel of a tornado is caused by condensed water. A tornado is a swirling mass of air with very high vertical vorticity and a corresponding drop in pressure. Large tornados can ...
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2 votes
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Why do tropical cyclones get more attention than extratropical cyclones?

Extratropical cyclones are relatively well understood. They often follow the Norwegian Cyclone model, which was developed in the 1910's and 1920's. Because of their spatial extent, extratropical ...
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1 vote
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How can I learn to make mesoscale/synoptic analyses of major weather events?

You're definitely on the right path with wanting to dig into raw data yourself. RAP has always been a pretty solid source of useful basic data. But in terms of making sense of the data, it indeed ...
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1 vote

Average Snowfall for Snowy Places?

Here are some cities and locations Average Annual Snowfall for the Following Cities and Locations (in inches) Asheville, North Carolina: 9.9” Waynesville, North Carolina: 14.1” Milwaukee, ...
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1 vote

Tornados from landspouts or gustnados

I think what you are asking is there a way to do a research project that would look for a correlation between number of dust devils and tornadoes. Dust devils, being very local phenomena, are not ...
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1 vote

Could a firestorm create a hurricane-like cyclone?

I don't think so. A large fire could generate a circulation with strong low-level convergence and upper level divergence that would cause subsidence as the air radiatively cooled. If the fire were ...
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1 vote
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Why is it so important to gather data from inside tornadoes?

Generally speaking, the types of data gathered outside a tornado can also be measured inside the tornado. Currently, forecasters try to estimate an area where tornadoes usually are. The forecasting ...
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1 vote

Appearance of Tornado

The shape of a tornado is due to the movement of air and not dust. The shape of a tornado is called a vortex. A vortex can occur in any fluid (air or liquid) where the fluid rotates about an axis line....
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