Articles on Meteorology

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Frozen fountain in New York City during a bomb cyclone event, Jan. 4, 2018. RW/MediaPunch/IPX

When does a winter storm become a bomb cyclone?

What raises a common winter storm to the level of 'bomb cyclone'? It's all about rapid, sharp changes in atmospheric pressure – and the scientists who coined the term meant to highlight their power.
Bundled up against the cold in downtown Chicago, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

How frigid polar vortex blasts are connected to global warming

Life-threatening cold temperatures in the central US are caused by changes in wind circulation in the Arctic that bring cold air south. Climate change could make these events more frequent.
Meteorologists use their own experience, which helps them to decide whether the computer’s prediction is likely to be right. AAP Image/Chris Pavlich

Curious Kids: how do people know what the weather will be?

Twice every day the Bureau of Meteorology sends out the official weather forecasts for towns and cities across Australia. Here's how we work out what to say in them.
An image from the International Space Station captures plumes of smoke from California wildfires on August 4, 2018. NASA

Wildfire smoke is becoming a nationwide health threat

Haze from Northern California wildfires has drifted as far east as Philadelphia. Wildfire smoke contains many potentially toxic substances, so anyone exposed to it should take basic precautions.
Icy hailstones can do major damage, depending where they land. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Destructive 2018 hail season a sign of things to come

The future climate that scientists predict for the middle of the United States is one that will foster more hail events with bigger hailstones.
Hurricane Florence, as seen over the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 9. NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center/Handout via REUTERS

How meteorologists predict the next big hurricane

How do experts know when and where the next big hurricane is going to hit? A look at the complicated science of forecasting.
One one thousand, two one thousand…. Eric Ward/Unsplash

How far away was that lightning?

When you see a bolt of lightning, do you immediately start counting to see how far off a storm is? An atmospheric scientist parses the practice.
The air doesn’t like to be under pressure just like us. The wind is the result of the air trying to escape from high pressure. Mami Kempe / The Conversation

Curious Kids: What causes windy weather?

Wind is just air moving from one place where there is high pressure to another place where there is low pressure.
Only clouds that are tall with big water drops can make rain, but they also stop most of the light, which makes them look grey. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: why does rain only come from grey clouds?

To answer this question from Fiona, age 6, we need to know some things about clouds and light.

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