Do You Know How to Read a Weather Map?

Have you ever looked at a weather map and wondered what all the symbols mean? Most people understand what a cold or warm front looks like and have seen the large L or H for low and high pressure. Many haven’t seen a real surface weather map and might be confused if they did. When you’re

It’s Not Your Rubber Tires That Protect You From Lightning

Many people think that it is the rubber tires that protect them when their car is struck by lightning. In reality, their car is becoming a Faraday cage. What is that and how does it work? Michael Faraday was a British scientist born in 1791. Although not formally educated, he had a strong interest in

Why Do We Name Hurricanes and Who Chooses the Names?

Have you ever wondered why we name hurricanes? When did it start? Who comes up with the names? Time for your history lesson of the day! The naming of hurricanes began hundreds of years ago. Those in the West Indies would name them after the Saint’s day that coincided with when the hurricane hit land.

Do You Know How Hail Forms? Well, You’re Probably Wrong.

For many years it has been taught that hail forms by cycling in a thunderstorm, getting bigger and bigger until it was too heavy for the updraft. The rings in hailstones were thought to be caused by the multiple journeys up and down in the storm. However, this theory is wrong. Let me tell you

The Difference Between Downburst and Tornado Damage

Damage is one of the unfortunate outcomes of storms. In some cases, it is not always obvious whether or not a downburst or a tornado occured. In other cases, damage patterns make it quite clear as to what event caused the destruction. Air flow converges into a tornado, therefore debris points inward along the path. Debris patterns associated with a tornado

What is an Aquifer and How does it Work?

We often hear about aquifers and how wells are drawing water out of them. Are we draining them or do they refill? Aquifers come in different types and have various ways of distributing water. First things first, an aquifer is not an underground lake or river. There is not a huge chasm under your feet

Depleting Aquifers: Will They Refill?

We often hear about aquifers and how wells are drawing water out of them. Are we draining them or do they refill? Aquifers come in different types and have various ways of distributing water. First things first, an aquifer is not an underground lake or river. There is not a huge chasm under your feet

The Destructive Power of Lightning

A thunderstorm is brewing. Suddenly there is a flash and bang! Loud thunder rumbles all around you. I hope you were inside, because lightning is extremely dangerous. In the US, lightning strikes about 25 million times a year. At five times hotter than the sun, it can cause a great amount of damage. Around 50 people

What are Troughs and Ridges

If you watch the weather on the nightly news, you may hear about troughs and ridges. Have you ever wondered what they are and why they are important? Troughs and ridges look like what you might expect; a trough is roughly U shaped. To the east of the trough, air will usually rise, allowing for

The Cone of Silence

Have you ever heard of the Cone Of Silence? I’m referring to the one that is associated to radars. It can sometimes cause issues when a strong storm passes over the radar. No, I’m not talking about the Cone of Silence from the Get Smart spy series and movie. You know, where they had the