Ask the Meteorologist – Tornadoes

“Has there ever been a tornado in Josephine or Jackson County? What conditions would it take for that event to happen?” LeeAnn Wright RCC As far back as reporting goes there has never been a tornado in Josephine or Jackson county, but there have been tornadoes in Oregon. In fact there have been 403 tornadoes … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Snowflakes

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST What causes snow to be light or heavy and what causes snowflake size and shape? Keith Hull Rogue River High School There are two types of snow, wet snow and dry snow. Wet snow tends to be heavy and normally will bring larger snowflakes to the surface. Dry snow on the … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist – Dry Winter

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST- LONG RANGE FORECAST “Do you anticipate a lot more snowfall during the rest of the ski season? I heard we were experiencing a week to moderate El Nino, will that make a big difference?” Justin Brumble SOU Eagle Point When we do a seasonal forecast we no longer look at weather models … Continue reading »

Ask the Met: Forecasting Rain & Snow

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST How do you know if it is going to rain or snow? Emily Robinson, Ashland Middle School When forecasting different precipitation types, meteorologists look at the vertical temperature profile of our atmosphere. Basically what that means is, how warm and how cold is the temperature through our atmosphere? This determines what … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist – Climate Change

 ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “How is global warming affecting the Earth?” Ryan Lewis Patrick Elementary Gold Hill Looking back at the changes between the 1930-1980 (50 years) period and 1981-2010 (29 years) period at the Medford Airport, which is where we get the official National Weather Service data from for Medford, you find quite a difference … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Flash Flooding

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST How can one inch of rain cause flooding? Meredith Langley, Medford The simple answer to this question is just rain falling at a fast rate. Typically, we see this with thunderstorms and saw it locally over this past summer. About 3″-4″ of water had gathered in downtown Central Point at an intersection … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Chances for Rain

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST Explain what it means when there is a 20% or a 50% chance of precipitation. Mary Ann McCoy, Grants Pass When meteorologists are calling for a chance of rain, snow or whatever precipitation you’d like to choose …the percentage is referred to as the “probability of precipitation” or POP. In simple … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist – Isobar/Isotherm

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “What is the difference between ‘isobar’ and ‘isotherm’ and how do they interact?” Ken Trout Talent Isobars are lines of equal pressure while isotherms are lines of equal temperature. They are used in order to more easily see weather patterns than looking at the raw data. Isobars indicate low and high pressure … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Coastal Climates

Ask the Meteorologist Why are the high and low temperatures around Brookings always about the same? Matthew Grigsby, RCC The main influence on coastal climates is the body of water that borders them. For the Oregon Coast, this is the Pacific Ocean. Although West Side Valleys are fairly close to the ocean, in terms of … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist – Precipitation

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why does the precipitation change?” Toralie White Washington Elementary All precipitation falls as snow from the high very cold elevations where the clouds form and the precipitation we see at the surface all has to do with the atmospheric temperatures below those clouds. If the air is below freezing down to the … Continue reading »

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