Ask the Meteorologist: Hurricanes

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Is it possible for a really small hurricane to be happening and for nobody to know about it?” Marcus, Mae Richardson Love this question Marcus! In this day and age, it would be very unlikely that a hurricane would develop and it would remain unknown. There are many resources available to meteorologists … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Lightning

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why does rain not always bring lightning and thunder?” Ainsley, St. Mary’s School The answer to this question lies in the height of the clouds that produce the rain.  When showers move through, they fall from shorter, more shallow clouds.  That means the separation of charges that causes lightning in the first … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Cirrus Clouds

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “What is the maximum altitude of a cirrus cloud?” Will, Mr. Ward’s class, St. Mary’s School Cirrus clouds are those high thin wispy clouds, seen high up in the sky. They get their name from cirro, the root word that means hair curl. Because they are so high in the sky … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Forecasting

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “How long does it take you to gather the data for your weather forecast?” Cameron, Mae Richardson Elementary There is a short and long answer to this question.  The short answer is a couple of hours.  The long answer involves the steps we take and everything we utilize to put together our … Continue reading »

Ask the Met: Why Do We Have Seasons?

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why does the weather change every season?” 6th grades in Mrs. Schultz’s class at St. Mary’s School The main reason for the seasons is the tilt of the Earth’s axis! The Earth is tilted at 23 degrees as it orbits around the sun. This changes how high the sun is in … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Rain Chances

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “What does ANY percent chance of rain really mean?” Bud Fuller, Grants Pass In some weather forecasts, you have probably heard the phrase “There is a ____ percent chance of rain today.”  But what does that really mean?  Does it depend on coverage area? Does it depend on likelihood? Well, it’s a … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Afternoon Winds

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why are winds stronger in the afternoon?” Something that we commonly see is that winds will start out calm or light in the morning hours, and then as the day progresses, the winds will start getting stronger by the afternoon. Right before the sun goes down is when we typically see the … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Northern Lights

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “What causes the Northern Lights?” Walker, Mae Richardson Elementary The sun is the basic cause of the Aurora.  They occur at each of the Earth’s poles, and the one that we are talking about involves the North Pole, called the Aurora Borealis.  The South Pole aurora is known as the Aurora Australis. … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Cloud Shapes

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why are clouds flat on the bottom?” Lucy G., Mr. Ward’s 6th Grade Class St. Mary’s School It’s important to remember that not all clouds are flat on the bottom, but the type we are talking about, and most clouds for that matter, are flat on the bottom.  We are going to … Continue reading »

Ask the Met: Can Rain Evaporate?

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Can rain evaporate before it hits the ground?” William, Mr. Ward’ 6th Grade Class St. Mary’s School Rain can certainly evaporate before reaching the ground and this is something we see quite often around here! This is very common during the summer months and right now, as we head into fall. … Continue reading »

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