Ask the Meteorologist: Tornadoes

 ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Does it have to be a certain degree, super warm or super cold or in between, for a tornado to go a certain distance?” Sofie, Mae Richardson There is no correlation between contrasting air masses and the duration or direction of a tornado. In other words, the temperatures/clashing of air masses do not … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Units of Pressure

ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “What are the different units of pressure and why?” Nancy Wieber, Grants Pass There are a few different units of atmospheric pressure, but the most commonly used by meteorologists is millibars.  You may have also heard of inches of mercury, which is used for mercury barometers and is another fairly common unit of pressure.  … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Newscast Preps

  ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “How long does it take you to get all the reports, satellite data and other data to do your weather forecasts? Cameron, Rae Micharson Love this question! Prepping for our newscasts requires a lot of work and a lot of time. Us meteorologists have to come in hours before we go live … Continue reading »

Ask the Meteorologist: Cloud Color

 ASK THE METEOROLOGIST “Why are clouds white?” Mrs. Schultz’s Class, St. Mary’s School Why are clouds white? Well, it has to do with the kind of light that is reflected through the water droplets that make up the cloud. These droplets are large enough to scatter the light of all seven wavelengths, those being red, … Continue reading »

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 »

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