Doppler Radar vs. Traditional Radar

“What is Doppler Radar? How is it different from regular Radar?” Tyler Norman-Steed North Medford High School Radar stands for Radio Detection and Ranging and is used to locate precipitation and precipitation intensity. Radar sweeps in circles horizontally as well as up and down. The difference between Radar and Doppler Radar is that not only … Continue reading »

What Causes Thunderstorms?

What causes a thunderstorm? How does it form? Linda Clark Ashland High School Thunderstorms need three things to form: moisture, instability and lift. Instability forms from daytime heating of the earth’s surface heating the air around it causing it to rise because warm air is lighter than cool air, this is called the updraft. When … Continue reading »

What is Adiabatic Cooling?

“What is adiabatic cooling and how does it impact the weather in our region?” Gary Jones Medford There are two types of adiabatic cooling: dry and wet. Dry adiabatic cooling is when a rising air parcel is not saturated and it cools as it rises at 10C/1km or as it sinks it warms at the … Continue reading »

How Far Ahead Can You See the Weather?

“Up to how far ahead can you see what the weather will look like?” Kyle Page Eagle Ridge High School We look at weather models to forecast the weather days in advance and there are many different types of weather models. There are the American models, the European and even Canadian. Each model goes out … Continue reading »

Why Do Clouds Form Over Mountains?

“Why is there a cloud around the top of Mt. McLoughlin when there are no other clouds in the sky?” Rylan Morgan Logos Charter School Mountains cause what’s called Orographic Lifting, which means air is forced to rise due to the mountain. When air rises it cools at the adiabatic lapse rate and when a … Continue reading »

Why Does it Rain or Snow?

“Why does it rain or snow?” Alexis Waites Hillside Elementary School When clouds have enough moisture they can produce precipitation and because the upper levels of the atmosphere where clouds form are so cold, the precipitation falls as snow. If there is a warm layer below the initial cold layer, like in the Spring and … Continue reading »

What is an Anvil Cloud?

“What is an anvil cloud?” Kirsten Reed Hedrick Middle School An anvil cloud forms from a strong updraft with enough moisture to form a cloud that builds to the tropopause. The layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere is the stratosphere and has warmer air than the troposphere. So when a cloud builds and is … Continue reading »

How do Thunderstorms Form?

“How is thunder and lightning produced in cumulonimbus clouds?” Because I love thunderstorms and want to be a storm chaser someday!!” Natalie Crandall New Hope Christian School Thunderstorms need three things to form: moisture, instability and lift. Instability forms from daytime heating of the earth’s surface heating the air around it causing it to rise … Continue reading »

What Types of Clouds are There?

“What are the different types of clouds and what elevations are they at?” Cody Allsop St. John’s Elementary School There are ten major cloud types: High: Cirrus, Cirrostratus, and Cirrocumulus. Mid-level: Altostratus, Altocumulus, and Nimbostratus.  Low-level: Stratus, Stratocumulus, Cumulus, and Cumulonimbus. High level clouds in temperatures zones are above 20,000 feet and are made of … Continue reading »

How Long Will Air Quality Be Poor?

Aric Adams Mae Richardson “Since we’ve had ‘Unhealthy’ air quality, how long would it take to get back to normal?” With smoke in the region air quality all depends on where that smoke is. If winds switch direction and if we get decent rain, air quality can change quickly. It can take anywhere from weeks … Continue reading »

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