How Does An Inversion Trap Smoke?

“How does an inverions trap low clouds, fog, pollutants…and now smoke?” Mike Ottenweller Medford An inversion is a reversal in normal conditions with warm air below cooler air rather than the typical cool air below warm air. This acts like a ceiling blocking pollutants, fog and smoke from rising out of the area. This means … Continue reading »

Why Doesn’t Oregon Get Hurricanes?

“Why doesn’t the Oregon coast get hurricanes like the east coast?” Alexis Waites Hillside Elementary School A hurricane needs three things to form: sea surface temperatures of 79 degrees or warmer, low vertical wind shear (change in winds speed/direction with height) and high humidity. Global circulation and sea surface temperatures are the reason that Oregon … Continue reading »

When Does It Start To Get Hot?

“I would like to know at what month does it start to get really hot?” Elizabeth Vara SOU Looking at historical climate data from cities in our region the average temperatures for the hottest months break down like this: Medford: July with average highs at 90.2 degrees Grants Pass: August with average highs at 89.0 … Continue reading »

How Do Thunderstorms Form?

“What makes a thunderstorm?” Dorion Corson Griffin Creek 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 there’s enough moisture that rising … Continue reading »

How Long to Flood a Community?

  “How many day sof rain would it take to cause a community to flood?” Rocky Anderson SOU Flooding can occur any time of the year and can take hours to days to flood a community. In November of 2012 an RV community in Brookings flood due to the Chetco River overflowing after receiving ten … Continue reading »

What is the Chetco Effect?

“How does the ‘Chetco Effect’ work?” Danielle Fachet SOU The Chetco Effect is a term to define the phenomenon in which dry adiabatic heating increases the temperature of an air mass as it descends the slopes where the Chetco River creates a valley. The air gets funneled down towards Brookings and is able to heat … Continue reading »

Why Are Hurricanes Named?

“Why do they name hurricanes? Is it just for news or for science purposes?” Andrew Daugherty Yreka High School Hurricanes are named by the National Hurricane Center which is part of NOAA. Names are used to make it much easier for meteorologists, researchers, emergency response workers, ship captains and citizens to communicate about specific storms … Continue reading »

High & Low Pressure Circulation

“Why do low pressure and high pressure rotate in opposite directions?” Dave Wilson Central Point Because the sun heats the earth’s surface unevenly it causes air to expand and contract at different places across the globe. As a result, air pressure is different at all points on the earth. It’s these pressure differences that cause … Continue reading »

» Newer posts