mars

Weather On Other Planets

The other planets in our Solar System which have atmospheres also have weather, although their weather is very different from ours.  Venus, the planet with the orbit nearest Earth’s, has an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide and so has a runaway greenhouse effect.  The sky is perpetually cloudy and the air temperature at the surface…
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miklyway

Light Pollution

Fargo Moorhead has become much brighter in the three decades I have lived here.  As the region has grown in population, the quantity of light in the night sky has increased greatly.  Not only are there more buildings with lights, there are also more lights in between buildings.  There are more streetlights and backyard lights,…
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cumulus-488842_960_720

Flat-Bottomed Clouds

A loyal WDAY television viewer asked me the other day why summertime clouds have flat bottoms and billowy tops.  Great question! Cumulus clouds form on updrafts; rising columns air made buoyant by humidity and heat from the ground warmed by sunlight.  Cumulus clouds usually become more prolific in the afternoon when the ground gets warm.…
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Furnace Creek Weather Station4

Hot As Death

It was 126 degrees at the Furnace Creek weather station in Death Valley, California, on Monday.  This is a new record high for Death Valley for the month of June. I had the meteorological pleasure of visiting Death Valley in July a few years ago.  At one point, the car thermometer registered 121 degrees which…
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antarctica

Antarctica In Winter

The story of the attempt to rescue a scientist from the Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole has generated many questions about the winter climate at the South Pole. The South Pole is much colder than the North Pole because the North Pole is a frozen ocean whereas Antarctica is a mountainous continent.  The South…
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