tornado

EF Scale Of Tornado Wind Damage

The Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale is used to estimate peak winds in a tornado.  After tornado damage is reported, the National Weather Service sends a survey team to inspect the damage.  Because wind speed inside a tornado is almost impossible to measure, the EF scale is based entirely on the type of damage observed. There…
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Caldera_Mt_Tambora_Sumbawa_Indonesia

Tambora

On this date in 201 years ago in 1815, the Tambora Volcano in Indonesia erupted.  This was the most powerful volcanic eruption of at least the past 1000 years. Tens of thousands of people were killed in a torrent of pyroclastic flows and tsunami waves. Given the population today, that number would have been in…
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tropics

Severe Storms Are Rare In Tropics And At The Poles

Small local storms with damaging wind, hail, or tornadoes (what we call severe storms) are relatively common around the world in the middle latitudes.  These same conditions are rare in the Polar Regions because the summertime air is usually just too cool.  Tornadoes have happened in northern locations such as Alaska, but they are generally…
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dry soil

Digital Harbingers

Round number temperatures make good milestones.  This year, these milestones have come early.  We enjoyed our first 50 degree day on February 27, almost three weeks ahead of the average first 50 on March 18.  Our first 60 degree day came on March 6, about four weeks ahead of the average on April 3.  The…
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rainfall

That Rain Smell

One of the most pleasant sensations of spring is the smell we all associate with rain.  Rain is essentially water, which is odorless. Yet rainfall does undoubtedly come with an odor; a pleasant, slightly musky scent. The smell which comes with the rain actually has a complicated variety of sources.  One of the most common…
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