treedamage

Not A Tornado

“It must have been a tornado” is a phrase often exclaimed as people first inspect severe storm wind damage.  Then, if the meteorological storm survey concludes that it was, in fact, not a tornado that caused this damage, there will still be people who will firmly believe that “it must have been a tornado.” The…
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lilac bow

Optical Illusions

Rainbows, halos, sun dogs, light pillars, and other so-called optical illusions are just that.  They are illusions.  They are not actually there.  You can never get to the end of the rainbow.  You cannot see light pillars from an airplane.  You cannot see a sun dog from the other side. All of these optical phenomena…
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Melissa undulatus

Artists And Meteorologists

Meteorologists are not artists.  We do not create our work.  But we do have something in common with the artists, particularly when we are looking at clouds. Artists and art lovers appreciate shapes, colors, and composition in a work of art.  Meteorologists look at clouds and appreciate the dynamics. We diagram in our minds the…
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20160517_usdm_home

Decumulation

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a few rounds of showers and thundershowers which have delivered scattered areas of pretty good rains.  But our region remains a little dry overall.  Even the areas that have gotten heavier rainfalls are not exactly overtly wet, in part because the warmer than average spring has…
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gauge

It May Rain May Rain

June is almost here.  June, on average, is the rainiest month of the year.  Over the past three complete decades, Fargo Moorhead average June rainfall is 3.90 inches; more than an inch more than the averages for May (2.81 inches) and July (2.79 inches).  August average rainfall tails off to 2.56 inches.  So the rainfall…
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