Category Archives: Weather


Over the last 10 years, more than 5,000 people have died in the U.S. because of tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, lightning strikes and extremes of heat or cold. During the same period, hazardous weather events caused over $150 billion in property damage.

Severe weather can be a dangerous and costly enemy. The more […]

Weather – Winter Precipitation

A snowflake begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This creates an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the crystal, building new crystals – the six arms of a snowflake.

There are other types […]

Weather | January 2018

Are you interested in actually participating in the science? Well, citizen science may just be for you! Citizen science is a form of open collaboration in which anyone can take part in the scientific process to address real-world problems. You can help by taking real-time weather observations, alerting officials about severe or winter weather occurring […]

What Causes Wildfires

Wildfires are fires that happen in wooded areas and can start from lightning or from people who do not carefully handle flames. Winds, dry plants and leaves on the ground can spread a fire very quickly.

One type of wind phenomenon that spreads wildfires easily is called the Santa Ana winds. These strong, hot […]

Weather | What Makes A Hurricane

Hurricanes are one of the most destructive weather hazards around. Most people know that hurricanes are dangerous, but do you know how they are made?

It’s hard to believe, but big and powerful hurricanes start off as just a few thunderstorms in the middle of the ocean! Hurricanes only need a few ingredients […]

Weather October 2017

To get to a place on land, you use a road or highway. But did you know that there are highways for the sea, too?

One of them is the Alaska Marine Highway System, which ships use to transport people and vehicles to coastal communities on a year-round basis. It covers about 3,500 miles from […]

Weather September 2017

Fall can be an exciting season, as we go back to school and anticipate fun fall events such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. But fall also brings dangerous weather hazards, and it’s important to be aware of that. Let’s look at some of the fall weather hazards.

Drought is a normal feature of our climate. Caused […]

Weather – July 2017

Have Fun at the Beach, but Stay Safe!

The summer months are the perfect time for a beach trip. However, it’s important to know the facts about beach safety when planning your next trip — the ocean can be dangerous if you’re not prepared.

Many beaches use warning flags to indicate dangerous conditions. When going […]

What Makes Lightning?

We’ve all experienced thunderstorms and lightning. When lightning ashes and strikes the ground, it can be both an amazing and scary experience. But have you wondered how lightning forms?

Scientists have wondered this as well. The primary theories involve something called “charge separation” (we’ll get to that shortly), which leads to the generation of an […]

Weather – April 2017


Do you know what a derecho is? Derechos are widespread, long-lived windstorms with
a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. The phenomenon was discovered and named by Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs, a German immigrant living in Iowa. Derecho (pronounced like “deh- REY-cho” in English) is a Spanish word which means “direct,” or “straight […]