Rainbows: The Secrets Behind These Optical Illusions

rainbow-blue-sky

I bet you didn't know that when you shine a flashlight creating a beam of white light, within that beam all the colors of the rainbow exist.That simple white beam of light is actually a combination of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red colored beams.If you take that beam of white light and send it through a glass prism, the different colors will show themselves vividly as they exit at a different angle.     Rainbows are created in a similar manner.  … [Read more...]

Like Meteorology? Become An Amateur Meteorologist

Some people are true weather bugs.Not only do they enjoy monitoring and studying weather, they actually want to be meteorologists.While being a bona fide atmospheric scientist usually requires getting a college degree and meteorological certification, there are plenty of people who bypass the formal education usually expected of today's professional meteorologists.Instead, they train themselves in meteorology to become skilled amateur meteorologists.Becoming An Amateur … [Read more...]

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humidity: What Dry Heat Is

If you've ever lived in or visited Arizona, New Mexico, or many other areas in the desert Southwestern United States, then you've probably come to understand a bit about what dry heat is. But what is a dry heat? Is dry heat really even dry?  We're going to break down what a dry heat is and help you understand what makes a dry heat feel dry.   … [Read more...]

Nacreous Clouds & Polar Stratospheric Clouds Are The Mother Of Pearl Clouds

Perhaps one of the most beautiful -- and among the rarest -- of clouds in the sky are nacreous clouds or polar stratospheric clouds.Also called Mother of Pearl clouds, they are clouds that form in very cold regions of the northern latitudes.Mother of Pearl clouds form approximately 10 to 15 miles above ground in the lower stratosphere.Because the stratosphere has to be very cold for Mother of Pearl clouds to form, the regions of the Earth over which these clouds form must also be … [Read more...]

How Hot Is Lightning Temperature? The Answer May Shock You!

So, how hot is lightning?Believe it or not, lightning temperature readings are nearly off the charts.At around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, lightning is actually hotter than the surface of the sun! Lighting Fun Fact:  Around the world, lightning strikes about 1,000 times a second. Still, even if lightning hit your car, you will be safe, as long as you are protected within a fully enclosed vehicle (not a convertible or golf cart).Check out this video to see a single lightning … [Read more...]

What Is Heat Lightning?

You've probably seen heat lightning -- those far off flickers of light miles away up in the clouds.But did you know that heat lightning is really just ordinary lightning that is too far away for you to hear thunder from?True!Lightning doesn't ordinarily travel well beyond 10 to 12 miles, but you can easily see lightning flashes up in the clouds from over 50 miles away. That's why you can't always hear thunder when you see heat lightning.So why do we call it heat lightning? The answer is … [Read more...]

How Air Pressure Affects Air Humidity

Air humidity refers to moisture in the air. Too much humidity makes it feel muggy and 'sticky' out. Too little humidity may mean dry skin and a 'crisp' feeling outdoors. Air pressure can affect humidity. But how does air pressure affect humidity?  Here's a look at the issue of air pressure and humidity in a nutshell: High pressure is a mass of descending (sinking air) and, usually, lower humidity. Sinking air and relatively lower humidity are major reasons why high pressure is … [Read more...]

How Strong Is Hurricane Wind?

Hurricane wind can do some serious -- even catastrophic -- damage.As we have seen all too often in the past, even when hurricanes don't quite hit land, but stay offshore, the winds of a hurricane can:Do a terrible number on our property Cause serious erosion of our beaches Ceate some bad weather conditions for a few daysMaximum sustained hurricane wind speeds must be at least 74 mph or greater. Anything less are not hurricane-force winds. … [Read more...]

Weather 101: What’s An Invest Storm?

Summer time means watching over the horizon for hurricanes.But when the weather forecasters on your local news talk about hurricane data or the possible formation of a hurricane, tropical storm, or tropical depression, they may use the term 'invest.'What does 'invest' mean?The National Weather Service defines an invest storm as an area of weather that has gained the interest of a hurricane or tropical storm system forecast organization (like the National Hurricane Center).It's the type … [Read more...]