Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin

Monday, November 30, 2020

Radiosondes & Rawinsondes

       Radiosondes are small, expendable instrument packages that are suspended below a large balloon inflated with hydrogen or helium gas known as the weather balloon. They transmit air pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and GPS position data each second they are used. They are also connected to a battery-powered, 300 milliwatt radio transmitter so they transfer their data much faster.

    Rawinsondes are observations where winds aloft and are obtained by radiosondes. They can be radiosondes or can be a result of radiosonde data but they work the same as radiosondes but are tracked by a radar or radio direction finder. It can project methods of upper-air observation consisting of an evaluation of wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity.

When the balloon reaches its maximum height, it explodes leading the device to fall a large height from the atmosphere. However, there is an orange parachute to prevent this device from breaking due to it having a possibility to harming the environment and to possibly use these devices again in the future. Most radiosondes however land in the oceans due to most of the stations being on the coasts.

Without radiosondes, we wouldn't be able to calculate weather data to create maps, graphs, and future conditions. Without these devices, we wouldn't even know if it would rain or if there could be snow. This has a very important purpose in today's technology.

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Doppler Radar

 The Doppler radar is a modern weather radar that is used to see more than just clouds. It was named after J. Christian Doppler, who first proposed the idea of the "Doppler effect" when he noticed that a train horn was louder when stationary next to him compared to when it was moving away. The radar sends low frequency radio waves (pulses) into stormy areas to determine the velocity, distance, and direction of the wind or precipitation. It can also measure if the storm is moving away or towards the radar. A picture of it is shown below, containing a large satellite dish covered by a sphere to protect it from the elements.

    This forecasting process begins with a low frequency radio wave, or pulse, that is shot into a storm at a certain elevation. Once the pulse hits a raindrop, piece of hail, or a gust of wind the pulse breaks apart and many different waves shoot out in different directions. Using the Doppler effect, one wave will reach back to the satellite dish with a different frequency than what it started with. The back and forth interaction will usually last about 0.00000157 seconds. The forecasters can then measure the intensity of the storm by using the new frequency of the returning waves. If the pulse return with a high frequency, they can assume that the storm is intense, while a low frequency indicates a less powerful storm. The pulse also helps to find the horizontal distance of the storm, which is helpful in forecasting the storm on a map. The Doppler radar is important because it not only finds the distance of a storm, but it also finds the intensity. This can help predict future weather events and how detrimental they will be to certain areas. This can help communities properly prepare for any upcoming storms; whether it is closing windows of the house or evacuating.

    An example of the Doppler radar is the WSR-88D. Currently, it is the most powerful radar worldwide, possessing the strength of 750,000 watts. For perspective, this wave transmitter is 10,000 times more powerful than a lightbulb (75 watts). As most Doppler radars can only see one storm at a time, this model can see past more than one storm, giving information on further weather. The National Weather Service (NWS) owns one of these machines that sees 14 elevations every 5 minutes, giving one pulse every 20 seconds. This intelligent radar gives quick and accurate depictions on the weather, and what is to come.    

  1. the Doppler effect: an increase (or decrease) in the frequency of sound, light, or other waves as the source and observer move toward (or away from) each other. The effect causes the sudden change in pitch noticeable in a passing siren, as well as the redshift seen by astronomers. (Definition from Oxford Languages)

Thursday, November 12, 2020


Alvaro P. Paulin


Mrs. Tuorto


                                                                Guy Stewart Callendar

Guy Stewart Callendar was born on February 9, 1898 in the city of Montreal, Canada. He was born to the father Hugh Longbourne Callendar and the mother Victoria Mary Stewart.His father was an accomplished physicist who was the first to design and build an accurate platinum resistance thermometer suitable for use.  He received his primary education at Durston House, secondary education at St. Paul’s School and attended City and Guilds Engineering College (part of Imperial College), where his father was chair of the physics department. As a child, he lost his eye, which caused him to avoid going off to fight on the front lines in WWI he then went off to work with his father in a lab for the air ministry testing various apparatus and building aircraft engines. His home life provided a rich creative and technical environment where he was introduced to the scientific elite of England and was able to pursue his interests in science and engineering. In 1938 Callendar made a breakthrough discovery; he was able to detect that global temperatures were rising, and he was able to connect it to CO2 emissions. At the time this went widely unnoticed because "Scientists at the time also couldn't really believe that humans could impact such a large system as the climate - a problem that climate science still encounters from some people today, despite the compelling evidence to the contrary." Says Dr Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading. Here is a chart he used to show the correlation between the rise in CO2 gas and the rise in temperatures.

Works Cited

“." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . 16 Oct. 2020 .”,, 9 Nov. 2020,

Applegate, Zoe. “Guy Stewart Callendar: Global Warming Discovery Marked.” BBC News, BBC, 26 Apr. 2013,

follow Guy Stewart Callendar on twitter!

                                                          Guy Stewart Calendar

Friday, November 6, 2020

Science Symposium: Hurricane Sandy

Isaiah Ramos                                                                                            11/6/2020

Meteorology                                                                                                Block 2

                                                      Hurricane Sandy

    Hurricane Sandy was by far the biggest hurricane of 2012, and one of the most destructive of the decade. It began as a tropical storm in the Caribbean on October 22. It then gradually developed into a Category 1 hurricane, hitting Jamaica with winds up to 80 mph. Sandy would then make landfall at Cuba with winds of 100 mph and developing into a Category 2 on October 25. For the next three days, Sandy would be heading northeast as a tropical storm, until reaching east of Virginia on October 29 and becoming Category 1. However, once it makes landfall at Atlantic City, New Jersey, it had already become an extratropical storm. What made it devastating was that it collided with a winter storm already in the area, becoming a large wintertime cyclone.

    I recall having to stay home because of Hurricane Sandy, and luckily my family was not heavily affected by it, we only lost power. However, families and their houses along the coast were likely destroyed or severely damaged based on how high the waves of this hurricane were. The hurricane finally died out on October 31, 2012, over Pennsylvania leaving large amounts of snow there. In New York City about 300 homes were destroyed and 44 lives were lost. The cost of all the damages and the general cost was 19 billion dollars. New York City looked for all of the emergency relief funding they could, but only received a total of 4.2 billion dollars. Overall, Hurricane Sandy had an everlasting impact by helping people realize how much climate change can affect the strength of the hurricane. Every year the numbers are constantly rising with the number of people afraid of global warming, but yet no major actions have yet to be taken. If no action is taken soon, there will be storms much worse than Sandy headed our way, I can guarantee it.

Superstorm Sandy | Path & Facts | Britannica

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Gabriel Fahrenheit

 Zakei Shah

Mrs. Turoto


Block II

                            Who Was Gabriel Fahrenheit?   

       Gabriel Fahrenheit was born in Gdańsk Poland and lost both his parents on the same day due to them consuming a poisonous mushroom. He turned to physics and became an instrument maker and glassblower. He traveled widely and spent a considerable amount of time in England where he became a member of the royal society. He created the mercury thermometer in 1714 and the alcohol thermometer in 1709. He developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale and the freezing and boiling point of water with atmospheric pressure. Fahrenheit is a temperature scale that bases the boiling point of water at 212 and the freezing point at 32. The scale is used primarily in the United States and some Caribbean countries. He created the temperature scale based on three fixed temperature points - that of freezing water, human body temperature, and the coldest point that he could repeatably cool a solution of water, ice, and kind of salt, ammonium chloride.

    Gabriel’s alcohol thermometer was the world’s first reliable thermometer. Unlike a mercury thermometer, the contents of an alcohol thermometer are less toxic and will evaporate quickly. The mercury thermometer was invented in 1714 with a standardized scale. The mercury thermometer was adapted so it could be taken out of the body to read the temperature. He made investigations based on the works of Guillaume Amontons, in which he determined the boiling point of water and other liquids and studied the expansion properties of mercury. The experiments led to the discovery that the boiling point of water varied with changes in atmospheric pressure. Gabriel was secretive and hid his methods of creating thermometers. He died in Holland on September 16, 1736.

Daniel Fahrenheit | Daniel Fahrenheit Facts | DK Find OutAlcohol Thermometer Vector Illustration. Temperature Measurement.. Royalty  Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 87817339.Thermometer Medical. A Glass Mercury Thermometer For Measuring.. Royalty  Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 77908504.


Gabriel Alcohol Mercury


Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 16 Oct. 2020 URL: 

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. Encyclopædia Britannica. URL: 

Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit facts. URL:,an%20instrument%20maker%20and%20glassblower

The Royal Society: 353 Years Later, England's First Scientific Organization Keeps On Illuminating. World science festival. URL:,discuss%20scientific%20topics%20and%20watch 


Monday, October 26, 2020

Delta 191

 The Delta 191 flight on August 2nd, 1985, is the reason for weather delays in the present day. The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar with a total of 163 people on board departed from Fort Lauderdale, Texas, in hopes of reaching Los Angeles, California. Due to the lack of caution when it came to flying through extreme weather, the pilot lifted off disregarding the storm located right above the Los Angeles Airport. The ride was smooth until the plane approached it’s runway, and was unable to land due to the drastic winds that came with the storm. The plane was unable to fight against the harsh draft, and crashed into the ground. The aircraft gilded and slid on the ground, hitting an occupied car and ending up in the side of a water tank. There were 137 deaths and 26 injuries, one fatality being the driver of the struck car.

The cause of this iconic plane crash is known as a “Microburst”, also known as a downburst. These bursts of air usually last between 2-5 minutes, and can expand to about 2.5 miles(4 Kilometers). Before a microburst occurs, a downdraft must occur in the storm. After, air rises from below the clouds. Once the air reaches the clouds, it condenses and turns into water vapor. This adds to the cloud, and later leads to mass amounts of precipitation. Once the cold water droplets fall, they begin to lay pressure on the air below them. This air, after not being able to withstand the pressure, will begin to fall with the droplets, creating harsh winds that fall downwards, and begin to curve as they reach the ground. These winds can reach up to about 60mph when falling, and up to 100mph as they fan out to the side. This is a very rare occurrence in a storm, which makes this crash a historical moment, for the chances of the plane entering a microburst with such timing has chances of little to none.

 As shown in the picture below, the plane’s original trajectory towards the runway was no longer an option due to the microburst. The pilot attempted to predict the strength of the wind, as he began to bring the plane parallel with the ground. He underestimated the power of the downburst, as the plane just barely missed it’s runway.

- Ryan Johnsen

 Science Symposium- The May 8, 2017, Denver, Colorado Hailstorm

Everton Browne
Block 2
The May 8, 2017 Denver, Colorado Hailstorm
    On May 8, the monstrous thunderstorm rolled over the Denver metro area during the evening rush hour. The storm dropped golf ball (13.405cm) and baseball-sized (22.9 cm) hail on unsuspecting commuters west of the Denver metro area heavily hitting the cities of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Golden. Along with hail, the storm also flooded several streets around Denver and came with strong wind, sometimes knocking down trees. These giant chunks of ice wreaked havoc on the buildings and properties in Denver, making it the most damaging storm in the city’s history.  The damages caused, an estimated, more than 150,000 auto insurance claims and 50,000 homeowner insurance claims to be filed. These damages ranked the storm as the second most expensive hail storm in the United States’ history. 
    Given the number of claims filed for damaged cars and homes, the storm was going to be Colorado’s most expensive insured catastrophe. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the total cost of damages was approximately $1.4 billion. This storm surpassed the $845.5 million July 20, 2009, storm, and the $1.1 billion July 11, 1990, storm, which were previously the two most expensive hail storms in the history of the state. (Adjusted costs for today’s dollars) This amount of damage was caused because the storm began during the evening rush hour while there were hundreds of thousands of cars out on the roads instead of tucked safely in their garages.