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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gabriel Fahrenheit

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Gabriel Fahrenheit was born May 14, 1686 in Danzig, Germany. He grew up being the eldest of five siblings. At the age of 15, Fahrenheit lost his parents due to mushroom poisoning. Shortly after, Fahrenheit begun a career in bookkeeping. He then realized that bookkeeping didn't suit him so he developed an interest in scientific instruments. Fahrenheit begun his career by observing other scientists and their accomplishments. He would grasp their knowledge and acquire their techniques. By 1714 Gabriel Fahrenheit had created his first two thermometers. They contained alcohol and agreed in their readings precisely. Later on, Fahrenheit conducted an investigation that provided evidence of mercury having a higher boiling point and high coefficient(density) during expansion. So he resorted to using mercury for his future thermometers.Originally, Fahrenheit designed his scale referenced on three-fixed points. A salt-ice-water mixture would the lowest temperature (0°F). Placing his thermometer in water just before it was about to freeze (Freezing point) would be at 32°F. And his third calibration was noted when his thermometer was placed under the arm or in the mouth(96-98°F). This would be the body temperature.

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Here are some of the main thresholds of the Fahrenheit scale.

After creating this scale and proving its accuracy, Fahrenheit was inducted into the British Royal Society, which mad the Fahrenheit scale official for Great Britain. Although only a few countries use the Fahrenheit scale today, Fahrenheit laid the foundation of all future studies involving temperature or temperature measurement.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl was so devastating because of it's timing. The World War recession demanded farmers plant more grains. With the introduction of Mechanized Farming, farmers quickly plowed millions of acres taking out drought resistant prairie grass. In 1931 a drought hit and all the crops died leaving loose topsoil that blew up with the wind hundreds of millions acres of topsoil. The dust storms went with the winds, and sometimes reaching far east covering the Statue of Liberty and coating ships in the Atlantic with dust. It made 250,000 people move out their homes. It killed 7,000 by giving them dust pneumonia, a disease caused by inhaling to much dust. People called these dust storms black blizzards.
In April 14, 1935 the worst dust storm occurred sweeping 124,000,000 acres of topsoil with it, from the Oklahoma panhandle. People called that day Black Sunday and from that day people called the great plains the dust Bowl. One-third of farmers moved to California to find work and they faced discrimination, people called them okies. They lived in shantytowns and lived in tents along irrigation
Image result for dust stormsditches. People were desperate for jobs because of the great depression. It finally ended in 1939 with the first rain showers.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Big Thompson Flood

The Big Thompson Flood was one of the deadliest floods in Colorado’s recorded history. This flood occurred on a saturday which marked Colorado’s 100th anniversary of statehood. There was 3,500 people present and they were all unaware of the strange atmospheric conditions. Throughout the Big Thompson Canyon, there are steep, rocky, mountain slopes.  During that saturday afternoon, moist air rose upwards and the unstable air began to build into thunderstorms. The picture below demonstrates a radar image of the thunderstorm over the Big Thompson Canyon. Intense thunderstorms stretching from north-central Colorado (point A) to southeast Kansas (point C).
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At 6:30 p.m. these heavy thunderstorms began to dump heavy rain. These thunderstorms remained over the Big Thompson Canyon for 3 hours, and developed into a gigantic thunderstorm system. The Thunderstorm remained over the Big Thompson Canyon because high-altitude westerly winds, which are usually strong enough to push thunderstorms eastward and out of the area, were unusally weak. There was 144 deaths, and more than 250 injuries were reported. This extreme flood caused $35 million dollars in damage.
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This picture above demonstrates the after-math and how severe the storm was. There was  418 homes and businesses that were destroyed, and over 300,000 cubic yards of debris from the canyon that had to be removed. Since this extreme storm occurred during night, it caught most people by surprise, no one was prepared for this flood. According to several law enforcers, who issued warnings, most of the people in the canyon were not officially warned. In result, leading to several deaths. Today, flood specialists recognize that awareness of flooding is a combination of weather preparedness and personal responsibility. "Bricks serve as a memory of the victims in the 1976 flood of the Big Thompson River in Drake."

Saturday, October 7, 2017

T. Theodore Fujita

T. Theodore was born on October 23, 1920 in Kitakyūshū City, Japan. Fujita earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1943 from Meiji College of Technology located in Japan. Later he moved to the United States and joined the meteorology department at the University of Chicago. He became a United States citizen and took the name 'Theodore" as a middle name. He introduced the basic concepts of thunderstorm architecture. For example, he introduced the terms wall cloud and tail cloud.
The Palm Sunday outbreak of 1965 changed the course of how we view a tornado outbreak because Fujita concluded that there was indeed something special about certain tornadoes... that they must contain more than one vortex. 
His most important contributions include:  
-His creation of the standard scale for rating the severity of tornadoes. Theodore Fujita's scale system is a scale of tornado severity that ranges from  numbers from 0 to 5. Five is a complete destruction and zero being a minimal destruction. Image result for fujita scale system
-His discovery of the role of sudden violent down-bursts of air that sometimes cause airplanes to crash.These violent downbursts are called microbursts. He explained that the air sinking down toward the ground eventually disperse in many directions causing the plain to loose control. 
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Tetsuya Fujita suffered an illness which lead to his death on November 19, 1998 in Chicago, IL. Through him other fields were able to improve as well.Without him the field of meteorology would not be as advanced as it is now.
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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Johannes Kepler

   Johannes Kepler was born on 1571, in modern day Germany, and passed away in 1630 at the age of 58. From a young age, Kepler became a man who suffered from severe illnesses; he was sick from birth, contracted smallpox, and had severely defective vision. He was a devout Christian who believed his vocation was to study works of God. He attended the University of Tuebingen where he studied Latin, Greek, theology, mathematics, and Astronomy. He then proceeded to work in various jobs in the field of mathematics or astronomy like a high school teacher, district mathematician, and assistant of Tycho Brahe(another acclaimed astronomer).
        As an Astronomer, Johannes Kepler's preeminence in terms of establishing the standards of both modern-day physics and astronomy is above all others. Kepler is the man who discovered three laws of celestial bodies called Kepler's Laws. Kepler's Laws are:     

  1. First Law
    1. The orbit of a planet around the Sun (or of a satellite around a planet) is not a perfect circle. It is an ellipse
  2. Second Law
    1. A planet’s orbital speed changes, depending on how far it is from the Sun.The closer a planet is to the Sun, the stronger the Sun’s gravitational pull on it, and the faster the planet moves.
  3. Third Law
    1. The larger a planet’s orbit, the longer the planet takes to complete it.
Because of Kepler's Laws, today we are capable of using: satellites for things like television, communications, weather, and navigation; and calculus as Isaac Newton was able to create(or discover) with Kepler's laws as a foundation which today is used for physics, economics, medicine and even meteorology. Today because of Kepler's laws, Meteorologist are able to use satellites to see whether such as hurricanes, volcanoes, and blizzards and show measure ocean temperatures and prevailing currents and show sea level and altitude. In addition to meteorologists using satellites, meteorologists can also in part thank Kepler for using calculus to determine the gradient of a field. That is, to identify what direction to move in order to see the greatest temperature increase, for instance. And even how much it increases after you go a certain distance in that direction.
Johannes Kepler is the man who has contributed greatly to meteorology and science as a whole. He set the foundation for modern-day science and very well essentially saved millions and maybe even billions of lives as meteorologists are able to use his discoveries to predict weather and save lives.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Superstorm of 1993 - "The Storm of the Century"

The Superstorm of 1993 was a storm that mystified our country; when it hit the south, it spawned thunderstorms and tornadoes; but, when it hit the northeast, it dumped record-breaking amounts of snow.
So what exactly was it?
It was, in essence, a large cyclone; it reached from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to New England--and even parts of Canada--at its largest.
It formed over the Gulf of Mexico on March 12, 1993, and rapidly intensified because of certain conditions that were already in place. As it moved toward the U.S., it pummeled the south with thunderstorms, strong winds, and even tornadoes. Most of the tornadoes spawned in Florida, causing about 12 deaths. When the storm reached northeastern states, it began to snow in record-breaking amounts. Meteorologists ascertain that it began to snow because the storm system encountered cold air. And the reason why it snowed so much was that the cyclone had an extremely low pressure (in fact, one of the lowest ever recorded). When a storm system has low pressure, cloud formation and precipitation normally ensue. The storm had also picked up lots of water as it moved from the gulf coast to the states. In fact, it dumped about 44 million acre-feet of water. In other words, it precipitated enough to fill 44 million football fields with one foot of water!
Perhaps the most chilling of all was the fact that this storm felt like a hurricane. As it dumped snow on the state's, wind speeds of up to 90 mph accompanied it.
All in all, the storm dumped about a foot or slightly more on cities like D.C., NYC, and Philadelphia; it caused 10 million people to lose electricity; it caused 270+ deaths; it did about $5.5 billion in damage.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tornado A9

      Tornado A9 was an EF5 tornado that occurred on May 3rd, 1999 in Oklahoma. This tornado lasted for an hour and a half and travelled 38 miles. This tornado started in Chickasha and went through South Oklahoma city and the suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest city, and Del city. Tornado A9 is significant because it is the tornado with the highest wind speeds ever recorded globally. Tornado A9 reached up to 301 mph and resulted in $1 billion dollars worth of damage. After the hurricane, Oklahoma State Department of health recorded 36 direct fatalities and 5 indirect fatalities. An Indirect fatality was the people who died shortly before or after the storm due to accident or sickness. An estimated 583 people got injured, and 1,800 homes were destroyed and 2,500 homes were damaged. Due to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration an estimated of 600 lives were saved due to accurate warnings and the publics knowledge of tornado safety. EF5 damage was recorded in Moore, Oklahoma City, and Bridge Creek.

Photo of the Tornado A9 on May 3, 1999 near Bridge Creek, OK