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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Joanne Simpson (Dr. Simpson)

Joanne Simpson who was also known as Dr. Simpson was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in meteorology. In her twenties she was a student pilot during World War 2 and she studied in meteorology. She developed the first  computer cloud model. Dr. Simpson made a career at NASA and her research focused on convective cloud systems. In 1986, NASA asked Dr. Simpson to lead the science study for the proposed Tropical Rainfall measuring mission. Dr. Simpson was a retired meteorological scientist who stuudied in cloud systems and hurricans. She passed away on March 4, 2010.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, who have been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived. In his work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. Newton’s Laws were a great contribution to physics. The first law is an object in a state of rest or uniform motion, remains in that state unless an external force is applied to it. His second law is the formula F=ma. If you exert the same force on two objects with different mass, you will get different acceleration. His third law is that for every action (force) there is an equal and opposite reaction (force).  In Newton's law of universal gravitation he states that every matter in the universe attracts every other matter with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the distance of both matters. It is gravity that holds the atmosphere in place. If the Earth's mass was much smaller the gravitational acceleration would not be large enough to hold the density of an atmosphere that we have now. During Newton’s life he created concept known as Pressure Gradient Force. It is not actually a 'force' but the acceleration of air due to pressure difference which acts on gases. In meteorology, pressure gradient force refers to the horizontal movement of air. Within the atmosphere, there are several forces that impact the speed and direction of winds. The most important though is the Earth’s gravitational force. It is the pressure gradient force that causes the movement of air. The difference in the air pressure is caused by the unequal of the earth’s surface. Newton was a great influence in the field of science itself which to this day plays a great part in what we know today.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

G. Fahrenheit

Gabriel Fahrenheit is often considered the father of modern Thermometers. His life spanned only a few short years, but his accomplishments were lasting. They are:

The creation of the mercury thermometer. Fahrenheit saw that Galileo and Amonton's  thermometers used alcohol to tell temperature. But alcohol was not the ideal way of measuring temperature. As temperature rose, the alcohol expanded. Alcohol was also too easily thrown off by changing air pressures. It just so happened that mercury expanded at a more constant rate than alcohol, and this was the reason Fahrenheit, used it in his thermometer. Also, mercury was able to be read at either high or low pressures, making it much easier to use in a thermometer.

Another one of Fahrenheit's great ideas, had to do with the simple boiling and freezing points of water and the body's average temperature. It was common in the 18th century for scientists to set the temperature of the average temp. of the human body at 22.5' and the low point at which water freezes at 7.5'C. Fahrenheit, with his newfangled mercury thermometer, opposed these temperatures. Instead he split each degree into four, making water's freezing point at 30'F and the temp. of the body at 90'F. Those degrees were changed in 1717 to 32'F and 96'F to eliminate fractions. Fahrenheit performed many experiments on the boiling point of water, and found that there was a constant, but water's boiling point could change as atmospheric pressure decreased. After years of research, Fahrenheit placed water's boiling point at 212'F, which was actually several degrees too low. But his temp. of boiling water was adopted a few years after his death, by scientists and was adjusted slightly to accommodate change. Now with water's new boiling point at 212'F and its freezing point at 32'F, the average temperature of the human body was placed at 98.6'F. 

Weather and the Economy

The country's economy is a hot topic in this election year.  There are absolutely some things that we citizens, and our government, can do to affect the economy; however, there are others things over which we have no control.  One of those things is the weather.  In your comment, describe one way that the weather can positively or negatively affect the country's economy.  Remember to cite your sources and proofread well (check spelling, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, sentence structure).


Galileo spent most of his life teaching and studying physics. One of his most notable works was called "On Motion", this book disproved Aristotle's theory of gravity. This was monumental because Aristotle's theories had been accepted as true and Galileo was one of the first scientists of his generation to challenge Aristotle's work. Galileo also disproved the theory of geocentricism, which is the belief that Earth is the center of our solar system. This caused Galileo, a pious Roman Catholic, to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church because  the Catholic Church believed that our solar system was geocentric. Galileo's work, in both physics and meteorology, laid a foundation for the beginning of enlightened scientific thinking.
Project VORTEX:
The goal of Project VORTEX was really to improve how forecasting is practiced. This project was led by Charles Doswell III Communication, statistics, experience and measurement of severity were the main topics that called for development. Communication between people on the field and workers aggregating information from various sources needed to be clearer and faster. More information was needed about the history of tornadoes so that better conclusions can be made about them, based off of statistics. Experience was something in high demand, forecasters needed to use what they have seen to help develop a conclusion. Measurement and understanding of severity, is something that we have a long way to go in. Tornadoes are poorly understood and in order to get a snapshot of what they are we've got to understand how to categorize them. What's severe, what isn't?

Super Cells:
 Super cells are long-lived thunderstorms which exhibit a rotating updraft. These storms generally produce severe weather including  heavy winds, large hail, heavy rainfall and occasionally tornadoesCharles along with the help of Les Lemon developed what we used today as a model super cell. His work with super cells is a direct correlation to project VORTEX and the attempt to better understand tornadoes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Weather and Your Health

It's long been known that the weather can affect a person's physical and/or mental health in myriad ways.  Do some research and discover one way the weather can have either a positive or negative effect on one's physical or mental health.  Does it have a name (i.e., a disorder or disease)?  Why does it happen?  How does it happen?  How does it affect a person's body or mind?  Give your information in proofread (check punctuation, capitalization, subject-verb agreement, spelling, and sentence structure), clear sentences, and remember to cite your source(s).