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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Visual Spectrum & Atmospheric Optics

I did my extra credit science symposium on visual spectrum (solar spectrum) and atmospheric optics. The visual spectrum is a chart of different colors and their wavelengths, humans can only see a small portion of colors (wavelengths) while other animals and insects, like the mantis shrimp,  can see a much broader spectrum. Then that links into atmospheric optics, basically its how light interacts with things like water droplets, ice crystals and pollutants in the air and clouds. The water, ice and aerosols act like prisms (a clear pyramid like block that disassembles light into colors) and mirrors to create things like sun-dogs, halos, cloud coloration and rainbows. Some cloud colors help with predicting weather, for example green clouds show us that ice crystals are forming within the cloud so there are strong indications of possible wind, snow and/or hail. Yellow clouds just tell us that there are pollutants in the cloud which is why they are more prevalent in cities. Then things like sun-dogs and rainbows are just sun and moonlight interacting with water and ice crystals in the air.

The Looping Hurricane

Hurricane Diana (1984)
                Hurricane Diana was the fourth tropical storm,  and the strongest storm of the 1984 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Diana was the first major hurricane to hit the Eastern United States in the previous 20 years and the most intense hurricane to strike the coast since Hazel in 1954. Meteorologists helped the people of the Carolina area prepare for the storm, but because of the long stretch of time without hurricanes reaching the east coast, most meteorologists weren't experienced. Diana originally terrified the people of North Carolina coming directly for the coast as a Category 4 hurricane, but things looked as if they were taking a turn for the good, the hurricane turned and came back towards the shore. Diana being the unique storm she was made an anticyclonic loop offshore and it made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. Forming on September 8, 1984, Diana kept moving northward and wandered across North Carolina for a couple of days during September, dropping heavy rainfall.
Once it left the state and went northeast, Diana quickly evolved into an extratropical cyclone. Three indirect deaths were reported from Diana. One person died from a heart attack while making hurricane preparations, and the other two were from automobile accidents. Following the storm, President Ronald Reagan declared five North Carolina counties as a federal disaster areas. Overall, even though the Hurricane cost $65.5 million in damages the preparation and effective evacuation protocol saved lives.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lake effect snow

Lake effect snow is when cold air blows over a lake and the warm that the lake is holding right above the water holds a lot of water vapor. When the cold wind blows over the lake it takes with nit the water vapor, but when the wind is no longer above the lake with all the warm air to help it hold the water vapor it has to release it. When releasing the water vapor it turns into little ice crystals which forms into snow. For example this recently occurred in Buffalo a few weeks ago when a lot of cold air went over Lake Erie. Once the cold air was no longer above the lake it released all the water vapor into snow which led to 70 inches of snow in just a week.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Johnstown Flood

     The South Fork Dam was destroyed May 31, 1889 when 20 million tons of water leaked through the dam.The dam began to disintegrate, and on May 31 the lake's water level passed over the top of the dam. The disaster killed 2,209 people & caused the US, 17 million dollars in damage. In today’s economy that would translate to 425 million dollars.
     People were used to floods in that area.Most just took the same simple precautions they did when Little Conemaugh River flooded: They moved their belongings to the second story of their homes and settled down to wait out the storm.On May 28, 1889, a storm formed in Kansas and traveled east. Two days later it hit the Johnstown area which was in between the Little Conemaugh River & Stony Creek. It was also 14 miles downstream from Lake Conemaugh. When several days of heavy rain struck the area in late May 1889, club officials struggled to reinforce the neglected dam, which was under tremendous pressure from the swollen waters of Lake Conemaugh.

Friday, December 5, 2014

George Hadley

Hadley was born in London,England. He had a unremarkable childhood and eclisped in his early years by his older brother, John Hadley. George was a English lawyer and a amatuer meterologist who proposed the mechanism of trade winds. He attended Pembroke College, in Oxford; and in 13 August, he became a member of the Lincoln's Inn. He never was intrested in meterology until his brother influened him. He pasted away at Flitton on 28 June 1768, at the age of 83,and buried in the Flitton Church. He came up with a theory about how air travels from one latitude to another, its momentum is conserved, which is trade winds. He was the only person to realize that the rotation of the earth slower than those closer, so that air moving toward the equator will move against the earth's rotation. With the trade winds going on, clouds form above the region. Typically composed of Cumulus clouds which extend no more than 13,000 in height.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Joanne Simpson

      Joanne Simpson was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in meteorology. She was born on March 23, 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts. She attended the University of Chicago. She made many significant discoveries, led research projects, and influenced generations of scientists. For instance, she led the team that proposed the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which is still used today. The TRMM is a meteorological satellite used for mapping tropical precipitation in order to better understand the earth's climate system and to verify climate models. This satellite helps scientists to find factors that influence rainfall. It also can help accurately estimate the latent heat in the tropics. Throughout her career, she faced women oppression. One experience was when she wanted to get her Ph.D in meteorology, her faculty advisor told her that no woman will be able to get their Ph.D in meteorology, and even if she did, no one would hire her. However, she was still able to overcome all oppression and have a huge impact on meteorology today.Joanne Simpson died on March 4, 2010.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ozone Layer

Kapri Robinson

Ozone Layer 

The ozone layer is a vast substance that keeps us alive.The ozone layer protects us from the suns harmful ultra violet rays. It is found in two places, the stratosphere and troposphere. In the stratosphere the ozone protects us from the suns harmful ultra violet rays that cause eye and skin damage. We call this type of ozone good ozone. The troposphere houses bad ozone. This type of ozone ruins crops, weaken our immune system and causes cancer. This type of ozone also causes urban smog. 

The holes in the ozone layer are caused by burning fossil fuels and CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. The ozone holes grow bigger in the winter and smaller in the summer. By 2072 scientist estimate the ozone layer to be fully repaired.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

1930s Dust Bowl

My project was on the 1930s Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was period in America's history that brought fear and chaos. Many people believed the world was going to end. A dust bowl is created when a large area of land has lost all of it's vegetation and the vegetations mixes with the topsoil to form dust. As strong gusts of wind come along it picks up all the dust laying on the field and forms huge dust clouds that can travel a long way and can have high-wind speeds. These dust storms would hide cities under massive amount of displaced dirt. Especially on Black Sunday, which occurred on April 14, 1935, which was the worst storm in Dust Bowl history. It was about 200 miles wide and had wind speeds of 65 MPH. Storms of this nature caused immense agricultural  and economical damage. Many people were forced to leave their homes due to the storms. In 1939 the drought finally ended with rain. Shortly after the end of the Dust Bowl, the United States fell into the Great Depression.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hurricane Katrina Summary

Nicholas Devasia

My Symposium Project was about Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina formed on the 23rd of August over the Bahamas. On the 29th Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the U.S. When the hurricane hit, it was considered a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. When the hurricane reached its climax, it was then considered a category 5. Vast amounts of rain flooded major cities like New Orleans in Louisiana and Long Beach in Mississippi. When the storm dissipated, most of those cities were overly flooded. After the storm, many citizens stood up and helped out. Since a lot of people lost their homes, FEMA (federal emergency management association) had to stay in the cities that were effected so they could give the people food and shelter. Nearly 2,000 people died, 30% of New Orleans were in poverty, and it took several days, months, and even years to fix and clean all of the damage. Even though my town cancelled school for a couple of days, the storm didn't really affect us in a way that was tragic. The storm's strongest point was in the southeast quadrant of the U.S. so New Jersey didn't get hit that badly. There were several facts about Hurricane Katrina that I did not know before researching. One example would be that there are still at least 700 humans reported missing from the hurricane. Another fact is that even though several states weren't affected by the storm physically, Hurricane Katrina caused gas prices to go up, and it effected the economy. One thing I did not enjoy was the fact that Hurricane Katrina killed about two-thousand lives. Even though a natural disaster isn't controllable, humans as a society should be more prepared for incidents like this so we could avoid such a high amount of deaths.

Forecasting Villhelm and Jacob BjerknesVillhelm

Denzel Pettway

Villhelm was a Norwegian Physicist and Meteorologist who studied hydrodynamics. He was born on March 14, 1862 in Christiania Norway.  His greatest discovery's were the Theory of Phenomenon of Electrical Resonance, The founding of Bergen Geophysical institute, and the Polar Front Theory. Before all of these discoveries he attended the university of Christiania in the 1880's were he graduated and later  began working alongside Heinrich Hertz who was known for proving the existence of electromagnetic waves. After a while he end up working at university of Christiania were he was a professor. Villhelm had a son who he influenced to pursue meteorology as a career. The name of his son was Jacob Bjerknes. Jacob Bjerknes was born November 7, 1897 in Stockholm Sweden. As an adult Jacob worked alongside his father at the Bergen Geophysical Institute where they came up with the Polar Front Theory. Prior to this theory Jacob and Villhelm Collaborated networks of weather bureaus which eventually led up to this theory. The Polar Front Theory was essential to understanding the weather in the middle and high latitudes which was a major feat for weather forecasters.        


Sunday, November 2, 2014

The El Reno, Oklahoma EF-5 tornado struck on May 8, 2013. This tornado is credited as the widest ever recorded, at 2.6 miles. Winds were upwards of 295 mph and the total distance traveled was 16.2 miles. It formed as a result of the mixing of a stationary front and a dryline. The heat of the day, moisture, and instability made the storm become tornadic. The path it traveled was unusual because of its abrupt turn to the northeast. Also, the width increased rapidly from 1 mile to 2.6 miles in just minutes. This was the second EF-5 tornado in Oklahoma within 11 days. Even though structures, buildings, and cars, along with other things (telephone poles and windmills) were destroyed, the damages were not as severe as they could have been because the tornado passed over mostly rural area. In total, there were 20 deaths (3 storm-chasers) and over one hundred more injuries.  

Tetsuya Theodore Fujita

    Mr. Fujita was a Japanese american extreme storm researcher who studied tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms. He was born on October 23, 1920, and died November 19, 1998.  His greatest influence to his field are his discovery of down bursts, micro bursts, concept of Multiple-vortex tornadoes and The Fujita Scale. Before all of this he was studying at Kyushu institute of Technology, and after graduating he became an assistant professor until 1953, when Horace R. Byers invited him to Chicago university after seeing his independent discovery on the cold-air downdrafts. He was almost involved in a bombing to his hometown of Kitakyushu, which was saved because of Bad weather ironically which could set the bomb off before it hits. The bombers still hit Nagasaki where Ted developed the down bursts, which are strong ground level wind system that emanates from a single source, blowing in a straight line in all directions, and the micro bursts which are smaller versions of down bursts. After a while he created a tornado simulator which he used to prove the discoveries he made. Originally the concept of multiple-vortex tornadoes was thought to be a rare occurrence, but Mr. Fujita discovered that huge tornadoes it is common. His greatest contribution to meteorology and tornadoes is the fujita scale which ranks tornadoes from F-1, to F-5, with F-5 being the most fastest wind speeds and damaging tornadoes, and F-1 being the weakest damage, and slow wind speeds. Overall Mr. Fujita lived an eventful and dedicated life to his work, and helped us to better understand Tornadoes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Moore, Oklahoma. May 3rd, 1999

             My presentation was about the massive F5 tornado that went on a 38-mile journey through Moore, Oklahoma on May 3rd, 1999. This causing 46 deaths, 800 injuries, about 8000 homes damaged/destroyed, and over $1.5 billion in damages. Fema reacting immediatley, opening shelters to about 1,600 people overnight.Roughly $180,000 had been approved by FEMA for disaster housing assistance by May 9. By May 13, increasing to more than $5.9 million over the following five days. It was also the deadliest, costliest  and most violent tornado ever on record in the area.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Carl-Gustaf Arvid Rossby

Demarco Woody 10/26/14

What I thought about Carl-Gustaf Arvid Rossby is that he was the first to explain the large-scale motions of the atmosphere in terms of fluid mechanics at that time. Also that Rossby came into meteorology and oceanography while studying under Vilhelm Bjerknes in Bergen in 1919. What i thought that was cool that In 1925 Rossby was granted a fellowship from the Sweden-America Foundation to study the application of the polar front theory to American weather. Also that when he died that they would  on Time magazine because of his contributions to meteorology. What was also cool was that During World War II, Rossby organized the training of military meteorologists, recruiting many of them to his Chicago department in the post-war years. the thing that really caught my attention was that after the war he visited Professor Hans Ertel, an old friend, in Berlin. Their cooperation led to the mathematical formulation of Rossby waves. Thats what i thought mainly the things that i thought that was interesting for my project.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Aristotle: The Father of Meteorology

This past friday, I presented on Aristotle and his contributions to the Meteorology field. What Ive presented is that Aristotle while being a philosopher and a polymath, wrote a Book named De Meteoris, and this was the introduction to the sub-science we now call Meteorology. Although the use of the word has been narrowed down to the weather, Aristotle wrote about what he observed in the earth, and his theories about it. Some of the things that he observed were Water Vapor, the water cycle, tornadoes, lighting, and the original four elements (earth, fire, wind, air). For all of these things he has been regarded as the Creator of Meteorology.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creating Supercooled Water

supercooled water (n.):  water that is still a liquid even though its temperature is below freezing

Check out these videos, courtesy of Marcellus, Marco, and Farrad, which show the flash freezing of supercooled water:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Washing Out Loveland, Colorado

The Big Thompson Canyon Flood (1976)

My presentation was on the Big Thompson Canyon Flood which was Colorado's worst natural disaster. Only July, 31 1976, it began as a weak moist easterly flow that began on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The moist air had risen up the mountain slopes and combined with the daytime heat to form thunderstorms which moved to Fort Range and began to rain heavily around 6 p.m. The winds in that region were not strong enough to push the storm out of the Big Thompson Valley and it remained stationary for more than three hours dumping more than a foot of rain into the canyon. The rain caused the river's water level to raise to nineteen feet high and speed down the 25 mile long river to Loveland,  Colorado where there were around 4,000 people in the Big Thompson Canyon during Colorado's centennial fishing, hiking, camping, etc. Along the way, the flood destroyed 316 homes, 45 mobile homes, 52 businesses, and 483 automobiles that were along the river bank and in the canyon. The flood also washed away most of Highway 34 which was along the river throughout most of the canyon. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were contacted to remove destroyed automobiles as well as over 300,000 cubic yards of debris from the canyon with a total of $1.6 million in clean up costs. The flood left a total of about $35 million in damages and 143 people dead including five people who were unaccounted for. Most people were killed trying to drive out of the canyon ahead of the flood rather than climb to higher ground and many were unsuccessful causing them to be swept away to their deaths. A total of 840 people were evacuated from the area by helicopter with 250 people reporting injuries. The people in the canyon were not officially warned by deputies and patrolmen, and were only warned by word of mouth. Many people however, did not believe the warnings because the thunderstorm had not reached their area. In effect after the flood, Colorado instituted "Climb to Safety In Case of a Flood" signs along it's mountain roads and highways. Larimer county installed a reverse 911 emergency home system that broadcasts phone calls so that those in danger areas can be warned. The National Weather Service teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio for county - by - county coverage of any disasters. With these new advancements, Colorado can now be more prepared for any future natural disasters so that there may never be as many deaths or damages as there was with the Big Thompson Canyon Flood.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Edward Lorenz & The Chaos Theory

My powerpoint presentation was on Edward Lorenz and his contribution to modern meteorology. At first Edward was a mathematician but after coming from WWII helping as a meteorologist he knew meteorology was a passion. He studied at MIT, Harvard and Dartmouth, and was a professor at MIT. Edward and many others contributed to the chaos theory; scientifically unpredictable surprises, things that can't be graphed. In the chaos theory there are six principles; the butterfly effect, unpredictability, mixing, feedback, order/disorder, and fractals. Edward saw that weather forecasting was extremely difficult due to the simple fact that there are too many factors that make it impossible to correctly predict the outcome of weather patterns. He created some formulas that show us the movement of air in the atmosphere, when graphed creates a lorenz attractor. This makes weather forecasting possible and more precise.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was a polish merchant who had a fascination in natural science, mostly about temperature. Following his fascination, he went to Germany to study physics and thermometry. After settling as a glassblower, he conducted an experiment to remove alcohol from the thermometer and replace it with mercury. Being the first to invent the in-glass mercury thermometer, he also developed a scale to follow it known as degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping his invention to himself for almost 18 years, once made public he was elected to the Fellows of the Royal Society and degrees Fahrenheit has been used to measure temperature in Europe since then until the 19th century.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Flattening Florida

Hurricane Andrew (1992)
A tropical wave which came off the west coast of Africa quickly became a ferocious natural disaster that would devastate millions of lives in the southern part of the United States. The hurricane didn't show much promise to the agents at the weather service.  The hurricane only five days before making landfall on the US was forecasted at a 50% chance of hitting the nation. In addition the Weather Service told its listeners that even if it were to hit, it would be nothing more than average. This flawed information soon was discovered distorted when the storm's strength erupted into a full blown category 5 hurricane directly aimed at the Bahamas and Florida. The beast unleashed its wrath on America early in the morning on August 24th in Homestead, Florida. The hurricane contained swirling winds that were calculated to reach 165 mph and led to the deaths of 66 civilians nationwide and the destruction or damage of 125,000 homes. Many schools and thousands of business were destroyed and cost the state of Florida alone, $25-26.5 billion in damages. Hurricane Andrew was an unique storm for the reason that it had a "double eye wall". This is literally one eye about 8 miles wide inside a larger one about 25 miles wide. This natural disaster destroyed an extensive amount of Florida's natural wildlife and obliterating 70,000 acres of mangroves in the Everglades. There are still lingering effects of the storm with businesses out of commission and acres of empty land, where  houses previously held their foundation. One positive effect of the storm was the improvement of the inadequate building code. The system encouraged for owners to "hurricane proof" their houses to make it sustainable and give their houses a fighting chance against extremities such as Andrew. Hurricane Andrew might've damaged America ,but the everlasting strength of the home of the brave has once again surpassed the wrath of a natural disaster.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"The Great White Hurricane"

My presentation was about the Blizzard of 1888, which left the East Coast and other parts of the United States paralyzed for weeks. It came to be known as the "Great White Hurricane" , and was labeled as one of the most severe blizzards in the United States recorded history. Out of all the cities impacted, New York suffered the most. The storm took place from March 11-14. It was one of America's coldest winters, with temperatures reaching up to the negative 50's. It began as rainfall, then gradually turning into sleet and ultimately snow from March 11-12. The snow fell, along with high speed winds from March 12-14 which caused snow drifts over 50 feet. The storm stayed longer than anitcipated because the storm's route was on an unusual course. This unusual course caused the storm to make a counter-clockwise loop while still mantianing its peak in strength. The blizzard of 1888, had a total of 400 deaths, 200 alone in New York. The storm isolated cities from Boston to Washington for weeks because all emergency cruises were immobilized, it destroyed the telegraph interest structure in New York; it also crippled and destroyed railroads. The storm, though harsh, lead to the realization in people, that destruction could arrive at any time and preparation is crucial. The blizzard caused New York to build its telephone lines underground and was partially the reason for the creation of the first, underground railroad, built in Boston 9 years later.

Luke Howard (The Cloud Expert)

            Last Friday I had the privilege to give a presentation to my class about Luke Howard who was born on November 28th, 1772 in London, England.  During the presentation I mainly focused on how Luke Howard followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a businessman and opening a firm for manufacturing pharmaceutical  chemicals, but ended up becoming a meteorologist. Even though he had no intentions on becoming a meteorologist  at first, he still showed a great interest in meteorology and clouds. Howard's obsession with clouds led to him writing and essay on the modification of clouds. In the essay Howard presents the first practical classification clouds which means he gave the clouds three name types that included the cirrus cloud, the cumulus cloud, and the stratus cloud. Without Luke Howard's  interest and hard work in studying clouds, we would not know how to identify them or what makes them different from one another. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to learn and teach about Luke Howard and his contribution to science and especially meteorology.  Before giving this presentation I had no clue how clouds got their names and how they were different.  Presenting this project allowed me to learn how different parts of the atmosphere are formed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Superstorm of 1993

My project for class was about Superstorm of 1993. On March 12, 1993 many tornadoes in Texas tornadoes formed and moved over to the Gulf of Mexico which ended up starting becoming a superstorm. This storm has hurricane like qualities and it was very destructive. This storm caused a tidal surge in Florida that resulted in abysmal destruction of many counties in Florida. 51 one people in florida died due to this storm. In the Northeast a blizzard sprung up and came down heavy. The amount of snow that fell was incredible and record-breaking. The damage that this storm was about six million dollars worth in damage. This storm sadly took the lives of about 300 people. After doing this project I learned allot, i learned that you always have to be prepared for the unexpected because the unexpected to take your life away in a second.  I also believe that the world would be ready for another storm like this because people would not want the storm to do the same damage that it did before.

Nicholaus Copernicus Presentation

In class last week i had a presentation on Nicholaus Copernicus. I learned a lot of neat things about him. Especially how he contributed to the advancement of our understanding of life. It was hard presenting in front of the whole class because I'm not used to public speaking. It is even harder when you have a lot of friends in the class and they are trying to make you laugh at every chance.All in all though i thought i did very well in my presentation and i am exited to learn more about famous people and disasters by other students in the up coming week.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

SuperStorm Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of 2012, as well as the second costliest hurricane in United States history. It was first formed as a Category 1 hurricane that made its first landfall in Kingston, Jamaica. Then had hit Cuba and Haiti as a Category 2 hurricane. It had traveled the east coast of the United States and made it's first landfall in Atlantic City, NJ. Right before it hit New Jersey the hurricane weakened and became a post-tropical storm. It had hit New York And New Jersey very strong, shutting down every single form of transportation.The estimated cost of destruction was estimated at more then 50 billion dollars, second only to Hurricane Katrina. In New York and Jersey alone, the storm had damaged or destroyed more than 375,000 housing units. There was over 100 deaths 43 in New York and 37 in New Jersey. There was also a 5 billion dollar damage to the New York subway system. 8 million businesses and homes were powerless due to Sandy. Also economic loses to businesses was up to about 30 billion dollars. To this day there is still areas that are recovering from Superstorm Sandy such as coastlines.

Johannes Kepler

Many of you may know or are familiar with the name Johannes Kepler, but for those who aren't familiar here is some background information. Kepler was born December 27, 1571 and was German Nationality. He was born very sickly and came from a very poor family. Despite the fact that he was very poor he was able to obtain a scholarship to the University of Tubingen to study for the Lutheran ministry. That is where he was introduced to the ideas of Nicolaus Copernicus who believed the geocentric theory. Which was that the Earth at the center of the universe with the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets circling it. But Kepler was able to prove him wrong that it was the Sun is stationary and everything else revolved around it. He worked with Tycho Brahe who was a Danish astronomer who had a observatory in Prague. When Brahe passed away in 1601 Kepler used the information he had collected and discovered that Mars was an ellipse. Than he published a book "Astronomia Nova" where he discussed his discoveries which are now Kepler's first 2 laws of planetary motion. Than in 1621 he published his most important book where he discussed the heliocentric astronomy. The three Laws of Planetary Motion are 1.The orbits of planets are ellipses with the sun at one focus. 2. A planet must move rapidly when it is close to the sun and more slowly when it is far from the sun. 3. Planets in large orbits take much longer to orbit the sun than do planets in small orbits. These are the 3 Laws of Planetary Motion that Johannes Kepler discovered.