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.