Forensic Meteorology Blog

20 Nov

What is Forensic Meteorology?

General Info, Historical Weather DataWith 0 comments

What’s in the past is in the past, so why focus on yesterday’s weather? Understanding what the weather was yesterday, last week, or even farther back in time can be immensely useful for a variety of purposes. Insurance companies solving disputes, attorneys using scientific testimony in court, airlines and government rely on forensic meteorologists to

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08 Oct

The Life Cycle of Hail

General InfoComments are off

Hail originates as tiny cloud droplets with diameters of 0.02 mm. After large masses of these droplets are sucked into updrafts, they elevate to heights that are much colder than the surface. Their rapid transport and the lack of ice nuclei in their paths cause them to cool below 0°C without freezing (supercool.) Soon, additional

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03 Sep

Tornadogenesis: How Tornadoes Form

General Info, Historical Weather Data, Microburst, Weather ConditionsComments are off

Before tornadoes, there exist mesocyclones: giant, rotating columns of low-pressure air that sink below the height of their surrounding cloud basins. Sometimes subsidiary vortices called tornadoes spawn under them. The already swiftly-moving air circulating above is restrained into a smaller diameter and, due to the conservation of angular momentum, wind speed is increased. If the

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14 Aug

Tornadoes: Nature’s Deadliest Surprises

General Info, Historical Weather Data, UncategorizedComments are off

Nature’s deadliest surprises, tornadoes can spontaneously develop in supercell thunderstorms, along squall lines, near the ends of bow echoes, and within hurricanes after they’ve moved ashore. They may generate the strongest winds of any atmospheric phenomenon: over 200 mph. Annually, they kill dozens and injure hundreds. Typically they are responsible for around $100 million in

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14 Jul

Frontal Squall Lines

General Info, Poor Visibility, Turbulence, Weather ConditionsComments are off

Frontal squall lines form just ahead of surface cold fronts and dry lines, and also ahead of upper-level fronts. If the necessary conditions exist, they may stretch to hundreds of miles in length. They may bring tornadoes and hail but they’re more commonly associated with strong straight-line winds. If the flow along a squall line

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15 Jun

Hook Echoes- Unstable Air Mass

General Info, Lightning, Weather ConditionsComments are off

Hook echoes are meteorological phenomena named after their shapes. They’re created when vertical wind shear causes warm, moist air, sucked in by the unstable movements of a supercell thunderstorm, to mix with a different incoming channel of drier, cooler air. The shape they assume resembles a hook because the two streams of air aren’t mixing

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