A massive Saharan dust plume is moving into the southeast US, bringing technicolor sunsets and suppressing tropical storms

From June through October, it's not unusual for huge Saharan dust plumes to blow across the Atlantic. They can darken skies but also bring calmer weather and electric sunsets. Here's how they form.

Scott Denning, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate hurricanes storms atmospheric-science weather air-quality atlantic-ocean dust sahara tropical-rainforest

Heat may kill way more Americans yearly than we knew

While the CDC estimates heat contributes to 600 deaths in the US each year, new research finds that the number may be many more times that.

Michelle Samuels-Boston U. • futurity
June 21, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: death temperature weather featured health-and-medicine

We caught bacteria from the most pristine air on earth to help solve a climate modeling mystery

Climate models have been overestimating how much sunlight hits the Southern Ocean. This is because the clouds there are different from clouds anywhere else. Bacterial DNA helped us understand why.

Thomas Hill, Research Scientist, Colorado State University • conversation
June 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate bacteria antarctica climate-models atmospheric-science weather clouds southern-ocean

Dust storms may shed light on life on Mars

The chemical reactions that dust storms on Mars cause indicate that our quest to find life on the red planet may need to go beneath the surface.

Shawn Ballard-Wash. U. in St. Louis • futurity
June 19, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: space planets mars weather alien-life science-and-technology dust

What is a derecho? An atmospheric scientist explains these rare but dangerous storm systems

Hurricane and tornado winds spin in circles, but there's another, equally dangerous storm type where winds barrel straight ahead. They're called derechos, and are most common in summer.

Russ Schumacher, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science and Colorado State Climatologist, Colorado State University • conversation
June 15, 2020 ~9 min

Tags:  hurricane  storms  meteorology  natural-disasters  weather-forecasting  weather  tornado  thunderstorm  great-plains

Rain plays a surprising role in making some restored prairies healthier than others

Restoring former prairies that have been plowed under for farming delivers land, wildlife and climate benefits. But a new study finds that the weather plays a surprising role.

Lars Brudvig, Associate Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University • conversation
June 5, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: climate-change ecology rainfall prairies grasslands ecosystem-recovery weather us-midwest weeds precipitation native-plants restoration-ecology

What makes the wind?

Wind travels all over the world. Where does it come from, and why?

Adam Sokol, Doctoral Student in Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: hurricane atmospheric-science curious-kids curious-kids-us weather hydroelectricity air wind

Cold war nuclear tests changed rainfall thousands of miles away

Finding could be useful for attempts to manipulate the weather using technology.

Giles Harrison, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, University of Reading • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: rainfall meteorology weather nuclear-tests

Winter warm spells are more common for the UK

Warm winter spells in the United Kingdom have increased in frequency and duration two to three times over since 1878, report scientists.

Peter Thorley-Warwick • futurity
May 12, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: climate-change united-kingdom temperature weather earth-and-environment

When water vapor blows in, dry soil gets rain?

New research clarifies the role of water vapor in rainfall, a complex relationship that remains mysterious.

Mikayla Mace-Arizona • futurity
May 11, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: water soil rain weather wind science-and-technology

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