Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere.

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43
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Why is the sky never green? It can be blue or orange, and green is in between!

I, like everybody I suppose, have read the explanations why the colour of the sky is blue: ... the two most common types of matter present in the atmosphere are gaseous nitrogen and oxygen. ...
39
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6answers
8k views

Without seeing the lightning, can you tell how far away it struck by how the thunder sounds?

Is there any way to tell how far away a lightning strike is by how its thunder sounds? I thought one way might be by using the fact that higher frequencies travel faster than lower frequencies. Would ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Can rain evaporate?

Are there any atmospheric condition under which a visible raindrop can fail to hit the ground by evaporating first? I imagine this would require a large vertical temperature difference, and possibly ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Why doesn't my house get misty?

When there's dense mist/fog outside and I open a window, why doesn't the inside of my house fill with mist?
9
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1answer
252 views

Will the upcoming solar eclipse stress the European electrical grid?

From an article in the Financial Times today, about a solar eclipse on March 20th, 2015: An eclipse of the sun next month could disrupt Europe’s power supplies because so many countries now use ...
7
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1answer
356 views

How to derive a physical model of temperature above the earth surface?

At a point on the surface of the Earth, if I go straight "up" a distance $z$ (radially outward from the Earth), I'd observe a temperature profile $T(z)$. The conventional wisdom from the meteorology ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Is the total mass of Earth's atmosphere essentially constant in time?

Per a few questions and comments on this site such as Huge buildings affect earth's rotation? I wonder, is the mass of the Earth's atmosphere roughly constant? We're burning an incredible amount ...
5
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3answers
209 views

Wind's Sources and Drains (see live map!!)

I was pointed out by a friend to this website that shows live map of wind in US. It sometimes show interesting places where all the wind seems to converge and vanish. What's the origin of such "wind ...
5
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1answer
347 views

How can I estimate confidence intervals around the forecasted temperatures for future days?

Weather.com will happily give me temperature predictions for the next ten days, but no indication of how reliable those predictions are. So if I want to plan something for a week from today, or four ...
4
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2answers
8k views

Lux and W/m2 relationship?

I am reading a bit about solar energy, and for my own curiosity, I would really like to know the insolation on my balcony. That could tell me how much a solar panel could produce. Now, I don't have ...
4
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1answer
6k views

Where can I find open-source weather forecast software? [closed]

Are there any software packages/frameworks for running weather forecast numeric models on a single PC? I've found at least two instances, but I'm interested to know whether there are more and where I ...
4
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1answer
145 views

How much atmospheric pressure (CO2) is required to carry iron oxide dust in the wind?

It is common knowledge that there are dust devils and dust storms on Mars. But can we demonstrate that the atmospheric pressure on Mars, which is 0.6% of the pressure we experience on Earth, provides ...
3
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3answers
148 views

Are there convective movements similar to those in clouds everywhere in the atmosphere?

I heard there were powerful convective movements in clouds which were responsible for increasing the size of water droplets or ice crystals. My question is: do the same movements appear outside of ...
3
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1answer
433 views

Hail stones in summer?

This has always puzzled me. Yesterday (in London) it started hailing despite it being about $20^oC$. A couple of years ago I experienced hail in Sicily when it was about $35^oC$ in the shade!. How is ...
3
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2answers
392 views

Can wind currents form in the mesosphere?

Probably not the right forum for this question. How high in the atmosphere may an air-current form? Can a wind current form up in the mesosphere?
3
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1answer
55 views

California “firenados”

There are spectacular rotating towers of fire that can be seen in recent television images of fire in California. In this video, we see that these fire towers can rotate either clockwise or counter ...
3
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1answer
121 views

Hyperbolic flow / vector field - irrotational and divergence-free?

My text book on meteorology claims that a hyperbolic flow pattern is both divergence-free and irrotational: (d) Hyperbolic flow that exhibits both diffluence and stretching, but is ...
3
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1answer
417 views

Why was the conversion factor of the metric unit bar chosen the way it was?

The unit bar for pressure is clearly a metric unit, but its order of magnitude is a bit strange. In the centimeter–gram–second system of units we have: ...
3
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2answers
175 views

Local real-time lightning tracker site?

Is there a site that tracks lightning strikes at a local level in real-time? Google results for "lightning tracker" yield several sites, but none do this. It seems easy enough to set up. Have ...
3
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1answer
235 views

Why can't we see clouds everywhere around us?

We see clouds at a particular height,and not everywhere near the ground.I am not really well versed in the concept of cloud,but I felt the clouds would be lighter by the way they look.So,they should ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Why is it always foggy on new years eve?

I live in Hamburg in northern Germany and a few years ago I started to notice this: It is always foggy on new years eve. Yesterday there even was a sight distance of about 10 meters at some point. ...
3
votes
4answers
737 views

Does an object's movement affect the likelihood of being struck by lightning?

Does the state of whether an object if moving or stationary affect the likelihood of it being struck by lightning? I suppose some things that could be considered would be: Whether the movement ...
2
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2answers
8k views

Why is England so cloudy?

Why, physically, some regions of the globe are affected by a noticeable cloudiness respect to others? Is the reason why some places are also rainy the same?
2
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1answer
153 views

How is the energy of a lightning calculated?

I was wondering how is the energy of a lightning measured? Is it based on the luminous intensity and/or the generated sound? What about the generated heat and energy spent in the production of ozone? ...
2
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1answer
120 views

Why do nuclear bomb explosions create an array of visible electric discharges in the form of lightening in the upper atmosphere?

I've seen videos on the internet, showing nuclear bomb test explosions, and there appears to be a large amount of visible lightening discharging numerous times over the development of the mushroom ...
2
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3answers
692 views

Why does the wind direction vary locally?

If the air is flowing with the earth, as it rotates, how do we feel a breeze and strong winds at times, as everyone has experienced, the wind shifts as if from many directions.
2
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0answers
29 views

Dispersion parameters for Pasquill–Gifford stability class G (extremely stable)

Gaussian plume models are often used to model atmospheric dispersion because they are simple and computationally efficient. When not constrained by the ground or by inversion layers, the Gaussian ...
2
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1answer
115 views

What does “downshear” mean?

I occasionally read descriptions such as "downshear of the vortex" in meteorological publications. What does this mean?
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0answers
749 views

How can I interpret negative values of potential evapotranspiration?

If I extract Potential Evaporation (PET, W/m$^2$) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), climate reanalysis data (downloadable as netCDF files here), there are some negative ...
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5answers
1k views

Is the atmospheric pressure the cause of a planet's surface temperature or is it the temperature the cause of a planet's atmospheric pressure?

I heard a climatologist on a talk show saying that one of the widely known arguments used by climate scientists to exemplify what a runaway greenhouse effect could cause to Earth's temperature and ...
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1answer
1k views

What's the altitude of the flat base of Cumulus clouds?

Is there a formula that describes the altitude of clouds with respect to the local temperature? I think of the flat bases of Cumulus clouds. Thanks...
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3answers
19k views

High and low pressure area and raining

In the high-pressure area it is mostly likely that there is sun. In low pressure area it is mostly likely that rain will occur. Because of the law that ...
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2answers
78 views

How to estimate wind speed from a pressure difference?

Does a formula (or a rule of thumb) exist to estimate the wind speed between a high pressure area and a low pressure area given the pressure difference between the two areas? Only the wind resulting ...
1
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1answer
97 views

why does air temperature change with density?

As hot air in the atmosphere rises it expands and cools at the same time. If the air cools though, shouldn't its density increase?
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2answers
44 views

Why would El Niño affect atmospheric CO2 measurements?

Starting with this article in Gizmodo: El Niño Has Pushed Our Planet Past a Major Climate Milestone and then to this commentary in Nature Climate Change El Niño and a record CO2 rise there seems to ...
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2answers
227 views

First law of thermodynamics applied to atmospheric fluid

I was reading an article that talks on a climate prediction model. This article proposes the following equation (energy balance): $$\rho_0 c_v\left( \frac{\partial T}{\partial t} + \sum^{3}_{j=1} ...
1
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1answer
80 views

Here's a fun question, what would happen if Venus was thrown off in a highly elliptical orbit? [closed]

I'd like to know what would happen if Venus was flung into a highly eccentric orbit like Sedna (except maybe with its current perihelion) with an orbital period measured in thousands of years by a ...
1
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1answer
84 views

On quantum randomness, the longest weather predictions and perfect macroscopic caos

Which is the maximum number of days we can predict future weather conditions with a reasonable degree of accuracy if we knew all of the initial conditions of everything that effects the weather down ...
1
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1answer
389 views

Weather difference on Mars compared to Earth

How the weather on Mars differs from here on Earth? In here you see that weather on Earth is Hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes a real problem. Disgustingly interminable fog in coastal California....
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1answer
170 views

Which topics & books should I read to understand whirlpool, tornado, hurricane etc.?

I want to be expert to understand physics behind whirlpool, tornado, hurricane. Which topics are needed for this?
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0answers
43 views

What is the explanation of the glory (optical phenomenon)?

Yesterday, I took the following picture. I was looking downwards from within an aircraft and I saw the 'glory' around the shadow of the plane on the clouds below. Wikipedia has an entry on the ...
1
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1answer
30 views

dry adiabatic lapse rate

Adiabatic lapse rate is defined as $$ \Gamma_a \equiv -\left(\frac{dT}{dz}\right)_{\rm parcel}=-\frac{R_{\rm a} T}{c_p \,p}\left(\frac{dp}{dz}\right)_{\rm parcel} = \frac{g}{c_p} $$ $R_a$ is gas ...
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0answers
60 views

Is there a theoretical maximum speed for wind?

What we call wind is actually molecules moving into an area of lower particle density due to their thermal motion. A lower particle density offers less collisions (resistance), so more molecules move ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Weather Meridians

Are there meridians that effect cloud movement? While observing radar images of moisture bearing cloud movements (at my location in Florida), I've noticed a splitting of the cloud formations a ...
1
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0answers
24 views

Hildring - Influence of vertical temperature gradient on light beam curvature

In special atmospheric condition it is possible to see coastline that normally is behind the horizon. It is apparently lifted to become visible. In Scandinavian the phenomenon is called 'hildring', a ...
1
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0answers
134 views

What is the domain of validity of the Omega equation?

The Omega eqation is used in meteorology for estimate the value of the vertical velocity. Considering that the horizontal velocity field and density is given by observation. Under which condition ...
0
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2answers
134 views

Atmosphere above huge fire areas (e.g., “fire ocean”)? [closed]

My question is more about climate sciences, but I hope that it is still related to physics. What would be possible atmospheric conditions for planet with some kind of "fire" ocean? I had some ...
0
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1answer
1k views

why does gravitational force bring the clouds down? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The Density of Clouds according to definition of cloud : A visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground as there's an ...
0
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3answers
64 views

How do you see a rainbow?

I know that we observe rainbows from light being reflected off of water in the atmosphere. So, what angle of incidence must exist between an observer and the sun in order to see the colors of the ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Why lightning most likely occure in night?

This is a question based on my experience. I am not going to prove that lightning (succeed by thunder) never occure in day, but it seems it most likely occure in night. May the humidity of air become ...