James Miller

Weather Without All the Science

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It’s going to be fine.

There are things about the weather that you know without knowing that you know them.

Have you ever seen the sky turn green?  It’s usually right before a thunderstorm and it usually happens in the late afternoon.  Suddenly everything is radar-screen green.  It usually freaks me out and makes it seem like there’s about to be a particularly bad storm.

Sometimes all the clouds and water vapor in the air right before a storm are just right so they (the clouds and vapor) filter out the other colors of light, only leaving the green.

Another favorite is thundersnow.  We had thundersnow in February of this year, and, obviously, the term refers to a snow storm with thunder and / or lightning.

This is relatively rare because of temperature.  Thunder and lightning need to have warm and and cold air right next to or on top of each other.  It’s rare to have large masses of warm air in the winter, hence thundersnow is rare.

But when you have a storm that starts out warm and turns into snow as it progresses, the stage is set for thundersnow.  When a storm starts our warm enough to have liquid rain, the air can be warm enough to create thunder and lightning.

By the way, it’s going to snow Monday night and on into Tuesday morning.  Don’t freak out.  It’s just a small cold front.  It won’t stick or last past the end of the day.  You don’t even have to shovel it if you don’t want to.


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