Weather Facts And Trivia To Enjoy

The history and study of weather are an ever rich and exciting one. It’s filled with fun and fascinating scientific facts that will make one continue to wonder about the phenomenon happening in and around Earth. Here are some of them!

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There’s a wealth of weather events that strike parts of Earth regularly. The energy in a one-day hurricane on average could power the whole United States for three years. Men make up 85 percent of the victims killed by lightning. Did you know, too, that the costliest hurricane to make landfall was Hurricane Katrina? It was a Category 5 storm that ravaged Louisiana in August 2005, with damages amounting to about $91 billion.

Raindrops aren’t actually shaped like raindrops! While they’re usually depicted as teardrops, raindrops don’t fall that way. Air pressure and surface tension, after all, tend to make raindrops form into more of a burger bun-like shape. Still on the subject of raindrops, the fastest a raindrop can fall is 18 mph. If a drop gets larger than around 4 mm radius, the friction of the air passing the drop will cut it into smaller droplets.

Snow typically falls when the temperature near the ground is below freezing. Once, however, there was a report of snow showering at the LaGuardia Airport in New York with a surface temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also snow from clear skies – sometimes ice crystals fall from clear skies when temperatures are single-digit or colder.

If you’re afraid of thunderstorms, the island of Java in Indonesia is bad news: it sees thunderstorms occur at an average of 322 days each year, the most in any part of the world.

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Jim Byrne is a weatherman serving a consulting meteorologist for the Weather Channel program “So you think you’d survive.” He studied at San Jose State Universityand served as both the chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12 and as a freelance weekend meteorologist at NBC Bay Area. Read more on this page.


Summer Facts And Trivia To Enjoy

Summer is upon us and with it comes warm days and some outdoor delight.  For now, here are interesting summer facts and trivia to feast on.

The word “summer” comes from the proto-Indo-European root word “sam,” meaning summer.  A variant of the root “sam” is “sem,” which means “together/one.”  This year the astronomical summer kicks off on June 21, and this calendar determines the seasons based on the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis in its orbit around the sun.  The meteorological summer, on the other hand, starts on June 1.  Meteorological seasons coincide with the Gregorian calendar to make it easier to observe and forecast for comparing seasonal statistics.

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The longest day of the year occurs in summer.  It’s dubbed the Equinox and Solstice, marking the point when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.  After this day, the days gradually get shorter until the winter solstice occurs around December 22.  While the Northern Hemisphere goes through summer solstice, the Southern Hemisphere experiences a winter solstice that marks the shortest day of the year.

In the United States, more than 650 million long-distance summer trips are made.  The country’s top summer destinations are the beach/ocean, a popular city, national parks, a lake, and a resort.  In France, meanwhile, the summer heat makes the iron of the Eiffel Tower expand, making the tower grow over six inches.

Have you heard of the saying “dog days of summer”?  It pertains more to the stars than dogs – the Romans’ “dies caniculares” started toward the end of July when the star Sirius – also known as the “Dog Star” – began to ascend in the sky just before the sun.  The bright star was also believed to enhance the heat of the sun during the summer.

Jim Byrne currently works as the meteorological consultant for the Weather Channel program “So you think you’d survive.” He studied meteorology and journalism at San Jose State University. Read more on this page.