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!
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.
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.