ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The atmosphere is the key to life on Earth. This thin layer is what protects us from the hostile environment of space. Here you can learn all about the atmospheric sciences.
FPO
Featured

What’s a polar vortex?

During the unusually cold winter of 2014, the term "polar vortex" got quite a workout, causing many to wonder if it was a new weather phenomenon. Actually, the polar vortex is always with us – just usually with a lower profile. But will that change?

11-20 of 42
  • How Auroras Work

    How Auroras Work

    Auroras are stunning natural light shows that are visible only in certain parts of the world at certain times of the year. Where can you go to see one? See more »

  • How big can hail get (and how is that even possible)?

    How big can hail get (and how is that even possible)?

    The longer ice bounces around in storm clouds, the bigger the hailstones will be when they fall to Earth. Drag that process out for a while, and comparisons to mere golf balls just won't cut it. See more »

  • How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work?

    How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work?

    How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work? What causes it? Why can you only see it in the North? Are the myths about it producing sound true? See more »

  • How does the Farmers' Almanac predict weather?

    How does the Farmers' Almanac predict weather?

    It sure would be handy to know what the weather is going to be like for the next year. Unfortunately, there's just one problem: Weather is notoriously difficult to predict. So is the Farmers' Almanac accurate, or is it just blowing hot air? See more »

  • How does the windchill factor work?

    How does the windchill factor work?

    What is "wind chill"? Does it have any effect on inanimate objects? See more »

  • How rare are double rainbows?

    How rare are double rainbows?

    A double rainbow, man! Just the sight of one can send us babbling into happiness. And why not? Rainbows are beautiful. And two rainbows at the same time? Even better. But just how rare are these colorful arcs? See more »

  • How Weather Works

    How Weather Works

    You might think of weather as something that happens around your life. It could prevent you from taking a bike ride or inspire you grab an umbrella on your way out. But there's more to weather than its ability to thwart the best-laid plans. See more »

  • If the temperature is 30 degrees F, why do we sometimes get snow and other times get freezing rain?

    If the temperature is 30 degrees F, why do we sometimes get snow and other times get freezing rain?

    Precipitation can vary from rain to snow when the temperature is below freezing. Why does precipitation not always fall as snow when it's below freezing? See more »

  • Is every snowflake actually unique?

    Is every snowflake actually unique?

    You've probably heard that no two snowflakes are alike, but can that be true? Find out how molecules of water vapor come together to form these winter wonders. See more »

  • Is humid air heavier than dry air?

    Is humid air heavier than dry air?

    If humid air is just air plus water, then it has to be heavier than dry air, right? Sure, if it was only a matter of simple addition, but molecular physics is a lot like a bouncer at a club: Nothing gets in unless something else goes out. See more »

11-20 of 42
More To Explore
  • Most Popular