Forces of Nature
We see the destruction that the Earth can unleash in the news on a regular basis. Here you can learn about hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other forces of nature.
Tornado Alley: Where the Worst Twisters Form in the U.S.
Can California Save Today's Rain for Future Droughts?
Why Does It Get So Quiet After a Snowfall?
Where Does Mauna Loa's Lava Come From?
What Is a Flash Drought? An Earth Scientist Explains
What's Your Home's Flood or Wildfire Danger? This Site Will Tell You
Where is tornado alley and why do so many tornadoes form there?
California has experienced unprecedented rain lately, but the state is still in a drought. So why can't the rain falling now be saved for later?
Fresh snow muffles ambient sound immediately after it falls, but the quiet doesn't last very long.
Picture a hay bale, a paper towel roll, a roll of sod or a flaky doughnut. Now picture it made out of snow. That's a snow roller.
By Dylan Ris
Weather forecasters can tell what the weather will be by reading the barometric pressure, but how does it work?
By Dylan Ris
Bombogenesis is a phenomenon in which the atmospheric pressure in the middle of a low-pressure system drops rapidly, intensifying a storm and creating a bomb cyclone.
Mauna Loa is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years. Hawaii's volcanoes are different from most others, and that has to do with its magma chambers.
By Gabi Laske
Flash droughts start and intensify quickly over periods of weeks to months, compared to years or decades for conventional droughts.
Not to be confused with sleet, graupel is actually an interesting mix of snow and ice. But it's not hail. Graupel, get to know it.
Your home is your most important asset. So shouldn't you know how likely it is to flood or burn in a wildfire? This interactive website will tell you. And it includes the effects of climate change in its answer.
Weather drones can collect all types of information. But one sophisticated drone is about to launch in the U.S. and will, for the first time, share that data for research purposes.
Haboobs are giant walls of dust that can come seemingly out of nowhere. How are they created and are they different from sandstorms?
A geomagnetic storm could cause a spectacular aurora borealis Aug. 18 and 19 over parts of the continental United States, as far south as Illinois.
By Sarah Gleim
Mammatus clouds, which are made from falling air instead of rising air, are one of the most spectacular cloud formations you'll ever see.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests as many as six hurricanes could reach Category 3 or higher during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
By Sarah Gleim
The year 2020 saw some of the biggest lightning flashes ever recorded by humankind, called "megaflashes." But how much bigger is a megaflash than a regular bolt of lightning?
By Carrie Tatro
They're an odd enough sight in the sky to make you do a double take. Ready for the "super cool" explanation behind hole-punch clouds?
The goal of a chief heat officer is a big one: to mitigate the fallout of climate change, particularly as it relates to unfair distribution of risk based on income and social status.
Atmospheric rivers, also known as "Pineapple Express" storms, are key to the global water cycle, particularly in the western United States. But with a warming climate, their intensity could get much worse.
Wildfires burning across the Western United States don't just destroy crops. The smoke can also impact the way vegetation photosynthesizes. But it's not all bad news.
Wildfires burning in Russia, particularly Siberia, have been unprecedented in 2021. What is sparking the outbreaks, and why are they so bad this year?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center says the 2021 Atlantic hurricane shows no signs of slowing down. In fact it may have more storms than meteorologists first predicted.
By Sarah Gleim
The balance between Earth's incoming and outgoing energy is known as its "energy budget" and the climate is determined by these energy flows. The balance is out of whack and that's not good.
The effects of wildfire smoke are different than those of other types of air pollution. But just how harmful to humans is it?
Nearly 90 percent of the Western U.S. is gripped by an "apocalyptical" drought that only continues to worsen. Even if you don't live in the area, it affects you — and what you do affects it.