Climate & Weather

Atmospheric sciences help us understand and predict the weather. Learn about topics such as the seasons, why it snows, and how rainbows are formed.


In the mid-20th century, lightning strikes killed hundreds of Americans each year. Now, that number's dropped to only a few dozen. What's changed?

The four seasons experienced by Earth's midlatitude regions are being gradually altered by global warming — but a climate expert says they won't completely go away.

A new model describes in more detail how the Chicxulub asteroid affected our planet, from dropping temperatures to pausing photosynthesis, with soot playing an integral part.

Researchers studying tornadoes use a common theory of economics to determine casualty rates.

Very specific atmospheric conditions and just the right perspective are necessary to see the phenomenon.

Polar temperatures are changing more rapidly than equatorial ones, making the jet stream slower and wider, and extreme events longer-lasting.

Explosive solar events are bad news for Earth, so it's good to keep an eye on space weather. Newly discovered "Rossby-like" waves could help them out with that big job.

We've all seen shots of meteorologists fighting gale-force winds to report on storms. So just how high can the winds get before the reporters are knocked off their feet?

Earth's atmosphere used to be full of toxic hydrogen, but a brief period of methane smog cleared the way for valuable oxygen to set up shop.

Midwestern night owls got a meteoric surprise this week.

The atmosphere protects those of us here on land from cosmic radiation. So what about those who spend time above the clouds?

As Hurricane Matthew continues its deadly tour of the East Coast, HowStuffWorks Now explore all the ways these mega-storms can take you out.

Weather bombs have produced some of the most destructive storms on record. So what is one exactly?

Herd animals stick together, but when there's a lightning storm, there may not be safety in numbers.

More than two centuries ago, the biggest volcanic explosion in human history occurred. And it had far-reaching effects.

Florida Tech filmed lightning strikes with powerful cameras that show the strikes almost 30 times slower than real life.

Once 5 miles wide, the Isle de Jean Charles has shrunk to be a spit of land barely a quarter mile wide. Soon it will no longer exist.

El Nino is anything but child's play when it comes to affecting the globe's weather — and, in turn, our economies, health and safety.

Just because astronauts are in space doesn't mean they can't use Twitter. These images of the Northern Lights were shot by International Space Station crewmembers.

Frogs! Fish! Birds! A surprising number of things have rained down from the sky besides water. But how?

Smartphone cameras enable us to take striking pictures of strange atmospheric phenomena—though we don’t always know what we’re seeing.

Thunder in the winter is a pretty cool phenomenon. It's unexpected, plus some say when you hear it, snow will arrive within seven days. If you hear thunder during the winter, should you get your snow shovel ready?

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?

You've always heard that lightning never strikes the same spot twice. So if that tree stump in the yard was struck during a storm, why not just go sit there during the next storm? You're safe, right? You might want to rethink that.

There's nothing quite as relaxing as a nice bubble bath at the end of the day. However, take one during a thunderstorm and you may have a shocking experience instead. Read on to find out the connection between water and storms.