Atmospheric sciences help us understand and predict the weather. Learn about topics such as the seasons, why it snows, and how rainbows are formed.
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?
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.
Admit it: You'd be just a little freaked out if you looked up at the night sky and saw a weird glowing spiral stretching out before you. In 2009, many claimed to witness exactly such a phenomenon, but were they spinning yarns or telling the truth?
If you're in a thunderstorm, then your top priority is safety. It might sound like a good idea to call your loved ones and let them know you're okay, but hold the phone a moment. See those lightning bolts outside? They've got other ideas.
It would be nice if our electronic devices doubled as handy, lightning-proof talismans to ward off danger during a thunderstorm. Sadly, that sounds more like sorcery than science. In the meantime, maybe you should just leave them off and unplugged.
What is the strangest weather-related thing that could happen? Raining frogs? A triple rainbow? Or something else?
Did you know no two people see the same rainbow? Or that they contain 1 million colors — not just the handful we learn in school? Find out how to make your own rainbow — or, if you’d rather, how to make one disappear.
There's a thunderstorm brewing with some serious lightning. Fortunately you're safe in your car because of its rubber wheels. Or are you? And let's not get started on your rubber-soled sneakers!
Next time the cat starts sneezing, should you look for your umbrella or check her out for allergies? There are many superstitions out there about animals and weather prediction. Which ones hold water, and which ones are for the birds?
Knowing how to react (or not react, as the case may be) when you drive across a patch of black ice is useful; but if you've ever wondered how black ice forms, and what makes it so dangerous, we're here to help.
Ever hear that saying that a cow lies down when rain is coming? This superstition may not be as udderly ridiculous as you think.
There are certain steps you should take to protect yourself, your family and your home during a disaster. These are not those steps.
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.
The most damaging hurricanes usually have female names. Is this a case of gender bias, or is some other force at work?
Nothing ruins a good hair day like humidity, especially if your hair is dry and overprocessed. What's the science behind the frizz?
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?
When a hurricane or flash flood strikes a city, it can leave residents stranded in their cars, homes or other buildings waiting for rescue. How do rescue teams know where to go first?
A very strong storm doesn't automatically mean death or destruction. You can improve the odds of surviving intact with reinforcements to your home. Plus, scientists are improving their forecast methods. Let's look at high-tech and low-tech storm alerts.
"Nor'easter" is one of those words that makes you think of an old mariner scanning the horizon for a pending storm. What does it really mean -- and why don't we say "northeaster"?
What makes a nor'easter different from your run-of-the-mill winter storm? And which ones have done the most damage?
Auroras themselves aren't rare, but spotting one can be tricky: You need a clear, dark sky within one of the auroral zones. What are 10 spots that up the odds a bit?
If you've ever spied a night sky splashed with vivid billows of color, either you have access to interesting drugs or you've seen an aurora firsthand. If it's the latter, your sky-gazing probably took place during spring or autumn. How come?
Many folks in the Northern Hemisphere are still waiting for their full-blown snowman invasion to hit. Is Frosty ever going to come this winter?
Though they're outranked by other, more dangerous natural phenomena, dust storms can still do serious damage to life and property. What causes these massive storms?
Have you ever wondered how weather stations gather all of their data? Even though technology for predicting the weather has improved, simple weather balloons do a lot of the hard work every day.