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.
Stats Say Global Warming Helps Batters Slug Balls Over Walls
Using the Enhanced Fujita Scale to Rate Tornado Destruction
Tornado Alley: Where the Worst Twisters Form in the U.S.
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
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Snow is nothing more than frozen water, and water is clear, not white. But snow is bright white. How?
There's often a strong, quite pleasant, smell right after a rain shower. What accounts for petrichor, the 'smell of rain'?
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?
How often have you watched a weather forecaster point to a spiral-shaped cloudy mass with a sense of dread and fascination? What fuels these ferocious storms?
Every night on the news, the weatherperson reports the UV index. What is the UV index and how is it calculated?
What causes the seasons? Why are the seasons reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres? And if the Earth moves in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, why don't we have two summers and two winters every year?
You may have heard that you can figure out how far away lightning is by how long it takes for the thunder to arrive after you see the flash. Is this true? How do you calculate it?
Why is it colder at the top of a mountain than it is at sea level? Heat rises, and the top of a mountain is closer to the sun, so shouldn't it be hotter at the top of a mountain?
Hurricanes seem to have a mind of their own as they track across the Atlantic Ocean. While they all follow the same general directions, local weather patterns effect where they ultimately land. Find out why hurricanes move the way they do.
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?
We can usually see rainbows right after a rainstorm on a warm Spring day. These giant colorful arcs stand out against the dark rain clouds. Have you ever wondered what causes this phenomena? Find out how rainbows are created in this article from HowStuffWorks.
What is "wind chill"? Does it have any effect on inanimate objects?
A tornado is one of those amazing, awesome acts of nature that simply leaves you dumbfounded -- a huge, swirling, 200-mph beast of a storm that appears to have a mind of its own.
Lightning is an incredible force of nature. And like many natural phenomena, lightning is not always what it seems. Go behind the mystery and learn what's really going on when lightning strikes.