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
Learn More / Page 5
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?
Your bathtub is great for taking a soak, giving the kids a bath, or even washing the dog. But can it protect you during a tornado?
There's a tornado coming! What do you do first? Grab your valuables? Seek shelter? Panic? Open the windows? Wait, what? Some say opening the windows in your house makes a tornado cause less damage. Read on to find out the truth.
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.
By Oisin Curran
Every year during tornado season, we see devastating effects of twisters in flat regions. But what about mountains? Do tornadoes steer clear of mountainous landscapes?
If only all tornadoes took us to the Land of Oz. Unfortunately, they only force us to seek safe shelter. If you're driving with a twister on the horizon, is it safe to ride out the tornado in an underpass?
Twisters are among the most frightening weather events since, well, forever. Is it true that a tornado can't jump a body of water? Are you safe if you grab a boat and paddle away?
Have you ever watched a waterspout move over the ocean or a lake from what you thought was a safe distance? Don't get too comfortable next time. Waterspouts and tornadoes are closely related.
If the legend is true, at the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold. Does that mean if triple rainbows exist, you'll find three pots of gold?
One of the best things about autumn is watching the leaves change color to fiery hues of red, gold and orange. Some say a rainy summer leads to an extra-vivid leaf show. Is that true?
To paraphrase the band Queen, thunder and lightning are very, very frightening. Especially when you're stuck in a car in the middle of nowhere. But can your rubber tires protect you from a lightning strike?
If you live in a mobile home park, are you more likely to be hit by a tornado? Media images certainly make it seem that way. Find out if there's any truth to this scary stereotype.
Are you safer from tornadoes if you live in a city? Would Dorothy have ended up in Oz if she lived in New York rather than Kansas? Let's separate fact from fiction.
Mother Earth seems to have a love/hate thing going on with humans. While the planet we call home has all the essentials we need for life, it also has some nasty — and deadly — surprises.
Ah, lightning. Nothing like millions of volts of electricity skittering around your neighborhood to get the old heart rate up and send you scrambling for cover. Of course, no one can stay hidden forever, so when's it safe to come out?
In the days of Ancient Greece, it was easy enough to chalk up a bolt from the blue to Zeus, the great curmudgeon of Mt. Olympus. But while Ancient Greeks probably never felt safe from their grumpy god, today we know a bit more about lightning safety.
Simon and Garfunkel. Peanut butter and jelly. Thunder and lightning. Some things are just better when they roll in pairs. But while we know that '60s folk singers and classic foodstuffs can also roll solo, what about these stormy BFFs?
Your grandfather may swear that he can feel the onset of a harsh winter in his bones — and your family may swear it's true — but a lot of us would prefer a more scientific method for predicting what the winter may have in store for us.
We humans have figured out a lot of strange ways to measure the weather. A cricket's chirps can tell us the temperature. The open scales on a pinecone signal a dry spell. But can a ring around the moon really predict rainy days ahead?
North America certainly has many claims to fame. It's got the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls -- all pretty impressive stuff. But can it claim tornadoes as uniquely its own -- and if so, what's up with that?
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?
Determining the safest place on Earth can be a little tricky. After all, if we all knew where it was, wouldn't we all be clamoring to live there already? And anyway, what do we even mean by "safe" -- and safe from what?
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.