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 6
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.
Some things in this world you can just count on. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Certain types of birds will always fly south for the winter. But do tornadoes really only move from west to east -- and if so, why?
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!
By Chris Opfer
Only a few natural events pack the power to knock global civilization on its heels. One is a planet-killing meteor. Care to guess the other?
It's hard to resist a movie where bloodthirsty beasts fall from the sky, especially if Ian Ziering stars! How might the science behind this B movie work?
Separating fact from fiction when it comes to tornado safety could mean the difference between life and death.
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?
By Alia Hoyt
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 how can that be true? Find out how molecules of water vapor come together to form these winter wonders.
Some of the most expensive tornadoes in American history have touched down in the past few years, leading researchers to wonder whether they're getting stronger. Are tornadoes really becoming more destructive?
The question about supervolcanoes, it turns out, isn't whether one could destroy all life on Earth. It's when will it do it again. Wait, what?
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?
It sounds simple enough. A wildfire is burning in your immediate area, so you turn from it and run. But getting away from a fire on foot may not be as easy as you think.
Out of nowhere comes a flash flood, causing water to rise quickly in your immediate area. Should you jump in your vehicle to get away from the floodwaters or try to escape by foot? Trying to outrun a flood is a bad idea. Here's why.
A tornado warning has just been activated in your area. Should you hunker down where you are, or should you hop in your vehicle and drive away? Trying to outrun a tornado sounds like a reasonable idea, but is it really?
In the movies it looks so easy. A team of scientists are working near the crater of a volcano when it suddenly erupts. They jump in their vehicle and outrace the surging lava flow to safety. In reality, it just doesn't happen that way.
The Americas have been hit with some major hurricanes throughout the decades. But which were the worst ones in history?
By Chris Opfer & Sarah Gleim
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?