SEVERE WEATHER. Cloud classification. High clouds (above 6km). Cirrocumulus clouds – puffy, high clouds. Cirrus – thin, wispy. Cirrostratus – cover the sky. Can give us solar and lunar halos. Halo around the sun through a cirrostratus cloud. Mid-level clouds (1.8 to 6 km)
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High clouds (above 6km)
Cirrocumulus clouds – puffy, high clouds
Cirrus – thin, wispy
Cirrostratus – cover the sky. Can give us solar and lunar halos.
Mid-level clouds (1.8 to 6 km)
Have prefix alto-
Low-level clouds (ground level to 1.8km)
Stratus clouds – low to ground, blanket-like
Nimbostratus – low clouds that accompany precipitation
Stratocumulus – low puffy clouds
Cumulonimbus clouds - thunderstorms
Advection fog – moist air moves over a cool surface.
Radiation fog – radiative heat loss cools the ground. Nearby air is cooled, leading to condensation. Morning fog is often radiation fog.
Steam fog – occurs on cold days when a body of water is warmer than the air.
Billion-dollar climate and weather disasters, 1980-2005
Stratford, TX in 1935
Hot, dry conditions caused by high pressure ridge
Drought map of the United States in 1934 – DUST BOWL
Temps in Chicago, July 1995
Blue areas cooler than usual
10°C hotter than July 2001
European heat wave, July 2003
BLIZZARDS AND ICE STORMS
Freezing rain – occurs when water freezes as soon as it touches an object rather than in the air
Warm, buoyant air mass is rising
Early stage of thunderstorm growth.
Updrafts creating tall, moisture-rich clouds
A mature thunderstorm
Downdrafts creating wind and heavy rain.
DERECHO – widespread, powerful straight-line winds. Can be as damaging as a small tornado.
Number of days with thunderstorms per year
Localized areas of high rainfall, central TX
LIGHTNING touches an object rather than in the air
Number of lightning deaths, 1959-2004
Number of lightning deaths by month
Tornado near Dimmitt, TX 1995
Super outbreak of tornadoes
April 3-4, 1974
WATCH means conditions are right for weather to occur (thunderstorm, tornado, flood, etc). Be on the lookout.
WARNING means it is happening now, and you need to take shelter immediately.
Wall cloud touches an object rather than in the air – Low cloud within a thunderstorm where tornadoes can form.
Tornado dropping from a wall cloud. Kansas, 1991. touches an object rather than in the air
Damage by tornadoes of different F-scale numbers touches an object rather than in the air
If possible, get to an underground storm shelter.
Alternate shelter: small interior room on 1st floor with no windows (closet or bathroom)
If caught outside, get low in a ditch
Never stay in a mobile home.
Cars are nearly as dangerous as mobile homes.