Taxonomy term

meteorology

Storms brewing over volcanoes

Two hundred years ago, a sea captain was sailing in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, when he observed “an immense body of smoke rising from the sea.” As he watched, the smoke, from a volcanic vent offshore of the island of St. Michael’s, began to rotate on the water “like a horizontal wheel,” the captain wrote in his 1811 account of the event. The rotating smoke and ash grew into a dark column and ascended high into the sky, spawning waterspouts and flashes of lightning.

09 Apr 2009

Larger raindrops may make tornadoes more likely

A huge thunderstorm was gathering above central Oklahoma on May 20, 1977. As the storm intensified, a tornado began to form and struck the ground, leaving wreckage in its path. Although the tornado itself is now well-known, the forces behind its formation are still surprisingly sketchy. Using high-resolution modeling, however, a new study reveals how some atmospheric conditions can make tornadoes more — or less — likely to form.

03 Feb 2009

Watch out Houston, Ike is coming

As residents of Galveston, Texas, scramble to evacuate before Hurricane Ike makes landfall tonight, most Houston residents have been told to stay put. But even Houston — about 130 kilometers (80 miles) to the northeast — is in for some extreme weather tomorrow.

12 Sep 2008

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