Weather Myths & Facts

A bunch of weather myths and facts.

Weather Records in the United States and Around the World

I always find extreme weather records fascinating because some of them will just blow you away. If you think the weather is miserable or crazy where you live, take a look at some other places around the world. I think you’ll find most of these records absolutely mid boggling. Temperatures Coldest temperature in USA: -80°F at Prospect Creek Camp in the Endicott Mountains of northern Alaska on Jan. 23, 1971 Hottest temperature in USA: 134°F in Death Valley, CA on July 10, 1913 Coldest Temperature in the World: -129°F in…
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Which Way Does Water Spin Down a Drain?

At some point, most of us have heard that water spins down a drain in different directions depending on which hemisphere we happen to be in. The fact is, the Coriolis force (an apparent force as a result of the Earth’s spin) has virtually nothing to do with which direction water spins as it empties down a drain. Although this force is “real” and does have an affect on other large, long-lived systems that travel great distances, water draining from toilets, sinks, and bathtubs are rendered virtually immune from its…
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What Causes the Different Seasons?

Even though the Earth does pass closer to the sun during part of its orbit, this is not what’s responsible for the hot summers and cold winters. If this were the case, then both the northern and southern hemispheres would have their summers and winters at the same time. However as you’ll see below, exactly the opposite is true. When it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, it’s winter in the southern hemisphere. The Earth rotates about its axis once per day, but the Earth’s axis is tilted, 23.5° from vertical…
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Lightning Facts and Statistics

Lightning is one of Mother nature’s offerings that captures everyone’s attention because there’s just the right mix of fear and curiosity which draws folks to the show. Moreover, the amounts of ozone and nitrogen oxides created by lightning surpass those generated by human activities in that level of the atmosphere (source: NASA)! Below is a comprehensive list of lightning facts and statistics. Everything listed on this page has been verified with valid sources, such as NOAA, NASA, The National Weather Service (NWS), and medical professionals. Although some of the tid-bits…
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Can Lightning Cause an Airplane Crash?

lightning cause airplane crash

Can lightning cause an airplane crash? Not today. In fact, the last time a commercial airplane crashed in the United States due to a lightning strike was about 50 years ago. On December 8, 1962 lighting hit a Pan American Boeing 707 in a holding pattern over Elkton, Md. The lightning created a spark that ignited jet fuel vapor in a holding tank, triggering an explosion that killed all 81 aboard. Nowadays, the FAA estimates that each commercial airliner will be hit by lightning once a year (some will get…
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Windchill Factor

Windchill is a measure of how cold people and animals feel based on heat loss due to wind and evaporation. In cold and windy weather conditions, the skin loses heat through evaporation much more quickly than if the wind were not blowing. Therefore, it feels much cooler when it’s cold outside and the wind is blowing. The faster the wind blows, the greater the evaporation and thus, the greater the chilling affect. This is called windchill, “real feel”, or apparent temperature. There are a few misconceptions about windchill. The first…
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Is Ball Lightning Real?

Ball lightning is as mysterious as Big Foot and as controversial as UFO’s. No scientist has ever been able to conclusively prove its existence while at the same time no scientist has been able to prove it doesn’t exist either. All we have are a lot of sketches and eyewitness accounts which hold no weight in the scientific community. Especially when the event only lasts a few seconds, the whiteness was not prepared for what they were about to see and the subject is usually startled at the perceived event….
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