Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The strongest storms in recorded history

Forces of nature are fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Perhaps no other calamity is as far reaching and affects as much of the world as oceanic storms. Throughout history, storms have come out from the oceans to batter those living on land. Early civilizations would even come up with legends of how gods and monsters would conjure these destructive winds and rains. More modern societies have studied these patterns and have devised countless safety measures to minimize destruction of property and loss of life. 

Image source: livescience.com

Let’s take a short look at two of the strongest storms in recorded history. 

Typhoon Nancy 

The undisputed strongest typhoon in history, based on the strength of her winds, Typhoon Nancy brought a path of destruction that many governments and research centers still study up to this day. The debate though is whether the info on her is reliable. What was more devastating was that it sustained her strength for over five whole days, which is a record. 

Typhoon Violet 

Typhoon Violet at its strongest was one of the most intense storms ever recorded. Only Nancy was stronger. One fortunate fact about Violet was that it didn’t last long. Whereas Nancy held the record for lasting the longest as a category 5 typhoon, Violet died down after only a few days.

Image source: nbcnews.com

Jim Byrne is a seasoned weatherman and the former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12. For more fascinating discussion on the weather, check out this blog.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Fundamental Workings Of The Wind

Weather is caused by the interplay of the sun, the air, and water. The most fundamental of its forces is the wind, the movement of air from one place to another. The very movement of the wind influences the pattern of the weather. Winds carry water vapor up to the troposphere, where it condenses into clouds, which are then carried across vast distances. Surface currents, themselves part of a complex conveyor of warm and cool water across the Earth’s oceans, are driven in part by the winds.

Image source:convectioncurrentscienceproject.weebly.com



All air is constantly in motion: wind is rapidly moving air, caused ultimately, by the actions of the sun and influenced by the interplay of heat and pressure. As the sun rises, the air is gradually warmed. As a gaseous mixture, warm air expands—losing density and pressure—and rises. Air from higher pressure (usually cooler) areas thus moves in to fill the void left by the rising air.

Because of the role played by pressure in creating wind movement, measuring the pressure of air has become a staple part of meteorology. Detecting areas of low pressure can allow meteorologists to predict the likelihood of stormy weather accurately.

Image source:physicalgeography.net

The winds experienced every day are rather subtle differences in pressure, the result of the fluctuations caused by sunlight over the course of the day. Stronger winds are caused by much more concentrated differences in pressure, such as those experienced when warm air currents from the tropics collide with cooler air from the poles, creating an immense turbulent movement that, in the right conditions, would turn into a storm.

Jim Byrne is a seasoned weatherman and the former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12. This blog shares more updates on the fundamentals of the weather.