Today is National Look Up at the Sky Day!
Take a 5-minute break from your computer screen to go outside and admire the original form of "cloud."
- Get acquainted with the clouds overhead
- 5 of the most bizarre things to have fallen from the sky
- What is the sky? Learn the basics
Image credit: Tiffany Means
102 years ago on this day, April 13, Titanic was traveling westward across the open North Atlantic with mild springtime air temperatures in the 50s °F.
Because so few details surrounding the disaster are known for certain, it seems unreal that the daily weather conditions the Titanic and its passengers experienced could be recounted with accuracy. However, thanks to crewmen testimonies at the U.S. Senate Inquiry of the Titanic disaster and to archived weather maps, we actually have a pretty solid record of the kind of weather the ship encountered throughout her passage.
Image credit: F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923) [Public domain]/Wikimedia Commons
Never heard of this weather holiday before? Rest assured, it isn't as arbitrary as it sounds...
Big Wind Day is celebrated on April 12, the day on which the highest surface wind anywhere on earth--231 mph (372 km/h)--was observed at the summit of Mount Washington in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. Commonly known as the "Big Wind," the event was linked to a strong storm that passed over the summit on April 11-12, 1934.
Mount Washington's record remained unchallenged for over six decades, until 2010, when it took second place to a gust of 253 mph (407 km/h) measured on Barrow Island, Australia. This new gust occurred on April 10, 1996 during the passage of a category-4-equivalent Cyclone Olivia. (At the time of measurement in 1996, this piece of wind data was thought to be false/too extreme, and so was left out of the storm report. It lay dormant until reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization's extremes committee in 2009.)
Is Big Wind Day still a big deal for those in New Hampshire? Do Aussies now celebrate a similar day? If you happen to have a connection with this holiday or either one of these two locations, leave a comment below telling us more.
- The Story of the World Record Wind (the Mount Washington Observatory)
- Where do winds come from?
- More weather holidays
Image credit: Timothy Hearsum/Photodisc/Getty Images
According to folklore, the last calendar days of March should pass by as gentle and fair as a lamb. Well, I don't know about the recent weather in your area, but the weather in mine (which has included heavy snow showers and intermittent blue skies and sunshine, all on the same day) has been everything but sheepish.
By the look of this week's national forecast, I don't think we can expect early April's weather to be particularly lamb-like either.
- Quick! How many spring cold snaps can you name?
- The meaning of March's 'In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb'
Image credit: Anna Yu/Photodisc/Getty Images
March has been quite the busy month for weather awareness and safety. We recognized Severe Weather Preparedness the week of March 2, then Flood Safety/Awareness the week of March 16, and this week (March 23-29), we turn out attention to Tsunamis for Tsunami Preparedness week.
Here in the U.S., tsunamis tend to affect Alaska, Hawaii, and those states along the west coast shoreline--all the more reason for the rest of us, who likely know little to nothing about them, to learn!
- Isn't a tsunami just a tidal wave?
- Are tsunamis weather events?
- Preparing for a tsunami: Know your risk, warnings, and safe locations
- Find more resources at the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation website
Image credit: John Lund/Getty Images
Today, March 12, marks the 21 year anniversary of the start of the 1993 Storm of the century--a storm that an estimated 40% of the 1993 U.S. population (including a bright-eyed youngling with a budding fascination for weather by the name of Tiffany Means) experienced.
Where were you when the storm hit? And which of the storm's threats--the foot+ snowfalls, hurricane-force winds, or tornadoes--do you remember best?
Image credit: NOAA
In addition to extreme heat, tornadoes, and hurricanes, flooding was one of the top 5 causes of weather fatalities in the U.S. during the 10-year period of 2003-2012. Don't become a statistic! Pass along your flood safety knowledge to your entire family and neighborhood.
Today's theme in our week-long Severe Weather Awareness blog series is tornadoes.
Spring is often referred to as tornado season, so it's especially important to know the tell-tale signs of an approaching tornado as well as where you should go to seek shelter from it before you need to put these actions into use.
Many states will be practicing their statewide tornado drills this week. While there's no reason to be alarmed, residents are encouraged to seek shelter just as they would if an actual tornado was imminent. If you're a resident of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, or South Carolina, expect to hear the air raid sirens sometime today.
To learn what date and time your state's drill is scheduled for, you can check the NWS Preparedness Events Calendar, or simply tune into your local evening news.