We’ve been having a lot of wind this past week. What happens to make the wind speed faster than normal?

Question answered by Jason RichMeteorologist, NOAA ARL Field Research Division Spring is typically windy as we transition from the cool season to the warm season. Uneven heating of the Earth’s surface creates differences in atmospheric pressure across the globe. When differences in the pressure exist, winds flow from the high pressure to the low pressure.…

How much does snow cover affect temperatures? Does snow reflect enough sunlight that it makes it colder?

Answered by John Hinsberger Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Office Daytime TemperaturesThe amount of incoming radiation from the sun that gets reflected back into space is known as albedo. Higher albedo means more of that radiation gets reflected back. Thus, less radiation can be absorbed by the surface, so temperature is affected. One of the…

Due to the fluctuations of the Earth’s temperature over time, who is to say that we aren’t currently living at the Earth’s natural temperature?

Question Answered by NOAA, Air Resources Laboratory, Field Research Division, Idaho Falls, ID The Earth’s climate does vary over time due to factors such as the movement of continents, large-scale volcanic activity, changes in the Earth’s orbit, and variations in the Sun’s energy output. Because of these changing factors, there is not one fixed temperature…

What happens to rain when lightning strikes it?

Answered by Travis Wyatt, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Any rain in the path of lightning will turn to steam. Lightning can heat the air anywhere from 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, lightning is extremely hot. Lightning traveling down a…

What is the difference between sleet and hail?

Question Answered by Tim Axford, Meterologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID. HAIL Usually occurs during the spring and summer but could occur during all seasons. When thunderstorms form, air moves from near the ground up into the sky, sometimes as high as 50,000 ft up! This air moving upwards will carry drops of water with it.…