Rays of light from the sun above a layer of clouds over the earth.

Earth’s atmosphere, while it appears to go forever, is actually a very thin layer of air. Technically the atmosphere reaches out for thousands of miles, but over half of the atmosphere is within 4 miles of the earth’s surface. Think about driving 4 miles- it’s not very far. By the time you’re 16 miles up, 98 percent of the atmosphere is below you. Again, not a big distance. At the upper end of this lies a concentration of a gas that protects life on earth. Without this gas, very little life would be able to survive.  This gas is called ozone. It works to prevent

We're moving into fall and looking ahead, the outlook for winter temperatures continues the trend toward warmer temperatures.  

 

hazy sky

Growing up, we would listen to the local radio station at breakfast. In addition to the news, they would play songs from the great crooners of the time, including Nat King Cole. One of his songs is The Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.

As I look out my window, the sky has a milky, hazy appearance. What is haze and why does it happen?

weather map with Q&A icon on top of it

First, thanks for your interest in the How Well Do You Know Weather quiz post from a few weeks ago. Some people sent responses and several said they enjoyed the quiz even if they didn’t send in answers. 

Without further ado, here are the questions and answers:

illustration of a cartoon man watching a tornado "whats' the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?"

Tornadoes can form in a few minutes and dissipate just as quickly. However, the conditions that may create a tornado and other severe weather can be seen hours in advance giving forecasters and the public the chance to be vigilant.

weather chart

You’re watching a local weather forecast or checking it online when you notice it says temperatures will be 'above normal or below normal.' But what does this actually mean?

Normal is Average

In most cases, the word 'normal' is used in place of 'average.'