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12 September 2019

Lightning flashes illuminate storm behavior

Anybody who has ever tried to photograph lightning knows that it takes patience and special camera equipment. Now, a new study is using those brief but brilliant flashes to illuminate cloud structures and shed light on storm cell behavior, giving weather forecasters new tools for predicting lightning hazards.


6 June 2019

Sols 2427-2428: A Many-Layered Plan

Recent Navcam images from the Curiosity rover revealed some amazing ‘noctilucent’ clouds taken after sunset in Mars’s Gale Crater, which are so high that they’re still illuminated by the Sun, even when it’s night at the surface and any lower cloud layers are already in shadow.


7 May 2019

Sols 2400-2401: Just a cloud at twilight…

Mars is steadily moving toward the cloudiest time of year at low latitudes, which occurs from about southern mid fall through mid winter. This means that right now, just over 40 Mars sols after fall equinox, we’re expecting to see the cloud cover increasing,…


23 July 2018

Researchers find an easier way to simulate cloud cover

Clouds are an inspiration to most of us, but a nightmare for climate scientists. Clouds are exceptionally complex creatures, and that complexity makes it difficult to predict how and where they’ll form – which is unfortunate, since those predictions are essential to understanding precipitation patterns and how our climate will change in the future.


30 May 2018

Increasing heat drives off clouds that dampen California wildfires

Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once common low-lying morning clouds that shade many southern coastal areas of California, leading to increased risk of wildfires.


8 June 2017

Some clouds filled with ice lollipops

A cloud full of lollipops may sound like the most delicious carnival treat ever… except this cloud’s lollipops are made of ice. Scientists spotted the lollipop-shaped ice crystals during a research flight in southwest England. The researchers flew through a large cloud system in 2009 to better understand how ice forms at relatively mild temperatures.


3 November 2016

Rare molecule on Venus could shed light on planet’s weather

Scientists’ keen detective work may have solved one of Venus’s oldest secrets: why the planet’s atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light of a specific frequency. The new findings could help scientists better understand Venus’s thick atmosphere and its heat-trapping clouds, according to the study’s authors.


30 August 2016

Wildfire smoke hacks clouds

Plumes of wildfire smoke envelop and alter clouds, potentially affecting local weather, according to new research based on serendipitous airborne measurements of clouds in smoke from Canadian fires. The new data confirms clouds embedded in smoke are likely to warm up the atmosphere around clouds, causing the clouds to dissipate faster.


3 August 2014

You Don’t Have To Be A Meteorologist To Appreciate Clouds

Broadcast meteorologists frequently get calls from people when there is a solar halo or sun dog in the sky, and I have to tell you we are always shocked when people tell us that they “have never seen that before!” I cannot imagine how someone can live 40 or 50 years, and never have noticed such basic atmospheric optics. I can shock you even more, because it’s not uncommon to …


6 April 2014

Wave Clouds, Contrails, and Sahara Dust

What causes this? Very good website about it here: It was a bit chilly with an onshore sea-breeze, but sparkling early spring sunshine in spite of it being 10° C. I got a decent pic of the Ocean City pier that was damaged by a February nor’easter. Also notice the Jet contrails over the Eastern Mediterranean today. This image from the NASA Terra satellite about 600km up. Dust blowing off …