News & Events

AMS elects Jack as a Fellow

By Jack Williams ©2015

The American Meteorological Society (AMS)  induced Jack Williams as a Fellow at its January 2015 meting in Phoenix. Ariz. The AMS' governing Council  had elected Williams as one of 28 new Fellows at its fall 2014 meeting. The Society says members elected as fellows "shall have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their aplications substantial period of years."... »

U.S. once had China-like air pollution

By Jack Williams ©2015

Stories about the choking air pollution in China prompted Jack to write a Washington Post Capital Weather Gang story on Oct. 25, 2013 about an episode of deadly pollution that sickened  and killed people in the small Pennsylvania manufacturing town of Donora in 1948. Jack first researched the Donora pollution disaster while writing Chapter 11 of the AMS Weather Book: The... »

Washington Science Academy honors Jack

By Jack Williams ©2015
Al Teich of the Washington Academy of Science (left) presents to Award to Jack. -photo by Darlene Shields

The Washington Academy of Sciences presented Jack a "Special Award for the Public Understanding of Science" at a dinner on May 8, 2014 at the Sphinx Club in downtown Washington, D.C. The award notes Jack's  contributions as founding editor of the influential USA TODAY Weather Page" and as author or co-author of popular books on meteorology. Al Teich... »

Jack writes section of National Geographic book

By Jack Williams ©2015

Jack wrote the weather section--one  of five--in the National Geographic Illustrated Guide to Nature: From Your Back Door to the Great Outdoors, which came out in early 2014. The other sections are: Wildflowers, Trees & Shrubs, Rocks & Minerals, and Night Sky.The book is generally a field guide with brief descriptions of each phenomena, It has full-color photos for each one... »

Jack’s stories clear fog surrounding humidity

By Jack Williams ©2015

Since soon after becoming the founding USA TODAY Weather Page editor in 1982 Jack realized that many people were in a fog when they talk about topics involving water vapor in the air, that is humidity. Below are links some some of Jack's Capital Weather Gang stories that attempt the clear some of the mental fog surrounding humidity.   After the Weather Gang... »

Jack looks at hurricanes from several angles

By Jack Williams ©2015

Jack Williams believes you can't say too much about hurricanes---but don't try to say it all at the same time. Below are links to hurricane-related stories Jack has done for the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog with the latest stories first. Hurricane hunting began in 1947 with Army Air Forces WB 25s flying into the Great Atlantic Hurricane. Hurricanes can be dangerous... »

Stories update lightning safety information

By Jack Williams ©2015

Like many people,  you might think that if lightning hits you, you're done for. In fact, as I say in one my two stories about lighting safety that the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang published June 26 and 27, 2013: "approximately 90 percent of those lightning hits survive, but often with long-lasting neurological damage." The two stories on the Capital Weather Gang... »

Why, how U.S. built the South Pole station

By Jack Williams ©2015

Note: This is from Chapter 14 of  "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Arctic and Antarctic" ©2003 by Jack Williams with minor editing changes and a few updates. It adds background to my Washington Post blog story about the South Pole Station. When the Cold War was at one of its hottest points early in the 1950s as hot war against Communist... »

National Geographic publishes Jack’s latest book

By Jack Williams ©2015

The National Geographic published Jack's  latest book, the Field Guide to the Water's Edge, on  May 1, 2012. Jack is co-author with Stephen Leatherman, who is widely known as Dr. Beach for his annual 10 Best Beaches lists. Stephen's day job is is the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami. He's been issuing his America's... »

Answers: Light, moderate, and heavy fog

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: I have seen heavy fog defined  as having a visibility of less than 0.3 miles. But have never see what defines a moderate or light fog. Is there some standard? Lowell, Glen Allen, Va. A: This sounds like a pretty simple question, but isn’t. First, here’s the definition of “fog” from the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Glossary of Weather and... »