News & Events

Background on Lake Vostok

By Jack Williams ©2015

The material below is from Chapter 24 of the Complete Idiot's Guide to the Arctic and Antarctic ©by Jack Williams, 2003. It offers some background on the Feb. 7, 2012 announcement that the Russians had succeeded in drilling into Lake Vostok. The text has not been updated since it was originally written in 2003. Jack's commentary on Lake Vostok news... »

Commentary: Don’t let facts get in the way

By Jack Williams ©2015

Journalists like to joke that one shouldn't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Some journalists seem to take this joke  as a guide to spinning a good yarn. A yarn that in the old days would get the story on a newspaper's Page 1 and today will bring lots of hits and links to a Web... »

Using weather to teach science

By Jack Williams ©2015

Jack Williams was among the 10 men and women who offered teachers ideas for using meteorology  in the classroom at the 2011 National Weather Association Teachers' Workshop on Oct. 17 in Birmingham, Ala. Williams offered suggestions on how teachers could use graphics and text in his AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America's Weather. He mentioned that the Book's... »

Correction to July 2011 Flight Training story

By Jack Williams ©2015

I made two errors in my “Hot, Humid, and Dangerous” column in the July 2011 issue of Flight Training Magazine, which includes a link to a page on this site about why humid air is lighter than dry air. First, the date of the extremely hot and humid day at the Newton, Iowa, Municipal Airport that I used as an example... »

Photos from London, England

By Jack Williams ©2015

Jack Williams and his wife, Darlene Shields, visited London, England, from April 25 through May 2, 2011 to be on hand for the Royal wedding and to enjoy the city. The photos here are some Jack took of people on walks around London. ... »

Answers: heating, cooling degree days

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: Several years ago, you wrote a short article for USA TODAY about heating degree days. I have depended on that article, and its links, to monitor the heating and cooling degree days in my area.  Now, I cannot access this article any longer through a USA TODAY search and I'd really like to have access to it.  I would... »

Answers: Hurricane rainbands

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: Cross-cut figures of hurricanes show a structure like a jelly roll turned on end and sliced through the middle.  Are these rings all connected in a continuous spiral or are they multiple rings? (I suspect they are continuous.) Also, how do they develop in the evolution of a hurricane? That is, why isn't the hurricane just a big homogeneous storm?... »

A companionable guide to climate change

By Jack Williams ©2015

Until I watched the preview DVD of "Earth: The Operators' Manual" a couple of weeks ago, I had never viewed a television program about climate change that I particularly liked. PBS stations began airing the show on April 10--with some showing it a few days later. More information on the show and when it's scheduled to run is available online. While other climate... »

Photos of the Shuttle Discovery launch

By Jack Williams ©2015

The photos in this gallery snow the first two minutes of the  Feb. 24, 2011 Space Shuttle Discovery launch. They were taken using a 300 mm lens from the media area at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., which is approximately three miles from the launch pad. Note that  from photo 6 to photo 9 in the gallery Discovery rolls so that the orbiter... »

Washington Post upgrades Web weather

By Jack Williams ©2015

The Washington Post is jumping headfirst into using weather to attract readers; something television stations have been doing since the 1960s but that newspapers have mostly ignored. In his Dec. 10 Sunday column Andrew Alexander, the Post's Ombudsman,  said: "Many readers have called or e-mailed asking what's behind the expanded . The answer: opportunity, and a fierce battle for the... »