Tag Archive

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... »

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... »

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?... »

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... »

Answers: Supercooled water

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: How can water that is below 32 degrees F (zero degrees C) remain in liquid form and not freeze? That is, become "supercooled"? Matt, LaGrange, Ga. A: The best way to begin understanding how supercooled liquid water forms is to forgot what you've been told about water "freezing at 32 degrees F." This is really the temperature at which ice... »

Answers: Aircraft altimeter errors

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: Can you help me understand in very simple terms altimeter error when flying from high to low pressure areas and from low to high areas?  I am studying it but its just not clicking.—Mark, Noblesville, Ind. A: To answer  your question I'll begin with some basic information about aircraft altimeters and then use the diagram below to help you see... »

Suggestions for hurricane-oil spill coverage

By Jack Williams ©2015

With Hurricane Alex no longer a threat to the people and vessels working to stop and clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, reporters, newscasters, editors, and other news people can take a breather and think about ways to improve coverage when the next hurricane moves into  the Gulf of Mexico. One of the things to think a lot more... »

Answers: Arizona tornadoes

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: Do tornadoes occur in south-west Arizona, including in the Yuma area? Chris,  Yuma, Ariz. A: A few tornadoes have occurred in Yuma County in the past, which means that they can  occur in the future. Nevertheless, the record shows they are rare and usually weak. If  you go to the National Climatic Data Center's (NCDC) Storm Events Web page, select "Arizona"... »

Questions about the oil spill and hurricanes

By Jack Williams ©2015

If someone were still paying me to write about weather and science, here are some of the questions I'd ask about a possible Gulf of Mexico hurricane and and the huge oil spill. A story with the answers to even one or two of my questions would help answer some questions that I'm sure many people have. 1. Could a hurricane's winds... »

Answers: AMS Weather Book Supplementary Texts

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: Are The AMS Weather Book Supplementary Texts available as a whole, in one digital file, such as a PDF file (or perhaps even in hard copy)?  I would like to print and to keep those supplementary texts with my copy of The AMS Weather Book.  If so, please provide the 'Net location from which I may download.  Thank you. Dan,... »