Tag Archive

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... »

Pilot answers: Upper air data and forecasts

By Jack Williams ©2015

Q: I use RUC soundings for flight planning, but I am befuddled by the following: When I enter a station, load the Op40 soundings, and hover with my mouse over the loaded graph I see  bold numbers on the far-left near the Pressure (mb) line, and light numbers appear directly underneath my cursor with a dynamic pink line drawn from... »

Science Stories about Arctic Blasts Missing in Action

By Jack Williams ©2015

The New Year has brought us a blizzard of stories about frigid temperatures and snow storms, but I've been unable to find any stories that closely examine what's going on. I had been wondering whether I just hadn't looked hard enough until I read the Jan. 6 Knight Science Journalism Tracker blog and saw that Tracker Charlie Petit is also searching... »

Ozone Story Challenges Science Writers

By Jack Williams ©2015

NOAA's announcement on August 28, 2009 that nitrous oxide is replacing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the most abundant ozone-depleting substance emitted by human activities offers a big challenge to science writers. Making sense of ozone and the substances that deplete it is always difficult because the atmospheric chemistry involved is complex. This story is a continuation of the story I tell in Chapter... »

Aviation Contributes to Better Forecasts

By Jack Williams ©2015

This column originally appeared in the June 2005  issue of Flight Training Magazine. ©By Jack Williams and Flight Training Magazine.  All Rights Reserved Piecing together weather Aircraft weather data alphabet soup Here are some of the acronyms for aircraft weather data systems. ACARS: Aircraft Communication Ad-dressing and Reporting System, operated for the airlines by Aeronautical Radio Inc. (ARINC) -- the communications link between pilots... »