Latest

Measuring Wind Speed : What is anemometer?

Wind is simply movement of air, but sometimes this movement can be pretty fast! Those of us in the South of England have recent memories of the St Jude’s Day storm on 28 October, and the disruption caused by gusts of up to 99mph. As well as meteorologists, lots of other people are interested in how fast the wind is blowing, ranging from sportsmen such as parachutists and sailors, to those concerned with hazardous winds, such as air traffic controllers and crane operators. But how do we measure its speed?

Winds of Change

Image: Some of the local wind names and their location. 

In many areas of the world, regional conditions give rise to winds that have been identified by the locals as having a special effect or occurring during a particular season. Quite often these winds are given a name by local inhabitants.

Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, and Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) in the Southern Hemisphere, are a spectacular natural phenomenon. They light up a night sky, dancing around in fantastic colours. There are few places in the Northern Hemisphere where you can see them, but they can be elusive if you are really unlucky. Here we explain the science behind the Northern Lights and share few tips on how to maximise your chances of witnessing this wonderful spectacle. 

A traveller’s guide to Reykjavík

Reykjavík is a popular winter destination for many Europeans, mainly because of the prospect of seeing the Northern Lights. Surprisingly, however, you should always take a swimwear with you when visiting the capital of Iceland in the winter months, so that you can enjoy the many health benefits from the geothermal hot springs in the area. The steam arising from the hot springs and geysers gave Reykjavík its name, which loosely translates to the Bay of Smokes.  

Human Side of the IPCC report : Human Side of the IPCC report

This term I am rewriting my climate change lectures. Not because the fundamentals have changed, but because the first part of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released in September. The IPCC was founded 25 years ago to provide authoritative assessments on the emerging problem of climate change. The first report was published in 1990, and the follow-ups, roughly one every six years, have grown in volume, complexity and indeed stature alongside our growing realisation of the complexity of the climate system.

FedEx Meteorologists Deliver… Rain or Shine

Depending on where you are in the world, the holiday season often delivers its own unwanted gift-rough weather.  It’s the kind of weather that doesn’t just cause your car to skid, rather shuts down roads, leaves you stranded at airports, disrupts large-scale global business, can cost billions of dollars in damages, and sadly, can even cost lives.

Feeling Under Pressure?: What are barometers?

We tend to think that the air around us doesn’t weigh anything, but in fact a cubic metre of air weighs over a kilogram. This air presses down on the Earth’s surface exerting a force we call air pressure. And if you add all those cubic metres of air sitting above our heads, it roughly equates to the force of an elephant balancing on a desk! This is equivalent to 1000 hectopascals (hPa), which is the unit used by meteorologists.