Category Archives: weather


Two cloud pictures, both authentic as far as I can see From the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe Facebook page: But God is a jester, so we get this one, too (From PuffHo via photographer Jamie O’Connell) h/t: Hempenstein      

A trifecta lightning strike in Chicago

We’ve had some bad storms here lately, and I’ve been able to watch the lightning from my balcony. Sometimes the lightning is so heavy that the skies seem lit up almost constantly. But on June 30 we had a real Midwestern corker, one that yielded an amazing video showing a simultaneous lightning strike on Chicago’s […]

It’s snowing again!

It’s spring, for crying out loud, and when I checked the weather forecast this morning there was no snow predicted. Then, a few hours ago, the white stuff started falling again, and not too lightly, either. Here’s what the quad looks like now: Is this going to be like 1816, “the year without a summer,” […]

Sun dogs in Canada

I really shouldn’t publish any more of Diana MacPherson’s photos until she stops vandalizing the toilet rolls of her friends and in restaurants, but these were too good not to post. They are of a solar phenomenon that I would describe, but I’ve been writing all day and am too tired to look it up. […]

Merlyn’s morning constitutional

Local reader daveau owns the beautiful English shorthair cat Merlyn, who’s been featured here before. It snowed AGAIN in Chicago last night, and this is the result of Merlyn’s venture outside this morning. daveau’s note and photograph: Merlyn’s whole round trip took under 10 seconds this morning. Merlyn obviously hasn’t found the Door to Summer.

What I missed in Chicago: the Big Polar Vortex

Okay, here’s a joke that my dad told me when I was a kid: “Jerry, have you ever heard about the kee-kee bird? It lives at the North Pole.” “No, dad. Why do they call it that?” “Because it sits up there on the ice and calls, “kee-kee-kee-kee-RIST it’s cold!” I’ll be here all week […]

Now that’s cold!

How cold was it in Chicago yesterday? With the wind chill, it was  -40, which happens to be the one temperature at which Farenheit and Celsius measures coincide. It was so cold, in fact, that they had to bring the polar bears inside at the Lincoln Park Zoo. As Rebecca Boyle notes on Eek Squad: […]

It’s snowing

It’s a slow news day (although cats are in the offing), and so there will be fluff—literally and figuratively; and I have a book to write.  I will report, though, that we’re getting 1-3 inches of snow at the moment, shown in the first photo, taken on the street a few minutes ago.  The second […]

A storm to remember

According to Wikipedia, a supercell is . . .  a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft.For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms. Of the four classifications of thunderstorms (supercell, squall line, multi-cell, and single-cell), supercells are the overall least common and […]

A mountain of greenhouse gas (and housekeeping)

I have a big backlog of stuff to write about—more about ways of knowing, les folies de Templeton, accommodationism, penguins, cat hotels, and the like—but final exams are looming and I have to write one.  So for today I’ll just make a few announcements,  present a disturbing video, and then make up challenging questions for […]


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