Category Archives: weather

Roll cloud over Chicago!

Reader Michael sent me this gif from Colossal, showing a “roll cloud” that came over Chicago with the cold front last evening: Roll clouds are also called “arcus clouds,” and Wikipedia tells how they form. It’s too complicated to summarize, so just click the link if you want to learn about them and their relatives […]

A spandrel for the panda

Everything in D.C., so I hear, has been shut down by The Big Storm.  But at least one creature is enjoying the weather: h/t: Matthew Cobb for tw**t

It’s cold!

When I was a wee kid, my father used to tell me one of his patented jokes, always at bedtime. Here’s how it went: Floyd: Jerry, did you ever hear about the kee-kee bird? It lives at the North Pole! Little Jerry:  No, dad. Why do they call it the kee-kee bird? Floyd: Because it sits […]

A microburst in Arizona

A burst is a column of cool air that, being heavier than warm air, sinks to the ground rapidly and dissipates, causing high winds. When a small portion of such air is laden with water from a storm, and drops to the ground, you get the famous microbursts. (We had one in Chicago about a […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

First, some more weather pictures from the recent Midwest storm system. These were send by reader Tom Czarny in an email called “Some photos from the End of the World”. His notes: Or so it seemed as this storm (since termed a mesocyclone) swept into my hometown of Traverse City in northwestern Michigan yesterday about 4 […]

It’s snowing again!

And before some wiseass says, “It’s always snowing somewhere in the world” (the same wiseass who, wanting a drink before 5 p.m., says, “It’s 5 p.m. somewhere in the world), I mean here, in Chicago. Here are the flurries on my way to work, with the Robie House again pictured for lagnaippe.  (The snowflakes make […]

Damn, more snow here!

Imagine my surprise when, not having looked out the window, I checked the weather report on my laptop to find this: HEAVY snow! And indeed, it’s snowing—and heavily indeed. It’s predicted to taper off this afternoon, but there’s already an accumulation, and I was frosted like a cake when I arrived at work. This is a surprise: we […]

Snow train

If you live in the northern bits of North America now, you may wonder what happens to trains when there’s a lot of snow. Well, many are stopped, but some indefatigable trains plow on. Here’s one of them: a freight train identified as “CN train 406 West at Salisbury, NB [New Brunswick], February 3, 2015”. It’s Canadian, […]

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow

Yes, today is Groundhog Day, and the fabled prognosticating groundhog from Pennsylvania (Marmota monax) saw his shadow, which means we’re in for six more weeks of winter weather. Has he been accurate in his predictions over the years? Go here to find out. h/t: Melissa

Still moar snow!

Oy gewalt! It’s still coming down. The last call for my area was 18 inches of snow (that’s 46 cm), and it’s still falling fairly heavily. The temperature is 11ºF (that’s -12ºC), and traffic on sidestreets is nonexistent: they haven’t been plowed. On my way home yesterday, it was already pretty deep: These cars won’t get out unless […]