Nathan Moyer enjoys being lost in code, but would rather spend time trying to outsmart his husband & attempting to outrun his greyhound.
Taking the Weekend Off
Environmental Issues – Just like us humans, it appears that hailstorms and tornadoes take the weekend to kickback, relax, and take in the sun. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center released a study showing that storm activity spikes during the middle of the week, and calms by 20% during the weekends.
If the data collected from 1995-2009 based on summertime storms in the eastern United States points to these trends, the next obvious question is why? Well, the EPA might have that answer: “human-made, summertime air pollution over the eastern U.S. peaks midweek.” This pollution is caused by the average American five day work week, where commuting, traffic, and energy use is high.
The authors of the study are suggesting that human-made pollution has a direct effect on not just our environment, but also our daily life. They have found that as pollution enters the atmosphere, it tends to gather moisture, leading to more cloud development in the higher & colder atmosphere. Cloud development at such heights can yield bigger storms with higher activity, aka tornadoes and hail.
The full explanation of how the polluted moisture can cause hail and supercells (tornado producing clouds) can be found at National Geoegraphic. The quick breakdown is this:
- Air Pollution enters the atmosphere
- Water attaches to pollution
- Cold air freezes the pollution & water into larger pieces of ice
- Larger pieces of ice absorb less heat from the air
- Supercells form easier with warmer air
- Rinse & repeat
Just as a side note, this new study only holds up in areas with more humid climates, so the western United States, with a dryer atmosphere, does not follow the same pattern.
Read more at National Geographic.