On this episode the meteorologists have a mix of topics. From the tropics, to lightning, and even an update on temperature averages in the U.S.

Molly talked about the different types of lightning. The three talked about the most commonly see types like cloud to ground, cloud to cloud, and even spider lightning. Molly also discussed the rarer forms of lightning like sprites, elves, and the mysterious ball lightning.

Adam went over forecasting for the tropics. This includes areas close to the equator and near the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. These locations rarely see influence from fronts and mid-latitude cyclones (low pressure systems found in the U.S. that bring us much of our weather changes). Most of the forecasting for these areas depends on larger scale events compared to what we see away from the tropics (seasonality, monsoons, highs, tropical storms). Forecast can often have little day to day variability unless there’s something bigger at play. Also Adam discussed how the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) works and why it is a focus for forecasting in the the rainforests as well as the tropics. Adam talked about Monsoons and how they can be influenced by ENSO (El Nino Sothern Oscillation) phases, snow in the Himalayas, and where the ITCZ is set up.

Chris talked about how the new Climate Normals had been released. This process is done every 10 years to up date our normal temperatures for any given day. They take day over a 30 year period and use that to make the adjustments. Chris talks more about this in his weather blog post.

Here are more links on the normal temperature change.

NWS Lincoln Office


National Centers for Environmental Information

Here are some cool sites to look at tropics data

CIMMS Tropical Cyclone Page

College Of DuPage Weather Page

And more on Lightning:

Lightning Safety