Category Archives Weather

Ten days of intermittent erupting by Chile’s Puyehue volcano has created an ash cloud stretching 6,000 miles through the atmosphere to Australia and New Zealand. The latest news reports carry accounts of cancelled flights throughout the southern hemisphere. On the ground, volcanic ash closed roads in southern Patagonia (Argentina).  Air traffic is reportedly often able to skirt the ash particles…

The worst drought in fifty years is threatening to severely disrupt life in Hubei, Jiangxi and three other southern Chinese provinces, which traditionally have abundant water resources. Emergency rationing of drinking water is in place for over four million people. At the same time, reduced river flow has hampered hydroelectric power production resulting in rolling blackouts and brownouts. High demand…

As a parent, I am uncomfortable answering my daughter’s questions about what happened to the people in Japan when the “earth shook” and then the “ocean came and took people away.”  As I struggle to find the words to explain to her what happened, I accept that there is no explanation. And with a heavy heart, I recognize my own…

Widespread flooding in Queensland is now affecting an area about the size of California, Nevada and Oregon combined.  For you geography aficionados, that is about the same as France and Germany or just over half of Queensland – Australia is a big place. The prevailing atmospheric conditions known as  La Nina produced the third-wettest year on record for Australia in 2010,…

Venezuela’s rainy season has extended well past its usual October close.  Heavy rains are causing a variety of problems such as flooding and mudslides, resulting in the death of 25 people and the displacement of nearly 60,000.    Air transportation is extremely limited, and ground transportation is dangerous -- over 112 roads in the area have been blocked.  Schools in…

Weather is enjoying celebrity-like status in the news this year.  The unusually warm weather in Vancouver has caused all kinds of problems with the outdoor Olympic events, but these abnormal conditions are not unique to British Columbia.  Many areas of Canada and the U.S. are experiencing unseasonable warmth and rain, or equally unusual cold and snow.  These strange patterns extend…

While you are ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, or hiking in the cold you may not feel the chill, but you still need to protect your skin.  Long term exposure to cold temperatures, or even short term exposure to extreme temperatures can lead to frostbite. Frostbite is the freezing of your body from the outside in – starting on the outer…

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), better known as “winter depression”, describes people with normal mental health who become depressed during the winter months.  Officially, it is a form of depression that seems to recur annually. The malady appears to be particularly prevalent among college students, many of whom spend long hours during the winter months secluded in poorly lit dormitory rooms…

Thinking about visiting a tanning salon to work on your base tan before heading on your vacation? You might want to read the latest news posted on CNN.com -- Study: Sunbeds as harmful as cigarettes.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) just reclassified their position on the relation between sunbeds and cancer.  According to their studies, melanoma is…

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