Weather, and How It Works by Randi Mehling

By Randi Mehling

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Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. When a hurricane reaches cooler water or land, it loses its source of energy—heat—and quickly loses intensity. This satellite photo of Hurricane Rita clearly shows the eye of this Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Rita hit Louisiana and Texas only a month after Hurricane Katrina blasted through. 48 Weather, and How It Works FASTEST WIND SPEEDS EVER RECORDED The fastest wind speed ever recorded was 318 miles (512 km) per hour. It was measured in a 1999 Oklahoma tornado.

These stations collect information about local climates, among other important tasks, so that meteorologists can see long-term trends in the weather across the country. However, without amateur meteorologists, the National Weather Service would not be able to understand the weather as efficiently as they do. Thousands of amateur observers across the country love measuring and recording the weather. They volunteer as part of the NOAA’s Cooperative Observer Program. These weather buffs provide valuable daily and monthly information MONITORING THE WIND A wind sock tells you from which direction the wind is blowing.

It flaps around gently in a light wind and stands in a straight line in a strong wind. Another easy way to tell how fast the wind is blowing without any scientific tools is with the Beaufort scale. This scale was originally developed in 1806 by Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort and is still used today. By studying the effects of the wind on chimney smoke, trees, and leaves, you can estimate the speed of the wind. CHINOOK WINDS A chinook is a warm wind coming from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

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