The Science Behind Freak Snowstorms

If you've ever experienced the overwhelming "flash snowstorm" that is lake effect snow, you know that the sudden white-out conditions can disappear just as quickly as they came, a giant pile of freshly fallen snow the only evidence they were there at all. But how does it work? Here it is, explained in one picture. » 1/08/15 9:20am 1/08/15 9:20am

See Every Possible Kind Of Snowflake Shape In One Chart

Every snowflake is different. But while each snowflake itself may be different from the one that came before it, the crystalline shapes that make up all these special little snowflakes are actually remarkably uniform. » 12/11/14 9:40am 12/11/14 9:40am

Watch This Gigantic Wall of Snow Engulf Buffalo, New York

This snow storm is so intense that it looks like a thick, dense cloud has blanketed part of the city of Buffalo. And that's what's extraordinary about it. This is an intensely localized storm, which dumped several feet of snow on just one narrow slice of the city. » 11/18/14 3:20pm 11/18/14 3:20pm

This Bizarre, Glittering Cloud Just Appeared in the Sky over Australia

This Strange Wind Pattern Let Us Dodge A Terrible Hurricane Season

Last year at this time, it looked like we were about to be hit by an alarmingly intense hurricane season. Instead, we had the smallest hurricane season since 1982. So what happened? An unusual — and unpredictable — wind pattern showed up and scattered all the previous predictions. » 6/26/14 4:08pm 6/26/14 4:08pm

The Location Of Every Tornado Touchdown In America, Graphed

America has more tornado touchdowns on average than anywhere else in the world, but those touchdowns are not at all evenly distributed. These maps, which break down the coordinates of each tornado, illustrate exactly where the danger falls the heaviest. [UPDATE] » 6/17/14 10:24am 6/17/14 10:24am

, joined us in comments to explain just what might be…

A Map Of Where El Niño Will Strike Around The World

It's looking more and more likely that we're going to have another El Niño year starting this summer — one that could possibly rival 1997's infamously bad event. But just what does that mean? As this map demonstrates, it can mean very different things around the globe. » 5/20/14 11:10am 5/20/14 11:10am

This Could Be A Horrific Year For El Niño

NASA's Earth Observatory posted these two comparison images of sea surface patterns in May of 1997, before that year's infamously terrible El Niño, and this month. The images are startlingly similar, suggesting we might be on the precipice of another tough El Niño year. » 5/14/14 12:40pm 5/14/14 12:40pm

North America is being invaded by foreign dust

The fight against pollution is often a piecemeal, nation-by-nation affair, which is problematic because pollution knows no national boundaries. But what's spreading isn't quite what everyone thought. Astudy published this month in Science tracked the movement of aerosal particles from around the world using the … » 8/15/12 6:20am 8/15/12 6:20am

Arctic megastorm is so powerful it's turning the ice cap into "slush"

A massive storm has been lashing the Arctic, and its fury is so great that it's actually breaking up the remaining ice at the pole and whipping it into a substance that one scientist called "slushy." Over at the awesome DotEarth blog, Andrew Revkin has been keeping tabs on the storm, which is incredibly unusual for… » 8/10/12 1:18pm 8/10/12 1:18pm