Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. Nature can refer to the phenomena of the world. The study of nature is a part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena. The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or essential qualities, innate disposition, and in ancient times, literally meant birth. Natura is a Latin translation of the Greek word physis, which related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals. This usage continued during the advent of scientific method in the last several centuries. Within the various uses of the word today, nature often refers to geology, for example, manufactured objects and human interaction generally are not considered part of nature, unless qualified as, for example, human nature or the whole of nature. Depending on the context, the term natural might be distinguished from the unnatural or the supernatural.
Earth is the planet known to support life, and its natural features are the subject of many fields of scientific research. Within the solar system, it is third closest to the sun, it is the largest terrestrial planet and its most prominent climatic features are its two large polar regions, two relatively narrow temperate zones, and a wide equatorial tropical to subtropical region. Precipitation varies widely with location, from several metres of water per year to less than a millimetre,71 percent of the Earths surface is covered by salt-water oceans. The remainder consists of continents and islands, with most of the land in the Northern Hemisphere. Earth has evolved through geological and biological processes that have left traces of the original conditions, the outer surface is divided into several gradually migrating tectonic plates. The interior remains active, with a layer of plastic mantle. This iron core is composed of a solid phase. Convective motion in the core generates electric currents through dynamo action, the atmospheric conditions have been significantly altered from the original conditions by the presence of life-forms, which create an ecological balance that stabilizes the surface conditions.
Geology is the science and study of the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth, the geology of an area evolves through time as rock units are deposited and inserted and deformational processes change their shapes and locations
Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate climates, between autumn and spring. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth in that hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun, different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, in many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. The moment of winter solstice is when the elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value, meaning this day will have the shortest day. The English word winter comes from the Proto-Indo-European root wend, relating to water, the tilt of the Earths axis relative to its orbital plane plays a large role in the formation of weather. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23. 44° to the plane of its orbit, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere.
Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun, from the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun. During winter in either hemisphere, the altitude of the Sun causes the sunlight to hit that hemisphere at an oblique angle. In regions experiencing winter, the amount of solar radiation is spread out over a larger area. This effect is compounded by the distance that the light must travel through the atmosphere. Compared with these effects, the changes in the distance of the earth from the sun are negligible, the manifestation of the meteorological winter in the northerly snow–prone parallels is highly variable depending on elevation, position versus marine winds and the amount of precipitation. A case in point is Canada, a country associated with tough winters. Winnipeg on the Great Plains at a distance from large bodies of water has a January high of −11.3 °C.
In comparison, Vancouver on the coast with an influence from moderating Pacific winds has a January low of 1.4 °C with days well above freezing at 6.9 °C. Both areas are on the 49th parallel north and in the western half of the continent. Winter is often defined by meteorologists to be the three months with the lowest average temperatures. This corresponds to the months of December and February in the Northern Hemisphere, the coldest average temperatures of the season are typically experienced in January or February in the Northern Hemisphere and in June, July or August in the Southern Hemisphere. Blizzards often develop and cause many transportation delays, diamond dust, known as ice needles or ice crystals, forms at temperatures approaching −40 °F due to air with slightly higher moisture from aloft mixing with colder, surface based air
Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during a thunder storm. This discharge occurs between electrically charged regions of a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. The charged regions in the atmosphere temporarily equalize themselves through this discharge referred to as an if it hits an object on the ground. Lightning causes light in the form of plasma, and sound in the form of thunder, Lightning may be seen and not heard when it occurs at a distance too great for the sound to carry as far as the light from the strike or flash. This article incorporates public domain material from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration document Understanding Lightning, the details of the charging process are still being studied by scientists, but there is general agreement on some of the basic concepts of thunderstorm electrification. The main charging area in a thunderstorm occurs in the part of the storm where air is moving upward rapidly and temperatures range from -15 to -25 Celsius.
At that place, the combination of temperature and rapid upward air movement produces a mixture of super-cooled cloud droplets, small ice crystals, the updraft carries the super-cooled cloud droplets and very small ice crystals upward. At the same time, the graupel, which is larger and denser. The differences in the movement of the precipitation cause collisions to occur, when the rising ice crystals collide with graupel, the ice crystals become positively charged and the graupel becomes negatively charged. The updraft carries the positively charged ice crystals upward toward the top of the storm cloud, the larger and denser graupel is either suspended in the middle of the thunderstorm cloud or falls toward the lower part of the storm. The result is that the part of the thunderstorm cloud becomes positively charged while the middle to lower part of the thunderstorm cloud becomes negatively charged. This part of the cloud is called the anvil. While this is the charging process for the thunderstorm cloud.
In addition, there is a small but important positive charge buildup near the bottom of the cloud due to the precipitation. Many factors affect the frequency, distribution and physical properties of a lightning flash in a particular region of the world. These factors include ground elevation, prevailing wind currents, relative humidity, proximity to warm and cold bodies of water, to a certain degree, the ratio between IC, CC and CG lightning may vary by season in middle latitudes. Lightnings relative unpredictability limits a complete explanation of how or why it occurs, the actual discharge is the final stage of a very complex process. At its peak, a thunderstorm produces three or more strikes to the Earth per minute
Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon /taɪˈfuːn/, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface and this energy source differs from that of mid-latitude cyclonic storms, such as noreasters and European windstorms, which are fueled primarily by horizontal temperature contrasts. The strong rotating winds of a tropical cyclone are a result of the conservation of momentum imparted by the Earths rotation as air flows inwards toward the axis of rotation. As a result, they form within 5° of the equator. Tropical cyclones are typically between 100 and 2,000 km in diameter, Tropical refers to the geographical origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively over tropical seas.
Cyclone refers to their nature, with wind blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite direction of circulation is due to the Coriolis effect, in addition to strong winds and rain, tropical cyclones are capable of generating high waves, damaging storm surge, and tornadoes. They typically weaken rapidly over land where they are cut off from their energy source. For this reason, coastal regions are vulnerable to damage from a tropical cyclone as compared to inland regions. Heavy rains, can cause significant flooding inland, though their effects on human populations are often devastating, tropical cyclones can relieve drought conditions. They carry heat away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes. Tropical cyclones are areas of low pressure in the troposphere. On Earth, the pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest ever observed at sea level, the environment near the center of tropical cyclones is warmer than the surroundings at all altitudes, thus they are characterized as warm core systems.
The near-surface wind field of a cyclone is characterized by air rotating rapidly around a center of circulation while flowing radially inwards. At the outer edge of the storm, air may be nearly calm, due to the Earths rotation, as air flows radially inward, it begins to rotate cyclonically in order to conserve angular momentum. At an inner radius, air begins to ascend to the top of the troposphere and this radius is typically coincident with the inner radius of the eyewall, and has the strongest near-surface winds of the storm, consequently, it is known as the radius of maximum winds. Once aloft, air flows away from the center, producing a shield of cirrus clouds
In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. A cyclone differs from a hurricane or typhoon only on the basis of location, a hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and a cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean. Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure, the largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale. Warm-core cyclones such as cyclones and subtropical cyclones lie within the synoptic scale. Mesocyclones and dust devils lie within the smaller mesoscale, Upper level cyclones can exist without the presence of a surface low, and can pinch off from the base of the Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere. Cyclones have seen on extraterrestrial planets, such as Mars. Cyclogenesis describes the process of formation and intensification.
Extratropical cyclones begin as waves in large regions of enhanced mid-latitude temperature contrasts called baroclinic zones and these zones contract and form weather fronts as the cyclonic circulation closes and intensifies. Later in their cycle, extratropical cyclones occlude as cold air masses undercut the warmer air. A cyclones track is guided over the course of its 2 to 6 day life cycle by the flow of the subtropical jet stream. Weather fronts mark the boundary between two masses of air of different temperature and densities, and are associated with the most prominent meteorological phenomena. Strong cold fronts typically feature narrow bands of thunderstorms and severe weather, such fronts form west of the circulation center and generally move from west to east, warm fronts form east of the cyclone center and are usually preceded by stratiform precipitation and fog. Warm fronts move poleward ahead of the cyclone path, occluded fronts form late in the cyclone life cycle near the center of the cyclone and often wrap around the storm center.
Tropical cyclogenesis describes the process of development of tropical cyclones, Tropical cyclones form due to latent heat driven by significant thunderstorm activity, and are warm core. Cyclones can transition between extratropical and tropical phases, mesocyclones form as warm core cyclones over land, and can lead to tornado formation. Waterspouts can form from mesocyclones, but more often develop from environments of high instability, henry Piddington published almost 40 papers dealing with tropical storms from Calcutta between 1835 and 1855 in The Journal of the Asiatic Society. He coined the term cyclone, meaning the coil of a snake, in 1842, he published his landmark thesis, Laws of the Storms. There are a number of characteristics common to all cyclones
Summer is the hottest of the four temperate seasons, falling between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, the date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate and culture. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, a variable seasonal lag means that the meteorological center of the season, which is based on average temperature patterns, occurs several weeks after the time of maximal insolation. Under meteorological definitions, all seasons are set to start at the beginning of a calendar month. This meteorological definition of summer aligns with the commonly viewed notion of summer as the season with the longest days of the year, the meteorological reckoning of seasons is used in Australia, Denmark, the former Soviet Union and Japan. It is used by many in the United Kingdom, in Ireland, the summer months according to the national meteorological service, Met Éireann, are June and August.
However, according to the Irish Calendar, summer begins on 1 May, school textbooks in Ireland follow the cultural norm of summer commencing on 1 May rather than the meteorological definition of 1 June. Reckoning by hours of daylight alone, summer solstice marks the midpoint, not the beginning, midsummer takes place over the shortest night of the year, which is the summer solstice, or on a nearby date that varies with tradition. Where a seasonal lag of half a season or more is common, by this method, in North America, summer is the period from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox. The similar Canadian tradition starts summer on Victoria Day one week prior and ends, as in the United States, on Labour Day. In Chinese astronomy, summer starts on or around 5 May, with the known as lìxià, i. e. establishment of summer. In Australia and New Zealand, summer begins on 1 December. Summer is traditionally associated with hot or warm weather, in the Mediterranean regions, it is associated with dry weather, while in other places it is associated with rainy weather.
The wet season is the period of vegetation growth within the savanna climate regime. Where the wet season is associated with a shift in the prevailing winds. In the northern Atlantic Ocean, a tropical cyclone season occurs from 1 June to 30 November. The statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is 10 September, the Northeast Pacific Ocean has a broader period of activity, but in a similar time frame to the Atlantic. The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and March, in the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November
A microburst is a small downdraft that moves in a way opposite to a tornado. Microbursts are found in strong thunderstorms, there are two types of microbursts within a thunderstorm, wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their cycle, the downburst and cushion stages, a microburst can be particularly dangerous to aircraft, especially during landing, due to the wind shear caused by its gust front. A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees and they usually last from a couple of seconds to several minutes. Fujita coined the term macroburst for downbursts larger than 4 km, a distinction can be made between a wet microburst which consists of precipitation and a dry microburst which typically consists of virga. Microbursts are recognized as capable of generating wind speeds higher than 75 m/s, Microbursts have been called air bombs. When rain falls below the base or is mixed with dry air, it begins to evaporate. The cool air descends and accelerates as it approaches the ground, when the cool air approaches the ground, it spreads out in all directions and this divergence of the wind is the signature of the microburst.
High winds spread out in type of pattern showing little or no curvature are known as straight-line winds. Wet microbursts are downbursts accompanied by significant precipitation at the surface which are warmer than their environment and these downbursts rely more on the drag of precipitation for downward acceleration of parcels than negative buoyancy which tend to drive dry microbursts. As a result, higher mixing ratios are necessary for these downbursts to form, melting of ice, particularly hail, appears to play an important role in downburst formation, especially in the lowest 1 km above ground level. These factors, among others, make forecasting wet microbursts a difficult task, the evolution of downbursts is broken down into three stages, the contact stage, the outburst stage, and the cushion stage. The virtual temperature correction usually is small and to a good approximation. In some storms this term has an effect on updrafts but there is not much reason to believe it has much of an impact on downdrafts.
The second term is the effect of buoyancy on vertical motion, clearly, in the case of microbursts, one expects to find that B is negative meaning the parcel is cooler than its environment. This cooling typically takes place as a result of phase changes, precipitation particles that are small, but are in great quantity, promote a maximum contribution to cooling and, hence, to creation of negative buoyancy. The major contribution to this process is from evaporation, the last term is the effect of water loading. Whereas evaporation is promoted by large numbers of small droplets, it requires a few large drops to contribute substantially to the downward acceleration of air parcels
A noreaster is a macro-scale cyclone. Use of the term in North America is associated with different types of storms, some of which can form in the North Atlantic Ocean. The term is most often used in the areas of New England. Typically, such storms originate as an area that forms within 100 miles of the shore between North Carolina and Massachusetts. The precipitation pattern is similar to that of other extratropical storms, nor’easters are usually accompanied by very heavy rain or snow, and can cause severe coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricane-force winds, or blizzard conditions. Noreasters are usually most intense during winter in New England and Atlantic Canada and they thrive on converging air masses—the cold polar air mass and the warmer air over the water—and are more severe in winter when the difference in temperature between these air masses is greater. Noreasters tend to develop most often and most powerfully between the months of November and March, although they can develop during other parts of the year as well, the susceptible regions are generally impacted by Noreasters a few times each winter.
The term noreaster came to American English by way of British English, this is incorrect, as John Lyly uses the term the same way in his play of 1585, Gallathea. According to the OED, the first recorded use of the term occurs in 1836 in a translation of Aristophanes. The term “nor’easter” naturally developed from the spellings and pronunciations of the compass points. As noted in a January 2006 editorial by William Sisson, editor of Soundings magazine, yet it has been asserted by linguist Mark Liberman that noreaster as a contraction for northeaster has no basis in regional New England dialect, the Boston accent would elide the R, notheastuh. He describes noreaster as a fake word, this view neglects the little-known etymology and the historical maritime usage described above. Nineteenth-century Downeast mariners pronounced the compass point north northeast as nonuth-east and his efforts, which included mailing hundreds of postcards, were profiled, just before his death at the age of 88, in The New Yorker.
Despite the efforts of Comee and others, use of the term continues by the press, despite these assertions, the term can be found in the writings of New Englanders, and was frequently used by the press in the 19th century. Thomas Bailey Aldrich, in his semi-autobiographical work The Story of a Bad Boy, wrote We had had several slight flurries of hail and snow before, but this was a regular noreaster. In her story In the Gray Goth Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote. and there was snow in the sky now, no noreaster ever occurs except when there is a high barometer headed off and driven down upon Nova Scotia and Lower Canada. A common contraction for northeaster, as listed in Ralph E. Huschkes Glossary of meteorology, Noreasters develop in response to the sharp contrast in the warm Gulf Stream ocean current coming up from the tropical Atlantic and the cold air masses coming down from Canada. When the very cold and dry air rushes southward and meets up with the warm Gulf stream current, the storm tracks northeast along the East Coast past the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic, and the New England coastal states
A subtropical cyclone is a weather system that has some characteristics of a tropical and an extratropical cyclone. As early as the 1950s, meteorologists were unclear whether they should be characterized as tropical or extratropical cyclones and they were officially recognized by the National Hurricane Center in 1972. Subtropical cyclones began to receive names from the tropical cyclone lists in the North Atlantic, South-west Indian Ocean. There are two currently used for subtropical cyclones. Across the north Atlantic and southwest Indian Ocean, they require central convection fairly near the center, across the eastern half of the northern Pacific, they require a mid-tropospheric cyclone to cut off from the main belt of the westerlies and only a weak surface circulation. Subtropical cyclones have broad wind patterns with maximum sustained winds located farther from the center than typical tropical cyclones and this means that subtropical cyclones are more likely to form outside the traditional bounds of the North Atlantic hurricane season.
Subtropical cyclones are observed to form in the South Atlantic. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the term semi-tropical and quasi-tropical were used for what would become known as subtropical cyclones, the term subtropical cyclone merely referred to any cyclone located in the subtropical belt near and just north of the horse latitudes. Intense debate ensued in the late 1960s, after a number of hybrid cyclones formed in the Atlantic Basin, in 1972, the National Hurricane Center finally designated these storms as subtropical cyclones in real-time, and updated the hurricane database to include subtropical cyclones from 1968 through 1971. This name was not noted as controversial in contemporary news reports, in the North Atlantic basin, subtropical cyclones were initially named from the NATO phonetic alphabet list in the early to mid-1970s. In the intervening years of 1975–2001, subtropical storms were named from the traditional list and considered tropical in real-time. Between 1992 and 2001, two different numbers were given to subtropical depressions or subtropical storms, one for public use, for example, Hurricane Karen in 2001 was initially known as Subtropical Storm One as well as AL1301.
In 2002, the NHC began giving numbers to subtropical depressions, from 2002 onwards, Subtropical Depression 13L would be known as Subtropical Depression Thirteen instead. Hurricane Gustav of 2002 was the first Subtropical Storm to receive a name but became tropical shortly after naming, Subtropical Storm Nicole, from the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season was the first subtropical storm that did not become tropical since the policy change. A subtropical storm from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season did not become tropical, in the southern Indian Ocean, subtropical cyclones are named once winds reach tropical storm, or gale, force. Since 2011, subtropical storms in the South Atlantic Ocean are named by the Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Center, Subtropical cyclones form in a wide band of latitude, mainly south of the 50th parallel in the northern hemisphere. In the case of the north Indian Ocean, the formation of type of vortex leads to the onset of monsoon rains during the wet season. In the southern hemisphere, subtropical cyclones are observed across southern portions of the Mozambique Channel
European windstorm is a name given to the strongest extratropical cyclones which occur across the continent of Europe. They form as cyclonic windstorms associated with areas of low atmospheric pressure and they are most common in the autumn and winter months. On average, the month when most windstorms form is January, the seasonal average is 4.6 windstorms. However, when they track further south they can affect almost any country in Europe and these phenomena vary in terms of physical mechanisms, atmospheric structure, spatial extent, severity level and location relative to cyclone and fronts. On average these storms cause economic damage €1.9 billion per year and they rank as the second highest cause of global natural catastrophe insurance loss. Up to the half of the 19th century, European windstorms were named after the person who spotted them. Usually, they would be named either by the year, the date, however, a storm may still be named differently in different countries. 2011 storm Dagmar in Norway and Sweden is known as Patrick in Germany, an alternative Scottish naming system arose in 2011 via social media/Twitter which resulted in the humorous naming of Hurricane Bawbag and Hurricane Fannybaws.
Such usage of the term Hurricane is not without precedent, as the 1968 Scotland storm was referred to as Hurricane Low Q, the UK Met Office and Irish forecasting service Met Éireann held discussions about developing a common naming system for Atlantic storms. An independent forecaster, the European Windstorm Centre, has its own naming list, the university subsequently started to name every area of high or low pressure within its weather forecasts, from a list of 260 male and 260 female names submitted by its students. The female names were assigned to areas of low pressure while male names were assigned to areas of high pressure, the DWD subsequently banned the usage of the names by their offices during July 1991, after complaints had poured in about the naming system. However, the order was leaked to the German press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germanys ZDF television channel subsequently ran a phone in poll on 17 July 1991 and claimed that 72% of the 40,000 responses favored keeping the names.
This made the DWD pause and think about the naming system, during 1998 a debate started about if it was discrimination to name areas of high pressure with male names and the areas of low pressure with female names. The issue was resolved by alternating male and female names each year. The naming comes with the chance that the system will be notable. The money raised by this is used by the department to maintain weather observations at the Free University. Several European languages use cognates of the word huracán to indicate particularly strong winds occurring in Europe. The term hurricane as applied to these storms is not in reference to the structurally different tropical cyclone of the same name, in English, use of term hurricane to refer to European windstorms is mostly discouraged, as these storms do not display the structure of tropical storms
Thunderstorms occur in association with a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus. They are usually accompanied by winds, heavy rain, and sometimes snow, hail, or, in contrast. Thunderstorms may line up in a series or become a rainband, strong or severe thunderstorms, known as supercells, rotate as do cyclones. Thunderstorms result from the upward movement of warm, moist air. As the warm, moist air moves upward, it cools, condenses, as the rising air reaches its dew point temperature, water vapor condenses into water droplets or ice, reducing pressure locally within the thunderstorm cell. Any precipitation falls the long distance through the clouds towards the Earths surface, as the droplets fall, they collide with other droplets and become larger. Thunderstorms can form and develop in any location but most frequently within the mid-latitude. Thunderstorms are responsible for the development and formation of many weather phenomena. Thunderstorms, and the phenomena that occur along them, pose great hazards.
Damage that results from thunderstorms is mainly inflicted by downburst winds, large hailstones, stronger thunderstorm cells are capable of producing tornadoes and waterspouts. There are four types of thunderstorms, single-cell, multi-cell cluster, multi-cell lines, supercell thunderstorms are the strongest and the most associated with severe weather phenomena. Mesoscale convective systems formed by vertical wind shear within the tropics and subtropics can be responsible for the development of hurricanes. Dry thunderstorms, with no precipitation, can cause the outbreak of wildfires from the heat generated from the lightning that accompanies them. Several means are used to study thunderstorms, weather radar, weather stations, past civilizations held various myths concerning thunderstorms and their development as late as the 18th century. Beyond the Earths atmosphere, thunderstorms have observed on the planets of Jupiter, Neptune. Warm air has a lower density than air, so warmer air rises upwards.
Clouds form as relatively warmer air, carrying moisture, rises within cooler air, the moist air rises, and, as it does so, it cools and some of the water vapor in that rising air condenses. If enough instability is present in the atmosphere, this process will continue long enough for cumulonimbus clouds to form and produce lightning, Meteorological indices such as convective available potential energy and the lifted index can be used to assist in determining potential upward vertical development of clouds