Extreme Weather of the Google Trends newsletter

Heatwaves and floods: What can extreme weather tell us about climate change? - BBC Newsround

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Extreme weather includes unexpected, unusual, severe, or unseasonal weather; weather at the extremes of the historical distribution—the range that has been seen in the past.[1][2] Extreme events are based on a location’s recorded weather history. They are defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent (10th or 90th percentile of a probability density function).[2]

This is the latest edition of the Google Trends newsletter, with a focus today on extreme weather.  Published October 12, 2023

Top Trending Weather-Related “Why” Searches…

Past week, US

Why is it so hot in October in California

The weather in California, like in many parts of the world, can be influenced by a variety of factors, including seasonal variations, geographical features, and atmospheric conditions. It’s not necessarily hot in all parts of California in October, but there are a few key reasons why some areas may experience warm or hot weather during this time:

Mediterranean Climate: Much of California has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. October falls at the end of the dry season when temperatures can still be warm. Coastal areas, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, may experience milder temperatures in October due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean, but inland areas can be hotter.

Santa Ana Winds: Southern California, particularly in the region around Los Angeles, can experience the Santa Ana winds in the fall. These winds are hot, dry, and can lead to a significant increase in temperatures, often causing heatwaves. The Santa Ana winds are known for their potential to exacerbate wildfires.

High-Pressure Systems: In some cases, high-pressure systems can settle over California during the fall months, leading to clear skies and elevated temperatures. These weather patterns can bring warm and dry conditions.

Climate Change: Climate change has led to alterations in weather patterns and an increase in extreme weather events. California has experienced more frequent and intense heatwaves in recent years, which can cause high temperatures in October.

It’s important to note that California is a geographically diverse state, and weather conditions can vary significantly from one region to another. Coastal areas are generally milder than inland areas, and the state’s large size means that there can be considerable variation in weather conditions even within the same month.

If you’re concerned about the weather in a specific location in California during October, it’s a good idea to check with local weather forecasts, as they can provide more accurate and up-to-date information.

The New York Times recently published an article on why Californians love California. 

Why does it rain every weekend

Rain patterns and weather events can vary significantly depending on your location and the time of year. While it might seem like it’s raining every weekend, this perception can be influenced by several factors, including weather patterns, regional climate, and randomness. Here are a few reasons why you might experience frequent rain on weekends:

Regional Climate: Some areas have a climate that is more prone to weekend rainfall, depending on the time of year. For example, in certain tropical or monsoon climates, there might be a higher likelihood of afternoon showers or storms on weekends during the rainy season.

Seasonal Weather Patterns: In some regions, seasonal weather patterns can result in more rain during certain times of the year. For instance, in many parts of the world, the transition from one season to another, such as spring to summer or summer to fall, can bring an increase in rain or thunderstorm activity.

Perception Bias: It’s important to consider that our perception of rain patterns can be influenced by cognitive biases. If you pay more attention to the weather on weekends or plan outdoor activities on weekends, you might notice the rain more on those days, even if it’s not significantly different from other days of the week.

Randomness: Weather, to some extent, is inherently unpredictable and can exhibit random variability. While meteorologists can provide forecasts and predict weather patterns to a certain degree, there is always an element of randomness in weather, and this can result in occasional rain on weekends.

Local Factors: The specific weather conditions in your area can also play a significant role. Local topography, proximity to bodies of water, and other geographical factors can influence weather patterns. Additionally, some regions might experience more frequent convective storms, which are characterized by short bursts of heavy rain and can be more common during certain times of the day or week.

To get a more accurate understanding of the reasons for frequent weekend rain in your specific location, it’s best to consult local weather forecasts and climate data. These sources can provide information about the typical weather patterns and variations in your area. Remember that weather patterns can change from year to year and can be influenced by a variety of factors, so it’s not unusual to see occasional variations in the timing and frequency of rain.

New Yorkers are currently begging the rain to go away, at least for the weekends.

Why do clouds form in front of a warm front

Clouds often form in front of a warm front due to the lifting of warm, moist air over denser, cooler air. This lifting process leads to condensation and the creation of clouds. Here’s how it happens:

Air Masses: Before a warm front, you have two distinct air masses in contact with each other. The warm air mass is less dense and carries more moisture, while the cold air mass is denser and contains less moisture.

Lifting Mechanism: As the warm air mass advances and pushes into the region where the cold air mass is present, the warm air is forced to rise over the denser cold air. This lifting can occur in various ways, such as when the warm air is lifted by terrain, like mountains, or when it’s lifted by the frontal boundary itself.

Adiabatic Cooling: As the warm, moist air is lifted, it expands and cools. This cooling process is called adiabatic cooling. As the air cools, its capacity to hold moisture decreases, and it reaches its dew point. When the air reaches its dew point, the moisture in the air condenses into tiny water droplets. This process forms cloud droplets.

Cloud Formation: The cloud droplets that form due to the cooling of the warm air mass create clouds. The type of clouds that form can vary depending on the stability and moisture content of the air, but typically, you might see stratus or nimbostratus clouds in front of a warm front.

Precipitation: These clouds are often associated with steady, light to moderate precipitation. As the warm, moist air continues to rise and cool, the cloud droplets can grow in size and eventually fall as rain or drizzle.

The process of cloud formation in front of a warm front is a result of the lifting of the warmer, moist air mass over the cooler, denser air mass. This lifting and subsequent cooling and condensation are key elements in the development of clouds and precipitation associated with warm fronts.

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Past week, US

How hot is it in Qatar

Qatar is known for its extremely hot and arid climate, particularly during the summer months. In the summertime, which typically extends from June to September, daytime temperatures in Qatar can soar to extremely high levels. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and even reach up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country, especially in the interior desert regions.

The combination of high temperatures and low humidity can make the heat feel even more intense. These scorching conditions are a result of Qatar’s location in the Arabian Peninsula and the influence of the desert climate, with little to no relief from the cooling effects of the ocean.

During the winter months, from November to April, temperatures in Qatar are much more moderate, with daytime highs ranging from around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), making it a more comfortable time to visit or live in the country.

Keep in mind that these temperature ranges are approximate, and actual weather conditions can vary from year to year. If you plan to visit or spend time in Qatar, it’s advisable to check the current weather forecasts for the most accurate and up-to-date information on temperatures and conditions.

More details

How are air masses formed

Air masses are large bodies of air that have relatively uniform temperature, humidity, and stability characteristics. They form through a combination of geographical location and atmospheric processes. The main factors that contribute to the formation of air masses include:

Source Region: Air masses typically form over extensive source regions where the air remains stagnant for an extended period. These regions are usually characterized by uniform surface conditions, such as large bodies of water or expanses of land. The type of surface and its properties (e.g., temperature, moisture) influence the characteristics of the resulting air mass.

Stagnation: The air in a source region needs to remain relatively stationary for a sufficient period to take on the properties of that region. Over time, the air near the surface becomes more uniform in terms of temperature and moisture content.

Homogenization: As the air mass remains stagnant, it undergoes a process of homogenization. This means that the air becomes more consistent in terms of temperature and humidity throughout its vertical extent, especially in the lower troposphere.

Modification: Once an air mass has formed and acquired the characteristics of its source region, it can be modified as it moves away from that region. For example, if a warm, moist maritime (oceanic) air mass moves over a cooler landmass, it may gradually cool and become more stable, while losing some of its moisture. Conversely, if a dry continental air mass moves over a warm body of water, it might become more moist.

Air masses are typically classified based on their source regions and properties. The two primary factors used for classification are temperature and moisture content. The resulting categories include:

Maritime (m): Air masses that originate over oceans, characterized by higher humidity.
Continental (c): Air masses that originate over land, characterized by lower humidity.
Polar (P): Air masses that originate in high-latitude regions, characterized by cold temperatures.
Tropical (T): Air masses that originate in low-latitude regions, characterized by warm temperatures.
Combinations of these basic categories lead to various air mass types, such as maritime tropical (mT), continental polar (cP), maritime polar (mP), and continental tropical (cT), among others. The interactions and movements of these air masses play a crucial role in shaping regional weather patterns, including the formation of weather systems like cold fronts, warm fronts, and low-pressure systems.

How cold is it going to be this winter

The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac is available everywhere, from sea to shining sea! With our official debut, we can unveil the complete 2023–2024 winter weather forecast. We’ll share the General Weather Report and Forecast for the U.S., all 18 regional summaries, and a look inside the new 2024 edition.

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