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Question: We've noticed that you don't show Chapel Hill on your temperature map anymore. The only thing you show is Roxboro and then Greensboro. As you well know, the weather and temperatures can fluctuate tremendously, and we'd appreciate it very much if you could show our temperature. — JN
Answer: We have a variety of different temperature maps that we show on air, ranging from very close in on the Triangle to fairly close maps that pan from north to south, to a larger projection focusing broadly on central NC, to a map that shows the entire state. Chapel Hill is shown on a couple of those maps but not on others, and as we vary during the course of a show from one set of maps to another (in order to include more communities in our viewing area) Chapel Hill does get covered, but like some other locations it may not be included in every weathercast.
Dec. 16, 2013 | Tags: maps & codes
Question: This is not a question, it is more a correction of the Appalachian pronunciation. It is pronounced apple-a-shin. Please use the correct pronunciation. — Ed
Answer: The name of that mountain range has more than one accepted pronunciation, with most areas south of roughly the Mason-Dixon line, including those of us here in the Weather Center and, for example, most people who attend the State University of the same name, using the pronunciation that features more of a "latch" sound in the middle. The "long a" version that you seem to be suggesting appears to be more commonly used in the northeastern United States.
Dec. 15, 2013 | Tags: controversy
Question: What happened to the Hurricane page? We used to be able to see the historical track of storms - at least in current year - but now all I see is are maps of current activity. — John Phillips
Answer: The newer storm tracking map is currently limited to active systems, but in its full-screen mode there is a link below the map to the older tracker that you can use to review past systems by selecting a year and then the storm name from that year. You can also find it directly at www.wral.com/weather/hurricanes/flash/1441335/.
Dec. 14, 2013 | Tags: hurricanes, past weather, wral.com
Question: What is the UV ray index on a nice sunny day like today and for a person with low vitamin D do you think being outside this time of year has benefits? — Juanita
Answer: The UV index on mostly sunny or sunny days this time of year is on the low side, around 3 or so, due to the low angle of the sun compared to the warmer half of the year, and the index for December only averages 1-2 when you also account for cloud cover. Most resources on Vitamin D indicate that during the higher sun angle portions of the year for our latitudes, one can generate most of the Vitamin D needed if exposed to the sun for about 10-15 minutes per day, but that lower UV values in the winter mean that there is very little D generated, and we have to depend on diet or supplements during that time.
Dec. 13, 2013 | Tags: weather & health
Question: I've been seeing a really bright star or planet in the southeastern sky lately and I'm wondering if you could tell me what it is. — Judy
Answer: That would likely be Venus, which can appear startlingly bright on a clear, crisp evening. It is currently situated in a part of its orbit that allows it to shine as the "evening star" in the southwest and will remain so for much of the rest of this month, then shift through late December into early January to become visible instead as the "morning star" in the southeastern sky.
Dec. 12, 2013 | Tags: astronomy
Question: What does a meteorologist do? What does a person have to do to become a meteorologist? — Lynch
Answer: That's a question with a longer answer than will reasonably fit here, but in short meteorologists study the atmosphere and attempt to understand or predict its behavior. Becoming a meteorologist usually involves obtaining a college degree in meteorology or atmospheric science, but there are a few alternatives. For much more information, check out www.ametsoc.org/AtmosCareers/index.html.
Dec. 11, 2013 | Tags: careers & education, cool sites
Question: In Raleigh spring what is the average first day at 75 degrees? — Danny Frazier
Answer: We got some help on this one from our friends at the Southeastern Regional Climate Center, since there are a couple of different statistics that aren't so readily available. They are related but differ in a subtle but important manner. First, there is a date at which the average high temperature at RDU reaches 75 degrees (rounded to the nearest degree), which is April 24th. However, that is a different date from the one you get when you consider the average of the earliest occurrence of 75 degrees over the years. When you check the records for that statistic, you find that the average is over a month earlier, on March 21st. The corresponding average date of the last occurrence of 75 degrees, by the way, is October 31st.
Dec. 18, 2013 | Tags: normals, records/extremes
Question: I remember that Jan-Apr were unseasonably cool, there were very few days in the 90s and I don't think any in the 100s, and Nov was downright chilly; so is 2013 going to be one of the coolest years on record? — Charlie White
Answer: We're a a few weeks out from wrapping up the year, but we checked the mean temperature through the end of November against past records from RDU (69 years total) and found that while it has been on the cool end of the spectrum, with a Jan-Nov average of 61.0 degrees, there have been a number of years with colder averages through the same period. On the list from coldest (1969, at 58.5 degrees) to warmest (64.2 in 1969), 2013 is tied with 1992 as 27th coldest year. However, it's worth noting that there are several ties amongst the list of cooler years, so that the 61.0 degrees represents the 15th coldest reading for Jan-Nov.
Dec. 9, 2013 | Tags: cold, past weather, records/extremes
Question: I have a most unusual picture of a rainbow circling the sun my sister took in California a few days ago. I would like your opinion. — Lynne Burnette
Answer: What Lynn's sister captured was a nice shot of a 22-degree halo, perhaps with a faint "upper tangent arc" also visible near the top of the rainbow colored circle. These occur when fairly thin cirrus clouds are composed of poorly oriented (semi-random), well-formed hexagonal ice crystals. Refraction of the sunlight through certain faces of the crystals is most efficient near something called a "minimum deviation angle" that concentrates the light at a 22-degree angle out from the sun. There is lots of good information about this and associated phenomena at www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/common.htm.
Also, any of you interested in seeing Gail's photo can check it out on our WRAL Weather Facebook page, where it was posted on Dec 4, 2013.
Dec. 8, 2013 | Tags: atmospheric optics, clouds
Question: Is it just me or is it always RAINY or cloudy on Christmas day? I can't remember the last time it was bright and sunny on December 25. Could it happen this year? — Gerald
Answer: It isn't always by any means, but there can be "streakiness" in the behavior of weather and climate, and we have had a streak of cloudier, rainier Christmas Days in the Raleigh area over the past ten years, which probably accounts for your perception. In the long term, a December day has about a 45% chance of being mostly cloudy or cloudy, but 70% of the last ten Christmases have met that criteria here. About 32% of December days would rate as mostly sunny to sunny, but only one Christmas (10%) has done so since 2003. In terms of measurable precipitation, about 29% of December days manage that, but of the last 10 Christmases, six (60%) have featured measurable rain and in one case (2010) some snow as well. We're a few weeks from the next Christmas as we write this answer, so it's too far away to know what kind of cloud cover and precipitation chances we'll have then.
Dec. 7, 2013 | Tags: clouds, normals, past weather
Questions 81 - 90 of 4147.
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Published: 2007-10-09 14:40:00
Updated: 2013-08-13 13:37:27
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