science
The Most Powerful Lightning Bolts Occur in the Weirdest Places

Superbolts, the strongest lightning bolts, occur at surprising times and in surprising places, a new study has found. Read More >>

science
Is the Butterfly Effect Real?

Is the 2004 Ashton Kutcher vehicle The Butterfly Effect a good movie? Definitely not, no—but try telling that to me at age thirteen. And then wrap your head, once more, around the fact that if you had told me that, you might have set in motion the utter annihilation of the human race—the whole notion of the butterfly effect being that small-scale events (telling a credulous thirteen-year-old he has bad taste in movies) can generate massive, unforeseen consequences (World War III, nuclear apocalypse, etc.). Read More >>

space
You Can Now Check the Weather on Mars Every Day

Instruments aboard NASA’s InSight lander are now gathering meteorological data from the Martian surface, allowing for daily weather reports that are being made available to the public. Read More >>

science
Chinese Scientists Launch Weather Rocket From Semi-Submersible Vehicle for Typhoon Measurements

In an apparent first, Chinese scientists have launched a weather-observing rocket from an uncrewed semi-submersible vehicle (USSV). I guess anything can be a 'first' if no one has done it before and it’s specific enough. Read More >>

space
New NASA Visualisation Shows What the Dreaded Polar Vortex Really Looks Like

It was cold in the Continental U.S. this week. Colder than Alaska, Mars (technically), and even parts of Antarctica, which isn’t so surprising because it’s presently summer in Antarctica, but sounds wild nonetheless. Read More >>

space
Massive Cloud Forming Over One of Mars’ Biggest Volcanoes Is Icy Water Vapour, Not Eruption

Last week, the European Space Agency released a curious photo captured by the Mars Express orbiter of a 930-mile-long cloud formation spilling out of the massive, 12-mile-high Arsia Mons volcano on Mars—a phenomena that has been observed for weeks straight. It certainly gave every superficial appearance that the volcano was about to blow, though that would be curious, as the estimated date of its last eruption was about 50 million years ago. Read More >>

science
Shockwaves From WWII Bombing Raids Reached the Edge of Space, Scientists Report

As if the devastating effects of bombs dropped on European cities during the Second World War weren’t terrible enough, a surprising new study shows that the shockwaves produced by these bombing raids reached the edge of space, temporarily weakening the Earth’s ionosphere. Read More >>

hurricanes
Hurricanes Aren’t Moving as Fast as They Used to, and That’s Bad

The pace at which hurricanes move across the planet is slowing, according to new research. This suggests Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas last summer, may not have been an anomaly, and that highly destructive, slow-moving tropical storms are becoming more common. Read More >>

science
Monster 78-Foot Wave Recorded in the Southern Ocean

At 78 feet tall, and churned by a fierce storm, it’s the largest wave ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand scientists report. Read More >>

science
Strong Hurricanes Intensify Faster Now Than They Did in the 1980s

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was brutal, featuring strong weather systems that morphed into severe and treacherous hurricanes in a remarkably short period of time. This phenomenon, known as rapid intensification, is now happening with greater ferocity than it did three decades ago, according to new research. Read More >>

futurism
China’s Ambitious New Rain-Making System Would Be as Big as Alaska

China’s state-owned aerospace corporation is embarking on a plan that would see tens of thousands of fuel-burning, cloud-seeding chambers dispersed across the Tibetan Plateau in an attempt to increase rainfall in the region. Read More >>

watch this
Stunning Aerosol Visualisation Accidentally Captures the Ferocity of This Year’s Hurricane Season

A new simulation produced by NASA’s Data Visualisation Studio packs four months of swirling atmospheric activity into a two minute clip that reminds us how unrelenting this past hurricane season really was. Read More >>

meteorology
How Hurricane Irma Became Such a Monster

Meteorologists were at a loss for words yesterday as Hurricane Irma intensified into a enormous, record-smashing Category 5. Packing “catastrophic” and “life-threatening” winds of 185 miles per hour (300 km/h), the storm now bearing down on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin islands is officially the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded north of the Caribbean and east of Florida. But how did it get to be such a monster? Read More >>

science
Watching Lightning Strike a Building in Super Slow Motion is Freaky as Hell

For the first time ever, scientists have captured high-speed footage of lightning striking a building. It’s dramatic as hell, but the video could also change the way lightning rods are used to protect buildings. Read More >>

environment
The American Midwest Looks Absolutely Drenched in This New Image From Space

Several states across the American Midwest are experiencing intensive flooding in the wake of unusually vigorous storm system that passed through earlier in the week. Images taken from above and on the ground show the extent of the record-breaking floods, which now threaten areas downstream. Read More >>