It’s a bit of a joke that we Brits are obsessed with the weather and it might well be true, but to me, it’s not the daily forecast that grabs my attention (because, seriously, how many times do they get it right?) but interesting facts about the weather that make me sit up and go wow, I never knew that! The Earth’s changing weather has been the subject of great discussion in the scientific community in recent decades because we have seen so many “freak” conditions and who knows what will come next. While we await news of the next cyclone or storm of hailstones as big as tennis balls, here are some facts about the weather past and present.
1. Hurricanes That Are More Powerful That Atom Bombs
Within ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the nuclear bombs on earth combined. This is because a nuclear bomb expels energy once and it does it fairly quickly. But, a hurricane is a sustained force that is kicking out energy at a very high rate. It is one of those facts about the weather that is hard to imagine yet visible when we see the results manifested in a hurricane’s path of destruction.
2. Round Rainbows, Double Rainbows, and Moon Rainbows
All of these types of rainbow exist in nature and are seen quite often. A round rainbow is what you see if you are in an aircraft and you look down. The rainbow is just one big circle, similar to what you may see in a patch of oily water. Double rainbows are quite common and often happen when the sun is interacting with a calm reflective water spot. Moon rainbows occur when the moon is coming up and the light from the moon is seen through a thin veil of rain.
3. Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of... Lightening
Alien spaceship sightings occur mostly around army bases and when there is stormy weather in the atmosphere. They occur around bases because they have lots of little aircraft that is easily mistaken for UFOs. They happen during stormy conditions because lightening balls are created. They act due to the laws of physics, which is one of the most misunderstood weather facts. It means a lightening ball can do something such as fly thorough your kitchen window and out of your bathroom window and back into the sky. The stormy weather need not even be near you. It may be thousands of feet up in what seems like a calm sky, but lightening balls are more common than you think.
4. Hail to the Insurance Broker
The weather does cause insurance companies trouble if they have to pay out for floods and tornadoes, etc. But, damage caused by them is random and rare events. However, every year insurance companies collectively pay out at least one billion dollars due to damage caused by hail (every single year). The worst damage is often to crops.
5. Acid Rain and Vitamins
Acid rain comes from the rain water picking up pollutants on the way down. One of the most commonly misunderstood facts about the weather is that rain water is not pure water in the same way that the steam from your kettle is pure water. It picks up lots of little nasties as it falls from the sky. One of the less well known facts is that it also contains the vitamin B12.
6. The Reason Why People Think God Hates Men
The idea of a man being struck down by a god via some sort of lightening strike is actually just part of one of those weird facts about the weather. Men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning than women. The odds of being struck by lightning are 576,000 to 1. The odds of being killed by lightning are 2,320,000 to 1. In other words, 9 out of 10 people who are hit by lightning will survive. Why men are struck more is unknown, but it may simply be because they are taller than women, or have less hair (who knows).
7. A Hurricane Hits You with Water
A weather front must have winds of at least 74 miles per hour before it may be called a hurricane. One of the lesser known weather facts is that the air and wind doesn’t kill people. It is often the shrapnel carried in the wind, or the towering water walls that hurricanes create. They are also known for creating flooding, usually because they are able to push and carry water inland.
Were you surprised by any of these facts about the weather? The weather is one of the most incredible natural powers on the planet. Will you look at the weather in a different light from now on?