Yes, flights are getting more turbulent thanks to climate change

Advances in Atmospheric Sciences reports that flying is going to get more and more turbulent, even at cruising altitudes, because of climate change: Read the rest

Weather phenomenon of light pillars vs. northern lights

YouTuber and photographer Timmy Joe saw spectacular light pillars on an arctic January night from his northern Ontario home. He thought they were northern lights until he went to investigate. It's a totally different phenomenon, as he helpfully explains. Read the rest

Incredibly strange spherical cloud spotted in Japan

Twitter user @pmxpvrtmx posted images of an astonishing spherical cloud over the city of Fujisawa, south of Tokyo.

"When I saw the cloud it was an even more spherical shape, so I regret not taking the photo more quickly," she told Rocket News 24.

While it's certainly an amazing photo, the roundness may be an illusion. An individual in Fujisawa posted a photo reportedly of the same cloud from a different angle.

"While I can’t verify the origin of this image (just above), or whether it was even of the same cloud, it appears that the cloud only appeared spherical from one direction," University in Melbourne atmospheric scientist Todd Lane told ScienceAlert. "That is, the photographer was lucky to be in the right place to capture an interesting image of what is likely an uninteresting cloud. It looks to me to be some form of cumulus fractus cloud."

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Lawnmower triggers false Northern Lights alert

Lancaster University's Aurora Watch issued an alert on Tuesday that the Northern Lights would be clearly visible in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the alert was cancelled after the scientists determined that the data from one of their magnetometers was spurious. A surge in geomagnetic energy is indicative of auroras but this particular spike was likely caused by a lawnmower.

"We believe the interference was caused by University staff mowing the grass on a sit-on mower," Aurora Watch stated. "We’ll work with the facilities team to try and avoid an incident such as this occuring in the future!"

(via BBC) Read the rest

Rare red sprites dancing in the skies, above thunderstorms

Graduate student Jason Ahrns captured a stunning image of red sprites over Nebraska while aboard a plane chartered by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. And behold Scott McPartland's rare video of the phenomenon in May. Read the rest

Sun dogs light up the sky

My friend Austin took this photograph last week, looking out his office window near the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. That flare in the distance isn't Photoshop. Nor is it the nuclear annihilation of St. Paul. Instead, it's a sun dog — an atmospheric phenomenon that happens when light from the Sun is refracted off of ice crystals in the air. The light gets bent as it passes through the crystals and we see the bright flash of a "false sun" to the side of the actual Sun. The same process can also form rings around the Sun. Whether you get a halo or a sun dog depends on which way the ice crystals are oriented in relation to you. Read the rest