Eric Snodgrass

Eric Snodgrass >

Flash Floods and Deadly Moving Water
Episode 19 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Consider the deadly power of moving water. Explore scenarios for extreme flooding in flood-prone regions of the U.S. and consider past cases of extreme coastal floods, river floods, and flash floods. Study the meteorology behind these events, and hear flood…
Extreme Weather Is Everywhere
Episode 1 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Survey the remarkable range of extreme weather around the planet. Then consider: Why does Earth have weather at all? Professor Snodgrass introduces basic features of the atmosphere that naturally lead to severe weather. He concludes by outlining the goals of…
Temperature Extremes and Cold-Air Outbreaks
Episode 2 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Discover the origin of Earth's great variability in air temperature, and learn how it also explains the seasons. Search for the highest and lowest temperatures on the planet, and the locations with the greatest difference between highs and lows. Along…
Tornadogenesis and Storm Chasing
Episode 14 of The Science of Extreme Weather
The genesis of tornadoes takes place under complex conditions that are still being deciphered by meteorologists who make detailed measurements from up close. Go inside a supercell thunderstorm to see a tornado being spawned. Then learn tornado safety tips and…
Where Hurricanes Hit
Episode 21 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Begin the first of three lectures on tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones depending on where they occur. Plot the historical tracks of these gigantic storms, sharpen your understanding of how they are named, and focus on tropical…
Ice Storms: Freezing Rain Takes Over
Episode 16 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Begin the first of three lectures on winter weather by pinning down the cause of ice storms, which are beautiful but also dangerous and destructive. Professor Snodgrass demonstrates how supercooled water is the source of the freezing rain behind these…
How Radar Reveals Storms
Episode 5 of The Science of Extreme Weather
In this and the next lecture, study the advanced technology that has revolutionized extreme weather forecasting. Here, look at how radar has vastly improved the prediction of tornadic thunderstorms. You've seen Doppler radar images in forecasts. Now learn how this…
The Enormous Structure of a Hurricane
Episode 22 of The Science of Extreme Weather
How do hurricanes get so big? Start off the coast of West Africa to see how this region is the perfect breeding ground for low-pressure disturbances. Chart the role of the Coriolis force, water temperature, and other factors that must…
Thunderstorm Formation and Weather Balloons
Episode 9 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Begin a series of lectures on thunderstorms, which are the key to understanding many types of extreme weather. Learn how thunderstorms are forecast, and explore their formation by following a weather balloon on its data-gathering mission through the atmosphere.
El Niño and Cycles of Extreme Weather
Episode 24 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Close by investigating one of the most eventful weather triggers of all: the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, which starts as a warming trend in the eastern Pacific and can lead to extreme weather throughout the world. Our detailed understanding of this…
Storm Surge and Hurricane Intensification
Episode 23 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Hurricanes destroy life and property in four ways: through storm surge, inland flooding, high winds, and embedded tornadoes. Consider examples of each. Then focus on high water as the deadliest factor, responsible for 80% of all hurricane fatalities.
Mountain Windstorms and Avalanches
Episode 15 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Study the impact of mountains on weather by investigating the Chinook winds, which can race down the east face of the Rocky Mountains with tornadic force. Also look at the Santa Ana winds of southern California, notorious for fanning the…
Extreme Humidity, Rain, and Fog
Episode 4 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Severe weather is driven by water's ability to change phase--with energy being released during the transition from vapor to liquid, and from liquid to ice. Calculate the stupendous amount of energy brewing in a typical thunderstorm, and study cases of…
Squall Line Thunderstorms and Microbursts
Episode 11 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Heralded by an ominous-looking formation called a shelf cloud, a squall line is a group of thunderstorms that produces intense, destructive winds. Analyze the anatomy of a squall line, so that you know what to expect next time a shelf…
Supercell Thunderstorms and Hail
Episode 12 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Pound for pound, the supercell is the most powerful thunderstorm on Earth. Explore the mechanics of this system, which produces the strongest straight-line winds, the most violent tornadoes, and the largest hail. Close by looking at the formation of a…
Tornadoes and Their Amazing Winds
Episode 13 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Tornadoes hit all 50 states of the U.S. and most inhabited regions of the world. Blowing as fast as 200 to 300 mph, they are the most awe-inspiring of extreme weather. But what exactly are they? And why are they…
Low Pressure and Earth’s High Winds
Episode 3 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Witness a demonstration of the power of air pressure and the ability of changing pressure to produce clouds. Learn how fluctuations in air pressure play a role in all weather, propelling everything from the ferocious winds of a tornado to…
Wind Shear and Severe Thunderstorms
Episode 10 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Wind shear is the ingredient that turns an ordinary thunderstorm into a monster. Study the mechanisms that underlie this transformation. Then evaluate the crucial difference between a severe weather watch versus a warning, and put yourself in the shoes of…
Blizzards and Winter Cyclones
Episode 18 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Look back at historical blizzards that paralyzed major U.S. cities. Then probe the official definition of a blizzard, the cold-weather cyclone systems that create them, and the revolution in forecasting blizzards since 1993. Focus on the role of the jet…
How Satellites Track Severe Weather
Episode 6 of The Science of Extreme Weather
Venture into space to see how different types of weather satellites chart large-scale extreme weather systems in both daylight and darkness. Compare two nearly identical hurricanes--one in 1900, the other in 2008--to highlight the life-saving capability of orbiting weather stations.