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What Is A Bomb Cyclone?

What Is A Bomb Cyclone?

It's so cold in Texas, this car wash froze over

Perhaps it’s not the best day to get a car wash in Central Texas.

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If you were wondering just how cold it is in and around Austin, a picture taken Tuesday morning at a Pflugerville car wash might serve as an answer:

Noelle Newton, of Houston’s Fox 7, tweeted a picture Tuesday morning showing a car wash at an HEB in Pflugerville that had completely frozen over. 

According to the National Weather Service, it was 30 degrees in Pflugerville around 1 p.m. Tuesday. The temperature in Austin was 31 degrees, with a hard freeze warning in effect till noon Wednesday.

Tuesday's deep freeze stretched across a wide swath of the U.S., from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England. In Texas, freezing temperatures were reported in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas, Austin and Houston.

The Associated Press and the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Look: It even snowed in Florida

It even snowed in Florida on Monday, as far south as the Cape Canaveral area.

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Viewers spotted snowflakes shortly before midnight in Seminole and Brevard counties.

Viewers recorded video and captured photos of snowflakes in the air in the Orlando suburb of Oviedo and in Titusville, located on Florida’s Space Coast.

WFTV  meteorologist Brian Shields said he received several verified reports of snow mixing into rain.

Supermoon 2018: 12 must-see photos capture New Year's 'wolf moon'

The new year kicked off with a stunning lunar display – the first supermoon of 2018, also known as the "wolf moon."

>> Click here or scroll down to see 12-must see photographs of the phenomenon

>> 2018 supermoons: Wolf moon rises on New Year’s Day

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Dew point and humidity: What's the difference?

Relative humidity and dew point are often mistaken for the same thing and can be sources of confusion. But what are the differences between the two, and which is more relevant in everyday life?

>> Watch the video to learn more

>> Must-see: Niagara Falls is a winter wonderland in these stunning photos

Relative humidity and dew point both give us an idea of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere; however, only dew point is a true measurement of the atmospheric moisture.

>> When temperatures drop, don't be thrifty with your heat

Relative humidity is defined by the National Weather Service as the amount of atmospheric moisture present, relative to the amount that would be present if the air were saturated. But what does that really mean In short, the relative humidity is a function of both the moisture content in the atmosphere and the actual air temperature. By itself, it does not directly indicate the amount of moisture present in the atmosphere.

>> Could Niagara Falls completely freeze?

Relative humidity is calculated using meteorological variables such as vapor pressure, saturation vapor pressure, temperature and dew point. Without explaining the equation variable by variable, we can simply state that the relative humidity is determined by how close the air temperature is to the dew point temperature. The closer these values are, the higher the humidity. The further apart these values are, the lower the humidity.

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Dew point is the term that most meteorologists use to describe the amount of moisture in the air. The National Weather Service defines dew point as the temperature to which air must be cooled to in order to reach saturation, assuming air pressure and moisture content are constant. In short, the dew point is an accurate measurement of the moisture content in the air. When talking about a certain day feeling “muggy” or “sticky,” the dew point temperature is the more accurate term to use.

Must-see: Niagara Falls is a winter wonderland in these stunning photos

A cold wave is sweeping almost all of North America, and as temperatures have dwindled, we’ve seen some pretty bizarre things. But one of the coolest and most beautiful sights right now has to be Niagara Falls, where Jack Frost painted a spectacular scene that looks like something straight out of Narnia.

>> RELATED STORY: Could Niagara Falls completely freeze? 

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

At Least Six Wildfires Burning Across Southern California

At Least Six Wildfires Burning Across Southern California

California wildfires force thousands to evacuate: Live updates

Wildfires are raging through parts of Southern California, burning thousands of acres, destroying homes and businesses and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

>> PHOTOS: California wildfires burn thousands of acres, force evacuations

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

Haunting video of starving polar bear goes viral, breaks hearts

heartbreaking video of a skeletal polar bear scavenging for food in a desolate landscape is going viral online. The clip of the bear, which was released by the National Geographic channel, is gut-wrenching.

>> See the clip here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

Photographer Paul Nicklen, who has been with National Geographic for 17 years, says recording the video was even more heartbreaking. He’s spent his life filming bears and estimates that he’s come across about 3,000 of them, but the animal in his latest video was unlike the rest. In an article about the clip, Nicklen recalled, “We stood there crying — filming with tears rolling down our cheeks.”

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Nicklen says he’s often asked why he didn’t do something, but he explains, “Of course, that crossed my mind. But it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.” He added, “When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death. This is what a starving bear looks like.”

The internet has definitely felt the gut-punch of the video, which sparked an outcry. Actor Kumail Nanjiani offered one off-hand solution to the problem:

Unfortunately, animals seem to have a very bleak future in front of them. The No. 1 threat to the world’s 22,000 polar bears is climate change, according to a World Wildlife Foundation report. The bears spend the winter months on the ice, where they do a lot of laying around and a whole lot of eating seals; they fast during the summer. But as the winter months have become warmer, it takes longer for the ice to reappear each season, meaning that the animals have less time to eat, and they have to fast for a longer stretch of time. In short, no ice means no seals, which could soon mean no polar bears.

Buzzfeed News also uploaded a video of the tear-jerking scene that has made the rounds online.

Government agencies monitoring about climate change are also warning that we could possibly lose polar bears as early as 2050, per a Washington Post report.

Read more here.

Winter weather watch, warning and advisory: What's the difference?

 

Have you ever wondered how the National Weather Service can tell that a major winter storm is brewing and will affect your area in the coming days or hours? How can meteorologists tell if a storm is intensifying and where it will bring the most snow?

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It's a highly sophisticated process. It starts with observing the current situation. The National Weather Service operates a widespread network of observing systems such as geostationary satellites.

How are winter storms monitored and forecast?

Doppler radars and automated surface observing systems constantly monitor the current state-of-the-art numerical computer models to provide a glimpse of what will happen next, ranging from hours to days. 

The models are then analyzed by NWS meteorologists, who use their experience and expertise to write and disseminate forecasts. 

Winter weather watches, warnings and advisories: What do they all mean? 

The National Weather Service uses specific winter weather terms to ensure that people know what to expect in the coming days and hours.

Winter storm watch means that severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area, but their occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued to provide 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather. A winter storm watch is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set plans in motion can do so.

A watch is upgraded to a winter storm warning when 4 or more inches of snow or sleet are expected in the next 12 hours or 6 or more inches in 24 hours, or a quarter-inch or more of ice accumulation is expected.

A winter weather advisory informs the public that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, advisory situations should not become life-threatening.

A blizzard warning means that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts and life-threatening wind chills. Listen carefully to the radio, television and NOAA weather radios for the latest winter storm watches, warnings and advisories. 

For additional information on this, visit the winter weather awareness web page.

Why is predicting the exact amount of snowfall so challenging?

Snow forecasts continue to improve, but they remain a challenging task for meteorologists. Heavy snow often falls in small bands that are hard to discern on larger-scale computer models. In addition, extremely small temperature differences define the boundary line between rain and snow.

Will the approaching storm bring heavy snowfall to your area?

Each winter, meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, monitor weather data from across the nation for developing bands of heavy snow and freezing precipitation, as well as lightning, within weather systems.

Their ability to provide additional information about developing situations enhances winter storm warnings and helps National Weather Service field offices, private industry and local governments improve preparedness. For instance, a prediction of 8 inches of snow carries much greater consequences for a city's rush hour than 4 inches.

Want to learn more about the Storm Prediction Center's operations? For additional information visit the Storm Prediction Center web page.

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