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Please review the popular questions and answers below. You can also find information by keyword, using Site Search at the top right of any page. If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.



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About Weather

Formulas and Measurement
  1. How is the water content of snow measured?
  2. How is snow measured?
  3. Why kilopascals and not millibars?
  4. What is the relationship between the various terms used in measuring atmospheric pressure: inches of mercury, kilopascals, millibars and inches. Why can't they be correlated in the reporting of weather conditions?
  5. Why do we always tap a barometer before reading it?
  6. How do you set a barometer?
  7. Where should I place my barometer in my house?
  8. Is the air pressure shown in the local forecasts a corrected figure or uncorrected? How do you convert one to the other?
  9. Where should I place a thermometer?
  10. When meteorologists report that 30 mm of rain has fallen, it always seems like more. How is rain measured?
  11. The weather report updated at 1500 AST would be a 3:00 pm report. What is the 1900 GMT that follows?
  12. I would like to know how the cloud ceiling is measured. For example, if the ceiling is 2,000 feet, how was that determined?
  13. What is the dew point?
  14. How is the dew point temperature measured?
  15. What is the purpose of having a dew point in the winter? If the temperature reached the dew point and it was still below, what happens?
  16. During the warmer months, the relative humidity is given together with the temperature displayed on television. When is the relative humidity used, and how is it calculated?
  17. What is meant by the weather term "Buys-Ballots Law"?
  18. Why does the weather change?
  19. How do meteorologists determine the number of lightning strikes during a thunderstorm?
  20. Does Canada use weather balloons?
  21. Where can I find out about wind chill?
  22. When is the first day of fall, winter, spring and summer?
  23. Why is the ceiling reported in feet, not metres?
  24. When do we change the clocks?

Regional Weather
  1. Where is the hottest place in the world?
  2. Where are the hottest places in Canada?
  3. Where is the wettest place in the world?
  4. Which province is the wettest?
  5. Has it ever snowed in Los Angeles, or in any of California’s major cities?
  6. Why is it that on the East Coast they get hit with heavy snow and cold and the West Coast gets warmer weather in the winter when they appear to both be on the same latitude line and near the ocean?
  7. Why is the weather in North America, e.g., Ohio, colder than the weather in London, England, even though England is further north from the equator?
  8. There is lake-effect snow near the Great Lakes, but what about smaller lakes?
  9. Why is Ottawa colder and snowier than Toronto?
  10. Why do areas like Mansfield, Ontario, not receive the snowstorms that towns five and ten minutes west and north of it receive?
  11. From which direction do winter storms generally come from in the city of Ottawa? Has there been a change in the severity of storms in the Ottawa region?
  12. Why is it that southwestern British Columbia never gets caught in a deep freeze or a cold snap the way the Prairies do in the winter?
  13. What is "Arctic Outflow"? What dangers are associated with it, and is the west coast of Canada the only place where it’s a concern?
  14. Vancouver, British Columbia once had a cyclone about fifty years ago. Can we expect any high winds - ever - like are seen in Florida? Is it true that hurricanes happen on the east coast and cyclones on the west coast?
  15. Why is it often very windy in the Prairies?
  16. Why are the summer prevailing winds in Winnipeg from the west but 200 km away in Kenora the winds come from the south?
  17. What is the standard sea level barometric pressure for Vancouver, B.C.?
  18. Why do weather patterns in the U.S.A. usually travel from west to east?
  19. Where in Canada are thunderstorms more likely to be and what makes these areas different from others that don't get as many thunderstorms?
  20. In Ottawa, as soon as November 1 comes around every year, there are soft grey clouds that hang over the city for the whole month. Is there a lot less sun this time of year and what would cause these grey clouds to linger day after day?
  21. Is it true that Oklahoma has the greatest occurrence of tornadoes of any U.S. state or Canadian province?
  22. Why are there no hurricanes in California?
  23. Why do space flights get cancelled because of weather when they fly above any weather systems?


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