Towards Quieter Weekend Weather

The weekends are a part of the week that we look forward to. The Thank Goodness It’s Friday phrase is one that must be almost as common as good morning in many offices. Although we often pack the weekends with activities, they are really a time that we should take it easy.

My attention was drawn by to a recent paper indicating that the forces of nature relax a little at weekends. Rosenfeld and Bell checked the weather records for the summertimes on the eastern States of the US from 1995 through 2009 (1). Their data indicated a weekly variation in activity, which their statistics indicated was significant.

Summer storms releasing hail and tornados tended to be a mid-week activity with an easing around the weekends. It appears that we are the problem during the week. It’s not a special dispensation for the weekends to allow more golf and cycling.

Once our weeks get under way, the air pollution increases, generating a great volume of aerosols that drift up into the atmosphere. The aerosol particles nucleate the water vapor in the clouds and invigorate the active convective clouds. This in turn, encourages hail formation and tornados.

At the weekends, we take it easy, let the large diesel engines rest and do less polluting things. So the weather cuts us some slack and doesn’t throw so much in the way of large hailstones down on our heads.

As the authors note, though, the pollution only modulates the activity and isn’t the cause, so it will still pay to check the forecast before you toss your clubs in the trunk. Golf ball size hail while you’re out on a golf course could be very confusing.

  1. D. Rosenfeld & T.L. Bell, J. Geophys. Res., 116, 14, (2011)

Please note that this blog is migrating to
in 5 days.

Leave a Reply