Tagged: weather

Virga - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 08, 2012

I learned a new word today: virga. It was used in a short article in one of the Sydney newspapers, discussing yesterday's weather. Virga is simply precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground, and we had some here yesterday. So it was rainin... Read More

Unstable weather - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 20, 2012

Unfortunately I didn't get to the cricket last night - I wasn't feeling well - and missed Richard Levi's demonstration of how to hit sixes Would have been fun to see.It occurred to me at the weekend that I've managed to avoid the rain in the last week. While its poured down in Cambridge, I've been at work in Hamilton … Read More

Crop circles - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 24, 2011

There's a great article in Physics World on crop circles. Not a discussion about man-made / weather-made / UFO-made  - any sensible interpretation would be man-made - but just HOW do you make such intricate and vast patterns so quickly and leave almost no traces behind. Some of the patterns that crop-up (sorry) in crop fields can be … Read More

Sonic anemometer - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 05, 2011

One thing we've noticed with our new house is how variable the background noise is. We now live within earshot of State Highway One and we can hear the distant rumble of trucks and other vehicles on it. The noise isn't large - and it's amazing that after just three weeks in the house we no longer can perceive it … Read More

Projectile trajectories - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 01, 2011

Just a quick entry since I haven't done one this week.  Since I got back from holiday (which was extended by a day by that pesky ash cloud) I've been busy marking exams and then helping with our major schools' publicity event of the year, the Osborne Physics and Engineering Lectures. This year we've had some particularly loud and exciting … Read More

Force, momentum and umbrellas - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jun 21, 2011

Perhaps the most difficult of the 'big' challenges facing modern engineering is designing a lightweight umbrella that doesn't turn inside out with the slightest breath of wind. There you are, walking down a Portsmouth Street with your umbrella up, when a bus comes along and its wake is sufficient to rip the umbrella inside out. And you get very wet.A … Read More

Paint - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 13, 2011

Question: What's more tedious than watching paint dry? Answer: Waiting for a dry day so you can put the paint on in the first place.Or, to be closer to the truth, waiting for a dry day so that the guy you've hired to do the painting can get on and finish it.  Getting the outside of a house in Waikato … Read More

“It’s a rain forest, expect rain…” - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 10, 2011

So says an information board at the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre at Waikaremoana in Te Urewera National Park.  We know this well, so before heading down that way with the tent this weekend, we carefully checked the weather forecast.  "Mostly fine, with occasional showers", it advised, and the nice weather charts indicated a high pressure area settling over the … Read More

Winter, fire and snow - Hot Topic

Gareth Renowden Dec 26, 2010

Serendipity leads me to this great film: in the British winter of 1963, railway workers battle to keep the trains running. There’s one corker of a shot of a steam engine barrelling into a drift, plenty of impressionistic cutting and a wonderful soundtrack (an extended arrangement of Sandy Nelson’s Teen Beat). Directed by Geoffrey Jones, [...] … Read More

Climate change and conferences - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Dec 11, 2010

Back on-line now after a week in Melbourne at the Australian Institute of Physics conference.I have lots of good stuff to blog about, including optomechanics (using light to cause vibrations), physics education (lots on this), the Large Hadron Collider and complicated models of things that might not even exist, but I'll do this one on climate change.On Wednesday, we had a very … Read More