Weatherwonders-Whiteoutmete.cfm Weather wonders: 'Whiteout' = meteorological term with two meanings
Home News Livestock Crops Markets Hay, Range & Pasture Home & Family Classifieds Resources This Week's Journal




AgriMartin
Journal Getaways
Reader Comment:
by Eliza Winters

"I think that the new emission standards are a great move. I think that the"....Read the story...
Join other discussions.




Weather wonders: 'Whiteout' = meteorological term with two meanings

Kansas

One of the terms that High Plains residents do not like to hear during winter is "whiteout," but the term can mean different things to different people.

"'Whiteout' is one of those meteorological terms with more than one definition," said Mary Knapp, who is the state climatologist for Kansas. "Here in the Plains, it generally refers to a situation in which blowing snow has reduced visibility to near-zero."

In polar regions, however, it refers to an optical phenomenon in the atmosphere, which engulfs the observer in a white glow, Knapp said. The observer can see things, but the horizon and the clouds are indistinguishable. So, objects appear to "float," and the observer's sense of depth and orientation is lost.

"In the air during a polar whiteout, you can't tell up from down," she said.

The polar version of a whiteout usually occurs in areas of unbroken snow with a uniformly overcast sky, the climatologist said. The Plains version occurs when strong winds combine with a light powdery snow.

Knapp is in charge of the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University.

Information about Kansas weather is available on its website: http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/wdl/. Her "Weather Wonders" audio reports are also available on the K-State Research and Extension/Kansas Radio Network website at http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/radio/.

1/5/09
1 Star WK\7-B

Date: 12/31/08



Google
 
Web hpj.com

Copyright 1995-2014.  High Plains Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Any republishing of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801 or call 1-800-452-7171. Email: webmaster@hpj.com

 

Archives Search



Inside Futures

Editorial Archives

Browse Archives