June is the start of outdoor recreation season for many Coloradans, and it also marks the start of the peak season for powerful storms and lightning. Colorado's infamous weather unpredictability can suddenly bring afternoon hikes, picnics or games to a quick end.
It's nighttime weather, though, that has atmospheric scientists' attention. They'll be spending six weeks in the Great Plains, trying to figure out the mystery of thunderstorms that form at night. The results could help meteorologists better predict these sometimes damaging storms.
Researchers with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that increased West Nile outbreaks correlated strongly with above-average temperatures in the preceding year.
They also found wet weather influenced outbreaks – although the actual impact varied by region. In much of the West, wetter-than-average winters correlated with above average outbreaks. Researchers found a different picture in the eastern U.S., where West Nile outbreaks correlated with fall and spring seasons that were drier than average.
That may seem counterintuitive; after all, doesn't a wet spring usually mean more mosquitoes in the summer, since they need water sites to reproduce?
Palmer amaranth, with herbicide-resistant varieties, can grow as tall as an NBA player, and costs farmers thousands of dollars to remove it.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s... a superweed?
If you’ve paid any attention to the debate concerning the adoption of genetically-engineered crops, you’ve heard of superweeds. They’re those nasty, hearty weeds that cross-breed with GMO corn to resist herbicide applications. Or, um...they’re new, special weeds, able to outcompete other pesky plants with undetermined magic properties, right? No, they’re the result of an over-reliance on a particular weed management strategy.
This year's Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be a calm one, according to the annual tropical storm outlook released April 9 by Colorado State University.
Phil Klotzbach is a research scientist with the Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU, and heads up the forecasting project. Klotzbach said the number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes is predicted to be "about half the average hurricane season."
At the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, children and their parents meander through the Expedition Health exhibit, chattering about science and bodies, peering through microscopes and conducting experiments.
A set of glass doors abuts the exhibit, and every once in a while, after a quick chat with a museum volunteer, a family makes its way through the doors.
Today, that family is the Bacas -- Tim, and daughters Raveania and Desiree, ages 12 and 11, from Aurora. They sit at a tall lab bench, and listen as Anjelica Miranda, dressed in a white lab coat, guides them through a taste test.
The Bacas are not aware of it yet, but they are taking part in one of the most unique science experiments in the country. Their taste test results, combined with that of hundreds of other museum visitors, may help scientists discover the genetic underpinnings of a sixth taste.