Who hasn't felt like going back to work on Monday has affected the weather? It turns out the weather itself may indeed be controlled by the weekly calendar, and that even mighty Atlantic hurricanes may feel the punch of the workweek, according to a study by two Arizona State University researchers appearing in the journal Nature.
Examining some basic data sets in a way that has never been tried before, ASU climatologists Randall Cerveny and Robert Balling, Jr. have found proof for what many a weekend boater has secretly suspected: rain is most likely to occur along the Atlantic coast on the weekend and the weather is most likely to be better on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The most obvious culprit is the "natural" cloud-seeding effect created by the massive drift of East Coast pollution, which also follows a well defined weekly cycle.
The gray, smelly cloud of pollution has a strange silver lining, however. While pollution makes for more rainy weekends, it also apparently reduces the intensity of hurricanes that hit over the weekend, such that weekend hurricanes tend to be much weaker than, say, Tuesday storms.
"Hurricanes are the biggest storms that we have on this planet, in terms of energy and precipitation," noted Cerveny. "And what we've found is that we're having an impact on them. It's a little daunting, when you start to think about it."
Cerveny and Balling examined and compared three different data sets --
daily carbon monoxide and ozone measurements from a Canadian monitoring station
on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, daily satellite-derived rainfall
data for the Atlantic Ocean, and databases of coastal Atlantic hurricane
measurements. In each case, when the two ASU scientists examined the data by day
of the week, they found significant differences between days, and similar
patterns of variation, with pronounced differences between beginnings and the
ends of weeks. All three sets of cl
Contact: James Hathaway
Arizona State University