The Breakdown

  Breakdown: Why multiple forms of alerts are important in bad weather

  Breakdown: Why cold weather can affect cars fuel economy

  Breakdown: Why understanding severe weather risks is important

  Breakdown: How you play an important role during severe weather

  Breakdown: How to stay safe during lightning

  Breakdown: Flash flood watch vs warning

Continued Coverage

  Breakdown: Why thunder sometimes sounds louder when it’s colder outside

  Breakdown: How leaves can lead to dangerous flooding

  Breakdown: Why some trees fall during storms, and others don’t

  Breakdown: How electronics are affected by cold weather

  Breakdown: Why no two snowflakes are alike

  Breakdown: Why storm ‘training’ can cause floods

  Breakdown: Why weather can make potholes worse

In this episode of the breakdown, we will explain how potholes form and why the change in weather can make those potholes worse over time.

  Breakdown: Why it happened: Looking back at the ice storm of Feb. 10, 1994

It was on February 10 in 1994 that one of the most notorious winter weather events in recent Mid-South history occurred: Ice Storm 94.

  Breakdown: How mosquitoes survive a cold winter

Why Cold Winter Doesn't Mean Less Mosquitoes

  Breakdown: Why doppler radar is an important tool

First Alert Doppler 5. It is an important tool that we here are WMC Action News 5 uses each and everyday to track everything from severe clear to severe storms, but have you wondered how doppler radar works and why it is such an important tool for meteorologist across the country?

  Breakdown: Does warm weather cause severe storms?

  Breakdown: The severity behind Super Tuesday tornadoes, 11 years ago

  Breakdown: Why the polar vortex created ice quakes

  Breakdown: Why rivers and streams flood

  Breakdown: Why halos appear around the moon

  Breakdown: Why we haven’t received a big snowfall yet

  Breakdown: What the word ‘meteorology’ really means

Meteor in Meteorology

  Breakdown: Why pipes can burst when it’s cold

Water pipes burst because the water inside them expands as it gets close to freezing. When it freezes it also causes the pressure inside the pipe to increase. When the pressure gets too high, the pipe can burst.

  Breakdown: Why bridges are places to watch in winter weather

When driving over a bridge you might notice a bright yellow sign with black letters. Usually it says, “Bridge Ices Before Road”. Have you ever wondered why this is the case, why will a bridge freeze before the road attached to the ground?

  Breakdown: Why the moon will turn red

The only total lunar eclipse in 2019 is happening on Sunday January 20th, according to NASA. This lunar eclipse is called the “Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse.”

  Breakdown: Why weather systems move from west to east

Breakdown: Why systems move from west to east

  Breakdown: How you can see a total lunar eclipse this month

A total lunar eclipse happens when the Earth sits perfectly between the moon and sun. In other words, the moon sits in Earth’s shadow for a period of time.

  Breakdown: Why the sky is blue

One of the most popular questions when it comes to weather is, ‘why is the sky blue?’ If you have ever wondered why, check out this breakdown.

  Breakdown: Why Mississippi River levels are elevated

Last year was a wet one for Memphis. In 2018, we received 64.15 inches of rain, putting us at 10.47 inches above average. While we didn’t break any records it was enough to cause the river to rise.

  Breakdown: Why you see your breath when it’s cold

On a cold day have you ever wondered why you see your breath and during the summer you don’t. Lets take a look at the science behind why this happens.

  Breakdown: Why there is frost on your windshield

If you’ve ever woken up to frost on your windshield, you know the pain of scraping it off. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the frost is only on your windshield and nowhere else?

  Breakdown: How airplanes can sustain a lightning strike

Lightning and airplanes, it sounds like a deadly recipe, but technology and advancements in aviation means that airplanes can withstand a lightning strike and still arrive safely to the destination.

  Breakdown: Why clouds appear gray

Why Do Clouds Appear Gray

  Breakdown: A rare winter trio

Winter officially begins Friday, December 21 at 4:23 p.m. for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. This means December 21 is officially the shortest day of the year.

  Breakdown: Why it’s faster to fly east than west

If you plan on leaving on a jet plane this holiday season, you might be surprised to learn that traveling east is faster than traveling west.

  Breakdown: Why there’s so much static in the winter

One of the most annoying things about the winter is static electricity. It can really hurt when you go to touch something and you get shocked. It can also ruin a good hair day.

  Breakdown: This is how frost forms

Frost can be a nuisance to scrape off your windshield in the morning, but it can also be dangerous to plants and crops. So how does it form?

  Breakdown: Why a Mackerel Sky occurs

Mackerel sky: an unusual but beautiful cloud formation that can occur up in the clouds.

  Breakdown: Why airplane turbulence is on the rise

When flying high in the sky, sometimes the plane will shake, this shaking is caused by turbulence. While this might make some uneasy high, there is nothing to worry about as modern airplanes are designed to withstand all types of turbulence.

  Breakdown: Why your skin dries out in the winter

Dry, chapped skin is pretty common in the cold months, in late fall and winter.

  Breakdown: Why does it get windy

Breakdown on why winds blow strong.

  Breakdown: Why lightning can strike the same place twice

Lightning can strike the same place twice and sometimes even multiple times.

  Breakdown: Why it feels so cold when it’s windy

Wind chill is how the wind makes the body feel when the wind is blowing on a cold day.

  Breakdown: Why your car thermometer is usually inaccurate

In this episode of the breakdown, we explain why you might not want to always trust the temperature reading that your car displays on its dash.

  Breakdown: Why weather can make you feel achy

Have you ever noticed that sometimes a change in weather can cause a shift in the way you feel? You are not alone; there is actually science behind this connection.

  Breakdown: Why Thanksgiving weather varies so much

Thanksgiving falls during a time of year where you can get a wide range of different weather.

  Breakdown: Is it ever ‘too cold’ to snow?

Breakdown: Is it too cold to snow?

  Breakdown: What’s fog and why does it form?

Breakdown: How fog forms

  Breakdown: Why the flu is more likely in winter

Have you ever heard that the cold makes you sick? We talk about why this could be true in the Breakdown this week.

  Breakdown: Why Snow Is Hard To Forecast In The Mid-South

Breakdown:Why Forecasting Snow Is Difficult in the Mid-South

  Breakdown: Why raindrops are not actually tear-drop shaped

You have probably seen them in paintings, drops of rain falling from clouds in the shape of teardrops. What if I told you that is not entirely accurate? In this episode of the Breakdown, we will explain the science as to why raindrops are not in the shape of a teardrop.

  Breakdown: Why your mood could change during the cold months

The cold weather months can really affect your mood.

  Breakdown: Why is there ground clutter on the radar?

You may have noticed green on the radar, even when it is completely dry outside. This is what we call anomalous propagation or better known as ground clutter.

  Breakdown: How an upside down rainbow forms

This is called a circumzenithal arc or a circumzenith arc. It also has been called an upside-down rainbow or the Bravaris arc. It is referred to as a smile in the sky.

  Breakdown: Why there could be more major hurricanes

With the number of hurricanes impacting the coast fluctuating each year, the question has been asked, “Are there more hurricanes happening now than what we saw in the past?”

  Breakdown: Why the threat for severe weather Monday

Monday is a First Alert Weather Day and it is because we have the potential for seeing strong to severe thunderstorms. You may wonder why this potential is so high, I will explain in this breakdown.

  Breakdown: Why do we fall back?

Have you ever wondered why we fall back? The reason behind the extra hour is to adjust the daylight hours to be more usable when most of us are awake. It is meant to increase the amount of daylight we see in the morning.

  Breakdown: Why hurricanes spawn tornadoes

While tornadoes and hurricanes seem very similar the formation of the two are pretty different.

  Breakdown: Can Persimmons really predict the winter?

There is an old folklore, saying that you can predict the weather with a persimmon seed, just by cutting a seed open and looking for a certain shape on the inside of the seed.

  Breakdown: The layer that gives us shooting stars

In previous breakdowns, we talked about the Stratosphere and the Troposphere, in this installment we are going to breakdown the Middle Layer, or the Mesosphere.

  Breakdown: Why Does Fall Bring A Second Peak in Severe Weather

Most of us think of severe weather as more of a spring-time event and while we do see plenty of severe weather in the spring, there is a secondary season in the fall.

  Breakdown: Why Seattle is not actually the rainiest city

Seattle, Washington, is known by many as the rainiest city in the United States, but it actually does not even come close to the top of the list.

  Breakdown: How a fallstreak cloud forms

These unique looking clouds are formed when the water temperature in these clouds are below freezing.

  Breakdown: Why Uranus is visible without binoculars

On most nights Uranus is hard to see even with a telescope but for the rest of the month, you may be able to spot it without one or with binoculars according to NASA.

  Breakdown: How the Stratosphere protects the Earth

In a previous Breakdown we talked about the troposphere and in this new Breakdown we are going to talk about the next level of the atmosphere, the Stratosphere.

  Breakdown: The Mid-South could be the new tornado alley

The Great Plains is typically referred to as tornado alley, but researchers are finding evidence that tornado alley is shifting away from the plains and into the Southeast, putting a bullseye on the Mid-South.

  Breakdown: Why cold weather drops tire pressure

As temperatures start to drop, it’s good to know how to adjust your tire pressure so that your car can operate at maximum performance. This breakdown will be about how temperatures affect tire pressure.

  Breakdown: Why wind shear is necessary for tornado development

During severe weather coverage, you may hear the term wind shear. Wind shear is the fast changes in wind speed or wind direction in a short period of time or distance.

  Breakdown: Why hurricanes names are retired

A look at who creates hurricane names and why some get retired

  Breakdown: Why the troposphere is so important

This layer of the atmosphere rises between 10 miles up at the equator and only 5 miles up at the north and south pole.

  Breakdown: Why hurricanes weaken when moving across land

The Breakdown: Why hurricanes weaken when moving across land.

  Breakdown: How does wind shear impact hurricanes?

During severe weather coverage or when there is talk about hurricanes, you may hear the term wind shear.

  BREAKDOWN: Why birds migrate

Geese winding their way south in a v-shaped flock is the classic picture of migration, the annual, large-scale movement of birds between their breeding (summer) homes and their non-breeding (winter) homes.

  Breakdown: How to get best view of Draconid meteor shower

When you think October, you may think orange, Halloween, falling leaves, cool temperatures and now you can add the Draconid meteor shower which comes annually around Oct 8. The meteor shower will peak this evening and has a history of producing a cool display.

  BREAKDOWN: Why lightning delays outdoor sporting events

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI), Lightning is the most frequent weather hazard impacting athletic events.

  Breakdown: How the jet stream controls our weather

The upper level winds, known as the jet stream, can bring in cool air from the north or push warm air from the south into our area. The jet stream sits 6-9 miles above the surface of the earth, but it impacts our weather all the way down at the surface.

  Breakdown: Why leaves change color

As we transition into the fall season, the leaves of green will start to turn various shades of browns, yellow, purple, oranges and red. When seeing this transition have you ever wondered, why does this happen?

  Breakdown: How cold fronts differ from other fronts

This week, my breakdown will be all about cold fronts. In this breakdown, I am going to not just be talking about what they are but also how they can influence our weather and sometimes, it can be in a severe way.

  Breakdown: Why Tsunamis are devastating to coastal towns

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi on September 28th. The rather strong earthquake triggered a tsunami. The earthquake and tsunami resulted in hundreds of deaths as the water pounded the coast of Indonesia.