The Breakdown

  Breakdown: Why asteroids, comets and meteors can be hard to identify

There are so many cool displays when it comes to stars and all the cosmic coolness but how can we tell what is what?

  Breakdown: Why tropical funnels aren’t as scary as they seem

  Breakdown: How warm water can form hurricanes

  Breakdown: Myths and facts about lightning

  Breakdown: Why fireworks can make air quality unsafe

  Breakdown: Why smoke and dust create beautiful sunsets

  Breakdown: How a cluster of storms form in the atmosphere

Continued Coverage

  Breakdown: How Hot It Get’s In Your Car & Why It Can Be Deadly

  Allergies driving you crazy? Why your problem may be inside your home

  Breakdown: Why heat index values are vital

  Breakdown: Why we change seasons each year

  Breakdown: Why Stationary Fronts Happen

  Why sundogs resemble rainbows

  Breakdown: How sea breeze impacts the coastline

When visiting the beach or coastlines you might wonder why it feels a bit cooler along the beach? Or maybe why do thunderstorms always pop-up in the afternoon along the coast?

  Breakdown: Why you need sunscreen when it’s cloudy

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.

  Breakdown: Why Jupiter will be close

Why Jupiter Is More Visible

  Breakdown: Why severe weather season isn’t over

Why Severe Weather Season Isn't Over

  Breakdown: Why storm clouds usually appear dark

  Breakdown: Why the “Ring of Fire” caused lots of severe weather

  Breakdown: How to survive a dangerous rip current

  Breakdown: What derechos are and why they can be dangerous

  Breakdown: Why 5G cell phone wavelengths could impact forecast data

  Breakdown: Why NOAA predicts near normal hurricane season

  Breakdown: Why high risk days rarely occur in the Mid-South

The high risk of severe weather category is so rare. In the U.S. we don’t see it very often and it is even more rare here in the Mid-South. The last one issued was May 20, 2019 across the southern Plains and before that it hadn’t been issued since 2017.

  Breakdown: Why the upcoming ”Blue” Moon is so rare


  Breakdown: Why There Are More Tornadoes In The Southeast

Why There Are More Tornadoes In The Southeast

  Breakdown: Where you are on a map and why it is important for you to know

Where are you on a map and why it is important for you to know

  Breakdown: A look back at Mississippi River flood of May 2011

8 Years ago, the Mississippi River rose past its banks and flooded parts of the Mid-South. Becoming one of the largest and most damaging recorded floods along the river in the past century.

  Breakdown: Why the grass looks greener after it rains

Why Grass Looks Greener After Rain

  Breakdown: Why you may be able to see “shooting stars” tonight

Sunday night skies will be mostly clear, which will be a great set-up for viewing the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower.

  Breakdown: Why it always seems to rain the 1st weekend in May

As the Beale Street Music Festival draws closer this upcoming weekend along with so many other outdoor festivities, the forecast becomes a big player in it all. It seems like the first weekend in May every year is always rain in the forecast.

  Rain vs Showers: What is the difference?

Showers vs Rain: What is the Difference?

  Breakdown: Why April 27, 2011 was so deadly

The tornado outbreak from April 25 to April 28 in 2011 was one of the deadliest and costliest events on record in the United States

  Breakdown: What does rain percentage really mean for you?

Let’s face it, you look at the First Alert 7-Day forecast and see rain percentages on some days, or during the summer every day, but when you traverse through the day, you end up not seeing any rain. You may think, what gives?

  Breakdown: Why sunsets appear reddish

When it comes to visible light, red light waves are scattered the least due to atmospheric gas molecules.

  Breakdown: The science behind how airplanes fly in the sky

In this episode of The Breakdown, we go in detail on how airplanes actually fly and what forces them to lift off the ground.

  Breakdown: The science behind doppler radar ‘colors’

In this episode of the Breakdown, we are going to explain the science behind the different “colors” a radar shows on a map and why some colors can be different but most of the colors used are the same.

  Breakdown: Why soggy ground can bring trees down

According to experts, when trees are uprooted, the roots are to blame. A tree’s root system serves several purposes. The two main important jobs are to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, and to anchor the tree, which will keep the tree straight and stable.

  Breakdown: How tornadoes form in the atmosphere

Spring time is here across the Mid-South. As we move deeper into the new season more and more storm systems roll across the region. Some of those storms can produce tornadoes, but do you know how a tornado forms in our atmosphere?

  Breakdown: Why positive lightning strikes are more dangerous than negative

While all lightning strikes are dangerous, in this episode of the breakdown we will explain why positive strikes are considered even more dangerous and deadly than negative lightning strikes.

  Breakdown: What is pollen and where does it come from?

What is pollen and where does it come from

  Breakdown: Why rain doesn’t always wash away pollen

You may think that all rain will wash away pollen, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, certain types of rain can make pollen levels increase.

  Breakdown: Why some trees haven’t bloomed yet

Typically the trees here in the south start as early as mid-March and are usually full of leaves by the end of April.

  Breakdown: How weather affects pollen levels

Spring is finally here in the Mid-South but along with the new season comes increased pollen counts.

  Breakdown: Why we may not have seen the last frost yet

Spring! It is finally here in the Mid-South. With it comes warmer temperatures, more sunshine and spring allergies. Those with a green thumb might start to plan to plant their spring garden.

  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 bull's-eye on the Mid-South.

  Breakdown: Why the seasons change

Breakdown: Why Spring & a supermoon will coincide

  Breakdown: Super Worm Moon welcomes spring

Spring begins March 20 at 4:58 PM CDT and for the first time in almost 20 years a Super Worm Moon shine over the northern hemisphere. This will be the third and final super moon of 2019.

  Breakdown: Why weather can determine the intensity of the pollen season

Pollen & Weather

  Breakdown: Why snow is still possible

Why Snow Is Still Possible

  Breakdown: Why we spring forward each year

Love it or hate it, the second weekend in March we go to bed Saturday night, just to lose an hour of sleep as we wake up on Sunday morning.

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

In this episode of the Breakdown, we explain why weather radios and weather apps for your phone can be lifesaving tools when severe weather strikes.

  Breakdown: Why cold weather can affect cars fuel economy

When driving your car during the winter months you might notice that the gas gauge is going down faster than during the summer. Did you know that the cold weather actually affects the fuel economy of your car?

  Breakdown: Why understanding severe weather risks is important

Severe weather, it is a common occurrence in the Mid-South during the four seasons in the Mid-South. When it comes to strong and severe storms, understanding what the colors and text means could better help you prepare for incoming severe weather.

  Breakdown: How you play an important role during severe weather

In a way to better obtain weather information, the National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN with partner organizations. This volunteer program has between 350,000 and 400,000 trained service weather spotters that help keep local communities safe by providing reports of severe weather to th

  Breakdown: How to stay safe during lightning

Lightning Safety a

  Breakdown: Flash flood watch vs warning

Flooding is one of the deadliest naturally occurring disasters in the country. When flooding occurs, knowing the difference between a flash flood watch and a flash flood warning could mean the difference between life and death.

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

In this episode of the Breakdown, we explain why thunder can last longer and sound louder than normal when temperatures are colder outside.

  Breakdown: How leaves can lead to dangerous flooding

Storm drains are made to handle runoff and because of that, they discharge untreated water into waterways. When decomposing yard waste like leaves are left to accumulate, it can have negative effects.

  Breakdown: How electronics are affected by cold weather

A lot of times we think of how to protect ourselves from the cold, but have you ever thought of your electronics? According to experts, hard drives can be the most vulnerable to cold temperatures.

  Breakdown: Why no two snowflakes are alike

Do you remember as a kid, folding a piece of paper, cutting the corners, unfolding it and then admiring your snowflake? Well if you do, you will remember that everyone’s paper snowflake looked slightly different as no two cuts were exactly alike.

  Breakdown: Why storm ‘training’ can cause floods

In this episode of the Breakdown, we will discuss why storm training and how it can cause flooding to occur in your neighborhood.

  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?

Although warm weather can play a part in severe weather, it is not the sole factor for storm development.

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

On February 5, 2008, there was a huge and deadly tornado outbreak not only for the Mid-South, but also for much of the southern United States. This outbreak is known as the “Super Tuesday Outbreak." That day was the primary election for our country.

  Breakdown: Why the polar vortex created ice quakes

In this episode of the Breakdown, we explain what is causing the booms that people are hearing in the freezing cold temperatures.

  Breakdown: Why rivers and streams flood

Each year, the Mighty Mississippi river will rise and lower along its journey south to the Gulf of Mexico, but have you ever wondered why a river will overflow its banks?

  Breakdown: Why halos appear around the moon

Have you ever looked up into the night sky and noticed a ring around the moon? What you were seeing is an optical illusion, caused by reflections of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. This is called the “halo effect,” or a Lunar Halo, and it is caused by light rays diffracting around the moon.

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

Why no significant snow

  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.