A recent series of articles in the Los Angeles Times (LATimes) reminded me of a Facebook post I put up awhile back, entitled 'Thunderheads', in which the Smithsonian Channel brought together 250 international researchers take part in a unique collective project studying thunderstorms. The pertinent part of their many discoveries for me was the fact that hailstones, especially large ones, form around a VERY particular particle of matter – the particle matter put up in the air by wildfires! I've embedded the 'sneak peak' video, as it's going to air early August. Check your local listings for the next time this show airs, as it's a must see!
So the LATimes stories that triggered my recall of this Smithsonian show were a sequence of articles – these are worth a complete read not only because they are informative, however I have ALSO HIGHLIGHTED A MORE SUBTLE THREAD OF THOUGHT that ties these articles together in a disturbing way.
(Photograph © 2013 Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times, October 2006)