If you wanted something else to blame on the internal combustion engine, you can now add tornadoes and hailstorms to the list. Scientists have found that both weather events are more likely to occur during the week than the weekend due to the higher levels of pollution in the air from our workday commutes.
The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, looked at summer storm patterns in the eastern U.S. from 1995 to 2009 and found that hailstorms were occurring at a rate of about 20 percent above average midweek and about 20 percent below average on Saturday and Sunday. The team then looked at EPA records of summertime air pollution in the eastern U.S. and found that it peaks midweek.
The reason is that water particles cling to pollutants in the air, floating up higher in the atmosphere where it's colder and creating more hail. Pollutants also create tornado-friendly conditions by making the air warmer.
The western U.S. doesn't experience this same phenomenon since the air is dryer and cloud masses are too high and cold for the air pollution to interfere with.via National Geographic
written by Sapoty Brook, January 14, 2012
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