Properties of, and Truths about, CircleS

Weather systems and patternS

Global winds

Earth’s orbit around the sun and its rotation on a tilted axis causes some parts of Earth to receive more solar radiation than others. This uneven heating produces global circulation patterns. For example, the abundance of energy reaching the equator produces hot humid air that rises high into the atmosphere. A low pressure area forms at the surface and a region of clouds forms at altitude. The air eventually stops rising and spreads north and south towards the Earth's poles. About 2000 miles from the equator, the air falls back to Earth's surface blowing towards the pole and back to the equator. Six of these large convection currents cover the Earth from pole to pole.

NOAA studied about four decades of tropical cyclones revealing the surprising result that reducing particulate air pollution in Europe and North America has contributed to an increase in the number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin and a decrease in the number of these storms in the Southern Hemisphere. The study also found that the growth of particulate pollution in Asia has contributed to fewer tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific basin. 

Air masses

These global wind patterns drive large bodies of air called air masses. Air masses are thousands of feet thick and extend across large areas of the Earth. The location over which an air mass forms will determine its characteristics. For example, air over the tropical ocean becomes exceptionally hot and humid. Air over a high latitude continent may become cold and dry. You have probably noticed the temperature rapidly dropping on a nice warm day as a cold air mass pushed a warm one out the way.


The location where two air masses meet is called a front. They can be indirectly observed using current weather maps, which can be used to track them as the move across the Earth. Cold fronts, generally shown in blue, occur where a cold air mass is replacing a warm air mass. Warm fronts, shown in red, occur where warm air replaces cold air.

The term jet stream is used increasingly in both weather forecasts and news reports of extreme events, from cold spells and flooding to heatwaves and droughts. But what is the jet stream, and why do we care about it so much?

Jet streams

The local weather conditions that we experience at the Earth's surface are related to these air masses and fronts. However the environment far above us impacts their movement. High in the atmosphere, narrow bands of strong wind, such as the jet streams, steer weather systems and transfer heat and moisture around the globe.

Coriolis effect

As they travel across the Earth, air masses and global winds do not move in straight lines. Similar to a person trying to walk straight across a spinning Merry-Go-Round, winds get deflected from a straight-line path as they blow across the rotating Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere air veers to the right and in the Southern Hemisphere to the left. This motion can result in large circulating weather systems, as air blows away from or into a high or low pressure area. Hurricanes and nor'easters are examples of these cyclonic systems.

During the summer months, most areas in the United States approach their highest temperatures for the year. To give you a better idea of the warmest time of year for your area, NOAA has created “Warmest Day of the Year” maps.

4 Types of Hardy,
Single-finned Goldfish

1. Common Goldfish

Common goldfish have a slim body and single tail and lack any special accouterments. They tend to be inexpensive and are often sold as “feeder fish” for predatory fish. Common goldfish on average live 10-15 years but can live greater than 20 years and reach sizes of 12-14 inches. Their scales are metallic and can be orange, red, yellow, black, white, grey, silver, and almost any combination of these colors. They are hardy and can survive in aquariums or ponds, even with poor water quality, and can withstand temperatures from below freezing to greater than 90˚F. They are an excellent choice for new fish enthusiasts.

2. Comet Goldfish

Comet goldfish have a slim body and single tail but differ from Common goldfish by having a slimmer body and a long, forked tail. They are slightly smaller than Common goldfish but are just as hardy and easy to care for. They have metallic scales and can be a combination of orange, white, yellow, black, and Sarasa, which is a white body with red fins. They are usually bicolored and rarely are a single color.

3. Shubunkin

These are another type of slim-bodied, single tail goldfish, and are defined by their calico coloration, which includes a spotted combination of blue, orange, white, and black. They come in multiple varieties, including the American Shubunkin, which looks like a calico Comet goldfish, the London Shubunkin, which looks like a calico Common goldfish, and the Bristol Shubunkin, which has a long flowy tail like a comet but it is rounded and heart-shaped. Technically, any calico goldfish is a Shubunkin, but fancy calico goldfish are often marketed as calico-type. Shubunkins have nacreous scales, often in combination with matte scales. Interestingly, the dark spots Shubunkins have are not on their scales but are located underneath their pearlescent scales.

4. Wakin Goldfish

Sometimes confused with koi, Wakin goldfish can grow up to 19 inches long and make excellent pond fish. It is believed that Wakins were the predecessors of fancy goldfish breeds. They are rarely seen in the United States and are far more common in Asian countries. While they have a double tail, which is associated with fancy goldfish, Wakins are considered Common type goldfish due to their similar body shape to the Common goldfish. The double tail is elongated, often longer than the tails of Comets. They are usually bicolored, seen in combinations of red, orange, black, and white.

2. Comet

3. Shubunkin

4. Wakin


White Chicken ChilI

Step-by-Step Directions

Step 1 – Add the chicken breasts, drained beans, drained corn, seasonings, onion, green chilies, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Stir. Wait to add sour cream and cilantro.

Step 2 – Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.

Step 3 – Remove the chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Add back to the slow cooker. Add the sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Step 4 – Stir and serve with your favorite toppings.