Dear Tom,
I’m wondering about the “brown ocean effect” on rain in the upper Midwest. It seems that it rains continuously when the ground is wet. Did it happen there?
—Tom Honorable Darien

Dear Tom,
The “brown ocean effect” refers to an area of ​​land saturated by heavy rain from an approaching tropical cyclone. Typically, tropical cyclones that make landfall rapidly lose strength as a result of latent heat loss from the ocean. If it rains heavily before making landfall, saturated soil will provide a moisture-rich environment, allowing the landfall storm to maintain its strength or even strengthen as if it were still above water. This phenomenon is also possible to a much lesser extent in the Midwest as wet soils provide more moisture to the atmosphere, leading to more clouds, lower afternoon temperatures and increased precipitation.


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