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In Focus


Explore how weather—the everyday atmospheric events that become climate’s long-term patterns—impacts our health and wellness, and what we can do to combat the challenges of extreme weather.

Firefighters battle a forest fire

What exactly is a “fire tornado”?

In 2021, one of the largest wildfires of the year moved through Oregon, triggering weather phenomena, including lightning, massive columns of smoke and ash clouds reaching high into the atmosphere, and even the possibility of a “fire tornado.”

Read more about this strange phenomenon

A sandstorm in the desert

Why are Saharan dust storms getting more intense?

A groundbreaking study shows that the warming planet will make dust storms more intense in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

Learn how climate change is causing this shift in weather patterns

A man carries a package of bottled water through flood waters

Flood insurance is failing. What needs to change?

Harvard Law expert Hannah Perls explains why so many Florida homeowners lack flood insurance and what should be done about it.

Learn about the insurance crisis

Under the weather

The health effects of extreme temperatures, drought, and flooding are a subject of research for many Harvard experts.

A young man sits on a set of stairs outside

Hot, dusty, and unhealthy

Harvard Chan School graduate Barrak Alahmad’s research shows that Kuwait can be a bellwether for understanding the effects of heat and pollution

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Flooding brings deep trouble

Rescue crews on a boat on a flooded street
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The dangers of extreme heat during pregnancy

A pregnant woman holds her stomach
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Thunderstorm asthma

Lightning strikes behind a tree
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Extreme temperatures and heart disease

The sun beats down on a hillside
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Drought, wildfires, and COVID-19

flames from a wildfire
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Weathering the storm

Members of the Harvard community are researching how weather impacts our lives and creating solutions to combat its harmful effects.

A whirlwind of curiosity

Learn about weather patterns, meteorology, and the science behind some of the most powerful natural disasters.

A field with storm clouds in the background

Backyard meteorology: The science of weather

In this free online course, learn to forecast the weather just by looking out your window.

Take the course