Full moon night and branches in the foreground on Halloween night. (Getty Images)
The United States has had its fair share of unusual weather events in 2023, including wildfire smoke that caused city skylines to disappear, a rainstorm that turned a desert festival into a muddy mess and a spell of unlucky weather that resulted in six consecutive weekends with rain in the Northeast.
AccuWeather has brewed up a list of some of the strangest scientific phenomena of 2023 just in time for Halloween.
Two people driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in mid-January were shocked and puzzled by an ominous sound that filled the air, and they recorded a video to capture the eerie event.
As chilling as it may sound, it was not the result of paranormal activity, but rather strong winds blowing through the region as an atmospheric river slammed the Bay Area.
January was not the first time that the loud sound was heard emanating from the Golden Gate Bridge. The phenomenon has been documented several times since 2020 after new handrails were installed along the bridge. During extreme events, the sound has reached 100 decibels -- nearly as loud as a chainsaw or hairdryer. Engineers have concocted a plan to correct the issue and silence the howling handrails during future windstorms.
A lake that laid dormant for decades was resurrected during the spring following one of California's wettest and snowiest winters in history.
The "ghost lake" appeared in the Tulare Basin in the southern San Joaquin Valley, inundating more than 30 square miles of farmland in early April. The lake has appeared two times in recent history, in 1983 and 1997, both times following a stormy winter.
An aerial image shows Joel Gonzalez riding a boat while fishing in flooded Central Valley farmland during a winter storm along the border of Kings County and Tulare County near Corcoran, California on March 21, 2023. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images)
The stage is set for another wet and snowy winter in California, opening the possibility for the ghost lake of the Tulare Basin to return in the spring of 2024.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the most active in history with 20 named storms, including one that regenerated during the heart of hurricane season.
Tropical Storm Gert took shape in mid-August east of the Caribbean but lost wind intensity and became a disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms on Aug. 22. More than a week later on Sept. 1, what was left of the system became better organized, with Gert coming back from the dead to reclaim its tropical storm status.
Tropical Storm Gert over the central Atlantic on Sept. 2, 2023, one day after it regenerated. (NASA Worldview)
Gert continued to meander over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean into the first full week of September before dissipating over the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic.
A heavily wooded forest in Scotland resembled a haunted house in mid-October as Storm Babet swept through the region. Video captured the ground swaying up and down, almost as if the earth was breathing, with trees lifting several feet into the air.
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) October 21, 2023
The strange and head-scratching phenomenon was related to the winds from Babet. Intense winds from the storm pushed the tops of the trees, which caused the roots and some of the forest floor to lift into the air temporarily.
A rapidly rotating dead star, known as a pulsar, had scientists puzzled for years as it was constantly changing its appearance, but with the help of 12 telescopes, scientists were able to unravel the mystery of the object located 4,500 light-years from Earth.
Pulsars release bursts of radiation into space, almost like a celestial lighthouse. What made this pulsar different is that it was siphoning off materials from a nearby star, causing it to fluctuate in an unprecedented manner.
While scientists have figured out why pulsar PSR J1023+0038 has been acting strangely, they are still unsure if the behavior is unique to this dead star, or if there are many others like it spread across the universe.
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