Dear Tom,
I live in the “Fermilab Bubble,” in Batavia. Almost 95 percent of the time when a storm passes through, it never hits the Bubble, basically a two mile radius around Fermilab. What is the cause of this?

William Arthun, Batavia

Dear William,

The so-called “Fermilab Bubble,” in which severe weather is not supposed to occur, does not, in fact, exist. Severe weather has occurred at Fermilab and in the closely surrounding area. For example, on March 31, 2007, the wind gusted to 80 mph at Fermilab. Severe weather in the greater Chicago area does not respect man-made facilities as limited in size as Fermilab, though the Chicago area is large enough to influence certain features of the weather (such as temperatures — warmer in the city than in outlying areas, for example).