WX-MAN's Musings

WX-MAN's Musings header image 1

Groundhog Day 2011

Brian Neudorff @ 5:52 am February 2nd, 2011 · No Comments


That’s right Woodchuck Chuckers, it’s GROUNDHOG DAY!!! This is one of my favorite holidays. You can watch Punxsutawney Phi live through streaming video here his prediction is scheduled for 7:25am EST…

I will have more on Phil and other Groundhogs later this morning. I hope they know what is good for them and forecast an early spring.

Well for those who track Punxsutawney Phil. He emerged and did NOT see his shadow. That means he is predicting an early spring. Here is some more information on Groundhog Day…

WHO IS PHIL?:Punxsutawney Phil has been making weather prognostications every Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Pa., since 1886.

THE ORIGINS: Groundhog Day grew out of what had essentially been a German superstition. German settlers brought with them the idea that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

WHERE IT HAPPENS: Punxsutawney is a town of about 6,100 people located about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.groundhog.org/

Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous of the groundhogs but he’s not the only furry forecaster around. Here in Western New York we have two groundhog traditions. Dunkirk Dave and Ridge Lea Larry.

For more of Phil’s cousins you can check out Groundhog Central.

→ No CommentsTags: Groundhog Day · Holidays · Long Range Forecast · Seasonal Outlooks

Winter Storm Affects Large Portion of the US Tues & Wed

Brian Neudorff @ 4:26 pm January 31st, 2011 · No Comments


Winter Storm warnings stretch from Texas, through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York to Vermont with Winter Storm Watches stretching into Maine and Blizzard warnings for Missouri and Illinois. This storm will impact a large area of the United States. It is not only for snow but many locations will also see ice.

In my professional opinion of all the winter types of precipitation ice is the worst of them all. Ice can cause massive power outages. It only takes a glaze of about a quarter of an inch of ice to weigh down power lines causing them to sag and break. Not to mention the glaze of ice it puts down on area roadways. When it comes to an “Icy Mix” there are two types, sleet and freezing rain. Sleet is not as bad and doesn’t coat power lines. Sleet is more of an ice pellet. Freezing rain on the other hand is what we all think of when it comes to an ice storm. Freezing rain actually falls through the atmosphere as a liquid only to go through a very shallow layer of air at or below freezing. This layer is so shallow and so thin the water doesn’t have time to refreeze until it makes contact with items in this below freezing layer like cars, houses roads and power lines. This is a major concern for those in Oklahoma, Missouri, Southern Illinois, into Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania including the cities of Oklahoma City, St Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh. Everything else to the north looks to be in the form of snow.

Of course winter weather is not the only concern with this storm, but also a threat of severe storms in the south and into the southeast. This storm as you can see will have a wide range of impact and if you are under any of these advisories, watches or warnings please listen to local media outlets for the latest weather information specific for your area. I will pass along any and all interesting weather I find but I can not forecast and update every location. Especially since I will be working a lot since here in western NY we could see anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of snow if not more.

→ No CommentsTags: Blizzard · Discussion · Forecasting · Groundhog Day · Holidays · Ice · National Weather · NY Weather · Rochester Weather · Severe Weather · Snow · Weather Advisories · Weather News · Weather Safety · Winter Storms · Winter Weather

Another Snow Storm for the Northeast

Brian Neudorff @ 4:52 pm January 11th, 2011 · No Comments

The same storm system that brought several inches of snow and ice that caused extensive power outages, travel delays, state of emergencies all across the southeastern part of the United States, along with the storm system that brought extensive amounts of snow across the US Plains and Midwest will merge Tuesday night to bring a large swath of snow across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

For large parts of New York and Pennsylvania a general 3 to 6 inches of snow will fall across the region. Some location will see more due to location and stronger embedded bands. The true beast of this storm will occur overnight into early Wednesday morning when a new storm develops off the coast of New Jersey and then continues to rapidly strengthen as it moves up into New England.

The above graphic is from AccuWeather.com – this is a pretty good estimate and forecast of what people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast should see once this storm passes Thursday evening. If you live in western New York like I do then you can get an idea of what my station and fellow meteorologist are thinking in our News 8 Weather Blog. We pretty much agree with the assesment of 3 to 6 inches with more snow likely along the shorelines of Lake Ontario thanks to lake enhancement and eventually lake effect snow showers going into Thursday.

For the rest of the Northeast from New York City, up into Boston if you have travel plans to or through those locations I would be prepared and anticipate flight delays and even cancellations. A foot or more of snow is likely through a good chunk of coastal New England and even possible for NYC with 6 to 12 inches possible there. Let’s just hope NYC can handle this snow better than they did the post Christmas Blizzard of 2010.

Currently there are numerous Winter Weather Advisories posted through out the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with winter storm warnings issued for those closes to the center of the storm through New Jersey, Eastern NY and up through New England. There are even a few Blizzard warnings posted for coastal Massachusetts. For the definitions of what a Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Warning and Blizzard Warnings are check out this specially made page here on WX-Man.com

→ No CommentsTags: Blizzard · Discussion · Forecasting · Ice · Nor'easter · Severe Weather · Snow · Weather News · Winter Storms · Winter Weather

Strange Weather News to Start 2011

Brian Neudorff @ 10:21 am January 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment

The first story come out of Abu Dhabi. Apparently scientists there created 52 artificial rain storms in the desert this past summer. This now not so secret project to control the weather in the Middle East cost 11 million dollars. It involved putting ionizers that looked like lampshades out in the desert. These ionizer created negatively charged ions that rose with the hot air, attracted dust. Then any moisture in the air would then stick to the dust (these kind of aerosol particles are needed to create clouds). The moisture condensing onto the dust particles would form clouds, lots of clouds that would later rain out.

Obviously bringing rain to a desert where rain is hard to come by makes sense if you want to make crops and not rely on outside sources for food. Of course many people could think of a lot of ways to use weather modification. I have said this numerous times on this blog, I am not a fan of weather modification. There are just things we should leave alone and this would be one of them. When you start trying to control what I consider the uncontrollable bad things can happen even though I understand a lot of the why’s behind doing it.

Of course the other story may or may not have anything to do with weather, although it has been used as a possible theory. From Arkansas to Louisiana thousands of red-winged blackbirds have fallen from the sky just days apart. This on top of 100,000 fish over a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near a dam in Ozark , 125 miles west of where the birds fell dead. The fish were discovered on Dec. 30.

It appears that the cause of death in Arkansas for the birds is currently being ruled due to stress:

“Loud noises were reported shortly before the birds began to fall from the sky,” the commission’s statement said, adding that blackbirds seldom fly at night. “The blackbirds were flying at rooftop level instead of treetop level” to avoid explosions above, according to Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “Blackbirds have poor eyesight, and they started colliding with things.”

The reason that I mention this as a weather story is that there was severe weather in the area on New Year’s Eve. So the loud sound could have been from thunder. Many have discounted thunder because the storms had moved out of the area but thunder and lightning can continue and be heard even after a storm passes. That’s why they tell people to wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before going outside.

The same occurrence took place on Monday in Louisiana. Again it was red-winged black birds that were found littering the ground and their death a mystery. What are your thoughts on why this happened. Is it natural or something more. I am waiting for someone to claim HAARP.

UPDATE ON LOCAL ROCHESTER WEATHER:
I guess I need to update our local weather. Not much change here. The light snow today will be just that. Some will get a coating maybe an inch. Some places will see little or even none as the clipper passes to our north. I think our best shot for some snow (only an inch or 2) comes when the cold front associated with the clippers passes later this afternoon and evening.

The next clipper will also bring a couple of inches of nuisance snow. (What is nuisance snow? I classify it as an inch to maybe four inches. Something that can cause slick spots but not enough to warrant an advisory.) Then behind that system as a new storm takes over along the east coast into New England, colder air will arrive. Highs will be in the mid 20s as lows are in the teens and some lake effect or even lake enhancement is possible in the wake. It should be too much but we will have to wait and see how it plays out.

→ 1 CommentTags: Misc Weather · NY Weather · Rochester Weather · Strange Weather · Weather News

December 2010 Blizzard in Videos

Brian Neudorff @ 9:11 am December 28th, 2010 · No Comments

I came across some of these videos on Twitter from other meteorologist I follow. These are so great. What a storm this was… If you have some info on this storm or what happened to you I would love to hear it.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

→ No CommentsTags: Blizzard · Weather News · Winter Storms · Winter Weather