Blog, Forecasts, Weather

Hurricane Florence

As of this morning, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 hurricane with the potential to strengthen to a Category 5 storm. The most recent air reconnaissance data indicates Florence has the potential to further strengthen.

So what does this mean? The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates hurricanes on a scale of 1-5 based on sustained wind speed. From the National Hurricane Center’s website, here is a breakdown of the scale and potential destruction:

Cat 1     74-95 mph winds     “Very dangerous winds will produce some damage”

Cat 2     96-110 mph winds   “Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage”

Cat 3    111-129 mph winds  “Devastating damage will occur”

Cat 4    130-156 mph winds  “Catastrophic damage will occur”

Cat 5    157 mph or more      “Catastrophic damage will occur”

 

Hurricane Florence is still too far away to determine exactly where the eye will make landfall. However, anyone in the storm’s path will experience hurricane winds and extremely heavy rainfall.

From a meteorologist’s point of view, this is a gorgeous storm and the satellite imagery is breathtaking. Also, the advisories and warnings should be followed. Please do not put yourself or your family in danger. This is a powerful storm and nature’s force should be respected. This is short and I will post later when more information is available.

Take care,

Tammy

 

 

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Blog, Plants, Weather

Snow, Thunderstorms, & Forsythia

HELLO APRIL!!!!! In the Midwest, especially Ohio, we can experience many types of weather within a few days when the seasons are changing.

Last week I spotted a couple dandelions blooming by the sidewalk (and I didn’t think to take a picture at the time) and now that it’s been cooler the last few days and cloudy today, I don’t see them.

Yesterday morning I woke up to snow.

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It didn’t stay long and was melted by afternoon. Yesterday was cool and today’s high temperature is supposed to be almost 70 degrees with thunderstorms. Yep, this is spring in Ohio.

Ahh, I hear rumbles of thunder – my favorite sound. I used to get into trouble as a kid because I would hear thunder and go outside to watch the storm roll in. My parents would be yelling at me to get inside, which I did once the gust front hit and it was lightning and raining. But it didn’t stop there. I would go into my bedroom and watch the storm from my window. Also, I always seem to get my best sleep when it storms at night.

We have gotten quite a bit of rain today. Currently, the National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches and Flood Warnings in my region because the ground was already saturated before the heavy rain today. I even noticed some puddling of water in my yard.

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After I took this picture, I was shutting the door when I noticed yellow. I thought, Oh My Gosh, Did I just see the Forsythia blooming? I opened the door again and was pleased to see it was blooming!

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Have you heard the tale about Forsythia? Well, the story goes that once you see it blooming there will be only three more snow falls and winter will be over. The snow fall may accumulate or it may just be flurries. Either way, Forsythia blooming is a very welcomed sign of spring! Here’s a thought….let’s test this old wives tale and see how many times it snows after today!

Tammy

Blog, Weather

Mother Nature’s Humor

Yesterday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. Wouldn’t you think Mother Nature knows when this season begins? I would think so!!! Mother Nature has a sense of humor, as the Midwest has experienced a late season snowfall. BUT, I can’t complain too much because I feel for those that live on the east coast dealing with another N’oreaster.

Well, part of me really (and I mean REALLY) wants to have warmer weather. I want to open the windows, feel the warm breeze, and let fresh air all through the house. Of course, my cats would appreciate open windows too!

The other part of me thinks nice weather can wait a little longer….WHAT?! My spring cleaning isn’t finished. My inside projects aren’t finished. I’m not ready for mowing….flowerbeds will need weeded….I have to pick out flowers….plant them….water them….mow….mow….mow. I think I’m okay with a couple more weeks of cooler weather. At least I can get my spring cleaning done (fingers crossed, wink-wink).

Tammy

Blog, Weather

Wintery Blustery Weekend

This winter storm gave us rain, wind, cold, freezing rain, and snow.  In my previous post, the weather models did not agree on the amount of snow from this storm.  The differences could have been amount of moisture in the air or how cold the air would be ahead of the storm.  If the air ahead of the storm stayed warmer longer, then most of the precipitation would have been rain.  But if the air ahead of the storm cooled more quickly, then most of the precipitation would have been snow (or combination of freezing rain and snow).  Now, how did this storm affect me?

I left the house around 8:30am to run a few errands and hoped I would be home before the storm.  I knew it was going to be warm in the morning (relatively speaking for January in the Midwest), but was amazingly surprised that it actually felt muggy.  It was still a little foggy, but not as bad as it was earlier in the morning.  In some places, visibility was less than one-tenth of a mile.  As you can see, most of the fog had lifted by the time I ventured out before the storm.  PS – The date on the picture should be 01/12/18.

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As I start my car, I noticed the outside temperature gauge read 56 degrees.  Then I thought, Wow….it brought back memories of the Blizzard of ’78 (this wasn’t the same weather setup but the weather was mild the day before it hit).  Oooohhh, that would be a fun post!  Sorry, I digress.

After running a few erands I was walking to my car to go do my last one and boy had things changed!  It was about three hours later, so around 11:30am, it was raining, it had become very windy, and the wind was COLD.  A significant change from the warm and muggy air I felt earlier that morning.  My car was showing the outside temperature was now 41 degrees!!  A clear sign the cold front was beginning to move through and the weather was going to change drastically.  About an hour later I was finally home and happy to not have to be out driving when the weather was going to be much worse.

 

 

Lucky for me it was still raining, and really raining heavy at times, about 2:00pm while I was bringing in firewood.  My master plan was to be home before the rain started so I could have the firewood staged already.  That way when I got home all I had to do was load up the wood burning stove and start the fire.  Best laid plans….you know how it goes.

Just a short hour later or so, I noticed that it looked more like sleet coming down outside.  Plus the water on the deck and railing was freezing.  Definitely a big change in temperature!

 

 

Now by 5:00pm it had been precipitating a mix of freezing rain and snow.  I was thankful that I had a fire going because the power went off!!!  I was also fortunate that the power came back on right away…..if not, I would have had heat but no running water (but I’m prepared for that).

It kept snowing throughout the night.  The wind was very strong not to mention the wind gusts.  I would look out the window and the wind would pick up what looked like sheets of snow and just swirl it all around.  By daybreak, the snow had ended and it was so cold outside.  The wind had moved snow around so much that I could see grass in parts of the field, yet have snow drifts around the house.  I would estimate that I received 3-6 inches of snow, but really don’t know how much snow fell exactly at my house.

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So about 7.5 inches in a small drift on the deck.  Underneath the eaves had about 3 inches of snow.

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This was the snow at the bottom of one of the staircases.  I wish this was a better look but I was trying not to disturb the snow while measuring.  Plus is was FREEZING outside!!!  I walked out to the bird feeder and walked through deep snow near the house and barely any snow under the tree.

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Under the tree, you can see all of the bird tracks and wisps of grass peeking through.

 

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I filled the bird feeder to help out our feathered friends.  After the storm, cold arctic air settled in and we had wind chills into the single digits and sub-zero temperatures at times.

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In the end, the back field had varying depths of snow.  At this point is was untouched by nature.  Such a beautiful picture and gorgeous blue sky with sunshine.

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So we made it through this winter storm and had more snow yesterday.  How much snow did you see?

Tammy

 

Blog, Weather

Calm (or Panic) Before the Storm

Starting late tomorrow, we are bracing for freezing rain and snow….Woohoo Winter Storm Hunter!!!!  This storm has been talked about by many on Facebook, Messenger, weather groups, colleagues (you get the idea) because the initial response was WHAT?!?  Two different scenarios – One with about two INCHES of snow and the other with about two FEET of snow! Yikes!! Here is what the WSYX weather team posted Tuesday on Facebook:

Tale of Two Storms Jan 2018

How can there be that much of disagreement between weather models?  At the time, the storm was still moving in from the Pacific Ocean providing all of the rain that hit California causing mud slides in the Santa Barbara area.  So the storm system appeared on radar and satellite imagery but more data was needed to better forecast this storm.  Once over land, and especially east of the Rocky Mountains, meteorologists could get a more realistic idea of what to expect from Winter Storm Hunter.

The National Weather Service (NWS) offices throughout the country launch radiosondes, or weather balloons with a sensor package attached, to take upper air observation readings.  Radiosondes report pressure, temperature, humidity, and in some cases wind speed and direction, at various levels in the atmosphere.  This data is added to the weather models, which help give a more accurate prediction of upcoming weather events.

radiosonde launch

This photo is courtesy of NWS Wilmington Ohio Facebook page from a tour showing a radiosonde launch.  The launches are performed at 12-hour intervals, and in the anticipation of severe weather events, special launches are sometimes done at 6-hour intervals.  So as this winter storm tracked eastward, more upper air data was input into the weather models.  However, even today there is still not 100% consensus on how much snowfall to expect…..

Tale of Two Storms Jan 2018 Update Weds

As you can see, the snowfall estimations are closer together but still not close in agreement.  This scenario highlights the challenges meteorologists face when forecasting weather, as it certainly isn’t just looking at the radar (or looking out the window – HA!!).  Sorry for such a short post.  I’m going to get back to looking at weather data for this storm.  I’ll post pictures of how this storm rolls through and see how much snow actually falls.  Stay posted and stay safe!

Tammy

Blog, Weather

Passion for Weather

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The other day I was getting reacquainted with my camera ~ I took these pictures of cirrus clouds. These are high clouds that are wispy and feathery in appearance. The weather in Ohio has been great with sunny skies and warm temperatures the last few days. I’m watching the skies and the weather data to see if severe thunderstorms are in our future!

As for my passion for weather, I like to watch storms as they move into the area. A couple years ago, I took these storm pictures from my driveway.

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And the date set on my camera was wrong…HA! We don’t get storms like this in January. I do like to have the date of the pictures for reference, but this is obviously not January weather!

As I work to make accurate weather forecasts, I will post them here for you to see and make plans for your day…..getting to work, kids to school, yardwork, planting flowers, and whatever else comes to mind. I have to say thunderstorms and tornadoes are my favorite weather phenomena. I’m sure I will have much to say about them this summer. Stay tuned!

Tammy