Weather Blogs

February 8, 2016

Why do we hold Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate hot romance, in the middle of cold snowy February? What in the past made our ancestors decide that blizzards were the climate for love? Believe me, after shoveling the snow from my driveway, nothing—and I do mean nothing—is further from my mind than romance. So why is this holiday scheduled at such a frigid time of the year? The answer is that the climate we are experiencing today is not necessarily the original weather people were... more

February 7, 2016

Have you read the latest science news? “Jays and crows act as ecosystem engineers”?  These birds are helping oaks and pines—Christmas trees—weather changing climate. Pretty good for a bunch of birdbrains! The secret to these little engineers’ success is that they like to eat seeds. Like squirrels, they collect and hoard acorns and pine nuts in a number of scattered hoards. Since they hoard more than they eat, some of these seeds sprout and form new trees. This helps the trees survive. If a... more

January 23, 2016

The El Niño is fading away! Yay! Considering the horrible weather that it brought, that’s a good thing. The El Niño may return and start growing stronger again. Whoops! Following the snowstorm in Washington D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic states, weather announcers were quick to proclaim that it’s all due to the current strong El Niño. The event typically brings heavy storms and rains to the South and many of these storms sail up the East Coast as snowy Nor’easter blizzards. Normally these type... more

January 17, 2016

Hurricane Alex is the first hurricane in January in 75 years. How did a hurricane occur in January?  Read on . .  Just like most of us resolve to start the New Year, improving our lives, a little Southern storm apparently had the same goal in mind.  Alex wanted to make something of himself  … the little storm that could. Normally hurricanes form over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Alex didn’t, instead he formed off the southeastern coast of the US. Water temperatures need to be around 79°F... more

January 3, 2016

We’ve all gazed at the clouds, and seen different shapes such as animals or faces, right? Here’s a new twist … Adam Voiland, a NASA scientist and new dad, has read Dr. Seuss’s ABC books so many times that he started to see letters of the alphabet in NASA’s satellite pictures of Earth! It was as easy and fun as the A-B-Cs! The Letter “A” — for Utah’s Green River. The Letter “B” — for the Arkansas River.   The Letter “C” — for an artificial island off of Bahrain. Others have joined... more

December 23, 2015

Happy New Year! We are facing a new year, ripe with possibilities. Will it be stormy and difficult or sunny and full of hope?  Ask the scientists who helped create this year’s Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast—it’s hard to predict weather a year ahead of time. But, ever hopeful, people used to turn to folklore to predict the weather. New Year’s Weather Folklore In particular, they looked to the wind. If you want try this, step outside as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve. Feel the wind and ... more

December 20, 2015

♪On the twelfth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Twelve shiny rainbows … . ♫ Just in time for Christmas, scientists have discovered that there are twelve types of rainbows! On December 17, Jean Ricard, a serious rainbow scientist (what a fun job!) reported that there are 12 types of rainbows and why. A rare winter rainbow SOURCE: Old Farmer’s Almanac Rainbows are wonderful reflections of sunlight off raindrops. As it is reflected, it is refracted, which changes the direction on... more

December 15, 2015

Are you celebrating winter with the dreaded common cold? It may be miserable, but it is showing you something about the weather. Just as your stuffed nose blocks relief and makes your sinuses swell (Ouch!), so the warm Atlantic Gulf Stream is feeling blocked this winter. That means the heat is building up behind the blockage. All that hot water is warming the Eastern US and parts of Canada.  Remember, 70% of the Earth’s surface is the oceans. Heat from the oceans flow into North America.... more

December 1, 2015

It’s December—time for the longest night of the year. With so little warming sunlight, it will be the coldest day of the year. Right? Right, California, your coldest days are in December! Wrong, Massachusetts, your coldest days are in January! Welcome to the confusing winter weather of the USA. NOAA, the weather people, just reissued their map of when the coldest weather usually hits different parts of the USA. Notice a pattern?  Winter cold sneaks up on the West right away. It usually... more

November 22, 2015

Hello Almanac readers, Do you know what Old Farmers really do in the winter? They travel to agricultural conventions. The harvests are over, hotel rates are low, and crop conventions allow them to see old friends and learn a few useful facts. And—since we are speakers at these conventions—we get to experience the joys of winter travel.  A lot of you will also be travelling this winter, visiting your loved ones on the holidays or maybe visiting the slopes for some skiing. Let us, in the... more

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