Weather Blogs

April 20, 2017

One of the joys of working with weather is that I also work with satellite pictures—to see our beautiful Earth from above. We have all seen the local weather forecasters showing satellite pictures of approaching rains and storms. But most don’t get to see some of the other pictures, especially some of the incredible new nighttime pictures, allowing us to follow the weather day and night. These pictures also show the incredible beauty of the city lights. Check out the recent picture of Europe.... more

April 3, 2017

There were a record number of high and low temperatures across the U.S. and Canada in 2016—and the same goes for 2017 thus far. Last winter was so much warmer than normal that I thought we could not possibly surpass that record warmth this winter. However, we keep breaking new weather records, especially for warmth. For you weather nerds (and I count myself among you), here are a few items that you might find of interest. Causes of Record Warmth Just paging through Science News, an article... more

March 22, 2017

It was the giant blizzard that was scheduled to paralyze New York City and predicted to become “life-threatening” in Philadelphia.  Local governments responded sensibly. Warnings were issued and road clearing equipment readied. Schools closed. Amtrak canceled and modified its service while airlines canceled more than 5,000 flights. Then the storm hit—and missed. Fortunately, the brunt of it did not hit the vulnerable cities. Instead, the whole system hit further west and north, into areas... more

March 13, 2017

What a magical sight! Dry, barren deserts are blooming with millions of flowers, drowning the land with lush colors. Other climates have the luxury of flowers blooming throughout the year. In western deserts, this is all concentrated in a few enchanted weeks. The reason, of course, is water. It requires perfect conditions for flowers to bloom. (Ask any frustrated gardener.) There has to be enough water to nourish the plant and warm enough weather for the plant and bloom not to freeze. Later... more

March 7, 2017

It’s time to celebrate being Irish (or pseudo-Irish) and look for that pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the rainbow. I can’t help you with the Irish gig, but I can discuss rainbows. I can also pass on a Central European secret for how to get to the pot of gold. This is the season to start seeing rainbows, whether you are in Ireland or Texas. The heated air from the South is expanding north and mixing with the cold air remaining from winter—producing spring storms. The combination of... more

March 1, 2017

Who knew Californians might be calling the five dry years of drought “The Good Old Days”? The state is being slammed by flying “Atmospheric Rivers”—rivers in the sky. The state is floundering in rain, snow, floods and mudslides. Roads are washing out. Dams are threatening to fail. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate.  Californians needed some rain, but this is ridiculous. The old proverb “Big Droughts are ended by Big Floods” is proving disastrously true. Plumes... more

February 28, 2017

As I write this, winter 2017 has been mild across nearly all of the country, with above-normal temperatures and below-normal snowfall being the rule in most locations. This is generally in agreement with The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s long-range forecast for this winter with the most significant exception being the heavy precipitation that fell across all of California. While we did forecast rainfall to be above normal across northern California, we forecast below-normal rain in the central and... more

February 22, 2017

When you look at the parades and parties of Mardi Gras, it’s hard to believe that it started with long hard winters and acts of charity. Most people know Mardi Gras as the last extravagant day before Lent. Even the name, Mardi Gras, translates to Fat Tuesday suggesting the last feast of rich food before the self-denial some Christians observe before Easter. However, before it was a day for parties, Mardi Gras started out as hungry day near the end of winter, when people needed charity. In the... more

February 6, 2017

With our forecast of a blizzard in many spots this February, it might be interesting to look at a few of the worst blizzards in history. Let’s stick to recent history—blizzards we remember! Worst Blizzards in (Recent) History Does anyone remember the blizzard of February of 1972?  I was near Ithaca, New York, where it snowed heavily between around 9:00 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m., leaving an accumulation of 29 inches during the 5 hours or so that it snowed. Helping to push cars that were stuck... more

January 24, 2017

For winter 2017, the Almanac has predicted colder-than-normal temperatures for most of the United States. Here’s a weather update. By November and December, temperatures at and around the North Pole were rising above freezing, while Siberia shivered through record cold. The north polar region has been experiencing temperatures some 30 to 50 degrees F above normal, which has kept sea ice formation at record low levels. Meanwhile, temperatures in Siberia have plummeted to –30° to –50° F,... more

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