Weather Blogs

January 22, 2015

Remember last winter? (Shiver!) Ninety-two percent of the Great Lakes were covered with ice, the greatest amount since 1979. The last ice didn’t melt until June! It acted like an ice box, cooling off the Midwestern spring. It reduced 7 million tons of vital Great Lakes shipping, costing the industry and consumers more than $705 million. Fortunately experts say there will be only a normal amount of ice this year. And experts are always right. Right? They might be wrong. The Lakes have begun... more

January 18, 2015

Zip! This January, a passenger jet broke all records for crossing “The Pond”. A British Airlines flight reached speeds as high as 745 mph as it surfed the jet stream crossing the Atlantic. It arrived in England only 5 hours 16 minutes after it started, cutting a full hour and a half off the normal flight time. The key to fast airplane travel: Ride the jet stream. Source: NOAA So how does this relate to warm weather? It’s all in the jet stream, the narrow band of extremely fast winds in the... more

December 18, 2014

Ever heard of the Pineapple Express? California collects weather patterns with odd names. Does it have a drought? Blame the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (Triple R). Did it just get super heavy rainfall? That's the fault of the Pineapple Express. Fortunately for the drought stricken state, the Triple R has faded and it has huge, wet Pineapples in its future. Triple R: the high pressure area that blocked California rainfall for two years. The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge was the name weathermen... more

December 13, 2014

It’s time to make a list of wishes for gift-buying relatives and elves. What do you give a hopeless weather watcher? If you are like me, there are weather events you would love to see, but it is a bit hard for a present-giver to wrap up a thundersnow. For a moment, ignore reality. What are three weather gifts you wish you could get this holiday season? Chasing tornadoes. Insane but what a rush! SOURCE: NOAA Wish 3:A storm-chaser trip. Yes, I know that chasing tornadoes is dangerous, even when... more

November 24, 2014

The only thing more spectacular than a cold spell bringing freezing temperatures to all 50 states is a cold spell that brings widespread freezes and (Boom! Sizzle!) THUNDERSNOW. That’s what we saw this November, a massive freeze and the rare phenomenon of thundersnow. A November surprise. Brrr! Credit: NOAA On November 17 a massive cold spell brought freezing weather to 49 states. Only Hawaii wasn’t engulfed by the cold and even that sunny state had 31°F weather on the top of Mt. Kea. The... more

November 16, 2014

Do you hear the swish of the Sword of Damocles overhead? Last winter I wrote about that ancient sword and compared it to the threat of winter cold. Something scary is hanging overhead! (By Richard Westall. 1812) Just as in the Greek legend, when a deadly sword hung suspended over Damocles throne (to remind him that with power came great danger and worry), so tremendous cold lies due north of the US. It is just waiting to crash in on us. It has already created the coldest November weather in... more

November 2, 2014

One of the largest eruptions in centuries in Iceland has been ongoing for months, flooding the skies with massive pollution and…. Wait! You haven’t heard of it? Meet the Mt. Bardarbunga/Holuhraun lava field eruption, the largest Icelandic eruption in centuries. Source: Wikipedia Courtesy of Peter Hartree Part of the reason for this is that it hasn’t killed or severely injured anyone. It is in an isolated area of north Iceland and doesn’t even eject ash into European air traffic like the much... more

October 31, 2014

Right before Halloween, Washington and British Columbia were hit by a “Zombie Hurricane”. Hurricane Ana attacked the Hawaiian Islands, died out and then its remains made a U-Turn and stormed the Pacific Northwest. Aloha! Hawaiian Hurricane Ana before it became a “zombie”. Lately weather watchers have playfully started calling the still dangerous remnants of tropical storms “zombies”. The problem is that a hurricane may lose its name, its structure and even its place on National Hurricane... more

October 19, 2014

For the news, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s why you seldom hear the good news. Here’s some good news: Bermuda was hit by two, (yes two!) hurricanes. Huh? The hurricanes hit in a single week and Bermuda came out of it with no deaths, little damage and very little blood. The tiny tropical paradise is amazingly tough. October has been a rough month for Bermuda. On October 12, Tropical Storm Fay slammed the island with 61 – 82 mph winds. It ripped up trees, roofs and telephone poles, destroyed... more

October 5, 2014

Chicago, the windy—errr, snowy—city, was hit by snow during the first week of October. That’s the earliest snowfall since World War II! For those of us who still shiver when we hear the words “Polar Vortex”, the early cold makes us worry that there will be a repeat of the frigid misery of last winter. Is there another Arctic blast waiting to freeze us again this winter.   Brrrr! Is this the future? (As faithful readers of The Old Farmer’s Almanac know, their staff has answered “yes.” In the... more


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