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 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 a warm Atlantic Gulf Stream can get blocked, building up heat. All that hot water then warms 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. So, heat from a hot Atlantic pours into North America. In... 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

November 18, 2015

Tornadoes roar across the USA. Giant earthquakes shake the Earth. Storms rip across the continent. Nations brace for giant tsunami waves to crash across the oceans. The Earth is in constant movement. It’s time to take a deep breath. We are on a giant ball spinning in space and sometimes it is a place of incredible beauty. Everything is moving, the air, the oceans, even the ground beneath us. It forms incredible patterns. Let’s step away from the scare headlines and enjoy the splendor of the... more

November 10, 2015

I sometimes wonder why I am in the climate business. According to folklore, those leaves you have to rake up will tell you all you need to know about winter. Are your chrysanthemums really pretty? Get out the mittens. The birds and bees are not only into sex; apparently, they are weather forecasters as well. The competition for my job is horrendous. Here is a sample of rodent wisdom: Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, Will cause snow to gather in a hurry. In addition, a tough winter... more

November 3, 2015

November opened with cool temperatures and good snow in the West. That whoop you are hearing is all the crazy skiers and snowboarders who cannot wait to plummet down the mountains at 30+ miles an hour. Following one of the worst snow years on record, the El Niño is promising a good ski season for many Western ski resorts.  Last year was a disaster in the Western US. The years of La Niña, which bring drought to western states, was followed by what the Japanese call “An El Niño Midoki” another... more

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