Weather Blogs

October 13, 2017

Why does Halloween fit so well with October? It’s just interesting to think about how much weather and daylight affect the whole nature of a celebration. Back on the 13th of May of 609 A.D., the Catholic feast of “All Martyrs Day” was established. It was eventually moved to November 2 (probably to blend and supplant the older Celtic festival of “Samhaim”) and later renamed “All Soul’s Day” or “All-hallows.” The night before, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be... more

October 11, 2017

We all know this hurricane season has been active, but how active? September 2017 was the strongest hurricane month ever recorded. Here’s why. First, know that September is typically the busiest month for North American Atlantic Hurricanes due to the conveyor belt of low-pressure systems moving off Africa’s west coast into the Atlantic reach its greatest strength. Additionally, the Atlantic is at its peak of heat and wind shear is normally low. However, September 2017 crushed the previous... more

October 9, 2017

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

October 4, 2017

One of the joys of fall is the beautiful fall foliage—the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. How will weather affect their color? Is it a good year for pretty leaves? See our 2017 fall foliage forecast. See our Fall Foliage Map for peak foliage dates! Fall Foliage Forecast 2017 For the first time in years, we have a glorious fall foliage forecast! The drought has subsided, our summer was mild, and the leaves are healthy.  Last year (2016), while the Great Plains and Midwest have had good... more

September 22, 2017

As Earth continues to warm, lower solar radiation may ease the heat’s impact—temporarily. Let’s take a look at some emerging weather patterns. Our Warming Earth July 2017 had very close to the same average temperature across Earth as did July 2016, which was the hottest month ever recorded. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2017 was 0.83 degree C (1.49 degrees F) above the 20th-century average... more

August 31, 2017

Overall, the long-range winter forecast for 2017–2018 shows generally colder temperatures than last winter for the U.S. and Canada but not colder than a typical winter, based on historical averages. As I write these words, there are no sunspots on the visible portion of the Sun, and solar activity is very quiet; this traditionally meant a cooling influence. So why isn’t it colder than average? Other weather factors are at play. Low Solar Activity As you may know, we at The Old Farmer’s Almanac... more

July 25, 2017

Now that we are well into hurricane season, I am continuing a look back at some of the most notable hurricanes that have hit the United States. In the past two issues, I looked at storms through the early 1990s. This month, I will conclude with five more recent ones. First, see the worst hurricanes from the first half of the 20th century and the second half of the 20th century. Hurricane Floyd Hurricane Floyd caused the largest peacetime evacuation in U.S. history, with 3 million people... more

June 30, 2017

With the beginning of hurricane season in June, last month we began to look back on some of the most notable hurricanes that hit the United States in the early 20th century. Time marches on: Hurricane season will continue until November 30, and this month we spotlight the most severe late–20th-century hurricanes. See the worst hurricanes from the first half of the 20th century. Hurricane Carol In August 1954, Hurricane Carol caused 72 fatalities and $462 million in damage, making it at the time... more

June 26, 2017

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that today’s 4th of July festivities will bring fireworks in the sky … from thunderstorms! In honor of nature’s fireworks, we are taking a look at some thunder lore and how thunder is born! What is Thunder? Thunder is born in the instant when the return lightning stroke leaves the earth and spears upward through the channel of ionized air. The channel is viciously expanded outward and bursts in the sonic shock wave that reaches up as a thunderclap. This initial... more

June 16, 2017

What is a rainbow? Most everyone has seen a rainbow sometime in their life, but do you know how rainbows are actually formed? Here’s an explanation. What is a Rainbow? To put it plainly, rainbows are reflections of sunlight through raindrops. As the light is reflected, it is refracted, which means that the direction of the light wave is changed. Different wavelengths of light, which we see as colors, bend at different angles and produce a rainbow’s signature color banding, as seen in the... more

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