Weather Blogs

April 16, 2018

Weather has played a critical role in history on a number of occasions. In both the American Revolutionary War and World War II, different weather outcomes than actually occurred might have led to the opposite side emerging victorious.  The Revolutionary War Gen. George Washington and most of the American troops were in what is now New York City in the summer of 1776. In late August, the British landed a much larger number of troops in the area in preparation for an attack. On August 27, the... more

April 12, 2018

You can blame this blog on my cat sprawling on my computer when I was trying to write this weather blog. Apparently my keyboard was the only suitable place in the entire house for a catnap. After a struggle for territory, I found myself brooding about cats and weather—specifically “raining cats and dogs.” Can you imagine anything more improbable or, for that matter, more uncomfortable? Why would anyone even imagine it in the first place? Raining Cats and Dogs Some authorities tie the idea to... more

March 26, 2018

Why are baby animals associated with Easter? And where did the Easter bunny come from? Enjoy our seasonal weather post—and, of course, adorable pictures of baby animals! Of course, spring does provide the best weather conditions for the animals to give birth. However, it’s not just warm temperatures that they need. Air pressure also has an effect! University of Arkansas scientists report that spring calves tend to be born when barometric (air) pressure is high! High air pressure discourages... more

March 22, 2018

The end of winter in North America brought chilly weather in many regions, and the cold and snow in Europe made news headlines. But the most unusual weather this winter is going on at the North Pole—with exceptionally high temperatures at the Arctic. Things are heating up where warmth is least expected. The cold spell in the Northern Hemisphere is unusual, perhaps, but not exceptional.  In general, cold waves are becoming less frequent. However, the warmth in the Arctic is extraordinary. During... more

February 22, 2018

Who has been watching the Winter Olympics? Did anyone notice (from your cozy living room) that many of the days were not just cold … they were bone-chillingly frigid? What caused such extreme temperatures for a location at the same latitude as Washington, D.C.? The first few days saw temperatures dropping into the single digits F° during the day. With the windchill, temperatures dropped below zero. Consider the even more extreme sensation that an athlete gets when going 50 mph down the... more

February 15, 2018

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2017 was the second warmest year in surface temperatures averaged across the entire Earth since global estimates began in 1880. So what should we expect for 2018? The only warmer year than 2017 on record was 2016, when temperatures were bolstered by an El Niño, which typically causes warming effects around the globe due to the warmer water in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Thus, 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño... more

February 8, 2018

It’s hard to believe that Mardi Gras started with long hard winters and acts of charity. However, before it was a day for parties, Mardi Gras started out as a day to help the hungry and the poor. 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... more

February 1, 2018

Do you have memories of bad blizzards? Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable February storms of the past 50 years. 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 in the snow that afternoon, I felt cold for perhaps the first... more

January 22, 2018

Super Bowl®LII will be played on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While we wait for Game Day, let’s take a look back at past Super Bowl weather! Super Bowl Forecast Although the Super Bowl itself is played indoors, weather affects everything from travel to tailgating.  The long-range weather predictions (made 18 months ago!) show that the week of February 4 will be sunny and cold.  The surrounding days will bring occasional snow flurries but nothing major, which... more

January 19, 2018

A few months ago, I discussed the challenges that forced me to modify the methodology that I use in making the long-range weather forecasts for The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The two primary challenges were that (1) increasingly, over the past two decades, the actual weather has been warmer than that forecast by our traditional forecast methodology, and (2) we are in a period of low solar activity that is cooling Earth, thereby offsetting some of that warming. I offered that the fact that solar... more

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