Weather Blogs

November 16, 2017

With wildfires, hurricanes, drought, and natural disasters, this year has been by far the costliest ever in the United States in terms of weather events. The total cost of weather-related damages has likely exceeded $350 billion, at least $100 billion more than the previous mark. Of course, this figure does not include the far more important loss of lives. Hurricanes This was the first year that the United States was hit by three category 4 or higher hurricanes, and it was one of the two... more

November 16, 2017

Have you ever wondered why we can smell the rain coming?  My grandfather could even track squirrels with his sense of smell. What he was best known for, however, was his incredible nose for weather. He could tell a storm was approaching before anyone else in the county. One of my father’s earliest memories was running to warn neighbors that bad storms were coming so that they could get things covered. Most of us have smelt approaching storms. Source: Wikipedia Most of us have probably... more

October 25, 2017

I recently went to Florida to visit my sister and saw damage from Hurricane Irma—mostly downed or damaged palm trees. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season does not end until Nov. 30, but four major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater have already occurred. Let’s see how the 2017 season compares with the worst hurricanes in recorded history. Keep in mind that since the advent of satellite images in the late 1960s, we have known about every tropical storm and hurricane that forms—no more surprises... more

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

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