You check your local forecast nearly every day to find out what the high and low temperatures will be, but do you know the time of day you should expect to feel each? Here's a hint: it's not noon and midnight... Read on
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This Saturday, December 7, the National Weather Service celebrates SKYWARN Recognition Day--an opportunity for NWS offices to recognize and thank SKYWARN weather spotters and Amateur Radio (ham) operators for keeping their communities weather safe.
I'd personally like to send out a heartfelt thanks to all the weather volunteers for providing emergency communications during hazardous weather situations!
Interested in joining the SKYWARN program? Take the first step to getting involved.
Image credit: NOAA NWS
If you want to know what the weather looks like for next weekend, you'd know to check your 7-day forecast. But what if you're curious about this year's chance for a White Christmas--where would you go for the latest predictions? Does a forecast that far in advance even exist? Yes, it actually does. Continue reading...
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Clueless as to why this week's Thanksgiving storm was called "Boreas" by some weather news outlets?
It's a Weather Channel thing...
Do you think this idea will ever catch on with other big name forecasting companies? Sound off in the comments section below.
I'm one of those people who doesn't feel like they've had an authentic Thanksgiving or Christmas unless the weather is seasonably cold on each of these holidays. So far, Thanksgiving seems to have delivered on this...but while I've enjoyed the light accumulations of snow and ice that this week's winter storm (aka Boreas) brought, I'm also troubled by the dangers it caused this Thanksgiving week--the busiest travel week of the year.
The culprit low has now exited the Northeast in time for Thanksgiving Day, but not before it spread a round of messy weather (heavy rains, freezing rain, sleet, and snow) across the Plains, Ohio Valley, Lower Great Lakes, Appalachians, and New England in the early part of the week.
Did this week's winter storm wreck your Thanksgiving travel plans?
This Saturday, November 30, is the official end date of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Last week's Tropical Storm Melissa closes out the season year with a total of 13 named storms.
If this year's season could be summed up in one word, it would be "quiet." While the 13 named storms is slightly above the average of 11, only 2 hurricanes formed (Humberto and Ingrid in September) which is well below the average of 5 to 6. What's more, there were no major hurricanes at all; the average Atlantic season sees 2 to 3.
How did hurricane predictions compare?
Both of the groups most famous for their Atlantic hurricane predictions--NOAA and Colorado State University--made forecast busts in that they expected a very active season. NOAA came the closest to getting it right. They called for a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms, to include 6 to 9 hurricanes of which 3 to 5 of would become major hurricanes; CSU anticipated 18 named storms including 8 hurricanes, 3 of which they expected would strengthen to a Cat 3 or higher.
What were some of the factors that helped their predictions miss the mark? Next month, we'll take an in-depth look at why the Atlantic was unexpectedly so inactive.
Image credit: NOAA NHC
While all eyes were on Super Typhoon Haiyan as it impacted the Philippines earlier in the month, tropical cyclone history was also in-the-making elsewhere. On November 10-11, Tropical Cyclone 3A of the Arabian Sea moved over northeastern Somalia, Africa and dumped up to 14 inches (350 mm) of rain in the Puntland region--nearly twice as much rainfall as the region sees in an average year. The small tropical storm's torrential rains triggered flash floods that destroyed homes, livestock, and killed around 360 people--the country's highest cyclone-related death toll.
Somalia cyclones are extremely rare. Tropical Cyclone 3A is only the fifth known storm to strike the country since 1966.
According to a November 23 update by the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council, at least 5,235 lives were claimed by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which affected the island nation earlier this month. As recovery efforts continue, this number could climb further.
This news identifies Haiyan as the no. 1 deadliest Philippines tropical cyclone in history, surpassing Tropical Storm Uring (Thelma) of 1991 which claimed between 5,081 and 8,165 lives.
Haiyan's impact in the Philippines
Super Typhoon Haiyan (a tropical cyclone in the northwest Pacific basin) caused epic destruction in the central Philippines when it hit the islands of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, and Palawan over November 8-9. At landfall, Haiyan had 1-minute average winds of 195 mph (315 km/h)--the equivalent of a high-end Category 5 hurricane. If this wind speed is verified, it will make Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded world history, a title previously held by the Atlantic's Hurricane Camille (1969).
Around 11 million people were affected by the storm, many of whom were left homeless. Damages in the Philippines alone are estimated at $22 billion Philippine Pesos, or about one half billion USD.
Image credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory
Last Sunday, November 17, the Midwest experienced a major late-season severe weather event. The storms, which were triggered by a powerful low pressure system travelling across the Plains, extended from Missouri to New Jersey. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 106 preliminary tornado reports, in addition to 460 reports of high winds and 32 reports of hail. This grand total of 598 filtered severe weather reports for the day surpasses those logged for any other day in 2013.
Illinois and Indiana had the highest incidence of tornadoes. At present, 24 tornadoes have been preliminarily confirmed across the state of Illinois for November 17, 2013, including two EF-4s -- one of which remained on the ground for over 46 miles (74 km)! The storms are associated with 6 fatalities. This is the state's most lives lost to any November tornado. In neighboring Indiana, 28 tornadoes have been preliminarily confirmed, making last Sunday's event the 3rd busiest tornado day in that state's history.
How rare is all of this?
While tornado activity does increase in the fall when the transition from warm to cooler temperatures causes the mixing of opposing temperatures which leads to instability, an outbreak of this magnitude plus its occurrence so far north (up to Michigan state) and so late in November is VERY rare. So rare in fact, that once the storm damage surveys have been completed, Sunday's outbreak will likely rank among the top five largest November tornado outbreaks since 1950.
- What's a storm damage survey?
- Do tornadoes have a 'season'?
- Do you know the signs of an approaching tornado and how to seek safety from it?
Image credit: NOAA SPC
Don't forget to set your clocks back 1 hour before going to bed Saturday night; Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 3, at 2 a.m.
Now, doesn't that make your weekend that much better already?!!