Thursday, May 28, 2015

Severe Thunderstorm Watch!

It's the first Severe Thunderstorm Watch for southern Connecticut in a while, if not since last fall or summer! 

It's another sign that summer is getting closer! Remember any weather watch just means that the conditions are favorable for the weather (in this case thunderstorms) to occur. A warning means the storm is active and moving into your area. 

So we'll see if the conditions unfold to give us some thunderstorms this afternoon! Although, the damp and cloudy morning so far has me thinking that the air along the coast will be more stable and less conducive to severe storms. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Awesome 3D Weather with Jim Cantore!

It's a new way of explaining weather and it's pretty AWESOME! The Weather Channel has introduced a new 3D visualization to explain how a tornado forms and how lightning forms. Of course this futuristic lesson in science is given by the one and only Jim Cantore! 

Some people have varying opinions on The Weather Channel and their influence on the weather community and science but you have to admit, this is pretty cool! This 3D visualization sure beats the boring photographs printed in textbooks across the country. Could this be the next step in the evolution of science education???

Check out the full videos below

What is Storm Surge? Fast Draw Video

The Atlantic hurricane season begins in a few days on June 1st. Although, we've already had our first named storm, Ana, here is a cool video released by the National Hurricane Center on what Storm Surge is. 

This video is called "fast draw", it's a type of video that explains a topic or issue (in this case storm surge) by showing an illustrator drawing it. They speed up the video to make it flow better. The effect is pretty cool!  This video also goes well with my storm surge article on Hubpages. 

Storm surge is an important event to understand and expect when a storm is approaching the coastline! Although, storms may be measured by their pressure and winds, it is usually the water that does the most damage and takes the most amount of lives! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Summer Heat in Spring!

Although this year started off so cold, it sure turned a corner quickly! It seems like we went from daily highs in the 40's to temperatures in the 80's in a blink of an eye. 

Long Island Sound is still chilly but that's not stopping people from getting the boats out and enjoying the comfortable temperatures. 

As I sat enjoying an ice coffee in the 80 degree temperatures, I watched as boats left the Milford Harbor. It really is starting to look like summer. Even the trees in the background have leafed out pretty quick in the last few weeks! 

Early Summer Temps Bring Morning Fog

It's like Mother Nature flipped a switch. From a record cold start to the year with temps struggling to get out of the 40's as late as April to 80's and humidity by early May. The northeast springs are not the best seasons, especially if you live near the water. However, this spring has transitioned even faster than normal. 

With the warm, summer-like temperatures occurring on a daily basis over the last week, it has had some impacts on the otherwise boring weather. Since the waters of Long Island sound are still chilly from a very cold winter, a temperature imbalance is experienced every day. This imbalance results in fog

As the temperature heat up over the land, it allows dew points  to rise slightly. Then as the temps drop of considerably at night or as the sea breeze kicks in, the temp hits the dew point and fog is formed. This usually occurs at the coldest part of the day, which is a little after sunrise. 

The fog usually begins out over Long Island sound and the Atlantic, where the temperature difference is not as great and then works inland. 

Below are photos I took during a run to the beach in Milford, CT on one of these days. When I left my house, which is about a mile away from the shore, the fog had broken up and the sun was breaking through the clouds making it quite uncomfortable. As I got closer to the beach i could feel the cooler breeze and soon I could see the fog bank off the coast and along the shore. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Colorful Radar Images of Tropical Storm Ana

Weather in general can be stunningly beautiful but weather observed through human technologies like radar can also be strikingly beautiful. 

The way we take data and visualize it can turn a nasty storm into a piece of art. Check out these images below of Tropical Storm Ana on the evening of May 9, 2015.  

The images were taken using the app RadarScope. The images are different observations taken of the storm, from high resolution radar to storm velocity (basically which way the wind is blowing) and cloud formation (or what's going on in the clouds). 

Friday, May 8, 2015

SubTropical Storm Ana Forms! What is a SubTropical Storm?

An the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season has begun! Granted the official start is June first, the first named tropical system of the season has formed off the coast of South Carolina. This storm is classified as a subtropical storm and her name is Ana. Ana is expected to make landfall around the North Carolina/South Carolina border this weekend. Below is a high resolution satellite image of subtropical storm Ana on Friday May 8, 2015. 

A subtropical storm is defined as 
"A non-frontal low-pressure system that has characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones. Like tropical cyclones, they are non-frontal, synoptic-scale cyclones that originate over tropical or subtropical waters, and have a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. In addition, they have organized moderate to deep convection, but lack a central dense overcast. Unlike tropical cyclones, subtropical cyclones derive a significant proportion of their energy from baroclinic sources, and are generally cold-core in the upper troposphere, often being associated with an upper-level low or trough." (NOAA

Above is the current projected path of subtropical storm Ana, released by the National Hurricane Center.
Although we're off to an early start to the hurricane season, it doesn't mean that we're going to have an active one. In fact the 2015 Colorado State University forecast calls for a below average season. Below is a chart I made with the CSU prediction for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Notice all categories are predicted to be below average. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cold Start to 2015!

The National Climate Data Center within NOAA, released a map showing the temperature departures for the first four months of the year. As expected, the northeast is shaded in blue (colder than average) and the west is shaded in red (warmer than average). 

Here in Connecticut, we had the fourth coldest January to April on record. Records go back about 121 years! I'm sure we would have been the coldest if April had not warmed up the way it did. 

Although, no state had their coldest period on record, Massachusetts and New York came close. Both states had their second coldest January thru April in 121 years! 

What's more impressive is that in California and Arizona, it was the warmest January thru April on record! With it also being the second warmest period on record in nearby states like Oregon, Nevada and Utah.