Thanksgiving Weather Extremes
With all eyes on a potential coastal storm looming for the days preceding Thanksgiving this year, it’s interesting to look back when those along the I-95 corridor enjoyed their Turkey with a side of extreme weather. Everything from heavy rain, unseasonable warmth, to even a few snowstorms has occurred on past Thanksgiving Days in the Northeast. Let’s review some of the more remarkable weather events for this national holiday.
Super Typhoon Haiyan
Just over 10 days after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, damage reports continue to come in and the death toll, unfortunately, continues to rise. It is now estimated by the local government that nearly 3,500 people have perished as a result of this storm. The United Nations puts this total higher, at 4,460. Either way, this would make Haiyan the second deadliest tropical cyclone in the nation’s history, behind Tropical Storm Thelma of 1991. Damage is now estimated at around $14 billion, which is over 5% of the Philippines’ GDP.
Introducing Our Staff, Part 2
Next in our list of meteorologists is our Midwest guy, Matt Gillen. Matt was born in Naperville, IL which is a western suburb of Chicago. He graduated from Northern Illinois in May of 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology, a minor in Geography, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Matt works with GIS at the company to help all the departments, including forensics. Matt is a huge Chicago Bears fan but enjoys watching/playing many sports. I sat down and asked Matt a few questions:
Sandy: One Year Anniversary
On October 22nd, 2012 at 8 AM a tropical depression developed in the Southwest Caribbean Sea, about 305 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. Approximately 6 hours later, this depression became a tropical storm and Sandy was born. From there, Sandy tracked northward, striking Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas with Category 3 winds of 115 MPH at its peak. In addition to its intensification, Sandy rapidly grew, nearly doubling its original size by October 26th.
Winter Outlook 2013 - 2014
Although the official start of winter is still over two months away, parts of the I-95 corridor could see the first flakes of the year a lot sooner than that. As previously mentioned in an earlier WeatherWorks blog, the last week of October promises to bring a much chillier and potentially snowy weather pattern to the region. Despite the warm start to the month, plenty of cold air has been building across parts of the Arctic Circle, including Siberia and Western Canada.
First Measurable Snow
**Above is a NASA satellite image from the October 2011 snow event**
Now that we are well into October, many in the Northeast are busy preparing for the upcoming winter season. In fact, places in the Rockies and northern Great Plains have already received their first flakes of the season. Given the trend in recent years for October to hold extreme events for us here in the Northeast, let’s take a look back to see when our first snow usually occurs in comparison to some impressive records.
What is "Normal" Weather?
Above left: Plantsville, CT after the February 8, 2013 Blizzard. Above Right: Satellite Image of Hurricane Sandy. Credit: NOAA
The Summer of 2013 was a wet one and meteorologists often explained how "above normal" precipitation was to illustrate the anomaly. Even last year, which was one the warmest years on record, was compared to the "normal" annual temperature to add perspective to the extreme. But how exactly do meteorologists know what the “average” weather is for a given location?
The Great New England Hurricane of 1938
Today marks the 75-year anniversary of the landfall of one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever impact New England. Back in 1938, what is now known as the “Great New England Hurricane” barreled ashore with an estimated forward speed of 60 mph. The storm first moved over Suffolk County, Long Island before traversing the sound and heading nearly due north making a second landfall near Milford, Connecticut. After that, the storm continued along its path of destruction into interior New England before dissipating across the Canadian Maritimes.
Weather & the Seaside Fire
In less than a year’s time since Sandy tore through Seaside Heights, yet another disaster has struck the area. This time it wasn’t directly weather related, but the atmospheric conditions definitely magnified the disaster. Let’s discover how weather played an important role in the fire that tarnished the recently restored communities of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.