Top 5 Things I've Learned as a Meteorologist
As a professional meteorologist, there are a lot of lessons you are taught in a relatively fast manner. For perspective, I am just shy of three years into my career, and I've had the privilege of working here at WeatherWorks throughout that entire time. During that period, I have changed the way I think frequently and have learned quite a lot. In fact, it is far too much to write everything here. So, I decided to write a list of the top things I have learned since I started in 2014. Here it goes:
Another Rain Surplus for the Midwest: June 2017
June 2017 came in as another wet month for the Midwest. The typical hot and stifling weather that the central United States can often see in June was held in check for at least another month, though bouts of it were felt throughout the period. This was thanks, partially, to the ample rainfall activity, which found its way into the record books quite a few times.
June 2017: Ups, Downs, & Severe Weather
Despite being the first month of meteorological summer, June was very much a roller coaster across the East Coast. A cold front leftover from May meandered through the Northeast, allowing unseasonably cool air to dominate the first week of the month. It felt crisp at times as high temperatures were stuck in the 50s and 60s (70s in the Mid-Atlantic). However, this did not come without a bout of rain as it wasn’t too long before a stationary front on the 4th brought several disturbances, resulting in up to 1” of rain across New England over the next few days.
Weather and the Air We Breathe
Before we walk outside, most of us tend to be fairly cognizant of whether we need to bring a jacket to work or if we can get away with shorts for just one more day, but what we usually fail to acknowledge is the type of air quality that we may encounter just beyond our doorstep. Most of us don’t realize that a hot summer day may not only require some extra fluids and a few breaks from the scorching heat, but we may also need to take the time to remove ourselves from the outside environment.
5 Years Ago: The June 2012 Derecho
When called upon to remember a significant weather event within the last 10 years or so, some may bring up a powerful snow storm or blizzard. But for those that were within the path of the June 29, 2012 Derecho, the case is a bit different as that system was one of the top (if not the top) memorable events within the last 15 years or so. This straight-line windstorm, which occurred in the middle of a record heat wave, left millions without power and caused widespread property damage to areas within its path. Here's an idea of what a derecho is:
A Cool and Active Month of May
The ups and downs continued into the month of May, which followed a relatively cool March and another warmer than average month in April. May came in back on the downswing, and not only turned out on the cooler-than-average side, but was also fairly active in terms of rain and severe weather.
Warm and Cold Fronts
If you are a regular viewer of weather broadcasts, you’ve probably heard from the TV meteorologist: “overcast conditions are expected as a warm front approaches from the south.” Or: “showers and thunderstorms will occur today as a cold front slides through the region.” Usually, when a front approaches, cloudy skies along with precipitation are associated with it. But what makes these weather fronts tick?
I Wish I had This as a Former Landscaper
It was sometime in June 2007, I (Mike Mihalik) was a crew leader for a landscaping company in eastern Pennsylvania. I was riding my Exmark Lazer Z (which I preferred, hopefully Exmark appreciates my plug...LOL) mowing a large multiple warehouse account. Dark clouds were building in the distance and I began becoming concerned about finishing my job and if my crew was safe from lightning. Of course I had a meteorology degree, but I wasn't following the weather pattern closely at the time. If only I could call someone to get a briefing on the current weather situation...
April 2017: Snow to Summer-Like Heat
For those who did not enjoy the cold spells that March brought, April provided some relief as warmer weather made a comeback. Wintry weather from the end of March did spill into the beginning of the month, however, but this was the last major winter storm to affect the Northeast. And while New England dealt with snow, sleet, and freezing rain, the rest of the region experienced mostly rain. In the end, April ended up 3 – 6 degrees above normal with quite a few warm-ups, especially during the second and third week.