Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Than 600 Snow Records Last 7 Days

Image courtesy: hamweather.com

The Best Winter Timelapse EVER!

This was taken by Michael Black. whose videos/timelapse photography has been featured on television many times.  This video was taken over 20 hours with a picture taken every 5 minutes.  ENJOY!

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Super Large Solar Flare - Changing Climate?

A few weeks back, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory scheduled to observe the sun for the next years while in orbit around the earth took this video of a solar flare emanating from the sun.  It takes a second or two to load.



I took a snapshot of one of the frames and drew the earth to scale so that you can the see the incredible size of this flare. Roughly 435,000 miles!



Many scientists believe that we are coming out of a period of low solar activity and trending into a period of more solar flares.  Some also believe that this increase in solar activity has a direct impact on our climate.  Some believe that the solar activity has very little effect on our global climate.  Only time will tell. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse/Winter Solstice

A Total Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice.  Doesn't happen very often.

Credit: Space.com

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth's shadow passes in front of the moon obscuring the sun's light from hitting the moon directly.  Some does get through producing a reddish/rusty color from our perspective on earth.



Add in this event occurring on the winter solstice and it becomes very rare.  The last time it happened was in 1638.  Beyond this date, we really don't know for sure because the earth's rotation changes over time.  The further we go back, the actual lunar eclipse dates become less accurate.  Still, almost 400 years is a really long time.

Most articles list 2094 as the next total lunar eclipse date on a winter solstice.  But this one will only be visible in Europe and Asia.  So I checked the lunar tables on the NASA ECLIPSE SITE and came up with this date for all of us in Cleveland.


DECEMBER 21, 2466, starts at 7:19 PM

Here is the chart if you want to check the date out.  Its at the bottom in red.
 
Indeed a long way off so get ready early!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Round #2: Lake Effect And the Arctic

How the patterns have changed.  November was great.  No winter weather.  Milder temps.  Now another big round of lake effect snow; the second one in a little over a week!
CLICK HERE FOR NE OHIO RADAR
 Why the big change?


Let check out the temps compared to normal for November.  Fairly mild and uneventful.



 Most of us thought we'd make it well into December without getting lake effect.  We thought wrong!

Why the sudden change?

If you remember our winter weather outlook back in early November, we hinted at a HUGE dramatic change in the weather pattern in December and January driven by La Nina and the Arctic.

The pressure systems over the arctic change randomly. In the winter, those changes are more pronounced.

Below is a picture of how the temperatures over the arctic change the movement of the storms over the US and northeastern Ohio.  When the arctic is "NEGATIVE", it steers storms and cold air south just like our weather over the last week.
The arctic has "dipped" negative several times since September but no big weather changed occurred. 


This last "dip" in December is significant. Notice the temperatures so far compared to average.


The arctic has the potential to get more "negative" pushing COLDER AND COLDER AIR SOUTH through Christmas and the New Year.


Looking back at the DECEMBERS (17 Decembers total since 1950) in which the arctic was this strong this early in the season, we find that the temperatures are WELL BELOW NORMAL.


THE BOTTOM LINE:  LOOK FOR THIS COLD AIR AND FREQUENT LAKE EFFECT SNOW TO CONTINUE AT LEAST THROUGH CHRISTMAS AND POSSIBLY INTO EARLY JANUARY

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sunday Storm Update - Thursday morning, Dec 9th

 Sunday's storm appears to take a northerly track--at the time of this writing, Thursday morning.  If this track is accurate, we get a rain/snow mix and less accumulating snow


I can guarantee super-arctic air Monday and Tuesday with big lake effect snow!

 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

HUGE East Coast Snowstorm this weekend!

Snow totals as of Tuesday at 10:30AM from the National Weather Service in Cleveland. This covers 2 days of lake effect snow. Click on image below for larger look.


A major east coast snowstorm seems to be developing Sunday into Monday this weekend.  As temperatures warm into the mid 30s Saturday, the snow will be a heavier, wet snow compared to the fluffy, lake effect snow of the last several days. Get ready for ANOTHER ROUND of LAKE EFFECT MONDAY NEXT WEEK!


Monday, December 06, 2010

First of Many Arctic Cold Intrusions...Lake Effect Snow

The first lake effect snow event is here and its staying over Northeastern Ohio until early Wednesday.

Here is a photo my mom took in Hudson early Monday morning.





Winds out of the northwest is pulling moisture from Lake Erie, Lake Huron AND Lake Michigan producing widespread lake effect snow across Cleveland and northern Ohio.


Lake effect snow warnings for MEDINA, CUYAHOGA, SUMMIT, PORTAGE AND THE ENTIRE SNOWBELT until late Tuesday.

As we talked about in a previous post, cold air like this will be very common in December.  Here are the forecast temperatures for Tuesday and next Monday.  Notice it gets COLDER next week. EXPECT THIS COLD AIR TO CONTINUE THROUGH CHRISTMAS.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Last Look at Hurricane Season...-40 in Alaska!

A taste of what is coming for the eastern half of the US and northern Ohio later this winter, especially in January and February...

NASA has just found the first -40 degree temperature of the season yesterday over interior Alaska. This satellite (The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) is a radiation-detection imager that can be used for remotely determining cloud cover and surface temperatures by collecting different bands of radiation wavelengths.The coldest regions are shown with the purple/pink areas on this image.  Note: The image is not oriented from north to south.




Just a few random items I recently read about hurricane season courtesy of NOAA and NASA.  Read ahead and check out the images below showing the rainfall from the 2010 season compared to the record setting 2005 season:

The year 2010 was accurately predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to be an active one with 14-23 tropical cyclones and 8-14 hurricanes predicted. NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Fla. subsequently named 19 storms with 12 reaching hurricane strength.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active since the record breaking season of 2005. Hal Pierce of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM satellite team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. created a comparison between the tropical cyclone rainfall occurring in 2005 and 2010. These tropical cyclone rainfall analyses were both made at NASA Goddard using TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation data (TMPA).TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

The rainfall stayed offshore in two areas this year.

 In 2005, the rainfall was centered over the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba and Florida

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cold Period Upcoming...Get Ready!

We are living on borrowed on "weather time" so to speak.  Temps have trended above normal in Cleveland for most of November.  Now, the pattern is about to make an abrupt change.  This change will more than likely entrench itself through the first two weeks of December.

What do we look at when trying to find these changes from a warm pattern to a cold one?

The first indicators are from way up north in Canada, the North Pole and Russia.  As the highs and lows travel around the earth, they often get into a pattern.  Recently, the highs have been present over the eastern US.  Over the next several weeks, the highs are shifting to the west and the lows (troughs or fronts) are replacing it.  The center low is over northern Canada.  This "Canadian Low" acts as the "center of the wagon wheel" swinging down "Alberta Clippers" with widespread small snowfalls.  See the graphic below.

The "warmer" pattern has held off the formation of ice over Hudson Bay
As the pattern changes, the front will be deeper and stronger with lots of cloud cover.


Here are the temperature trends for early this week and into the weekend for the US and Canada.  Notice the "32 degree" marker well north of Ohio in the first graphic then well south in the second.  Much colder for sure!

The bottom line is colder than normal air will stay around through the weekend and into most of next week.  When the snow flies, it will probably accumulate and stay on the ground for a while across most of Northeastern Ohio.

Winter is coming!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My List of 100 Movies Watched This Year

For the second year in a row, I have eclipsed 100 movies...with a month to go.  Here is the list in no particular order. Movies in BOLD PRINT are my favorites. Click here for LAST YEAR'S LIST

The Insider
Deadman
Ed Wood
Brazil
Jacobs Ladder
Sherlock Holmes
Up in the Air
Public Enemies
Quiz Show
The Informant!

Inglorious Basterds
Moon
The Hurt Locker

Heist
Network
A Serious Man
The Conversation
The Lovely Bones
Ground Hog Day
An Education

The Verdict
Crazyheart
The Blind Side
Zodiac
Man on Wire
Invictus
Mulholland Drive
Silent Running
Cloverfield
The Road

Following
Traffic
Trainspotting
Ironman 2
Wartapes
Taxi to the Darkside
Serenity
Precious
Trinity and Beyond
The Mosquito Coast

Downfall
The Messenger
Donnie Brasco
The Godfather
Solaris
Casino
The War Room
RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage
The Watchmen
America: The Story of Us (Ep. 1-3)

America: The Story of Us (Ep. 4-6)
Fargo
Grizzly Man
The Usual suspects
Boiler Room
The A-Team
The Butterfly Effect
Good Night, Good Luck
Hot Tub Time Machine
Fight Club

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Cruise
Moon 44
Echelon Conspiracy
11:14
Puzzlehead
Collapse
Rabbit Proof Fence
I am Legend
Fail-Safe

Flight 93
The Machinist
Dune
Shooter
Videodrome
Darkened Room
Shattered Glass
Touching the Void
Control Room
Windtalkers

Owl - Legend of the Guardians
The Mist
The Peacemaker
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Shutter Island
Babylon A.D.
The Killing Fields
Manhunter
The Score
Ken Burns: 10th Inning

Wordplay
Oldboy
The Expendables
Barton Fink
3:10 to Yuma

Capricorn One
Three Days of the Condor
The Social Network
The American
2009: Lost Memories

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cold Air and Snow for Thanksgiving Weekend?

We all knew it was coming.  Temperatures have been way too warm for way too long.  This happens in November every year it seems.  We are teased into thinking that winter won't happen or that it'll be delayed for some extraordinary amount of time, maybe until January.  In reality, it never works out that way.

At this time last year, temps were somewhat warm.  This map below is a birds-eye view over the North Pole looking at the surface temperatures.  Northeastern Ohio is on the far left as we look south (to the right). Notice as the temperatures were warmer here in Cleveland, the cold air was building over the north pole.


By Thanksgiving and into the first week of December, pieces of this arctic air began to break off and seep south into Asia and Canada.



By the middle of December, arctic air was pushing into the northern half of the US.



This upcoming week--like a trip to the dentist--will be the wake up call we all knew was coming.  Just like last year, cold air is building over the north pole and Siberia.  All it will take is a strong cold front to extract that cold air sliding into the eastern US and northeastern Ohio.  Here is how I think it will shake down.


Late this weekend into Monday, temperatures will start to climb quiet a bit.  Notice the cold air starting to push south at the top of the following map. (Maps courtesy:  Intellicast.com)



A strong cold will push east late Tuesday into Wednesday producing some rain and gusty winds.

Today (Friday), cold air is slidding over Hudson Bay and is visible with the lake clouds its created on this visible satellite loop (Click image for the animation).



By Thanksgiving, temps will start to fall somewhat...cold enough for some wet snow late.


By Friday and Saturday, the air gets cold enough for Lake Effect snow with a series of Alberta Clippers thrown in for good measure.


The bottom line:  Late next week and into the first half of the Thanksgiving Weekend, many spots around Northeastern Ohio will have a good amount of snow on the ground.  Expect flight delays and slick road Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Often Do We See Little Snow in November & December?

The first two weeks of November were about as atypical a November as it gets here in Cleveland. Nine consecutive days with more than 90% sunshine with average temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s.  A stretch like this makes the first shot of winter weather that's coming that much harder to take.

Instead of thinking about heavy snow, how about focusing on small amounts of snow for this time of year.  Is it that unusual to have a November and December without much snow?

The chart below shows that 59 of the 111 Novembers since 1901 have had less than 5 inches of snow in northeastern Ohio. While December has only 20 of 111 Decembers since 1901 with less than 5 inches of snow.

So don't think of this November without abundant snow as something unique. If under 5 inches of snow falls in December then make a special note of it because it doesn't happen that often.

Charting Software

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Temps at a Glance-THANKSGIVING FORECAST

In a previous post, we discussed how NOVEMBER features large ups and down in temperature. Its not out of the question for a random 70 degree day to surface this month.

Through the first 12 days (Friday), how have the high temperatures faired compared to last Novomber (2009)?

The chart below shows the high temperatures for both Novembers.  The red bat graph is 2009 temps, the green, 2010.

Charting Software

...pretty consistent comparing the two years.  How about the rest of the month?  Does this mean warmer temps heading into Thanksgiving?  HARDLY!

I always remember what happened back in 2005 in November and December.  November was very warm:  AVERAGE HIGH OF 53 DEGREES!

Yet note how the temperatures went up and down throughout the month in the chart below for NOVEMBER 2005:

Charting Software

Very scary! This shows that the winds aloft were changing...no consistency in the high temperatures.

The weatther trended COLDER real fast...December ended up with 20+ INCHES OF SNOW IN THE FIRST 2 WEEKS!

So stay tuned on the Thanskgiving Forecast.  I have a feeling its going to get colder very fast!

Friday, November 05, 2010

LARGEST Indonesian Volcano - ERUPTS THIS MORNING

From the Associated Press:



MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — Searing gas avalanched down an Indonesian volcano with a thunderous roar, torching houses and trees and incinerating villagers as they fled Mount Merapi's worst eruption in a century. Scores of bodies found Friday raised the death toll to 122.

The injured - with clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin by the 1,400 degree Fahrenheit (750 degree Celsius) heat - were carried away on stretchers following the first big explosion just before midnight.





All Friday, Merapi shot towering plumes of ash that dusted the windshields of cars 300 miles (480 kilometers) away. Bursts of hot clouds occasionally interrupted aid efforts, with rescuers screaming "Watch out! Hot cloud!"

The intensifying eruptions have baffled scientists who have monitored the mountain for years and left them uncertain what to expect. Dozens of explosions that followed Merapi's initial blast Oct. 26 had been predicted to ease pressure behind a magma dome.

The danger zone where residents have been ordered to flee has now been expanded to 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the crater.

Friday's explosion - said by volcanologists to be the biggest since the 1870s - hit hardest in Bronggang, a village nine miles (15 kilometers) from the crater. Soldiers joined the rescue operations, pulling at least 78 bodies from homes and streets blanketed by ash up to one foot (30 centimeters) deep.

 "We're totally overwhelmed here!" said Heru Nogroho, a spokesman at Sardjito.

In terms of the amount of volcanic material released - 1,765 million cubic feet (50 million cubic meter), "it was the biggest in at least a century," Gede Swantika, a state volcanologist, said as plumes of smoke continued to shoot up more than 30,000 feet (10,000 meters).

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Indonesian Volcano Erupts Again!




Eruptions continue from Mount Merapi in Indonesia blasting ash tens of thousands of feet into the sky killing six more people Thursday as the overall death toll hits 44.  This volcano is one of the world's most active volcanoes in the last 100 years.  In 1994, eruptions killed 60 people; in 1930, more than 1000 people were killed in another violent eruption.  These eruptions contain a mixture of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and water vapor gas with temperatures near 500 degrees. 








Indonesia and the thousands of islands that make up the south Pacific region and the more than 200 million people that call this home live on the "Ring of Fire".  The area of islands along with the edge of the Pacific that runs through the Asian coastlines, around Alaska and down along the western coast of North America is named as such due to its position on fault lines that separate the continents.  These fault lines are the focal point for major earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.



The Pacific Ring of Fire has almost 500 volcanoes.  90% of the world's earthquakes occur in thie region.  The Ring was created over millions of years due to Plate Tectonics--the movement of the continents on rock that is under great pressure and heat at a depth of between 65 and 120 miles beneath the surface.  This heat and pressure allows the rock to become "flexible" just enough for the landmasses around the planet to ride along it at speeds measured in centimeters per year.  The Ring of Fire is the intersection of many of these plates.   Some of these plates move underneath other as is the case in California.




The first volcanic blast from Mount Merapi back on October 26th caused a tsunami impacting the Mentawi islands killing hundreds of people.



Scientists believe that these eruptions may get worse in the days and weeks ahead.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Election, the Economy and the Blame Game

As with the Bush tax cut and $300 Bush rebate checks back in 2001, no one remembers the months leading up to the 2008 election.  As Barry Ritholtz mentions in his post on his website,    

"...Had Al Gore been President from 2000-08 (and controlled Congress), the next GOP President would have flailed him for the recession and crisis bank relentlessly. Hell, the GOP still beats Jimmy Carter like a piƱata. Once Obama took office, that was pretty much the last we heard of the Bush recession. The public actually forget who authorized TARP, who bailed out Citibank, BofA, AIG, Fannie Mae, Bear Stearns, etc."  

The tea party movement--while distancing themselves from the Bush years--blame Obama for the failing economy.  Now the shift in power is back to the Republicans in the House establishing a split Congress.  Funny how our memories are short term.  The same people that voted for change this year voted for change 2 years ago with a strong shift back to the Democrats. 

Pivital election years like this one only verified my long standing thoughts on the voting public:  Most people have no idea what REALLY drives the economy and this go-around, what REALLY caused the financial crisis.  No one realizes that the systematic failure of the financial sector and eventually the global economy is beyond any individual person or political party.  We so easily overly simplify the economic issues in 2010 to one or two areas:  taxes and government.  Television and radio ads beat these ideas in our heads.  Yet the seeds of economic destruction that lead us to where we are now reside in deregulation and--at the time, clever--financial engineering.  The environment existed in the 2000s and still exists to this day. It wasn't illegal
but it was hazardous and full of great risk.  As long as Congress is lobbied by the banking industry regardless of who is in power, PROPER and SMART regulation will never be established.  The Consumer Protection Bill was a good start but won't have a huge effect on the overall economy and unemployment.  It might not be next year or 5 years from now but the same problems that got us in this mess will resurface sometime in the future. 

We fail to remember that after the smaller recession in 2000-2001, employment took several years to recover to pre-recession levels.  We want unemployment to fall NOW yet our economic reality dictates otherwise. 

I guarantee that in two years, if the economy is still struggling, the balance of power will shift once again.  The blame in 2008:  The GOP.  The blame now:  The Dems and Obama  The blame in 2012 will shift back to the GOP if unemployment stays high (which it probably will).

Watch it happen.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My Yearly Movie List - 92 and Counting

A few years back, I began to make a list of movies that I hadn't seen.  The list started as a list of current or somewhat current movies going back 4 or 5 years.  Then the list grew to movies I missed in the 1990s then 1980s then classics from earlier than that.  Needless to say, the list grew to more than 300 movies which I have made a point to watch.  Its my cultural duty, right?  (I'm promoting the art of film making. At least that's what I tell my wife)

Even if I average 100 movies a year (which I reached last year), we are still talking more than 3 years to finish the list.   This also doesn't count adding new movies to the list which I do invariably each each year. 

Here is the list so far in no particular order:  The movies in BOLDFACE are recommended flicks

92 and counting

The Insider
Deadman
Ed Wood
Brazil
Jacobs Ladder

Sherlock Holmes
Up in the Air
Public Enemies
Quiz Show
The Informant!

Inglorious Basterds
Moon
The Hurt Locker

Heist
Network

A Serious Man
The Conversation
The Lovely Bones
Ground Hog Day
An Education

The Verdict
Crazyheart
The Blind Side
Zodiac
Man on Wire

Invictus
Mulholland Drive
Silent Running
Cloverfield
The Road

Following
Traffic
Trainspotting
Ironman 2
Wartapes

Taxi to the Darkside
Serenity
Precious
Trinity and Beyond
The Mosquito Coast

Downfall
The Messenger
Donnie Brasco
The Godfather
Solaris

Casino
The War Room
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
The Watchmen
America: The story of us (ep 1-3)

America: The story of us (ep 4-6)
Fargo
Grizzly Man
The Usual Suspects
Boiler Room

The A-team
The Butterfly Effect
Good Night, Good Luck
Hut Tub Time Machine
Fight Club

Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
The Cruise
Moon 44
Echelon Conspiracy
11:14

Puzzlehead
Collapse
Rabbit Proof Fence
I am Legend
Fail-Safe

Flight 93
The Machinist

Dune
Shooter
Videodrome

Darkened Room
Shattered Glass
Touching the Void
Control Room
Windtalkers

Owl: Legend of the Guardians
The Mist
The Peacemaker
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Shutter Island

Babylon A.D.
The Killing Fields
Manhunter
The Score
Ken Burns: 10th Inning

Wordplay
Oldboy

The Expendables

Friday, October 29, 2010

2010-2011 Winter Weather Outlook

..Coming up tonight at 10PM.



Here is a hint:  THIS WINTER WILL MIRROR THE WINTER OF 2008-09.  LOTS OF ALBERTA CLIPPER SNOWS "NICKEL AND DIMING" US EARLY ON.

CHECK OUT FOX8.COM FOR MORE