The last day of January proved to be a very stormy day here in Connecticut! Around 2AM, the winds really picked up and a weather station just a mile from me registered a 54 mph wind gust. My station is blocked by a lot of trees so my peak wind gust along Spring Road was only 31 mph. Personally, I had never felt wind so strong in my life. I wasn’t in town when Hurricane Irene came through but I was here during Sandy. The winds in North Haven were on par with what we received during Sandy.
Around 3AM I heard a loud noise which turned out being a tree that had broke in half and fell mere feet from my deck! I went outside to assess the damage and on my way inside my gas grill was completely blown over by the wind.
North Haven received about a half an inch of rain from this storm. We close out January with 1.68” of liquid precipitation. I’m still in the process of analyzing the January weather data from my weather station but I can tell you with strong confidence that January of 2013 was above average in temperatures. Even with that frigid cold snap that we had earlier in the month, the average high and low temps appear to be at least 4 degrees above normal.
It’s really amazing how the temperatures can fluctuate on different sides of a front. Many in the Midwest saw very mild temps one day and then frigid temps the next! Connecticut experienced the mild temperatures last night as some towns rose into the 60’s! In the Montowese section of North Haven, I reached a high temperature of 59.5 at 3:30 AM. Just 12 hours later the temp had fallen to 44 degrees. Thursday night lows are expected to be in the mid 20’s.
There will be a chance for some flurries on Friday and then a chance for some light snow on Sunday.
This rap is even worse than the last one! It was a lot of fun to do it though.
At my home in North Haven, I picked up 3.75” of snow before the precipitation changed over to sleet. As of 12:30 PM, light rain was falling and the temperature was just above freezing at 33 degrees. Some towns are still below freezing and roads are very icy. Please drive carefully today.
This morning I took a ride and took some pictures as well as a short video. Start the slide show to check them out.
Here's a video I recorded while driving around town this morning. Snow drives are a lot of fun when the roads aren't that slippery.
What is it?
Thundersnow is an extremely rare kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. They typically occur in regions of strong upward motion in the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone or over Jim Cantore’s head. <--- more on that later.
How dangerous is it?
All the same dangers are present in thunder snow with regards to the lightning. Instead of heavy rain you’ll have very heavy snow. Snowfall rates of 2-4”/hr are common and make driving treacherous.
Meteorologist Jim Cantore has experienced this rare weather event four times in his life already! When weather geeks and meteorologists get to experience such rare instances of weather, it’s very exciting and we know we may never see that again in our lifetime.
Jim has never been shy behind the camera and is one of the most animated and excitable guys on the planet. Check him out in this video reacting to thunder snow happening live during his live segment. This video is in my top 5 All-Time favorite videos to watch.
2 feet of snow. we won't get that. :)
After a pretty uneventful and mostly dry first 2 weeks of 2013, Connecticut will see some more snow on Wednesday. Showers tonight will change to snow overnight across the state. In North Haven, you can expect 1-2 inches of slushy accumulation from this system. Most of the state should receive 2-4 inches of snow. The locales closer to the shore will see a longer duration of rain and therefore will receive less.
Streets will be slick for the morning commute tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some delays and possible cancellations of school tomorrow.
I don't expect the snow to start much before midnight so if you have anything you need to do tonight, I wouldn't cancel those plans!
As a weather geek, I am someone who is constantly checking the weather. Because of this, I often see weather terms being overused and sometimes misused. It can get annoying but I also understand why some of this happens. Maybe a TV station is looking for ratings so they’ll use the word “Blizzard” when really it’s just a snow storm. Or maybe on Twitter someone will use the word “Derecho” at the first sign of a bow echo on the radar. I asked for some help naming a few while on twitter this afternoon and here are some of the responses I received:
Mike Haggett (@westernMEwx) writes “Blizzard” fries me. When I was a kid, it was 18”+ in 24 hours. Now it’s anything with white out conditions.
Mike continues and says “Graupel. It’s just sleet”
Jared Kaufman (@RealJBlizzard) tackles a controversial subject. “Climate Change, because climate has been changing since day one
Meteorologist Ryan Gallagher (@ryangallagher) writes about the cold snaps in New England. “The term cold snap gets thrown around every time the temperature falls below freezing. It dilutes the real cold we’ve seen”
Zach Jacomowitz (@Zak_NYCMetroWx) has an issue with the term “rain gear” that is often used in forecasts. “Every time a little rain is expected we are always reminded to get out the “rain gear”. I always picture rain gear as a set of fins, goggles, and wet suit that I change into if it’s going to rain. I wish there were still telephone booths around. Then I could change in there like Superman and come out wearing a red cape.
Last Adventurer (@last_adventurer) chimed in about the term “feels like” often used when talking about the heat index in the summer. “feels like. Talk about a descriptor that is unscientific and subjective.”
Do you have any overused or misused weather terms that annoy you? Let me know in the comments section!