Sunday, January 31, 2010

Salty Atmosphere

Concluding The Northeast Quadrant’s trip to Utah is this final video blog post from the journey above. Check out “Salty Atmosphere,” shot during take off from Utah’s Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) on Saturday afternoon, January 30.

Once again, the video is kind of long (about 9 minutes), but there are some amazingly incredible views you don’t want to miss! To save time and maximize your enjoyment, below are a few cool points (indicated by minute) if you wish to not watch the whole thing.

Oh, and consider yourself lucky to turn the sound off and not hear the baby crying. I, unfortunately, didn’t have that option.

00.00 Take off from SLC on a LONG runway / 01:20 Above a sunny, snowless Salt Lake Valley / 01:45 INVERSION / 02:20 The sun / 03:20 Flying over the Great Salt Lake / 04:30 Between cloud layers / 07:00 Above a snowier North Salt Lake Valley / 08:00 Cumulus ascension / 08:45 Snow-capped Wasatch Mountains

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Big Late January Snows (thanks SNOkie)

Wednesday I bravely predicted that snowfall amounts for this late January storm (The Northeast Quadrant is now calling #SNOkie) would be hard to call until Friday afternoon. Well I was wrong. It’s Saturday afternoon in DC, still snowing, and I’m not confident that we know yet. Conditions have been deteriorating since early Saturday morning. Currently in DC we have about six inches, with snow expected to continue falling heavily for a few more hours.

The current forecast shows that snow will taper off and then end from west to east overnight. Snow totals will locally exceed 1 foot from central Virginia into the Delmarva Peninsula. Washington will end up with between 4 and 8 inches and southern New Jersey could accumulate 2 to 4 inches.

How are folks dealing with the storm? Here’s a little round up of comments from around the Internet:
  • Let the snow retardation begin. Someone just drove in to our building.
  • I think the weather forecasters blew this call (3-5") already nearly 5" of snow here in Maryland...and not supposed to stop until 11 pm
  • Can we dub the storm "WTFlurries"?
  • 2:45 PM Roads are nasty. Mostly passable but in really bad shape. Saw very few plows. Peds must be careful - roads are extremely slick.
  • Soccer in the snow, snow and more snow. So much fun, even when my eyelashes froze together. :-)
  • There is no bad weather, only the wrong clothing.
Since were in the midst of the storm, let me take a moment to make a personal appeal – please people stop using umbrellas as a snow blockage device – you look dumb. Time to shovel (again) before it gets dark. Go SNOkie go!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Climate Refugees: The Human Face of Climate Change

Today was The Northeast Quadrant’s last day in Utah and what better way to end the excursion than the Sundance Film Festival and a documentary about climate change?

Independent Director, Michael Nash spent the last eighteen months traveling the world, documenting the planet’s most pressing issue: global warming! In his film Climate Refugees, Nash visited with and obtained testimony from Earth’s imminent victims of climate change.

From submerging islands in the south-Pacific to melting coastlines of Alaska, and from drought-stricken regions in Africa to storm-battered susceptible coastlines in the United States and abroad, what will happen when these areas and other hot spots are unable to inhabit humans? This film helps sounds the alarm for what could and will happen if the world does not come together to cope with this crisis.

After seeing Climate Refugees, it became quite apparent that if global warming continues and the rapid pace it’s occurring, large-scale population displacement in the form of international and continental migration would be the ultimate human consequence.

I don’t know that Climate Refugees will ever make it to the big screen, but since the issue happens to be the number two item on the United States’ domestic homeland security agenda (as stated in the film, quoting Sen. John Kerry), I definitely recommend seeing or looking into it.

Atmospheric Inversion: Utah's Winter Woe

What is an atmospheric inversion? And why every winter is it the talk of the town (city) in Salt Lake?

Meteorologically speaking, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. Big deal right? Here's why...

When a warm air mass moves over another cold, dense, air mass -- as it often does during winter in northern Utah's Salt Lake Valley, that colder air mass settles into the land-locked valley, becomes heavy; and because of its weight and lack of wind movement at lower elevations, it cannot move. The end result is a visibly stagnant air mass in the form of low clouds, fog and/or haze.

So again, why is this a big deal? An inversion can lead to extremely dangerous pollution such as smog being trapped close to the ground, with possible adverse effects on health. This is why, believe it or not, Utah, has some of the worst air quality in the United States.

How does an inversion disappear? Typically an inversion only occurs when high pressure is dominating the troposphere (the lower region of the earth's atmosphere). During high pressure air sinks and becomes trapped. But when a low pressure system is overhead air rises, therefore lifting the inversion from the valley and disintegrating its associated pollutants from the earth's surface.

So what's the catch? If you like fair, sunny weather, deal with the inversion. If you don't want to deal with the inversion, you'll have to deal with it being stormy.

For those followers who needed a better understanding of what the inversion was, I hope The Northeast Quadrant was able to help!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Totally Cool Utah Weather Facts!

What better way to learn more about Utah's weather than to ask the locals? And did you know a very famous "weather" movie was filmed here in the Beehive State?

Check out this video blog post and learn a little more about Utah's climate, its record highs and lows, its average and exceedingly average snowfall, and even its rare tornadic history!

By the end of the video I'm sure you'll be feeling as EMUtional as I was!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is it snOMG 2.0?

Snow's heading back into The Northeast Quadrant just in time for the weekend (sorry kids). A storm system tracking eastward from the Gulf Coast on Friday will begin tracking northeastward toward the Mid-Atlantic region Friday night. Some sort of lovely frozen precipitation (most likely snow) will bless the D.C area Friday night over Saturday.

Those of in the New York area will likely miss out on the brunt of the storm due to a massive high pressure system that will be parked right above you. It will be cold nonetheless.

Is that vague enough? Basically where the gradient sets up between hardly any snow and significant accumulation won’t be able to be determined until Friday night (or so). However the further south you go the heavier the snow will be.

snOMG 2.0? Probably not.

A Snowless Winter Olympics!?

The 2010 Winter Olympics are feeling the affects of Old Man Winter's Canadian hiatus, and Mother Nature is surely not cooperating either.

As spring flowers bloom early and birds start to nest around balmy Vancouver, Olympic officials there have been forced to put snow emergency contingency plans into place.


Vancouver, the host city of the February 12 – 28 Winter Games, has barely seen any snow this winter and it's too warm to make man-made snow. So what now? Well, starting this week hundreds of chartered fleets of helicopters will be flying in thousands of tons of snow to area ski resorts. But with air temperatures hovering well above the freezing mark, how long will that snow last?

The last time a lack of snow forced a host city into such drastic action was in 1964, for the Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Olympics historians say the problems in Vancouver beg the question, 'Are we going to have to re-think where we put the Winter Olympics because of global warming?'

To put it into perspective, check out the above photo. Where's the snow!?! Doesn't look like the Winter Olympics to me!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Record Wind Gust Busted

Since April 1934, New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington held the world record wind gust at 231 mph. Sorry Mt. Washington fans, not any more.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported on January 22, 2010 that Mount Washington's world record had been broken. A wind gust of 253 mph during Typhoon Olivia on April 10, 1996, in Barrow Island, Australia has broken this record. A panel of WMO experts investigated the report, and this conclusion has been made after an extensive review of data, and an evaluation of the weather instruments used. I will decline to comment on why it took the WMO about 15 years to issue this report. (Oops... there I just did.)

The WMO Commission for Climatology provides more information about Global Weather and Climate Extremes at: http://wmo.asu.edu.

The Frozen Shores of Utah Lake

A cold day, blue skies, majestic mountains, an ice-covered lake and a magnificent sunset! Check out this video taken yesterday along the shores of a frozen Utah Lake, in Utah Valley, in Utah County, in Northeast Utah.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clear Skies Over Utah Valley

Today, as low pressure retreated and moved into the central plains, it allowed a large area of high pressure to build across the inter-mountain West. This offered up clear skies and visibility as far as the eye can see. It looked like this…

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Greatest Snow on Earth!

As promised, here we are in northeast Utah near the Sundance ski area.

A major snowstorm, the same system that brought record rain, snow and wind to California and Arizona, danced its way across the Beehive State over the past 24 hour hours, dumping greater than 3 feet of snow in some areas. The threat of extreme winter weather has prompted winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings and even avalanche warnings.

These
two videos were taken earlier, which shows just how much snow there is.... and it's not done yet! Several more days of wintry weather is forecast throughout the inter-mountain west!

It's no wonder their slogan is the greatest snow on earth!




Totally Awesome Winter Phenomenon -- Hair Ice

This is just awesomeness! Hair ice, also called silk frost, is a type of ice formation that looks like silk and seems to only appear on woody, barkless materials on the ground. The ice structures tend to grow out of the pores in the wood, sort of like hairs on the human head. It grows outward from the surface of the wood as super-cooled water emerges from it, freezes and adds to the hairs from the base. These amazing ice structures have been found in places like Germany, Canada, Switzerland and the Pacific Northwest in the United States.

Dr. James Carter is a professor in the Department of Geography-Geology at the University of Illinois has collected photos and other reports (dating back to 1884) of hair ice. He concludes that the fibrous ice crystals seem to be caused by the pore structure of certain woods, and only forms where the bark has been removed. Reportedly, the phenomenon is reproducible: if you find a piece of wood growing hair ice, you can warm it up, then re-freeze it, and it will grow hair ice again. These formations are likely attributable to diurnal temperature variation -- the difference between temperature variations from day to night.

Unconfirmed reports on the Internet state this also happens to dog poo in the Pacific Northwest. That’s kinda awesome too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Apple Atmosphere

Check out this video shot during take off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on the way to Salt Lake Cit (SLC) via Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) on Friday afternoon, January 22. It was a perfect flying day with a perfect view -- an exemplary perspective of a Big Apple Atmosphere!

The video is kind of long (just under 6 minutes), so I posted a few cool points below (indicated by minute) if you wish to not watch the whole thing.

00.00 Take off from LGA / 02:15 Sunshine over New York / 03:00 A beautiful horizon / 03:45 Here comes the city / 04:15 View of Central Park / 04:25 Looking downtown / 04:50 Over the Hudson River / 05:10 The island of Manhattan

video

So... does this remind anyone of Sully’s flight path???

Himalayan Glaciers Stickin’ Around a Lil’ Longer

I find it interesting that after blogging a couple days ago about the creation of the Himalayan Mountain chain; a story hit the news about Himalayan glaciers.

Apparently some leaders on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made a boo-boo when they said Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. A poorly substantiated claim that also misstates the total land area covered by these glaciers, was considered “extremely embarrassing and damaging." Uhmm duh, of course it was -- in a time when a majority of people across the globe don’t believe in global warming or think it’s a hoax; you just can’t make these mistakes!

A professor from the University of Arizona who is also a subject matter expert on the issue said the IPCC had such a stellar reputation that people view it as an authority -- as indeed they should -- and so they see a bullet that says Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035 and they take that as a fact.

Well, after reading more into the subject this morning it seems there is some blame game back-and-forth going on. Who wrote this? Who reviewed it? Who sent it? Blah, blah blah… who cares?

Fact! The Himalayan glaciers are reportedly going to be around for 15 more years, estimated to disappear by 2350, not 2035.

So enjoy them… I guess!?!?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slush Approaching the District!

Quick everybody, panic!!! Weather is approaching the District of Columbia!!! A fast moving low pressure system is set to move through the mid-Atlantic Thursday night into Friday.

Citizens in the national capital area should prepare for The Northeast Quadrant's least favorite precipitation type; the dreaded wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain! Nothing even remotely fun like ice pellets.

Boo "storm!" I should also mention that the storm is likely to cause stupidness during the morning rush.

New Yorkers need not panic, you likely only to get some rain or snow. Not that you would panic anyway. That is all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meanwhile, 70 Million Years Ago...

Last night after watching The History Channel's new series How the Earth was Made, I was completely inspired, educated and totally marveled by the immense power this planet’s geological forces carry. The episode highlighted Mount Everest, but more vastly the Himalayan Mountain range and how this super-sized chain of sky-scraping peaks, stretching across six Asian countries, came to life.

There are so many interesting facts about these mountains, starting with how they got to be so damn high, and they are still growing! Here’s some background…

We’ve all heard of
Pangaea, right? OK, well about 70 million years ago a series of historic seismic and literally earth-shattering events caused the one-time continental plate to break apart. When this occurred, the north-moving Indo-Australian tectonic plate fiercely collided with the Eurasian plate.

What does this mean? Pretty much India crashed into China causing a gargantuan uplift of soil that forced the earth’s surface to vertically bulge resulting in a chain of mountains we now call the Himalayas. And still today as the Indo-Australian plate slides beneath the earth’s surface along the Eurasian plate, these mountains continue to rise, being pushed up ever so slightly each year.

Now how does this tie into weather? Aside from creating their own weather (fierce winds, violent blizzards), the Himalayas contain the greatest area of glaciers and permafrost outside the North and South poles. But more important and significant is the profound effect these mountains have on their regional climate. Because of their immense height they are capable of blocking and completely re-directing typical weather patterns. They prevent frigid, dry arctic winds from blowing into South Asia, namely India, which have allowed average temperatures to rise more rapidly there than any other global biome. The mountains also form a barrier for the monsoon winds, keeping them from traveling northwards, and causing heavy rainfall to sit and spill day after day, month after month, and year after year.

What does that mean for those small Indian villages caught in the monsoon? Well, I learned about this small village by the name of Cherrrapunjee, which sits on the southern tip of the Himalayan foothills. Holding Guinness world records, Cherrrapunjee receives more rain than any other location on planet earth. Its yearly rainfall average stands at an astounding 450 inches (that’s nearly one and a quarter inches of rain per day)! A notable feature of Cherrrapunjee rain is that most of it falls during the morning hours.

To wrap it up and bring this post full-circle, I highly encourage you to check out the series How the Earth was Made (Tuesdays at 9 ET on History). Whether you are into weather (no pun intended… ya know, whether/weather) or geology, or geography or any other kind of fascinating science, or not… I guarantee you will find this series compelling.

Now can someone please find me a
Sherpa?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elections and Snow in Massachusetts

Weather forecasts across Massachusetts today are calling for snow showers and in some places freezing rain. Voters there are headed to the polls for a special election to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat. This is a critical election which could determine the fate of the national Democratic agenda, including health care plans.

So whats potential the implication of snow on the election? Well, probably not good news for the Democrats. But to be fair, they were falling behind before the snow started falling.


In a 2007
study called "The Republicans Should Pray for Rain: Weather, Turnout, and Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections," researchers used GIS information and employed meteorological data drawn from over 22,000 U.S. weather stations to provide election day estimates of rain and snow for each U.S. county. They found that, when compared to normal conditions, an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5 percent.


The fact that bad weather keeps people at home during elections seems pretty obvious to me, but this was the first time someone did research to show it was actually the case.

The study also indicated that poor weather is shown to benefit the Republican party's vote share. Sorry Democrats. Thankfully, the residents of Massachusetts are pretty weather hearty, so perhaps there is hope.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Northeat Quadrant Photo Contest Winners

The Northeast Quadrant recently held a photo contest on its Facebook fan page. We asked fans to submit their best weather photos, and of the many photos we received, here are the top 5!



Thanks to everyone who participated -- all your photos were amazing! You can view all the photos on the fan page here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cantore Stories: New Reality TV from The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel will premier it's newest reality television program, Cantore Stories, next Sunday, January 24 at 10:00 p.m. EST.

Hosted by meteorologist
Jim Cantore, the half-hour program follows him as
he endures harsh and unusual weather conditions when he visits some of America’s most amazing climates in the most unique and extreme locations, and meets with the people who live in them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Yorkers Embrace the January Thaw

Check out this exclusive video report taped earlier today from New York City’s Union Square on the east side of Manhattan. See and hear what The Northeast Quadrant author/contributor, Devin has to say about how New Yorkers are embracing the January Thaw!

video

Friday, January 15, 2010

Will Utah be Blogworthy for The Northeast Quadrant?

If you've been following along you know The Northeast Quadrant is going on the road late next week. That's right, we're takin' the show to Utah (well somewhat -- we'll still blog from the east coast too)! So you can imagine the joy we felt when surfing the updates on Facebook today and saw this posting from The Weather Channel:

"If you live in the west or if you're visiting, take some time and read these
Special Weather Statements from the National Weather Service. Pay close attention to Hanford, CA, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Flagstaff."

Here's what we cam across when clicked on
Salt Lake City:

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER PATTERN CHANGE BEGINNING EARLY NEXT WEEK...

AFTER A SEVERAL WEEK PERIOD CHARACTERIZED BY LONG STRETCHES OF HIGH PRESSURE FOLLOWED BY THE PASSAGE OF WEAK STORM SYSTEMS... THE WEATHER PATTERN APPEARS TO BE READY TO SHIFT LATE THIS WEEKEND.

THE WEATHER WILL REMAIN QUIET THROUGH TOMORROW ACROSS THE REGION AS ONE LAST AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE MOVES ACROSS THE REGION. HAZE AND FOG WILL PERSIST ACROSS THE VALLEYS OF NORTHERN UTAH AS THE INVERSION STRENGTHENS THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

A SERIES OF MOIST PACIFIC STORM SYSTEMS WILL BEGIN TO IMPACT THE REGION STARTING ON MONDAY AND LASTING THROUGH MUCH OF THE WORK WEEK. THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WILL POTENTIALLY AFFECT SOUTHERN UTAH... THOUGH MUCH OF THE STATE WILL END UP RECEIVING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF PRECIPITATION WHEN TOTALS ARE TALLIED AT THE END OF THE WEEK.

INCREASING SOUTHERLY WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PATTERN CHANGE WILL BRING AN END TO THE FOG AND HAZE ACROSS NORTHERN UTAH BY EARLY NEXT WEEK. LOCATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN QUITE COLD OF LATE INCLUDING THE UINTA BASIN AND NEAR GREEN RIVER WILL TREND WARMER. TEMPERATURES IN THE VALLEYS WILL LIKELY SUPPORT A MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW DURING THE WEEK. PERIODS OF SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL ARE LIKELY ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS OF UTAH... FOCUSING ACROSS THE SOUTH.

BE SURE TO MONITOR WEATHER FORECASTS THROUGH THE WEEKEND AS THE PATTERN CHANGE APPROACHES FOR NEXT WEEK.

Well, it's looking likely we'll have some good blog posts while we're on the road. Stay tuned!

Sunday Storm for The Northeast Quadrant

Yesterday The Northeast Quadrant posted about warmer, drier weather taking over the eastern half of the nation today and tomorrow. But that will all come to an end on Sunday.

A developing storm system in the gulf states will enter the Atlantic tonight and rapidly re-develop before heading north up the eastern seaboard. This is normally very exciting news in January, but with the recent surge of warmer air, it's sadly going to be a rain event.

Starting in the southern periphery of The Northeast Quadrant, the rain will begin around the
Nation's Capital near daybreak Sunday on its track towards New England. Rain will probably enter the picture in the Big Apple by lunchtime and Bean-Town just in time for dinner. These two northern cities are forecasting the rain to mix with sleet and possibly change to snow before ending Monday morning. Wind will also be a factor, as is the case with most coastal storms.

Too bad that arctic air is all gone. This could have been a doozy of a snowstorm, a
blizzard even.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Now that's an Iceberg!



Within the past couple days a massive piece of ice broke off of Antarctica's Filchner Ice Shelf. The images above taken on January 12 and January 13 by NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites captured the huge piece of ice as it was breaking away. At about 150 kilometers long by 25 kilometers wide, the piece of the ice shelf that broke away was larger than the state of Rhode Island.

The ice shelf is a portion of Antarctica’s expansive ice sheets that extend over the ocean. As fresh snow falls on the ice sheet, the weight compresses it out like pancake batter spreading on a pan. The ice shelf grows out until waves and ocean currents break off the edge, forming a new iceberg.

This process is known as "ice calving" --
a sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from an iceberg, ice shelf or glacier. Although calving can be caused by tidal and seismic events, periodic calving and disintegration of ice masses are considered normal geological processes.

40 Never Looked So Good!

At The Northeast Quadrant we LOVE cold, nasty, winter weather... but it's been so frigid and stormy lately, we are welcoming the milder breeze with open arms and lighter coats -- and for now, throwing the hats, scarves and gloves back in the closet.

That's right! 40 (degrees) never looked so good! But listen Mr. January Thaw (see earlier blog post), you better not overstay your welcome!

The polar jet (or the northern branch of the jet stream), which for weeks has dipped into the deep south, is now retreating back into Canada, thus allowing a nice push of southerly warmth to infiltrate most of the United States. When this happens the gates are open for temperatures to climb back to seasonal levels, or even slightly above normal. Within The Northeast Quadrant, from New York to Boston, temperatures into the low 40s can be expected through Saturday, while Washington, DC could rise to 50. This is a region of the country that has only reached 40 degrees once or twice since Christmas.

However, while we're enjoying the outdoors this weekend and feeling a little more comfortable, cold arctic air will be building up in northern Canada just waiting for that strong polar jet to show signs of bending. When it does, it will make it's move and the frigid temperatures and snow will return (we hope).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Operation Haiti: Search and Rescue Weather

In the wake of the strongest earthquake in centuries to disasterize (new word made up right here at The Northeast Quadrant) Haiti, what will the weather be like?

The first 36 hours following a major earthquake are the most critical. This time frame is the most dire for victims being rescued. Nearly 18 hours since the earthquake hit, weather is cooperating for search and rescue operations.

The next several days near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince will be sunny and mostly dry, with just a slight chance of showers here and there. This forecast will likely aid recovery and cleanup efforts following the earthquake.

However, one thing to note is that the Caribbean Islands are now in their "dry season," meaning there is very little humidity accompanying very warm temperatures near 90 degrees, Fahrenheit. So while the weather will cooperate for those involved in the search and rescue mission, victims of the quake will need to scouer for any and all resources for remaining hydrated in these conditions.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Haitian Quake Impacts Likely to Trump that of Major Hurricanes

As we've all heard, a devastating and destructive earthquake rattled the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince this evening.

Haiti, which occupies the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds), is considered one of the poorest countries in the Americas and is hardly able to withstand a severe magnitude 7.0 earthquake like the one that struck the region tonight.

Experts are saying that because of the earthquake's proximity to the capital, and because the city is densely populated and has poorly constructed housing (nearly 80 percent of the country lives below the poverty line), it could cause significant damage and casualties. Situated in the heart of hurricane alley, this is something that Haiti is unfortunately no stranger to.

In 1994 Hurricane Gordon tore through the nation causing major damage and killing more than 1,000 people. Four years later in 1998 Hurricane Georges, on it's path towards the Gulf of Mexico, passed through Haiti killing more than 400 people and destroyed the majority of the country's crops.

More recently during the epic hurricane season of 2004, heavy rains from Hurricane Jeanne, which did not even landfall on the island of Hispaniola, caused landslides and flooding that killed more than 3,000 people. Last year (i.e. Hurricane Season 2008) Haiti was hit heavily again, when four tropical systems passed through: Tropical Storm Fay, Major Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hanna and Major Hurricane Ike.

Despite the recent cyclonic blows by Mother Nature to the already ravished Caribbean island, it appears likely that, in terms of damage and death toll combined, the January 12, 2010 7.0 earthquake will go down as Haiti's costliest natural disaster.

As daylight shows it gloomy face tomorrow morning, the picture will become much clearer as to just how bad things are. Stay tuned to major news outlets for this developing story.

The Weather Channel Launches New Local Weather Page

Breaking news for all your weather buffs! The Weather Channel and Weather.com today launched it's new local weather page featuring improved, new, and more robust customizable features!

With the new local weather page you'll be able to tailor your local weather forecast to your hobbies and interests, get one-click access to flight information and airport delays, air quality reports, ski and beach forecasts and more. On one page you can even view video maps, compare daily, monthly and yearly temperature and precipitation averages, see up-to-the-minute traffic information and surf web cams right in your neighborhood.

Take a tour of the new local weather page (don't you just love how the tour page showcases a snowstorm in NYC!?!)

Then visit www.weather.com and check out the weather where you're located!

Snow Across the Midwest as Seen by NASA's Aqua Satellite

From the Pretty Images Files...

Snow cover stretched from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture on January 10, 2010. Snow cover thins toward the south, disappearing midway through Oklahoma in the west. In the east, the snow traces an arc through Virginia up toward Pennsylvania.

Aqua is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in orbit around the Earth, studying the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dead of Winter vs. January Thaw

For the past several weeks locations across the northern hemisphere, from North America to Europe and all the way to China, have been trying to cope with the constant arctic push that Mother Nature has thrown at us. So what does that mean now that we are 'officially' in the Dead of Winter?

The Dead of Winter is climatologically noted as the stretch of 20+ days, usually running from about January 10 - February 10 where normal daytime high temperatures in the northern hemisphere are at their absolute lowest. Well, now that's confusing right? Because yesterday was January 10 and it's been pretty darn hace frio outside already!

Well, brace yourselves for a warm up! That's right! Despite the fact that we are in the dead of winter we are about to enter a phenomenon well-known in the weather world as the "January Thaw!"

Accuweather.com says, "Gradual warming will take place across the Plains and Midwest through the middle of the upcoming week as warmer air spreads in from the Southwest. Across much of the Eastern Seaboard, temperatures will slowly rise throughout the entire week. With the warm-up, millions of people can look forward to spending more time outdoors. Energy demands and heating bills will be lower as compared to last week. Since temperatures will be warming gradually, issues with street flooding and ice jams due to melting snow and ice are expected to be minimal."

Despite the hype, for many the warmer temperatures just mean it's going to be near normal. It probably won't last too long so enjoy it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watching Today's 6.5 Quake on Twitter - Courtesy Of USGS

Tonight's 6.5-magnitude earthquake which struck off California's northern coast put a new US Geological Survey (USGS) Twitter Based Earthquake system to the test.

Thanks to some TARP funds, USGS developed the
Twitter Early Detection project or TED. The system gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from the social networking site Twitter and applies place, time, and key word filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.

While only anecdotal evidence, Twitter users report information about quakes in a matter of seconds, whereas accurate scientific information can take from 2 to 20 minutes. By adopting and embracing these new technologies, the USGS potentially can augment its earthquake response products and the delivery of hazard information.

I think this innovative use ofnew technologies by USGS is awesomeness! Check out the google map of tweets from today's earthquake here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snookie Weather!

In the clip below from WPIX 11 News in New York, Snookie from MTV's "Jersey Shore" shows her love of weather! Welcome to The Northeast Quadrant, Snookie!

Florida: Fail!

UPDATE January 9, 2010: Snow was indeed reported overnight across central Florida. Check out the story here. And below you will see the current (9:45 a.m. EST, Saturday, January 9, 2010) radar image showing continued snowfall across the central Florida peninsula.

Original Post: A number of things go wrong when it gets really cold in Florida. Mickey goes in hibernation. Tourists abandon their beach blankets. Citrus crops get damaged. Hurricanes don't form in the beautiful gulf waters. Spaceships explode. And sadly enough, sea turtles wash ashore and iguanas fall out of trees, simply because they lose their grip in the arctic chill.

This past week has been the coldest it has been in Florida since the mid 1980's. But wait, it gets better (or worse)... snow is expected this weekend in the north-central Florida
peninsula! This is after snow already made an appearance this morning in the Florida panhandle. What is going on here!?!?!

Meteorologists say popular cities like Orlando, Tampa, Melbourne, Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral are most likely to be offered the best chance of snow in years, if not decades. Timing of this winter weather event would be Friday night into Saturday.


Are you kidding me!? This totally gets a 5 on the notional weather excitement index! In conclusion, Florida: Fail!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dumbest Snowstorm of 2010 on the Horizon

So, an inch or two of snow is forecast to develop overnight and continue through early Friday. A total snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches is expected. What!? Why bother?

Accuweather.com says, "Snow lovers will lament this lack of development, but all those that have to get around Friday have to figure they are getting a pretty good deal."

Devin says, "this gets a 1 on the notional weather excitement index!"

Seriously People it's too Cold for Naked Jogging...

Wednesday night the Secret Service apprehended a naked jogger near the Ellipse in Washington, DC. Jogging naked near the White House is never a good idea, particularly when temperatures are hovering around the freezing point.

The Northeast Quadrant reminds its fans to wear appropriate clothing during these Hoth-like temperatures we are currently experiencing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Star Wars Weather

I came across Star Wars Weather last week from a Google Reader share. You'll find dozens of weather reporting services online, but all of them give you the weather in the traditional way. None of them, however, will tell you if today will be as pleasant as Naboo.

Star Wars Weather isn't a revolutionary way to check the weather report, but it's a nice diversion from a lifetime of "partly cloudy with a chance of rain."

Rather than simply reporting the weather and forecast, Star Wars Weather gives you the conditions based on the climates and conditions of locales in the Star Wars universe like Hoth, Naboo, and Endor.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So, What’s Up with Global Warming?

Weather experts everywhere are saying the winter of 2009 – 2010 could be the coldest recorded in the last 25 years! The past hurricane season was B-O-R-I-N-G! With barely a land falling tropical storm and a minimal amount of hurricanes, the past hurricane season compared to recent years gets a 1 on the notional weather excitement index. What about this past summer? It really was not that hot. I think it was not until August 10 that New York City hit 90 degrees… well, other than those few random days in April. But hey, that was spring. One of the first major metropolitan areas to receive measurable snow this year was Houston, Texas. Wait, WHAT!?!?

So really, what’s up with global warming? Global warming is defined as the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans and its projected continuation. There is no doubt that the effects of global warming are felt in many ways and the above-mentioned weather extremes are just a few.

It is FACT that even though the globe is warming compared to the last ice age; we very well could be headed for another glacial period. Or… maybe not. We really don’t know what the affect of global warming will have on our future… and our kid’s future, and their kid’s future. I mean, if we even make it that far (isn’t the world supposed to end in 2012 anyway?)

Forget the weather-related events... what about food and natural resources? Human health? The economy? Cross-nation disputes?


Just something to think about… meanwhile, enjoy the cold weather; it’s the only weather you’ve got!

Now here’s more on the questionable snowstorm late this week! Keeping our fingers crossed here at The Northeast Quadrant

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brrr! It's Cold Out There!

Freezing Temperatures...
If any of you have been outside the past several days, you surely noticed it's a bit cold out. The good news is the zephyr like wind over the past weekend should be dying down, so congrats on surviving the Great Winter Wind Weekend of '10.

Down here in DC, the Potomac is starting to freeze. Chunks of ice are flowing. Unfortunately, for those of you adverse to the cold you'd better hunker down and bundle up - it looks like the frigid temperatures are going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

The potential for more cold even triggered an automatic halt on Monday to trading on New York’s ICE Futures US exchange (think damaged orange crops in Florida).

Around the World...
China's national meteorological office warned that temperatures in the nation's far north could fall to around minus 32 degrees Celsius. The image on the right acquired from NASA's Terra satellite on January 4, shows the record snowfall that covered Beijing and much of China after the new year.

Our friends across the pond in the UK are experiencing lows from -2 to -8C. Even in Russia where they are used to the cold, lows tonight in Moscow are expected to hover around zero Fahrenheit.


More Snow???
The upshot here (for the cold averse) looks to be the potential for more snow across the Northeast toward the end of the week. I firmly believe that as long as its going to be cold it may as well snow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Palindrome Nor’easter!

First I’d like to welcome everyone to The Northeast Quadrant! Revolutionizing weather, this blog is the biggest thing since the Blizzard of 2009 (a.k.a. snopacalypse, snOMG, snowlapalooza, snowmageddon) that slammed the east coast just a few weeks ago. I’m glad you’re here to follow along.

After watching the New York area weather reports and checking out quick day trips online, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to drive out to Montauk Point. Montauk Point is the eastern-most point of New York state and it sits on the south fork of Long Island. As a developing intense Nor’easter was passing offshore from Montauk at the same time a cold high pressure was funneling down from the arctic, I knew things could get really interesting out there – and they did!

I arrived in Montauk late evening January 1 to a cold, calm, quiet ocean side town. With a full moon (and still somewhat blue from the night before) there was an eerie feeling – a definite calm before the storm. Not much to see at night, I decided I would get a good nights sleep and get up early to see what evolves from this developing storm system that was inching its way closer to the Point.

When I woke up on 02-01-2010, I was greeted with this alert from the local weather service: AN INTENSE WINTER STORM IS PASSING WELL EAST OF LONG ISLAND THIS MORNING. PERSISTENT BANDS OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND AND SOUTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT AS VERY STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH CONTINUE TO USHER IN VERY COLD AIR. GUSTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE AS HIGH AS 50 MPH. WHERE SNOW IS FALLING REDUCTIONS IN VISIBILITY CAN BE EXPECTED DUE TO BLOWING SNOW. SUB ZERO WIND CHILLS CAN ALSO BE EXPECTED. ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST THERE MAY BE A RISK OF TIDAL FLOODING AND FREEZING SPRAY.

The Palindrome Nor’easter had officially begun, and deserving a rating of 5 on the notional weather excitement index, it looked like this:



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