What defines a blizzard?

Before yesterdays snow event, how many times did you hear the media scream “blizzard” at you all week? I’m sorry to say we did not have a blizzard, just a very strong Nor’easter. So how would one classify a true blizzard? Of course blizzards are very dangerous that are combination of blowing snow and wind resulting in very low visibilities. Officially the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm which contains large amounts of snow or blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph mph and visibilities less than a 1/4 mile for at least 3 hours which we did not have. Actually The National Weather Service admitted that the storm would not have blizzard conditions but held back from lifting Blizzard warnings.
Maybe next time go to your nearest DQ to feel the cold and sensation on what a true Blizzard should be.

The Many Faces of March

As the sun moves higher in the sky and towards spring the atmosphere gets much more turbulent as mixing of cold and warm air becomes more apparent. Last weeks 70’s becomes this past weekends single digits with destructive wind gusts over 50 mph and wind chills in the minus teens. As we transition into the week there will be a few days in 50’s and 60’s but it will come to an abrupt end as snow will be in the forecast for Friday, Sunday and possibly next Tuesday. Any St Patricks Day Parades may be in jeopardy this weekend. Mother Nature is making up for near record warmth this past January and February. Remember February had a couple of days in the 70’s and there was a violent tornado near Greenfield, Massachusetts. First ever recored tornado for February.
Keep the warm apparel and shovels nearby for the next week or so.
Remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour this Saturday night as daylight savings time officially begins giving all more evening sunlight. Finally.

Third big storm in six days a near miss

The low pressure train continue to have eyes on New England. The latest series of storms will just miss southern New England and eventually wind up like a top off the coast of Maine tonight with near blizzard conditions. Being on the back side of the low pressure area Connecticut will luckily only see gusty northwest winds later tonight and tomorrow. Temperatures will be near seasonal levels for the next couple days. A warming trend will start this weekend but will be short lived as winter returns for last 10 days of February continuing into March. Stay tuned.

Lions, Tigers & “Bombogenesis” oh my!

Did you see it? Did you hear it? And did you feel it? We had a rare and unique weather experience today as a Nor’easter really got cranking off shore. This storm “bombed” out as a cyclone bomb called Bombogenesis a word used by meteorologists in the northeast. Without getting too technical Bombogenesis is described in an extreme drop in pressure 24 millibars in 24 hours. These rapidly strengthening storms occur when a large temperature gradient is formed between a cold continental mass of air and warm sea surface temperatures. These air masses mix and form what’s called an “extratropical cyclone with cold air at its core deriving energy from the mixing of hot and cold air masses around it. The exchange of energy creates a summer like environment of lightning and thunder that’s colorful and loud. So, experience this rare event as 10-16 inches of dry snow pour down on us today.
How to prepare for a Bombogenesis? Stock up and stay warm, throw another log on the fire and keep off the roads. This is one cold punch of powder best experienced from behind a window.

A Water Crisis For The Ages

West central Connecticut continues to be in a very serious drought situation with historic low levels of water in city and town reservoirs. Pictured above is Wasel Reservoir in Southington owned by the city of New Britain and the water levels are startling low as you can see. Rainfall has been below normal for the last three years with last year at only 31 inches when the normal rainfall should be around 46 inches. The last time there was such a severe drought in Connecticut was in the middle 1960’s, fifty years ago. Droughts like the one we’re experiencing now is cyclical and will continue for at least the next six months. It will take two years to get our local reservoir to capacity under normal conditions. The city of New Britain is purchasing water daily from The Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford to push water levels up close to 50%. Since December 1st, 5 millions gallons of untreated water are pumped daily from the MDC into New Britain’s water supply and will continue until the end of this month. So please be conscientious with your daily water usage so we can soon end this historic drought.