Some humor tonight

What I’m about to say is true about a conversation I had tonight with my sister who lives in Atlanta. Of course being my older sister she was checking up on me worrying about the impending blizzard she was seeing all over the news.  So here it goes… She went out to a local super market there in Atlanta “Publix” to pick up a few groceries and was bewildered that the shelves were emptied out of everything. There was no bread, no milk, no essentials! So what gives. If you didn’t know…. The Weather Channel is headquartered there in Atlanta and all the hype from this blizzard reverberated down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains to the core of the southern states. Very interesting considering I walked into a BJ’s Warehouse today and found the shelves fully stocked. Picture this crazy thought I had… Remember just a thought…. Can you imagine a family from Atlanta stuffing their faces in front of a TV watching The Weather Channel tonight and a conversation takes place like this, “hey honey, pass the Doritos and wings, hey look at this poor guy shoveling 3 feet of snow in front of his garage, honey, this family is burning their furniture in the street to stay warm, they lost their heat”. Let’s hope this does not happen… But I’m trying to get a point across to you about how the word that this storm was going to be a nationwide event. Can you say January thaw?

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Snow factory in motion

For the first time this winter season there’s confidence that a significant snow maker will whiten hills and valleys of southern New England. The jet stream usually has a split personality to it in the winter months with a northern branch and southern branch. When they merge a winter storm takes shape, and if there’s enough cold air in place and the storm tracks just to our east a period of steady snow will break out. The right ingredients are in place for this to happen on Saturday. We will not need a yard stick but only a ruler to measure the final snow accumulation Saturday night, but this event could be just the start in a series of potent storms down the road. Thank “El Niño” partially for this reconfiguration of our weather pattern.


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Slip, sliding away…Why is ice slippery?

Yesterday was one miserable day with ice adhering to everything making walking and traveling treacherous. So why is ice slippery? A century and a half of scientific inquiry has yet to solve this one. It’s clear that a thin layer of liquid water on top of solid ice causes the slipperiness. But there’s consensus as to why ice, unlike most other solids has such a layer.

Some studies suggest that friction from a moving shoe, skate or tire causes the heat necessary to melt the ice beneath it. But what if the shoe isn’t moving at all? A second theory proposes that ice inherently has a fluid layer caused by the motion of surface molecules that have nothing above to bind to and so move around in search of stability. The slippery culprit may be a combination of these two theories.

Enough for our science class. With all the technological breakthroughs in fighting cancer, landing on the the moon and Mars, communication technology, understanding the molecular composition to fight diseases and wars, we cannot figure out why ice is slippery? Maybe it’s best. Keep nature simple.

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Mid winter has passed

Meteorologically speaking winter has passed through it’s midpoint on January 15th. December 1st – March 1st are the true winter months in the eyes of meteorologists. Here we are entering the second phase of this season and so far so good with little snow to report and the occasional invasion of arctic cold. December was quite mild averaging 4 degrees above normal, while January so far has been 4 degrees below normal. Snowfall hasn’t made an impact with less than 10 inches in total dating back to November. We should be near 20 inches to date. So, what’s the second half of this winter going to offer us? Right now it looks like there will be continuous shots of arctic cold with just a chance of some snow showers and light snow for the next couple of weeks. February could change as the overall weather pattern will reconfigure allowing the snow factory to open up and finally get going to give us our first significant winter storm. Stay tuned.

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A blue Monday

As we come off a cold and dry weekend, you may have noticed that the sun was obscured by clouds all day making today’s actual high of 29 feel colder. The clouds will tend to thicken overnight with a wintry mix of snow and sleet breaking out over the area for the Monday morning commute (deja vu this past Friday am commute) which will quickly change to freezing rain. The ground and surfaces are very cold so some icing conditions will be an issue. The freezing rain may have trouble turning to all rain in many Connecticut valleys as the cold, dense air will be difficult to displace by warmer air above trying to move in from the southwest. Rain and ice will change back to snow briefly Monday evening as cold spills back in. The rest of the week will be dry and colder than normal.


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