April, 2012

Rainfall Forecast Sunday-Monday

April 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 am by under News, Weather

Here in the 22News Storm Team Forecast center we have many computers that each serve a purpose. One of our computers is in charge of computing and creating weather forecast models. When you see our skycast…that’s a computer model graphic created right here in the forecast center.

The same computer models can also forecast wind speed, snow totals and rainfall amounts.

Here the our latest in-house computer model run forecast for total rainfall from Sunday afternoon through Monday at noon. Remember…it is a FORECAST, but it agrees with our general belief for between 1.5″ and 3″ of rainfall around Western Massachusetts. As you can see, we’re expecting the highest rainfall totals to be on the eastern slopes of the Berkshires.

We’d love to get your rainfall totals…e-mail them to reportit@wwlp.com or use the 22News mobile app and click the “Report-it” button.

“The Lucky One”

April 22nd, 2012 at 11:45 am by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 45 minutes

Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner

True love doesn’t come easily on the Louisiana Bayou for single mom Taylor Schilling in “The Lucky One”. Until, of course, handsome drifter Zach Efron sweeps her off her feet. “The Lucky One” runs out of luck when the unconvincing love story becomes too predictable. Efron, who hasn’t been with a woman since coming back from Afghanistan, puts Schilling up on a pedestal.

The picture only gets better when granny Blythe Danner sprinkles some crusty humor on this otherwise drab romance. And the lovely Louisiana scenery gives the picture a panoramic brilliance, but Efron’s too busy feeding his obsession with Taylor’s bully of an overly possessive ex-husband.

Those sultry southern nights have a way of pushing PG-13 to the brink of an R-rating, but not quite.

Schilling’s ex sees Efron standing in the way of his favorite pastime of harassing his former wife. But Efron’s not afraid of combat and tells the bully boy, he’s known guys like him his entire life.

We’ve seen too many shallow love stories which lack any emotional punch. “The Lucky One” comes up short with just 2 stars. If you’re lucky, you’ll talk your date out of seeing this lackluster love story.

Finally A Rain Storm, It Has Been A While!

April 21st, 2012 at 9:07 pm by under News, Weather

We all know how dry it has been and finally there is some significant rain in the forecast. But do you remember the last time we had a significant rain storm?

Well you have to go back 3 months ago to January. On the 12th and 13th that was the last time we picked up almost an inch of rain here in Western Massachusetts.

At Westover in Chicopee we picked up .78″ of rain. At Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT they had .99″ of rain.; 1.59″ fell in Providence, RI ; 1.15″ fell in Worcester;  and 0.97″ was reported at Boston.

The last time we had over an inch of rain here in Western Massachusetts was last year back on November 22 and 23, 2011. We picked up a total of 1.58″ of rain from that storm.

With the rain that’s on the way we could pick up 2 to 4″ of rain and we need it.

“October Baby”

April 21st, 2012 at 12:02 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 35 minutes

Starring: Rachel Hendrix. John Schneider

At first glace, “October Baby” looks like your average teenage adventure of self-discovery, except that 19 year old Hannah has a lot to learn about her lost mother, who gave her up for adoption after Hannah survived a botched abortion.

You can understand why this young women’s so conflicted.

Newcomer Rachel Hendrix makes an impressive debut in this heartfelt family drama that’s noted for its strong religious point of view. “October Baby” may lack the polish of a slick Hollywood production, but its sincerity comes through every scene. Especially when Hannah’s adoptive mom’s got a confession to make about Hannah’s biological mother.

Sure, it’s a heart tugging tear jerker but in a good way. And if you’ve wondered what’s become of John Schneider since “The Dukes of Hazzard”, wonder no more.

Schneider gives a compelling performance as Hannah’s overly concerned adoptive father. You’ll discover “October Baby” is a fine film filled with caring and compassion. It’s no wonder “October Baby” gets the Becker seal of approval with 3 stars. It’s a picture that brings out your sensitivity as well as your good taste in movies.



Local delegates to Democratic Nat’l Convention to be selected

April 20th, 2012 at 4:28 pm by under Politics

Democrats from the 1st  Congressional District will meet on Saturday, April 21st to select delegates to the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Four male and four female delegates and an alternate will be chosen.

The caucus will be held  at Springfield College at 1 p.m, in the Judd Gymnasium.

Registered party members are eligible to vote.

Congressman Richard Neal will Chair the event.

According to Candy Glazer, the Chair of the Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee, 27 people are running to become delegates.

The Democratic National Convention will be held September 3-6 in Charlotte, where President Barack Obama will be renominated.

Romney begins search for VP candidate

April 17th, 2012 at 1:30 pm by under Politics

Mitt Romney has started his search for a running mate.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has named Beth Myers to oversee the selection process and vetting for a vice presidential candidate.

Myers served as chief of staff for Romney while he was governor here in Massachusetts.   She is currently a senior adviser for his presidential campaign.

Potential vice presidential running mates go thru an extensive screening…providing  reams of information about themselves, including financial.

Although the Republican convention in Tampa isn’t until August, the search for a running mate starts early. 

Yet the presidential candidates usually don’t announce  their choice until just before their party’s convention.

Myths and Misconceptions

April 17th, 2012 at 11:18 am by under Weather

Obviously, 2011 was a very active tornado year!  Tornadoes tend to be a hot topic in the spring and summer seasons!  Since we’ve already seen a couple outbreaks this month, I thought I would debunk some tornado myths and misconceptions.

But, before I run through the laundry list, just know that no place in the US is completely safe from tornadoes.  Every single state has documented at least ONE twister..yes, even Alaska!  Of course, tornadoes are more likely to occur in the Plain states on a hot and humid afternoon, but a tornado can occur at any time of day, any day of the year!  If you want to be completely safe from the threat of tornadoes..well..you’d have to move to Antarctica!

Myth #1 – “If a tornado is approaching, you should open all the windows in your house to equalize the pressure.”

Opening your windows will not keep your roof from blowing off, nor will it keep debris from crashing into your house – so don’t waste your time!  Your time will be better spent getting away from windows and finding a safe place until the storm passes.

Myth #2 – “Tornadoes never strike big cities.”

Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Miami, Salt Lake City, and New York City..all these big cities have been hit by at least one tornado!  Closer to home – anyone in Springfield or Worcester want to stand up and argue with this statement??

Myth #3 – “Some towns are protected.”

The idea of towns being “protected” is a combination of wishful thinking and rarity of tornadoes.  Rivers, hills, and valleys have little to no effect on mature tornadoes.  Tornadoes have crossed major rivers like the Mississippi and Missouri.  ..And, ahem, the Connecticut River..

Myth #4 – “Tornadoes don’t happen in the mountains.”

It’s not often you hear about twisters in the mountains, but it can happen!  Tornadoes have passed over mountain ridges 3,000 feet high.  Damage from an F-3 tornado was documented above 10,000 feet!

Myth #5 – “Hiding under a highway overpass will protect you from a tornado.”

A highway overpass can actually act as a wind tunnel and may collect flying debris!  An informal survey of storm chasers showed 9 out of 10, felt highway overpasses were an extremely dangerous place to be during a tornado.  You’re better off abandoning your car, getting into a ditch or culvert, and covering your head.

Myth #6 – “You can outrun a tornado in your car.”

You could probably outrun a tornado by concorde, but not by car!  Twisters can move at speeds over 70 MPH and can change directions erratically without warning.  You’re better off abandoning your car and seeking a sturdy shelter.

Myth #7 – “Mobile home parks are tornado magnets.”

It probably seems that way, but only because there are tens of thousands of mobile home parks in Tornado Alley..they’re bound to be in a tornado’s path at some point!  Mobile homes offer little to no protection against even the weakest tornadoes.

Myth #8 – “Bigger tornadoes are more dangerous than small ones.”

While the large wedge tornadoes can cause more damage just by sheer size, a skinny rope tornado can be among the strongest.  The speed  of the wind makes the twister stronger, not the area it covers.

Myth #9 – “The southwest corner of your home is the safest location during a tornado.”

The part of the home towards the approaching tornado (often, but not always southwest) is the least safe part of the basement, not the safest!  Any part of your home can be damaged from a tornado!  The southwest corner certainly won’t make a difference if your house is ripped off its foundation!

Misconception #10 – Contrary to popular belief, I (as a meteorologist) don’t control the weather!

Trust me, you wouldn’t want me controlling the weather anyway..if I did, it would be sunny, warm, and humid everyday!

While I’ve given you a pile of tornado myths, here’s an interesting fact:  Before the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meteorologists used the Fujita Tornado Damage Intensity Scale which actually went up to F-12!!!!  The F-12 level only began at winds speeds exceeding Mach 1 (738 MPH at -3 degrees Celsius)..with that said, the probability of a tornado having winds of this speed is infinitesimally small.  Now, we use the Enhanced Fujita Scale and the highest is an EF-5 (winds over 200 MPH).

-Meteorologist Ashley Baylor..hoping for a tornado-free summer!

New Record High Temperature Recorded

April 16th, 2012 at 8:30 pm by under Weather

We did it! The official numbers are in from the Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee and we have broken the previous high temperature record for April 16th. The old record high of 91 degrees was set back in 2002, 10 years later we have broken that record. This year we reached 92 degrees, making this the 9th high temperature record we’ve broken so far in 2012.

Also interesting is that 92 degrees is the warmest temperature ever recorded at the Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee so early in the year. That means that we’ve never been warmer than 91 degrees from January 1st through April 16th…until NOW!

Forget the April Showers..

April 16th, 2012 at 8:49 am by under Weather

..the April tornadoes are a bigger problem.

April and May tend to be very active months for severe weather, primarily across the Midwest and Southeast.  I think we all remember April 2011 – it was the most active tornado month on record with 758 confirmed tornadoes which left 364 people dead.  The previous record was May 2004 with 542 twisters.  For the month of April, we typically see 161 tornadoes across the US.

The largest tornado outbreak ever recorded occured from April 25th-28th, 2011.  Over this 3-day period, 358 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in 21 states from Texas to New York..even isolated twisters popped up in Canada!  In total, 346 people were killed as a result of this outbreak, not only by the tornadoes, but straight-line winds, hail, flash flooding, and lightning as well.

April 27th was one of the most deadliest and destructive days – 208 tornadoes touched down that day, four tornadoes were actually rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale packing winds over 200 MPH!!  316 people died that day.

Now, it’s April 16th, 2012 and the US has already seen it’s fair share of tornadoes.

I’m sure you remember those twisters that touched down in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas on April 3rd.  Remember that amazing video of a tornado tossing tractor trailors hundereds of feet in the air??  There were 17 confirmed tornadoes that day.

Another outbreak occured over the weekend – there were 135 tornadoes reported across Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa on Saturday.  Another 12 tornadoes were reported in Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas on Sunday.  It’ll be up to the storm surveyors to go out this week and determine how many tornadoes actually touched down between those two days.

..and the month isn’t over yet..we’ll see what the rest of April holds.  ..and May, June, July, August..

-Meteorologist Ashley Baylor

Fire Danger Remains High And No River Flooding This Spring

April 15th, 2012 at 8:24 pm by under News, Weather

It’s not unusual for us to see brush fires this time of year but what is unusual is the lack of rain we’ve seen this month.

In 2011 during the month of April we picked up almost 5 inches of rain. We’re now half way through the month and we’ve only seen .21″ of rain. Usually this time of year we are contending with flooding along the Connecticut River and brush fires.

In fact in my 16 years here at 22News I don’t remember a year that we didn’t have Flood Warnings issued for the Connecticut River.  This year due to the lack of snow melt from up north and the lack of rain, flooding never occurred.

And with the very dry conditions and with gusty winds in the forecast a Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Monday. It will likely be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning.

This means that the fire danger will be high and any fires that start can spread quickly due to the dry and breezy conditions. Outdoor burning is not recommended and you need to be sure to properly dispose of any smoking materials.

Hopefully we’ll finally get some much needed rainfall towards next weekend.