Weather

Some Of Our Longest Heat Waves

July 21st, 2013 at 9:19 pm by under Weather

sunOn Saturday we made it to 92 degrees,  it was the 7th and final day of our latest heat wave. 

The last time we had a heat wave that lasted that long was 11 years ago. In August of 2002 we had a 9 day heat wave with temperatures of 90 degrees or higher from August 11th through August 19th.

An official heat wave here in New England occurs when we reach 90 degrees or higher for three or more days in a row. On average we get about two to four heat waves a summer. Most of them tend to last about 3 to 4 days but some have been longer.

In July of 2010 we had a 6 day heat wave from July 4th through July 9th and back in 1999 we had a 6 day heat wave from July 28th through August 1st.


Festivals & Fireworks for the Week of The 4th!

June 29th, 2013 at 10:40 am by under Weather

The fireworks have already been launched in some towns, as we launch into 4th of July week.  Here’s a listing of western Massachusetts fireworks displays and festivals on wwlp.com.    Take note of the rain dates on some of theses events.  While I don’t expect much nocturnal rain this upcoming week; we’ll let you know if an event is postponed due to weather.

Also, before you head out onto or into the Connecticut River, keep in mind that recent rain has most rivers and streams running high and fast.   Strong current and debris (floating and underwater) will make boating challenging.  You can get updated information on Ct. River water quality from the Pioneer Planning Commission.  They have a great website with frequently updated bacteria levels, up and donw the Pioneer Valley.


Remembering The Worcester Tornado 60 Years Ago

June 8th, 2013 at 9:03 pm by under Weather

One of the worst tornadoes ever to touch down in New England occurred 60 years ago on June 9, 1953.

It’s known as the Worcester Tornado and it first touched down near the small town of Petersham, just northeast of the Quabbin Reservoir at 4:25 p.m.

It continued its path of destruction through Worcester County before turning just west of Worcester in the town of Holden.
WorcesterTornadoPath

The tornado then began tearing up northern sections of the city of Worcester as an F4 or possibly even F5 tornado. 

Winds were estimated at over 250 mph as the path neared one mile in diameter.

Assumption College took a direct hit with some of the brick buildings on the campus being leveled.

The tornado continued eastward, and finally dissipated just west of Framingham.

The Worcester Tornado was on the ground for 84 minutes and left a 46 mile path of destruction. 

94 people died Tornadoand over 1,000 people were injured.  4,000 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed. 

The damage in 1953 dollars was a reported at around $52 million.

Debris carried by the storm was found as far away as the Outer Cape. 

The first warning for the tornado did not come until 5:45 p.m. by then it was too late and the tornado had dissipated.

 


River Tracking Resources

June 7th, 2013 at 8:25 pm by under Weather

With 2-4 inches of rain on the way, flooding is a concern this weekend in western Massachusetts.  There are a couple of excellent websites where you can track the current and forecast levels of rivers here in western Massachusetts.

1.  The Northeast River Forecast Center:  This map shows current and forecast levels for many of our major rivers in western Massachusetts.
2.  US Army Corps of Engineers:  Shows current and past level and flow of several western Massachusetts rivers.  This website also shows levels of flood control reservoirs. 

Keep in mind that even after it stops raining, rivers will continue to rise.  In fact, some will continue to rise into Sunday.  Rivers and streams will be running dangerously high and fast this weekend.


Funnel cloud or not?

June 3rd, 2013 at 11:10 am by under Weather
Courtesy: April

Courtesy: April

Since the June 1st tornado and more recently since horrific devastation in Oklahoma…more and more of you are playing an active role in observing the weather around you and sending pictures or information into the 22News Team.Often your reports include pictures, video or descriptions of what you see. From time to time you might tell us you’ve spotted a funnel cloud, tornado or even sent us pictures like the ones here from the storms on June 2nd 2013.

Photos: Severe Thunderstorms in Western Mass. June 2, 2013

 

 

Courtesy: Ania

Courtesy: Ania

You might assume that based on the upsidedown shape that these pictures are of funnel clouds, but don’t be so sure. In order for a cloud to be considered a “funnel cloud” you need a rotating condensation funnel that is in contact with the cumulus clouds above (known in a thunderstorm as a wall cloud). Rotation is key…if a cloud is not rotating (even though it is moving), it may be considered a “scud” cloud or just a low hanging appendage of the main cloud above. To be clear, it’s almost impossible to tell based on cloud pictures alone whether these were funnel clouds or not without seeing rotation.

Once you’ve determined that there is tight rotation in that cloud then you have to figure out if that cloud is a funnel cloud or a tornado.

A tornado is clear when you have a condensation funnel cloud that is in contact with the ground OR a rotating condensation funnel causing debris or dust to spin up on the ground below it. Even if you don’t see the cloud touching the ground in some cases…if there’s debris flying just below it then it’s a tornado.


Tornado Climatology

May 20th, 2013 at 9:17 pm by under Weather

Take a look at this map.  As you can see, climatology shows us Oklahoma is in the heart of tornado season right now.  The collision of cold air from northern North America and warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and other parts of southern North America can have tragic results.


Sun Halo Seen In The Skies Over WMass

May 18th, 2013 at 9:13 pm by under Weather

If you saw what you thought looked like a rainbow around the sun Saturday afternoon you weren’t alone. 22News received numerous calls and e-mails from people who saw it.
sunhalo

It’s actually what is known as a  sun halo or sometimes called an  icebow.

It’s created when light is  reflected and  refracted by the  ice crystals in the clouds.

The light splits up into different colors forming a ring around the sun.

 


Tornado Confirmed in Eastern Massachusetts, May 9

May 10th, 2013 at 2:52 pm by under Weather

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA

1100 AM EDT FRI MAY 10 2013

…PRELIMINARY STORM SURVEY RESULTS INDICATE AN EF0 TORNADO OCCURRED

IN STOUGHTON MA THURSDAY, May 9th…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN TAUNTON MA CONDUCTED A STORM

SURVEY THIS MORNING IN STOUGHTON MA IN NORFOLK COUNTY. RESULTS OF

THE SURVEY INDICATE A HIGH END EF0 TORNADO MOVED THROUGH STOUGHTON

MA ON WASHINGTON STREET THURSDAY AFTERNOON APPROXIMATELY 433 PM.

ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE AN EF0 TORNADO HAS WIND SPEEDS THAT

RANGE FROM 65 TO 85 MPH. MORE SPECIFIC DETAILS WILL BE ISSUED BY

EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.

IT WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE…WHICH CAN BE FOUND AT

WEATHER.GOV/BOX.

$$

NOCERA

Here’s amateur video of a funnel cloud in Stoughton, from Thursday.


May 6 Is Melanoma Monday!

May 6th, 2013 at 2:47 pm by under News, Weather

It’s Melanoma Monday!  A day set aside by the American Academy of Dermatology, to raise awareness of Melanoma, and how to prevent it.  The most important thing to keep in mind s that there is no such thing as a “healthy” tan.  Sunscreen & sunblock are essential to skin health.  The American Academy of Dermatoligists has a great Melonoma awareness page.  The Melanoma Foundation of New England is also a great resource.  Melanoma survivor Meghan Rothschild (a Pioneer Valley local!) has a great web site, www.survingskin.org.  Protect your skin this summer, and all year long!


Tornado safety: Where to hide?

May 4th, 2013 at 10:56 am by under Weather

Since 2011, we all know that tornados are a real possibility here in western Massachusetts, and with severe weather season getting closer, it’s a good time to start thinking about  tornado safety.

Infographic: Tornado safety

So, if a tornado approaches, where is the best place to hide? The answer depends on where you are, but generally, if you are in a building, the lower you are and farther away from windows, the better. This means getting in a basement if you have one. Otherwise, an interior room, bathroom, or closet is best.

Ray Harris of Springfield used to live in Florida, and has had to deal with many tornado warnings.

“They gave you warnings, told you to stay in a safe place with no windows, boarded up or whatever you have to do, keep water, things like that,” Harris said.

Once you have found a safe location, you should crouch down on your knees and cover the back of your head with your hands and cover your body with a blanket or a mattress.

If you’re in a mobile home, in a car, or outside, head for sturdy shelter. If none is available, head for somewhere low, like a ditch.

Once a tornado passes, watch out for debris, glass, and other hazards, and remember the 22News storm team will keep you informed ahead of any severe weather.