Lightning Safety Tips

May 4th, 2013 at 10:53 am by under Weather

If you can hear thunder, you’re close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning.

The  safest place to be in a thunderstorm is inside a sturdy building that is enclosed by walls and covered by a ceiling. Once inside during a thunderstorm, the  National Weather Service recommends avoiding contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, or any type of plumbing.

You are also best staying away from windows, doorways, and porches.

Being outside, particularly in an open space like a golf course, puts you at increased risk of a lightning strike during a storm. Tony Strycharz of Oak Ridge Golf Club in Feeding Hills told 22News that they have been fortunate not to have had a human lightning strike incident.

“We’ve been lucky that it’s never hit a person, but we have got some trees that have been hit with lightning and they’ve split down the middle, so we had to clean that up, which wasn’t fun,” Strycharz said.

At Oak Ridge, they sound a horn and check that all golfers are inside during a thunderstorm.

If you’re stuck outside with no place to shelter, you want to get low to the ground and avoid being near tall objects like trees, which are more likely to be struck.

When not in a building you are most likely safe from lightning in a enclosed car. Just don’t lean on the doors as the car’s metal, not the rubber tires, are what protects you from the electricity.

Watch vs. Warning. What’s the difference?

May 4th, 2013 at 10:52 am by under Weather

We get the majority of severe weather in western Massachusetts during the late spring and into the summer, so now is the perfect time to prepare, and understand the difference between a watch or warning that can be issued for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.

A “watch” is more of a caution that severe weather could potentially come within the next few hours.  A watch for tornadoes or severe thunderstorms means you should have a weather safety plan in mind should the weather get worse.

Keeping an eye on 22News on air, online, or on social media is a good way to be aware of bad weather. Anthony Gragowski of Springfield says that he keeps on top of the situation during severe weather.

“We do kind of have a family plan and we also rely on other family members as well. But I’m usually into social media, so I pay attention to all the warnings and alerts and watches as well,” Gragowski said.

If a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued for your area, then conditions are much more serious. A “ warning” means dangerous weather is imminent or already occurring, and you should head inside, away from windows immediately.

For a thunderstorm to be severe, it must contain either hail of at least one inch in diameter or wind gusts over 58 mph.

Of course this spring and summer, the  22News Storm Team will keep you safe and let you know of any watches or warnings.

International Space Station Visible Thursday Night!

April 25th, 2013 at 7:03 pm by under News, Weather

Whoa! I almost missed this! You can see the International Space Station TONIGHT (Thursday) over western Massachusetts. At 8:06pm look to the West/Northwest. The ISS will cross the sky to the South/Southeast for 4 minutes!!!  (Thanks to  National Weather Service Boston MA for the heads up!).  CLICK HERE for details on when and where  to look.

SkyWarn Training THIS WEEK In Greenfield

April 24th, 2013 at 9:25 pm by under Community, Weather

It’s the season for severe weather! That’s why we need your help in spotting severe storms. The National Weather Service SkyWarn program is a network of trained storm spotters. This is a very important part of the severe weather tracking process.
If you’re interested in becoming a SkyWarn Spotter, you must attend a SkyWarn training session. These sessions are educational, entertaining and at times, very funny! There are two opportunities to attend SkyWarn training this year in western Massachusetts. The first is on May 1st in Greenfield, at the Greenfield Transportation Center. The second is on May 9th at the Heath Community Center. CLICK HERE for detailed information on the SkyWarn training dates, times & locations.

Midwest Severe Weather Possible Wednesday

April 16th, 2013 at 10:02 pm by under Weather

It’s that time of year when we watch for severe thunderstorms…not necessarily here in Western Massachusetts just yet…but the Midwest is usually on high alert for bad weather during these warming spring months.On Wednesday we anticipate the potential for some very damaging storms with hail, winds and even tornadoes in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas where they are under a “moderate” or strong risk for severe weather for Wednesday. (as of Tuesday night)

While we don’t anticipate severe weather here in western Massachusetts in the near future, it’s worth keeping an eye to the Midwest to follow the potentially dangerous storms they could see there.SPC: Severe Risk for Wednesday April 17th, 2013

SPC: Severe Risk for Wednesday April 17th, 2013


High Brush Fire Danger

April 6th, 2013 at 8:52 pm by under Weather

While many of us are happy the snow is pretty much all gone and the weather is finally warming up that leads to another problem we typically see this time of year, brush fires.


Right now the air we have is very dry. Relative humidities have been less than 20 percent.

That along with gusty winds, a lack of leaves on the trees and storm debris leftover from the October Snowstorm of 2011 and the 2011 June 1st Tornado, all help to create the perfect conditions for brush fires.

And when the winds are gusty those brush fires can get out of control and spread very quickly.

Even though this is burning season you should refrain from burning on days when the fire danger is high. Several western Massachusetts cities and towns do not allow burning at all.  If yours does allow you to burn and you’ve obtained a permit, check with your fire department on the day you plan to burn. If the fire danger is high they may not allow you to burn.

Also if you smoke make sure you properly dispose of all smoking materials. Do not throw your cigarette butts out the car window. I was driving home from work the other day and the woman in the car in front of me kept flicking her cigarette butts out the car window even hitting my car.

Right now all it takes is a spark or ember for a brush fire to start.

Once we get some rain, the leaves get on the trees and it gets more humid the fire threat will diminish.

WWLP Celebrates 60 Years On The Air

March 16th, 2013 at 8:41 pm by under Weather

Sunday, March 17th, 2013 is not only St. Patrick’s Day it also marks 60 years that WWLP has been on the air. WWLP first went on the air back on March 17, 1953 and John Quill, the station’s very first meteorologist delivered his first weather forecast.

John Quill remained on the air at WWLP for 47 years before retiring in 2000.  Of course, I like many grew up watching John Quill deliver the weather here on 22News. He inspired me at a young age and I learned a lot about weather by watching his forecasts.

I had the honor and priviledge to work with John from 1996 right through 2000.




Snowstorm Hits Eastern Part Of The State

February 17th, 2013 at 9:31 pm by under Weather

We saw a little snow Friday night into Saturday morning across western Massachusetts but that was about it for us this weekend.

However, Saturday night into Sunday afternoon a strong ocean storm brought heavy snow to parts of eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and Rhode Island.

That same storm is responsible for the gusty winds and cold air that has moved in. Fortunatley we saw virtually no snow from this storm even though it wasn’t all that far away. Here is a look at how much snow fell just off to our east.

Brewster, MA: 6.3″
Hyannis, MA: 5.0″
South Sagmore, MA: 3.0″
Nantucket, MA: 2.5″
New Bedford, MA: 5.0″
Hanson, MA: 4.0″
Taunton, MA: 4.0″
Westerly, RI: 4.0″
West Warwick, RI: 4.0″
Acushnet, MA: 4.0″
Mattapoisett, MA: 4.0″
South Yarmouth, MA: 4.0″
Hingham, MA: 4.0″
East Walpole, MA: 4.0″
Franklin, MA: 3.9″
Sherborn, MA: 3.5″
Mansfield, MA: 3.5″
Warwick, RI: 3.5″
Scituate, RI: 3.3″
Walpole, MA: 3.0″
Coventry, RI: 3.0″
Bristol, RI: 3.0″
Warwick, RI: 3.0″
East Braintree, MA: 3.0″
East Killingly, CT: 3.0″
Pembroke, MA: 2.8″
Hanson, MA: 2.8″
Millis, MA: 2.4″
Hopkinton, MA: 2.0″
Nantucket, MA: 1.5″
Ashford, CT: 1.0″

That’s all folks…

February 9th, 2013 at 12:46 pm by under Weather

Well our February Nor’Easter is done and dusted and I’ve even had some reports of some hints of sunshine out there!

The storm is done and flurries are all but over. Overnight snowfall accumulations ranged from 1-2 feet with high snow drifts to top it off. Here’s a link to our snowfall totals.

We’ll be tracking some chances for sunshine this afternoon, but be ready for tonight. One of the coldest nights of the past few weeks is on the way.

For all of you who have helped complete our coverage by sending in pictures, video, snowfall reports, tweets, facebook posts and e-mails. We thank you. We continue to try and improve our coverage from storm to storm and we hope we did you justice with our coverage this time.

If you have anything you’d like to see us incorporate for the next storm send an e-mail to

Thanks for the whole team!


Oh what a night…and morning

February 9th, 2013 at 5:29 am by under Weather

Snow will slowly be tapering today, but that won’t help you get out of your home this morning.

For the first time in almost 3 years I walked to work this morning and it’s incredible how much snow fell overnight. Majority of the snowfall totals range between 1-2 feet with some higher amounts.

Snow drifts range from 2-5 feet and I’ve heard stories from our very dedicated crew here at 22news (most of which slept the night here) that even snow plows were getting stuck.

Please send snowfall reports to

Here are some pictures I took this morning.