All of a sudden it’s that time of year again. Hard to believe that another summer has come and gone. And now it’s time for the cold-weather season.
There’s been plenty of talk about La Nina coming back, but that’s just one of several factors that goes into our Wintercast. This year’s hurricane season, [...]
Here’s the latest from NOAA:
Synopsis:Â La NiÃ±a conditions have returned and are expected to gradually strengthen and continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011-12.
La NiÃ±a conditions returned in August 2011 due to the strengthening of negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. [...]
Nice Day... But Still Chilly!
It’s amazing how a little sunshine can make things a little better (or sometimes a lot better).Â Today is a prime example of that and hopefully there are more days like this in the pipe (only a little warmer, or maybe a lot warmer).Â Either way, we need days like these to keep the winter blues at bay.
Yes, that’s right… I said ‘The Winter Blues.’
There really is such a thing but they go by a different name.Â On their Weather Whys website, Texas A&M notes that the technical name is ‘seasonal affective disorder,’ or SAD, and it stems from long winter months and a distinct lack of sunlight.
They continue to explain that each year there are between 2 and 5 million cases of ‘The Winter Blues’ in North America.Â I have got to wonder how many cases there are in an area like Russia!Â The article does mention that the number of SAD cases in Canada is twice the number that we see in the United States.Â That leads me to believe that Russia’s number is probably off the charts… or they’re just plain used to it. (Read More)
I love the fact that people are blaming Punxsutawney Phil for the double-dose of winter weather that’s moving into the Alleghenies tonight and again tomorrow night.Â As expected, we’re not quite done with winter just yet.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect over the next couple of days:
Sunday Night: Warmer air will try to infiltrate the area from the south.Â Our northern tier counties will likely stay as snow while the counties south of I-80 will likely see a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and even rain farther south.Â This will taper overnight. – CHECK – There was 3 to 4 inches of slushy snow in Centre County this morning with 7 inches in Ridgway!
Monday: Expect periods of mixed showers with areas north seeing the best bet for snow and the areas south seeing the best chance for rain.Â In between, anything that falls could be rain or snow.
Monday Evening: The next round of heavier precip moves in and will likely bring more snow than anything else.Â At this point (Sunday night), it looks like the divider line between snow and mix could be around Route 22.Â That could change.Â Areas north of that could see a significant snowfall.Â Areas south will likely see the mix change to snow with some ice mixed in.Â This would keep accumulations lower there.Â Update: This may not have been completely clear.Â I didn’t mention it but the snow will not be as heavy north of I-80. This is the part of the forecast with the most uncertainty. (Read More)
How Many Of These?
I was working on my last blog post about no two snowflakes being alike when I found myself thinking… “How many snowflakes are there?”
It’s one of those questions that you really cannot answer on your own, unless you are a cloud physicist.Â That’s why Cindy Stauffer of the lancasteronline.com went to find one.Â She didn’t have to go far to get her answer.Â After starting at Millersville University and talking to a meteorologist, she was referred to the cloud physicist at Penn State University.
After doing lots of mathematical formulas, they determined that there are 5.2 quintillion snowflakes in a 5-inch snow over 2,000 square miles.
Break that down to 1.04 quintillion snowflakes in one inch of snow over 2,000 square miles.
Break it down further to 5.2 x 10^14 snowflakes in one inch of snow over one square mile.
That’s all well and good but think about our snow in Johnstown so far this winter… 83.0 inches.Â Let’s assume that’s the average for Cambria County, which is about 20 miles wide by 35 miles north and south (700 square miles).
With those assumptions, Cambria County has seen… (Read More)
You’ve heard that before, right…Â the statement “no two snowflakes are alike?”Â Well, I have a hard time believing that with how many snowflakes we’ve seen this year.
According to Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, that’s the truth.
Bentley was a farmer who grew up in a town called Jericho.Â It’s a small town in Vermont.
Bentley became the first person to photograph a single snowflake.Â From there, he photographed more and after taking pictures of over 5,000 flakes, he determined that no two snowflakes are alike.Â In 1925, here’s what he said about snowflakes…
Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.
Continue reading for pictures… (Read More)
My car takes a beating.Â Driving back and forth from Pittsburgh to Johnstown and back each week takes its toll on my car.Â Even though the weather is far worse here in Johnstown, Pittsburgh still sees its fair share of potholes.
So, why do we see these potholes?Â Let me take you through the process and hopefully it’ll help you understand why your car gets swallowed up every year around this time.
It all starts with some snow or ice and a little sunshine and warmer temperatures.Â That warmer weather or sunshine melts the snow and ice and the water creeps below the surface and into cracks in the pavement. (Read More)
Winter Classic – Pens vs. Caps
It isn’t typical for Pittsburgh to have temperatures in the 50s for January 1st.Â As a matter of fact, the normal high temperature for Pittsburgh for that date is 36Â° and the record high is 69Â° set all the way back in 1876!Â This kind of weather [...]
Old Farmer's Almanac 2011
Last week we posted that Farmers’ Almanac’s prediction for the upcoming winter.Â I walked in to the studio on Wednesday and had a package sitting on the desk waiting for me.Â It was from the folks at the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
They sent me a copy of the book and some information about their upcoming winter, as if I was actually going to do something useful with it other than mock it.
What I did decide to do was use it here on the blog since everybody seems to like this kind of information.Â Remember that this information should be taken with a grain of salt and that we won’t be giving our forecast until late in October or early in November, when we get closer and feel a little more confident about making a forecast.Â Forecasts made this far our should not be relied upon as they are strictly guesses.
That being said, here’s what the Old Farmer’s Almanac is saying for us for the coming winter… (Read More)
Farmer's Almanac - Winter 2010-11
I’m not a big fan nor do I buy into long range forecasting, but I know some of you do.
When I saw this earlier this morning, I knew it was going to be my blog post for the day.
Please don’t take this as gospel.Â It’s way too early to make a forecast for winter.Â You might be able to make generalities about the entire season, but that’s about it.Â Your best bet is to just take the winter month by month as it goes by.Â There’s no changing the weather.
Here’s some of what the Farmer’s Almanac has to say of the coming winter.
New zones set to take effect Mid-November
Our area is full of so much varied terrain and every once in a while, it makes sense to change some of the boundaries to make better use of the watches and warnings system.Â That’s what the National Weather Service has done.
Starting in November, Westmoreland and Fayette Counties will each be split into two separate regions.Â The western region will still go by the county name.Â The eastern part of each county will add ‘ridges’ to the name.Â So, eastern Westmoreland County will now become Westmoreland Ridges.Â The same goes for Fayette Ridges.Â Take a look at the graphic to the right to see what I mean.
So, why the change?Â Well, the area is vastly different if you go just a short distance.Â By separating these regions, it’ll make forecasting and issuing warnings for those areas easier for the folks doing the issuing and easier to understand for everybody in the region.Â Now, we won’t have ALL of Westmoreland County under a blizzard warning when it only needs to be the higher elevations.
There’s more after the break, so click in to read the entire post. (Read More)
Here’s a look at how much snow we’ve picked up so far, compared to the seasonal average:
Sunday night on Twitter, I posed the following question:
How do you keep the ‘winter blues’ away with weather like we’ve had?
I put the question up because this is the first time since I’ve been in Johnstown that I feel like I’m getting a case of those winter blahs.Â The mix of the cold, snow, and my holiday schedule have me feelingÂ pretty tired lately.Â The way I deal with the cold… a remote start for my car and some hockey!
Now, it’s your turn.Â Here’s what you had to say via Twitter (@wjac_weather).
(Click more for your answers!)
A friend on Twitter (@wxbradd) today made reference to an article on WattsUpWithThat.com (@wattsupwiththat).Â The article tells of the second snowiest December ever in the northern hemisphere. (edit: I found more data that makes this even more exciting, see below.)
That’s a pretty impressive fact.
Take a look at the article for more information.
It’s hard to believe that it’s time for Wintercast already, but it’s here!
Just click into the post to be walking in a winter wonderland.
You know how they say you get smarter by reading things?Â Well, I definitely learned something today on the weather blog of our sister station, WTOV-9 in Steubenville.Â I learned that Moscow, Russia is going to stop the major snows for the year.
Moscow Is Trying To Prevent This!
Yes… they’re going to cancel this year’s major snows.Â Get more details below…
NOAA has posted it’s winter outlook and the results are… well… ummm… sorta inconclusive.
The good news is that they’re not predicting a wet winter for us.Â The bad news is that they’re not necessarily predicting a dry winter, either.
They are predicting that this winter has a 33% chance of being colder than [...]
Our Centre County mobile newsroom got this video of the winter weather preps in Centre County.
Take a look…
Everybody knows about Punxsutawney Phil and his spring-predicting ways.Â Is the woolly bear caterpillar the winter equivalent of Phil?
The pyrrharctia isabella, better known as the woolly bear caterpillar (pictured below), is sometimes charged with the impossible task of predicting how harsh of a winter it’s going to be.
According to [...]
With temperatures in the 80s, I hope it’s safe to put this competition to bed.Â We’ve waited all year to figure out who the big winners were going to be in the snow prediction competition.Â The results are in:
Here are the numbers that we used for the final totals in the Alleghenies…
State College:Â 20.7″
So, who was the big winner?Â Click into the post to find out…