Thursday, January 28, 2010

Very dry air -- inside your home

One side effect from this arctic blast of air is the fact it holds very little moisture.  When we speak of humidity, it is relative to temperature.  It represents the percent volume of moisture in the air at that exact temperature.

For instance, a 100% humidity reading in the middle of winter feels a lot different than 100% in the middle of summer.  Warm air can hold a lot more moisture than cold air. 

When you take a very cold airmass, and then heat it up (as you do in your home), you are taking the minor amount of moisture available and throwing it into a warmer enviroment that can hold a lot more moisture.

So, if the air temp outside is 15° and the dew point is zero, if you bring that air inside and heat it to 70°, the humidity is 6%.

Our bodies feel comfortable when the humidity is roughly half of the air temperature indoors.  So, if you have your heat set at 70°, you want to humidity to be roughly 35%.  Humidifiers that work directly into the furnace work most effectively (room humidifiers run the risk of harboring mold, or creating mold on fabrics or carpets). 

Depending on conditions inside your home, you may want it closer to 30% or 40%.  If moisture forms on the walls, then the humdifier is set too high.  But, once the room is humidified well, you will get rid of the static electricity and dry skin/nasal passages/eyes.  Plus, with a higher humidity, the air will feel much warmer to your skin.

Major Winter Storm To Our South

A huge storm has been moving from the four-corners area of the USA into the southern Plains, and will continue to move eastward towards the mid-Atlantic states.  A big area of high pressure will keep this storm to our south.

Areas like Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina -- plus the extreme northern areas of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia & South Carolina -- are all under advisories for this storm.  The brunt of the worst weather will occur in Oklahoma into Arkansas.  Ice accumulation to a half-inch is possible, followed by heavy snowfall.  Some sections of Oklahoma could receive well over 6" of snow.

Click here for a map showing all the current warnings and advisories.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The cold settles in

A chunk of arctic air will dominate the region the next few days.  After some recent mild weather, we are returning to our colder pattern from earlier in the month.

Previous cold high temps:

  • 23°  January 11

  • 22°  January 9

  • 19°  January 2

  • 15°  February 4, 2009

If we do not reach 19° Friday, it will be the coldest day in almost a year.  Overnight lows will flirt with zero Friday night.  The last time we hit a low of zero was on January 10.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Updated Snow Stats

January snow:  7.1"   (1.9" below normal)

Season:  14.1"  (6.0" below normal)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Warmest In Almost 2 Months

Sunday featured the warmest high temps in the area since early December.  At a time of year when the normal high is 31°, temps were almost 20° above normal.  (The record for Sunday was 64°.)

Here are some highs from Sunday:

46°  Hillsdale

47°  Adrian

48°  Monroe

49°  Toledo Express, Findlay, Lima

50°  Metcalf Field

52°  Defiance


Previous warm days:

44°  December 25

46°  December 14

52°  December 1

Friday, January 22, 2010

Colder trend ahead

After temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal Sunday, the week ahead will feature a downslide in temperatures.  Highs will struggle to hit 30° by the middle of the week. 

Normal high is around freezing, and normal low is in the mid teens.

Major storm out west

Repeated storms out in the western US have continued to produce heavy rain and snow, along with strong winds and mudslides.  Different chunks of energy have travelled across the country, causing tornadoes in the southern US.

The main part of this storm will move through the area Sunday.  We will not see violent weather, but we will receive steady rainfall during the day.  Accumulations of 1/2 to 3/4" of rainfall are possible by Sunday night.

We will also see much warmer temperatures...well into the 40s Sunday.  The rain and warmer temps combined may cause some issues on area rivers via ice jams.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tornadoes In California

An active jet stream has been sending a series of storms into the western US.  One of these storms pounded California today with up to 1.5" inches of rain, along with snow in the mountains.  Thunderstorms produced 60+ mph wind gusts.  Tornado warnings were issued near Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, where funnels were spotted. (Click here for a list of storm reports.)

Additional rain will continue out west, which will create mudslides.  Various wildfires in the past few years have left a lot of land void of ground cover.  Heavy rainfall will cause soils to wash down hills very easily.

The energy from this storm, in a greatly diminished form, will affect our area Sunday.  With temperatures in the 40s, we will see occasional showers Sunday afternoon and evening.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fog and Freezing Fog


Our stagnant pattern continues.  After a cloudy day today, more fog will be around tonight.  With temps in the upper 20s, this will create areas of freezing fog where fog persists.


Another round of fog tonight and into Monday morning.  Abundant amounts of moisture are trapped in the lowest layer of the atmosphere near the surface due to warmer temperatures melting snow cover on the ground.  This additional moisture is being trapped close to the ground by a strong temperature inversion at about 1,000 ft. 

The result is dense foggy nights and mornings.  This has curved and limited high temperatures allowing them to only reach the low and middle 30s.  Dense fog and freezing fog advisories are in effect through Monday morning.  Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing allowing the water vapor from the fog  become ice on surfaces that are below freezing.  This includes untreated road surfaces and especially overpasses.  Drive carefully.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hurricane hunter planes used in winter

Noaa_gulfstream IV


NOAA’s (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Gulfstream IV aircraft, known for investigating hurricanes, will begin flying over the North Pacific Ocean to fill gaps in atmospheric observations, which will enhance forecasts of winter storms for the entire North American continent through improved computer modeling.

The highly specialized twin turbofan jet will be stationed at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan through February before repositioning to Honolulu in March. From these locations, the aircraft will be tasked by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction — a division of NOAA’s National Weather Service — to fly into data sparse regions to collect information such as wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity. This data will be sent via satellite to global operational weather forecasting centers — and fed into sophisticated computer forecast models.

 “These flights will help us better observe and understand the current state of the atmosphere over the Pacific, where most of North America’s weather originates, in order to better predict future conditions across the U.S. and Canada three to six days in advance,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Camp Springs, Md.

 These computer model improvements will play an essential role in meteorological support for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in addition to more precise precipitation forecasts along the U.S. West Coast and points further east.

 NOAA incorporated the Japan-based missions into its annual Winter Storms Reconnaissance program in early 2009 — flying 332 flight hours and logging miles equivalent to circling the Earth five times. Prior to 2009, missions were flown from Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. By expanding the reach across the International Date Line to Japan, NOAA is essentially pushing farther upstream to observe areas of interest with greater lead times.

 These missions showed significant positive impact to global numerical weather prediction models, increasing both accuracy and lead times for high-impact weather events.  

The high altitude, high speed NOAA Gulfstream IV is based at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, located at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mild trend will continue for awhile

High temperatures will continue into the mid & upper 30s for the extended forecast, with some lower 40s possible in some areas.  Computer models show no major change in this new pattern for at least the next week or so.  The milder trend looks like it will hold through next weekend.

The snow cover from recent events will thwart some of the initial warming.  If we didn't have any snow cover or cold air hugging the surface, we would easily jump through the 40s and 50s during this period.

Temps will remain well above the normal high/low of 31° / 16°

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow Stats Updated

Toledo Express Airport:

January:    6.9"     (3.5 inches above normal for this point in the month)

Season:    13.9"     (0.6 inches below normal)

January is normally our snowiest month, producing an average of 11".  Milder temps for the next week or two may keep accumulation potentials down a bit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heat Hits Australia

 As many people locally are looking forward to highs in the 30s, a lot of folks in Australia were not happy with the 30s.  Their 30-degree weather was in degrees Celsius.

Temps hit record highs in Melbourne overnight, with the temperature at midnight of 37 C, which is 98.6 F.  The temperature hung around 34 C/93 F much of the night, making it the hottest night in 100 years.  

Australians had trouble sleeping in the heat, so they flocked to beaches and ice cream shops.

Trains were disrupted due to the heat -- either the absence air conditioning, or due to buckling tracks.

Other sections of the continent had highs above 40 C, which is 104 F.

 (some story info courtesy of CBS NewsNet)

 australia heat2

 (courtesy of Australia Bureau of Meteorology)



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Arrival of Mild January Weather

Cold weather is expected to persist for the remainder of the weekend.  A strong area of Arctic High pressure is holding across the nations midsection allowing a cold blast from the Arctic to penetrate deep into the eastern half of the United States.  Temperatures for our area will be about 10 degrees below average, but a deep freeze is crippling the Gulf states and Florida in particular.  This deep freeze is expected to possibly damage or kill a significant portion of the citrus crop across the south. 



A significant change in the atmospheric flow will signal a noticeable chance in our weather pattern by the middle of the week.  This deep trough in the jet stream will lift back into Canada and the atmospheric flow will become more zonal.  (Flow from the west to the east)  This will allow for milder Pacific air to return to the region instead of the cold Arctic air that has dominated through the month of January thus far.  This "split flow" in the jet stream will bring milder weather by the middle of the week and is more typical of what we would expect during an El Nino winter.  Under this scenario the northern branch of the jet stream stays north in Canada limiting the Arctic air that invades the United States.  The southern branch of the jet stream will bring active and wet weather back to the southern tier of the country bringing storms to the California coast and across the Gulf Coast and into Florida.  For our area we remain mild and dry with Pacific air in place.


Other atmospheric signals called teleconnections (AO -Arctic Oscillation & NAO - North Atlantic Oscillation)  indicate that the middle and possibly end of January may have temperatures near or above average.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Storm Update

Snow accumulations will begin to taper off through the course of the day.  Total snow accumulations will end up falling into the 3-5" range by the storms end.  The very light and fluffy snow will begin to blow and drift this afternoon as a trough of low pressure swings southward through the area bringing gusty northwest winds between 10 and 20 mph.  This will cause roadways, especially in outlying areas to glaze over again with pockets of snow. 

There will be some minor additional accumulations through your Friday as this system departs the area.  Most locations will see just a coating to 1" of snow.  However, our far eastern counties of Ottawa, Erie, Huron and Sandusky may see an additional 1-3" with lake enhanced or lake effect snow showers through the afternoon and into the early evening.  Travel farther east into Cleveland will be treacherous with significant lake effect effect snow possibly bringing up to 8" of fresh snow. 


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Storm Details

Winter weather advisory entire viewing area thru Friday morning.

  • Final accums by Friday AM  3-5" most areas with some isolated spots of 6".

  • Lake-effect snow showers will be around Fri PM/eve.

  • Up to an additional inch possible, mainly eastern counties.

  • Breezy conditions Friday will blow and drift the powdery snow.

  • Very cold weekend to follow.  Could be close to zero Sunday AM.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heavy Lake-Effect Snow In NE OH/W PA

Travel to areas east of Cleveland and up through northwestern Pennsylvania will continue to be a bit of an issue.  Persistent lake-effect snow bands have dumped heavy amounts since the beginning of the weekend.  More lake-effect snow will redevelop Friday into Saturday. 

Here is what is on the ground as of Tuesday evening:

   PIERPONT 2SE          33.0   913 PM   1/5    
   ASHTABULA             18.0   840 PM   1/5    
   ASHTABULA 1SW         14.0   900 PM   1/5    
   BUCYRUS                4.3   919 PM   1/5    
   GARFIELD HTS          17.0   916 PM   1/5    
   BROADVIEW HTS         13.0   911 PM   1/5    
   NORTH ROYALTON        12.0   912 PM   1/5    
   CLEVELAND              8.0   841 PM   1/5    
   CLE AIRPORT            7.0   915 PM   1/5    
   CLEVELAND              7.0   909 PM   1/5    
   EUCLID                 6.0   902 PM   1/5    

   CHAGRIN FALLS         27.0   909 PM   1/5    
   CHARDON               26.0   841 PM   1/5    
   BAINBRIDGE            24.0   907 PM   1/5    
   RUSSELL TWP           24.0   919 PM   1/5    
   THOMPSON 5SW          24.0   912 PM   1/5    
   MONTVILLE             23.0   900 PM   1/5    
   CHARDON               19.0   908 PM   1/5    
   BURTON                16.0   909 PM   1/5    

   NEW LONDON 3NW         7.0   922 PM   1/5    
   MADISON               19.0   920 PM   1/5    
   SOUTH MADISON         15.0   908 PM   1/5    
   PERRY TOWNSHIP        13.0   913 PM   1/5    
   MADISON  5 S          11.0   842 PM   1/5    
   CONCORD TWP.          10.5   922 PM   1/5    
   KIRTLAND 4SW          10.0   916 PM   1/5    
   MENTOR                10.0   904 PM   1/5    
   WILLOUGHBY             9.0   913 PM   1/5    

   N RIDGEVILLE           8.0   923 PM   1/5    
   OBERLIN                6.0   916 PM   1/5    
   SHEFFIELD LAKE         4.7   918 PM   1/5    
   BOARDMAN SE            8.0   917 PM   1/5    
   HINCKLEY               9.0   925 PM   1/5    
   MEDINA                 8.3   922 PM   1/5    
   BRUNSWICK              8.0   920 PM   1/5    
   MEDINA                 6.5   840 PM   1/5    
   RAVENNA 1E            12.9   918 PM   1/5    
   KENT                   9.0   921 PM   1/5    
   MANSFLD ARPT           9.0   915 PM   1/5    
   MASSILLON/PERRY TWP.   6.2   901 PM   1/5    
   SAGAMORE HILLS        14.0   902 PM   1/5    
   GREEN                  6.0   912 PM   1/5    
   CAK AIRPORT            5.0   914 PM   1/5    
   TALLMADGE              5.0   901 PM   1/5    
   MESOPOTAMIA           13.0   923 PM   1/5    
   NEWTON FALLS          13.0   924 PM   1/5    
   YNG AIRPORT            8.0   916 PM   1/5    
   KIDRON 1N              6.0   907 PM   1/5    
   WOOSTER 7N             6.0   922 PM   1/5    
   CROSSINGVILLE 2NW     57.0   900 PM   1/5    
   CONNEAUTVILLE 6SW     25.0   906 PM   1/5    
   MEADVILLE             23.0   919 PM   1/5    
   CANADOHTA LAKE        20.0   901 PM   1/5    
   MEADVILLE 5W          20.0   923 PM   1/5    
   LINESVILLE            15.5   909 PM   1/5    
   EDINBORO              37.0   841 PM   1/5    
   AMITY TWP             34.0   906 PM   1/5    
   NORTHEAST             33.0   924 PM   1/5    
   NORTHEAST 6SW         31.0   920 PM   1/5    
   FRANKLIN CTR          26.0   907 PM   1/5    
   FAIRVIEW              14.6   914 PM   1/5    
   MILLCREEK TWP.        11.5   841 PM   1/5    
   LAKE CITY             10.0   908 PM   1/5    
   ERIE AIRPORT           9.0   915 PM   1/5    

Friday, January 1, 2010

January Almanac

The month of January features (climatologically) the coldest temperatures.  Normal highs only range 31° to 32° the entire month, and lows range 16° to 18°.

It has been as warm as 71° (1890 and 1950) and as cold as -20° (1984).

Normal liquid precip is 1.93".  Normal snowfall is 10.8", which is the snowiest month of the winter.

Of course these are just statistical norms, but they give you an idea of how January can end up.

Sunrise ranges from 8:02 am on the 1st, to 7:48 am on the 31st.  Sunset ranges from 5:16 pm on the 1st, to 5:50 pm on the 31st.  We gain about 48 minutes of daylight during the month.

December In Review

Temperature Range:

52° on the 1st, to 11° on the 10th and 12th of the month.


Liquid precip (rain and melted snow/ice) was 3.03", which was 0.39" above normal.

Snowfall was 7", which was 1.3" below normal.  Snowfall for the season is running 4" below normal.