Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vermont Weather Like A Moody Teenager

The weather this weekend in Vermont and surrounding areas is behaving like a bored teenager. The teenager might be listening to One Direction, but is certainly not motivated to move one way or the other.
A towering shower cloud boils
up through the hazy, humid air  Friday
evening northwest of St. Albans, Vermont  

The same with the weather. We're caught in that sticky airmass just sitting here, not being much use at all. (Kind of like our teenager sometimes behavies)

There's subtle wind shifts, boundaries, patches of sun, patches of clouds that could trigger showers or thunderstorms at any time, but nothing striking or definitive to help forecasters tell us what will happen and when.

The result has been a guessing game of when and where any showers or storms will form. And if they do form, how heavy will they get?  Whatever forms isn't moving very fast, so a few spots could get minor flooding.

But where? There's a subtle stationary front over northern Vermont. Will it move a bit north? Or a bit south? Will other dynamics come into play to encourage more showers and storms?

It's anybody's guess, but the consensus is there's a lesser chance of rain Sunday as a patch of somewhat drier air moves in aloft. But not down here. It will still be humid as heck.

It's hard to rely on weather forecasts in this type of weather situation. To be on the safe side between now and say, noon Monday, go ahead with your outdoor plans but be ready to move inside at the drop of a hat because a random downpour, shower or thunder bumper could arrive at any time.

Like most teenagers, the weather will eventualy get motivated and moving again. A cold front is still expected to come in Monday or Monday night with a more definite batch of showers and storms. Then it will turn cooler and more invigorating by the end of the week.

Just like our teenager when she comes out of her funk.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Weather Is Paying Attention To the Calendar This Weekend

For some reason, the last "unofficial" weekend of summer, Labor Day weekend, ought to have summer like weather. It doesn't always, as sometimes the first autumnal cool spells of the season descend on New England during the Labor Day weekend.
A thunderstorm looms over St. Albans Bay in Vermont
in July. More storms are likely in Vermont and the
rest of New England over the Labor Day weekend.  

Not this year. It's a very humid Friday to start off the holiday and it will stay that way through Monday. Then, on schedule, it will turn cooler and much less humid next Tuesday.

In a land where the weather always seems unseasonable, it's kind of nice to see it behave at least sort of in keeping with the season.

That's not to say it's going to be all sunshine and beaches and barbecues in Vermont and elsewhere in New England today through Monday.

As I said, it's really humid, and it will stay that way. All that water in the air represents a lot of potential for showers and thunderstorms. All you need is a trigger to set them off.

Those triggers will be around, as weak weather fronts and boundaries and wind shifts will meander close by for the next few days. That's all you need for showers and storms to develop.

Mostly, they'll be hit and miss. Some places will stay dry, others will get really wet. Other spots will just have brief interludes where you have to abandon the grill and the beach to let the thunderstorm pass.

The best chances for storms are Saturday afternoon, when a slightly stronger weather front moves by, and on Monday, when a cold front is forecast to approach. That's the one that will end our late season spate of humidity.

I'm also wondering about the slight possibility of flash flooding in a few spots over the weekend. Some of the rain will be torrential, and some of the storms will move slowly. That's a recipe for some flooding.

The vast majority of Vermont will see no flooding, and there's a very good chance nobody in the Green Mountain State will have to contend with something like a driveway washout, a flooded street or high water creeping up from the nearby brook.

I just want to throw the possibility out there because it could happen. Just keep an eye to the sky and an ear to any warnings that might come out, just in case.

And have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why You Need To Get Some Sun

Here in Vermont, the sun will peek in and out of the clouds over the next several days, so get outside when you can.

That's not just a polite plea to have fun. Your life might depend on it.

Lately, there's been concern that too many people don't get outside enough and that can cause a lot of health problems, including bone problems and depression.

Here's a fun little video that I hope will get you take at least a sunny walk at lunchtime today.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today Is The Second Annivesary Of Vermont's Irene Disaster

Before and after Irene.
Hurricane Irene drowning a farm stand in Waitsfield,
Vermont as people try to save some of the produce.  

That's now partly a definition of Vermont today, on this second anniversary of the storm that rattled our sense of security as it flushed away parts of our historic, loved towns and villages.

Before Irene, floods happened, but we managed. After Irene, floods happen, we believe they're getting worse and we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or the entire shoe store to drop.

Before Irene, Vermont was full of charming villages in beautiful river valleys. After Irene, Vermont is full of charming villages in beautiful river valleys that are maybe one step away from utter destruction.

Before Irene, Vermonters trusted the culverts and bridges to hold during our summer downpours. After Irene, we peer through the rain, half expected the culverts to wash away and the bridges to collapse.

When Irene hit, we Vermonters pulled together, and did a remarkable job of helping the newly homeless, slogging out their muddy basements, finding them new places to live. When stores, devastated by the flood, finally reopened, we flocked in, throwing some of our money their way, because they needed it.

Town and state road crews did an incredibly job repairing and replacing the roads wiped out by Irene. Flood wrecked towns put on a brave and beautiful face for the annual fall foliage season that arrived bright and on schedule weeks after Irene.

A lot of vehicles in Vermont still have a front licence plate that reads "I Am Vermont Strong," a testament to our abiity to recover from such a disaster.
The Winooski River swallows trees in Winooski
Vermont amid Hurricane Irene flooding.  

With a few exceptions, Vermont has physically recovered from Irene. The landscape is still dotted with abandoned, wrecked homes, tilting over demolished foundations, or their walls are blown apart by the force of the water on August 28. 2011.

But mostly, the view in Vermont today is one of late summer bliss. Swimmers  are escaping one of the last humid spells of the summer by languishing in the shady, sandy edges of calm swimming holes along rivers that raged two years ago.

The green hills are as beautiful as always, rendered soft and tinted with blue in the muggy summer haze. A few trees with orange leaves stand out, sentinels of the oncoming autumn.

It's relaxing, that's for sure. But we're not that relaxed. The emotional toll of Irene lingers whether we're conscious of it or not.

For many of us, when a summer downpour arrives,  the thought crosses our minds: Will this be another disaster? Sometimes, the fleeting thought is well founded. Repeatedly, in May, June and July, vicious thunderstorms and blinding downpours blasted Vermont.

The now familiar sight of roads washing away, basements quickly submerging and torrents sweeping down hills all became reality again early this summer, further shaking our sense of security already undermined by the tsunami that was Irene.

Ask anybody and they say the weather has changed in Vermont. For centuries, we lived with the cliche, "If you don't like the weather in Vermont, wait a minute, it will change." It's always been unpredictable here.
In one of the most photographed, most iconic
images of Hurricane Irene in Vermont, this
old house in Pittsfield lies in ruins. 

But the unpredictability once had some sort of rhythm, which is gone now. The temperature spikes into the 80s in March, only to slump to freezing in June. The thunderstorms seem more menacing, more powerful. Is that our imagination, or are they really worse?

It rains for days on end, then it's dry for weeks and the forests catch fire. Then the humidity becomes so maddening you want to flee to comparatively Arctic Houston.  The winter snowstorms have become newly epic, then the piles of white wilt in a springlike thaw a few days later.

The state's politicians and land use regulators, from Gov. Peter Shumlin on down, say we have to keep rebuilding smarter after Irene. It makes sense. The goal is to build stronger bridges, wider, taller culverts. Convince people to abandon their riverbank lives and literally head for the hills.

We try planting different crops, ones that grow in new, warmer planting zones. Vegetable farmers abandon the rich soil of the flood plains, because the spring floods that once brought nutrients to the soil before the season's planting now come all summer, drowning the tomatoes, eggplant and cucumber the farmers want us to munch on.

Vermont is adapting to what is widely believed to be a new, warmer, weirder climate. That's happening all over the world. The job is necessary and unsettling. Especially since we don't know if our adapting is good enough.

In fact, it's sometimes not. When the floods came back to Vermont this summer, some of the Irene repairs held. But water cascaded through areas that even Irene spared. It's a constant battle to rethink our adaptation.

I have no sure idea if Irene was related to global warming. But the storm came in the kind of warmer, wetter summer they say is going to be routine here.

Whether or not Irene had anything to do with a new climate dawning on Vermont and the rest of the world, it was our signal. The familiar, usually friendly enough climate that we'd gotten used to for generations is gone.

Mother Nature has turned abusive, and there's no sign she's going to get any nicer anytime soon.

 remarkably kept the culverts pretty much unclogged, the roads patched, the

FWIW: Naming Hurricanes After Climate Change Deniers?

The video in this post is pointed, and creative and ridiculous and mean, and funny and  resonates, so I'll share it.
From the video: A faux news report on
the destruction caused by "Hurricane Marco Rubio"  

The producers of the video, the climate change activist group 350 Action,  have proposed naming destructive hurricanes after politicians who deny that human caused climate change is happening.

Some caveats: I'm not saying whether I embrace the video or not. I'm just throwing it out there to spur discussion.

I definitely agree with almost all climate scientists that humans are warming the planet. I'm not 100 percent sure what that warming is doing to hurricanes.

The warming does seem to suggest  hurricanes would become worse in the future,  but how those probably worse hurricanes play out, and where, seems a little uncertain.  But it's worth considering the risk of stronger winds, heavier rain and bigger storm surges with some future hurricanes.

The video is totally political, yes. You can agree with the sentiments in the video or not. The idea is fun, for sure. And I like the way it sort of spoofs the faux-urgent style of television news networks reporting on hurricanes.

So here's the video. Discuss:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Don't Need A Sunny Day To Melt In the Heat

The past couple of days have been rather gray and gloomy in Vermont. A glance out the window could make you think there's a little bit of chill pre-autumn dampness in the air.
Fog,  haze and dense clouds in St. Albans Tuesday
morning gave the atmosphere a chilly, damp
appearance, but it was actually oppressively humid.  

Think again. Anyone who has stepped outside over the past 48 hours knows it is humid as heck out there.

Which proves you don't necessarily need a blazing summer sun to feel like you're melting in the summertime.

The weather is deceptive. If you don't do much out there today, you might stay relatively comfortable. Exert yourself a wee bit, and the sweat starts pouring off you.

To get a sense of whether you'll be uncomfortably warm when you go outside, it's not enough to just look at the temperature. Yeah, if it's 95 degrees, it's hot, no matter how humid it is.

But days like yesterday and today, when the temperature was "comfortably" in the 70s, are a reminder to look at the dew point.  The dew point is essentially how far the temperature has to drop before the air is saturated. You get dew and fog if the temperature and dew point match. But usually, the actual temperature is warmer than the dew point.

If the dew point is above 60 degrees, you start to feel the humidity. Above 65, it's in your face. Above 70, and OMG!! I'm mellltttting!!!!!.

As I write this early Tuesday afternoon, the temperature in Burlington is 78 degrees. Not bad. But the dewpoint is 68. Wicked sticky.  The dewpoint has been at or above 65 degrees in Burlington since early Monday afternoon. It's also humid throughout the rest of the Northeast.

The high humidity is kind of pooling near the Great Lakes and northern and western New England because we're near the eastern boundary of a blazing Midwestern heat wave. Weather disturbances like to ride along the edges of heat waves, and that's what's been happening since early Monday, and what will keep happening the rest of the week.

It tends to be on the humid side along the path of these heat-edge seeking weather disturbances.

So we can expect a fair amount of clouds, but some sun between the disturbances. There is a risk of a shower or storm occasionally, and it will stay humid into the weekend. But the humidity might tend to wane just a little as we go through the week.

And signs are the humidity will really diminish by early next week. We'll be into September by then, after all. Time to start thinking about the crisp, decidedly not humid days of fall.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wimps So Far in Atlantic Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Fernand formed abruptly in the southern Gulf of Mexico Sunday and will just as quickly fade today as it moves inland into Mexico.
Tropical Storm Fernand Sunday in
the Bay of Campeche.  

This year has so far been the Year Of The Wimps in the Atlantic hurricane season, which is a good thing. All five tropical systems that formed this year never got too strong, never became big hurricanes.

Of course, the peak of the hurricane season is just getting going, so we still could easily get some major hurricanes going somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

If they stay out to sea, great, but the last thing we need is some powerful storm with 150 mph winds and a huge storm surge coming ashore.

The United States is really kind of overdue for that kind of mega-hurricane.  An official major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 with winds of at least 111 mph hasn't hit the U.S. coastline since Wilma hit Florida in October, 2005.

"But, but, but, what about Hurricane Sandy?," I hear people asking.

Yes, Hurricane Sandy last year was one of the most destructive the nation has ever seen. But in a technical sense, it wasn't a major hurricane. Winds were at about 90 to 100 mph and it might have already transitioned to a powerful, non-tropical storm when it landed in New Jersey.

Sandy was so destructive because it covered a remarkably huge area, which created an enormous storm surge. It also was a slow mover, and took an unusual track, making the damage that much more extreme.

And what about Hurricane Irene in 2011? Again, it produced huge damage. But most of Irene's destruction was caused by heavy rain that caused historic flooding in Vermont, New York and other areas. Its winds weren't that strong.

It all goes to prove you don't need a major hurricane to cause havoc.

Still, if a major hurricane does hit the coast, you're guaranteed a lot of damage.

Just because this year's hurricane season hasn't produced a huge storm doesn't mean that trend will continue. We haven't had this long a stretch without a landfalling major hurricane in the United States since the 1860s.

Big pushes of dusty, dry air from the Sahara Desert so far this summer have repeatedly belched out into the Atlantic Ocean  and that tends to quash hurricanes.

But the dust and dry air from the Sahara could stop coming at any time now, which could allow a huge hurricane to grow. It doesn't look like we'll see a big new hurricane in the next couple of days, but September is traditionally a very busy hurricane month.

Which means, stay tuned....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Extreme Weather Out West, Benign In Northeast

The weather has taken a turn toward the extreme again in parts of the United States.

In the desert Southwest, there's still watching for some rare and destructive flash floods as moisture from Tropical Storm Ivo streams in.
Forest fires continue to burn in California, while
the Desert Southwest is under a flood alert  

But the huge western forest fires will keep burning, since most of that moisture is probably going to miss places like northern California and Idaho, where the worst of the fires are raging.

In the nation's heartland, a strong and persistent heat wave has settled in and will stay there all week.

That part of the United States is no stranger to summer heat, but this one will be awfully strong and long lasting for something at the end of August. Heat alerts are up around Minneapolis, and temperatures will top 100 degrees in places like South Dakota and Nebraska.

From where I sit up here in Vermont, though, all is calm. It's going to be another beautiful Sunday, and the weather doesn't look too dramatic for the rest of the week in the Northeast.

There are weather disturbances going up and over the heat ridge in the nation's midsection. They go across the southern Canadian praries, then head southeastward toward New England.

One will come through Monday and Monday night with a package of showers and thunderstorms, followed by another one Wednesday. But, in between and after the bouts of showers, it will stay nice, with temperatures near or a little above normal for this time of year.

Which means people going to the Champlain Valley Fair have a pretty good week to anticipate.

Back to the west, after a summer of drought, this family had to abandon their trampoline to let some hail have their turn at some fun.   Pretty cool video:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August In Colorado: Bring Out The Snowplows!

You don't want to think about shovels and snow plows in August, but they had to in a Denver suburb this week.

It didn't snow, exactly, but boy did it hail.   Makes me feel smug that the weather where I am sitting in Vermont is so picture perfect today. Not so in Colorado. (And watch on the news: There might be some big flash floods this weekend in the deserts of the American Southwest of all places)

Look at this "weather porn" report from a Denver news station on the hail: Wow!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Haze Clears In Vermont, Northeast, For Now; Could Be Back

That spell of very warm, humid weather that ended with Thursday's showers and thunderstorms also brought a lot of haze to the Northeast.
Haze over Lake Champlain
in this view from South
Burlington, Vermont.  

As I start my day now, on Friday in St. Albans, Vermont, the sky is very clear. There's no haze,  and it's bright blue and beautiful.

Clean air from Canada is the reason for the improved atmosphere. Northwest winds are drawing the air into our neck of the woods.

The haze might come back though. As we start heading into Sunday and especially next week, the air flow over us will come more from the west.

As you know, huge wildfires continue to plague the west, especially in California.  Smoke from the fires could make it this far, in the form of haze, just as it did earlier this week.

Any haze we do get won't be just smoke from the fires.  As is often the case during warm spells in the summer, it gets hazy with or without fires out west. We also get pollutants from Midwest industries.

The particles from the pollution, be it industry in Cleveland or forest fires in the Sierra Nevada, cling to water droplets, and we get hazy.

It's hard to say how hazy it will get, or even if the landscape will get particularly blurry. We'll just see how it plays out. Meanwhile, enjoy the wonderful clear air today and Saturday.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday p.m. Update: As Expected, Showers, Storms Blossoming in Northeast

As of 2 p.m. a lot of showers and thunderstorms have erupted in upstate New York and are heading into northwestern Vermont.
Darkening skies as of 2 p.m. in St. Albans as
a thunderstorm approaches, as expected.  

So far,  none of the storms appear to be severe, and that relatively mellow trend was also expected. The cold front causing this weather is bumping into really, really humid air.

There's certainly heat and water to feed the storms. Just ahead of the thunder, in Burlington, Vermont at 2 p.m., it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 64, so that's plenty warm and humid enough to support the oncoming thunderstorms.

That means I wouldn't be surprised if some of the storms end up on the strong side, with a few torrential downpours, some gusty winds, and dangerous lightning strokes.

I don't expect any flooding or widespread wind damage with this weather.

From my perch in St. Albans, Vermont, in the far northwestern part of the state, the sky is darkening and I've heard a couple rumbles of thunder off to the west.

So if it's sunny and hot where you are in the northern New England, expect it to cloud up and probably rain, probably thunder where you are. If it's already thundering and raining, congratulations. It's the beginning of the end of a spell of very warm, humid weather.

I'm still expecting a refreshingly cooler, drier Friday.

Today's Northeast Thunderstorms: Meh!

A cold front is coming into the Northeastern United States today, which will at least temporarily rout the very warm and humid air sitting over the region.
A thunderstorm erupts over Vermont
in 2011. Thunderstorms in the Northeast
today are expected to be mostly not
too severe  

A change in airmass like this can often lead to severe thunderstorms, but we're starting to get past the time of year when such storms develop. The sun's angle is lower, the amount of heat available to generate storms is down a bit, so the biggest storms are a little less likely.

Severe storms are still quite possible this time of year, of course, if there's enough energy in the atmosphere as a cold front plows into August Dog Day air.  For instance, severe storms hit parts of Vermont around this time of year in 2011. And there is an occasional tornado in the Northeast this time of year.

Today's cold front doesn't have all the right ingredients to promote a widespread severe storm outbreak.  The upper level winds aren't that strong. The wind doesn't change directions that badly with elevation, so it'll be hard to get a lot of violent storms.

Quite a few places will hear thunder, and one or two spots might get a marginally severe storm. But this cold front is going to be pretty quick and benign, so don't expect huge amounts of drama.

This cold front is setting us up for a great weekend, with cooler, drier, sunny weather expected for the most part over the next three days.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coolest Video Of Fog Ever?

Thanks to Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel for finding and sharing this amazing video of a fog bank   sliding down the slopes of a ridge in Newfoundland.

I like the video because it is so peaceful and strangely menacing at the same time. (I sort of thought of the Stephen King novel "The Mist"

The scenery is beautiful, too. Makes me suddenly want to go to Newfoundland!

Here's the terrific vid:

Sixth Warmest Global July And Does Media Under Report Disaster Links to Climate Change

The National Climatic Data Center  announced today the globe had its sixth warmest July on record, and the 341st consecutive month of above normal temperatures.
Most of the world was warm in July, 2013, but
as always, a minority of places ended up cool.

If you are under the age of 28, you've never seen a month on Earth that was cooler than normal. Yikes!

That July scored in the Top 10 hottest Julys, but didn't set a record for the hottest continues a trend over the past couple of years in which the world definitely seems to continue running a fever, but the rate at which the atmosphere is warming has slowed.

That makes sense. There hasn't been an El Nino weather pattern in years now, and El Nino tends to lead to spikes in global atmospheric temperatures.

That might be why we're muddling along at nearly unprecedented warmth, but we haven't been setting new records lately.

Of course, there were local heat waves that were unprecedented. Parts of Siberia, China and Japan had their hottest weather on record. And Greenland set an all time record high of 79 degrees in July.  The bottom line: July was within spitting distance of a record high for the planet, and some areas did have their most torrid weather ever.

Just because July was "only" sixth warmest, and not the all time hottest on Earth doesn't mean global warming has gone away. The pace at which the world is warming varies over some years and decades. Sometimes it speeds up, and sometimes, as it has in recent years, it slows down.

Yes, our emissions of carbon dioxide are warming the planet, so the overall trend is up. But all this extra carbon dioxide doesn't mean other natural climate trends go away. The climate always has up and down bumps because of natural changes in weather patterns, ocean temperatures and so on. This variability will probably never go away, no matter how much CO2 we pump into the atmosphere.

All this means that not every year will be the warmest on record. We'll maybe go years, perhaps a decade or two occasionally in which the world doesn't set a heat record.

Meanwhile, I was looking at the Climate Progress web site, and they are dismayed that in their minds, the media is ignoring a link between global warming and the forest fires in Idaho and much of the rest of the West

Is the question Climate Progress raises valid?
A big wildfire in Idaho this month.  

I do like the Climate Progress site, but it is a little unfair to blast the media for not tying climate change to the western wild fires every time there's a report on them.

People are most interested in the breaking news. Are the fires worsening? Has anyone been hurt? Any homes destroyed? Any changes in strategy on how to fight them?

There is, of course, room for analytical pieces on whether the western fires are related to global climate change, and there have been a number of such articles.

Many of those articles are necessarily a bit muddy. Though climate scientists almost all agree humans are warming the planet, there's still some argument over what that means in specific areas. Evidence does point toward a warmer, drier West due to global warming, but that's not necessarily a totally settled case.

Those western wildfires might indeed be a symptom of global warming. It seems totally plausible to me, but don't ask me to bet my next paycheck on that idea. At least not yet.

Forest Fire Terror: A Firenado

The Rocky Mountain states aren't the only areas on fire in the United States at the moment. There are some big forest fires going on in Alaska, too.
The big forest fire in Alaska  

Which resulted in the dramatic video in this post. It was taken from a plane flying at an elevation of about 1,900 feet above the fire.

The video shows basically a fire tornado. There are videos out there of these tight whirlwinds of fire in these conflagrations. But this fire whirl is essentially of the same scope and strength of one of those really big tornadoes you see in the Midwest every spring.

Here's a description from the Alaska Department of Forestry's Facebook page:

This footage was taken on August 16, 2013, on the Tetlin Junction Ridge Fire burning in the Tok area. The Alaska Division of Forestry firefighter that captured the footage has never seen anything like it in his 20 years of firefighting. It is the kind of fire behavior you hear about but can't really believe. "A picture probably is worth a thousand words, but there are indeed times when a picture just doesn't do it justice. I've never seen anything like it until now." - Tim Whitesell. Thanks to Tim and the pilot Doug Burts (together serving as an Aerial Supervision Module) for sharing this footage.

The type of fire tornado that you see in this video often are powerful enough to blow down trees before the fire gets to it. I imagine the winds associated with this Alaska fire tornado exceeded 100 mph.

As you can see, this fire was in a very remote area. Can you imagine if a fire tornado like this tore its way into a town?

Here's the vid:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New England Haze Partly Due To Western Fires

People living in Vermont and many other places in the Northeast might have noticed Monday the sun seemed a bit dimmed by haze, even though visibility near the surface was good, with the mountains not that badly blocked out by the stuff in the air.
A wildfire burns in Idaho this week.
Photo by Ashley Smith via AP

And the sunset was really, really red last evening. It's hazy again this Tuesday morning.

Part of the reason is because the western United States is basically on fire. Wildfires have become pretty widespread over the western third of the nation.

Much of the airflow with the current weather pattern is from the west, so some of that smoke is blowing overhead.

It's not really enough to be a health problem for us, but the haze could continue to create interesting sunrises and sunsets for a couple more days.

A cold front due Thursday night will shift the winds to a northerly direction, which will bring in some clearer air from Canada this weekend.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Reporters On The Beach During Hurricanes Is A Bad Idea

The tropics are quiet at the moment. There's no tropical storms or hurricanes lurking in the Atlantic Ocean that might cause havoc somewhere in the United States.
Another journalist  having a tough go of it
reporting live from a hurricane.  

But almost inevitably, sometime between now and the end of November, a hurricane will menace the coast somewhere between Brownsville, Texas and Eastport, Maine. That's a lot of potential targets.

And a lot of potential places for reporters to make fools of themselves. Because every time there's a hurricane, hordes of reporters tell us to flee the beach to get away from the dangerous hurricane.

They all tell us this while standing on the very beaches they've told us to get away from. And getting blown over. Or knocked over by a wave. Or having idiots streaking behind them on camera.

I get it. The reporters and camera people and news directors want to show us how powerful the storm is, its destructive potential, its drama.

Plus, riveting videos of storms are ratings bonanzas. Heck, why do you think I post wild videos and pictures of storms and other extreme events in this blog?  People like it, and I like showing it.

Plus, hurricanes are not that complicated a story to cover, really.

It's not like a hurricane is going to refuse comment when approached by a reporter. And the reporter doesn't have to dig through dense government documents to get the story. It's right there, unfolding before their eyes. The newsgathering in hurricanes is easy and cheap and thrilling.

To be fair, reporting live from a storm is a huge rush, and many news organizations take precautions to protect journalists from especially dangerous moments in these storms. 

Still, this tradition of standing on the beach during a hurricane might end the day a two by four flying in the wind will smashed through the skull of a reporter doing a live report. I hope that doesn't happen, but I fear it will.

We lost some storm chasers during an Oklahoma tornado earlier this year, and there's no reason we won't lose a reporter to a hurricane, unfortunately.

At the very least, reporting live from a hurricane isn't a terribly dignified exercise. Watch this hurricane reporter fail compilation video to fully understand why:

Did You Take Your Vacation This Week: You Lucky Dog!

After a year that has so far brought more than our share of weather drama, it's kind of nice to see that most of the nation is having pretty quiet weather this week.
A nice summer day on Lake Champlain in Vermont
in the summer of 2012. Look for similar conditions
this week. Enjoy!   

Yes, there's still a flood threat in the Southeast, and the West still has big forest fires which aren't going away any time soon. But at least there's no extreme storms on the way in our immediate future.

Up here in the Northeast, it's going to be a delightful week, with warm weather and plenty of sunshine for those trying to get more beach time in before school starts.

A cold front will probably cross the Northeast Thursday with some showers and thunderstorms, but that's pretty much it for weather this week.

Most places will be in the 80s all week, and then trending cooler toward the weekend, especially up here in Vermont, the rest of northern New England and northern New York. But at this point, it still looks gorgeous next weekend, too, with highs in the 70s.

So unless something unexpected comes along, it looks like smooth sailing all week. Except maybe Thursday, but you can't have everything.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Latest Weather Porn: Why They Call Them Flash Floods

Earlier this month a huge flash flood hit the Colorado town of Manitou Springs.

I already wrote about it once, but I have to share this other video that came out of the disaster, because it is so wild.
The Mantou Springs, Colorado flood earlier this month.  

It demonstrates why they call them flash floods. At the beginning of the video, the situation doesn't seem that bad. But in 10 or 15 seconds all hell is breaking loose.

The video also shows why they always keep saying not to drive your car into even what appears to be shallow flood waters.

In this clip nobody is driving any of the cars, they're all parked. But you can see how water that really isn't that deep can sweep vehicles away.

In any event, this "weather porn" video is a fascinating second look at one of the most dramatic flash floods in the nation this year, in a year in which there have been more floods than I can remember.

Here's the vid:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beauty In Unexpected Downpours

The scattered showers that affected northern Vermont Friday evening were expected, but I'm a little surprised by the intensity of them.
A dark shower cloud approaches St. Albans, Vermont
Friday evening as the setting sun pokes some light
beneath small but intense storm.  

Up here in St. Albans in really poured hard just before sunset. Many other areas north of Route 2 in Vermont saw some brief, heavy showers, too.

A disturbance that made the air a little unstable helped set off the showers. The instability was expected, as were a few scattered showers Friday afternoon and evening.

But a line of showers and storms in southern Quebec late Friday sent a gust of air southward into the instability over Vermont.

The gust from Quebec moved air a bit like you see snow move as a snowplow pushes it. Some of the air kind of went upward as it was pushed into northern Vermont by the Quebec storms.

That line of moving air, and the instability both combined to cause air to rise more energetically than some forecasters (like me!) thought. So the showers were more energetic than they otherwise might have been.
Light from the setting sun undercuts
dark storm clouds in St. Albans, Vermont Friday evening
adding a glow to the falling shafts of rain beneath the clouds.  

Still, they were pretty, as the light from the setting sun shown through the clouds and the narrow bands of downpours, as you can see from the photos I took in this post. They were taken from St. Albans Hill.

Summer Returns In A Softer Late August Fashion

As advertised, much of the Northeastern United States will have an extended period of fine August weather today through the middle of next week.
Sunflowers and other plants enjoying the
pleasant weather in St. Albans Thursday.  

True, there might be a few scattered showers across northern New England today, but the sun will be out most of the time.

And dry, warm, and not terribly humid weather will make anything you do outside this weekend a joy. (Except maybe if you plan to jog 15 miles in the midday sun or something)

This will be Summer Light.  Sort of a kindler, gentler version of summer heat.

Though you can still get big, too, too hot heat waves this time of year, they are a little less likely than they were in July.

So you usually get what we've got coming this weekend. Warm enough to go swimming and enjoy the beach, absolutely. But not so torrid that walking out the door is like getting a blowtorch to the face.

It's a nice time of year, really. There's not quite as many biting insects, the woods are relatively dry for hiking, the flowers are still blooming and the vegetable gardens are producing like mad. Zucchini, anyone?

It's the time of year for one last relaxing weekend of doing nothing before school starts, before the air gets too chilly for swimsuits, before you have an unpleasant discussion about how to pay for this winter's heating fuel.

So get out there and enjoy, and savor the end of summer.  The warm sunshine is too precious to ignore.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some of the Coolest Funnel Clouds Are Overseas

Two YouTube videos popped up this week that depict absolutely gorgeous funnel clouds.

One shows a waterspout over the Baltic Sea with a rainbow in the foreground. Love how the funnel and the rainbow sort of bend in the same sort of way, almost like dance partners:

The next video shows a tornado in Kazakhstan this week. I love how the dark funnel is set off against the brilliant blue sky in the background. Really nice use of color, Mother Nature!

Latest "Weather Porn" Video: People Dodge Deadly Flying Typhoon Utor Debris

In our latest installment of "Weather Porn" defined as dramatic, exciting images and videos of extreme weather, we bring you to the bustling city of Zhapu, China.
Flooding and damage from Typhoon Utor in the
Phillipines. Utor went on to trash parts of China  

This week, deadly, scary Typhoon Utor hit that area of the world. (See the video at the bottom of this post)

Judging from the video, I certainly admire the apparently ambitious people of Zhapu going about their business and work and driving and such despite the typhoon trashing the place.

But really, flying sheet metal from disintegrating roofs will cut you to ribbons. (Relax, the video does not show people getting cut to ribbons or otherwise seriously hurt in the storm)

Also, the middle of a typhoon is not exactly a good time to go for a drive, take a stroll down a city sidewalk or hop on your motorcycle for a jaunt around town, as the video clearly demonstrates.

With hurricane season really winding up in the Atlantic Ocean and prospects of a busy season, chances are an American city could have scenes like this one out of Zhapu. Let's hope not.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vermont Chills Out, Tropics Heat Up

Here on Wednesday, we're in the throes of what I consider to be the Northeast's first outbreak of autumn weather of the season.
Chilly, dark, damp and wet late Wednesday
morning in St. Albans Vermont. Feels like fall.  

Yes, I know it's not really autumn and I know we've had a couple cool spells already, but this airmass really feels like I should be out raking leaves or something.

Temperatures won't get out of the 60s today across much of northern New England.

It's  cloudy, there's a chilly northwest breeze, and the scattered showers roamin around might even drop a bit of small hail.

The first "autumnal" airmass of the season usually hits about this time of year, so this is to be expected. It's just a reminder that summer is now entering its waning days.

However, it will warm up nicely over the next few days, and we can get back to our summer activities, at least for now.

Meanwhile, the tropical Atlantic is getting active.  Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but things usually don't really get popping until mid-August. And suddenly, there are two systems that have a pretty high chance of forming into tropical storms.

Again, things appear to be on schedule here.
The National Hurricane Center is
now watching two areas for possible
tropical storm development  

One of the disturbances is heading toward the southern Gulf of Mexico and the other one is just east of Africa, way out there, and moving generally toward the west.

There's no guarantee either of these weather disturbances will become tropical storms or hurricanes, but the chances are good. The system heading toward the Gulf of Mexico could spell trouble for the southeastern United States.

It's super wet down in that part of the country. Heavy rain is expected there over the next few days. A tropical storm entering the picture after a weekend of downpours  won't help at all.

With or without a tropical storm, you'll probably hear about nasty flooding in the Southeast over the next several days.

That thing way out in the Atlantic by Africa is many days away from affecting land. And even if  it does develop, it might not hit anything at all. Who knows?

If either become a tropical storm they'd be named Erin or Fernand.

Even if neither disturbance amounts to anything, expect plenty of tropical news, and a few hurricanes from the Atlantic threatening the East and Gulf Coasts over the next six weeks or so.

"Tis the season.

New Jersey Town Adapts To Climate Change By Rising From the Depths

Adapting to the heat, drought, fires, floods and storms brought on by climate change is going to be disruptive and expensive, no doubt about that.
Should downtown Highlands, New Jersey
be raised by ten feet to avoid future bad storms and
climate change?  

Here in Vermont, we are struggling to make culverts bigger, buying out low lying properties, shoring up highways and streets to make things more resistent to the floods we seem to be getting more and more of.

The cost and complexity of just little Vermont's adaption is daunting, as I wrote for the Burlington Free Press back in February.

If you think that's difficult and expensive, check out one New Jersey town. The not very well named town of Highlands, New Jersey was smacked hard by Hurricane Sandy last October.

According to, Highlands is going to raise its entire downtown by ten feet.

Says ClimateProgress:

"City officials estimate the cost of elevating the town 8 to 11 feet would range from $150 to $200 million--in comparison to the $574 million the real estate is valued at post-Sandy, according to assessment records."

 About 1,250 Highlands homes and businessses were damaged or destroyed during Sandy. With the prospect of rising sea levels and the possibility of stronger coastal storms in a warmer world, the city fears such a disaster will happen again unless they take the drastic action of raising the community's elevation.

No word yet on how Highlands would pay for such a project. They do hope for help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but that funding is highly uncertain, to say the least.

And Highlands is just one community and the project cost is estimated at $200 million. What of all the other low-lying cities and towns along coastlines and vulnerable waterways?  We're talking trillions of dollars.

If the worst of the climate change predictions come true, maybe some coastal and low lying communities will just have to drown.  A sad prospect indeed.

I guess we can only hope climate change over the next century won't turn out to be as bad as some people fear.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

After Rainy Tuesday, A Long-ish Vermont Dry Spell?

Areas of pretty heavy rain moved out of the southern half of Vermont by about noon today, but other showers, some with fairly heavy rain have blossomed across Vermont and northern New York.
A sunflower enjoys a bright day last Saturday in St. Albans, Vermont.
After some rain today, northern New England is in for a long
stretch of fair weather.   

It will be kind of hit and miss the rest of the day and this evening.  Pretty much everybody will get some rain. But some towns will get drenched, while others will just get a bit of precipitation.

There was a pretty heavy area of rain just south and east of Burlington at around 3:30, for instance, while it was just sprinkling around St. Albans.

A slow moving cold front is causing these showers. Since the front is moving at a crawl, showers have tended to move parallel to the weather system.

So we're getting some "training" showers, where one particular area gets hit by a series of storms that are traveling along one path, like boxcars being towed by a train engine.

Often, you get some nasty flash floods when you get training showers and storms. But this weather system isn't too dynamic. Also, the ground, for once, isn't totally saturated. That means some water can soak in.

I wouldn't rule out some local flash flooding today, especially in central and maybe southern Vermont that got quite a bit of rain earlier today.  And some urban areas could get some street flooding. But I think the overall risk is pretty low.

After this rain goes by, it looks like we're in for perhaps the longest stretch of dry weather we've seen this wet summer.

There will probably be a few light showers, especially in northern Vermont, northern New York and the rest of northern New England Wednesday. There are signs there could be a sprinkle Friday, too, but don't hold your breath on that one

Other than that, it doesn't look like it will rain again in Vermont until after Monday.

It will definitely feel like autumn on Wednesday with some clouds a chilly north wind and temperatures not getting out of the 60s. That will be the coldest its been since early June.

But summer is not over. It will warm up at least into the upper 70s over the weekend, and there are some signs it could be on the warm and fairly humid side next week.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Quiet Weather, So We Post a Dramatic Storm Time Lapse

The weather is quiet over Vermont and the northeast as we begin the workweek, so, in our never-ending quest to display weather porn, that SFW, kid-friendly series of storm and extreme weather videos and images, we bring you a time lapse of a supercell thunderstorm over Kansas more than two years ago.

The speeded up video really shows how the storm rotates and really, really tries to form a tornado. (The storm apparently did eventually produce a tornado, but after the sunset, so there's no good videos of that funnel.

Still, this video is quite spectacular:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Sign of Fall Valley Fog

Sunday morning dawned mostly clear and cool in Vermont and other places in the northeastern United States.
Fog in Burlington last March
Morning fog is actually most
common in late summer and fall.  

Some valleys, especially near rivers or other bodies of water, were socked in with fog, however.

The fog would burn off by midmorning in all places, so the rest of today is going to be nice.

The areas of fog are one sign of autumn.

The ground and the water have been soaking up the summer heat for months now. Nights are starting to get a little cooler as we approach autumn.

The cool nighttime air comes in contact with the warm, moist ground. The moisture combined with the cool air condenses, and you get fog in the valleys.

This morning fog will now be quite common in the calm of many early mornings now into October.

On the bright side, if you wake up to dense fog, chances are the day will be gorgeous.  The morning fog, which always burns off as the sun gets higher in the sky,  usually comes when there is a high pressure system nearby or overhead. And high pressure usually brings sunny weather.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Today's "Weather Porn": Colorado Flash Flood

In Manitou Springs, Colorado, a massive flash flood killed at least one person and caused serious damage Friday.
An image of Friday's flash flood
roaring through Manitou Springs, Colorado

Heavy rain hit an area that was denuded by forest fires earlier this year. When that happens, there's no vegetation to hold in the moisture. So the water runs off into a flood.

Making the flood worse, the water picks up and carries fire debris, and everything comes roaring into towns like Manitou Springs.

The result is today's "weather porn" video. Note: I define weather porn as dramatic videos or images of extreme weather. As I've said previously, despite the name I've given it, it's OK for kids to watch and it's safe for work.

Here's the dramatic video from Manitou Springs:

Hurricane Season Still Looks Busy This Year

For the flood-weary eastern half of the United States, this can't be good news.

The Atlantic hurricane season is still expected to be busy this year.
Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
It looks like this year will be another busy hurricane season  

I say that's bad for the water-logged East because hurricanes moving inland drop huge amounts of rain, often long after the strong winds from the storm subside.

Ex-hurricanes can wander far inland into the Southeast, the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and interior New England, among other places.

With the ground soaked in many of these locations, many inches of rain from a hurricane or former hurricane can really spell trouble.

Just ask people in Vermont who suffered a huge flood after dying Hurricane Irene dumped heavy rain on an already soggy state in 2011. The resulting flood was monstrous.

We've already had four tropical storms in the Atlantic this year, though fortunately none of them have amounted to too much.  With ocean water temperatures above normal and rather favorable wind patterns, it seems likely there will be quite a few tropical storms and hurricanes.

The tropics have been quiet for the past week or so because a huge amount of dust from sand storms in the Sahara blew out into the Atlantic Ocean and crossed over all the way to South America and the Caribbean.  This is normal and happens from time to time. The dust suppresses  the formation of tropical storms.

But imagine standing there in Miami and breathing a bit of dust that had been stepped on by a camel in Morocco a couple weeks earlier.  It can happen.

Anyway, the dust is subsiding. And though hurricane seasons starts June 1, it really gets going in earnest around mid-August and reaches a peak during September.

There are already signs there might be some tropical storms wanting to form next week. God knows where they might end up, but if there's a bunch of them over the next several weeks, it stands to reason at least one or two would hit the United States.

All we can do is hope that doesn't happen.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Afternoon Update: Heavy Rain Yes, Not Much Vermont Flooding Yet

It's still incredibly humid across Vermont and eastern New York as of 3 p.m. Friday. Heavy rain has hit some areas, with flash flood warnings for much of southern New England and a watch for the southern two thirds of Vermont.

The threat of heavy rain and possible flash floods continues in Vermont through this evening. There is a band of heavy rain now entering far northwestern Vermont which could cause some local street flooding and such in places like St. Albans and Burlington.

Another band of heavy rain is across central Vermont. That central Vermont band, plus the rain over northwestern Vermont that could sink southeastward through the rest of the day, might touch off the flash floods forecasters are worried about.

It also rained harder last night and early today across parts of central Vermont, with a few places getting more than two inches. Those areas are more prone to flooding this afternoon than areas more to the north, which got received less rain.

So it's not over yet. The threat will go away tonight. You'll be able to tell right away the heavy rain is done. If you feel it turning noticeably less humid where you are this evening, you can forget about torrential downpours.

It's still looking like a dry, much less humid and rather sunny weekend, so that's a good thing.

Flash Flood Watch In Much of Vermont, New England Friday

"I awoke last night to the sound of thunder.
How far off I sat and wondered."

A lot of us were channeling Bob Seger, or at least his song "Night Moves" last night as noisy, torrential thunderstorms rumbled through much of Vermont.
Flash flood damage in Jericho,
 Vermont in July. Will more flooding
hit Vermont today?  

Those thunderstorms will probably continue today, and for parts of the Green Mountain State, along with other parts of central and southern New England, and eastern New York, this could spell trouble.

As anyone who has stepped outside has noticed, it became very humid yesterday and remains that way.

A cold front is slowly pushing south into the Northeast. The humid air will interact with that front and set off some torrential thunderstorms today.

A flash flood watch is up for the southern two thirds of Vermont today, along with adjacent areas of New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

It looks like southern Vermont, the Hudson Valley of New York and central and southern New Hampshire will get the worst of this, where a flash flood watch is in effect. Some areas that are repeatedly hit by downpours will get up to four inches of rain.

The northern third of Vermont already got most of the rain it's going to get, but some showers and a few downpours will continue there this morning. It just won't be enough to set off any widespread flooding.

As I noted in an earlier post, this really does seem to be the Year of the Flood locally and worldwide. If Vermont does get some flooding today, it will continue a trend begun in May. Parts of the state have already twice been declared disaster zones this year because of flooding.

Flooding is also continuing in parts of the Midwest today.

Here in the Northeast, the good news is the cold front will push through by Saturday, and the threat of flash flooding will end.

But for today, let's hope we don't have more road washouts, flooded basements and other damage. We've had enough this year.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Introducing "Weather Porn," Though G-Rated Videos

I'm going to make weather porn a regular feature of this blog.

Oh, don't worry, Weather Rapport is going to remain G-rated and totally safe for kids and work. Weather porn refers to videos or images of severe and/or extreme weather.

Weather geeks like me get a little twinge of excitement watching these videos, so that's why it's called weather porn.

The first installment of weather porn is a video of a severe thunderstorm on the coast of Belgium, of all places.

The notes accompanying the YouTube video: "The following video....was recorded by HerremanJonathan on August 5, 2013 in the town of Knokke-Heist.

Here you go, enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Is 2013 The Year Of The Flood?

I swear, every time I turn on the news this year, there's a report of some bad flood someplace.

This morning, it's Missouri and surrounding states that are under the gun.  Many areas of the U.S. East Coast had nasty floods this summer. The Canadian cities of Calgary and Toronto has epic floods this year.
A flash flood swamps Browns Trace Road in Jericho, Vermont
on July 4, 2013. Is global warming making floods more likely?  

Bad floods have lately hit Pakistan and northwestern China. Here in Vermont, we had some severe flash flooding in late May.

Then in the last half of June and the first half of July, repeated flash floods trashed roads and property in various areas of the Green Mountain State.  Part of the state were just declared a disaster area.

Is all this flooding associated with global warming? Maybe.

First, I have to issue my usual caveat. One individual weather event in one isolated place on the globe isn't necessarily proof of global warming. Weather extremes have always hit Planet Earth, and alway will.

However, taken as a whole, this seeming uptick in record floods might well be a sign of global climate change.

Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. So if the air is warmer, it follows the warmer air is often wetter. If a storm happens to interact with that warmer, wetter air, the rain could come down harder than it otherwise would.  So you get your flooding.

Some climate scientist also say the unusual melting of Arctic ice is affecting the jet stream. It gets stuck in place more often than it once did. The jet stream is featuring more unusual big dips to the south and big pushes to the north.

The odd jet stream patterns is making storms repeatedly rake over the same areas. So if you get several weeks of heavy rain storms, of course you'll get a flood.

I'd caution, though, that although scientists agree that human induced climate change is happening, they're still arguing about what effect that has on the jet stream.

If the scientists are right, we get to look forward to more nasty floods, along with the occasional drought and heat waves, if global warming continues apace.

I'm sure the insurance companies are thrilled by this prospect. 

Just as long as we never have to live that awful movie from a few years ago, "Waterworld"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Looking Back At A Hot July

We've been experiencing some cool, September like weather so far in August here in Vermont and in much of the rest of the northern United States, but a look back at July reveals some pretty hot weather locally and many other areas of the world.
A water park in China, in this image from CNN.  Thank
goodness the beaches in Vermont were not this
crowded in Vermont during the July heat waves

It will be interesting to see how July as a whole ranked globally in terms of temperature. Will it be the world's hottest on record? We'll learn when all the data is in by mid-August.

In Burlington, Vermont, the mean temperature for July was 73.8 degrees, which tied the record set in 1901 and 1949 as the fifth hottest July on record.

Other areas had more substantial heat records. It was the hottest July on record in Connecticut, with several cities there setting records for the steamiest July, according to weather historian Christopher Burt.

Austria also had its hottest day on record in July, with a high of 103.8 degrees.

Other heat waves of note in he world including a record high temperature in July of just under 79 degrees in Greenland, a spell of unprecedented 90 degree weather in Siberia, and the worst heat wave on record in July in Shanghai, China, and surrounding areas.

Alaska got into the act, too, with Fairbanks closing in on a record for the most 80 degree days in the summer and  Anchorage setting a record for the most consecutive days that got up to at least 70 degrees.

On the other hand, it did so in Brazil in July, so there's that.

Here in Vermont, there's no sign of any real heat returning anytime soon. A couple days this week might flirt with 80 degrees, but that's no big deal for August. I wonder if it will hit 90 degrees again this summer. I'm not sure, but I'm beginning to doubt it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Beautiful Sky, Pelting Hail In Vermont Meant Cold Air Was Lurking

People across Vermont, much of northern New England and northern New York were treated to a pretty sky most of Sunday, with billowing white clouds with interesting shapes and towering lumpy forms that looked like massive dishes of mashed potatoes.
A billowing thunderstorm erupts east of
Georgia, Vermont Sunday afternoon. 

Blue skies mixed with dark cloud bases, and the weather lurched from sunny to rainy, to warm to chilly to windy. Some places got pelted with quite a bit of hail.

That one minute it's here, one minutes it's gone character to Sunday was a sure sign that a pocket of very cold air for this time of year lurked a few thousand feet overhead.

The early August sun is still strong, and heated the atmosphere down where we live, so temperatures were comfortable enough, around 70 degrees. But that cold air lurking overhead meant that warm air near the ground was able to rise quickly and form those big thunderheads and beautiful billowing clouds.

I'm sure there were plenty of Kodak moments with those clouds yesterday.

For the people that got bullseyed by the strongest of the showers and thunderstorms beneath those clouds, hail pelted down. For the most part, the hail wasn't very big, because these weren't strong thunderstorms, but in some cases there was a lot of hail.

Many thunderstorms have hail, but a thick layer of the atmosphere is usually warm enough in the summer so the hail melts on the way down. Unless the thunderstorm is so severe that the hail way up high gets so big it doesn't have time to melt on the way down.
Another view of Sunday's billowing clouds
looking east from Georgia, Vermont

On Sunday, you didn't really have to go that high up to encounter subfreezing air. I'm guessing it hit 32 degree at around 7,000 feet above sea level or so.

I base that guess on the fact it was in the mid-30s yesterday afternoon at the 6,266-foot summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

That meant the hail up in those billowing clouds didn't have a lot of time to melt, so some of us New Englanders and Adirondack residents got some good blasts of hail.

The atmosphere above us is starting to warm up as of Monday noon, and high pressure moving in is encourage sinking, rather than rising air. That means it's still on the cool side around here, but not a lot of clouds. Just beautiful blue skies. So enjoy.

Hello, I'm Matt Sutkoski. You might know me as what was until recently the weather reporter and Weather Rapport blogger at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont.
I'm baaak! Weather Rapport
has started anew.  

The Free Press and me have had an amicable parting of the ways, and you will no longer see the Weather Rapport blog on the Burlington Free Press Web site.

Since I've had a lot of fun with the Weather Rapport blog, I've decided to continue it, and just revive it with a slightly new name, Matt's Weather Rapport.  

Weather Rapport will continue to have a Vermont focus, but will discuss the ever changing weather both locally and worldwide. I'll have breaking weather news, climate change updates,  political debates over climate change, meteorologicial and disaster issues, and a host of other topics related to weather and how it affects us.

What I'm especially hoping for is you, the reader, will weigh in with suggestions, comments, criticism  compliments, ideas, photos, and marvels all related to weather and climate, in Vermont and elsewhere.

It's a new beginning, and I'm excited to launch.  Find Matt's Weather Rapport here, and I'll link it on my Facebook page (just search Matt Sutkoski) and on Twitter @mattalltradesb.

I also invite you to check out my other blog, the quirky, fun  general interest blog,

I'm glad to be back with Weather Rapport, and hope to do this for a long, long time.