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About WhiteFox

  • Birthday 13/01/75

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    Reading/New York/Chicago
  • Interests
    Work (not really!), computers, weather, snow-chasing, travel.<br />Reading (not Reading!).

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  1. Time for some analysis? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2015/apr/09/daily-express-weather-warning-beware-a-shower-of-extreme-inaccuracy
  2. IIRC, last autumn was pretty dry and settled, notwithstanding the late October storm of course. I remember thinking how dry it had been up to the time i went to Malaysia for Xmas in the middle of December. Of course, someone flicked a switch the moment I left! I could be wrong in my memories though; the ads I'm seeing on netweather at the moment keep prompting me to manage my retirement income better so perhaps my memory is fading (I'm not yet forty though, so it is a little irksome!).
  3. First time I've seen this in a shipping forecast: Sole Gale warnings - Issued: 2143 UTC Mon 3 FebSoutheasterly severe gale force 9 expected soon, veering westerly and increasing violent storm force 11 later Shipping Forecast - Issued: 1030 UTC Tue 4 Feb Wind Southerly or southeasterly veering westerly, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11, decreasing 7 to severe gale 9 later. Sea state High, becoming very high or phenomenal. Weather Rain or squally showers. Visibility Moderate or poor. Phenomenal seas! Wouldn't want to be caught out in that one.
  4. Is anyone else getting intermittent issues with the v6 radar? Quite often when I look at the radar I get the below: Sometimes zooming in will solve it or clicking back by one timeframe, but it seems especially bad this morning.
  5. There's so much wrong with The Express story that it's difficult to know where to start! Aside from the clearly sensationalist main headline (I suppose coldest in 50 years, which is far more feasible if impossible to forecast at this range, would be less eye-catching). However, If I were to pick on one point which really highlights the selective reporting on offer it would be the 22 degree temperature swing. They're comparing the coldest recorded temperature in the UK with the highest recorded and implying that it is for a single location. If you did the same in the US you'd probably have a 60 degree 'range' for the same date. For anyone interested in the study of journalism, it's a perfect example of pitching figures to meet your requirements; something that all media are guilty of doing, but which papers like The Express and Mail really excel at. They're not actually lying, but failing to qualify the figures. And yet, to be slightly controversial, some people will rightly poo poo these figures, but happily quote reports on economics or even other more controversial topics. I trust The Daily Star more than The Express; at least the Star makes no prentice at being a quality paper...
  6. I often think that if you love your summers dry and sunny and your winters cold and snowy then you should live in San Diego from April to October, and then move to Green Bay or Minneapolis from October to March. San Diego has the best summer climate; look at those temperatures today (around 21oC at 10am under clear skies). The midwest is just too hot in the height of summer; 38oC+ in humidity is totally unbearable. I used to hate New York from mid-June to late August with high humidity and hot temperatures, plus it really stinks in summer! Chicago is a little more bearable thanks to Lake Michigan, but it still feels very uncomfortable (as I bet it is right now). No-one can enjoy temperatures of 35+ whilst having to go about your normal routine.
  7. Masses of daily records have tumbled over the past week in the US. Chicago has broken daily records on 8 of the last 9 days. Over 80F for quite a few days. Temperatures being recorded are the average for mid June. International Falls hit 77F; the previous record was 61F. Bear in mind the average there for mid-March is 37F. On a line from the Rockies East, the temperature for the first half of March is 8-10F above average, so barring an extreme cooldown for the second half, the warmest March on record looks like being set for the Eastern two thirds. An almost unprecedented spell, not just in warmth, but also longevity. Of course, it has also provided plenty of energy for some very severe weather outbreaks already. Could be an extremely active tornado season.
  8. Why is anyone shocked by anything the Express or Mail publish? At least The Sun and Mirror don't pretend to be serious newspapers!
  9. Some positive feedback on weather reporting for once! In Chicago last week, I caught the WGN TV lunchtime forecast. The foecaster was an old-timer, and went into great detail; he showed the jetstream, talked about the cold air bottled up in Canada and why it wouldn't really reach Chicago for the time being, showed detailed pressure and H500 maps, and then gave a two minute section on historic weather. How I wish I could see this in the UK! Then, last night I was watching the Weather Channel. Mostly this is just dumbed down noise, with most of the forecasters acting as presenters instead of meteorologists. There are some notable exceptions: Dr Greg Forbes (the Severe Weather Expert!) goes into a lot of detail about thunderstorms and tornadoes. They have some really cool technology now which lets him take a vertical cross section of an active storm and show the PPN content. For example, the graph will show how high the PPN reaches ("only 2500 feet so not a big storm") and he can also pinpoint tornadoes and what they look like on the vertical PPN. Very cool! Those who have chased in the US may have seen some of his forecasts as when there is a severe outbreak, he is very interesting. The other standout forecaster is Jim Cantore. There's a classic video of him covering the 1993 blizzard in Massachussets, when thunder breaks out behid him. He's like a kid in a sweetshop and has massive enthusiasm for all types of weather. This was illustrated last night when he was forecasting the path of an Upper Midwest snowstorm for this weekend. Minneapolis, the only city of any real size up there, is on the edge and is looking at snow - rain - snow or all snow. He actually showed the ECM model (all snow) and then compared the GFS model which shows the centre of the low coming closer to Minneapolis. He then gave his reasons for favouring the ECM model ("once dense cold air is in place it's like trying to move a brick with a feather, so I'm siding with the European model"). Quality, standout weather coverage in amongst what is generally dumbed down crap.
  10. I guess that would coincide with the coldest average high temperature for the year? I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I suspect that late January is the coldest part of the year. I know in the US that the last week in January is generally considered the depths of winter, with early February bringing a slow but steady rise in average maxima and minima.
  11. As an example of what Roger is describing, in December last year, Denver went from a high of 72oF on Saturday, to heavy snow on Sunday evening followed by a high of 27oF on Monday. Basically anywhere East of the Rockies and North of Northern Texas in the West as far East as Ohio is prone to wild temperature swings which can be at their most intense most during winter time. North of a warm source of moisture in the Gulf, and south of a large cold airmass; perfect ingredients for sharp temperature contrasts and the perfect recipe for tornadoes of course!
  12. Severe thunderstorm warning issued just to my north: * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... NEW YORK (MANHATTAN) COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... BRONX COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK... CENTRAL BERGEN COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... In fact, a tornado warning has just expired for Westchester County and Bronx. A train of storms has now developed, and as I speak it is like night-time outside (it's not quite 6pm here). The storms have developed very quickly this afternoon:
  13. All kicking off in Chicago right now. I'm sitting over in Kalamazoo, MI, about 150 miles East. A PDS (particularly dangerous situation) watch has just been issued for Chicago, North West Indiana and South West Michigan. A strong bow-echo on the doppler and two tornado warnings have already been issued for Cook county. Even without the tornado warnings, winds are gusting to 60-80mph. I wouldn't fancy being in O'Hare tonight trying to get out! TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 758 PM CDT MON AUG 4 2008 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR... CENTRAL COOK COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... * UNTIL 830 PM CDT... * AT 754 PM...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR INDICATED STRONG ROTATION IN A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM NEAR FRANKLIN PARK...MOVING EAST AT 42 MPH. * THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR... NORRIDGE...HARWOOD HEIGHTS...AND PARK RIDGE BY 805 PM... LAKEVIEW...LOGAN SQUARE...ROGERS PARK...AND HUMBOLDT PARK BY 815 PM... MONTROSE HARBOR...LINCOLN PARK...AND NAVY PIER BY 820 PM... THIS TORNADO WARNING INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHICAGO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF NO BASEMENT IS AVAILABLE...MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR. MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES SHOULD BE ABANDONED FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. AVOID WINDOWS! ...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 830 PM CDT FOR EXTREME EAST CENTRAL LA SALLE... NORTHERN WILL...SOUTHERN KENDALL... NORTHERN GRUNDY...DUPAGE...COOK... SOUTHERN LAKE AND SOUTHEASTERN MCHENRY COUNTIES... AT 756 PM...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING PENNY SIZE HAIL...AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 80 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM MUNDELEIN TO BENSENVILLE TO WILLOW SPRINGS TO MOKENA TO CHANNAHON...MOVING EAST AT 62 MPH. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR... BANNOCKBURN BY 800 PM... LAKE FOREST...LAKE BLUFF...WINNETKA...AND WILMETTE BY 805 PM... WILMETTE HARBOR...UNIVERSITY PARK...THORNTON... AND STEGER BY 810 PM... SAUK VILLAGE BY 815 PM... DOWNTOWN CHICAGO BY 805 PM... THIS SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHICAGO. THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. SEEK SHELTER IN A BASEMENT OR INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. VERY HEAVY RAINFALL MAY CAUSE LOCALIZED FLOODING. In fact, as I type a tornado has been reported on the ground East of Elgin: Possible tornadoes also reported at Elmhurst and Lincoln Park/Navy Pier. No confirmations yet, but events are happening quickly right now! Further Updates 2020CDT: At 758 PM... local law enforcement reported a tornado near Elmhurst. This tornado was located near Elmhurst... moving east at 41 mph. Franklin Park is near O'Hare. At 758 PM... trained weather spotters reported a funnel cloud. This tornado was located near Franklin Park... moving east at 47 mph. At 803 PM... local law enforcement reported a tornado. This tornado was located near Schiller Park... moving east at 47 mph. Heavy rain, tornado warning sirens sounding in downtown Chicago Found a cool shot of the effect of the storm cell on flights in the area:
  14. The heat across the CONUS has been intense over the past week, and remains so into the start of next week. Dallas has been hitting highs of 105oF (41oC) and will probably reach 108oF today (42oC). In fact, Dallas has been over 100oF for five of the past six days and has another three or so to go. Similarly, Denver has just broken a record; they recorded 19 days of 90oF or over which beat the previous streak of 18 set in about 1903. In fact, Denver is also up to 100oF at the moment. The heat extends across much of the Low Plains and Texas, with many places recording triple-digit heat. In some places, the heat must be completely unbearable; adding in humidity, places like Memphis, TN have felt like 120oF +. There are two exceptions to the heat right now; the North East and the North West, who are both under a trough right now. I had an amazing flight from Chicago to New York last night; a line of storms over Northern Ohio provided quite the light show out of the right hand side, and then we had to divert to the south to avoid another cell which meant we had another light show on the left hand side for quite a while. Anyway, this line of storms has now reached New York; we are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 6pm, and have just had a severe storm warning cancelled as an approaching storm broke up somewhat (looks like South Connecticut is getting hammered right now). Another line is coming in about an hour or so; it's going to be a lively day!
  15. No; it was getting late, and the storms are far to dangerous to be wandering around in! Besides that, I would have been soaked as would my camera... No flooding here, but I'm not surprised that some places did flood. We had another round of storms at about 3am which I slept through. The system spread on into Maine this morning causing a tornado watch to be issued up there.