Monthly Archives: March 2012

Optimizing Your Response to Bomb Threats and Workplace Violence – An ACP Webinar

For more than a year now, ImpactWeather has been hosting a series of general business continuity and disaster preparedness webinars on behalf of the Association of Contingency Planners for its members and anyone else interested in topics associated with those subjects.  I’m proud to be associated with the series because they’re genuinely educational, usually only […]

Warm Weather Screwing Up Everything

First off, just last week and the week before hundreds of locations across the U.S. set record high temperatures. Internationally, it’s warm too — Scotland yesterday set a new high temperature of 22.8 Celcius (73F) for not only the day but for the month of March. An early spring, but also a relatively mild winter for many U.S. regions anxious for snowfall. My cousin in Vermont is a skier and we’ve exchanged many emails over the past several months about the missing snow (a cousin in Massachusetts, on the other hand, has had more than enough). My aunt and uncle have a house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and we shared a few emails about the New England Pond Hockey Classic. In years past the NEPHC was held on Winnipesaukee, but this year it was moved to another New Hampshire lake because the ice near Meredith just wasn’t thick enough. (Read my previous article about the NEPHC here.) Just last week Lake Winnipesaukee recorded its earliest ever ice-out.

“Mini Tornado” – Is That Like a Small Great White Shark? A Word About Accurate Weather Reporting

Terms like “mini tornado” or “weak tornado” leave me a little baffled. I mean, that’s like saying “little great white shark” or “little stealth bomber” — using the term “little” doesn’t much change your circumstances. As a meteorologist however, I know there are indeed tornadoes of varying degree. In fact, the Enhanced Fujita Scale is used to classify tornadoes from F0 to F5. The scale represents increasing degrees of damage based on the estimation of wind speeds and post-storm surveys of damage. So yes, “weak tornado” is a valid term and one that can be defined, but that doesn’t mean you want one to visit your neighborhood.

Busy Weather Week . . . Both on Earth and Elsewhere

Winter to the west, summer to the east…dangerous day in the middle.

Spring and (More) Severe Weather Coming: Mark Your Calendar

Now once again, severe weather indicators are pointing to a major severe weather outbreak early next week.

Can A Better Weather Forecast Produce More Power?

What’s the greatest invention of all time? Some will say fire, but I’ll disagree (we learned to harness fire; we didn’t create it). Others will say the wheel and it’s tough to disagree with that. Some will say the Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispensing System (when I searched for ‘Greatest invention of all time,’ that’s what turned up at the top of the list). However, if you ask the National Academy of Engineering to limit that question to the 20th Century, their answer is electrification, followed by the automobile, then the airplane, then water supply and distribution. Electrification — would you agree?

Live, Coordinated Disaster Preparation Drills Right From Your Own Desktop (Oh, And They’re Free)

Formidable Footprint is conducting another series of preparation drills – one in a few weeks and the next one in April – covering earthquake, flood, wildfire, tornado, pandemic and hurricane possibilities.  The exercises are for business and organizations who want to both strengthen and test their disaster response capabilities and for that reason the group […]

Massive Solar Activity This Week…But We’re All Still Here

With all of the other weather threats going on later this week and the looming end of the Mayan calendar, we’re also dealing with an increasingly active sun. Active regions on the sun’s surface, increased solar flares, coronal mass ejections and a nearing peak of the 11-year solar activity cycle translate to not only more media attention but a stronger, higher frequency of their effects reaching Earth.

2011’s Natural Disasters Costliest Ever – But There’s A Surprising Upside

According to a report by the United Nations that’s seeing a lot of screen time today, worldwide natural disasters in 2011 were the costliest ever . . . by a lot.  In fact, according to the secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction, it was a whopping two-thirds higher than the previous most expensive year, […]

Forecast: 15 Inches of Rain at Our Water Cooler

What do you overhear at your office water cooler? Seinfeld’s George Costanza prefers to get his gossip at the office coffee machine (“Nobody drinks from a water cooler any more – they use bottles”), but trading gossip in the office — whether at the water cooler or the coffee machine — is as old as the office itself. Location aside, you’ll probably agree there’s more going on most times than mere gossip. That’s why my ears perked up yesterday when I heard one of our StormWatch forecasters mention an upcoming rain event with a possible 15 inches of rainfall. You don’t need a weatherman to tell you 15 inches of rainfall is a significant event, however how and why 15 inches came to be definitely requires a weatherman to deconstruct and understand.