What is Graupel? A Refresher on Wintry Precipitation

On more than one occasion last fall, my husband and I watched players and sports reporters alike grappling with the precipitation that was occurring before or during the Cleveland Browns football game. The FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns, is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie and is no stranger to wild weather. News reporters struggled to identify the precipitation type…sleet? Snow? Freezing rain? Hail? All good guesses, but the correct answer was actually graupel…which many meteorologists on Twitter were quick to point out.

Fans during the November 1, 2020 game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Photo Courtesy Brent Durken/Cleveland Browns.
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Christmas 2020: What’s in the Stars?

Though many children around the world might think December 24 is the longest night of the year (it can be so hard to fall asleep while anticipating Christmas morning!), the longest night of the year actually occurs tonight! We talked a great deal about what the winter solstice is in this blog, but this year’s solstice is particularly special – Google even commemorated it with their doodle of the day!

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Third Thursday Interview: Meteorologist and Author, Cyrena-Marie Arnold

This month concludes our Third Thursday blog series, and I am so excited to have had the chance to talk with Cyrena for this edition! I first interacted with Cyrena when I saw a tweet about her new children’s book, The Weather Story with Frances Fox. She was kind enough to send me a signed copy of her book, and once I got my hands on it, I knew I wanted to talk with her!

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What’s in your Hazardous Weather Emergency Kit?

Imagine I’m Jennifer Garner…but instead of asking “What’s in your wallet?”, I’m asking “What’s in your emergency kit?” As a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, we at STM are dedicated to improving our communities’ readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience against extreme weather, water, and climate events. Furthermore, we also believe that small actions can have big impacts, and creating and storing an emergency kit in advance of a disaster can save time, prevent confusion, and ultimately prevent injuries or death when inclement weather strikes.

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Holiday Weather Forecast: Thanksgiving 2020

Can you believe that it is Thanksgiving week already? Though travel and gatherings will likely be lighter than the norm this year (AAA is predicting a 47.5% decrease in air travel for the holiday!), the weather likely won’t put a damper on the holiday for most across the U.S. With more and more families and communities cancelling gatherings or making more unique plans such as outdoor dining or Zoom calls, it is still just as important to take a look at the weather ahead of time in order to plan accordingly.

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2020: A Historic Hurricane Season

Eventful. Notable. Significant. These words can all describe 2020 in a nutshell, but they also aptly recount the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. At the time of this writing (November 11, 2020), NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) is currently issuing advisories on Tropical Storms Eta and Theta, while also monitoring an additional disturbance in the eastern Caribbean!

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A Monster Mashup: Halloween Climatology from Coast to Coast

Can you guys believe that this Saturday is Halloween?! I feel as if this year has flown by (and has been a little scary itself!)….but what a fun treat that this spooky celebration falls on a weekend this year! Halloween can be a tricky one for meteorologists, and revelers alike. Normal high temepratures can range from the 40s to the 80s with low temperatures ranging from the teens to the 70s…which makes planning your costume in advance a little tricky!

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Natural Disasters: The Road to Recovery and How to Give Back

Within the last month, millions of Americans have been touched in some way by natural disaster….and depending on where you live in the country or world, you may or may not have heard all of the details of each. A severe weather event, known as a derecho (checkout this blog for more info on what a derecho is!), took place across the Midwestern United States August 10-11, 2020, wreaking moderate to severe damage. On August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, leaving many have been left without homes, food, clothing, and other essential needs.he journey back to any place of seemingly normality will be on the time-scale of years, not months, for many. There are areas that are expected to be without running water and electricity for months. And now? Less than a month after the derecho, multiple wildfires are burning in the west. We care about all those impacted by these natural disasters, and we wanted to share resources to include ways to give back to those impacted by these events.

Lake Charles, LA. Photo Courtesy: Elise Venable (@VenableMBBS)
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Understanding the Strength of Tropical Storms: Pressure, Winds, and Surge

One week ago today, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana…a community whose residents are no stranger to the devastation of tropical storms. Category 3 Hurricane Audrey caused over 300 deaths in the small town in 1957, and nearly 50 years later, the town was struck again. While everyone fortunately evacuated before Category 5 Hurricane Rita, the storm devastated the town in September 2005. Then, in the midst of recovery from Rita, in came Hurricane Ike, leveling the town with a 12 foot storm surge. Ike destroyed over 90% of the homes within the parish and caused catastrophic flooding in every part of the parish. The damage sustained by both Rita and Ike led to stricter building codes and higher insurance costs, leading to the town’s dramatic reduction in population – from 1,965 people in 2000 to just 406 in 2010.

Credit: NOAA
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