Looking back at U.S. Climate in 2018

Although most people tend to look back and on the past year around the holidays and at the beginning of a New Year, I also like to reflect back once spring has truly sprung. The sun illuminates our days even longer, the world is full of beautiful new blooms, the birds are chirping, and it seems that everything is truly “new” again. So for this week’s blog, I thought that this would be a perfect time to look back at 2018 and really take in all that happened across the U.S. weather-wise.

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Wild Weather Extremes: April 2019 Snow and Severe Weather

When meteorologist educators teach students of all levels, one of the first things we do is to distinguish the difference between weather and climate. Technically speaking, weather is the day-to-day conditions that describe the state of the atmosphere, while climate is an average of weather conditions at a particular place, generally averaged over a 30 year time period. In my classes, I always say that the best way to remember this distinction is that ‘weather impacts your daily life’. Many disruptions to people’s lives were caused as a result of a very dynamic spring weather pattern which has been present over the continental United States for the last few weeks.

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Historic Widespread Flooding to Continue Through May

NOAA issued its annual Spring Outlook (April – June 2019) last Thursday, March 21, 2019 which includes outlooks for temperature, precipitation, and flood risk. As those living in the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa are still recovering from recent monumental and devastating flooding, forecasters have declared that above-average spring rain and snow will likely worsen flood conditions through May.

Missouri 111 in Craig, Missouri . Photo courtesy Missouri State Highway Patrol
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Ellicott City’s Hometown Hero: A Story of Resilience in the Wake of Extreme Flash Flooding

Ellicott City, Maryland is a historic town of around 70,000 that was founded by four brothers in 1772 and is home to the Ellicott City Station – the oldest surviving train station in the United States. The landmark Ellicott City Station isn’t the only thing that Ellicott City is known for though. After enduring two historic “1-in-1,000-year” rain events in two years that garnered national headlines, the residents of Ellicott City are becoming known for their resilience, community, and dedication to preserving their home – in spite of all odds. Continue reading “Ellicott City’s Hometown Hero: A Story of Resilience in the Wake of Extreme Flash Flooding”