It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…weather balloon?

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed the the Albany National Weather Service made regional headlines last week. Why? Because a weather balloon which was launched from the office here in upstate New York made its final descent onto a driveway in Rhode Island! Thus, we thought it would be a good time to go over what exactly IS a weather balloon (and what you should do if you find one in your driveway!).

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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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Arctic Blast and Snow Squalls: January 30, 2019

As I sit writing this post today, it is currently 52 degrees with bright, sunny skies at the Albany International Airport. Temperatures in central New York and Pennsylvania are in the low 60s, and the frigid arctic air that was making national headlines just a few days ago seem like a distant memory (at least until one remembers that it is early February and winter is far from over in the Northeast!). While the coldest of the cold air impacted the Midwest and northern Plains, those of us here in the northeast U.S. got a quick blast of the frigid air between January 30 and February 1. Continue reading “Arctic Blast and Snow Squalls: January 30, 2019”

Northeast Winter Storm January 19-20, 2019

At the time of this writing, the northeast United States is in the grip of a frigid air mass in the wake of a winter storm which brought widespread snowfall, along with a variety of mixed precipitation, to the Eastern Seaboard. While today’s winds and associated below-zero wind chill factors are a topic for a future blog post, today we focus on the physical mechanisms which are responsible for creating various types of frozen precipitation. Continue reading “Northeast Winter Storm January 19-20, 2019”