2020: Reflections on a year like no other

Thursday, December 31, 2020.

We have posted our weekly blog nearly every Thursday for the last two years.

This Thursday post feels different in so many ways. While I often take time to reflect at the end of a calendar year, this one has stopped me in my tracks. I cannot help but look back on this year and think how absolutely different it ended up turning out than what I had hoped or planned. Like countless other people, Kelly and I both have experienced direct impacts of COVID-19, ranging from minor disappointments to shattering losses. It has been a year of grief but also a year of growth. I think in terms of key words and key points and that has been so helpful as I think through all of the personal and professional upheaval which this year as brought. Here are the words that have come to my mind:

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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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Encouraging Girls in STEM: The Ella Project

If you follow us on Facebook, you might have noticed that we shared a post back in October about the Ella Project. I was so pleased to make the aquaintence of Anthony Onesto, co-founder and creator of the Ella Project, and honored to be profiled as one of their Stories of women who work in STEM fields. This organization is doing great things, and so I decided to use this week’s blog to tell you about it in more detail!

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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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Third Thursday Interview: Rick Shema, CCM

For this week’s Third Thursday interview, I am so excited for you to meet a colleague of mine, Rick Shema. I met Rick while we were both serving terms on the American Meteorological Society Board of Certified Consulting Meteorologists (BCCM). Rick owns Weatherguy.com, a company which specializes in marine meteorology. He provides forecasts and support services for marine applications, and also provides expert testimony for marine cases in litigation. His love of the water and Naval experience give him top notch credentials in his work. We’ve had the opportunity to collaborate together both on the BCCM and on a case or two over the years, and I always enjoy working with him. His passion, integrity, and enthusiasm for what he does comes through in every aspect of his work. I hope you enjoy getting to know Rick as much as I have!

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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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Celebrating The Weather Blog’s 100th (Post)!

It is amazing to believe, but here we are: this week’s post marks the 100th time that Kelly and I have been fortunate enough to connect with our readers! I have to admit, I was filled with some trepidation as we began this journey not quite two years ago, wondering what on earth we might write about when we committed to blogging weekly. Worse yet, who would want to read it? To my surprise and delight, writers block has been a rare occurrence, and we enjoy and read all of the comments from our readers. I thought it would be fun to go back into the archives and reflect on how this space has grown and evolved since we posted our first entry back in December of 2018.

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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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