The Eadweard Muybridge's birthday storm

Yes, I named it after photographer and motion picture pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, who was born on April 9, 1830.  (An animated series of his photographs appears in this post.)

Anyway, snow on April 9th.  What in the name of Old Man Winter's frosty nostrils is going on?

So Friday 4/8: Breezy and cooler with times of clouds and sun.  High of 50, or just a hair above, but it's going to feel no warmer than the low 40s.

Saturday 4/9 will start out right around freezing and won't get out of the 30s all day.  Expect scattered snow showers between about 6am and noon, which will mix with (then turn to) rain.  We may see a bit more snow as the precipitation moves out, around 6pm to 8pm.  (Winds will increase late Saturday as well.)  Fortunately, this is April and it would need to snow furiously for a good long while to accumulate on paved surfaces.  So aside from slightly reduced visibility during snowfall and about a coating to an inch of accumulation on grass and whatnot, the Eadweard Muybridge's birthday storm will have little impact.

Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 06:54PM by Registered CommenterMonsoon Martin | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The vicissitudes make the average.


Let me address one of my weather peeves: the notion that temperatures are going to be "10 degrees above normal" or "15 degrees below normal for this time of year."  When forecasters talk about "normal" temperatures, they're talking about the average, or mean.  Averages often reflect huge range differentials.

For example: the average high for today's date (March 30th) in Reading, PA is 56 degrees.  The actual high today (3/30/16) was 59 degrees.  On the same date in 2015, it was 56.  On 3/30/14, it was 47.  2013, 53.  2012, 61.  The average of those five years is 55.2 degrees.  When calculated using all the years available (that is, going back to 1943), it would come out to 56.

So when the temperature was 61 on 3/30/12, we were not "5 degrees above normal" ... it was just 61 degrees.  When it was 47 on 3/30/14, we weren't "9 degrees below normal" ... it was just 47 degrees.

Which brings me to the next six days.

Historically, the average high temperature for the period from March 31st to April 5th is 57 degrees.

Let's look at what to expect in the coming six days:

Thursday 3/31: sunny to start, but increasing clouds and wind by late afternoon.  Some showers in the evening and maybe even a thunderstorm.  High of 71.

Friday 4/1: breezy and quite warm with a shower (and widely scattered thunderstorms) in the morning and early afternoon.  High 74.

Saturday 4/2: partly sunny and quite windy with cooler temperatures.  Watch for a stray shower.  High 60.

Sunday 4/3: colder still with a few snow showers (!) possible early Sunday morning.  Still windy.  High 43.

Monday 4/4: overcast with a few rain showers in the afternoon.  High 51.

Tuesday 4/5: overcast with snow showers (maybe even enough to coat grassy surfaces and whatnot, but not enough to cause travel disruptions) turning to rain.  High 44.

So that's a wide range of temperatures.  Highs ranging from 45 to 75.  (Lows, accordingly, ranging from the 20s to the 50s.)

The average of all of the widely variant high temperatures is ...............

Wait for it.........

57 degrees.

BOO YA!!!!!

Stay tuned for updates.

And happy 68th birthday to Rhea Perlman on March 31st.

And happy 44th birthday to Jill Scott on April 4th.


P.S. If there any errors in my use of the maths or math terminology, please tell me, math teacher friends.  But be gentle.

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 07:50PM by Registered CommenterMonsoon Martin | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Update on the Spike Lee-VE (Vernal Equinox) Storm.

First, it was brought to my attention that in recent years, former NBA star Mookie Blaylock went into a downward spiral that included alcoholism (that led to seizures), DUI arrests, and finally an accident in which Blaylock hit another driver head-on, killiing her.  He's now in prison, having been convicted of reckless driving and vehicular homicide.  So, you know, his nickname was cool, but this is some heavy stuff - and unsuitable for naming a pesky little late-season storm after.

And so I hereby christen this storm the Spike Lee-VE Storm, for the filmmaker / agitator turns 59 on Sunday, if you can believe it.  (Coincidentally, he played a character called Mookie in the film Do the Right Thing, but I think that character was named after Mets centerfielder Mookie Wilson.)

So all kinds of crazy talk is floating out there: we're getting 6-12 inches of snow, we're gonna have several days off of school, we're doomed, Donald Trump is going to be our next President.

None of this is going to happen.

Let me just tackle the weather bit for now.

Here's what to expect:

Light snow starts late Saturday night, right around midnight.  Light snow showers overnight and into Sunday morning.  This is a very wet snow - this fact, combined with the very warm surface temperatures and the lightness of the snowfall, will result in only a bit of accumulation on grassy areas and parked cars, but just wet roads and no travel headaches.

When the snow becomes steadier - I expect this to happen in the early to mid afternoon on Sunday - we could see a bit of accumulation on paved surfaces (roads and whatnot) and a bit more difficulty in travel.  The snow tapers by 8 or 9pm and should be gone altogether by about 1am Monday.

Still, use caution on bridges and overpasses, and be on the lookout for slick spots developing overnight Sunday that could linger into Monday morning's commute.

Accumulations: an inch or two on grassy areas; an inch on roads.


Chance of delay Monday, 14%

Chance of cancellation Monday, 1.77%

Monday turns out windy and chilly with a high in the low to mid 40s (but wind chills in the low 30s).

60s and 70s by the end of the week!


Posted on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 06:10PM by Registered CommenterMonsoon Martin | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Vernal Equinox Snowstorm?!?!?!

March 20th is the birthday of basketball great Daron Oshay "Mookie" Blaylock. The band Pearl Jam originally called themselves Mookie Blaylock, changing the name before released its first album, but naming the debut album (Ten) after Mookie's uniform number.Hi.

I really thought winter was over.  Meteorological winter ended on February 29th.  And the actual season of winter will end on Sunday night, March 20th.

It's the vernal equinox (from the Latin vernus, of the spring, and the Latin equi + noctium = equal night).  And it may bring a consarned, flibberty-gibbeted, sum-bastardy snowstorm.

But it probably won't.

It's a Nor'easter - a coastal storm.  In order for us to get accumulating, school-canceling, travel-snarling snow (given the sun angle, the surface warmth due to the mild recent temperatures, and all that), we'd have to get heavy snow for an extended period, and we'd have to get just the right shot of arctic air, and the track would have to be just right.

All of which could happen.  I just don't think it's likely.

Right now I'd give us a 6% chance of this materializing into a snowstorm worth a good g.d.

Of course, you should stay tuned for updates!


Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 06:40PM by Registered CommenterMonsoon Martin | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The R. I. Pocock's Birthday Storm

March 4th is the 153rd anniversary of the birth of British zoologist Reginald Innes (R. I.) Pocock, whose name definitely sounds like the punchline of a Bart Simpson prank call.

Anywho, this little storm is going to be our last real tangle with Old Man Winter.

What to expect:

Thursday 3/3 is sunny and cold, but with much calmer winds.  High in the mid to upper 30s.  Snow showers roll in starting around 10 or 11pm.  Snow on and off throughout the night.  Temperatures hold steady just below freezing, so most of the accumulation should be on grassy and unpaved surfaces.  Still, watch for slippery roadways.

Friday 3/4 will begin with snow showers making the morning commute a bit hazardous; snow ends toward noon.  There may be a lingering snow shower or two in the afternoon (or a flurry), but that's it.  High in the upper 30s, low in the lower 20s.

Chance of delay Friday: 29%

Chance of cancellation Friday: 17%

Saturday 3/5 will be partly sunny, but clouding up toward evening.  There could even be a snow shower or two on Saturday night.  High in the mid 40s.

Sunday 3/6 looks overcast with temperatures rising toward 50.

Monday 3/7 (Wanda Sykes' birthday), upper 50s.

Tuesday 3/8 (Micky Dolenz' birthday), upper 60s!

Wednesday 3/9 (Emmanuel Lewis' birthday) and Thursday 3/10 (Chuck Norris' birthday), 70s!!  

Then we get back to normal (highs in the 50s), but no more snow.


Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 07:42PM by Registered CommenterMonsoon Martin | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference | EmailEmail | PrintPrint
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