Seiche Alert!

By: Lee Grenci, 6:30 PM GMT on November 12, 2015

Strong southwesterly winds associated with a deep low-pressure system moving across the northern Great Lakes region this morning (15Z surface analysis) will produce a seiche across Lake Erie later today and tonight. By definition, a seiche is a standing wave that oscillates back and forth across large lakes and harbors.

I always used my childhood antics to describe a seiche to my students. As a child, I would move back and forth in the bath tub until ...

Weather Forecasting

Updated: 12:30 PM GMT on November 13, 2015

Prodigious Rains in South Carolina

By: Lee Grenci, 5:47 PM GMT on October 04, 2015

Over the weekend, I heard a myriad of explanations for the cause of the historic rains in South Carolina, ranging from “moisture from Hurricane Joaquin” to “Joaquin had nothing to do with the prodigious rains in South Carolina.” I do not subscribe to either explanation because I believe the pattern was much more complicated than the rather sophomoric attempts to boil down the explanation of the protracted downpours to a brief sound bite.


Weather Analysis

Updated: 10:46 AM GMT on October 06, 2015

More Misuse of Water-Vapor Images

By: Lee Grenci, 12:31 AM GMT on September 29, 2015

If I see one more forecaster present a water vapor image and point to the ribbon of bright colors and bright white extending northward from the eastern Gulf of Mexico / Florida and describe it as a "plume of tropical moisture," I'm going to scream. First, those are high cloud tops (composed of mostly ice crystals) and NOT water vapor. Yes, high cloud tops contaminate water vapor images! Second, even if it were water vapor (and it's NOT), the temperatures of these fe...

Brief Commentary

Updated: 1:12 AM GMT on September 29, 2015

My Take on Erika

By: Lee Grenci, 2:56 PM GMT on August 30, 2015

I watched with interest the evolution of forecasts for Tropical Storm Erika as it approached the Caribbean Islands this past week. Fairly or unfairly, the first impression I got was that southern jog in the storm as it approached Hispaniola was a huge surprise (see track below). The associated detachment of the low-level center of circulation from the deep moist convection also seemed to catch some forecasters off guard.

Yet both of these dy...

Tropical Forecasting

Updated: 10:52 PM GMT on August 30, 2015

May 31, 1985: A Day I'll Never Forget

By: Lee Grenci, 4:12 PM GMT on May 28, 2015

This Sunday (May 31) will mark the 30th year since the terrible outbreak of tornadoes in Pennsylvania (there were also tornadoes in Ohio, Ontario, and New York on May 31, 1985). The local office of the National Weather Service just published an account of that horrific day (89 killed, over 1000 injured). If you scroll down the Web page, you'll see that I was quoted (among other quotes). It was 30 years ago, but I remember the exact moment (standing in front of the r...


Updated: 4:36 PM GMT on May 28, 2015

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From the Lee Side

About 24hourprof

Retired senior lecturer in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State, where he was lead faculty for PSU's online certificate in forecasting.