Wunderground Meteorologist Shaun Tanner

Postcards From Autumn

By: shauntanner, 9:47 PM GMT on September 24, 2012

Perhaps this statement will get me yelled at by some, but I do not like Summer. Yeah sure, Summer is fun with the beaches and the Sun and all of that yumminess, but I prefer the coziness and hot chocolate-filled nights of Autumn and Winter.

Thus, it was with great pleasure that at 10:49 A.M. EDT on Saturday, September 22 that I celebrated the beginning of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

If I were to take a poll of my fellow employees with the single question of, "Do you prefer Winter or Summer", the vast majority would choose Summer. I initially thought that this disdain for Autumn and Winter came from imports to California from colder climates such as the Midwest and Great Lakes area (many employees of Weather Underground are from these areas). But, I am reminded that this attitude is not region-centric every time it rains in California. When I was a child, my Californian mother would whine about the wet weather every time it rained for more than 6 hours. So, my question to you is, why do you hate the Autumn and Winter?

Before you yell at me more, I can answer this question with what most of you in snow-prone cities will say.

Well, Mr. Meteorologist, I can't stand shoveling feet of snow away from my door and sidewalk for 4 months straight.

To that I say, I get it. There are certain aspects of Winter that suck. But, I certainly don't hear the same amount of screaming when we have to dunk ourselves in sunscreen every time we go out into the Summer Sun. And isn't the inconvenience of a few dozen Summer mosquito bites worth a similar check mark in the annoying column? All I am saying is that you have to take into account the best and worst of the season before you say "I hate Autumn and Winter."

Here are my reasons for enjoying Autumn and Winter

Coziness Factor

Yeah sure, the heat of the Summer is fine...for awhile. But when it hits 105 degrees or when the dew point soars into the 60s and 70s, how is that enjoyable? There is just not that much you can do to protect yourself. Cold weather? You can protect yourself from that. Even better is curling up underneath a blanket, wearing those funky slippers you received 12 years ago for Christmas while sipping a giant mug of hot chocolate and staring at the dancing snowflakes or pounding raindrops outside and being thankful for the non-leaking roof over your head. There is nothing worse than a blanket that is too small, however. So make sure you have an adequate blanket-size to maintain the cozy seal.

How can you compete with these colors?

My parents will be taking a cruise in and around New England and the Canadian Maritime region in October. The reason? Well, for this of course...

I am interested to see how the fall colors turn out this year. In case you haven't heard, many areas of the country are currently suffering through a devastating drought.

The experts are saying that a drought should cause the fall colors to come earlier and end earlier than normal. The good news is that the drought is minimal in New England, so the colors should hopefully come out as expected.

Running in the puddles

Yeah, I get it. I'm a kid. And all of you reading this blog are SOOOO above being a child. But, one rainy weekend, put on those exercise clothes you stuffed into the back of your closet, strap on some boots or tennis shoes, and go run in the puddles. Jump, splash, get as wet and sloppy as possible. I have never had a bad time doing it. It has even cured a bad mood as well. The best part is stripping off those wet clothes and jumping into a steaming hot shower. Then, see Coziness Factor above.

Winter Sports

Last Winter, many employees stopped by my office to inquire if any snow was coming to the Sierras. My answer throughout the entire Winter was, "no, stop asking." I find it interesting that these are the same people who whine when it rains for more than a day straight.

I think we all saw what happens when the snow takes a vacation. No snow, no skiing, hardly a White Christmas, no snowballs. What kind of Winter is that?

Pumpkin Pie

Sure, this isn't a complex list, but it isn't meant to be. Add your list of likes and dislikes below in the comments section. But, I wanted to add this one because it just might be my favorite perk of all. Perhaps it is just me, but whenever October comes around, I get the unmistakeable whiffs of pumpkin pie in the air. I love pumpkin pie. I have been known to swallow two pumpkin pies at a time around the Holidays, so please send your pies and recipes to the WU office. Forget the recipes, just send the pies.


Updated: 9:54 PM GMT on September 24, 2012


Moderate Risk Of Severe Weather For Northeast U.S.

By: shauntanner, 8:43 PM GMT on September 07, 2012

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the severe risk in the Northeast U.S. for Saturday to moderate. This represents a significant threat to heavily-populated areas.

The SPC Convective Outlook for Saturday.

As noted in the image above, the moderate risk area extends from the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania northward into Vermont and New Hampshire. Some large cities in the moderate risk area include New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Hartford, and Albany. In addition, a slight risk has been issued for the surrounding area as far south as North Carolina through Maine.

The main threat will be strong, intense winds, large hail, and the possibility of tornadoes. Needless to say, residents in the entire Northeast will need to prepare to protect life and property from this significant threat.

The strengthening cold front that may eventually bring severe weather to the Northeast was stretched from the Plains through the Ohio Valley on Friday, where it was producing some impressive temperature gradients of 100s ahead of the front and 60s behind it. As this front strengthens and moves eastward, it will likely produce a damaging squall line, where the threat will be very heavy rain along with strong winds and large hail. The intensity of the rain could produce flash flooding in exposed areas. However, a more significant threat may actual form ahead of this front. Supercells capable of developing very strong tornadoes will actually form well ahead of the main cold front. Thus, while the cold front will not arrive in places like New York City and Philadelphia until the late afternoon, supercells could enter the region ahead of this.

Best Ways To Prepare For Severe Weather

It is important to prepare for severe weather well before it happens. THAT MEANS NOW! Weather Underground has put together a weather preparedness section to assist in getting weather for this severe weather threat. One fantastic way to prepare and protect yourself for severe weather is to buy a weather radio. These radios broadcast special frequencies that alert owners of hazards.

As always, Weather Underground will be covering any severe weather outbreak on twitter, so make sure you follow us so you stay informed.

You can always bookmark a few important Weather Underground pages:

Weather Underground's severe map will show you all active warnings during any potential outbreak.

The WunderMap is hands down the best way to follow severe weather. The link provided will take you to a zoomed in version of the WunderMap with radar turned on. This will let you know where the severe is, how intense the outbreak is, and when it potentially could come to your neighborhood.

Severe weather Tornado

Updated: 2:58 PM GMT on September 08, 2012


About shauntanner

Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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