Don Paul, The Buffalo News
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Don Paul

Contributor

Don Paul is a frequent contributor on weather/climate for The Buffalo News. He is also a staff meteorologist for WKBW and a former chief meteorologist for WIVB.

At the outset, let me tell you some theoretical human health impacts from ongoing climate warming in the mean are just that - theoretical. I was brought to this topic by an article I received from what I consider an advocacy group which might not be as objective as I’d prefer. I sought out what I feel is a more objective organization with a deeper foundation of scientifi…

I decided to write this article on what will surely be the coldest day for the remainder of March. Thermally, we have nowhere to go but up, right? In the longer term, most guidance, including the 46-day experimental European output, favors temperatures to run above seasonal average for much of the spring in the plains, the Midwest and much of the Northeast west of centr…

The mean global sea level is going up by 3.4 millimeters per year. The majority of that increase is tied to ongoing warming due to human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, as well as deforestation. The rising sea levels occur due to freshwater ice melt and the expansion of sea water due to warming (water expands as it heats). The largest sources of freshw…

I choose to write on this topic at a time when my forecast and those of many of my local colleagues are doing just fine in the midst of our long-duration winter storm. The timing is not coincidental; I’m not as dumb as I look! A busted forecast is a fuzzy phrase that purports to describe a forecast gone bad. Some laypeople call forecasts busted that are nowhere near m…

For the 33-plus years I’ve been in Buffalo, I’ve been talking about about downslope winds, maybe even to the extent of ad nauseum. We currently are at the start of a March cold snap. For those of you who hold the cold in disfavor, downslope is precisely the kind of wind you need – but won’t get – for the next week or so. A downslope wind is one in which air fl…

The satellite budgets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are in peril — and that could affect public safety. NOAA — the parent agency for the National Weather Service and its satellite service — is in line for a large slashing, under budget cuts recently proposed by the Trump administration. If the proposal goes through Congress, NOAA could se…

March will be more active than February, but … not by all that much. Last week extended-range computer guidance was suggesting numerous quick hits of more wintry weather during March than we had in the extraordinarily warm and snowless February we’ve  just experienced. Around Feb. 22-24, the guidance showed vigorous storm systems zooming down into the Great Lakes p…

Tornadoes occur every month of the year, but we are now going to be coming into what is usually the most active time of the year for tornadic storms – spring. Generally, the greatest activity advances from south to north as warming expands northward. Last year, after an active February start, was exceptionally quiet most of the year until near the year’s end. This y…

I recall both Andy Rooney and David Letterman taking shots at the wind chill index as TV weather gimmicks, both with inventive sarcasm and wit. Since I can be quite the smart aleck myself, I admit it can be a good target. It doesn’t help if a weathercaster takes air time to give you the wind chill temperature when the wind speed is 5 mph and the temperature is 38 degrees…

Sharp February warming: Is it weather or climate? Or is it both? To say it’s hard to tell is a scientific understatement. There is the irrefutable footprint of a warming climate when averaged globally. Winters have been warmer, again on average, across the United States for many decades. Note that there are no regions in the lower 48 states that have had mean cool…

It would be more fun to just write about the nor’easters themselves, like Thursday’s storm. It was a genuine blizzard for parts of eastern New England and Long Island. This excitement is particularly timely because the next one coming up, on Monday, will deepen even more explosively into a stronger roaring blizzard close to Maine. It’s not often something writt…

Weather forecasts, especially during active patterns, can often vary widely from one source to another. If forecasts are all based on the same data input, why would that be the case? This commonly asked question came up in my mind because I just read a Seattle newspaper interview with the National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist/WCM for that region. …

Most of you have heard sea levels are rising, mainly due to human activity. Warming is the underpinning of those rises. I’m using "rises," plural, because sea level increases are uneven around the globe; they're happening faster in some places and slower in others. The warming is almost entirely due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to more carb…

If my mom were still around, she’d say “AHA!!” My mom, like millions of others, firmly believed cold weather caused colds. I would argue, after having chatted with doctors numerous times and hearing what I wanted to hear: “No, Mom, you have to be exposed to a cold virus to catch a cold.” Turns out we both were right, at least partially. You can’t catch a col…

What are the odds that the Blizzard of '77 could happen again? I’m tempted to say slim and none. Let’s amend that to “almost none.” For this winter season, we are essentially at “none.” As far as we can discern from Buffalo weather records, the Blizzard of ’77 was a one-time event, at least since the late 19th century. The setup leading to that disas…