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A previous article discussed some basics about lightning. Now, we move on to avoiding becoming a target. Some of the rules nearly everyone has heard. Don’t stand under a tree. Don’t hold on to a metal fence. Get out of the pool. Those are obvious, although some folks can be found ignoring such advice, actually standing under trees or staying in the pool. The odds of bein…

Weather

There are about 1.4 billion lightning discharges globally in a year. Each second, about 40 to 50 strokes occur. In terms of numbers and types of discharges, 5 to 10 more intracloud, or cloud to cloud, discharges occur than cloud to ground. Talk about a lot of static. The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman notes two other basic types of lightning categori…

Columns

Recently I wrote an article on the role of meteorologists in aviation safety. I discussed one hazard known as clear air turbulence, or CAT. CAT is the biggest cause of in-flight injuries in civil aviation. CAT is essentially invisible both on radar and to the cockpit crews’ eyes. There are geographical regions which are known to be more commonly associated with CAT, …

Weather

Many people know the chilly waters of Lake Erie in the spring and early summer can seriously weaken thunderstorms passing over the lake. For example, a chilly breeze from the lake is what saved Western New York on May 31, 1985, from the full impact of a major tornado outbreak that killed 88 people in northeast Ohio, northwest Pennsylvania, southern Ontario and eastern N…

Weather

The Monday morning fog isn't lifting. It may continue through the afternoon, the National Weather Service announced about 2 p.m. in a special weather statement for northern Erie County. "Areas of fog have re-developed again early this afternoon right along the lakeshore," the weather service said. "Some of the fog could be locally dense at times through at least mid-…

Local News

The mercury soared to a mid-summerlike 85 degrees at 3:50 p.m. Wednesday. That marked the first 80-degree day in Buffalo since Oct. 7, 2017, and the warmest day in Buffalo since an 88-degree reading was logged last Sept. 26. It could be at least a week or more before the temperature warms up like that again, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front …

Weather

I’ve avoided the chemtrails topic for the same reason I won’t poke a stick into a hornet nest. Hornet stings are painful, but the sting of chemtrails believers is something from which I’ve been hiding. This article may prove I was wise to hide. If you’ve never heard of the chemtrails conspiracy, it’s the belief the government is spraying us all with varying types of nas…

Environment

Lake Ontario has been rising this spring, as usual, but as of Friday, water levels were 17 inches below those that caused significant flooding and erosion last year. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Board, which controls lake outflows, has reduced lake outflows four times since April 28 to reduce flooding risks along the St. Lawrence River. "Flow reduction…

Weather

Raise your hand if you’re a nervous flier. OK, even mine is slightly raised. No doubt, nasty weather adds to those fears whether down on the ground or up in the air. What do airlines, their meteorologists, government meteorologists and the FAA do to enhance your weather safety on a routine basis? More than you might think, though there is space here to discuss only a…

Local News

Chances for a tornado in the Buffalo Niagara region Friday – while slim – cannot be ruled out, the National Weather Service said. What's more likely are damaging winds, forecasts show. A severe thunderstorm warning is posted for Erie County as well as Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties through 4:30 p.m. tonight. A wind advisory is also in place though 11 p.m. tod…

Local News

Just days after forecasts called for snowfall across parts of Western New York, summerlike heat across the region today could bring enough convection to spark some severe thunderstorms, the National Weather Service reported. Any severe weather is expected to remain in the Southern Tier, but all of the region can prepare for heavy rain today, forecasters said. The Buf…

Local News

The state's outdoor burn ban remains in the effect until May 14. The National Weather Service reports there's extra danger for wildfires today across Western New York for those who disregard that law. The weather service posted a rare red flag warning for the Buffalo Niagara region through 8 p.m. tonight. "The potential exists for rapid development and spread of w…

Local News

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for Northern Erie, Niagara, Genesee and Orleans counties from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. Southwest winds clocking in at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph are expected. That could bring down tree limbs and make travel in high-profile vehicles difficult at times, meteorologists said. http://buffalonews.com/2018/0…

Weather

Having worked in Wichita for a year, I considered myself fortunate to have experienced only a few tornadoes during that time. After all, I was new in my profession and only just beginning to realize how little I knew about them at the time. This spring has been extraordinary in the plains. Through Monday, Oklahoma has experienced zero tornadoes. That's a record tornado …