By Don Paul - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo
Weather

As I write in my office, a band of lake-effect rain has been hitting northern Erie and southern Niagara counties … liquid, lightweight and no warnings involved. One of these days (as Ralph Kramden used to say) the real deal will come along … frozen, heavyweight and requiring warnings. Last year, the National Weather Service's Buffalo office was one of several that e…

Weather

East of the Caribbean, Irma has already been the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin. An anemometer on Barbuda recorded a gust of 155 mph before breaking, very early on Wednesday. At the time, top winds of Irma, which moved directly over Barbuda, were estimated at 185 mph with occasional gusts breaking 200 mph. Shortly afterward, as the eye passed overhe…

Weather

As I write this article, it’s simply too soon to try to predict cloud cover for eclipse viewing on Aug. 21. Yes, there are models that go out that far in time, but forecast skill for cloud cover in this time range, with or without models, is virtually nil for much of the country, including our region. So, I’ll stick to what effects the eclipse may produce, based on …

Weather

How can a planet with virtually no air have fascinating weather? Bear with me, and we shall see. Back in the early 1980s when I was working in Detroit, I spent some time with University of Michigan scholar and planetary scientist Thomas Donahue, going through some basics about meteorology on the other planets in our solar system. I recall his touching upon Mercury as be…

Weather

Climate models correctly predicted back in the 1980s that warming would be greatest and fastest in the Arctic. Some of the physics in that forecast were simple. As Arctic sea ice melted more quickly during summer months, surface reflectivity of solar energy would change more drastically than anywhere else on the planet. The bright white ice and snow cover reflect much o…

Weather

In a recent article, I recounted how I began my TV weather career with a brief stopover at what was probably the worst station in the nation. But one of my most cherished pre-TV jobs was spending more than two years at WNEW Radio in New York. It was the station where Frank Sinatra started; it had the best local newsroom in American radio; it was probably the most sophis…

Weather

It will never happen here, but it can get too hot for some airplanes to fly. You may have heard how there have been flight cancellations during the current heat wave in the Southwest. Marshall Shepherd, former American Meteorological Society president and current chairman of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, has just written a refresher article for Forb…

Weather

I didn’t begin my career in meteorology until some years after I received my college diploma. I had wanted to be a television weathercaster since I was a little boy, struggled through college to get my training and then temporarily chickened out when I graduated. I grew up in the New York area, which is the No. 1 television market in the country. You don’t break in …

Weather

A new Harvard study presents evidence that ozone over the United States, especially over the central part of the country, thins during the summer. A quick refresher: ozone in the stratosphere is what protects us and much of life from what would be a deadly dose of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. (Conversely, periodic high ozone levels near the ground develop from hu…

Weather

Rotten weekend forecasts have gotten a little easier for me, now that I’m working weekends instead of weekdays. How’s that again? For one thing, by the time you see me at 6 p.m. Saturday on WKBW, the weekend is already partially over. All those decades I was the Chief! (pause for effect) Meteorologist, I sometime had to give you bad news about the next weekend for f…

Weather

The Greenland ice cap is melting in different places at different rates and, it turns out, in different ways. How much of it will melt in the next century remains an open question. The two least likely scenarios are the best (only minor additional melting) and the worst, in which we lose the whole ice cap. “The truth will lie somewhere in between” is a fitting cl…

Weather

A new article from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies reveals very disturbing trends in the federal flood insurance program. Most of the problems are linked to ongoing and future sea level rises due to global warming, but these problems threaten the existence of the entire program across the nation. Sea level rise in combination with coastal storms are…

Weather

Supercells are long-lived, rotating thunderstorms. They can have life cycles up to and over 60 minutes, and they can reach up to 50,000 feet in the atmosphere; sometimes their tops extend even higher. All supercells are dangerous thunderstorms, with frequent lightning and usually damaging hail. Nearly all especially violent and large, long-track tornadoes come from pare…

Weather

Back on April 22, I wrote I was less confident than the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center/CPC that our summer temperatures would run above average, both in June and for June through August. CPC was projecting about a 40 percent probability summer temperatures would run above average for our region in their outlooks at the time. Some of CPC's confidence may…

Weather

The nation’s largest city is not sitting pat on rising sea levels. The ravages of Sandy were the wakeup call to get going on planning to mitigate the impacts of inevitably continuing rises in sea level. The worst effects of rising sea level will be felt during the passage of Atlantic storms, including occasional hurricanes, especially at high lunar tides. Sandy caused…