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Don Paul

Don Paul worked as a broadcast meteorologist for 34 years at all three Buffalo television stations, serving as chief meteorologist at WIVB for 29 years and chief at WGRZ for three years.


Columns

The weekend storm system will be here, as scheduled, beginning Saturday morning. It will be complicated by some mixed precipitation and even some plain rain during Saturday, and strong winds Saturday night sweeping in some lake-effect snow and causing hazardous travel in blowing snow overnight. Confession: I don’t usually include a forecast graphic from my friends at…

Columns

Since I wrote my previous article at the start of the week on a wintry pattern return on the horizon, I’ve been hearing talk, albeit “loose talk” mainly from friends, of a whopper snowstorm en route for the weekend. I hope that's not the impression I left in the first article. In terms of amounts and the Niagara Frontier, the weekend storm system will be significant but pr…

Weather

Let’s face it: We’ve had it easy around here as far as winter goes. After an initially snowy start in November, snowfall has been running below average and temperatures have been running above average. Through Jan. 12, our monthly mean temperature is riding high, at 11.7 degrees warmer than average, with a little help from the record 67 degree high Saturday. December…

Weather

An unseasonably high amount of Gulf water vapor will be streaming across the Midwest, the Great Lakes, and into Ontario this weekend. These plumes of moisture can be seen on the water vapor imagery from the GOES East satellite. As a result, a flood watch (not yet a warning) will be in effect for all Western New York, excepting Allegany County, from Saturday afternoon in…

Columns

Unlike last January, this month is shedding wintry weather like a burlesque queen, and winter haters are the equivalent of a leering audience. Wednesday, sure enough, has shown up as a wintry day with squally snow focusing more on the hills, including the ski slopes with several inches of new snow. It’s also been the first day in a while with readings falling through the 2…

Weather

The ongoing disaster in Australia has not yet approached the record mortality rate of some fire seasons past. By any other measure, however, this season has been the worst in recorded history. It is only early January, and there is much of the Australian summer yet to come, with no lasting relief on the horizon. The acreage alone involved in these hundreds of fires is s…

Columns

After the early start to wintry conditions in November, those signs of a long, harsh winter faded in December and stay faded at this time. After a day in the 40s on Friday, though, a little more winter is in the picture starting this weekend. Limited snow is on the way. It won’t work wonders on the slopes, and it will offer no assistance to snowmobilers, but it will provid…

Columns

We finished up 2019 with a hefty precipitation surplus. About 47 inches of liquid fell in Buffalo, more than 7 inches above average. Snowfall is tabulated for the entire cold weather season, so we can’t give you a yearly snowfall total, though it is around 10 inches below average for December despite a last minute burst on Dec. 31, and 6 to 7 inches for the season thus far…

Columns

One can safely assume ski conditions are nowhere near what they were one weekend ago. For one thing, there are the well-above-average temperatures, in the 50s on Monday morning. For another, there is the soaking rain we’ve received from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. Here are the totals, via the Buffalo National Weather Service. Amounts were not as heavy in ski cou…

Weather

Before we get to winter weather terminology, let’s catch up on the updated forecast for Sunday Bills-Jets game conditions. The game day forecast, already focusing on rain by midday, has actually deteriorated a little further. On Friday, it looked like the leading edge of rain wouldn't arrive until around midday or 1 p.m. Today's guidance now moves the onset of rain t…

Columns

A growing snowfall deficit is in the making. After a warm and partly sunny Christmas during which brown and green ground cover outweighed crusty old snow, not much replacement snow appears to be in the offing in the near future. Our next round of significant precipitation will be liquid, developing ahead of a vigorous low pressure system on game day, Sunday. Rain showers w…

Columns

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration delivered an Arctic Report Card earlier this month on the effects of climate change in the high latitudes. None of the news in the report is good. I’ve written a number of articles concerning the rapid warming in the arctic latitudes, which was well-predicted even in earliest climate models. (Here is one such article, fr…

Columns

We’ll be depending on keeping whatever we have left over for a semblance of a White Christmas. And what do we have? Via IBM’s the Weather Company using NOAA data, here is the snow cover across the lower 48 on Friday morning. Most of the middle- and northern-latitude mountain ranges are pretty secure with significant snow in place, which is the case most years. There appea…

Columns

When it was snowing on Tuesday morning, the temperature was 31 degrees. Readings closer to the freezing mark are associated with a slushier type of snow with a higher water content. Where the snow sticks, it has a slippery quality on untreated roads. Its low coefficient of friction compared to drier snow can make vehicles more prone to hydroplaning and make braking action …

Columns

A storm system going by to our south on Tuesday will be close enough to bring snow to Western New York. The majority of the accumulating snow will be to the south of the Buffalo metro area based on the projected path, with moderate amounts. Lighter snow will reach the Niagara Frontier to the north. By the start of the morning commute, snow should be reaching the metro a…