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Don Paul

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.


Weather

The National Weather Service has elevated  a winter weather advisory for all but the three Southern Tier counties to an ice storm warning. A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the Southern Tier for somewhat lesser ice accumulations. Quick answer: Not yet imminent, but likely. Cold weather precipitation type is largely determined by the depth or thickness o…

Weather

A major point in my article written Monday is the struggle warm air can have making a northward move in Western New York, even when computer guidance is more optimistic. As recently as early Monday evening, some National Weather Service headquarter ensemble output was still pushing for highs of 60-plus degrees near Buffalo this weekend. As of midday Tuesday's guidance, …

Weather

If I’ve called myself the Prince of Pessimism, let’s call this article tempered pessimism, following some short-lived optimism. There appears to be a notable warmup on the way. Look, for example, at National Weather Service HQ projected high temps for this Friday. I’ll break it down a little further, based on my 34 years of experience in Western New York. What…

Weather

I suspect most folks are at least vaguely aware that the ice boom has nothing to do with our cold spring this year. After all, it’s been newsworthy that cold has dominated the Great Lakes and the Northeast. But then, it never has been connected with our other cold springs, either. Despite stubborn suspicions to the contrary, ice has always tended to pile up into a traff…

Weather

“The Wizard of Oz” was released in 1939. The classic movie brought to the screen the most memorable tornado special effect ever created, possibly up to and including “Twister.” 1939 was a bad year for tornadoes. From April 14 to 17 that year, 57 fatalities and 170 injuries occurred from a multi-day outbreak in the southern states, especially Alabama. Tornadoes often str…

Weather

The last week of March will get some Western New Yorkers to crack a smile: Temperatures will actually move above average during that final week. The warming won’t be comparable to that of March 2012, which I wrote about recently, but it’s safe to assume that some days in the 50s and upper 40s will not go unappreciated. The month so far is running 3.2 degrees below avera…

Columns

Paychecks were bouncing in Bangor. My first TV job was in the nation’s 156th largest market out of more than 200 markets. That’s not a "largest" anything. WVII-TV in Bangor had such low ratings, they only got asterisks in the ratings book. Not once in my three months there was I ever recognized by a member of the public. The station owner was deeply in debt, and those p…

Weather

We do get early springs, on occasion. March of 2012 comes to mind; there were four consecutive days of 80 degrees or higher, as well as a boatload of days in the 60s and 70s. The monthly mean temperature was an astounding 13.4 degrees above the March average. This year, we have reached 40 degrees only once in March so far, on the first. Our mean temperature as of the 12…

Weather

The pre-Scott Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency undertook an extensive survey over several years to help gauge, county by county, which U.S. counties might be the most resilient and which the least resilient to ongoing and incoming climate change. This was a multidisciplinary study for the benefit of government and planners and involved not only climate scientists,…

Columns

During the last few weeks, extreme warmth has been widespread in much of the Arctic region. It’s not unprecedented; it has happened before. Of greater concern is the fact it’s been happening more often recently and is tied to the warming climate, which is advancing more rapidly in the Arctic than anywhere else on the globe. The physics behind Arctic warming are not all …

Weather

“So, I suppose I’m calling an audible in a print medium.” Those were the words I wrote in the Buffalo News Monday in my “moderate confidence Heads Up” concerning the storm just passed. On my last workday, Feb. 25, it had become clear a storm would pass by close to our south and then jump off the coast and become a very powerful nor’easter. However, last Sunday’s models …

Weather

As I type this, the temperature is 59 degrees and there is a winter storm watch up for late tomorrow and Friday for potentially heavy, wind-driven slushy snow. (I wrote a column on Monday concerning this Friday system and, SO FAR, it’s aging well … but we shall see. Usually, when I post on social media about abrupt weather changes, I get comments like “Only in Western N…

Weather

Since we are getting the mild finish to February I wrote about earlier in the month, it can be psychologically tempting to write winter off and assume we’re cruising into an early start to spring. Don’t. I’m not suggesting we are going to backslide into midwinter cold. I am suggesting March can be a cruel month for those pining for extended periods of balmy weather, …

Weather

Let’s begin with this experimental product from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center: This probabilities map going out in time about a month suggests that much of the time, the areas in brown are going to be experiencing temperatures above average for this time of year. That won’t be every day, mind you, but in the next few weeks we are undergoin…

Weather

Few times have a modern, major city been in water trouble the way Cape Town, South Africa, is in trouble. “Day Zero” is May 11. That’s the day government officials expect to turn off tap water to the more than 4 million residents of the city. The date May 11 is actually a bit of good news, because earlier estimates had centered on mid-April. However, area fruit growers …