Coaster

2009-11-04 01:26:13.000 – Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

This shift week has truly been a roller coaster ride! We arrived to relatively light winds and temperatures around freezing. The winds struggled to break 20 mph on Wednesday (in fact, our peak gust for the day was a meager 22 mph). A few days later, on October 30th, we tied a record high of 48 degrees. But the warmth did not stop there. The next day, very early on Halloween morning, we set a record high of 52 degrees, leaving the old record of 49 degrees in the dust! This was the result of a strong southwest flow in the warm sector of a very strong low pressure system to our west.

That night, Halloween night, winds of change came as that low pressure system rapidly intensified over Canada. The southwest winds gusted to 96 mph and brought about the most dramatic drop in temperature I have ever witnessed (along with rain falling in buckets). You may have read about the temperature drop in Stacey’s comment from the other day. But to refresh your memory, temps plummeted 11 degrees in just about 30 minutes. Temperatures on the first day of November settled around 20 degrees.

On Sunday and Monday nights, it was a real pleasure to be the night observer. Winds were calm, skies were clear, and the moon was nearly full. There are many nights when I’ll do an observation as quickly as possible to limit my exposure to the harsh weather conditions that are in control outside. But on these nights, I spent a little extra time on every observation to take in the rare serene nighttime conditions. Being inside proved to be difficult on those evenings. Our peak gust on Monday was a mere 25 mph.

And now, as I write this comment, winds have picked up due to a cold frontal passage, which was expected and forecasted. However, speeds have reached levels we didn’t quite think they would achieve-so far tonight, we’ve peaked at 87 mph. And winds are still gusting into the mid 80s, which will make my trip to the precip can in about 5 minutes very interesting. And to make the situation even more dynamic, the cold front has allowed temperatures to take yet another nose dive into the teens, and has dumped about 2″ of snow, which is being blown around into drifts by the hurricane force winds. It’s quite a contrast from Saturday morning’s temperatures in the lower 50’s!

This will definitely make for an interesting shift change later today.

 

Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

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