National Weather Service Binghamton

Document Sample
National Weather Service Binghamton Powered By Docstoc
					                                National Weather Service Binghamton
                                         Spotter Newsletter:
                                          “The Nor’Easter”
                                        April-May-June 2009 Volume 3 Issue 2

Spring has Sprung!! A sure sign of spring: SKYWARN trainings are in full swing. As of mid April, NWS
Binghamton has conducted 9 SKYWARN trainings in calendar year 2009, with a total of 16 for the fiscal year
which began last October. We are continually looking to expand SKYWARN training across our service area
of central New York and northeast Pennsylvania. The latest scheduled SKYWARN training courses can be
found here for NY and here for PA. If you are interested in SKYWARN training, contact David Nicosia at or David Morford at

New SKYWARN Training Programs Available                    Flood SKYWARN goes over basic hydrology, and
                                                           the main causes of flooding including winter and
SKYWARN training programs have been expanded to            spring snowmelt floods, ice jams, tropical storms and
include a new Advanced SKYWARN, Winter                     hurricanes and thunderstorms, and ways to receive
                                                           flood watches, warning and outlook information.
SKYWARN, Flood SKYWARN and a new and
                                                           Flood safety is also covered.
improved Basic SKYWARN. The idea here is to offer a
variety of programs to encourage annual or biannual        WINTER SKYWARN- goes over the mission of the
training sessions by each county in our service area. We   NWS, the basics of snow and ice reporting, and how
are continually updating and revising our Basic            spotter reports assist the NWS in providing more
SKYWARN, which is our most popular program, on a           accurate snow and ice forecasts. The heart of Winter
yearly basis to introduce new material to our spotters.    SKYWARN covers what causes winter storms, how
                                                           heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain forms, ice storms,
Below is a run down of each SKYWARN training               how meteorologists forecast winter storms, and ways
program.                                                   to receive winter weather information. Winter
                                                           weather safety is also covered.
BASIC SKYWARN- program covers the importance of
                                                           We hope you will participate in one or more of these
SKYWARN to the mission of NWS, basic thunderstorm          programs. We recommend every spotter take a
and tornado spotting, ways to get weather information      SKYWARN course once every two to three years. Of
and spotter reporting procedures. Severe weather and       course, you are welcome to participate every year if
tornado safety is also covered. Course lasts about 2       you can!

ADVANCED SKYWARN- program reviews the                      In this Issue:
concepts from BASIC SKYWARN, provides a much
more in-depth view of severe thunderstorms and             New SKYWARN Training Programs
tornadoes including the ingredients that come together
for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and radar          E-Spotter: A great way to send your reports to
meteorology. It is recommended that you have taken         NWS Binghamton.
BASIC SKYWARN before taking the ADVANCED
SKYWARN or have had some meteorological training.          The Hazardous Weather Outlook: the best way
Course lasts about 3 hours.                                to begin your weather watching day.

FLOOD SKYWARN, like the BASIC SKYWARN                      Google Earth: how we can use your spotter reports in
program, covers the importance of SKYWARN to the
mission of NWS and spotter reporting procedures.
                                                           Winter 2008-2009: A Review
                               National Weather Service Binghamton
                                        Spotter Newsletter:
                                         “The Nor’Easter”

E-Spotter: A great way to send your reports to NWS           The Hazardous Weather Outlook: the best way to
Binghamton.                                                  begin your weather watching day.

One of the newest and most efficient ways to send your       The hazardous weather outlook (HWO) is issued at least
severe weather reports to NWS Binghamton is through          twice daily (at 4 am and 4 pm) and more frequently as
e-spotter. E-spotter is a web-based interface in which       conditions warrant. The HWO is used to convey the
spotters can enter their reports and send them to NWS        potential for hazardous weather out to 7 days in the future.
Binghamton. Once a severe or winter weather report is        During the severe weather season, early in the morning,
entered and sent to NWS Binghamton it takes less than        our forecasters assess the potential for severe
one minute for your report to appear on the screen of the    thunderstorms. If the potential exists for severe weather,
forecasters on-duty. It is a fantastic way to quickly send   the HWO will have the details on the time, locations, and
what you are seeing in the field directly to our             type of severe weather that can be anticipated.
forecasters.                                                 Additionally, it also discusses the probability of such
                                                             occurrences, i.e. slight, moderate or high risk of severe
To get involved, all you have to do is go to the             weather. There is also a spotter activation statement which
following website You will      details if spotter activation will be needed and an estimate
see the following:                                           of the time that spotters will be needed.

                                                             To find the hazardous weather outlook go to the main
                                                             National Weather Service Binghamton web page at
                                                    and you will see.

From this screen, click on “register here” (circled
above) then fill out the required information. You will
receive a password in the next day or two. Once you
have an account you come to this page and enter your
email address here and password here. Once logged in
you will see a severe weather and winter weather
reporting screen. This is where you enter your data and      The HWO link is the green (or red) banner above. When
send it to the NWS. If you have any questions on e-          the banner is green no hazardous weather is expected.
spotter email Mike Nadolski, our Observation Program         When it is red, hazardous weather is possible in the next 7
Leader at                             days and you will want to check it out.

                                 National Weather Service Binghamton
                                          Spotter Newsletter:
                                           “The Nor’Easter”

     Google Earth: how we can use your spotter reports in real-time and for storm surveys.

NWS Binghamton recently has acquired Google Earth for our severe weather operations and other forecasting
applications that benefit from GIS based applications, like flash flood prediction. One of the key uses of Google Earth
will be to plot Skywarn spotter locations in reference to radar fields which depict hail and tornadic signatures. Below
is a Google Earth map of part of our service area with hail swaths overlaid with spotter locations.

The darker blues, greens and yellows are the more substantial swaths of hail from the National Severe Storm
Laboratories experimental radar products. The yellow circles with the black dot in the middle are our spotters and
their locations on the map. In this way, we can potentially contact spotters that are in the path of a severe storm, or
determine the areas that have the highest potential of having received high winds, tornadoes, or swaths of hail from
storms. This information is available to us almost immediately after the event. By having our spotter database
integrated into Google Earth, it allows us to contact you (if you have indicated that it is OK) to see what occurred and
if you have any wind damage, potential tornadic damage or hail reports. We will also be using this application the day
after a storm event to follow-up on the severity of the storm and for potential storm surveys.

With this new approach, the location and exact time of your severe weather report is very important. So when you are
reporting hail, wind damage, or a tornado/funnel cloud, try your best to give us your exact location along with the
time the event occurred. This will help our forecasters make better warning decisions and assist us with our storm
follow-up and surveys. As always, your reports are invaluable to us! Thank you so much.

                         National Weather Service Binghamton
                                  Spotter Newsletter:
                                   “The Nor’Easter”

                                    A Review of Winter 2008-2009
The winter of 2008-2009 will go down as a colder than normal winter with above average snowfall
in the lake effect snow belts of north central New York and near to below normal snowfall outside
the snowbelts in south central NY and northeast PA. The storm track was primarily to the west of
central New York and northeast Pennsylvania with storms re-developing off the New England
coast. This track led to many mixed precipitation events with one notable ice storm on Dec 11-12,
2008 for the Catskills. This ice storm extended into New England and was one of the worst in
decades. Because of the lack of a storm track up the east coast, snowfall outside the lake effect
snowbelts was below normal. Given the colder than normal January, lake effect snows were
abundant in the north country of New York. December was very close to normal temperature-wise
with January significantly below normal. During the middle of January there were a couple major
cold air outbreaks with minimum temperatures below -10F in many areas. Most notable was a -19F
reading in Elmira NY. The record cold broke in February with near to slightly above normal
temperatures. Below are the winter average temperature graphs for Syracuse, Scranton and
Binghamton respectively.

                                         Scranton, PA Winter Average Temperature (F) 1926-27 to 2008-09






                              1920     1930          1940    1950      1960          1970   1980          1990          2000    2010

                                     Binghamton, NY Winter Average Temperature (F) 1951-52 to 2008-09






                              1950            1960           1970             1980          1990                 2000           2010

                                              Syracuse, NY Winter Average Temperature (F) 1903-04 to 2008-09






           4               15.0



                              1900             1920             1940             1960              1980                  2000
              National Weather Service Binghamton
                       Spotter Newsletter:
                        “The Nor’Easter”

NWS Binghamton Spotter Newsletter “The Nor’Easter” Volume 3 Issue 2
                         April-May-June 2009
          Editor: David Nicosia, Warning Coord. Meteorologist
Assistant Editor: David Morford, Incident Meteorologist and SKYWARN
                            program leader.

                           Useful Websites:
      - NWS main web site
    - NWS Binghamton


             Spotter Toll Free Number: 1-800-759-2992
             Spotter Email: