Politics and Government: The Honest To God Truth

One of the many “do not discuss” topics of conversation around the Thanksgiving table is politics. You want the truth?

Politics. Many of us want to understand them, but we don’t. Many of us act like we don’t need them, but we do.  Many of us complain about them, but we don’t do anything about them…

…and you thought I was going to talk trash on Democrats and Republicans. That is all.

Happy Weekend!

It’s Friday. Get down on it. Look forward to the weekend.

It is Friday fellow Facebook friends (alliteration), and the good news is that warmer temperatures are on the way. Today is dry as partly sunny to partly cloudy skies span the region before a slight chance of rain moves into PA tonight. Similar conditions will stick around on Saturday for PA before a threat of wet weather returns on Sunday. Highs in the 50s today and tomorrow will give way to 60s on Sunday. Lows in the 30s tonight will give way to 40s and even 50s the next couple of nights. As for DC, a nice day today will give way to a chance of rain overnight. Saturday will dry out before a chance of rain tracks in on Sunday, although it could hold off til the overnight hours. Highs in the upper 50s today will give way to 60s the next couple of days. Lows in the 40s and 50s will occur throughout the weekend. Take care, let loose, and enjoy!

In the words of the NBA Jam announcer: “Heating up!”

Cold morning to you! Franklin currently sits at 27, Pittsburgh 26, State College 32, and DC 31. The good news is that partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies will span the region today before clouds move in on Friday. A chance of rain will move in on Friday before clearing out on Saturday. DC could see rain early on Saturday. Temperatures will warm up, melting what snow is left in western PA. For western PA, Highs in the mid to upper 40s today will give way to upper 40s to mid 50s tomorrow, and mid to upper 50s on Saturday. Lows in the 30s tonight and tomorrow night will warm up into the 40s Saturday night. In DC, we’re looking at mid to upper 50s today and tomorrow before reaching into the 60s on Saturday. Lows in the 30s tonight will give way to 40s/50s Friday and Saturday night. It’s Thursday. 1 more day of work for many, two for me. Take care folks! Enjoy the sunshine!

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, come on Jamaica, it’s bobsled time…Cool Runnings!

It is a frigid start for many of you this morning as Hasson Heights is the winner for cold temperatures as it hit 23 this morning. Pittsburgh dropped to 25, State College 27, and DC 32. Conditions will dry out over the next three days as temperatures will warm up quite a bit into the weekend. Highs will reach the mid 30s in western PA before climbing into the 40s tomorrow and even 50s in some locations on Friday. Lows will remain cold tonight in the low to mid 20s, before upper 20s and 30s move in tomorrow night and Friday night. As for DC, dry conditions will persist as highs only reach into the 40s today before 50s move in tomorrow and Friday. Lows in the low to mid 30s will persist through tomorrow night before 40s return Friday night. Sanka, ya dead man? Ya man. Have a fantastic mid-week Wednesday Yul Brenner!

Troubled Waters with Super Typhoon Haiyan

As a meteorologist, you delve into the beauty and amazement of weather phenomena, whether it is the fascinating development of lake-effect snow or the furious funnel of an EF-3 tornado. Many, like myself, gazed at the fascinating structure of Super Typhoon Haiyan hours before it made landfall in the Philippines. Through the wonder of the images, the feeling of fear stuck in my gut, realizing that the central Philippines would be devastated in just a matter of time.

One controversy has developed with this storm. Was it right for storm chasers to hunt a catastrophic storm in a foreign country and then leave shortly after?

Jim Edds, James Reynolds, Josh Morgerman are three of these more notable extreme chasers/cameramen. They traveled to the Philippines knowing that a catastrophe could happen and were willing to risk their lives to capture the ferocity of Haiyan. Did they know how strong it would be? Probably not. Typhoons are not rare in the western Pacific and the storm was projected to reach category 4 status early that week. Did they realize that thousands of people’s lives would be taken? Probably not. Was there a net positive effect from being there? Should the have gone? In order to decide this I’ll look at it from both a meteorological standpoint and a human standpoint.


  • Storm chasing has grown immensely in the U.S., and the thrill of seeing a tornado or hurricane is something that you’ll never forget (after all I work with a storm chaser).
  • Many hunt storms to apply their data to research, measuring wind speeds, rainfall, storm surge, etc. for future analysis. Will there be a lot of research from what these guys recorded? Maybe.
  • Financial profit can be made off of videos/pictures/research, and in the world of alow-paying field of work like meteorology, any way to make extra money is tempting.
  • Hurricanes are so large that you generally cannot even see the structure of the storm aside from satellite/aerial images. So why bother?


  • Why would anyone spend thousands of dollars to go to a foreign land that they know little about, just to catch some photos and video footage of a potential destructive storm? From the human standpoint, I think most would not think twice about traveling there.
  • Does a chaser’s presence in the Philippines serve as a positive impact in terms of protecting people, saving lives, etc.? From a large scale perspective: No. Small scale: Potentially.
  • If you saw the terror of the dead lying in streets and on the beaches, looters fishing out stores for food and water, and thousands of hungry and frustrated families. would you stay? Morally, you should probably try and help these people.

Was it right for storm chasers to hunt  a catastrophic storm in a foreign country and then leave shortly after? Probably not. I think that the human aspect of this storm outweighs the meteorological standpoint for this event, but at the same time, there is a bit of a gray area, too. Their findings may help with meteorological research and show many how dangerous storms can be, but was the presence of the chasers needed in the Philippines? No. Did their presence help some people to safety in the hustle and bustle of the storm? Yes. According to chaser, Josh Morgerman, on helping several people, “…we didn’t plan to be helpful or think about it, it was just an instinctual reaction to throw the cameras down and fight like hell through the water to drag them out.” I think with disaster everyone’s human side comes out, and that is a humbling thing to see.

However, to go to a foreign land, get treated with respect by the Filipino people, watch disaster happen, and then get first dibs on a plane out of the region in front of thousands of homeless/hungry/needy people frustrates me. The fact that they’ll make quite a bit of profit from their videos and pictures is sickening, unless all of this money goes to helping the thousands who welcomed these chasers into their homeland.

Everyone has their own opinion on this situation, but I’m sure everyone agrees that the disaster that occurred in the Philippines is devastating. God bless them. That is all

Facebook Snow Depths On Top of Forecast

Just made this map of snow depths from last night/this morning around western PA from the responses I got. Wish I knew more about GIS because I think this would be cool to do with Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m sure someone is already doing it, though. The “hours ago” is calculated from about 1:30PM Tuesday afternoon. Obviously if this became an operational application, there would be certain issues with people lying, inaccuracies, etc. But the idea is cool to give a general idea of how much snow certain regions have outside of actual weather stations, COCORAHS, Co-Op Observers, trained spotters, department of highways, etc. That is all


Don’t know if you heard, but there is snow on the ground in PA

I’m guessing many of yinz will be posting “OMG SNOW!,” “Ugh, I hate the cold and snow,” or “Snow LOLZ LOLZ LOLZ.” Yeah it snowed, which is something we see in November in the frontiers of western and central Pennsylvania. Looking like a lot of folks in western PA got somewhere around an inch, which is good since I forecasted 1-3″ and there looks to be another band setting up for NW PA once winds shift and become less northerly. So looking at potential for more snow tonight as temperatures stay steady during the day. Afternoon temperatures in the low to mid 30s across western PA are expected before mid 30s return tomorrow and 40s shuffle back in Friday. Lows in the 20s will persist. As for DC, looking at potential for Mark to lose $20 as flurries are possible before conditions dry out. Afternoon temperatures in the low to mid 40s will rise into the mid 40s on Wednesday before returning to 50s on Thursday. Lows in the 20s and 30s are expected. Have a great day!

What better way to start the week than with cold and snowy

Well it is going to get cold and there will be some accumulating snow in western PA. The picture is of snow totals through Tuesday night. Didn’t have much time to draw this, so I apologize if this verifies terribly. The precipitation will start as rain before changing over to snow later tonight. This chance of snow will continue into Tuesday, especially near the lakes. Conditions will clear out on Wednesday. Highs will reach into the 40s today before lows drop into the 20s and low 30s. Highs in the 30s will persist through Monday while lows dive into the 20s. For DC, a chance of flurries are possible late tonight and tomorrow morning before dry conditions stick until Wednesday. Highs in the mid to upper 50s to low 60s today will give way to 40s Tuesday and Wednesday. Overnight temperatures in the 40s tonight will give way to 30s tomorrow night. Anyways, have a fantastic day!

Frosty’s First Look: November 10-16, 2013

Hey folks,

Welcome to my first edition of Frosty’s First Look, where I basically take a look at the main weather headlines through the week (Saturday), and then break them up into each region with more detail. So without further ado here it is:



  • Seasonal the next day or two before below normal temperatures move in by mid week. Seasonal temperatures should return by the weekend.
  • Highs 15°+ and lows 10°+ below normal are possible
  • Accumulating snow, especially in the higher elevations of the Appalachians and near the Great Lakes Monday night into Tuesday.


  • Seasonal the next two or three days before below normal temperatures move in for the middle of the week. Seasonal values return by the weekend.
  • Below freezing lows move in by mid week.
  • Mainly dry, as high pressure dominates


  • Below normal temperatures Mon-Wed before ridging pattern brings above normal temperatures in by the weekend, mainly in the western Midwest
  • Accumulating snowfall possible near Great Lakes


  • Below normal temperatures early in northern and central Plains before above normal values move in by mid to late week
  • Southern Plains to remain below normal for most of mid-week
  • Wet weather and potential for thunderstorms possible by the weekend

Interior West:

  • Above normal temperatures should continue, although eastern region could see slight cool down Monday or Tuesday
  • Significant snowfall across Montana today and tomorrow


  • Mainly dry as above normal temperatures persist

Pacific Northwest & California:

  • Above normal temperatures early on will give way to seasonal values late
  • A disturbance during the mid-week will bring rain/snow to Pacific NW. More significant snowfall possible during weekend, especially in higher elevations