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About MikeGold

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    Ann Arbor, MI
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    Weather, climatology, storm chasing, travel, investing

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  1. I have received the first half of my WeatherFlow Smart Weather Station a couple of weeks ago. (Read about it here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/weatherflow-smart-weather-stations#/updates/all or watch the promotional video: More specifically the AIR portion of it which includes temperature/humidity/barometric pressure and a lightning detection function. The SKY portion of the weather station is not yet available and has additional functionality such as wind speed/direction, rain gauge etc. How it detects wind/rainfall is rather novel for a low price weather station. Overall, it was very easy to set up. In a few minutes, was able to set up it on cellphone so can view data remotely. In the same amount of time, I was able to set it up as a reporting station on Weather Underground. It provides data almost in real time with nice charts to show trends. https://smartweather.weatherflow.com/station/1800/ If you click on the temperature etc you can view the nice charts. Use the + or - key to view different periods of time. The temperature sensor appears to be very accurate based on surrounding weather stations. I installed it on a pole in the shade a couple of meters off the ground. (A radiation shield is recommended for non shady locations.) The humidity sensor which measures relative humidity then converts it to dew point seems to be about 3 or 4 degrees too moist for some reason on my station although others don't report having this problem. The lightning sensor appears to be designed for warning the user when cloud to ground lightning strokes are nearby rather than accurately counting lightning strikes or pin pointing their location except a simple distance estimate. Looking forward to receiving the SKY portion of the weather station. The Company is still doing some more field testing prior to releasing the final product. (If the latest testing iteration is successful, the SKY portion might be available by Christmas.)
  2. Webcam view of Mt. Mitchell this morning.
  3. I see some decent snows have already fallen: https://www.wunderground.com/webcams/RanchMtnMan/2/show.html I think this is near Max Patch.
  4. Looks like with a secondary surge of moisture/energy going through the Balsams will probably end up around 6" or so. Nice!
  5. As expected, looks like the Balsams did get their couple of inches per webcam: http://brpwebcams.org/cam/5/1. Upstream radar has a Southward shift to returns so should start to lighten up for the rest of the night.
  6. http://brpwebcams.org/cam/5/1 With the heavier snow rates there appears to be a little on the grass at Balsam Gap. Purchase Knob at 5000 feet shows a little as well: https://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/parks/grsmpkcam/grsmpklargerimage.cfm Not much at Mt. Pisgah: http://brpwebcams.org/cam/10/1 Snow appears to have mostly ended as of 1:45 PM with no more than a dusting falling below 5000 feet.
  7. Quick look at the webcams shows the first batch snow but looks like it is simply melting when it hits the warm ground. Accumulating snow appears to be above 5000 feet at the moment. Eyeballing the radar, a heavier batch of precip now over Western TN should move through the Balsams and to the South after dark with maybe a quick couple of inches with the cooler temperatures and departure of the March sun that lowers the snow level. HRRR shows this enhanced precip area nicely at 0Z over the NC SW mountains.
  8. The West wind flow seems to do the trick in the Balsams as that Wind direction doesn't produce the horrible down sloping off the Smokies. The Balsam Gap webcam looks great! There is more snow there now than here in Ann Arbor!
  9. I have no idea what the heck went on with that. If they are going through the bother to review/revise it you would think they could at least base it on real science! An example of a proper review can be found here: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/extremes/ncec/mantague-ny-snowfall-24hour.pdf As you can see, these kind of reviews can be done properly; in this case reviewing a 77 inch 24 hour snowfall report.
  10. I'm sure a few of you have seen this recent article: http://www.blueridgenow.com/news/20170115/weather-committee-nixes-2016-mount-mitchell-record-snowfall I wonder who exactly was on this committee? Their results really don't even pass the laugh test. They decided to use the liquid equivalent that fell at Fletcher(which is town that typically is one of the driest locations in North Carolina) and then adjusted it for the expected snow ratio that Mt. Mitchell had to determine the snowfall amount. As a result, they dropped it down from 41 inches to 21 inches. It hard to believe that the rangers that have spent years and years measuring snowfall on that mountain top would screw up so badly. Recalling some of the photos that were taken up there, it certainly looked more than 41 than 21. Further, I wonder if this committee has heard of orographic. enhancement? Did they adjust for that or did it slip their mind? It has been studied very extensively locally and mountain locations often receive double(or more) than the precipitation amount than valley locations if wind is in play and it certainly was during that storm. My guess is more likely there was some drifting that inflated the results by few inches but not much more than that. Over the years, Mt. Mitchell has often received both very high snowfall amounts and rainfall amounts compared to nearby locations; nothing new with that.
  11. I guess I wouldn't describe Sandy has having "some snow associated with its synoptics" unless you think 3 feet is some! http://www.weather.gov/media/gsp/localdat/cases/2012/Sandy_Snow_Final_13March2013.pdf I think any theoretical snow hurricane in the US would take a path similar to Sandy coming directly in off the Atlantic. Considering the cyclonic flow around it and the need to have a cold NW wind during the Fall to be cold enough for snow, the best possible scenario is having the moisture slammed against the highest elevation possible..which happens to be located along the TN/NC line. (The mountains in New England would be another possibility such as the 48" that fell in Vermont in 1804.) Perhaps instead of 3.5" inches of QPF...higher totals could have be realized if a Sandy like storm traveled a little slower or took a Westward path a little further South to better target the TN/NC mountains. Hurricane force winds in the higher elevations can be easily maintained even if it is otherwise a tropical storm in the lower elevations.
  12. I see that downtown A2 did get 11.2" of my hope for 12" so very pleased about that. Looks like there was only a little evidence of some enhancement on the glacier ridge this time around.
  13. The airport has official totals. http://en.tutiempo.net/climate/ws-725374.html U of M is another reporting station for A2. It is right next to the river and downtown so usually a little warmer/less snow than the airport I would think. The last 15 years or so have an average of snowfall of about 58" which is quite decent for SE Michigan. No liking the recent down tick in snowfall locally with the heavier bands setting up much further North at the moment. Hopefully, a different frontal slope zone lights up later today that is more favorable when WAA becomes much stronger. Of course, not happy about that dry slot out West either.
  14. True, but I would point out that the airport where official readings are taken at A2 is just East of the glacier ridge so areas along ridge on the city's West side probably do even better most years. So just to the West side passing NE to near Whitmore Lake to White Lake seems to be the normal prime area. In this case, the couple of degrees cooler temps in A2 compared to the Detroit area should help out later today with snow ratio's when things warm up a bit.
  15. 925 mb will be quite strong this afternoon/evening at 35 knots out of the South which isn't too shabby for Ann Arbor but cloud level winds out of the Southwest doesn't really help any with it being parallel to the ridge. (at least no down sloping ) Orographics can kick in I believe at 25 knots or above especially if oriented perpendicular so maybe a little bump. Certainly I think A2 will do better than the Detroit area.