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Why it’s Called Uptown & Why Charlotte’s Uptown Streets go Northeast.

Ever notice how we call downtown Charlotte Uptown? Or why North Tryon really runs Northeast? Well I did and while I have blogged about this before it was the way the streets run in Uptown that made me want to research this further. Most cities are settled near a body of water or some other important navigational feature like a port or railroad. Charlotte settled for what at the time of it’s founding was the middle of nowhere. So I always wondered why it was set-up the way it is.  Read more

Charlotte the new Severe Weather Capital of America?

I came across some recent research that the Storm Prediction Center placed on their website. Right away something jumped off the map to me. The Charlotte metro area appeared to have more severe weather days than any other location in the U.S. over the time period of 2003-2012. Read more

We need to change how we look at hurricane season.

Today is September 3rd which is pretty much right in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season. The peak of the season climatologically is Sept 10th but we are close enough. Most people are wondering why the season has seemed so quiet so far? The answer is complex it’s both part science but also in large part a communication failure of how we focus too much on Hurricane Seasonal Forecasts of named storms. For a long time I have not been a fan of all the mass exposure the seasonal forecasts get. The number of named storms is just a horrible metric of seasonal severity and intensity. The general public does not care how many storms there are in the entire Atlantic they simply care whether or not they will affect them. So 15-20 “fish” storms are irrelevant to the public if none of them impact the U.S. Especially when all the news coverage seems to be about a “bad” hurricane season based on the high number of storms forecasted. The problems arise when people think something is going to happen and it doesn’t they lose their sense of being prepared.  Read more

100,000 Tweets: Meaningful or Meaningless?

I  surpassed a Twitter milestone this past weekend. It happened at a weird time but a fitting time. I was tracking strong storms all Saturday afternoon from home and after the wxbabies woke up from a nap we went to the pool. This is a summertime ritually at my house weekends means pool time with the family. Another ritually is me tweeting weather whenever it is happening. So in between jumps by the kids into the pool I went to check my iPhone for updates on the weather. Read more

Why a 50% chance of rain usually means a 100% chance of confusion.

It’s one of the most misunderstood terms in all of weather, the chance of rain. You hear it and see in just about every weather forecast nowadays but few people really understand exactly what it means. Whenever people hear the chance of rain I find that every person interprets it slightly differently. So when we say there’s a 40% chance of rain some people think that’s means 40% of the area will see rain. Some people think it means it will rain 40% of the time. Some people just think it’s the odds of seeing rain. The 3rd option is the closest to the truth but it’s not the whole story. Read more

Almost 30″ Above Normal Rainfall in Western North Carolina!

There’s no denying it has been a wet year so far in Charlotte & across the rest of the Carolinas. The western Carolinas though might be in a whole other category. They are on pace for the wettest year on record in many locations. There are 2 spots they really stick out to me. Read more

Early Thoughts on Chantal

Well as if the wet weather recently wasn’t enough there’s a chance we maybe adding to our misery with a tropical system by the end of this weekend. I am not expecting Chantal to become a strong storm but the tropical moisture that could be moving our way is a huge problem. The same pattern which has soaked us for the past 30 days is the same kind of pattern that will steer Chantal and it’s remnants our way by Sunday into Monday. Read more

Solstice Sun Spikes on Doppler Radar

Today is the summer solstice when we have the highest sun angle of the entire year at 78.4° above the horizon at solar noon. Most people know this at the astronomical beginning of summer. One very good way to see how the sun angle changes by season is to look at the sun spikes which appear briefly on Doppler radar twice a day at sunrise and sunset. Read more

Last Weeks Downbursts & Arcus Clouds

Last Thursday our entire area was impacted by a severe line of severe thunderstorms. These storms carried damaging winds of between 60 to at times 100 mph causing widespread tree and power line damage. Now many people have never seen shelf clouds or arcus clouds which often accompany these types of storms. Read more

What is a Derecho and The Southeast Derecho of April 4-5th, 2011

With all the talk about derechos today which frankly is a term that’s been around forever I thought I’d re-share this blog post from a few years back. These types of storms are hard to forecast though you usually know if the set-up is there. The problem is you usually don’t know if they will be classified as a derecho until they start or until they are over. Kinda similar to the F-scale which is a post event determination based on the exact definition below. I should also note no 2 events are ever the exact same and every event should be treated independent of the previous events. Plus remember it’s just a name for a type of storm. The impacts are damaging winds 60-100 mph, flash flooding, large hail and even tornadoes with these storms. That type of damage can come from severe storms even if they are not technically a derecho.

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