Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Spring, Please Get Here Soon...

Well, I don't know about you, but I've had about enough of winter. This has been one of the coldest and wettest winters we've had in a long while.

Reminder of Spring

I'm ready for cherry blossoms, baseball, tee shirts, bike rides, dog walks, and whatever else involves releasing the grip of one's rumpus from the couch. We had a touch of the good stuff this past weekend, but it was only a tease. With about three weeks left until spring, we'll still have our share of cold snaps. If you want more good news, the National Weather Service has put out their climatological forecast, or best guess, about what March may be like. They're calling for a colder and wetter than average start to spring. Uuuuughh!! Let's hope they're wrong!

As for me, I'll just stick with forecasting no more than seven days out. Hope for a hurried spring will rest on the eighth day!

Ben Jones, Chief Meteorologist

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

National Weatherperson's Day

Yes, you read correctly! There really is a National Weatherperson's Day, which is primarily celebrated in the United States. It is a day that recognizes all meteorologists, weather forecasters, storm spotters, and weather observers.

Meteorologists work for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), which includes the National Weather Service, the Storm Prediction Center, and the National Hurricane Center. There are also those that work for private companies and the military. Some are professors and then there are those of us in television.

Weather Cake!

National Weatherperson's Day is observed on February 5th, which is the birthday of John Jeffries. He was one of the nation's first weather observers. He began taking daily weather measurements in Boston in 1774. Ten years later, he took the first weather balloon observations. He continued taking weather observations until 1816.

It is the one day a year where we recognize all of the hard work from those in the weather profession. I have to admit that it is nice to have a day in which we get thanked for all the hard work we put in forecasting, especially during severe weather. But it is also just a fun day for meteorologists, where we hope to get weather shaped cookies or cakes. (Hint for next year!)

Meteorologist Sonya Stevens

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Phil vs. the General...

Hey folks!

Groundhog Day was Tuesday and we seem to have some marmot disagreement! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow at Gobbler's Knob, heralding another six weeks of winter. Our own furry fella, General Beauregard Lee, did NOT see his. This, of course, means that we should see an early spring. The prediction was delayed when Gen. Lee got away from his handlers and hid, then climbed a fence behind his mock-mansion home.

The Groundhog

Here's the part I don't get...if you were the rascally rodent that had the pleasure of "springing" the good news on Georgians, why would you run?!?!? I mean, I could see it if he had the six week sadness to send us, but he was golden!

Of course, if I were a groundhog, I would be somewhat troubled myself. No other species in the animal kingdom is forced to step up to the plate to hand humans a meteorological message of such "prognosticable" proportions. I don't think that's a word.

This reminds me. Years ago, on Groundhog Day, I was in the Backyard Garden, early in the A.M., on air, with my own version of the day's events. We didn't have an actual groundhog...but we DID have a hog on the ground. We had a guy bring in a giant hog...we then killed the lights outside and hit it with a flashlight. Bad choice of shined a flashlight on it. He saw his shadow. And voila! Six more weeks of winter. Cheesy. I know.

Where is Bill Murray when you need him?

I love that movie.

Chief Meteorologist Ben Jones