Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weather On The Big Screen

Everyone has favorite movies, right? Well because I'm such a weather geek (there I said it!) most of my favorites are about weather. Instead of just talking about my favorites, I wanted to see what some of my friends and family members considered their favorite weather flick. I did a small, very informal survey and the quotes below are from the top two picks.

"The Suck Zone. It's the point basically when the twister... sucks you up. That's not the technical term for it, obviously."

"You could be a meteorologist all your life...and never see something like this. It would be a disaster of epic proportions. It would be... the perfect storm."

Figure out where those quotes came from? The first was from Twister, which was definitely the favorite in my unofficial survey among friends and family. The second quote was from The Perfect Storm which also seemed to be a favorite. Other weather movies mentioned were The Day After Tomorrow, Groundhog Day, and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow is a movie about a climatologist who tries to save the world from global warming. Other movies that seem to follow the climate change theme are Category 6: Day of Destruction and Category 7: End of the World. I haven’t seen those two yet, but they are on my list!

Looking for a comedy with a weather theme? Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is a TV weatherman who is stuck in a rut as everyday is Groundhog Day and he has to cover the story of the weather forecasting rodent. Groundhog Day is a funny movie and a favorite among my TV friends!

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

The only real animated weather movie I know of is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I highly recommend it, by the way! If only it could really rain meatballs or ice cream (is it lunchtime yet?)

Other weather-themed movies you may want to check out: An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore or The Weather Man with Nicolas Cage. There is also an independent film, Weather Girl, which came out last year. I just ordered it, so I'll be watching that this weekend...I'll let you know what I think!

If you know of any other good weather movies, let me know! I’m always looking for an excuse to curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn!

Meteorologist Sonya Stevens

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adios El Nino?

We all remember what a wet winter it was here in Central Georgia. In fact, Ben talked about it in his last blog giving us the monthly totals. We have El Nino to thank for that! El Nino, in basic terms, is warmer than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific. It often results in wet winters in the southeast, which would explain why we got just over 17.5 inches of rain from December through February.

May - July Precipitation Outlook

El Nino did weaken to moderate strength last month. This is reinforced by the fact that we got 3.49 inches of rain, which is almost an inch and a half below normal for the month. Most of the models are indicating that El Nino will continue weakening as we head toward summer. In fact, some models are even hinting that La Nina may set up. La Nina, in case you were wondering, is cooler than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific. We often have warmer and drier conditions in the southeast during these periods.

Forecasting for the next 7 days is challenging enough much less trying to predict months at a time! Long term forecasts over the next three months show that we have as much of a chance to be soggy as we do to be dry. But as of now, it looks like dry weather is winning this battle. I'll continue to take the forecast one system at a time! Buckle may be a bumpy ride (it is spring after all!)

Meteorologist Sonya Stevens

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is It Really April?

Well, well, well, April is not doin' it's normal thing!

I sat down yesterday, and decided to take a look back and compare January through March of this year, with where we are so far in April. My main focus was rainfall. It was pretty amazing to see that after a rainy end to 2009 and a rainy start to 2010, the clouds have slammed on the brakes! January yielded five and a half inches of rain, while February gave us a bit over three inches. March chimed in just under three and half inches. That's not bad...pretty good numbers. Then, as if by coincidence, as soon as the pollen arrived, or "The Big Yellow" as I call it, the rain said bye-bye. Uuugh!

For those of us with allergies, this is not welcome news. Here we are half way through the month of April, and we're sittin' on just over a tenth of an inch! This microscopic total came in just one day, Thursday the 8th. Had it not been for that shower, we would all be living "in a yellow submarine". Pollen would reign supreme! Of course, even with that little bit of help, the trees and grasses are still shootin' for sneezes!

So, if you're a fan of sunshine, you're in the right place. If you'd like some rain, you're gonna have to wait for a while. Other than a little chance of rain for Saturday, it's lookin' pretty dry for a good long while.

Achoo! (That's when you say "bless you")

Chief Meteorologist Ben Jones

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Happened to Spring?

After a long and cold winter, spring is finally here! And there it went...

As it does every year it appears that we had about one week of nice weather before the southern heat ramped on up. After all this time of below-average temperatures, the next several weeks appear to be ABOVE-average with highs ranging all over the 80s.

A huge area of high pressure has set up along the Atlantic coast of the Southeast US and it's not going to be moving anytime soon. This is very typical of the El Niño pattern we're stuck in. While winter was cool and wet, spring and summer will tend to be warmer and drier. That's exactly the type of weather we'll be seeing.

The average high this time of year is 72 degrees. The lowest high we've seen in the last little while is 80... Get out there and enjoy it! Soon enough we'll be stuck in the 90s, which will be too hot to enjoy...

Meteorologist Jason Disharoom