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Weather Questions tagged “preparedness”(remove tag filter)
Question: When will it get even cooler? — Sarina
Answer: By the time your question posts here, we will already be in a cooler airmass that will keep temperatures below normal for a few days, and could very well result in many areas seeing frost or near-freezing low temperatures early in the weekend. Longer range outlooks indicate some modest warming for a few days after that and then another round of colder air swinging in toward the end of the month and early November, but that is far enough in the future that it is subject to change.
Oct. 24, 2013 | Tags: cold, preparedness
Question: Have the predictions for the 2013 Hurricane Season come in yet? If so, how many will develop and how many will become major? — Daniel
Answer: Most outlooks for the 2013 Atlantic season indicate a tendency toward above-normal activity. As examples, the forecast from Colorado State University is for 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes (meaning those reaching category 3 or higher intensity). As a comparison, for the thirty-year period 1981-2010 (used for most climate "normal" calculations) the median observed numbers were 12, 6.5 and 2, respectively. They also indicate the probability of an east coast landfall at 48%, which is above the long term average of 31%.
A local research group at NC State University makes their forecasts in the form of likely ranges, and they are expecting 13-17 named storms, 7-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes, generally in good agreement with the group from CSU. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center will issue its 2013 projections later in May.
May. 3, 2013 | Tags: hurricanes, preparedness
Question: Not a weather question, but why do you think there was no warning of the meteorite that landed in Russia?? — Gordon Olson
Answer: While there is an ongoing effort to detect and categorize larger asteroids or other objects in near-earth space that could pose a collision threat, objects as small as the meteor that exploded above Russia (though large for a meteor with a diameter variously reported at 7-15 meters and "the size of a bus") would be inherently difficult to detect at a great distance without a huge undertaking in terms of monitoring efforts, and probably wasn't noticed until it reached the atmosphere. Given its entry speed of 40,000 mph or so, that would have left little or no time for any meaningful warning.
Mar. 8, 2013 | Tags: astronomy, preparedness
Question: We're soon to enter tornado weather season in Eastern and Central North Carolina. Are there any statistics on the likelihood that one's home would be in a direct line for a direct hit? I'm relating this to the seemingly high improbability on a direct hit by lightning in any given area of activity. I don't mean to belittle anyone's trauma if they've ever experienced a tornado or lightning strike or cause people not to be cautious. But given the F-1 or lower categories of tornadoes which we normally see around here and their small area of coverage and their time on the ground, I was just curious about statistical probabilities? — T. Sykes
Answer: As you imply in your question, tornadoes fall very much into the category of very high impact, but very low probability for any individual location. When it comes to statistics, rare and sporadic events like tornadoes present a number of difficult questions to those attempting to quantify the risk in a meaningful way, and thus a range of efforts have yielded a range of estimates that depend on the specific techniques and on whether the probabilities relate to the likelihood of striking some part of a county, a city, an individual structure, etc, and in some cases weaker tornadoes that are likely to produce only cosmetic damage are excluded. All that being said, for central NC the estimates from a sampling of studies by personnel from NOAA,DOE and others point to probabilities of striking a particular point in a given year (for any strength tornado) ranged from about .2% to .03%, corresponding to one tornado striking a given property about every 500 to 3300 years. When these studies limit the tornadoes to the more destructive and injurious tornadoes having intensities of F2 and higher, the probabilities drop to .02% to .005%, yielding one strike of that magnitude on a particular site about once every 5000 to 18,000 years.
Feb. 25, 2013 | Tags: past weather, preparedness, tornadoes, weather & health
Question: I live in Dunn NC. According to a website I found, we are rated pretty high on our risk for tornadoes. I was surprised also to learn that there is a term for NC now called 'Carolina Alley' which is like the term 'Tornado Alley'. Does this mean that the tornado threat has shifted more in our direction now than it use to be. This sort of freaks me out. — Shanta Chavis
Answer: There hasn't been a significant shift in the tornado risk area, but there was a study done by a University of Akron student in which he used a gridded map of the United States to assess the frequency of strong to violent, long-track tornadoes (those staying on the ground for 20 miles or more, and having intensities of F3 to F5), and how that frequency varies geographically. He selected four groupings of enhanced tornado frequency relative to surrounding areas that resulted in four "alleys" covering the central and southeastern U.S. - from most active to least active, these were "Dixie Alley" (runs from northeast TX and AR to northwest GA), "Tornado Alley" (the traditional area running from OK north to NE and over into IA and WI), "Hoosier Alley" (centered around IN but also including parts of OH, KY and IL) and "Carolina Alley" (more or less along and between the US 1 and I-95 corridors in NC and northern SC, and having the lowest rate of tornado incidence among the named areas).
Tornadoes have always been possible over any part of our state, but more likely over central and eastern sections of the state than elsewhere, and everyone should be aware of tornado safety rules and responses, as well as alert for their occurrence when we are in potentially severe weather situations. That being said, it is also the case that for any particular location, even in "Carolina Alley," there is no reason to be overly anxious on an ongoing basis, as the great majority of us have never had our home or property struck by a twister (nor have our parents) and most will not in our lifetimes or that of our children. That is not intended to minimize or understate the impact on those places that have been struck and families that have been affected, because it can certainly be devastating, only to emphasize that while a strong or violent tornado strike is a very high-impact event, it is also a very low-likelihood one for any particular spot in our state. You can see a map and poster summarizing the results of the Akron study and outlining the "alleys" at www.uakron.edu/dotAsset/1085452.pdf.
Feb. 22, 2013 | Tags: cool sites, preparedness, severe weather, tornadoes
Question: Why did your news station use ONE comparison of the upcoming storm to the 2005 traffic incident? THEY DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE 2001-2 half inch of ICE that LEFT US ALL with out electricity or much of anything for over a week? That is why, my neighbors and I WORRY about .5 inches of sleet/ice that could happen. You need to be talking about preparing. — Janice
Answer: It appeared quite likely that the situation developing on Friday Jan 25, 2013 would involve mainly sleet and light freezing rain, with a bit of snow possible at the start. The amount of precipitation was expected to be in the range of a few hundredths to a couple tenths of an inch total, with a significant fraction of that in the form of sleet. That made this situation different from both of the others that you are referring to, but since sleet mainly leads to travel problems rather than power outages (because it bounces off of power lines and tree limbs rather than weighing them down and/or breaking them), it seemed more appropriate to compare the upcoming event to the travel issues associated with small amounts of precipitation in 2005 (in that case, mainly snow and a little sleet). We all remember how bad the ice storm you mentioned was, and if we anticipate anything remotely close to that we will certainly emphasize the need to prepare, and will likely use some video and images from that storm to help remind people how serious a major coating of ice like that can be.
Feb. 1, 2013 | Tags: past weather, preparedness, winter weather
Question: Tell the wind and tide table in your 7-day forecast, in order to plan a fishing trip to the coast in advance to the coast. — Wayne Daughtry
Answer: It's probably going to be impractical for us to routinely cover coastal conditions of that sort in our on-air 7-day forecast, or to expand the main 7-day forecast element on our web page to do so. However, just in case you weren't aware of it, we do provide links on our site that will help you with exactly the information you're asking about. Just scroll down to the "Data" section. Under "Forecasts" there, you'll see a "Mountains, Beaches" link that will take you to a recreational forecast page with further links to coastal forecasts, including some with extended wind outlooks (to see winds for five days ahead, use the "East Coast Marine Forecasts" link) and a selection for "Tide Tables" along the NC coast.
Dec. 17, 2012 | Tags: preparedness, wral.com
Question: I will be moving from Wendell where I receive weather call, the White Lake. Does your service cover that area or do you know of a TV station that offers it in our new area? — Richard Noble
Answer: You should be able to log on to your WeatherCall account and change your future address to anywhere in the United States and the service will follow you there, or if you'd like to speak to a customer service representative about the move, you can call 1-877-718-7646. If you move to an area without a participating television partner, you can still get the service, it just will not include the voice of a local broadcast meteorologist, and the price may be a couple of dollars more per year than that associated with a local station.
Oct. 27, 2012 | Tags: preparedness, severe weather
Question: Are we in for a nose-biting frost covered winter? — Nick Hammond
Answer: Most winters bring at least some stretches that could be described like that, the question being whether we will see more than usual, something pretty typical, or less than usual such conditions (as was the case last winter). So far, large scale patterns that can help tilt the odds somewhat one way or another are rather indefinite, while the smaller scale systems that more directly impact us through the winter can't be forecast more than a week or two in advance. Given all that, it currently appears we have about equal chances of above, near, or below-normal temperatures for the winter. For a little more background, see the recent seasonal outlook from NOAA at www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20121018_winteroutlook.html.
Oct. 23, 2012 | Tags: preparedness, winter weather
Question: What is the weather forecast for 10-07-12, planning an outdoor event at Red Springs Presbyterian Church (Kirkin 'O' The Tartan),starting at 10:30, Bagpipper, drummer,etc. with lunch outside. Please say NO RAIN in the am. — Betty Joyce Hasty
Answer: If you've followed weather forecasts this week, you may have noted that the forecast for Sunday has been especially uncertain, due to an approaching front with a speed that varies a good bit among different model projections (with highs that day ranging anywhere from near 60 to low 80s). At the time this answer is being drafted, it appears that if some precipitation associated with the front develops on Sunday, it is more likely north of your area and later in the day, so your chance of a dry morning appears good, although it remains too soon to be certain of that. Good luck!
Oct. 5, 2012 | Tags: preparedness
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Published: 2007-10-09 14:40:00
Updated: 2013-08-13 13:37:27
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