March, 2012

Strong Thunderstorms Possible This Afternoon/Evening

March 24th, 2012 at 9:27 am by under Weather

Increasing AM Clouds

What a nice start to the  weekend, across Hampton Roads we had clear skies with a nice sunrise, but don’t forget that old saying: “Red Sky in the Morning Sailor’s Take Warning”. As we go throughout the day expect those clouds to continually increase as a storm system gets closer to the area. If you also noticed, temperatures were very warm this morning. Lows were in the 60s. Normally our high temperature this time of year is around 61 degrees.

We should see the rain arrive this afternoon in many areas.

Rain This Afternoon

The Storm Prediction Center has included parts of Hampton Roads in a Slight Risk for Severe Weather for this afternoon and evening. The biggest risks will be for damaging wind gusts as that cold front gets closer to the area.

Slight Risk Today

The good news is that most of the rainfall expected across the area should wash out the atmosphere where this high pollen count has been in control for days. Rainfall is still going to be a possibility tomorrow as the front and storm continues moving offshore.

Scattered Showers Tomorrow

Eventually temperatures will begin to drop behind this storm. On Monday highs should be near 68 degrees, but on Tuesday we will have highs in the upper 50s! So you might want to keep that spring jacket on stand-by.

 

Meteorologist Mike Goldberg will be in this evening to track the storms. I will update anything on here today as needed.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson


Potted Plants, The Weekend, And Allergies

March 23rd, 2012 at 8:48 am by under Weather

Plenty to talk about in the weather blog today.  I’ve got a few things to share with you.  First off….Lots of folks have been asking me if they can put out their potted plants.  It is about that time of year.  The average last freeze for our region is from March 20th through April 1st. 

Average Last Freeze Dates

 Notice that James City County up into the Middle Peninsula, and Northern Neck have a later date as they are farther north or inland.  It has been such a warm Winter that I think most folks will be safe.  I doubt we’ll see another freeze.  However, it is still possible to see a light frost yet.  This could happen up until the first week of April. So if you have some very fragile plants, then you should probably hold off until then.  Overall though I think we’ll be ok. 

Now on to the forecast.    Today high pressure will build in a little stronger.  We’ll have some upper level ridging in the jetstream along with slightly drier air moving into the region.  So expect fair skies today with only a stray shower or storm possible.  It will really warm up.  Highs will be in the low/mid 80s.  Even in the metro.  Today’s record high is 90 set back in 1907 when I guess a strong heat wave occurred according to the National Weather Service.  The average high is 60 degrees. 

Today's Weather Forecast

 The line of showers and storms along the Mississippi River Valley will stay west today.  It will move east tomorrow out ahead of the cold front and an upper level low.  Tomorrow the models show a fairly quiet morning with only a few isolated showers.  Rain chances will increase into the afternoon with strong storms moving in during the day. 

Tomorrow's Weather Forecast

 Up until yesterday it looked like the rain would be almost non-stop from Saturday afternoon through Sunday night.  Now it looks like there will be periods of showers and storms with some breaks expected both Saturday and Sunday morning.  At least that’s how it looks at this time.  Stay tuned for tweaks and updates.  The showers will continue into Early Monday.  Temperatures will still be warm tomorrow ( upper 70s) with southerly flow, but the temperatures will cool a bit (low 70s) on Sunday.  Highs will then be in the low/mid 60s Monday and Tuesday.  I like the warm temperatures, but it’s a little early to see several days in a row of 80s. 

Finally, I thought I’d throw in my annual “Tips To Beat Allergies” blog.  I along with many others, I suffer from seasonal allergies.  So here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.  You can stay indoors and close the windows, but some houses have been heating up lately.  You may actually need to run your air conditioner.  It is good to run your A.C. because it has a filter.  There are different types of filters that you can purchase to take out more and more particles out of the air.  If you don’t need the cool air, then you can run your fan on the A.C. unit.  It will still filter the indoor air.  You can also purchase an air filter unit.  Some folks have had luck with this, but I have not.  They range in price, but I’d check out the reviews on the product before buying.

2.  Wash your bedding and your clothing often.  Even if you keep your house closed up, you will still get pollen in your house.  It will also get on your clothing while outside.  so wash your items accordingly. 

3.  Clean your house.  It’s good to vacuum and dust your home often.  The pollen will settle on all of your surfaces along with dust.  This can easily get kicked up and get into the air.  So clean, clean, clean.  You can sweep your sidewalk.  Even wash it.  But the pollen will return in a short period of time.  So your efforts may be futile. 

4.  There are many medications to take for allergies.  Many of them are now over the counter.  They range from antihistamine eye drops all the way to allergy shots from the doctor.  Be careful though.  Some of those medications can make you very drousy.  If you will be driving then you should wait to try a new medication. 

5.  Some foods can also mimic allergens.  Some fruits, cheeses, and even teas can worsen allergy symptoms.  Even if you aren’t allergic to the food, some of them can promote histamines.  Here is an article with more details: Allergies/foods.

6.  If your symptoms are bad and prolonged, then you should see a doctor.  You can get tested to see what you are allergic to.  However, you will likely have to get many little shots/pin pricks for the test.  I got it done.  Not super painful, but definitely not comfortable.  It was good to know what I am really allergic to. 

7.  You may have pet allergies that are mild and don’t show up through the year.  However, it could add to your outdoor allergies during the Spring season.  So you may have to keep a little distance from them during the worst allergy days.   

8.  Your vehicle is another place where allergies can accumulate.  You can keep the windows closed and run the A.C. in there as well.  If you are really aggressive, then you can change the air filter in your car/truck about halfway through the allergy season. 

9.  There are many products for folks with allergies like special pillows and bedding.  Some people swear by them.  I haven’t used them much, but many people do use them.

10.  Lastly, some people swear that taking a teaspoonful of local honey gets rid of allergies.  I started taking some over a month ago, and I think it has helped my allergies a bit.  My symptoms are more occasional this year compared to the last few.  It might be a little late for you now, but it’s something to think about for next year.

I hope some of these tips help.  Have a great weekend everybody. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Is the spike in gas prices as bad as we think? Your thoughts…

March 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 am by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Traffic

For most of us reading a news article with the headline: “Rising gas prices aren’t as bad as you think”, does little to comfort the pain of having to pay more and more when filling up our car. In fact, as I found out posting this on Facebook, it makes some outright furious: not only with the actual prices of gas, but also with the assumption that we somehow aren’t affected as badly as we’d like to think.

 

Courtesy: TheCarConnection.com

About an hour after posting this article, more than a hundred of you commented. The vast majority of you posted under the sentiment: “Yes… we ARE feeling it!”. I read through the dozens upon dozens of posts. Some of you have made some serious changes to your routine. Tina posted, “We have altered our work schedules so that we can basically share the van because it has better gas mileage. I ride my bike to the grocery store when only getting a few small things, and carpool to the sports [events] more often.”

Pamela says she’s “trying to get in a carpool at work. I just buy less food unfortunately.”

Others say they’ve traded in their gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient options. Sheila wrote, “I traded my large SUV in for a more affordable Honda….” And James posted that he bought a gas-saving commuter car to drive to work instead of his truck. He added, “I would have never done that if gas prices didn’t go up.”

There’s another side to this gas debate. There are those who side with the experts cited in the CNN Money article. Jennie’s comment clearly shows where she stands on this issue: “ I personally laugh at the ones complaining about increased gas, but own smart phones, ipads, etc…. [T]hey have had no problem shelling out extra money for more apps, more data, etc.”

Jason suggested, “Record how much you actually spend (on gas), and you’ll find it’s not that bad unless you need to drive a lot. It’s about the same as getting a coffee every morning.”

Michael took on a more aggressive stance, claiming we in the U.S. don’t take fuel consumption seriously enough. He posted: “Stand at an intersection in Hampton Roads. Any intersection. Watch traffic. Look at the types of vehicles moving. Big, huge, gigantic gas-guzzling vehicles with only 1 or 2 people inside. People flooring the gas pedal when the light turns green. People tailgating. And these are only a few examples of factors that contribute to poor fuel economy…. So as prices go up, and you’re scratching your head at the pump as to why prices are going up, simply look around. The reason, is US.”

Stephanie agreed with Michael. She posted, “I love how everyone is saying, ‘I go to the store less often’ and ‘we carpool more’ like these are BAD things. You should be doing that anyway, regardless of what gas prices are! If you’re not then YOU are part of the problem. Like Michael said, the problem is not the prices, it’s your consumption.”

What if we had more public transportation options? I lived in Spain for several months and was thoroughly impressed by how easy it was to live without a car. It’s a luxury those of us in some parts of Hampton Roads would really struggle without.

Talking on Europe, Schonna posted, “… NO COMPARISON! They have incredible infrastructure. Buses and metro systems give everyone an alternative. Their cars are built differently in size and fuel economy. And you have local markets for everything you need in every town. When we have all that I would be ok with $9 a gallon for gas.”

Stephanie (same as above) countered Schonna’s Europe argument writing, “Funny how you all say that Europe has better public transportation and that’s why it’s OK for their gas prices to be so high… We pay at least a dollar more than you in Chicago but we also have great public transportation. But yet when they try to build a better infrastructure for you and create public transportation (light rail) you vote against it time and time again…. You can’t have it both ways – you have to either agree to improve your public transportation or pay the higher gas prices.”

In places with more transportation options, like Washington D.C., folks are noticing more passengers riding alongside them on the trains and metro. On my WAVY Facebook page, Carleigh told me she takes the train into DC everyday, “I have noticed that the trains have been a lot more crowded lately. I also read an article on the VRE (Virginia Railway Express) yesterday that mentioned the possibility of an increase in train fares. Their reasoning… gas prices.”

CLICK HERE TO FIND THE CHEAPEST GAS PRICES IN YOUR AREA

From what I’ve cleaned from these comments is that most of you simply feel the article is out of touch. As Stephen put it, “Whoever wrote this obviously doesn’t work with me. Where we haven’t seen even a cost of living raise in 5 years. The numbers on everything except my paycheck are constantly on the rise.”

I emailed the author, Steve Hargreaves at CNN Money. I asked him where he came up with the idea, and if he’s gotten a lot of reaction. He replied within just a few minutes. Here’s his unedited response: “Oh yes, there’s been lots of reaction to it – mostly negative. The idea came from an old S&P study showing that, thanks to higher wages and better fuel economy, people have to work half the hours now to drive the same distance as they did in the early 1980s. The study was done using 2006 numbers, but the general premise still holds true: Gas prices don’t hurt as much now as they used to.”

As of 8:15 a.m. Friday morning (3/23/2012), Hargreaves’ article was just short of 2,000 comments.

For the sake of privacy I’ve omitted last names from the comments that I’ve taken from the Facebook thread. Thanks for all those who took the time to reply to the thread.


Spring Has Sprung, So We’re Fresh, “On The Run!”

March 22nd, 2012 at 9:20 pm by under Sports, Uncategorized

The Latest Running News and Notes in Hampton Roads from Sportswrap, Running Reporter, Jon “Flex” Leiding

On The Run, Again!

What a Weekend!
The seasons have changed and The Shamrock Sportsfest weekend was an amazing way to get it rolling. Where do I point out excellence? How about Leprechaun Bob, who on Sunday called out every finishers name for nine hours.
I spoke with him afterward. his voice is doing just fine…

Seriously!

Starting Saturday with the 8k, Julius Kogo blazed the course in 22:34. Rachel Ward was the fastest female in 26:44. Williamsburg’s Andrew Budiansky led the locals from the “757″ in 26:20, while the always speedy, Renee High was the swiftest from Hampton Roads in 29:44.

Halfway There!
In the Half Marathon, Tesfaye Alemayehu crushed the competition with a blistering 1:03:38. That averages out to 4:51 a mile! That’s faster than some of the vehicles during rush hour around here! on the Ladies side, Helen Jemutai was just moments behind with a 1:11:27. Virginia Beach’s Stephanie Manny was the local Ladies Leader in an impressive 1:21:21, while Portsmouth’s Ryan Carroll continues his dominant ways with a Top 20 finish in 1:09:42. Like a fine wine, he seems to get better with age.

Ryan Caroll at Shamrock Half

And The Marathon…

Top Ten for Billy Chorey


Capping off the weekend of over 25,000 runnersand so many festive outfits, the Marathon went to Jynocel Basweti in 2:22:57, with the Women’s title going toTezata Dengersa with a 2:50:01. BIG LOVE to one of our good “Friends On The Run”, Billy Chorey, from Suffolk paced the locals with a Top Ten finish in 2:45:49. When I saw him, he was rolling around Mile Six. Congrats also to Gina McGee, also from Portsmouth. She claimed the Masters Female crown with an incredible 2:59:02 and fourth overall for the Ladies. Fast times are Everywhere!

Gina McGee On The Run!

Going Long!

If 26.2 miles is a bit long for you to run, our friends from Team Hoyt have a fresh view to check out. Big “shoutout” to Bern Roxer, who forwarded me the cool link of Tim Brown and Dennis Welch qualifying for the Boston Marathon through the Team Hoyt VB program. It’s pretty cool to see the runners go by using the time lapse technology, This is the first year locals from Team Hoyt will be in the Boston Marathon. Copy and paste this link to enjoy this fast paced video:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Runners-POV/326441707412970.

Thanks Guys!

Then That Guiness World Record Thing…

Major Congratulations to Tommy Neeson, Joel Bell, Drew Midland and Mark Manny for letting me be a part of a Guiness World Record broken for the fastest marathon by at least five people linked together. The old record, set in 2011 was 3:26:15. After dragging me around for 26.2 miles, we were able to drop that record by over twenty minutes in 3:06:04. I agreed to be part of the team less than a month before the race, when an injury sidelined one of the guys.

Originally. I came in with many goals. I wanted to finish, wanted to not be the one to let the team down, wanted to finish a marathon without stopping, and like a good friend says,”bring my best”. Mission accomplished on all of them. This was my second fastest marathon out of ten. To the guys- “Thanks” for taking this guy for a very cool “long run”.

Drew,Mark,Joel, Me & Tommy On The Run!

Now It Starts!

This week it all gets going with SO many races in very cool places. At the Oceanfront, the fourth annual Spartyka Wounded Warrier 5K takes off from 31st Street. Mt. Trashmore offers up the Cerebral Palsy 5K and One Mile Run. The Peninsula has “speed fever” as well, with the Yorktown Victory 8 Mile Run. Not enough for you? Sunday, head to the top! The top of Dominion Tower in Norfolk with the Step up for the Up Center Run
. You can choose to run up the 25 story building once, twice, or even four times.

For my duathlon and triathlon friends, we’re just a couple weeks from the Virginia Duathlon in Surry. Hope your training is coming along well. Running, Swimming, and Biking compliment each other very well.

To learn more about these races and more, check out mettleevents.com, colonialroadrunners.org, and tidewaterstriders.com.

Feedback

As always, we can’t do this without you. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep sharing more wonderful efforts and stories. If you have a story idea, like our new friend “On The Run”, Bern Rexer, drop me a line. Hit me up with a comment here or email me the info to astrovp@yahoo.com.

Time to go for now, but look for our blog, weekly here at WAVY.com. Keep training and racing well. Maybe, I’ll catch you… “On The Run!

We're History "On The Run!"

On the Run with Sportswrap Running Reporter, Jon “Flex” Leiding only on WAVY.com


It May be Spring, but it Feels more like Summer

March 22nd, 2012 at 3:49 pm by under Weather

If you had a chance to get outside today you might have seen a view like this:

Fair Weather

Temperatures have been near 80 degrees in many areas today. We had a high temperature at the Norfolk Airport at 81 degrees. Its not just the temperature today, its also the humidity. The dew points are not anywhere off the charts but for this time of year they are high. The dew points have been mostly in the low 60s today across the region. Normally we see dew points in the 40s to 50s this time of year.

Dew Points

With the additional moisture, if you were in the Chesapeake/Portsmouth Area yesterday you probable noticed the thunderstorm in the afternoon. Today there is a slight chance for a stray popup storm, but for most of the area things will stay quiet.  For our Friday a ridge type pattern will move in which will basically keep the atmosphere stable.

A Possible Popup Thunderstorm

See the line of showers from Jackson to Chicago. That area of activity will slowly move into Hampton Roads and probably get here on Saturday.

Storms Move in Saturday

We could have some stronger storms on Saturday if the timing stays on track…something we will keep our eye on.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson


History Lesson On The Road

March 22nd, 2012 at 3:24 pm by under News, Personalities

It sits against a rural canvas of green fields and unkempt woods that line US 158.  At first glance you think this tidy white structure is  one of the many houses of worship that dot the North Carolina countryside.  But as I was driving toward the Outer Banks, taking various snapshots along the way for my monthly “Through the Lens” feature– which airs on The Hampton Roads Show,  I did a double-take when I saw this wooden structure sitting on bricks over what appeared to be freshly raked dirt.  I turned my car around, and sped back to this gleaming wood building, and noticed a sign laying by the building laced with freshly turned earth.  It read: “Help Us Restore the Old Jarvisburg Colored School 1867-1950″

I walked around the simple building in awe of the history that must have passed through these plain double doors.  It was the center of learning for African American students for more than 80 years–one of five “colored” schools in Currituck County until they consolidated in 1950.   The buildings were then sold off by the county.  Finally in 1966, the Currituck County School Board approved the Freedom on Choice School Plan following the 1964 Civil Right’s Act. This began the consolidation of schools into an integrated system.

These pictures were my favorite on this most recent “Through the Lens” odessey.   Currituck County Comissioner Paul O’Neal says the county has already put more than $500,000 toward its renovation, but the job is not quite finished, “we’ re going to to have the rest of the building restored and opened as a museum.  We have about $200,000 committed to finishing the interior.”   Though this project has faced some delays in recent years, O’Neal hopes to have the museum opened by the end of this year.  

The restoration project began in 1998 when alumni began efforts to save the school.  Peggy Birkemeier, senior regional associate for North Carolina Community Foundation says it still has to raise about $30,000 to furnish the museum, which she says “will show historical information about all five schools from the Civil War to desegregation.”  You can find more information about the Jarvisburg Colored School here: http://www.historicjarvisburgcoloredschool.com/history.shtml.

 


More Wetness

March 21st, 2012 at 10:13 am by under Weather

We had some showers and storms survive from yesterday.  Overnight they put down some heavy rain in a few locations, and even lasted into the morning hours.  Here are the radar estimated rain totals from Super Doppler 10 up until about 8 this morning:

Estimated Rain Totals

 I talked to my weather watcher Pam in Gloucester.  She said that she had 2.5″ from last night.  The rain was heavy in several places this morning.  On top of that we had thick fog once again with more school delays. because of it.  It took a little longer for folks to get to work this morning to say the least. 

Since we had the rain this morning, I don’t see a lot of instability shaping up for the afternoon.  The models don’t really account for this.  So I think we could see some pop up storms later today outside of the areas that had rain this morning or at least on the edges of that area.   We still do have weak high pressure around, but the amount of moisture in the area is high.  It’s enough to create that fog and showers.   A huge upper level low over Texas is causing flooding rains over parts of the deep south.  This will help some of the recent drought areas out there, but it’s too bad that it’s feast or famine for them. 

The Nation's Weather Pattern

With the upper level flow around the upper level low (I’m not trying to rap here),we have had nice ridging and warm temperatures lately.  This will continue tomorrow, and it should amplify on Friday.  That basically means that the upper level pattern should promote sinking air and therefore decrease the rain chances.  That feature and surface winds from the southwest will put high temperatures up into the 80s.  By Saturday though the upper level system will approach from the west.  I’m still optimistic that Saturday morning will be ok, but from midday Saturday through Sunday we are talking rain, rain, and more rain.  Perhaps a couple of inches.  Stay tuned.

Wet Weekend Forecast

Along with the rain we will see cooler temperatures.  Highs will be in the upper 60s to low 70s Saturday through Monday.  We will definitely dry out on Monday. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Humidity’s Effects

March 20th, 2012 at 8:14 am by under Weather

Humidity is the word of the day today.  For the next couple of days it will be impacting our area with fog in the mornings and a few showers in the afternoons.  It will also create some bad hair days for the ladies.  Sorry!  This morning we started with thick fog in the region.  It came and went in many locations.  Here was the views from Armada Hoffler Tower at Town Center in Virginia Beach:

Fog On Tower Cam

 There were several school delays due to the fog.  It was really bad over parts of North Carolina and on the Eastern Shore. It thickened up in the metro between 6:30 and 7:30am.  It is expected to burn off later this morning.  It will return tonight, but it may not be as thick tomorrow morning as we’ll probably have more cloud cover. 

There were a few showers west of the viewing area this morning.  Otherwise it was quiet locally.  Later this afternoon we’ll see a few pop-up showers and storms.  We did have an isolated one pop up yesterday near the Great Dismal Swamp and it moved east before dissipating.  That was about 5-10% coverage.  Today we’ll see about 30% coverage in the area.  So that is more than just a slight chance. 

Today’s Forecast

 High temperatures will be in the mid 70s with upper 70s to near 80 inland.  High pressure will be a little stronger on Thursday and Friday.  This will warm us up even more (upper 70s with low/mid 80s inland), and it will reduce the rain chances to 10%.  Late Saturday we’ll have an upper level low approach from the west.  It is a spinning mass over cooler air in the upper levels that makes things unstable underneath it.  That system will create a higher chance for showers and storms.  At this time it looks like this feature will sit right over us and create a very wet day on Sunday.  It will probably be a washout.  Sometimes these cutoff upper level lows move slower than predicted, but at this point it would really have to slow down to push the rain chances back to Monday.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Cold West, Warm Central/East U.S.

March 19th, 2012 at 8:35 am by under Weather

Today there will be a big difference in temperatures from west to east across the country.  Snow and cold will dominate the Rockies, but warmth will prevail over about 2/3rds of the U.S.  Highs are still well above the average from the Plains to the East Coast. 

Forecast High Temperatures

 Locally, we’ll have mild temperatures, but the stronger heating will take place west of us.  The reason for that is due to the onshore flow that will persist over the next few days.  This will do a couple of things.  It will keep the coastal temperatures a little cooler than inland locations.  It will also allow us to pull in some moisture from the Atlantic.  So spotty showers are possible during the day, with patchy fog at night.  Usually an area of high pressure keeps us clear, but the center of the high will be pretty far offshore.  So the rain chances for the next few days are not zero, but they are low.

Today's Forecast Map

 This weather pattern won’t change much over the next few days.  The high will be offshore.  An upper level low will reside over the central U.S. and will create showers and storms there.  Again, warm weather will reside over much of the U.S., but due to our onshore flow locally we’ll see mild weather, but not hot weather. 

The average high is in the upper 50s.  We’ll be well above that for the next 7 days. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Its “Sun”day. So where is the sun?

March 18th, 2012 at 8:41 am by under Weather

We started our morning a bit foggy thanks to the low temperatures and the high dewpoints. Basically what happened late last night and this morning is we had the fog develop and in many areas it began to lift into low level clouds. Now for this Sunday, I am expecting to see these clouds continue to lift and eventually break apart to allow some sunshine to peak through. Temperatures today should be in the upper 60s by the water and near 70 inland.

Front to our South

The rain will be off to our west or south again for today as that stationary boundary sits in that area. This front will begin to lift to the north overnight tonight and tomorrow which might help to produce some patchy fog again this evening. Tomorrow a few showers will be possible as this front is back across Hampton Roads.

Monday

We could have a few scattered showers tomorrow, but as the front continues to move north it will begin to act like a warm front so we will have warmer air pushing itself back into the region throughout the week. I am not expecting any big spike in temperatures, but a modest increase to the lower 70s for highs could be expected.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson