Don Slater

The Eye Of Odile In Cabo

October 23rd, 2014 at 11:03 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

Short video:


October 23rd, 2014 at 10:41 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

The moon passed in front of the sun today creating a partial solar eclipse. It wasn’t a particularly spectacular eclipse with only 8.7% of the sun obscured by the moon.

In fact, the eclipse is a little hard to see on this picture. Look for the semicircular indentation on the right side of the sun.
On August 21st, 2017, we’ll likely see a more spectacular eclipse (if it isn’t cloudy). A TOTAL eclipse is predicted that day for most of North America.

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 pm by under Weather

Scientists have uncovered a cache of satellite images of Earth from the 1960s that had been forgotten in storage for nearly 50 years and that push back the first satellite images of our planet a full 17 years. The trove includes the first publicly available satellite photos of Europe, the earliest aerial views of Antarctica’s ice, and a record of Central Asia’s Aral Sea before it dried up. There’s also a rare photo of the most powerful storm to hit North America in modern times.


October 22nd, 2014 at 10:50 pm by under Weather

Here’s a quick story from NBC on the recent discovery that the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s may have been the worst North American drought…ever.


Here’s a more detailed report on the findings from NASA’s web site.

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:40 pm by under Weather

I’d never even heard of this before today. Evidently, this is a big thing in the field of “Atmospheric Optics”. It’s the first-ever picture of a “5th order rainbow”.


October 22nd, 2014 at 10:23 pm by under Weather

The definition of “nuisance tide” is anything hitting 4 feet. We’ll come pretty close to that on Thursday morning. I don’t anticipate any big problems from tides, though.

This has been a coastal storm and as such, we’re usually concerned about tidal flooding. However with this storm, winds have been strong out of the north-northwest. That wind direction can push just a little tidal flooding into mainly south side Hampton Roads areas.

Rain has nearly ended across the region, but winds continue…and will likely continue into Thursday, too.


Washington Post With An Interesting Article On Norfolk’s Susceptibility To Tidal Flooding

June 1st, 2014 at 11:03 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

The NY Times did a front page story on this a year or so ago. Now a different take from the Washington Post…and it’s certainly worth reading: In Norfolk, evidence of climate change is in the streets at high tide

Friday Evening’s Tornado Warnings

April 28th, 2014 at 11:13 pm by under Weather

There’s been a minor kerfuffle (not from me) regarding last Friday evening’s tornado warnings.

Here’s a link to the preliminary report on Friday’s tornadoes. The reports are the results of site surveys and radar records by the National Weather Service local office in Wakefield. You will note that the tornado which started at Macedonia, NC began around 7:20 PM. You will also note that the tornado which started in the Edenton area began its destructive path around 7:37 PM.

The Tornado Warnings for these areas were not issued by the National Weather Service until 8:01 PM. So there was a 41 minute delay for the Macedonia tornado and a 24 minute delay for the Edenton tornado. So what gives?

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were in effect for this entire area in northeastern North Carolina. So residents of these areas should have been watchful for any damaging winds. With these warnings in place, there is always the implication that the storms could worsen. And of course, they did worsen.

Even with the best radar in the world (& it pretty much IS the best), there are winds and even tornadoes that can be missed. Meteorologists rely on radar, but they also rely on public reports of tornadoes. Usually, the National Weather Service radar (which all 3 stations tie into & use) is incredibly accurate in terms of picking up a threat as it happens…or before it happens. This time it wasn’t…and that happens.

Definitely A Moving Target!

March 16th, 2014 at 11:00 pm by under Weather

Just to add a little to what Tiffany posted earlier. I’ve taken some screen shots of “accumulated snowfall” from two different models. I am posting from home, so I don’t have access to the better illustration of the Future Trak models. Nevertheless, these are certainly some of the other models that we look at on a daily basis. First, the GFS:Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.23.27 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.23.44 PMAnd secondly, the NAM:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.24.17 PMYou will note that for the Hampton Roads cities, each of these are showing a 0″ to 1″ accumulation across at least parts of the Peninsula. The GFS is a little farther south with snowfall accumulations, but the NAM has heavier accumulations for the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. With all that being said…precipitation amounts are likely to be even lighter than either of these models are projecting! A lot of the precipitation just isn’t happening…or is lighter than expected. Additionally, the colder air has just not pushed far enough southward.

Through last Thursday and even into early Friday, the forecast models were showing rain for everywhere except the Northern Neck. But then the Friday afternoon and evening model runs started showing the snow (& wintry mix) farther south. Then throughout the early part of the weekend, the models were just not coming into agreement at all at a final solution for Monday and Tuesday. And as I type this out, Winter Weather Advisories have been dropped for the Peninsula. Those Winter Weather Advisories continue for the Middle Peninsula and Accomack County on the Eastern Shore. Winter Storm Warnings continue for the Northern Neck. And in all of these areas, forecast snow totals have been been significantly pulled back. Just as an example, here is the latest snow total map from the National Weather Service:totalThis storm is definitely a moving target. For the vast majority of us, this will likely be occasional chilly rain! Tiffany Savona has a much more detailed snow total map on WAVY News10 at 11. Jeremy Wheeler will be on the air with WAVY News10 Today at 4:00 AM and Noon. And of course, I’ll be there bringing you the latest Monday afternoon and evening.

Here We Go Again!

March 2nd, 2014 at 12:44 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

As of Friday evening, preliminary indications were that we’d see this thing hit late Monday afternoon and into the evening hours. It’s now looking much sooner than that…with rain hitting us by around 5:00 AM Monday and quickly changing over to a wintry mix by 7:00 AM and even some snow beginning from Williamsburg northward. The wintry mix (mainly sleet pellets) will likely continue for an hour or two before changing over to all snow from north to south into the Hampton Roads cities by around noon. North Carolina can expect the wintry mix by late morning…changing over to all snow by around 1:00 or 2:00 PM. The height of the snowfall for most of us will likely be in the early to late afternoon.

Here are a couple of variations of the NAM forecast model indicating snowfall totals before it ends early Monday evening.scalenam1nam2You will note the possibility of 4″ to 6″ of snow in areas from Williamsburg through the Northern Neck! I have not included the (later-arriving) GFS model here; this model has indicated far heavier snow than what would be indicated by the ongoing situation. So the GFS is being watched, but discounted for being “off” by a lot. The 7:00 AM European model run will not be complete until mid-afternoon, but earlier model runs fall roughly into line with the above projections from the NAM.

A couple more graphics here. First, here is a snowfall total map from our very capable friends at the National Weather Service in Wakefield:totalsnowThis map is in line with current thinking about the “placement” of the snow (in an east-west orientation), but is somewhat heavier farther south than what the above NAM maps indicate. With the models showing a trend toward farther south and sooner in the day, this map may be an anticipation of the upcoming forecast models continuing the farther south trend. And a slight nod toward the too-heavy GFS. If sleet continues longer before snow begins (& it could), then the above snow totals would likely be lessened somewhat.

Here’s the snow totals map put together this morning by my colleague, Jeff Edmondson:Monday_SnowAnd this is pretty much in line with all thinking on the upcoming storm. One thing to note: When we talk about “ice accumulations” here, we’re talking about sleet pellets and freezing rain, but mostly sleet. Sleet gets easily crushed into the pavement by tire treads creating ice. Sleet is bad enough, but freezing rain is horrendously destructive and especially dangerous on the roads. At this point, freezing rain could be a problem, but not a huge one. With the temperature dropping rapidly on Monday morning, any water falling from the sky and on roads (& especially bridges!) could quickly freeze as temperatures drop to around 27° or 28°. One thing in our favor on all of this is that the soil temperature is in the 40° to 45° range, thus more easily melting any icy stuff that initially hits the ground. Of course with snow pretty much everywhere through the region by early Monday afternoon, tire treads will turn all that snow into ice on virtually all roads.

These maps and forecasts are still subject to change as we draw closer to the actual event, so be sure to stay informed in the next 24 to 36 hours. Jeff Edmondson will be on the air between 6:00 & 7:00 this evening. I will be filling in for Tiffany Savona for FOX43 News at 10 and WAVY News 10 at 11. Jeremy Wheeler and Jeff will be with you from 4:30 AM through 1:00 PM tomorrow. Tiffany Savona and I will take over at 1:00 PM through the evening hours tomorrow.

Here we go again!