Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Severe Weather

What a crazy day across the middle of the country.  Sub-zero weather with snow along and east of the Rockies - stretching out across the northern plains. 

In the middle - a severe weather outbreak that began just before sunrise with a large and deadly tornado touching down in northwest Arkansas.

The storms spread east and grew in coverage - with tornadic storms breaking out from Louisiana to central Illinois.

Missouri also saw some deadly tornadoes touch down - with at least 2 killed in Dent County.   The St. Louis metro area took a direct hit with widespread reports of damage.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heavy Eastern Snows

Well - 1 to 3 feet of snow is on the ground from North Carolina to Maine after the recent storm. 

Some of the hardest hit areas were right around New Jersey - where much of the state saw anywhere from 15 to 30 inches of the white stuff!

This timelapse video has circulated the web and the media outlets, but it is so good - I have to share it again.

Click here to see what 30 inches of snow looks like over a 20-hour period as it falls in Delmar, New Jersey.

The storm began in the south - well actually - it was part of the huge storm system that slammed the west with heavy rain and snow around Christmas.

North Carolina took a beating with up to a foot of snow outside of the Raleigh-Durham area.

The New York City metro also took a beating with over 20" in many areas.  I heard a stat on The Weather Channel that only 6 storms in previous history have dumped 20 inches or more on the city officially.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Covers Much of United States

Check out the current map of US snow cover!

Only 3 states have no snow on the ground somewhere within their borders....Florida, Texas and Louisiana.

Oklahoma would be #4 if it weren't for a little snow in their extreme northeast counties.

Current US Snow Cover

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Snow For South

Portions of the south are seeing their first white Christmas in decades.

It is 6:37 am here in the Rockies - and here are a few morning observations that really add to the Christmas spirit. So 7:37 am in the Central Time Zone and 8:37 am Eastern.

  • Greenwood, Mississippi - Light Snow
  • Tupelo, Mississippi - Light Snow
  • Crossville, Tennessee - Light Snow
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee - Snow
  • Nashville, Tennessee - Light Snow
  • Huntsville, Alabama - Light Snow

Other locations that may see a little of the white stuff today include Atlanta and Charlotte. Perhaps Birmingham!

A winter storm brewing off the coast will likely bring accumulating snow to the Carolinas, Virginia and the I-95 corridor across New England later in the weekend.

Meanwhile - some cold air is plunging south - all the way into Miami and south Florida - where wind chill watches are in effect. Central and northern Florida are under freeze watches and warnings.

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading my blog.   I haven't posted as frequently as I like over the past several weeks - been so busy working - hopefully I will have more time in 2011.

Below is the US Snow Cover! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Season of Extremes

Doesn't it seem like there is no longer a "normal" when it comes to weather?  Maybe I am just paying more attention to it the older I get (closing in on 33 soon).

This season - Minneapolis is off to one of the snowiest starts in years - and it's been a whopper of a snow season so far for Syracuse, NY.

Here in Colorado, some of our mountains have seen record snowfalls - while in Denver, it's the driest we have ever been for being so late in the season. (in terms of snow)

We are not even to the 2" mark yet officially.  I have been watering the yard and trees by hand about every 2 to 3 weeks if you can believe it!   Something I've never really had to do in the 10 years of living here.

California is being pounded by heavy rain and mountain snow.  This is the start of their rainy season, so nothing too unusual to be totally honest.  Potent? Yes - this is a major storm system for them - so somewhat unusual.

Europe has been hit hard with winter so far this year - from London to Paris, across portions of Germany and surrounding nations.

Is anyone having a "normal" fall and early winter thus far?

What is "normal" anyway?

From a climate point of view - normal is an average of weather conditions at a particular locations for the past 30 years.

Currently - we use data from 1970-2000.  But soon - we will be using data from 1980-2010, once the year closes out and numbers are crunched.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pineapple Express To Soak Western U.S.

What is the Pineapple Express?

It's an unofficial weather term used to describe a flow of moisture that originates from near Hawaii - and moves all the way across the Pacific Ocean - into the western United States.  Think of it like a fire hose that stretches nearly 5,000 miles!

Well - that fire hose is pointed directly at the central coast of California - and it reaches all the way into the central Rockies.

Rain and snow has been falling since Saturday - and is expected to continue well into the week ahead.  Before all is said and done, portions of the mountains of California and Colorado will see 4 to 8 feet of snow - isolated locations could exceed 10 feet.

The lower elevations of California will see widespread heavy rain - in some cases - over a foot!   That will no doubt create troubles, including mud slides and flooding.

I am sure there will be plenty of travel delays to go along with the storm system too!    Esp. in Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arctic air dives south

Look at the wind field around this cold air diving south out of Canada.  It is part of the same storm system that is spreading widespread blizzard conditions across the center of the nation.

Temps range from the low teens along the Kansas and Nebraska border to to low 70s just off the coast of Louisiana.

The cold front has now pushed all the way to the Gulf Coast.  Light snow has been reported across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Winter storm to slam Upper Midwest

A slew of blizzard watches and warnings cover much of Iowa, southern Minnesota and surrounding areas today.  Winter storm warnings cover all of Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

The current conditions right now in Sioux Falls, Iowa - heavy snow with a sustained northwest wind at 35 mph, gusting to 53!!  With a temperature of 10 degrees!!

Expect widespread travel troubles today by land via I-80, I-90 and I-94.  By air in and out of Chicago, Des Moines and Minneapolis/St Paul.

Denver sees driest start to snow season in 112 years

Denver, Colorado has only seen 1.5 inches of snow so far during the 2010-2011 snow season.  That is over a foot behind where the city should be for this time of year.

Only three others years have been this dry - 1883, 1884 and 1898.

The city is on pace to be the least snowiest it has ever been this late in the season.

La Nina is to blame for the lack of snow along Colorado's Front Range.  During La Nina, the storm track typically stays north of the state, or approaches from the northwest - leaving snow in the mountains west of Denver and nothing more than dry, windy and often warm conditions across the eastern third of the state.

One interesting note:  in the previously dry years (1883, 1884 and 1898) - Denver averaged 35" of snow between the following February and April - so there is still hope for snow in the Mile High City!

When looking at more recent times, Denver has had one other very dry start to the snow season since 2000.  It was during the year 2007-2008 snow season - where less than 5 inches of snow fell through December 11.

The season remained dry - averaging 21.2 inches between February and April.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deep south in the deep freeze

Check out the morning temps for the southeast. Widespread teens and 20s - all the way into Florida.

Meanwhile, it's in the 30s and lower 40s across portions of the northern Rockies and high plains.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

La Nina and her effects on US weather

La Nina has those of us in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies in a snow drought.  We've only seen 2 inches here in Denver so far this year. 

Meanwhile, some places in our northwest mountains have seen near record snow.

Another place with record snow right now is on the eastern side of the Great Lakes. Buffalo and Syracuse, NY have been shoveling overtime in recent days.

Snow has made it as far south as the beaches of Virginia.

Cold weather has filtered all the way into Florida - where farmers are fighting to survive a freeze.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 Hurricane Season Officially Ends

The Atlantic eastern Pacific are officially out of hurricane season - the season was extremely busy for the Atlantic while extremely quiet for the eastern Pacific.

Click here to read more.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dynamic storm hits nation hampering Thanksgiving travel

The weather maps are busy to say the least today, with everything from blizzard warnings to tornado warnings.

Temperatures are in the 70s all the way to northern Illinois - while just a few hundred miles northwest it is only in the 20s with snow.

In the warm sector of the weather system, showers and thunderstorms were breaking out across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois - some of the storms were severe at times.

As I type this blog, a tornado warning is in effect for a possible tornado near the Kewanee Airport in Kewanee, Illinois.

Other strong to severe storms were located near Rockford, Ill.

Meanwhile, several hunderd miles behind the storm system across Montana and North Dakota afternoon temperatures were struggling to reach 5 degrees above zero!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Condition One Heads From Michigan to Antarctica

What is Condition One?
It's a film in the making that shows how extremes and the human spirit will reveal the social pressures and inequities of urban life through the contrast of the seemingly disparate lives of teens in Detroit and the residents of Antarctica. In these extreme conditions, what makes people rise up? What makes their spirits soar?
Those involved with this film are currently en route to Antarctica - you can learn more about the project and follow their progress through their blog linked here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

La Nina - Winter of Extremes

This winter will probably be another one filled with a lot of extreme weather across the nation. By extremes, I mean large swings between above normal and below normal - with little time spent in the middle.

Some of the data points to that - some is my gut talking.

Currently - cold air is building over Alaska - and they are expecting much below normal temps as we head into this week.

That is something we need to watch as forecasters. If it builds and persists, it will likely be on the move into the lower 48 states sometime between Thanksgiving and the first 10 days of December.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Big Snow For Upper Midwest

Well the first significant snow of the season is striking the upper midwest states today!  Places like Minneapolis/St. Paul could see anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of the white stuff!

Numerous winter weather advisories are in place from extreme eastern Nebraska and western Iowa all the way up to the Minnesota border with Canada.

Here are a few snowfall forecasts over the next 36 hours.

  • Storm Lake, Iowa - 6 to 9 inches
  • Mankato, Minnesota - 7 to 10 inches
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul metro - 6 to 12 inches
  • Duluth, Minnesota - 7 to 14 inches
This storm may also bring the first significant snow of the season to upper Michigan and portions of Wisconsin too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November To Turn Cold?

It's been a rather mild fall across much of the nation - with temperatures running anywhere from 5 to 25 degrees above normal at times.

But a big cold front will be sweeping across the country over the next few days and it is expected to bring below normal temps to a large patch of real estate.

In fact, some places will see their first rain/snow mix change to all snow along and just east of the Rockies - including Denver!

Denver's normal average date of first snow is Oct. 19 - but the city has yet to see their first official snow.

The latest date of first snowfall is Nov. 21.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tomas Continues To Fluctuate

First a hurricane, then a tropical storm - now a depression - what next?

In one sense it really doesn't matter what we call it- this weather system is not going to be good for the poor country of Haiti.
Either way, it will bring heavy rain and wind to the area.

But computer models still indicate the storm will regain strength and grow back into both tropical storm and hurricane status by the weekend as it makes a turn and moves north and then the northeast.

We'll have to watch and see!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Huge Storms Pulls Away, Cold Left Behind

Well that massive cold front and area of low pressure is scooting out of the picture, but not after doing a lot of damage and producing over 50 tornadoes in 2 days!

Behind, we're getting the first real taste of the cold season with widespread frost and freeze advisories in place - shown in light and dark blue on the map below.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Record "Bomb" Storm System

A new record set today on Tuesday for the lowest pressure in a non-tropical storm in the mainland U.S.

The massive storm system barreling across the central U.S. had a minimum central pressure of 28.24" or 956 mb (equivalent to the minimum pressure of a Category 3 hurricane).

This breaks the old record of 28.28" (958 mb), set on ...Jan. 26, 1978, during the Blizzard of 1978 (aka the Cleveland Sueprbomb).

This is also lower than the March 1993 Superstrom (aka "The Storm of the Century"), or the "Witch of November" storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, or even the Columbus Day Storm of Oct. 1962.

New low pressure readings were also set for the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The storm generated hurricane force wind gusts from Colorado to Michigan - tipping over semis, downing power lines and making it almost miserable to be outside.

In North Dakota, the winds whipped around snow - making blizzard conditions exist nearly statewide.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Upper Midwest Low Pressure

What an amazing storm system right now in the middle of the country!  Tornado warnings along a cold front that extends from Louisiana to Michigan.

There is a high risk for tornadoes today across northwest Ohio and vicinity.

This low pressure has "bombed" out - meaning it rapidly intensified at the rate of the pressure lowering 1mb per hour for 24 hours - that happens over water but not too often over land.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Changing of the Seasons

Well I love this time of the year - the transition during the fall season can make for very colorful maps - such as the one for today in the picture below.

Everything from winter storm warnings in the pink across the central Rockies to tornado watches in the southeast (in yellow). Even severe thunderstorm watches in the rose color across the Carolinas and Virginia.

In between, all the brown means high wind watches and warnings - as the two air masses battle it out today.

Expect a windy go of it today across the center of the country - esp. from Texas to Michigan.

I am sure there will be a lot of bumpy landings and takeoffs today on the US air system.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beautiful Day on Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington, NH is known for having some of the worst weather in the world. Below is a recap from the last 6 or 7 hours.

Temps in the low teens, winds howling out of the west between 50 and 80 mph with blowing snow!!

22 11:48 W 67 G 74 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 12 12 100% NA NA

22 10:51 W 70 G 75 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 10 10 100% NA NA

22 09:55 W 77 G 83 0.06 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV001 10 10 100% NA NA

22 08:54 NW 76 G 82 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 12 12 100% NA NA

22 07:51 NW 78 G 85 0.00 Light Showers Snow Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 10 10 13 10 100% NA NA 0.07

22 06:55 NW 71 G 79 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 10 10 100% NA NA

22 05:58 NW 69 0.06 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 12 12 100% NA NA

22 04:51 NW 61 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 12 12 100% NA NA

22 03:57 W 52 G 56 0.00 Light Showers Snow Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 10 10 100% NA NA

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tropical Trouble

The above picture is a plot of all the models - showing potential path of the disturbed weather now brewing in the tropics.

New Study Says Drought May Threaten Much of Globe

I thought this was some interesting reading.

Click here for more.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Paula To Fizzle Out

Hurricane Paula is no more!

The storm is now just a tropical depression and will soon be nothing more than a remnant low.

But that doesn't mean the weather will clear for extreme south Florida, the Keys and Hispanola.

There will still be some scattered showers and storms from time to time, not to mention some choppy waters off the coasts.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Engineering Innovations Breakfast

If you are in the Boulder, Colo. area next week - mark your calendars for a great networking and learning opportunity.

The next Engineering Innovations Breakfast will take place at the Boulder Marriott on Tuesday, Oct. 19, when Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken and CoCoRaHS National Coordinator Henry Reges explain the unique volunteer precipitation data-gathering network that is CoCoRaHS.

Volunteers in all 50 states now send in data daily, and the information is used by NOAA, the National Weather Service, insurance adjusters, farmers, city utilities, and other professionals who need high-quality data about weather and precipitation. Doesken and Reges will discuss the kind of research that this unique data makes possible.

The breakfast will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Boulder Marriott. RSVP today by calling (970) 491-3110 or e-mailing

Admission for each breakfast is $20 per person ($15 for breakfast and a $5 gift to the Dean's Innovation Fund; cash or check only). Payment is accepted at the event. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wild Western Weather

I saw things I've never seen this time of year on the weather maps yesterday - tornado watches/warnings in Utah and Arizona.

As well as severe thunderstorm watches/warnings in those states and Colorado too.

The storms actually left behind several severe weather reports, mostly in Arizona and Utah, including a few tornadoes.

Some of those storms even held together and rolled from the foothills into the Denver metro area around midnight.

Extremely rare for October.

When people talk about global warming, the put so much focus on the temperature. I actually don't associate global warming with temperatures as much as I do with stuff like this - extreme and unusual weather patterns.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Snow In Tennessee, Tornadoes In Arizona

Whacky fall weather continues....with snow at the highest elevations of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in east Tennessee.

Meanwhile, a potent area of low pressure cut off over the desert southwest continues to bring rain and cool weather to the region - along with strong to severe thunderstorms - including tornadoes near Flagstaff.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stormy Night In The Desert

Showers and storms, a few strong to severe, are rumbling in the Phoenix-Tucson area of south Arizona tonight.

The monsoon season is over - but the late season rainfall is not.

So far we have seen heavy rain, 1 to 2 inch hail and winds 60-80 mph with some of the storms.

Taste of Fall Settles Into South

Check out this temperature map from just before 8 am local time, Tuesday, October 5.

It's in the upper 30s to upper 40s almost all the way down to the Gulf  Coast!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boring Weather Pattern For Many

I tell you what - this September has been the most boring one (for me) in terms of weather in several years.

Granted there have been exciting things happening in others parts of the country - such as the conveyor belt of moisture running up the east coast today.

I guess for some the record heat might be exciting - we've had all kinds of record highs here in the Denver area this month with unusually warm temps.

And how bout those all-time highs in So. California earlier this week? Pretty amazing.

But enough with heat - I am ready for some fall weather and a cool, overcast, foggy day that I can stay in my PJ's all day, eat chili and watch tv.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Arrives - What Lies Ahead?

Fall is officially here in just a little over 24 hours - so what lies ahead?

We are in a La Nina pattern over the weeks ahead, and that means a warmer and drier than normal winter for the middle of the country according to long term forecasts.

It will be wetter than normal in the northern tier of states and across the south.

These are just predictions from the climate prediction center. You can see more by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awesome Images of Fourmile Fire

Well I am sure most of you have seen the big fire just northwest of Denver on the news. It broke out around 10 am Monday and has already burned nearly 10,000 acres.

Sadly, dozens of structures have been lost.

Here is a link to some incredible photos of the fire as seen from satellites.

Click here for the pics.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tropics Grow Busy as Season Peaks

The tropical season is nearing it's mid-September peak in a few weeks - and that can't be more clear as we've seen things really heat up in the Atlantic.

Forecasters are currently monitoring Hurricane Earl, which is expected to give the eastern seaboard a pretty good scare as we head into the holiday weekend.

Some data suggests it will skirt right along the coast, while other models still say it will turn away in time, just brushing the Outer Banks.

And of course, there is always the chance it will not turn and make a direct hit.

Behind Earl is Fiona and behind that is Depression #9.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shrinking Atmospheric Layer Linked to Low Levels of Solar Radiation

Here is a recent press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Large changes in the Sun’s energy output may drive unexpectedly

dramatic fluctuations in Earth’s outer atmosphere, new research

indicates. A study published today links a recent, temporary shrinking

of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the Sun’s ultraviolet

radiation levels.

The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric

Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU),

indicates that the Sun’s magnetic cycle, which produces differing

numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may vary more

than previously thought.

“Our work demonstrates that the solar cycle not only varies on the

typical 11-year time scale, but also can vary from one solar minimum to

another,” says lead author Stanley Solomon, a scientist at NCAR’s High

Altitude Observatory. “All solar minima are not equal.”

The findings may have implications for orbiting satellites, as well as

for the International Space Station. The fact that the layer in the

upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere is shrunken and less dense

means that satellites can more easily maintain their orbits. But it also

indicates that space debris and other objects that pose hazards may

persist longer in the thermosphere.

“With lower thermospheric density, our satellites will have a longer

life in orbit,” says CU professor Thomas Woods, a co-author. “This is

good news for those satellites that are actually operating, but it is

also bad because of the thousands of non-operating objects remaining in

space that could potentially have collisions with our working satellites.”

The study, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, was

funded by NASA and by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor.

-----Radiation or carbon dioxide?-----

The Sun’s energy output declined to unusually low levels from 2007 to

2009, a particularly prolonged solar minimum during which there were

virtually no sunspots or solar storms. During that same period of low

solar activity, Earth’s thermosphere shrank more than at any time in the

43-year era of space exploration.

The thermosphere, which ranges in altitude from about 55 to more than

300 miles (90 to 500 kilometers), is a rarified layer of gas at the edge

of space where the Sun’s radiation first makes contact with Earth’s

atmosphere. It typically cools and becomes less dense during low solar

activity. But the magnitude of the density change during the recent

solar minimum appeared to be about 30% greater than would have been

expected by low solar activity.

The study team used computer modeling to analyze two possible factors

implicated in the mystery of the shrinking thermosphere. They simulated

both the impacts of solar output and the role of carbon dioxide, a

potent greenhouse gas that, according to past estimates, is reducing the

density of the outer atmosphere by about 2% to 5% per decade.

Their work built on several recent studies. Earlier this year, a team of

scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory and George Mason

University, measuring changes in satellite drag, estimated that the

density of the thermosphere declined in 2007–09 to about 30% less than

during the previous solar minimum in 1996. Other studies by scientists

at the University of Southern California and CU, using measurements from

sub-orbital rocket flights and space-based instruments, have estimated

that levels of extreme-ultraviolet radiation—a class of photons with

extremely short wavelengths—dropped about 15% during the same period.

However, scientists remained uncertain whether the decline in

extreme-ultraviolet radiation would be sufficient to have such a

dramatic impact on the thermosphere, even when combined with the effects

of carbon dioxide.

To answer this question, Solomon and his colleagues turned to an NCAR

computer tool, known as the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics

General Circulation Model. They used the model to simulate how the Sun’s

output during 1996 and 2008 would affect the temperature and density of

the thermosphere. They also created two simulations of thermospheric

conditions in 2008—one with a level that approximated actual carbon

dioxide emissions and one with a fixed, lower level.

The results showed the thermosphere cooling in 2008 by 41 kelvins (about

74 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to 1996, with just 2 K attributable to

the carbon dioxide increase. The results also showed the thermosphere’s

density decreasing by 31%, with just 3% attributable to carbon dioxide.

The results closely approximated the 30% reduction in density indicated

by measurements of satellite drag.

“It is now clear that the record low temperature and density were

primarily caused by unusually low levels of solar radiation at the

extreme-ultraviolet level,” Solomon says.

Woods says the research indicates that the Sun could be going through a

period of relatively low activity, similar to periods in the early 19th

and 20th centuries. This could mean that solar output may remain at a

low level for the near future.

“If it is indeed similar to certain patterns in the past, then we expect

to have low solar cycles for the next 10 to 30 years,” Woods says.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National

Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National

Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or

recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s)

and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tropical Activity - Tracking 2 Storms

Forecasters are tracking both Danielle and Earl in the central Atlantic today - each storm is well out to sea and not a current threat to the mainland US.

In fact, one computer forecast model keeps both storms out to sea with no major threat to land other than the island of Bermuda.

We'll have to wait and see - especially with Earl.

Monday, August 23, 2010

More Signs of the Times

Some frost and freeze warnings have been posted for a few high mountain valleys in Oregon and Idaho as a potent storm system moves into the northwest US.

The upper level wind patterns are starting to look more and more like a fall pattern with large storm systems organizing over the Gulf of Alaska and moving south and east.

Here in Denver we are going to feel this weather system as highs go from 97 degrees on Sunday to the upper 60s on Tuesday.

It's exciting - this is my favorite transition of the year - summer to fall!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Changing of the Seasons

Today I had a chat with some co-workers about the changing of the seasons and all the many environmental signs we are starting to see.

I.e. bird migration patterns either later or earlier than normal, changes in the vegetation, etc.

What are you seeing?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tropical Troubles Ahead?

Forecasters are watching an area of disturbed weather off the southwest coast of Florida tonight as it could become the 4th named tropical system of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Models indicate that we might have Tropical Storm Danielle on our hands before too long, and it will move to the northwest, making a landfall near New Orleans sometime later this week.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Colin Forms in the Atlantic, Sweltering South

Tropical Storm Colin is now churning in the Atlantic, hundreds of miles away from the Leeward and Windward Islands.

Current thinking is that this storm will move to the northwest - but won't grow too much in strength - as there are some environmental factors that will limit the growth potential.

However, things can and do change - with a slight track different from that of current thinking - so stay tuned if you have interests in that part of the world.

Meanwhile, some heavy rain fell overnight - with 5 inches of rain reported southwest of Chicago in the city of Joliet.

And the HEAT IS ON across the southern states. Highs are well into the lower 100s across portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, western and middle Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Little Rock is expecting a high today of 106 with a heat index that could top 120 degrees!!!  At 10 am, it is already 98 degrees with a heat index of 102!   So glad I don't live there!   WHEW!

Elsewhere in central Arkansas, Jacksonville was 99 degrees at 10 am and Searcy was 100 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tropics Heating Up

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are keeping a close eye on the central Atlantic today.

An area of disturbed weather is organizing into what could become Tropical Storm Colin - the 3rd named system of the season.

In fact, as of right now, the hurricane center is giving this weather system a 90% chance of developing within the next 2 days.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crazy Weather Week; S.D. Hailstone Arrives in Colorado

Wow there has been so much in the news about wild weather this past few weeks.

I am now writing a section on the national edition of the so if you haven't checked it out - please do!

Today, I posted three new articles - two about the South Dakota hailstone and one about a tornado west of Phoenix.

CLICK HERE to visit my column!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Killer Tornado Hits N.E. Montana

An unusually large and powerful tornado touched down in extreme northeast Montana on Monday, just south of the Canadian border - killing 2 and seriously injuring 1.

Tornadoes are not all that uncommon across eastern Montana during the summer thunderstorm season - but what is uncommon - is to get a large and deadly twister.

Usually they are just small, rope-like tornadoes that are short-lived and fairly harmless.

Click here to read some stats about killer tornadoes in Montana.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

The latest 8-14 day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center calls for more heat in the eastern 2/3 of the nation.

Below normal temps are expected along the immediate Pacific Coast.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hotter Than A Firecracker

It's hot across much of the nation today - with heat advisories covering most of the middle states.

That is not so much due to the actual temperatures, but the humidity.

Highs across much of the heartland will climb into the 90s, but will feel like the 100-110° range once you factor in the humidity.

Severe storms are expected across Minnesota and Wisconsin this afternoon. There is actually a pretty good threat for tornadoes.

A few isolated severe storms may fire over the Front Range of Colorado, along the Interstate 25 corridor from Colorado Springs to Dener and Fort Collins.

And the winner for heat is Phoenix and Las Vegas where afternoon temperatures are climbing above 110° and overnight lows are barely dropping below 90°!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Southern Flooding; 2 States, 2 Causes

Thursday brought life threatening floods to both Texas and Oklahoma - but for different reasons.

The flooding in extreme south Texas along the Rio Grande River was due to the landfall of Tropical Depression #2. The area was still getting over the impacts from Hurricane Alex when this new system moved through.

The Rio Grande River at Laredo went from 3 feet deep to over 40 feet deep!

In Oklahoma, a stalled out front was causing widespread heavy rain. In and around the Oklahoma City area, widespread floods were reported. At least one death was reported.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tropical Pipeline Into Southern Plains

A tropical wave moving through the western Gulf of Mexico is pointed at the Texas coastline like a firehose.

The moisture is reaching all the way up into Oklahoma and Kansas.

Numerous flash flood watches and warnings are in effect for the potential to receive several inches of rain.

Meanwhile, it continues to boil in the east. Highs are near or in excess of 100 degrees from North Carolina to New York.

It is cool in the Rockies with clouds and 60s around the Denver area.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Study Shows Aircraft Cause Precipitation, Hole-Punch Clouds

As turboprop and jet aircraft climb or descend under certain

atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently seed mid-level clouds and

cause narrow bands of snow or rain to develop and fall to the ground,

new research finds. Through this seeding process, they leave behind

odd-shaped holes or channels in the clouds, which have long fascinated

the public.

The key ingredient for developing these holes in the clouds: water

droplets at subfreezing temperatures, below about 5 degrees Fahrenheit

(-15 degrees Celsius). As air is cooled behind aircraft propellers or

over jet wings, the water droplets freeze and drop toward Earth.

“Any time aircraft fly through these specific conditions, they are

altering the clouds in a way that can result in enhanced precipitation

nearby,” says Andrew Heymsfield, a scientist with the National Center

for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of a new study into the

phenomenon. “Just by flying an airplane through these clouds, you could

produce as much precipitation as with seeding materials along the same

path in the cloud.”

Precipitation from planes may be particularly common in regions such as

the Pacific Northwest and western Europe because of the frequent

occurrence of cloud layers with supercooled droplets, Heymsfield says.

The study, which addresses longstanding questions about unusual cloud

formations known as hole-punch and canal clouds, is being published this

month in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It was

funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. In addition

to NCAR, the research team included scientists from Colorado State

University and the University of Wyoming, as well as a retired cloud


-----Punching holes in clouds-----

Across the world, sightings of blue-sky holes piercing a cloud layer

have triggered bemusement and speculation. A front-page feature on

Yahoo! carried the headline “A Halo over Moscow” after photos emerged of

just such a hole in October 2009.

As far back as the 1940s, scientists have wondered about the causes of

these clouds with gaps seemingly made by a giant hole punch. Researchers

have proposed a number of possible aviation-related causes, from

acoustic shock waves produced by jets, to local warming of the air along

a jet’s path, to the formation of ice along jet contrails. Indeed, the

earliest observations implicated jet aircraft, but not propeller

aircraft, as producing the holes.

Researchers in the 1980s observed that propeller aircraft could

transform supercooled droplets into ice crystals, and experiments were

launched in the 1990s to characterize the phenomenon.

But scientists had not previously observed snow as it fell to the ground

as a result of aircraft until Heymsfield and his colleagues happened to

fly through some falling snow west of Denver International Airport with

an array of instruments. While the research team did not notice anything

unusual at the time of their 2007 flight, a subsequent review of data

from a ground-based radar in the area revealed an unusual echo,

indicating that the band of precipitation had evolved quickly and was

unusually shaped.

“It became apparent that the echo had evolved in a unique way, but I had

no satisfactory explanation,” says Patrick Kennedy, a Colorado State

University radar engineer who spotted the unusual readings and helped

write the study.

-----Piecing together clues-----

Heymsfield and Kennedy went back through data from their aircraft’s

forward- and downward-viewing camera. They noticed a hole in an

otherwise-solid deck of altocumulus clouds in the forward imagery, as

well as a burst of snow that extended to the ground.

Since the hole was oriented in the same direction as the standard flight

tracks of commercial aircraft in the region, Heymsfield surmised that a

plane flying through the cloud might have somehow caused ice particles

to form and “snow out” along its path, leaving a canal-shaped hole-punch

cloud behind.

A subsequent review of flight track records from the Federal Aviation

Administration revealed that turboprop planes operated by two airlines

flew close to the hole-punch location, following a standard flight path

that produced the subsequent band of snow. Snow crystals began falling

about five minutes after the second aircraft flew through the cloud. The

snowfall, in a band about 20 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, continued

for about 45 minutes, resulting in about two inches of snow on the ground.

The researchers also examined data from onboard spectrometers that

profiled the snowflakes within the band of snow beneath the hole punch.

These plate-shaped crystals showed evidence of riming (accumulation of

liquid water), whereas ice particles elsewhere in the cloud showed

little or no riming.

“This tells us that the aircraft literally ‘seeded’ the cloud just by

flying through it,” Heymsfield says.

The cloud layers outside Denver contained supercooled droplet--particles

of water that remain liquid even at temperatures as low as -35 degrees

Fahrenheit (about -34 degrees C). When a turboprop plane flies through

such a cloud layer, the tips of its propellers can cause the air to

rapidly expand. As the air expands, it cools and causes the supercooled

droplets to freeze into ice particles and fall out of the clouds as snow

or rain.

The research team conducted additional studies into the cooling over the

wings of jet aircraft, thereby accounting for earlier observations of

the impact of jets. Jet aircraft need colder temperatures (below about

-4 to -13 degrees F, or -20 to -25 degrees C) to generate the seeding

effect. Air forced to expand over the wings as the aircraft moves

forward cools and freezes the cloud droplets.

“This apparently happens frequently, embedded in the cloud layers,”

Heymsfield says. “You wouldn’t necessarily see it from satellite or from

the ground. I had no idea this was happening. I was sitting in back of

the plane. And then this data set just fell in our laps. It was a lucky


The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National

Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National

Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or

recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s)

and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science

Foundation or the Department of Energy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hurricane Alex Captures News Headlines

It's the first Atlantic hurricane of the season and it will make landfall over the next 36 hours somewhere between northeast Mexico and southeast Texas.

Despite where it goes - the effects will be widespread as a lot of wind and rain pound the region.

It was just a few years ago when the same area took a beating from Hurricane Dolly.

Click here for a look back at Dolly and how it compares to Alex.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Where Will Alex Hit?

The model runs are taking Tropical Storm Alex (eventually Hurricane Alex) further and further north it seems with each run.

Yesterday it was making landfall well into Mexico, at least a few hundred miles south of Brownsville.

Now the official forecast has it coming in about 75 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.

If you look at this snapshot from the NAM Model, looking about 84 hours into the future, it has the storm hitting Brownsville head-on.

And if you look at the GFS forecast model looking out about 108 hours, it has the storm almost moving parallel to the Texas coast and making landall in the Houston vicinity.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All Eyes On Gulf of Mexico & Tropical Storm Alex

Well what many have feared could happen is in the making - a tropical storm or hurricane moving into the region being impacted by the oil spill.

Tropical Storm Alex formed overnight and will have impacts today and tomorrow along the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Forecast models show the storm slowly moving across the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico early next week and possibly growing to near hurricane strength by July 1.

Even if the storm does not move near the oil spill, the impacts may still be felt by increased wave action and flow of the current as a result of the winds at the surface.

I am by no means sounding the panic button in this blog but it will be a touchy situation that bares close following over the coming week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lightning Safety Week

When the thunder roars - go indoors!

We're wrapping up National Lightning Safety Week in the United States. The National Weather service has been busy putting together a lot of resources for you to use so you are better educated on what to do to protect your life and property.

Click here to see safety tips, watch videos, find community resources and more!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moderate Risk Area Targets Midwest Once Again

More severe weather is in the forecast today.

The Storms Prediction Center has outlined an area with a moderate risk for severe storms that produce tornadoes and large hail.

The region with the highest probability is outlined in the picture with 10%, and includes southwest Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, extreme northeast Nebraska and much of northwest Iowa.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tornado Hits Billings, MT

Sunday afternoon turned stormy for many as severe thunderstorms developed along the leeside of the Rockies and across the central and northern high plains states.

There were numerous reports of large hail and heavy rain from the storms, and even a few tornadoes.

One tornado touched down on the northeast side of Billings, Mont. around 4:45 pm Sunday.

The twister did a considerable amount of damage to area businesses and homes, including a McDonalds and an arena.

Click here to see an update from KTVQ - you have to scroll down and look at the videos - especially the second one. Wow - an up close and personal shot of the twister and it's powerful circulation of wind.

I was online yesterday watching all the storms and found this picture on KULR's web site - it shows the wall cloud hanging over the city as the twister tore through.

The National Weather Service office in Billings will have to conduct a damage survey today - but preliminary reports say this is the strongest tornado to hit Billings since July of 1958.

Tornadoes are not rare in eastern Montana - but tornadoes of this strength over populated areas are not common.

Here is a link to a table of all Montana tornadoes since 1950.

The last time I could find that a tornado struck in the immediate Billing vicinity was on July 4, 1998 - a small EF0.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deadly Ark. Flood Recap, Midwest Tornado Outbreak Kills At Least 3

The National Weather Service office in Little Rock has published a detailed write-up of the flash flood event last Friday that killed at least 20 campers.

Click here to read it.

It is incredible how fast the river levels rose and fell due to the rainfall.

Meanwhile, it was one of the most active days this year in terms of severe weather yesterday. Numerous tornadoes touched down across North Dakota and Minnesota - with a few reports even coming in from Wisconsin and Iowa.

Unfortunately, the twisters were deadly - with at least 3 deaths reported so far across Minnesota. There has been widespread damage with major infrastructure damage to some counties.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Okla. City Drenched

7.62 inches of rain fell at the Will Roger Airport in the Oklahoma City area on Monday, setting a new record.
The heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding, stranding motorists and creating a brief panic for residents near Ski Island Dam.

Here is a link to some local news coverage with amazing pictures of the flooding.

The CoCoRaHS map shows the heavy rain recorded by observers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rare Mountain Funnel Cloud

This is something you don't see everyday in the mountain areas - a funnel cloud!

The picture above was taken late Sunday morning (June 13) near Leadville, CO! That is around 10,000 feet in elevation!

Click here for a write-up from the Pueblo, CO office of the National Weather Service!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Large Hail Pounds Colorado, Texas Flooding Challenges CoCoRaHS Gauges

Look at this picture a tennis ball sized hail that fell across portions of east-central Colorado on Thursday. It damaged cars, windows, trees and crops.

Thanks to Chris Tomer for posting it and to the viewer who sent it into Denver's Channel 2.

More storms are expected today.

Texas Flooding

Meanwhile, across Texas, a slow moving upper-level area of low pressure has dumped a tremendous amount of rain on the region this week, with several inches from San Antonio and Austin up to Tyler and the Piney Wood of east Texas.

There have been dozens of high water rescues, numerous roads washed out, and some damage.

Something happened that I have yet to witness in my 8 years with CoCoRaHS - 5 gauges, all in Comal County, completely filled to capacity overnight and overflowed - so their reports are all 11.30 inches which is the maximum capacity.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

May Climate Data

Well the final numbers are in for the month of May - and overall, temperatures were near normal for the United States as a whole with above normal precipitation.

Every state east of the Mississippi River was above normal while just about every state west of the river was below - with the exception of a few.

The southwest and New England were below normal in precipitation while the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys, as well as the northern Rockies, plains and the Pacific Northwest were wetter than normal.

Click here for the full report!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Warm Air Over Rockies

It has been warm over the Rockies the past few days, but not just at the surface. Temperatures are above freezing all the way to approximately 17,000 feet - causing a sudden melt of the snow pack at the highest of elevations.

The result has been a lot of stream and river flooding statewide.

In some mountain communities, houses are sitting at the water's edge when the water is normally quietly flowing down the channel.

In Boulder Canyon, a bridge was washed out due to the rapidly flowing high waters.

Good news lies ahead - much cooler air will invade the Rockies this weekend and slow the melt. There may even be some new snow in the highest elevations with rain and temperatures only in the 50s across lower elevations.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

La Nina Watch Issued

Click the link below for more. The latest El Nino officially ended in May 2010.

La Nina Watch Issued

Turnin' Up The Heat

Here is a picture of the weather story today out of the Lubbock, Texas office of the National Weather Service.

There is a heat advisory in effect for many locations across the lower elevatons of New Mexico. Temperatures are expected to hit 105+ degrees today in these areas.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill - Will It Move Into Atlantic?

A huge press release went out yesterday from scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research - talking about how some computer models show the oil in the Gulf of Mexico getting caught up into the Gulf Stream current and moving up the Atlantic Coast.

Click below to see this info and an animation of this computer model.

Link to Model Projections

While I think we do need to prepare for the "what if this happens" scenario - we also need to remember it is a computer model and not a crystal ball to the future.

Let's hope this cap they are placing right now helps the situation - but let's also consider the next plan of action if the oil does end up moving into the Gulf Stream Current.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Latest Oil Spill Information

We all probably have our favorite news sources and have probably been following the updates on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Did you know that NOAA has a web page dedicated to this event with daily updates? Including updates on the impacts on sea life?

Click here for the latest from NOAA

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Large Colorado Tornado Up Close

I am sure many of you have seen this video - it is all over the national media.

But I think it is worth a link in my blog so you can watch it again!

On Tuesday we saw quite a bit of severe weather in the center of the nation. In fact, there were several tornado reports in eastern Nebraska and portions of western and southern Iowa.

More severe weather is expected today in the center of the country...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Does June Weather Hold In Store?

It looks like the month will kick off with a preview of summer - actually the "dogs days of summer" in some locations.

Highs later this week will be well into the 90s with some lower 100s across a good portion of the southern plains states. We are talking Oklahoma, southern Kansas, the Texas panhandle and surrounding areas.

Even the deserts of Arizona and California will be heating up into the lower 100s after a relatively cool spring.

Some severe weather is expected today in the plains states, roughly between Interstates 70, 80 and 90. In fact, there are already severe thunderstorm watches in effect for Nebraska.

Here are the official temperature and precipitation outlooks for the month of June - courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center.

(First Map) Areas in blue are expecting cooler than normal temperatures while areas in red should see warmer than normal conditions.

(Second Map) Areas in the green have the best chances to see above normal precipitation levels. If it is white and says EC, that means equal chances.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Eastern Pacific's First Tropical Storm

The tropical season began on May 15 in the Eastern Pacific (or East PAC in weatherman terms). We just saw the first storm develop and hit Central America with torrential rains.

Here is a story with more information about Tropical Storm Agatha.

Agatha Hammers Guatemala With Rain, Mudslides

The tropical season for the Atlantic Basin begins tomorrow, June 1.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lot's Of Wind, Hail - More In Store Over Holiday Weekend

Below is a map of storm reports across the lower 48 states on Friday.

It was the first day in 10 days without a tornado report. At least as of this blog post - just a little after 11 pm MDT.

There are a few strong to severe storms currently rumbling over eastern Montana - so I suppose there could still be a tornado report before the day is over.

And there was even some hail in Alaska. Here is one storm report I found.




The outlook for the Memorial Day weekend is pretty good for most - there will be some strong to severe storms Saturday afternoon in the northern and central Rockies and across the northern plains states.

That threat will spread southeast into Kansas and the central and southern plains by Sunday.

Monday actually looks fairly quiet for most locations.

Hurricane Season & Gulf Oil Disaster

It seems like every other news headline over the past few days has been thoughts and predictions about the upcoming hurricane season and the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

I typically try not to make this blog too opinionated....sticking to things like weather facts and forecasts....but today I am just in the mood to talk about this.

First...I just heard a news report saying some fear the Gulf of Mexico will heat up to abnormal levels due to the oil floating on the surface and it being a darker color....which would attract and trap more heat.

And climatologically....most June tropical systems develop in the Gulf of Mexico.

So that naturally brings about the fear of what would happen if a hurricane struck before this disaster is resolved?

Well - I don't think anyone really knows. We can all speculate, but we've never faced anything like this in history that I know of, so there is no baseline to go from.

I can tell you of my fears would be the storm surge taking the oil inland. But something that could be a positive is a hurricane could break up the oil and disperse it over a large area....essentially breaking up the massive glob of muck and danger - and diluting it to the point where the danger might not be as severe as it is now to things like seas life - which could be a good thing.

Hurricanes churn and there is a lot of upwelling and turbidity involved as the storm moves over the ocean. Water from deep within comes up to the surface and there is a tremendous amount of mixing if you will.

We should definitely have some "what if" plans in place because it is just good and smart to plan ahead. But no matter what we do, a hurricane is going to come if Mother Nature cooks one up - we can't stop it.

So in the short term, I think we just need to keep on focusing all efforts on stopping the flow of oil and cleaning up the damage that has been done.

But - it also doesn't hurt to come up with a few scenarios for a hurricane in the oil infested Gulf waters and start some public education on the what ifs so that we are prepared.

With regard to the hurricane season forecast...I think the media hypes this WAY too much. While I appreciate the efforts and science behind hurricane forecasting, the truth is - that is probably one of the most inaccurate branches of forecasting in my humble opinion.

The forecast for 2005 was like 14 to 17 named storms I think - and we had 27 - with multiple major hurricanes striking land.

Many of the same conditions that existed that year are in place now - warm waters and low wind shear. In 2005 there was a slight El Nino developing and this year there is not - so I think given what happened in 2005 - forecasters are playing it safe and going with a "worse case scenario" forecast so the public has adequate warning.

And that isn't a bad thing - we need more public education for sure.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Warm In Alaska

It is rather hot here today in the Denver area - temperatures are flirting with 90 degrees. So I got to thinking hmmm....I bet it feels nice in Alaska.

The first placed I clicked was Fairbanks and it shocked me to see a high today expected in the 70s to near 80 degrees!

Afternoon temperatures in the 70s are also expected around Anchorage and Bettles. Now there is still a little cold to be found up past the Arctic Circle with low to mid 30s on the northern coast of Alaska around Barrow today.

Here is a public information statement fro Fairbanks on the 80-degree weather.













Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Preview In New England

It was a scorcher today in many parts of New England with record highs as temperatures soared well into the 90s. Some locations recorded their highest May temperature ever, such as Providence, Rhode Island at 96 degrees.

Boston, Mass. set a new record high at 90 degrees.  It was 99 degrees in Hartford, Conn..

As the evening hours fell, a round of severe thunderstorms moved across the region with numerous reports of large hail, tree damage and power lines down.

Even as I write this late evening blog there are still active warnings for some locations across most counties in CT.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Of The Same - Weather Lesson

Below is a picture of the jet stream winds up around 25,000 feet for later in the week - almost a mirror image of the pattern in place today.

There is a large trough of low pressure parked over the west with a large bubble of high pressure (or a ridge) over the east.

Where the two meet, under and just either side of the jet stream (the line in green) is where the major weather can be found.

Under the low (big red "L") it is cooler than normal and somewhat unsettled. Under the high (big blue "H") it is warm and mostly dry.

And under the jet stream (thick green line)  it is windy! And at times, stormy! There have been several tornadoes over the past few days right along and to the right of the jet stream, from north Texas to North Dakota.

Expect the pattern to continue into the weekend before things shift and the flow becomes more zonal, or west to east, as shown in the picture below which is a forecast of the winds next week.

In this type of pattern it would be fairly seasonal for most of the country with the active weather well to the north, under the jet stream.

This would allow the temperatures in the deserts of the southwest to really start hearing up! That low over southern California is called a "Heat Low" this time of the year.

With it, fire danger could increase across southern California as the flow is from the higher mountains toward the coast - hot and dry.