Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giant Rattlesnake in the Snow!

Rick Horton from Greenfield Indiana decided a 40 ft. rattlesnake would look good in his front yard.  Here's Rick...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brooklyn, NY Blizzard of December 2010

  The following video was taken in Brooklyn, New York.  Snow stats from Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York from the New York  National Weather Service appear below the video.


********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

                     SNOWFALL           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT


   WILTON                18.0   830 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   GREENWICH             17.0   700 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   NORWALK               16.0   910 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   DANBURY               14.1   800 AM 12/27  CO-OP OBSERVER
   BRIDGEPORT            12.0   900 AM 12/27  CO-OP OBSERVER
   NEW CANAAN            11.0   830 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   COS COB               10.0  1100 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   STAMFORD              10.0  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER

   SOUTHBURY             11.0   950 PM 12/26  PUBLIC

   GALES FERRY            7.5   913 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   3 WNW OAKDALE          7.5   700 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   LISBON                 7.0  1049 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   NORWICH                6.0   800 AM 12/27  CO-OP OBSERVER
   LEDYARD CENTER         5.0   730 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER


   LYNDHURST             29.0   230 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LODI                  27.1   700 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   RUTHERFORD            23.0   800 AM 12/27  NJ DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   OAKLAND               22.0   730 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   GARFIELD              21.8   331 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 W TENAFLY           20.0   700 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   MAHWAH                17.5  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   RIDGEWOOD             17.5   622 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   PARAMUS               17.0   800 AM 12/27  NJ DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   NORTH ARLINGTON       16.3  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   SADDLE BROOK          15.5  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   RAMSEY                15.0  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP   14.5  1010 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   TENAFLY               11.6  1100 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CRESSKILL             11.5  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   TEANECK               10.8  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   RIVER EDGE            10.5  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   ORADELL               10.2  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER

   NEWARK AIRPORT        24.2   700 AM 12/27  ASOS
   VERONA                23.0   500 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   MILLBURN              22.5   800 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   CEDAR GROVE           21.1   700 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   BELLEVILLE            19.4  1130 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WEST ORANGE           17.0  1200 AM 12/27  PUBLIC

   SECAUCUS              25.0   800 AM 12/27  NJ DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   HARRISON              25.0   800 AM 12/27  CO-OP OBSERVER
   JERSEY CITY           23.0   800 AM 12/27  NJ DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   HOBOKEN               19.9   800 AM 12/27  SKYWARN SPOTTER

   CLIFTON               25.0   800 AM 12/27  NJ DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   HASKELL               24.5   200 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WAYNE                 22.0   915 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   RINGWOOD              22.0   810 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   WEST MILFORD          22.0   415 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER

   ELIZABETH             31.8   700 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   ROSELLE               28.7   710 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   UNION                 27.0   745 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CLARK                 27.0   745 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   FANWOOD               26.0   100 AM 12/27  PUBLIC


   BEDFORD PARK          22.0   600 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   PARKCHESTER           15.7   840 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER

   SHEEPSHEAD BAY        24.0   700 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   BROOKLYN              17.5   130 AM 12/27  PUBLIC

   OLD BETHPAGE          20.5   907 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CARLE PLACE           18.1   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LONG BEACH            16.0   245 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   BALDWIN HARBOR        16.0   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   SEAFORD               15.5   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   NEW HYDE PARK         14.2  1155 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   FARMINGDALE           14.0  1202 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   OCEANSIDE             13.0   900 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WEST HEMPSTEAD        12.5   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   GARDEN CITY           11.0   830 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   BELLMORE              10.0   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER

   CENTRAL PARK          20.0   700 AM 12/27  ASOS
   MANHATTAN             10.0  1020 PM 12/26  SPOTTER-WEST SIDE

   TUXEDO PARK           26.0   255 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   HARRIMAN              26.0   630 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MONROE                24.0   900 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   NEW WINDSOR           17.5   745 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   NEWBURGH              16.5   900 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MONTGOMERY            15.0   100 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   MIDDLETOWN            11.0   100 AM 12/27  PUBLIC

   4 ESE BEACON          15.0   700 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   8 NE COLD SPRINGS     13.8   700 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   COLD SPRING           13.0  1040 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   PUTNAM VALLEY         13.0  1010 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LAKE CARMEL           11.5  1123 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER

   ASTORIA               16.1   801 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   NYC/JFK AIRPORT       15.5   700 AM 12/27  ASOS
   FRESH MEADOWS         14.2  1225 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   WOODSIDE              14.0   645 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   HOWARD BEACH          14.0  1200 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   NYC/LA GUARDIA        14.0   700 AM 12/27  ASOS

   GREAT KILLS           29.0   900 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   ELTINGVILLE           22.0   800 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   STATEN ISLAND         17.8   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER

   TALLMAN               10.0  1025 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   VALLEY COTTAGE         7.0   730 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER

   NORTH BABYLON         18.5   845 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   UPTON                 17.6   700 AM 12/27  NWS OFFICE
   CENTEREACH            17.0   930 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CENTERPORT            15.0   650 AM 12/27  COOP-OBSERVER
   EAST SETAUKET         15.0   715 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   1 WNW EAST MORICHES   14.1   745 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   SHOREHAM              14.0   900 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   EAST NORTHPORT        13.9   700 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   ISLIP AIRPORT         13.7   700 AM 12/27  ASOS
   MOUNT SINAI           12.1   700 AM 12/27  NWS EMPLOYEE
   HOLBROOK              11.5   430 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   PORT JEFFERSON        11.0   800 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   ORIENT                10.0  1230 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   FLANDERS              10.0   620 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER

   YONKERS               19.5   800 AM 12/27  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MOUNT VERNON          17.0  1115 PM 12/26  BROADCAST MEDIA
   BRONXVILLE            17.0  1140 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   EASTCHESTER           14.5  1037 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   PORT CHESTER          14.0  1015 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   BRIARCLIFF MANOR      13.1   810 AM 12/27  PUBLIC
   2 NW SOUTH SALEM      13.0   800 AM 12/27  COCORAHS
   DOBBS FERRY           12.0  1100 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   SCARSDALE             11.5  1115 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WHITE PLAINS          11.0  1030 PM 12/26  WHITE PLAINS HS
   HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON    11.0  1100 PM 12/26  PUBLIC
   LARCHMONT             11.0  1000 PM 12/26  TRAINED SPOTTER

East Coast Blizzard

This timelapse was taken in Belmar, New Jersey during the blizzard on December 26th, 2010.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Marching Band on the Move...

Did you see the University of Hawaii's marching band when Hawaii played USC back in september?  Not many people saw it live as evidenced by the lack of fans in the seats.  I'm guessing this is going to be a trend with university marching bands.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Want to Drive a Train Plow....

  This video is not new but it sure is fun to watch-especially full screen.  This video was taken about two years ago as the train plow ran from Bethune to Stratton, Colorado.  Don't Forget....full screen!

Lighthouse Goes Icehouse

  It looks like Mr. Freeze has been at work in the old Batman TV series when you see what has happened to a lighthouse on Lake Erie.  Wind, freezing cold, waves, and lake spray have transformed the lighthouse into an icehouse.  Holy fresh water ice castle Batman!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Break From the Snow

After working hand-in-hand with Mother Nature I like to decompress a bit.  I found myself laughing at something from BBC One that I fumbled into on Youtube.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the foolishness.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The Minneapolis area saw 17 inches of snow with the same storm that brought Cincinnati 2"-4" of snow.  The inflatable, teflon coated fiberglass roof on the metrodome could not take the weight of the snow.  The game between the Vikings and the Giants has been moved to Detroit and will be played Monday night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Syracuse gets Hammered...

  Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Helloooo Syracuse!  Syracuse, New York has just seen a 4-day snowfall total of 42.3"  That's just shy of the city's all-time 4-day snowfall record of 44.6" set in 1966 beginning on January 29th.  

When a cold air mass moves over a warm body of water, like one of the Great Lakes, the bottom layer of the cold air mass is warmed and water is evaporated into that layer.  The warmer and moist layer is lighter than the arctic airmass and rises through the cold air.  As it does so, the parcel of air cools and moisture condenses into clouds.  If enough moisture is available snow will begin to fall.  The clouds and snow get pushed ashore by the winds.  Friction of the land slows the winds and allows more snow to fall, and if winds move uphill onshore snowfall rates can be greatly enhanced.  Here are a few diagrams from the University of Illinois.
Occasionally, winds will blow from NNW to SSE over Lake Michigan as an Arctic air mass plunges into the United States.  If the winds are strong enough and the temperature contrast between Lake Michigan and the air mass is wide enough we can see lake-enhanced snow in Cincinnati

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quite the Formula

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We toss around the term "wind chill" without hesitation during cold spells like the one we are seeing right now.  If you sit and think about it for just a second wind chill is a pretty complicated indicator.  How cold does the temperature combined with the wind feel on your face?  At what temperature, wind speed, and exposure time will frostbite occur?    The first index used by the United States and Canada was based on research done by Antarctica explorers Siple and Passel in 1945.  In 2001 the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research decided that the index set forth in 1945 needed revising because it underestimated the time to freezing and overestimated the chilling effect of the wind.  A group called the Joint Action Group for Temperature Indices or JAG/TI was organized by the U.S. and Canadian governments to upgrade and standardize the Wind Chill Index.  Human trials were conducted in Toronto, Canada.  Twelve volunteers were placed in a chilled wind tunnel with thermal transducers on their faces to measure heat flow from the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin while walking 3 mph on a treadmill.  Each was exposed to varying wind speeds and temperatures.  A new wind chill formula was created using the information obtained along with advances in science, technology, and computer modeling to provide a more accurate formula for computing the Wind Chill Index.  And, for the first time the new Wind Chill Chart includes a frostbite indicator showing where temperature, wind speed , and exposure time will produce frostbite on humans.

  This new Wind Chill Index now being used by the U. S. and Canada does the following according the the National Weather Service:

-Calculates wind speed at an average height of five feet, typical height of an adult human face, based on readings from the national standard height of 33 feet, typical height of an anemometer
-Is based on a human face model

-Incorporates heat transfer theory, heat loss from the body to its surroundings, during cold and breezy/windy days

-Lowers the calm wind threshold to 3 mph

-Uses a consistent standard for skin tissue resistance

-Assumes no impact from the sun (i.e., clear night sky).

The following is the current Wind Chill formula:

where and are measured in °F, and in mph

The graph below indicates the difference between the old and new Wind Chill indicies.

Thanks to National Weather Service

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Great Timeout....

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Last Friday myself and my much better half ventured from Cincinnati to Penn State University for an NCAA Championship first round volleyball match between the three-time defending national champions Nittany Lions and the Purple Eagles from Niagara University of New York.   Round trip the drive is about 15 hours from Cincinnati to watch a match that lasts about an hour and a half.  My daughter is my vested interest, she is a proud junior Purple Eagle volleyball player.  There are many proud Purple Eagles, even more now.

Here is a little background.  Two years ago the Niagara volleyball team was the youngest NCAA Division 1 team of any NCAA sport.  Their average age as a team was just over 18 years.  The team struggled going 6-23 on the season in a small D1 conference.  Despite the struggle, every player on the roster returned, the team had developed a family atmosphere under Head Coach Susan Clements and Assistant Coach Kara Hellman.  The Eagles went 23-8 last year.  It was the biggest turn-around by any NCAA volleyball team.  Still very young, the Eagles won the MAAC Championship and headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time in Niagara's history.  They were ousted quickly in the first round by a very strong Michigan team.  The match was brief and uneventful.  The Eagles were determined to return to the NCAA tournament.

This year the Purple Eagles won the MAAC conference with a 17-1 record, won the MAAC championship, and advanced to the NCAA tournament.  Their draw was three time defending national champion Penn State!  Penn State's front line goes 6'5", 6'4", and 6'3".  That's height in feet and inches.  The Eagles measure in at 6'1", 6'0, and about 5'10".   While Niagara has an enrollment of about 3700, Penn State sees about 44,000 kids enroll.  Most thought the match was destined to be a short affair.

One of goals of the Purple Eagles was simple-keep a game in the match close enough to make Penn State call a timeout.  That means you have to play with Penn State, point for point, eventually making them nervous enough to call a timeout.  It happened in the second game of the 3 game sweep.  The score was close early on.   Purple Eagle fans snapped pictures of the scoreboard with Niagara leading 4-2 and 8-6.  It looked, however, as though Penn State was going to pull away when the score went to 18-14 in favor of the Nittany Lions.  The Purple Eagles scored 4 straight and then it happened.  Legendary Penn State coach Russ Rose, clipboard in hand, motioned to the ref for a timeout.  From 6-23 two years earlier in a small D1 conference to a Penn State timeout in the NCAA tournament.  Purple Eagle fans danced, laughed, slapped hands and enjoyed a timeout like they had never before. 
The Purple Eagle women athletes had accomplished one more goal.  In terms of volleyball and programs and development and maturity and effort this was a big one, a very big one.  Somehow, someway, this group mustered enough grit and determination, while knowing the mismatch that exisited, to concentrate on and succeed at the task at hand.  That's hard to do.   I have seen many individual athletes develop over time but watching an entire team develop is an absolute thrill. 
Penn State went on to win the game and eventually the match.  I saw the Penn State players go their seperate ways as they left the arena.  The Purple Eagles went to dinner, together.