Weather 101

A general page that will be populated by some weather information, weather basics, how a forecast is made, some weather sites I personally follow, and some places to check out if you would like to learn more about meteorology and forecasting.

National Weather Service Weather general information

Here's the #weather snapshot for #Monday:
-An arctic air mass will interact with a surge of moisture to produce a zone of freezing rain and some sleet from #Texas to the OH and TN Valleys
-A potent system will dig through southern #CA with cold showers and mountain snow

With no snow expected before midnight, New York City (Central Park) will set a new record for the latest first measurable snowfall. The lack of snow so far this season along the I-95 metro corridor of the mid Atlantic into the Northeast has been extremely unusual.

While recent storms have brought parts of northern New England closer to normal, seasonal snowfall totals for most of the Eastern US continue to run well below normal. Map of 2022-2023 seasonal snowfall and listing of totals at Eastern US NWS climate stations as of January 29th.

Sun 1/29/2023 Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches in effect across parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas for winter weather and hazardous travel starting Monday #txwx #okwx #arwx

The potential is increasing for a prolonged, significant icing event across the southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley during the Monday through Wednesday time-frame, with 48-hr probability of freezing rain accumulation exceeding 0.25" depicted below.

Sun 1/29/2023 Multiple rounds of freezing rain expected for portions of the Southern United States from Monday through Wednesday, possibly into early Thursday. Hazardous travel and road conditions will be possible. Slow down when driving and allow for additional travel time

Sun 1/29/2023 Heavy rain has the potential to lead to flash flooding across parts of the Southern United States at times this week. Remember to never attempt to cross a flooded roadway. Turn Around Don't Drown #tadd

Here's a look at overnight low #temperatures into #Sunday morning across the Lower 48. An #arctic air mass will consume much of the northern tier of the country into the West, especially from the Upper Mississippi Valley to the northern and central Rockies with sub zero lows.

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Learn more about Meteorology!

Check out Penn State’s Undergraduate Certificate in Weather Forecasting. From their website:

Learn How to Forecast the Weather with an Online Weather Forecasting Certificate

Use the program's innovative forecasting techniques and conceptual approaches to learn about meteorology, enrich your hobby, supplement your professional career, or build a preparatory foundation for future study or work. As a student in this program, you will have an opportunity to become a better-informed, critical consumer of weather-related news. Whether you are an amateur weather enthusiast or a weather-related industry professional, enrolling in this 12-credit certificate program can help you refine your skills to more effectively predict the weather.

More Penn State on-line resources to learn about the weather, including links to free content!

The following two courses are offered to the public under a Creative Commons license. These are the exact same courses being taught today at Penn State:

  • Here’s a link to Penn State’s “Introduction to Meteorology” (METEO 003) General Education course. This is the same course hundreds of Penn State undergraduates take who are not pursuing meteorology degrees. The course is non-technical but based on sound science and physical concepts.
  • This link takes you to Penn State’s “Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science” (METEO 300). This is a course is required for our sophomore meteorology majors. It assumes successful completion of first year college calculus and physics, so the material may not be for everyone! But if you are mathematically inclined, METEO 300 gives you all the basics you need to understand how our atmosphere really works.

Do you have a son or daughter, niece, nephew, grandson or granddaughter who has a real interest in weather? They might enjoy attending one of Penn State’s Weather Camps.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), through the COMET program, offers hundreds of lessons and courses at no charge covering many aspects of meteorology. While some lessons are quite technical, many are not, and also cover topics such as emergency preparedness and weather communications. You can check out their list of offerings here.

The National Weather Service also has a free school for online weather, called ‘Jetstream’. Modules include fundamentals of the Atmosphere, mid-latitude storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. According to their website, ‘Jetstream’ is designed “to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety.”

Miscellaneous Cool Stuff

Check out this animation by Brian Brettschneider. Using the latest climate normals, he shows the progression (and retreat) of the average 70 deg F day across North America.