After a wet April, it looks like the large-scale weather pattern will not shift much as we head into this first week of May. And, while Asheville received above normal rainfall for the month of April, some locations west of the French Broad River Valley were soaked with over 14 inches of rain.
This amazing image of Tropical Storm Isaac was captured just after midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 28, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite. Still off the Gulf Coast, Isaac’s clouds were lit by moonlight and the lights of cities across the Southeast U.S. are clearly visible. I’ve added labels for some of the more visible metropolitan areas, including Asheville.
The story of this summer has certainly been that of climate extremes. In Western North Carolina, we’ve had quite a bit of rain, while well over half of the lower 48 states remain in drought. Our moist summer has produced jungle-like conditions in many of our yards (errr — maybe just mine), but has also produced some breathtaking sunsets with all the moisture in the air.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of water to the Earth’s climate system. In its three phases — liquid, solid and gas — water helps to drive our local weather as well as our regional climate. Most of us don’t think about plain ol’ water too often, but it’s when we have too much or too little of this precious resource that we really pay attention to it.
Life is crazy, busy, I know. We get so focused on daily activities that we often forget what a wondrous and amazingly large universe we live in. Occasionally, we get a glimpse of that reality and it never fails to leave us awestruck. Such was the case on June 5, when we were treated to a rare event during which we were able to see one of the two inner planets of our solar system, Venus in this case, pass in front of our Sun, an event called a transit.
For many of us in the mountains, it seems that spring has sprung almost overnight as trees are flowering, birds are singing and allergies have hit full force (cough, cough). Another sure sign of spring: Scattered thunderstorms that pop up in the heat of the sun.
Many of us woke up Thursday morning to widespread fog across the French Broad River Valley, thanks to rains overnight that caused the layer of air at ground-level to become saturated – producing a cloud on the ground – or fog. Big changes are on the way with a strong cold front bringing an end to the mild weather on Friday.
Snowflakes were flying earlier this week, as Valentine’s Day started off white at the higher elevations.
Snowflakes were flying earlier this week, as Valentine’s Day started off white at the higher elevations. This image of Max Patch in western Madison County shows the short-lived snow. So – what has happened to this winter? Why has it been so different than the last two years?
From the first full image of our planet shot by Apollo astronauts to the latest full disk image produced by NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite — we continue to marvel at the beauty of our unique planet as we gather critical data about its weather and climate.
Pamela McCown from AB-Tech’s Institute for Climate Education sent us this cool graphic, using NASA satellite data to show forest cover in green over Western North Carolina. Learn more about what’s on tap for discovery at the Institute within.
A winter weather advisory has been issued for the Western North Carolina mountains today, Dec. 7, beginning at 4 p.m. Last night, NOAA meteorologist Tom Ross presented a look at the long-range winter forecast for WNC: Ashevillians may enjoy (or complain about) plenty of snow again this winter.