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Hurricane Irene Heading for Northeast U.S.

by Jamie Robinson        August 25, 2011  |  12:26 pm  |  Category:

As Hurricane Irene works its way up the east coast, some of the most densely populated areas of the northeast are bracing for the worst hurricane landfall since Hurricane Bertha in 1996.  At the time, Bertha caused over $350 million (2008 US$) in damages and was responsible for 12 deaths. 

Hurricane Irene is currently projected to impact many of the major east coast cities including Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.  Boston likely won't escape unscathed either. 

Those in the path can expect to experience power outages from the high winds.  There will be large amounts of rain deposited that will cause considerable flooding both along the coast and inland.  The coasts will also have a major problem with beach erosion.

Weather Defender's hurricane tracking features can show you where the storm has been, where it's heading, wind probabilities, hurricane watches and warnings and everything else you need to stay ahead of the storm.  You can see many of these in the image below.  

For those on the east coast, be sure to stay safe and heed all public advisories. 




Severe Weather Possible in Upper Midwest & Ongoing Heat Wave

by Jamie Robinson        July 27, 2011  |  12:27 pm  |  Category:

While a large portion of the country struggles with a heat wave, the upper midwest will be dealing with the possibility of strong storms later today and tomorrow.  While tornadoes are possible, the main threat looks to be strong winds and hail.

Day 1 Convective Outlook (also showing current temperatures) 

Day 2 Convective Outlook


With any luck, the storms won't do any damage and may provide a brief respite for the upper midwest from the oppressive heat.

Some recent heat related records/stats:

  • Bowling Green, KY (new high for 7/27) of 109°F (old record of 108°F had stood since 1930)
  • Dallas, TX (new high minimum temperature all time) of 86°F on 7/26
  • Speaking of Dallas, they are currently in the middle of their 3rd longest streak (ever) of 100+ days - currently at 25 (record 42)
  • New York City used 1 Trillion Watt Hours of electricity over a 4 day heat wave last week (equals Vermont's total for 2 normal months)
  • Wichita Falls, TX (new high minimum temperature all time) of 88°F (old record was 83°F in 1952) on 7/26



Tornado Preparedness Cannot be Stressed Enough

by Jamie Robinson        May 27, 2011  |  12:04 pm  |  Category: Latest News

2011 has been a year of devastation for the record books.  Through May 25th, 2011 has set numerous records for tornadoes.  Many of these have stood for decades.  Some frightening tornado statistics already this year are:

  • Most tornadoes ever recorded in any single month (April 2011 - 875, previous record was 542 in May 2003)
  • Average yearly total number of tornadoes: 1274, so far in 2011 (preliminary) is 1212
  • Average number of tornadoes for the past 10 years in May: 298, so far in 2011: 295 (through 5/26 a.m.)
  • Most tornado related deaths: 508 (through 5/26 a.m.) since 1953.  1925 had the most tornado deaths with 794
  • Joplin's tornado death toll stands at 125 (through 5/26 a.m.), this makes it the deadliest tornado since 1947
  • Joplin's tornado was rated an EF5 (the highest possible) indicating winds in excess of 200 mph!

By all accounts, the significant increase in tornado related deaths this year is due to the tornadoes hitting more densely populated areas.  As the population of the United States continues to grow, this trend could likely continue well into the future.  Even with improved technology and increased warning times, most structures aren't designed to withstand and EF5 tornado.  That makes it crucial to have a plan for what you and your family should do in the event of a tornado.  This includes a plan for where to go, having a weather radio (and possibly other sources of weather information like a portable, battery operated TV, internet access, etc...) and sufficient batteries in the safe place, basic food and water should you be without power for multiple days, etc...).  

We cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared for this threat:

  • Make a plan and discuss it with your family
  • Determine your tornado shelter ahead of time 
  • Have at least 3 days of food and water on hand

The National Severe Storms Laboratory has an article that explains tornadoes and provides some very good pointers on preparing for a tornado:



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