Happy first day of spring! The planet hit its equinox at 9:57 a.m. PDT and now every second that passes is one closer to the start of summer, or as those on the frozen tundra that is the East Coast will tell you, one second farther away from winter.
Today brings us equal daylight of 12 hours (within a few minutes) and the annual trek to see if you can stand up an egg today.
Surfing is quite popular along California's shores, but near the state's eastern border there was a different kind of surfing going on.
Darren Springer posted this great video of "Kelvin-Hemoltz" clouds over Diamond Peak Ski report at Lake Tahoe (technically on the Nevada side of the border there):
SEATTLE -- Hey everyone, there's a good chance El Nino might be around for next winter!
California: "Yay! The expected heavy rains next winter should help our drought!"
Midwest and East Coast: "Yay! It likely means no more of this 'Polar Vortex' and weeks below freezing!"
Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard: "Yay! It typically means less hurricanes!"
Pacific Northwest: *sigh*
It's not really a tale of two cities, but more like a tale of two halves of a nation -- one basking in their warmest winter on record; the other wondering if they've become the new Antarctica.
With March signaling the end of "meteorological winter" (December 1 through Feb. 28), cities are crunching their data to find some surprising results!
We've been celebrating this week the jump in our mountain snowpack after a fairly wet February -- now up to 58-73 percent across the northern Oregon Cascades-- but new forecast data out by long range climate computer models suggests the rally in snowpack may be even more important than you might think.
Fresh data released a few days ago is now suggesting there are significantly higher chances of a warmer and drier than normal spring and summer across the West, including the Pacific Northwest.
The National Weather Service doesn't usually resort to dire language when giving forecasts for storms -- the two most famous examples I can think of are Hurricane Katrina and SuperStorm Sandy.
But NWS forecasters in the southeast are making no bones about the severity of an ice storm that is pushing into Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
These snippets are from the 3:39 a.m. forecast discussion on Feb. 12 from the National Weather Service office near Atlanta:
Arlington photographer Angela Kelly, who made waves around the Internet with her gallery of frozen bubbles featured in this blog during our last cold snap in December, was out again in the frigid mornings this week trying to add to her frozen bubble collection.
But this time, she got an added bonus for her teeth-chattering troubles: A gorgeous display of ice crystals.
Wow, talk about the fury of nature...
A time video from YouTube channel PhotoVolcanica shows an incredible display of three tornadoes in the wake of an eruption at Indonesia's Sinabung Volcano.
Tyler Mode decided he needed some fresh air -- and some sunshine -- amid the days long foggy stretch of weather we had earlier this month, so he went for a hike up Angel's Rest in the Columbia Gorge.
His reward? A few hours of warm, winter sunshine and some gorgeous photos along the way!
The planet's weather is full of complex interactions, but one web site aims to make the current weather a bit easier to visualize.
Check out this site from Earth.Nullschool.net which shows the current wind patterns around the globe at any moment.
You can click on the globe to move it around to the area you desire, scroll to zoom in, and clicking on the "Earth" button will give you other data to plot (cool!) For the wind map, the brighter the color, the faster the wind speeds.
You'd think when you register a 115 mph gust during a weather event, it'd probably be the strongest gust of your year, or... ever?
For one spot in Oregon, it's second place. Of the week.
The Crown Point Observatory on the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge outdid itself, kicking off the week Monday with a 115 mph gust and then topping it with a 122 mph gust on Friday: