New England invites Thesus to celebrate April Fool’s Day

Over the weekend, New England and upstate New York had the pleasure of meeting Winter Storm Thesus on April’s Fools (Saturday). The cold air that was already in place combined with a low pressure in the Atlantic, right off the Jersey and Long Island coast. The storm dropped a good amount of snow and sleet with Vermont and Maine reporting snow accumulation into the teens. The stats from selected reports were given in the article.

Snow and Ice Reports

Here are selected snowfall and ice reports through Saturday evening:

  • Connecticut:  4.0 inches of snow in Acton; 012 inches of ice in Tolland
  • Maine:  13.4 inches in Steep Falls; 12.7 inches in Gray (NWS office); 10.8 inches in Portland
  • Massachusetts:  8.7 inches in Ashburnham and 1.6 inches in Boston; 2.0 inches of sleet in Barre; 0.25 inches of ice in Rutland
  • New Hampshire:  19.0 inches in Washington; 12.0 inches in Concord
  • New York:  8.5 inches in Elizabethtown and near Keene Valley; 0.10 inches of ice in Lake Pleasant
  • Pennsylvania:  0.13 inches of ice at the Pocono Mountains Airport
  • Vermont:  15.8 inches near Rochester; 13.0 inches in Killington; 6.7 inches in Burlington

 

The article also went on to reminisce about the Blizzard that hit the same area 20 years ago.  A low pressure system coming from the Ohio valley moved slowly over the region, leading to a steady snowfall averaging 3 inches per hour in some parts. Massachusetts received the brunt of the blizzard; half the state logged 10-20 inches and the other half, closer to the coast, reported 20-30 inches.

While Thesus may have been a rude introduction into a new month, it was certainly better than how New England started Spring in 1997.

 

Link to the Article:  https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-theseus-northeast-new-england-april-fools-snow

Small Earthquake(s) in Mt. Gambier

 

“Humans make great seismologists — we are pretty sensitive. We feel every little bump that goes off.”

There were two earthquakes felt by the residents in Wandilo, Australia, a city located north-west of Mount Gambier. The tremors were so small, they went undetected by the seismograph. Rather, the scientists in charge of the Geoscience Australia website learned about the earthquakes from residents who reported it on the webpage. The scientists estimate that the initial tremor could be felt about 25 kilometers away from the estimated epicenter.

The second earthquake, occurring at roughly 5pm (local time) may have just been a secondary quake linked to the first one. The data from the monitors will let them know if it was a true, independent case or not.

This is the second (and possibly third) earthquake of the year for this area. The first occurrence was in early February.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-20/small-earthquakes-felt-in-mount-gambier/8368678

 

C.Reid

Up to 20 Students Dead after Storm in Ghana

 

Rescuers search for tourists trapped under the fallen tree at a waterfall at Kintampo in Brong Ahafo region.

Up to 20 students are dead after a storm in Ghana caused trees to fall into a popular swimming spot. Wind and heavy rains caused by a storm resulted in large trees to fall and trap people in a pool at the bottom of the Kintampo Waterfalls. The Kintampo Waterfalls are some of the tallest in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. The pool at the bottom of these waterfalls is a very popular tourist spot, and also a favorite of locals to swim and cool off. While on a trip to the northern regions of Ghana, 12 students of the Wenchi secondary school got trapped in the pool by falling tress and were killed. A spokesman for the national fire service, Prince Billy Anaglate, released a statement saying that 18 people died at the scene and an additional 2 people died in the hospital.

While storms would not regularly be considered disasters, this case just proves that they are still dangerous weather events and people need to be more cautious when storms are occurring. The students should not have been in the pool when it was raining to begin with, there are just too many factors that can go wrong during a storm. It is obvious that these students were too overzealous in thinking that it was just a storm and nothing more, weather is unpredictable, which is why it is so dangerous to ignore weather and to be callous in the face of potential disaster. This case is a perfect of example of people taking a disaster and turning it into a catastrophe, except that the careless overconfidence of the students and their teachers in this case caused a routine weather event to become a disaster. I can not help but think that this event could have been avoided, had someone just told the students to get out of the pool as soon as the rain started, and if not when the rain started at least when the winds started to pick up. Tragedies like these can be avoided if people just stopped ignoring the signs nature is providing them.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/20/twenty-teenagers-die-ghana-waterfall-accident-kintampo

Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, Tornado Debris Found up to 80 miles away

An EF4 tornado last Thursday ripped through the towns of Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, destroying homes and businesses. The tornado left a 30 miles long path in 41 minutes. Two people were killed. Debris was lofted as far as 80 miles away, as far as southeast Wisconsin.

A Facebook page called Fairdale Illinois Tornado Facebook page (link at bottom) was created to help reunite photos and other personal items found with their owners. The page now has more than 3,932 likes.

 

Among the possessions on the page was the sign for the Grubsteakers Family Restaurant in north Rochelle, which was demolished by the tornado. The sign was found in a farmer’s field in Harvard, Illinois, 49 miles to the northeast of where the tornado hit. A photo was recovered in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin about 60 miles northeast of the tornado path. A photo of a check was also found 80 miles away in Racine, Wisconsin. Also in Racine a family photo was found.

 

Other items found were a children’s book and a photo that was identified of Mr. and Mrs. Clem Shultz of Fairdale, taken 25 years ago. Interesting enough, Geraldine Shultz was one of the two people killed in the tornado. But the photo was returned to Mr. Shultz, her husband.

 

To give some perspective on this, large, violent tornados (EF4 and EF5s) have often lifted debris hundreds of feet in the air, and in the case of this tornado “Tornadoes have been reported to carry an object at least as heavy as 83 tons, in the case of a railroad car,” said Dr. Greg Forbes, a severe weather expert. Since April 27, 2011, a total of 44 items have been found to have traveled at least 135 miles from their original source because of a tornado. A mattress was once blown 40 miles from Worcester Massachusetts, into Massachusetts Bay on June 9, 1953.

 

Link to the Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Found-Items-from-the-Fairdale-Illinois-Tornado/1438568889774105

To see the sign and some photos- http://www.weather.com/storms/tornado/news/fairdale-rochelle-illinois-tornado-debris-found