Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Listening to the wind blow

I have an old barometer that I like very much.  It was originally a gift from my father to my mother about Christmas 1960.  We lived out on the prairie where the weather was quite changeable, the forecasts on the radio were always for large towns far away, and my mother worried a lot.  Now she could make up her own weather forecasts.  I helped my father shop for it and when it came, I helped my mother set it up and make it work.  I especially remember trying to determine the elevation for our little town so we could set it.

So I have been watching this thing off and on for almost 50 years and yesterday morning, it was lower than I had ever seen it.  Since there is no reason to doubt its accuracy, I started looking for storm news on the Internet.  I soon found this:
According to the National Weather Service, this is officially the strongest non-tropical low pressure system ever recorded in the continental United States, clocking in at 955.5 millibars (mb) as of Tuesday -- and the system is still deepening. To put that in perspective, an average Category 3 hurricane has a pressure between 950-960mb.

See how close those isobars are together?  That has always meant a lot of wind.  Thank goodness the air has been so warm and dry or we could have had a blizzard with 40" (100 cm) of snow blowing around.  As it is, we have been having intermittent rain squalls and winds strong enough to shake the house and rattle the windows.

Red line-new record low
Black Line-state record high
Fixed needle-low at house 28.78 (972 mb)
Movable needle-high 24 hours later 30.48 (1029 mb)
And as we say around here when the weather moves off the charts, "Thank goodness this climate change stuff is a hoax because AlGore is fat!"

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