What exactly is a blizzard?

Winter will be here before we know it. Some states, like Nevada, have already felt the early onset of winter. I recommend reading this infographic by Jon Erdman on The Weather Channel’s website describing what a blizzard really is. There are a lot of facts on there that not even I, the weather enthusiast, knew about.

One example is that everyone has heard about “tornado alley”, but I had no idea there was a “blizzard alley”. The infographic states “A 2002 study by Dr. Robert Schwartz and Dr. Thomas Schmidlin compiled the number of blizzards from 1959-2000 over the U.S., finding a clear “blizzard alley” in the Dakotas and western Minnesota, extending into Iowa, Nebraska, southeast Wyoming and eastern Colorado.”

Source: The Weather Channel

If you live in an area where snow is frequent, I definitely suggest reading the infographic and be aware of the snowy conditions around you when they come. It provides a lot of good information that every person living in a colder state should know. There are some major differences between a normal snow storm and a blizzard, and winter is coming up quickly, so be prepared by knowing the facts.

The bright side of winter being on its way… Thanksgiving (even though this is still technically the fall season), Christmas, and 2016 will be here SO soon!

#ThrowbackThursday: Super ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse

This is my first ever #TBT post, and I’m dedicating it to the Super ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse that happened at the end of last month. My relative, Melissa Carrier, took some pretty amazing photos of the moon that night. Check them out below!

You can follow Melissa’s photography business on Facebook by clicking here. Thanks for sending me the beautiful photos, Melissa!

Fall foliage on Lake Delta

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love when the leaves change colors and the weather starts to cool down. I love to decorate for Halloween; it is my favorite holiday to decorate for! I’m not a big fan of the various types of pumpkin coffees and lattes, but I must say the advertisements for the drinks make me excited knowing fall is here.

It is still pretty warm here in Georgia. It was cooler, in the 60s, about a week ago; however, we are back to the high 70s/low 80s again. I had the opportunity last weekend to go home to Rome, N.Y. as our friends were getting married. I definitely took advantage of the time home by taking walks in the city and by the lake to take photos of the fall leaves, going to a haunted house with my friends, and several other autumn activities.

One of my best friends and her boyfriend, Laci and Dan, live right on Lake Delta in Rome. Everyone in Rome can tell you Lake Delta is one of the biggest attractions in the area. It is a place where everyone in Rome goes to gather on their boats to hang out and enjoy the water whenever they can. In the fall and winter, people go to local restaurants or country clubs and take part in events by the lake because the view is just so breathtaking during any season.

Anyways, the reason I brought up Laci and Dan’s house was because the picture below was captured there. It is just a simple reminder that New York has the BEST fall scenery in the country. I can’t wait to live up there again someday and enjoy all four seasons!

South Carolina flooding

Hurricane Joaquin took a toll on South Carolina. The Weather Channel states at least 17 people have died. Not only are people in danger from the flooding, but the abandoned and lost pets are as well. Read my article on Examiner.com about the animal rescue mission in South Carolina by clicking here.

The damage from the flood is horrible, and I wish the best for all of people, animals, and rescue teams who are currently in this situation. To read the latest about Hurricane Joaquin and its damage, click here. I highly suggest watching the videos and going through the slideshow of photos to see the intense, dangerous conditions the storm created.

Hurricane Joaquin predictions

Hurricane Joaquin has been on the news as a very destructive hurricane for several days now. The only issue was no one was sure of where exactly the storm was going to hit. As the storm heads to the north to the U.S. from the Bahamas, we finally see a clearer model.

Photo Source: The Weather Channel (I did have a current model of the storm’s path at the time, but the photo is no longer available – updated Oct. 22, 2015).

Although the model doesn’t show Joaquin making landfall, the effects of the strong hurricane may still be felt inland and on the coast, from South Carolina all the way up to New Jersey. In fact, most of those states have declared a state of emergency already.

Joaquin has been hitting the Bahamas hard since Thursday, and will continue to be in danger through Friday night. According to AccuWeather, Joaquin will continue to hit the islands with strong gusty winds and catastrophic flooding. Wind gusts are expected to get as high as 75 to 120 mph on some east-central islands.

It is hard to say exactly how much rain, flooding, and wind the inland parts of states will get, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Many locations are preparing for the Category 4 hurricane by canceling classes and outdoor activities and taking time to stock up on food and water. The amount of rain and the high wind gusts could lead to power outages and downed trees due to the wind knocking the power lines and trees down. Major flooding is expected, too. The Weather Channel just stated on television that some parts of South Carolina could see up to 18 inches of rain. Those on the coast will be hit with coastal flooding and beach erosion, especially since there is rain and storms happening there now. Below are the three maps with the latest predictions for the east coast (provided by AccuWeather).

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

The biggest question I’ve heard all over social media and the news is if this storm will be another Superstorm Sandy. My guess is it won’t be as disastrous as Sandy was, but there will be threats of serious flooding in the states that will be hit by Joaquin. The good news is that the storm won’t actually make landfall; however, the call for major flooding is what will make this storm so incredibly dangerous. Take the proper precautions to ensure you and your family are safe during this storm.

I know a lot of people don’t take these storms seriously when they are all over the news like this, but it is always better to take the precautions rather than be left in danger. The truth is, meteorologists can’t actually “predict” the weather, rather they make educated guesses on what they believe will happen from what a myriad of models show them (this isn’t their fault, it just can’t happen – just like how scientists can’t actually “prove” anything in studies). Unfortunately no human or machine can actually predict what EXACTLY will happen, but they can get pretty close. We are lucky to have meteorologists; their weather and science knowledge help us prepare for severe weather. It is better to have an educated guess then no warning at all! So everyone should stop making fun of forecasters when they don’t have a clear picture of what a storm will bring, because chances are their predictions are better than yours! It is also true that it is hard to know the real path and strength of a storm until the time of it happening gets closer.

It will be interesting to see what Joaquin ends up bringing to the east coast of the U.S. Please stay safe, everyone!

Deadly flooding in Utah

The current flooding in Utah is disastrous and has completely shocked the Hildale community. People have tried their best to escape the nasty floods, but most of them were just swept back in. It is so sad seeing neighborhoods being swept away, and to hear of people passing from this unfortunate event. The death toll is at 16 with four people missing. According to The Weather Channel, 150 people from county, state, and federal agencies, 500 community volunteers, and about a handful of search dogs are working search and rescue missions in Hildale and a close by down nearby, Colorado City. We can only hope that the death toll and missing persons reports do not get any higher.

If you have never experienced a flood or haven’t seen one on television, I would suggest watching the footage below provided by Virginia Black, a local resident. It is scary how fast the floods can develop and it can be so unpredictable and lead to fatal events, like this one. It’s important to remember that when floods are occurring that there are big chances of severe thunderstorms with extremely heavy rainfall periods, which may lead to more flash flooding.

ABC News: Dramatic Footage Captures Deadly Flash Flooding in Utah

Prepare yourself for flooding with these tips from FEMA.

9/11: Never Forget

It has been 14 years since the tragic events of 9/11 happened. Everyone in America knows exactly where they were when they heard the news. For me, I was in 7th grade social studies class when the principal made an announcement over the speaker that all after school activities were canceled. Everyone in our class looked outside and saw beautiful, sunny weather and we didn’t understand why we weren’t allowed to go to our sports practices after school dismissed. Our teacher was very distraught and told us what had occurred. We were just learning of the attacks and we weren’t sure what exactly happened and why. I remember my mom picking me up from school and she was crying. We immediately went home and watched the news. We couldn’t believe all the heartless acts that took place that day.

My mom was in the Air Force and would often have to go to Fort Hamilton (in Brooklyn) several times a year. We would always go with her. We were lucky enough to go to the World Trade Center the year before 9/11. I remember looking out from one of the highest floors with my brother and couldn’t believe the incredible views of New York City. There was also a fun, but fake, helicopter ride inside that gave you a simulated tour of the Big Apple. There was just so much to see and do in the Center and it made me feel excited to have visited such an amazing place. I then knew I wanted to visit the World Trade Center again, but didn’t know I would never be able to. Shortly after the attacks, my mom deployed overseas for several months. My grandparents and parents are retired military and my husband and brother-in-law are both active-duty military, so I have always had a very strong respect for our service members and for all they do for our country.

In November 2013, Ryan (my now husband) and I took our dogs and went to visit our friends in NYC. Ryan had never really been in the city besides going to Yankees games, so I was thrilled he was finally going to see it. We went to Times Square, Bryant Park, and several other sites. Our favorite, although the hardest to visit, was the 9/11 Memorial. We saw the new World Trade Center and looked at the beautiful memorials that were built in honor of those lost. It was so sad to see all the names, but it is comforting knowing that all of the victims are recognized and will never be forgotten. We hope to see the new World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum when we visit the city this December.

I noticed a nice touch that Fox News did on their programming today. Instead of having breaking news bulletins scrolling across the bottom of the screen, the names of the victims who were lost are being shown. What a touching tribute, Fox News!

Another remarkable tribute was what the weather did for New York City yesterday. Several people captured the shot of a bright, shiny rainbow over the city, touching on the World Trade Center. Below is one of my favorites that I saw posted Instagram by @flowkradd.

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

We will never forget the victims who were lost in the Pentagon, Shanksville, and New York City. We will never forget the heroes who first responded to the tragic sites. We will never forget the service members who fought for our lives. We will never forget 9/11. God Bless America.

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina destroyed several cities surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans and Morgan City in Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Biloxi, Mississippi are some of the places that were hit hard. All of the places in between these cities were demolished, too.

What many people don’t know, and what I just found out from visiting New Orleans this week, is that Katrina did not actually hit the city of New Orleans. The Big Easy was flooded with water due to the levees and flood walls collapsing – putting the city underwater. If the city had been more protected, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still may be standing today.

President Barack Obama and Former President, George W. Bush both visited New Orleans in honor of the ten year anniversary. This means a lot of the residents down there. When my friends and I were visiting New Orleans earlier this week, we observed several businesses and people having hometown pride and honoring those who were lost. Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and most costliest storms to hit the United States.

Click here to view the Hurricane Katrina: Then and now slideshow from CNN.com.