Friday, July 28, 2017

To My Readers...I Have An Annoucement

Six years ago, I graduated from Umass Lowell with a degree in Environmental Studies and an option in Atmospheric Science.  It was the realization of a lifelong dream that began back in 1996.  It was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.  But then reality set in.  I didn't have a job in the field and college was over.  I didn't want to go back to school even if deep down I knew I needed that Masters degree (I still need it, perhaps this fall!).  Then a few days after graduation a supercell thunderstorm produced a high-end EF-3 tornado that tracked from Westfield to Sturbridge, producing extreme damage in downtown Springfield, Monson, and Brimfield.

I tried to post pictures and images on Facebook but that is not the best place to live forecast an ongoing tornado outbreak.  That night I decided I would start my own weather blog.  It was called New England Weather and Sports but the sports were quickly dropped.  Instead, I focused on severe thunderstorms and I watched the tropics for most of that summer.  I had presented research at the 2011 Umass-Lowell Student Research Symposium on decadal ocean oscillations in the Atlantic/Pacific that concluded a higher than normal chance existed for the East Coast to be hit by a tropical cyclone.  I even told our Provost (who was one of the only members of the Administration who looked at my work) that I thought North Carolina had the greatest chance to be struck.  She has a house on the Outer Banks.

Meteorologists sometimes get accused of storm mongering or being excited for these storms that kill people and cause millions/billions of damage.  There is some truth in that and I am guilty of it as well.  I do get excited when a big storm comes.  I wouldn't have chosen to make my career in this field if the sight of a Hurricane approaching the East Coast didn't make me change my underpants.  I'm sorry if that bothers some people (but I'm not).  Firefighters don't join the fire department to sit in the firehouse all day and cops don't join the force to do traffic detail all day.  There's a reason meteorologists in Boston get paid more than they do in Phoenix.  Meteorologists exist for big storms.  We don't wake up in the morning and say "I hope it's Sunny and 75 for the next 10 days!".

That's a long way of saying that Hurricane Irene of August of 2011 and the Halloween Nor'Easter two months later put this blog on the map.  I acquired a lot of readers during and after my coverage of both storms.  I got a bit too excited with my coverage of Irene but overall it was the greatest achievement of my meteorological career.  I had identified the coastal threat 10 months in advanced.  My classmates will back me up- we discussed the 2011 season in November of 2010 in our Cloud Physics class.

The snowstorm showed me how much people read winter weather coverage, but we didn't get another winter storm that winter as temperatures stayed well above average.  I still didn't have a real job in the field but over the next 2 years, I covered Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 February blizzard (Nemo).  In 2014 Hurricane Arthur approached on July 4 and then the winter of 2014-2015 was absolutely legendary.  By 2016 I was averaging over 100 page views per blog post.  I sort of found my groove last summer/fall and it continued this winter.  I started making preparations to take the blog to the next step.

That leads me to today.  I am excited to announce that I have started my own private weather company, the Blackstone Valley Weather Service.

I will be losing some of my readers because a lot of the services at BVWS will be behind a paywall.  Special reports and the daily outlook will be provided free of charge so I hope the readers that don't have any interest in paying for a service that is so freely available will check in from time to time.  I will now offer

  • 7-10 weather discussions
  • Daily Discussion
  • Tropical Weather Outlook
  • Boat and Beach Report
  • Golf and Landscape Report
  • Weekend Outlooks available Wednesday and updated Friday
  • Snow and Skiboard
  • Winter Weather Outlook
  • MLB Fantasy Baseball forecasts
  • NFL Fantasy Football forecasts
  • Afterschool Forecast for AD/Administrators 
  • Forecast Verification
and more as I figure out what consumers need to be better prepared for the weather.  Subscription packages will be available and a free trial will be provided.  

I have learned a lot in the past 6 years, but I have much more to learn.  I hope if you need a big weather decision you turn to the Blackstone Valley Weather Service for help.  If this is the end for some of you, then thank you for a loyal 6 years of readership.  If you are continuing with me to BVWS, then I thank you and I will see you over there!

Biggest Snow Storm Of The Season Heads To Impact Region Tonight

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Norton, MA has issued a * Winter Storm Warning * from 7 PM tonight until 10 AM Wednesday.  A widesprea...