Hello, everyone!! We are back and ready to start posting again! Like I’ve mentioned on Facebook and Twitter several times, we are currently in a transition phase with Firsthand Weather and are going to be using Weather Ramblings as a way to still get our weather updates out to our followers. Eventually, we’re going to be doing video updates and a lot of other cool stuff on this site so you might as well go ahead and bookmark this website because this is where we’ll be at for the next several months.
Let’s go ahead and get to the topic at hand. For those of you that were around back in the 80s, January 1985 may ring a bell. Over the course of that particular month, the United States saw record cold for a large portion of the nation. It was an unprecedented event that probably would have never been expected just a few weeks earlier. All you have to do is go back to December 1984, which was a time when temperatures were well-above normal in the eastern-half of United States. If you could go back in time and go to December 1984, I can guarantee you that people would have never expected January 1985 to be a month that would be talked about for decades to come.
People tend to remember the big events: Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew, the 1993 blizzard, etc., but do they remember the season as a whole? The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season will always be remembered by everyone because of Katrina, not because of the record number of storms that developed that particular year. What about the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season? It was a very inactive season, but why do we remember it? Because of that one category 5 hurricane named Andrew that slammed into Florida. A more recent example is this year’s tornado season. The United States has had record-low tornadoes for this year, but we’ll never forget this year’s Moore tornado. Weather has always had its way of going from one extreme to the other, and most of the time, it can be very unpredictable.
As we approach another winter, always remember that one month’s weather may be totally different than the next. One month’s tranquil weather may lead to the next month’s record-breaking snowstorm or record-cold Arctic outbreak. Are we making that prediction for this winter? Not necessarily, but we do have to keep a watchful eye out. Let the warmer December 1984 vs. the record-breaking January 1985 be an example of the bi-polar nature of Mother Nature.
Matthew Holliday is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. Matthew founded Firsthand Weather in 2010 as a senior in high school and maintained the site through his undergraduate career. Research that was conducted by Matthew while at OU involved determining the synoptic environment in which various types of wave clouds (including vertically propagating waves and trapped waves) develop in Boulder, Colorado and Norman, OK. Matthew also did research on spatial changes in tornado activity across the United States . The goal of this study was to determine if spatial changes in tornado activity had occurred and if those changes could be linked to changes in average surface dew point temperature. Matthew has completed coursework in dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics, calculus and differential equations, statistics, remote sensing, GIS, synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. His goal is to provide his audience with a deeper understanding of what drives our weather and climate, while making it easy and enjoyable to learn.