Tag Archives: National Weather Service

Post-Isaias, Day 4: Fingers Crossed …

Last night, Eversource said:

  • Over 1,000 crews have been deployed, with “hundreds more” arriving.
  • A list of estimated restoration projects will be available today on the Eversource.com website.
  • Some customers may lose power as a necessary step for crews to make repairs safely for others.
  • Customers without power may have equipment damage, like meter boxes or the pipe and wire running from the meter box to the home. That damage may require an electrician or contractor to repair. Eversource will let customers know if such repairs are necessary,

6:15 a.m. today: Half of the dozen or so utility trucks parked near the police station, on Jesup Road. A few minutes later, crews began arriving. On we go! (Photo/Peter Nussbaum)


Meanwhile, yesterday the Department of Public Works led an effort — assisted by Eversource line crews and Knapp tree service — to clear and open a number of through roads and side streets. They include Sterling Drive, Buena Vista and Compo Hill; Minute Man Hill; Compo Parkway; South Compo at Narrow Rocks; Rocky Ridge Road (an enormous effort, and site of a visit by an entourage with Governor Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe; Stoneboat Rd,, and Quarter Mile Road.

Today they’ll work on Crooked Mike and the northwest corner of town, then the Sturges Highway neighborhood.

The goal is to open all remaining no access/dead end-type streets by sunset tonight.

Workers yesterday at Stoneboat Road. (Photo/C. Swan)


“06880” has learned — but cannot confirm — that one National Guard unit is headed to Westport today, lending physical (and moral) support. Another may be deployed to Weston.


Westporters are angry — and getting angrier — at Eversource.

But its workers are not its management. Utility crews — and those from mutual aid companies — are doing very dangerous work, for long hours (sometimes double shifts).

Here’s an important message from JD Dworkow:

“I spoke to some of them. They’re up here from South Carolina. Can we remind some of our fellow citizens to be nice to them? Offer them cold water and praise? Not complain?”

Preach!


Wakeman Town Farm’s farm stand is open today, until 1 p.m. They say:

“It’s tomato time, with the season’s best variety of everyone’s favorite tomatoes, plus a rainbow of Farm flowers. Our farmer and volunteers have worked hard to bring you the best organic produce grown right here at 134 Cross Highway. Stop by for veggies, our own honey from Wakeman’s honeybees, and WTF logowear, including our popular masks, gaiters and WTF market totes.”


Manna Toast has a ton of food they’d prepared for the week.

“Hurricane Meal Boxes” can be ordered by 3 p.m., then picked up at their Hub Kitchen (across from the Post Road drive-thru Starbucks) between 4 and 5 p.m. today.

The menu includes toast boards, salads, soups, sides and desserts. Power outage tip: You can briefly grill your sourdough slices to achieve toasty goodness.

Call 203-628-4677 or email info@manntoast.com. Click here for the website.


The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did strike Westport on Tuesday, as part of Isaias’ storm system.

Confirmation came in large part thanks to Scott Pecoriello. He’s the 2015 Staples High School graduate, now a full time meteorologist, who is as spot-on as any forecaster anywhere.

He tells “06880”:

“Tornado confirmed! EF1 with winds up to 105 mph. I had a conversation with the NWS in NY yesterday. They surveyed the damage remotely using a combo of radar, my video, and reports from EMS in Westport.

“Originally my company, Weather Optics (which specializes in impact forecasts for highly disruptive weather events like this one) knew the tornado threat was high, but I was still somehow shocked I was there at the exact location and exact time it formed.

“Another tidbit: This was the first time a tornado hit the state of Connecticut from a tropical system.”

Scott Pecoriello took this photo at Compo Beach on Tuesday, which the National Weather Service used to confirm a tornado.


“06880” has posted tons of Isaias-related photos (see above). Here’s a “greatest hits” video, courtesy of Cabry Lueker:


And yes, work continues around town. Two scenes from late yesterday, on Rocky Ridge Road:

(Photos/C. Swa )

Jacob Meisel Weathers Every Storm

For a decent forecast, click on the National Weather Service, or watch the Weather Channel.

But if you really want accuracy, listen to Jacob Meisel.

Jacob Meisel, and his trusty laptop.

The Staples senior’s blog and Twitter feed are both called “SWCTWeather.” SWCT refers to Southwestern Connecticut.

And for in-depth, minute-by-minute, micro-isobar reporting, both are essential for hundreds of local students, teachers and administrators, plus area politicians, TV anchors, and anyone else who cares which way the wind blows.

Jacob became interested in weather as a young child. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much variety in his native Los Angeles. Fortunately, his parents moved to Westport when he was in 6th grade.

“If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute,” Mark Twain supposedly said.

Jacob likes all kinds of weather.

He’s almost entirely self-taught. He learned about warm air advection, baraclinic waves — and stuff far more complicated — online.

That’s also where he studies tons of computer models.

And, much of the time, he discounts them.

Jacob seems to be right more often than the government agencies, and fancy websites. And he’s definitely right more often than the handsome/pretty faces who are paid big bucks to repeat breathlessly, and in spectacularly unorganized fashion, their predictions on TV.

This satellite image of Hurricane Sandy scared most people. Jacob Meisel was fascinated by it.

Take Hurricane Sandy — which everyone except a weather buff like Jacob wishes he hadn’t nailed. A full week before it hit — when everyone else hedged their bets — Jacob said there would be widespread power outages, and many days without school.

On the weekend, the moment Mayor Bloomberg said that evacuations were not needed and New York City schools would not be closed, Jacob tweeted that the mayor was wrong.

Jacob was right.

That Monday night, Jacob tweeted and posted updates. He was eerily close in predicting when the winds would be worst — and when they would subside. Some people appreciated hearing why — meteorologically speaking — the storm was so bad.

Others were comforted just knowing it would end.

But Sandy pales in comparison with a Saturday storm last January. Jacob posted that the snow would end at 2 p.m. It stopped at 2:01.

Jacob Meisel accurately predicted this 2011 snowstorm, which Huffington Post illustrated with a photo of Westport.

The December 26, 2010 blizzard also stands out for Jacob. He calls it “the worst forecast in history.”

Jacob says, “The National Weather Service didn’t alert people. I tried to.”

His inner weather buff emerges. “It was chaotic, and very exciting. It defied all the odds, and came right up the coast!”

What started out as a small website has turned into a major operation. Students rely on Jacob’s predictions — not of weather, but of school delays, early dismissals and closings.

State legislators and town employees follow his tweets.

The pressure is mounting — and he loves it.

In preparation for this winter, Jacob studied every local winter since 1949. He calls for t talsnowfalls “slightly above normal”: 32 to 41 inches.

But as exciting as Westport weather is, Jacob is a senior. College beckons.

He hopes to major in economics or political science. He looks forward to analyzing the impact of weather on politics, and local and world economies.

Jacob will do that wherever he goes. Weather Whether he gets into his 1st choice or not.

(Click here for Jacob Meisel’s blog.)

Jacob Meisel Weathers The Storm

When it comes to weather forecasts, who do you believe:  the National Weather ServiceThe Weather Channel?  Jacob Meisel?

No contest.  Bet the farm — and your snow day — on the Staples sophomore.

“They’re pretty conservative, for fear of being wrong,” he says of the government agencies and private services, with their sophisticated computer models and high-tech gadgets.

“They’re big, so they can’t take risks.  I say what I see.  I can take being wrong.”

He seldom is.

Jacob has built a cult following by being forthright — and right.  Taking data from the big boys — including Canadian and European weather models — and analyzing trends, Jacob has an uncanny record of nailing snow totals with tremendous accuracy.

And for noting when a much-hyped storm will deliver only a few wimpy flakes.

Jacob Meisel crunches the latest data.

Jacob’s Connecticut Weather Blog includes breaking news, short- and medium-range forecasts, snow day predictions, and detailed explanations of how Jacob arrived at each prediction.

He’s had 20,000 hits since the December 26 storm — which, Jacob admits, he “under-forecasted.”  He thought it would go out out to sea.

But, he adds, “I reversed my forecast before the National Weather Service, the Weather Channel and Accu-Weather.”

He is not afraid to pull punches.  A recent blog post declared:

Most weather agencies have completely written this (upcoming) storm off.  I challenge (them), and say that if we see more than 2 inches of snow, then I was right to warn the public about a storm earlier than they did.  I completely see the potential with this system, especially since the CMC Canadian weather model bombs out the storm and gives us around a foot Tuesday.

Jacob started his “Weather Wiz” website as a Coleytown 8th grader, 2 years after moving to Westport.  He came from California — which, he laments, “doesn’t have a lot of weather.”

His passion was ignited watching intense lightning storms on Cape Cod.  When he realized the power of snowstorms here to affect daily life, he was hooked.

He attended a 5-day weather camp at Penn Sate — “one of the main weather universities in the country,” he notes — but is largely self-taught.  He studies other meteorologists, while taking nothing at face value.  Each model has “biases,” Jacob says, and he figures those into his own predictions.

“I love the feeling of nailing a forecast dead-on,” he says.  And he loves bad weather.

“Sunny and clear is boring,” says Jacob.  “A severe storm is exciting.”  When it hits he talks to fellow meteorologists, follows radar, and updates his blog constantly.

He’s a mini-celebrity at Staples.  “Most kids just want to know if we’ll have school or not, but I think some of them are learning about models and interactions,” he says.  Teachers are very interested too, he says.

It’s too early for Jacob to know if he’ll make meteorology a career.  He enjoys public speaking, and is active in Staples’ Debate and Junior State of America clubs.

He’s also very interested in politics.  Though, if you think about it, that’s just another field with blustery winds that frequently shift.

For now though, weather is Jacob’s primary interest.  As the “06880” interview ends, he pulls out his cellphone.

“The European model just added an update,” he says.  “Let me check it out.”

Raining On Our Parade

The National Weather Service has decided that yesterday’s weather incident was not a tornado.

“Just strong winds,” a spokesman said.  Not even any “circular motion.”

Yikes.

Being on High Point Road — then navigating Hyde Lane, Long Lots and environs in the immediate aftermath — was scary enough for me.

I was sure I’d end up like Dorothy and Toto.

And I definitely saw flying monkeys.

I snapped this photo in the midst of yesterday's non-tornado.