Tag Archives: Scott Pecoriello

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 )

Tornado? Waterspout? Scott Pecoriello Was There.

From a young age, Scott Pecoriello has been fascinated by weather.

At Staples, the Class of 2015 member was the school’s go-to meteorologist. Students, teachers and (especially) coaches relied on his spot-on forecasts.

When the tornado warning was issued for Connecticut’s coast yesterday, Scott headed to Compo Beach. At 1:40, he saw “a possible waterspout/tornado” come ashore.

He sent the photo (below) and video to the National Weather Service. They’re reviewing it, to confirm.

(Photo/Scott Pecoriello)

Scott says, “there have been no confirmed records of a tornado to ever pass through Westport since records began in the early 1900s. Connecticut averages about 1.3 tornadoes per year, and is ranked 43rd out of 50 for states with the most tornadoes.”

He notes, “The unusually high damage in Westport compared to surrounding towns — particularly at the coastline near Saugatuck Shores — could be in part due to this waterspout.”

Scott Pecoriello Predicts WeatherOptics Will Disrupt Meteorology

In kindergarten, Scott Pecoriello was curious about rain. His parents showed him a radar map. Hooked, he checked it every day.

The next year he drew a map of the Northeast, and colored in storms. Soon, he was trying to figure out how tornadoes form. (He was completely wrong.)

Scott Pecioriello drew this map -- freehand -- when he was 10 years old.

Scott Pecioriello drew this weather map when he was 10 years old.

From there Scott advanced to the Weather Channel. Then came online forums like AWE (the Association of Weather Enthusiasts), filled with people who share his passion. He taught himself all about meteorology.

Six years ago — as a Staples High School freshman — Scott got tired of sharing his maps and forecasts with a few family members. He started a blog called Wild About Weather. It drew about 12 followers (mostly family members).

When he started a Facebook page, his audience exploded. With each storm he forecast correctly, his followers grew. During Hurricane Irene, the numbers snowballed (so to speak). In one blizzard, he had a web reach of 2.3 million people.

Soon, Wild About Weather became a real business. Scott recruited college meteorologists. He opened a premium section, with customers paying for personalized forecasting, weather consulting and exclusive content. He soon had 200 subscribers.

Next, Scott created an app called “Know Snow.” It predicted the chances that school would close, for every town in Fairfield County. With 4,000 downloads, it was the go-to app for students, parents, teachers — and administrators.

In 2015 Scott changed his website’s name to the more professional sounding WeatherOptics. With 25,000 followers — and over 1 million hits a week — it attracted plenty of media attention.

Scott Pecoriello is interviewed on CNBC.

Then things really exploded.

In July, meteorologist Henry Margusity — his childhood idol — told Scott he was retiring from AccuWeather. Henry wondered if Scott wanted to partner up.

At the same time, another meteorologist — Jason Bowman — wanted to merge his My Weather Concierge with WeatherOptics and Know Snow.

When the merger — and Henry’s partnership, starting next January — were announced, something even cooler (as in awesome, not temperature) happened. Top meteorologists like Tom Moore, Steve DiMartino and Larry Cosgrove jumped on board.

A screen shot from earlier this month.

Now — with what Scott calls “a team of incredibly elite meteorologists with a fast growing brand, and connections to clients and other meteorologists around the world” — his company is about to “disrupt the weather market. And change it for the better.”

In October, a WeatherOptics app will launch with new features.

Users can choose their own meteorologist. He’ll provide a daily synopsis on that day’s, and upcoming, weather — along with an instant chat option.

Soccer game that afternoon, and a 40% chance of rain? Shoot your meteorologist a message, asking what exactly that means.

Other widgets include personalized ski and beach outlooks.

There are also district-by-district snow forecasts of chances that school will be closed. A data scientist from Harvard is building an algorithm for that.

Snowfall predictions last winter, from WeatherOptics.

Those are just the consumer sides of the company. WeatherOptics will soon launch an enterprise solution platform to provide larger businesses — commodity traders, travel agents, transportation companies, etc. — with personalized forecasts.

Scott — who is transferring this fall to Syracuse University, where he’ll major in psychology and minor in entrepreneurship — foresees partnering with school districts, so they can send real-time information directly to students, parents and teachers.

“Our goal is to change the weather industry for the better,” he says.

“We want to push out accurate, interesting content to millions of people. We want to take personalization to the next level, and provide solutions to every sector of business that relies on weather to run their company.”

An example of a chat with a personal meteorologist.

Right now, Scott’s team includes 6 senior meteorologists and 4 developers (one of whom is 2016 Staples High classmate Nate Argosh). With 30,000 followers on social media, he predicts 5 million visitors this winter.

“06880” forecasts that number to grow substantially in the year ahead.

Inside A Large Circle Of Friends

Freida Hecht is passionate about the power of friendship. With 11 kids of her own, she knows the importance of children laughing, playing and just being kids together.

She also knows that youngsters with special needs often have limited social lives. They may not belong to sports teams or school clubs. They’re seldom included in play dates.

Thirteen years ago Frieda — who teaches adult education, runs a Hebrew school, is a community activist and, oh yeah, has 11 kids of her own — matched Westport 2nd selectman Shelley Kassen’s daughter with a young special needs girl. They planned one afternoon together.

circle-of-friends-logoThe day went well. Both wanted to continue.

Word spread. Freida matched more children with autism and disabilities with teenagers who wanted to be friends. The circle spread.

Today, the group has a very appropriate name: Circle of Friends. More than 150 teens — in Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Easton, as far as Ridgefield — spend at least one weekend a month with their special needs friends. Circle of Friends clubs support the effort at Staples and Weston Highs.

Their time together includes the usual things friends do: Baking cookies. Playing games. Bowling.

Friendship means fun.

Friendship means fun.

“Friendship does not need special training,” Freida notes. “Just an open heart.”

Circle of Friends opens many hearts. After the first meeting between one new volunteer and her young friend, Freida called the mother for feedback.

The woman said she peeked in, and saw her daughter laughing loudly.

“I’ve never heard her laugh before,” the mother said.

The connections last beyond weekends. Another woman said her child always sat alone at lunch. Now she eats with the “cool kids.”

The students who join get as much out of the Circle as their friends. “Teenagers want truly meaningful volunteer opportunities,” Freida says. “This builds their self-esteem and confidence too.”

PJ & Jonathan Ross

PJ & Jonathan Ross

On April 2 (the Inn at Longshore, 5 p.m.), Circle of Friends celebrates 13 years — and the current 150 volunteers — with an “Evening of Recognition” fundraiser. Westporters Jonathan and PJ Ross — whose 2 children participate — will be honored.

Three siblings will also speak. Their topic is “the art of friendship: passing the torch.”

In 2008, Jillian Pecoriello was matched with a 3-year-old boy. Three years later, when she graduated from Staples, she asked her brother Scott to continue the tradition.

When he graduated, he made sure his younger brother Justin kept the friendship alive.

During school and summer vacations, Jillian and Scott hang out with their friend. They’ve become part of his family.

Jillian, Scott and Justin Pecioriello, with their young friend.

Jillian, Justin and Scott Pecioriello, with their young friend.

Justin graduates from Staples this year. But he’s already made sure that Ethan Gross — a current freshman — will spend the next 3 years with their friend.

The Pecoriellos’ parents — Andrea and Bill — are past Circle of Friends honorees. Now, they’re spearheading a Circle campaign to create a baker to employ adults with disabilities.

“Their family’s entire foundation is one of giving and sharing. They’re infused with goodness,” Freida says.

She believes that friendship is “a basic necessity of the human condition.”

For 13 years, she’s made sure that Fairfield County’s circle of friends is big, wide, and very loving.

(For more information about the Circle of Friends’ “Evening of Recognition,” click here.)