Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weather Mysteries: Why Was Last Winter So Cold?

Whiteface ObservatoryIn partnership with SUNY Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the Whiteface Mountain Observatory, The Wild Center will host North Country Climatology: Global Weather Patterns and Impacts on Tuesday, August 5 at 7 pm in the Flammer Theater as part of the Falconer Lecture Series.

Two Meterologists from NOAA’s National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont, Conor Lahiff and Brooke Taber, will unravel the mysteries of weather in the North Country. Why was last winter so cold? How are Adirondack weather patterns connected to more global weather events and to climate change? What kind of weather predictions are being made for the coming years? This event is free and open to the public.

Perched high atop an iconic summit of the Adirondack Mountains, nestled among the krummholz and alpine tundra, and carved from the granite of the mountain itself, is a historically unique and state-of-the-art scientific research station. Known to locals as the Whiteface Observatory, the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center’s (ASRC) Whiteface Mountain Field Station was established on February 16, 1961 by the State University of New York as a University-wide center to promote and encourage programs in basic and applied sciences related to the atmosphere.

The mission of the research at ASRC’s Whiteface Observatory is to enhance the fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical nature of the atmosphere, and to apply that knowledge to study the interaction of chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes impacting the environment.

The ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station is ideally suited to conduct environmental monitoring programs and to support a range of ecological research studies. At 1,500 m above sea level, where air masses approaching from the west first encounter the highlands of New York and New England, there is no other site in the Adirondacks that offers researchers the opportunity to directly study these air masses that shape the weather and transport the pollutants which result in acid rain.  Visit them online for more information.

The Wild Center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  For more information, visit

Photo of Whiteface Observatory provided.

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7 Responses

  1. Jim S. says:

    More importantly why is it supposed to rain so much on my vacation next week

  2. Charlie S says:

    Because the weather came first Jim. Rain can add much charm to an experience if you have but an open mind.I love the patter of rain on rooftops,especially tin rooftops under old barns set on rural landscapes.Any rooftop will do when rain comes falling down.And there’s nothing like walking in a soft rain on summer days.95% of the populace gripes about the rain.It’s a wonder more people don’t live in desert landscapes.
    Why was last winter so cold? Probably due to cyclic reasons.I predicted that this was going to be a cool summer and so far I’m right on the money.We shall see what august will bring.

  3. Paul says:

    I love hearing rain on a metal roof also. Some rain is fun. Too much, like some places had this week, is a bummer. I also love to listen to thunder at night.

  4. Mr. Green says:

    The cold winter was caused by either Satan or CO2. Or both.

  5. Jim S. says:

    You’re right, it sounds good on a tent too. This summer seems cooler than average to match the winter.

  6. Charlie S says:

    Jim says “ sounds good on a tent too.”

    Did I forget to mention drops of rain sound wonderful on tops of tents too? O’how I miss that wonderful sound of rain on my tent while I’m horizontal in it.

  7. Darrin Harr says:

    I’ll reveal the mystery. Last winter’s weather was dominated by the PDO+ which is manifested by a large pool of warmer than normal water over the Gulf of Alaska.

    The PDO+ is still large, in charge and could be a big factor this winter:


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