By MARK HANOK
Hurricane Ike, a powerful category two hurricane covering a larger area than the Lone Star State, reached Galveston during the early morning hours on Saturday, spreading torrential rains across southeast Texas.
The storm pushed northward to northeast Texas and southern Arkansas by early evening, after bringing some areas over 12” of rain. One of the very best indicators for a prolonged stretch of beautiful weather in Otsego County is widespread flooding in southeast Texas, especially with a tropical storm or a hurricane. In this kind of weather pattern, any rain in the Western Catskills occurs at night or early in the morning, with a dry, sunny weather pattern beginning no later than one day after the Texas flooding event. This was an excellent signal that the rain predicted for Sunday in our area, would stay well to the west, and that bright sunshine would take over, then dry weather for at least the next ten days. Not only did the tropical low bring no rain to central and eastern New York as it moved quickly northward, the storm pulled in unseasonably warm air and incredibly high humidity for so late in the season. In the Cooperstown area skies were mostly sunny from late morning right through the afternoon, with a very humid southwesterly breeze; the high was 83 degrees at our weather station in Otego, with 70-degree dew points. Highs were in the upper 80’s across central New York and the Mohawk Valley, including a high of 89 degrees at Utica and 88 degrees at Syracuse. By late evening as the center of the low moved to just east of Toronto, all the rain associated with Ike, lifted quickly northward to far western New York and southern Ontario. A strong southerly wind brought almost unheard of warmth for late evening so late in the season to western, central, and northern New York. At 22:00 it was an amazing 85 degrees at Rochester and 81 degrees at Watertown! As if the hurricane wasn’t enough to ensure day after day of beautiful early fall weather in the Cooperstown area, the high was 85 degrees at Billings, Montana on Tuesday while only 68 degrees at Raleigh, North Carolina.
Now we can look forward to absolutely magnificent weather every day through at least next week, and temperatures will average near to slightly above normal. On Friday high pressure centered over the Great Lakes will continue brilliant sunshine, with a northerly flow of cool, very dry air. With unlimited sunshine and azure-blue skies, highs will be in the upper 60’s.
Brilliant sunshine will continue on Saturday on a southwest flow ahead of a weak cold front. This front will only serve to reinforce the very dry weather pattern, and Sunday with feature partly sunny skies, a northwesterly breeze, and highs from 65 to 70 degrees. Skies will be mostly sunny Monday through Wednesday with highs around 70 degrees.
Mark Hanok is an Otegobased meteorologist. You can visit him on the World Wide Web at http://members. aol.com/weathergazette.
By MARK HANOK
- Weather Watch
- Weather watch The Susquehanna River level will be unusually low for the General Clinton Canoe Regatta during Memorial Day weekend.
- Weather Watch It’s really uncanny how the very dry weather pattern has continued in this area despite the succession of major storms that have moved to the west and south.
- Weather Watch Now that north has become a synonym for sunshine and south has become a synonym for rain, there’s no way that this extremely dry weather pattern can change at least for the next four weeks.
- Weather Watch March was the third straight month with below normal precipitation, and it looks like April will also turn out to be drier than normal.
- Weather Watch Temperatures were near normal in March, with precipitation around an inch below normal.
- Weather Watch On Friday a major storm will move to the Ohio Valley, while high pressure builds southward from eastern Canada. Skies will be partly sunny with highs from 55 to 60 degrees.
- Weather Watch When it’s warmer to the north and cooler to the south, it’s so easy to get into an extremely dry weather pattern in Otsego County. The weather forecast in last week’s weather column was more optimistic than other local weather forecasts, but the weather was actually much better than even we predicted.
- Weather Watch The jet stream will shift southward this week and a series of low pressure systems will move well to our south.
- Weather Watch Exactly as we predicted at the beginning of the month, it was one of the driest Februaries on record in Otsego County and throughout most of central and eastern New York. Thanks to the extreme upside-down temperature pattern with much warmer weather in Montana than in Georgia, and strong winds on Monday and Tuesday, an extremely dry weather pattern will be the theme for at least the next two to three weeks.
- Weather Watch Exactly as we’ve been predicting for the past month, this is turning out to be an exceptionally dry February - one of the driest on record in central and eastern New York.
- More Weather Watch Headlines