Hello Oswego! Midterms week is finally over. Can we say, relief? In more ways than one, too. I’m typically a fan of cooler weather (just wait till it starts snowing…), and the recent trend downwards in temps has been more than welcome. Two major weather stories occurred this week, so let’s get to it!
On Oct. 17, a noisy thunderstorm passed through campus during the early evening hours. Before the storm hit, I was able to (safely) capture a few shots of lightning flashes, as well as a shelf cloud, over Lake Ontario. It was quite an unusual storm given the time of year, frequency of lightning strikes, and organized structure. What a “shocker”!
The other big weather story of the week began last Thursday, Oct. 20. A large storm began to affect the Northeast, bringing with it a slug of rain. Nearby official rain gauges reported 2 to 5 inches of rain over the course of 48 hours. Definitely something to put a dent in the lingering drought from this past summer.
The bigger story, especially here in Oswego, is the wind. As the storm wound up, winds howled out of the north across the wide open waters of Lake Ontario. The Oswego buoy station reported winds of over 30 mph at times Friday (10/21), Saturday (10/22), and Sunday (10/23). The weather station atop Shineman Center even reported a wind speed of 51 mph early Sunday morning. A few small tree limbs fell on campus, as a result. Now doesn’t that just blow you away!
Why the strong winds? Two main reasons. 1) The storm system that generated the weekend rain created a tight pressure gradient between itself and an area of high pressure over Canada. When a tight pressure gradient is present, wind speeds increase as they attempt to counteract the pressure imbalance. 2) The wide open surface of Lake Ontario provides little in the way of obstructions that the wind must encounter (hills, trees, etc.), hence locally increasing the wind speeds along the shore.
Looking ahead, a chance for a few snowflakes is coming Thursday morning (Oct. 27). Currently I don’t expect accumulations, but a slushy coating cannot be ruled out. Keep your eye to the sky, and have a great Halloweekend!