Archive for the ‘Weird Weather’ Category

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Well, here in the sunny south, a week and a day before official Winter, it has been snowing all morning.

We also had a very cold spell last week and will have one again this week. How cold? It was in the teens overnight here in Virginia in early December. And will be again this week. And this week we have the added ‘benefit’ of wind chill factors that may tumble into the single digits at least one day this week.

OK, you guys up in Canada? Take back your arctic air! We have had enough already! LOL!

This is only the first half of December. What do we have to look forward to by the time the real cold gets here in January and February (besides higher orange juice prices due to even Florida having very cold (for them this time of year) weather?

Global Warming, my a….nevermind.

Hope you all enjoy the Christmas Theme and snow on my blog for the Christmas holidays 2010. 🙂

January 2010 Snow Storm in Virginia

Well, had to cut the time with my family a day short due to the pending snow storm since they were calling for the once a decade or two snow storm here in Virginia. They are calling for a combined accumulation of a 12 inches or more here in our area between overnight last night and overnight Sunday.

Many in the north wouldn’t think twice about that kind of snow storm, but here in the ‘Sunny South’ you don’t get them very often and the State and local governments and the utilities are generally not particularly well prepared for these types of events in the South.

When I lived in up north at the Jersey Shore we had many, many snow storms and ice storms over the years that I lived there, and I can only remember a few in all those years as being particularly dangerous – one was an ice storm in early 70s (beautiful!!! but the black ice was very scary and solid and you had to go about 5mph or less inching along so you didn’t hit the other cars on your way to work), and another was a snow storm while I was pregnant with our second daughter in Feb/March ’77 – I remember that one because I fell on my hip in a parking lot of solid ice/snow when I was 8 months pregnant (no problems with the fall but I was afraid there might be).

As far as this storm goes for today and tomorrow — January 30 and January 31 2010 — so far, there was a dusting on the roof when we went to sleep late last night but this morning, the roof was heavy with snow, somewhere between 4-6 inches already on the ground when we got up, and the snow was coming down heavy.

Should be an interesting weekend. Picked up some things that can be eaten without much fuss just in case the electricity goes out like it did in the snow storm a decade ago.

We do tend to get some big winter type storms once every decade or so. Here are a couple notable snow/ice storms in Virginia since I moved to Virginia in the mid 80s.

February 1989: This was a month of big swings in the weather for Southeast Virginia. Twice, Norfolk saw record high temperatures in the mid 70°s followed by a significant snowfall. The two storms dumped a record 24.4 inches of snow in Norfolk. Over 14 inches occurred during one 24-hour period. It was the most snow to occur in one month in southeast Virginia in the last 100 years.

It was a shame the kids were sick with bronchitis at the time and couldn’t go outside during that storm. We made a snow man for them and they chose the eyes, nose, and other decorations for the snow man. Even our dog pitched in and added his own decoration, LOL!

After we moved to Southside Virginia (still Hampton Roads but South of the James River) — The Christmas Ice Storm 1998, where we lost power for many days and the after affects seemed to hang on and on into January 1999:

December 23, 1998, “The Christmas Ice Storm”: A major ice storm struck central and southeast Virginia beginning on Wednesday, December 23 and lasting into Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Icy conditions caused injuries from slips and falls and numerous vehicle accidents. Ice accumulations of up to an inch brought down trees and power lines. Outages were so widespread (400,000 customers on Christmas Eve) that some people were without power for up to ten days.

Snow is generally easier to deal with than ice, but we shall see what happens here in our area this time. We used batteries to light the Christmas Tree in 1998 due to the massive power outage. We are survivors and we just treated it like camping out and played with our batteries, and had kerosene heaters to heat the house so we didn’t really worry about things as much as some. We made coffee on top of the big kerosene heater and broke out our camp stove to cook on as well.

BTW: They were calling for some mix of sleet with the snow for a time today, and it sounds like we may be getting some of that at the moment.

Maybe my Jim will feel up to taking some pictures of the storm later today.

I will try to do updates to this posting throughout the day or make a new posting.

Looks beautiful!

I don’t expect this to be scary on the scale of scary storms up north but I do expect to be really inconvenienced LOL!

Three Tornadoes in Virginia

We were very fortunate this time in our little town. Not too far away the areas of Suffolk and Colonial Heights, and Driver, VA were hit pretty hard when three tornadoes touched down in Virginia. Apparently there was also a water spout by Portsmouth that crossed a bridge too that I read about last night.

Storm front brings severe weather to NC – WAVY10 – the news channel we generally watch for local free to air antenna weather reports

Associated Press – April 28, 2008 9:25 PM ET
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A severe weather system swept across North Carolina today and sparked tornado warnings and watches, but caused little damage.

The same system later injured hundreds when it spun out tornados in Virginia from Suffolk to Colonial Heights.

North Carolina officials said several mobile homes in Gaston County near Kings Mountain were damaged.

As the storm system spread, the weather service put up and took down tornado warnings in counties generally along the North Carolina-Virginia border.

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Timothy M. Kaine today declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response to widespread damage from this afternoon’s severe weather.

A declaration of emergency allows the Governor to immediately deploy state personnel, equipment and other emergency response resources, and to coordinate state and local response to the event.

Strong winds and possible tornadoes caused damage in multiple localities. The cities of Colonial Heights and Suffolk were two areas that were severely affected.

Agencies assisting include the Virginia departments of Emergency Management, Marine Resources and Transportation and the Virginia State Police. Other agencies are on standby if needed.

Bloomberg said,

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency yesterday after tornadoes injured about 200 people and caused damage in the cities of Colonial Heights and Suffolk.

Volunteer agencies including the American Red Cross set up shelters and police closed several roads during the storms. Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk was damaged by the tornadoes and is still receiving patients, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said on its Web site.

Some images of some of the areas at MSNBC’s Photos area here.

Two hardest hit areas reported on so far:

Suffolk: Twister injures about 100 people, damages Sentara Obici Hospital, leaves town of Driver in shambles –

Colonial Heights: Businesses near Southpark sustain damage –

History of area tornadoes (in Virginia) – WAVY10:

The following information is from, which has tracked tornadoes throughout Virginia.

Nationally, the US. averages over 800 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes can strike anywhere in the US. during any month and any time of day. Virginia has seen as few as one tornado in a year (1982) to as many as 29 tornadoes (1993). Tornadoes have occurred during every month and every hour of the day. It can happen here. It could happen to you. Be prepared by knowing what to do when a tornado threatens.

Quite the history of tornadoes for an area that doesn’t ‘generally’ get hit often by them….and many were rated F2.

So how much of our National Guard personnel and resources are still overseas? How many can do what they were trained to do here in the USA? And how many National Guard personnel have lost their lives in the ‘War on Terror” so far.

Weird Windy Weather

Well, we’ve had some weird windy weather during thunderstorms of late. In the last couple weeks, toward the Jamestown end of the Colonial Parkway, some very heavy wind caused some major tree damage along the Colonial Parkway near College Creek bridge. Some of the trees in this area were snapped off and or twisted up as if they were just twigs or wood matches instead of full size trees. The Colonial Park Service has cleaned up a fair amount of the larger debris but there is so much of it and some of the evidence of this is permanently marked on trees that despite the ravages of the wind, are still ‘standing.’

And on Thursday, July 19th we had some freaky winds came up again during a thunderstorm with some major gusts.

The gusts were strong enough to push four boats at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry dock on the Jamestown/Williamsburg side. These boats actually came right up the ferry dock. A sailboat’s mast broke a glass window in a car as it swayed over the dock. It seems the dock itself was hit by at least once by one of the boats.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry dock - day of the ferry dock boat accident due to freak winds.

The image above was taken from the upper deck of the ferry, after waiting for about 30 minutes for ambulances and police cars to leave. Then VDOT came to inspect the dock to be sure it was safe for transporting vehicles to the ferry.

You can still see the emergency vehicles on the ferry dock bridge. At that time, the big sailboat was wedged up against the side of the bridge with the mast striking the side of the bridge. One car reportedly lost a window when the sailboat impacted the bridge and the mast struck the car. This was reported by an lady observer that was near the car when it was damaged. From all reports so far, no one was injured.

I have checked the local papers online (Virginia Gazette, Daily Press, Virginian Pilot), and VDOT’s website News and apparently no-one is talking about this so far. Maybe the <a href=”Virginia Gazette,” the local paper from Williamsburg will carry it on Saturday (today).

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry dock - Three boats still aground at the ferry dock Friday after the ferry dock boat freak accident on Thursday due to freak winds.

This picture was taken Friday, July 20th and as you can see three of the four boats are still there. Although the large sailboat appears to have run aground, it is somewhat further from the bridge at this time than it was on Thursday. (Look close at this second picture. You might want to notice the water line on the two boats in the foreground.)

EDIT:Daily Press Williamsburg office said they reported on this, but if you look at their site in the local Williamsburg section, or do a search, nothing at all comes up referencing the Ferry from this month. So maybe they meant it was a print article only? Anyway, there is a link now at with a story about this! It’s entitled, Storm destroys Boy Scout sailboats.

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