Due to overnight snowfall creating icy road conditions in many parts of the district this morning, schools in Watauga County will be closed for students on Tuesday, February 3rd. It will be an Annual Leave Day for 10 month employees. The Holiday/ Snowday Program at HP is scheduled to open at 9A.
Please be aware that, weather permitting, schools will now be in session this Saturday, February 7th. On Saturday, February 7th, schools will follow a MONDAY schedule and will also follow an early release schedule with K-8 schools dismissing at noon and WHS dismissing at 1P. Lunch will be served and the buses will run their usually routes. The Afterschool Program will not operate on Saturday.
Thank you and please be safe today, WCS Weather Team
This is the 5th day out of 7 that we've cancelled school (we haven't had an inch of snow yet according to this snow report). Someone is starting to drive me crazy! I'm available via email ...
“The furious hoarfrost bearing down upon us knows neither mercy nor reason, and all within the five boroughs will perish, cowering in their brittle dwellings ... This shall be a tempest the likes of which has never been glimpsed by man or beast. Clutch your babes close to your breast and take small comfort in knowing that they will howl for but a few hours before death becalms them forever.”
“The changes there are huge but almost certainly due to reporting changes,” said Harold Brooks, a scientist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory who studies tornadoes and other severe weather with hail or high winds.
Some areas are prone to the ferocious storms, but it’s impossible to know exactly when or where they will occur, making them difficult to count. If they pass quickly, do no damage, or occur in an area with few or no people, they may not be counted at all.
Even when they are spotted, the mechanism for reporting the storms is ad hoc.
Tornadoes recorded by the National Climatic Data Center are documented variously by trained spotters, newspaper accounts, utility workers, pilots, the general public, fire fighters, police and others.
Climatologists and meteorologists now benefit from tools such Doppler radar, but advances in technology may mean that weaker tornadoes are more likely to be reported.
Such circumstances make it difficult to say with any certainty whether the frequency of tornadoes has increased over time, or whether storm reporting has simply gotten better.
If people report tornados and population is increasing, then the number of tornadoes will increase just from population growth. I decided to try to estimate that relationship so I went to the NCDC, searched for tornado and clicked on Historical Records and Trends. Here is the first image I see:
Here is what the NCDC says about the lack of trend:
With increased National Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the variability and trend in tornado frequency in the United States, the total number of EF-1 and stronger, as well as strong to violent tornadoes (EF-3 to EF-5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These tornadoes would have likely been reported even during the decades before Doppler radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports. The bar charts below indicate there has been little trend in the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years.
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Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
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