METAR LED Map

For an anniversary gift I ordered and received the following framed map from my wife.

METAR LED map.

It is an aviation map of western Pennsylvania with a multicolor LED placed at each airport location that issues METARs (METeorological Terminal Aviation routine weather Report). The color of each LED indicates the ceiling and visibility.

Color Code

  1. VFR (>3000ft ceilings and >5nm visibility) = Green
  2. MFR (1000-3000ft ceilings and 3-5nm visibility) = Blue
  3. IFR (500-1000ft ceilings and 1-3nm visibility) = Red
  4. LIFR (<500ft ceilings or <1nm visibility) = Purple
  5. Smoke = Gray
  6. METAR older than 6 hours = Blank

METAR data are processed by a Raspberry Pi, a low-cost single-board computer, which is fastened behind the map. Data are received via a WiFi connection every five minutes. The brightness of the LEDs also changes for day/night conditions.

Edmund Fitzgerald Storm

Today is the 45th anniversary of the wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald. A colleague of mine, and former roommate at SUNY-Oswego, asked if the storm that sank the ship, also affected Oswego, NY, on that fateful day (November 10, 1975). One of the advantages of being retired is having the time to do such research.

I found the following weather maps from an article in The May 2006 issue of The Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society (BAMS): Reexamination of the 9–10 November 1975 “Edmund Fitzgerald” Storm Using Today’s Technology.

Synoptic Charts for November 10, 1975, Oswego, NY marked by the green crosses.
850 mb Analysis for November 10, 1975 1200 UTC. -5 C, 0 C, 5 C isotherms marked by the blue, yellow and red lines, respectively.

I also obtained the weather records from November 1975 for Oswego, NY from The National Centers for Environmental Information.

Weather data for Oswego, NY,November 1975.
Enlarged Image of Oswego Data for November 1975

The high of 69 F and low of 52 F, quite warm for that time of year, confirms that Oswego, was in the warm sector of the storm system as a warm front passed through the area. The surface and 850 mb analysis shows the winds in Oswego were from the south and not off Lake Ontario. Exact wind speeds can not be ascertained from the charts, but judging from the tight isobars and geopotential isopleths, it was probably brisk and accounts for the warm air advection. Also, 1.15 inches of rain fell during the day. A cold front moved through later that evening.

So The Edmund Fitzgerald Storm did affect SUNY-Oswego on Monday, November 10, 1975.

October 2020 Weather Summary

October was 1.0 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 80.6 deg. F recorded on October 22. The low for the month was 27.7 deg F, recorded on Oct 17. There were 0 days at or above 90 deg F and 1 day at or below 32 deg F. There were 412 heating degree days and 21 cooling degree days.

The drought continued into October with below normal precipitation of 2.96 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.38 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.16 inches recorded on October 29. There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 8 >.10 in and 1 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 37 mph on October 7.

October 2020 Data

Outlook for November 2020

August 2020 Weather Summary

August was 2.2 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 93.1 deg. F recorded on August 22. The low for the month was 47.0 deg F, recorded on August 20. There were 6 days at or above 90 deg F. There were 24 heating degree days and 259 cooling degree days.

August was a below normal month for precipitation with 1.48 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.72 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.75 inches recorded on August 28. There were 8 days of rain >.01 in, 3 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 30 mph on August 24.

August 2020 Data

Outlook for September 2020

Summary of Summer 2020

Meteorological Summer is officially over. Here is a brief summary of June 1-August 31 in Stormstown, PA:  

Number of days Max T >= 90 F: 18  

Max T: 95.1 – July 18, 2019  

Min T: 40.9 – June 1, 2019  

Jun Dep from Normal: 0.1  

Jul Dep from Normal: 3.8  

Aug Dep from Normal: 2.2  

Heating Degree Days: 108   Cooling Degree Days: 761

The main feature of the summer was the moderate drought conditions that developed during July and August. All of Centre County experienced those conditions. Between June 10, 2020, when it rained 0.91″ and August 28, 2020, when it rained 0.75″, there wasn’t a single day when rainfall exceeded 0.50″. In fact, rainfall has not exceeded 1.00″ of rain, in a day, since June 4.

The outlook for September 2020 shows that the drought abatement is likely.

Precipitation amounts for the summer:

Jun Precip: 4,.80″, 0.94″ above normal  

Jul Precip: 1.19″, 2.27″ below normal  

Aug Precip: 1.18″, 2.66″ below normal    

The 3-month outlook for Autumn 2020:  

July 2020 Weather Summary

July was 3.8 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 95.1 deg. F recorded on July 18. The low for the month was 54.7 deg F, recorded on July 14. There were 12 days at or above 90 deg F. There were 13 heating degree days and 334 cooling degree days.

July was a below normal month for precipitation with 1.19 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 2.27 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.33 inches recorded on July 31. There were 9 days of rain >.01 in, 4 >.10 in and 0 >1 in.

High wind speed of 29 mph on July 19.

July 2020 Data

Outlook for August 2020.

June 2020 Weather Summary

June was 0.1 deg F above normal for temperature. The high for the month was 88 deg. F recorded on June 9. The low for the month was 41 deg F, recorded on June 1. There were 71 heating degree days and 168 cooling degree days.

June was an above normal month for precipitation with 4.80 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 0.94 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.56 inches recorded on June 4. There were 8 days of rain >.01 in, 7 >.10 in and 1 >1 in.

High wind speed of 32 mph on June 3.

June 2020 Data

Outlook for July 2020

Summary of Spring 2020

Meteorological Spring is officially over. Here is a brief summary of March 1 – May 31, 2020 in Stormstown, PA:  

Number of Days Max T <= 32 F: 0  
Number of Days Min T <= 32 F: 30    
Max T: 85.9 F – May 26, 2020  
Min T: 22.1 F – March 1, 2020  

Mar Dep from Normal: 6.6 F  
Apr Dep from Normal: -3.1 F  
May Dep from Normal: -1.8 F
 
Heating Degree Days: 1505
Cooling Degree Days: 56

Mar Precip: 5.26″, 1.71″ above normal  
Apr Precip: 5.06″, 1.67″ above normal  
May Precip: 1.72″, 1.51″ below normal      

The outlook for Summer 2020:

May 2020 Weather Summary

May was 1.8 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 8r6 F, recorded on May 26. The low for the month was 27.2 deg F, recorded on May 9. There were 3 days at or below 32 F. There were 291 heating degree days and 54 cooling degree days.

May was a below-normal month for precipitation with 1.72 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.51 inches below normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 0.43 inches recorded on May 6. There were 11 days of rain >.01 in, 4 >.10 in and 0 > 1 in.

High wind speed of 38 mph on May 9.

May 2020 Data

Outlook for June 2020

April 2020 Weather Summary

April was 3.1 deg F below normal for temperature. The high for the month was 69.8 F, recorded on April 8. The low for the month was 24.2 deg F, recorded on April 17. There were 7 days at or below 32 F. There were 557 heating degree days and 1 cooling degree day.

April was an above-normal month for precipitation with 5.06 inches of rainfall recorded, which was 1.67 inches above normal. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 1.34 inches recorded on April 30. There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 10 >.10 in and 1 > 1 in.

It snowed two inches on April 18, which had all but melted by the end of the following day.

High wind speed of 42 mph on April 10.

One kind reader remarked that this April seemed to be windier than usual. Here are the wind data for April during the past 5 years (2016-2020):

Year Wind Run (mi) Avg (mph) High (mph)
2016 2850 4.0 43
2017 3200 4.4 38
2018 3500 4.8 53
2019 3050 4.2 45
2020 3350 4.7 42

Wind run is the total distance of the traveled wind over a period of time.

April Wind RunBy any measure, April 2018 was the windiest during the past 5 years.

April 2020 Data

Outlook for May 2020