Tag Archives: weather

Day 1: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016, historic Virginia snowstorm

Snow 2016By Lynn R. Mitchell

I have never live-blogged a snowstorm. However, this is being touted as a possible historic storm with monster amounts of snow predicted — everything from one to three feet — with icing in North Carolina. Virginia is at the epicenter.

Blizzard warnings, dire alerts to stay home — not to mention that Virginia is under a state of emergency that was declared before it hit. As a snow lover, I’m excited about the white stuff but also cautious as they call for higher and higher amounts.

These are my observations of the storm from our home in the Shenandoah Valley, west of Staunton in Augusta County. Be safe and warm….

Friday, January 22, 2016
4:30am: Awake and checking Facebook and weather news outlets for the latest on a storm that has been building all week. Storm is still on track and moving a little faster than originally expected.

6am: Snow flurries reported in Lexington.

6:30am: Snow flurries reported in southern Augusta County. Temperature is 16 degrees.

I’ve got the crock pot started with Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken, a favorite and requested by Mr. Mitchell. Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested:

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Solar storms could cause disruptions Saturday

Solar flaresBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Earth may feel the aftershock of two solar storms on Saturday, according to CNN Tech (see Big solar storm hitting Earth by Amanda Barnett):

Experts say the combined energy from two recent solar events has arrived, prompting the Space Weather Prediction Center to issue a strong geomagnetic storm watch for Saturday.

Wait. What’s a solar storm? Basically, the sun is a giant ball of gas: 92.1% hydrogen and 7.8% helium. Every now and then, it spits out a giant burst of radiation called a coronal mass ejection.

These ejections are sometimes associated with solar flares, the most explosive events in the solar system. The sun has released two ejections in the past few days, and both are linked to solar flares. NASA says the second flare is an X1.6 class, putting it in the most intense category.

The energy from those two ejections is now hitting Earth. Space weather experts aren’t sure what this solar storm will do.

Besides knocking out power, solar storms can interfere with GPS, affect radio communications, and damage satellites. But not to worry … scientists say humans are safe. Since there’s no assurance of what will happen, hope for the best.

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