THANKS FOR VISITING!

I'm an Emmy Award Winning meteorologist at Fox 61 in Hartford. For the latest forecast updates (and fun stuff too, like food and family pics), please follow me on Facebook, twitter and instagram. I look forward to interacting with you there!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Check Me Out in January's Hartford Magazine!

I'm standing right next to my buddy Ryan Hanrahan! Shhhhh...no one is supposed to know I'm friends with the competition. But we went to school together ;)

The other meteorologists: (Who cares about them, right? Hehe.)

Merry X-Mas!

From.....the GRINCH! (Don't let kids watch, they'll think I'm mean!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Post Pre Holiday Storm

Storm Recap below video!
 

What an interesting storm! Snow accumulations ranged from 2 inches to 2 feet! If the storm came onshore 50 miles closer, the entire state would have seen double digit snowfall accumulations. If the storm was a little further offshore we would have seen little to nothing. There was such a sharp gradient!

Here are snowfall totals. The first two links are from the National Weather Service.

Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties

Fairfield, New London, New Haven, Middlesex Counties
CT DOT Reports (from across the state)

We did our first weekend morning cut-in on Sunday from 5:50 AM - 8:00 AM. It was great! We had Garett Argianas, Joe Furey and myself all covering the storm. Now that we have joined the Courant, our new mission is to truly be a station that the public can count on in any news and weather situation. There I go sounding corney again. Anyway, it was a little exhausting since all three of us were also on the News at 10 Saturday night before the storm! Here is one of my live hits from Sunday morning!
 

Footage from the night before the storm:

 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pre Holiday Snowstorm

Anyone who wished for a white Christmas this year may get their present a little early! I am going to give you the forecast two ways today. The quick and simple forecast (boring) and the detailed forecast (weather geeks unite!). Cheif Meteorologts Garett Argianas and I pulled out our hair for you trying to get you a good forecast. Bottom line, this is a big weekend for parties, and last minute shopping. But you may have to adjust your plans a little because of this huge snowstorm heading up the I-95 corridor.

Quick and Dirty Version:

~Increasing clouds and cold Saturday
~Main area of snow moving in within a few hours of sunset
~Heavy snow at times through Sunday morning/early afternoon
~Accumulations: 7"-14" for most of CT, 5"-10" north of the I-84

Detailed Forecast:
Get your holiday shopping/errands done during the morning/early afternoon today! Clouds will lower and thicken (Saturday). Although a few flakes could fly around in the afternoon, it looks like the bulk of the snow will arrive around sunset. Snow can come down heavy at times with rates of 1"-2" an hour possible. Since there has been a lot of cool air lately, snow should have no trouble sticking to the ground and making roads slick. Winds will whip the snow lowering visibility and makihg it hard to see while driving. Snow will last through at least Sunday morning, with most snow ending by noon. Usually in Connecticut, we draw a line on I-84 and make the snowfall accumulations higher to the north of that boundary. But because of the track of this storm, locations south of I-84 will see the most snow! We are expecting 7"-14" for most of the state. The colder air in place should make this a powdery, fluffy snow (which is harder to make a snowman with in my professional opinion). Temperatures will remain around or below freezing after this storm through Christmas Day (little melting).

Fun Fact: This is the last weekend to shop before Christmas making it difficult for people to get their gifts. If you a procastinator this will be the second year in a row you got screwed. We had a storm last year December 19-20 of 2008. Weird! Here are a couple of links with snowfall totals from last year's storms: Snowfall Totals #1, Snow Totals #2.

Discussion:
The track of the storm is the trickiest part because there will likely be a sharp cut off from snow to almost nothing. The northwest hills could see smaller amounts or much more if the storm shifts it track. There is an area of high pressure to the north of us. While it is close enough to help trap cold air in the region, I don't think it's too close that too much dry air wraps into the storm. Temperatures are cold enough that this is an ALL SNOW event. No sleet, no freezing rain, no mixture, just the powdery white stuff. There is a blizzard watch across Long Island, so we'll have to see if that alert gets exteneded to the immediate shoreline. Winds may get close to blizzard criteria. The air is very dry, so we will probably see a lot of virga around. That means snow could be falling from the sky but evaporatnig before it reaches the ground. The radar will look deceptive for a while tomorrow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can You Dig It?

I do a weekly gardening segment now. The only problem is that winter is almost here. I am going to need to do a lot of INDOOR gardening over the months to come!

Live Christmas Trees: Trees you can re-plant after Christmas? How cool is that!?
 

Poinsettias:
 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FOXCT Goes HD, Shares Resources With Courant

When I interviewed at FOX61 prior to my accepting the job, the News Director told me FOX61 was planning to go HD in about a year. I have heard promises like this at previous stations that never followed through. So I didn't believe it.

But we did it.

The old set, honestly, made us look almost like a college TV station. But now, we "look" as good as our content. Although NBC Connecticut has an HD set, their live shots are not HD. That makes FOXCT the ONLY TV station in the state to go FULL HD. I am so proud to be a part of this team during the transformation!

The weather graphics...are 3D, unique and accurately depict the weather. Garett Argianas, our Chief Meteorologist fought to get our new weather system WSI TruVu Max. There are only a handful of stations in the country using the system.

We are now sharing resources with the Courant. With more people gathering news across the state, we get to cover more local stories!

I know I sound like a cheesy advertisement, but that should show you just how excited I am! Here's a good article about the transformation.

My life has been pretty hectic lately with training on the new system and getting ready for the move. My schedule is getting back to normal soon so I can regularly post blog entries. I hope to give you updates on an impending storms along with full storm discussions exclusively on this blog so keep checking back! Thanks!

Monday, December 14, 2009

FOXCT GOES HD!

My first HD weather forecast. It's about time!
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend Forecasts!

Forecast From Sunday Night:
 


Forecast From Saturday Night:
 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forecast From FOX61 Midday Monday

Gotta love this freeze frame....
 

Monday, November 9, 2009

October Weather Summary/Stats

For my fellow weather geeks: Here are the monthly statistics for last month. Better late than never! In summary, there were no major extremes in temperature or precipitation.

Warmest Temperature: 77 on 10/22
Coolest Temperature: 29 on 10/20

Avg. Maximum Temperature: 59.9, 3.2 degrees BELOW normal

Avg. Minimum Temperature: 41.0, 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal

Avg. Temperature: 50.4, 1.5 BELOW normal

Precipitation: 4.86”, 0.92” ABOVE normal

Number of Days with Fair skies: 1
Number of Days with partly cloudy skies: 17
Number of Days cloudy: 13

Number of Days with a T-Storm: 1
Number of Days with Heavy Rain: 3
Number of Days with Rain: 8
Number of Days with Light Rain: 15
Number of Days with fog: 14
Number of Days with Haze: 2
Highest wind gust: 46 mph

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Forecasts From This Weekend

For your viewing pleasure...

Sunday Night's Forecast:
 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pics of the New Studio!

Here are some EXCLUSIVE (makes it seem more exciting) pictures of the new newsroom at the Harford Courant. It's supposedly the largest newsroom in New England (combining Courant employees with FOX61). It has come a long way! Our new launch date is Decmeber 12th! The first HD show will be on the weekend which means I'll be there for the party/first show.

This is a diagonal view of the studio from the newsroom. You can see the green screen/chroma key which is where I will be spending 90% of my time. Next to the green screen will be a weather center. It's a pretty small space, but we'll make the best of it. The floors and ceilings are black and the HD cameras are robotic which means fewer people on the floor during a newscast.


This is a view of the newsroom! A new carpet was installed. This is what you'll see behind the set. A busy, working newsroom...although its not so busy right now.


This is a random shot of the audio board. All audio comes through this area. You can see the fancy new tvs at the top which are technologically lightyears ahead of the ones we have in place now!


I'll be taking more pictures in the weeks to come. Apparently the set is almost finished. A company in Florida is making it and shipping it up to us next week!

For more pics, please visit my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RachelWeather

Monday, October 19, 2009

Close Call

I wake up this morning to the phone ringing. It's an unknown (860) number which means, it's work calling. Great. I would rather hear my fog-horn of an alarm clock then wake up to a work-related call. I thought for a second about ignoring it. Why are they interupting my sleep? But I answered anyway, trying to sound as awake as possible.

"Hello?"

"Hi Rachel, it's Ken Margolfo." I have no idea why my assignment editor still feels the need to tell me his last name.

"What's up?" I asked, still trying to sound as awake as possible. My alarm was set for 8:30 AM but most "adults" wake up earlier than this...Or so I'm told.

"I'm just trying to find out when you're coming into work." Ken asked concerned.

"10:00 AM...my usual time," I replied. I was supposed to do the FOX61 Midday News for Joe Furey but an hour preparation would be more than enough time.

"Yeah, it's 10:20..." Ken probably heard my heart beating through the phone. I hung up, brushed my teeth, and threw on the nearest business suit. Reaching for my glasses, they snap in half...icing on the cake because guess what? I walked out with them anyway. (Please note: no mention of brushing my hair, because there was no time for that) Thankfully I did the weather the night before and there were no major changes to the forecast. I got in at 10:35 PM, did my makeup, set up the show and was live by 11. By the end of the midday news, I was only awake an hour. AWESOME. Better than coffee!

Here's the funniest part...even though I didn't shower and I probably smell. Even though my hair is crinkled and gross, even though I am wearing broken glasses... everyone ends up noticing (and laughing) at my socks before anything else. My wicked witch socks are a result of getting dressed in 3 minutes. Sorry.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Semptember Stats

For my fellow weather geeks: Here are the monthly statistics for last month. It's really October? Time to bring out the sweaters and scarves! I LOVE fall. Below average rainfall last month is already causing the leaves to change in color. It should be a beautiful display this year. Here is the DEP fall foliage report. It's a little early but you can use it in the coming weeks.

Warmest Temperature: 84 on 9/5
Coolest Temperature: 38 on 9/20

Avg. Maximum Temperature: 73.5, 0.8 degrees BELOW normal

Avg. Minimum Temperature: 50.7, 1.4 degrees BELOW normal

Avg. Temperature:
62.1, 1.1 BELOW normal

Precipitation: 1.78”, 2.35” BELOW normal

Number of Days with Fair skies: 6
Number of Days with partly cloudy skies: 16
Number of Days cloudy: 8

Number of Days with a T-Storm: 0
Number of Days with Heavy Rain: 1
Number of Days with Rain: 4
Number of Days with Light Rain: 5
Number of Days with fog: 11
Number of Days with Haze: 1
Highest wind gust: 31 mph

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weather From Monday Night

I don't know why they posted my first weather instead of my full forecast. At least this one was smoother than the first weather at 11 when I called Erika, Rebecca. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Disney World Highlights

If you have ever been to Disney World, no doubt you have been on Spaceship Earth. that ride is a classic! It takes you from the dawn of mankind into the future. But there's a NEW feature to this ride that makes it so special. The screen in front of you asks you a series of questions relating to your interests. then they take a pic of you which you assume is for a souvenir photo. Nope. Intead, they compile your interests and pics into a video of what your future home will be like. Cost at going to Disney for the day $100. Seeing my Mom's face in this video...PRICELESS.





Check out my facebook page for more pics!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Going To Disney World

No photographer for me today which means that I am going to just sit around and google stuff about Disney World!

I'm going to the most magical place on earth Thursday - Monday! I can't wait to pretend I'm 5 years old, running through the park with a cotton candy in my hand and Mickey Mouse ears on my head. And you probably think I'm kidding.

I'm brainstorming for my next YouTube clip...I have so many ideas floating through my head. But I'll try and narrow them down when I get back.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Get Motivated! Seminar

 

These seminars are a little cultish at times. But if they help, who cares!

On an another note, don't be scared if I'm not on TV this weekend. I'm at a wedding in NJ. :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Forecast From 9-3

Sorry--this is a little outdated. I'm at the mercy of the web editor. I can only post forecasts that he decides to put on the internet...
 
For the latest forecast check the right sidebar for twitter updates!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

August Stats

Sorry this is a little late! Here are some stats I grabbed from the National Weather Service's monthly weather summary for August, 2009.

Avg. Maximum Temperature: 83.5, 1 degree above normal

Avg. Minimum Temperature: 62.7, 2 degrees above normal

Avg. Temperature: 73.1, 1.5 degrees above normal

Days of 90 or above: 9

Precipitation: 2.85”, 1.13” BELOW normal
(Since June: 13.36", 3.71" ABOVE normal)

Number of Days with Fair skies:
9
Number of Days with partly cloudy skies: 14
Number of Days cloudy: 8

Number of Days with a T-Storm: 2
Number of Days with Heavy Rain: 4
Number of Days with fog:
19
Number of Days with Haze: 4
Highest wind gust: 39 mph

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Urban Oaks Farm

Please read about my experience at the farm below!

 
I went to Urban Oaks Farm today with lush gardens filled with exotic food in...New Britain!?! (Insert screeching record sound here) I know, it's surprising. Nothing against New Britainites but it's an urban area! And yes, this farm is in the middle of the city making it the largest urban organic farm in New England.

I came across the story idea after reading an article about exotic foods in the New York Times. (Let's pretend I read the newspaper everyday, it makes me sound smarter.) I pulled up to the farm skeptical because it looked so small from the outside. I couldn't imagine this was the expansive greenhouse that I had read about in the N.Y.T. But sure enough, I stepped inside and it was like living out Alice In Wonderland because 1) it looked astronomically bigger while inside 2) it was what I imagine a foodie's acid trip might be like.

I tried the most amazing fruit today! It's called a strawberry husk tomato. It looks like a teeny green tomato (about the size of a chick pea) wrapped in a blanket. The blanket is a husk which you peel away. Then you pop it into your mouth like candy. I HATE TOMATOES. So I was hesitant when farm General Manager Mike Kandefer asked me to try one. How bad could it be? I sucked it up and chewed it slowly, taking in the flavor. My first reaction was...eww it has the texture of a tomato. But I kept chewing to be polite. Then the flavor hit me! It tasted like a cross between a strawberry and a pineapple. YUMMY! I ended up taking a little box back to the station and fed everyone this new fruit I felt I had discovered.

I had a similar experience with my first fresh fig. The key word is "FRESH"! I don't care for dried figs. They look like big raisins and they make you...you know! But when Mike picked one straight from the only fig tree in Connecticut, I felt obligated to take a bite. I was shocked by how delicious it was! The center was pink and it sort of looked like a brain (not the best way to describe something I'm trying to get you to eat, I realize this). On a less scary note...it was sweet, succulent and unique.

Sorry for the long blog post but I felt inspired.

P.S. Please don't compare my YouTube video with ijustine. If my videos are like her videos I'm never making a video again. Unless you can find a really funny one. In which case, please send it to me. :)

P.P.S. Best weather EVER today! 70s, sunny and low humidity. Perfection.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Artistic Geeks Rain Cool Sounds Movie

I didn't know what else to call it, ha! We are not going see any rain around here for at least the next 5 days with a really sunny and dry stretch of weather ahead of us. But a loyal viewer from Allentown (thanks Jay) sent me this video so we can hear what rain sounds like anytime...from an artistic perspective.

Come up with a better title for this blog post and I will use it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

More Like Rainstorm Danny

Wind impacts look minimal as Danny scoots just east of Cape Cod Saturday night. By that time Danny will either be a tropical storm or an extratropical storm (a storm that has lost it's tropical characteristics and looks more like--say, a nor'easter).

This will be a rain event more than anything else. BUT we could see LOTS of rain tonight and tomorrow with 2-4" expected with localized higher amounts. Flooding could be an issue for many places!

So the forecast for CT on Saturday: Rain, heavy at times, tapering off late in the afternoon. Bottom-line, a great day to stay inside and watch a movie/read a book. Sorry but it looks like the basement could flood with this one!


Here is the latest data from the National Hurricane Center and other info on the tropics!


FOX61 Storm Central is a great resource too with easy to follow graphics/information.

There is a Flood Watch in effect for the state tonight through Saturday afternoon. This is the statement issued by the NWS:

"Periods of heavier rain are anticipated later tonight that could bring flash flooding to the area as early as tonight. Additional rains... heavy at times... more directly associated with Danny are expected for Saturday. This will bring a continued threat for small stream and urban flooding. Event rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are expected... with localized higher totals.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where Do I Know You From?

I meet a lot of people out in public who recognize me but they can't figure out how. Apparently I look much younger and shorter in person. Great! I end up hearing the strangest comparisons as people try to figure out who I could be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Apple Picking Season Right Around The Corner

 
I made sure to get this story done fast...it was 93 degrees that day! The apples were practically cooking right on the trees!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feeling HOT, HOT, HOT!

Some of you have been asking for info on the heat wave with specific temperatures over the past few days. I aim to please...

Hartford (Bradley Intl. Airport Official Climate Station):

Saturday, August 15th: 90 degrees
Sunday, August 16th: 91 degrees
Monday, August 17th: 94 degrees

A heat wave is defined as three or more days where the temperature is at least 90 degrees. This will probably be a 4-5 day heat wave when all is said and done. We'll probably hit the mid 90s again today, and then get near 90 tomorrow. Watch my forecast below for all the details.

REMEMBER to take care of yourself...the heat can be more dangerous than you think! Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing, stay out of direct sunlight, avoid strenuous activity outside, stay hydrated and spend some time in the shade or air conditioning.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Original Gangsta's of FOX61

The original FOX61 News Team from back in September 1984!

You may recognize two people in this photo who still work at the station. Rich Coppola looks ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME! So he sticks out like a sore thumb. Anyone else look familiar? The guy on the right? That's morning meteorologist Joe Fury! Pat Sheehan is also in the pic. Someone told me who that woman was but I forgot...feel free to post her name in the comments section.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Outfit of the Day

Myself with Rachel Lutzker and Joy Lim Nakrin after the morning show.

I got this picture from "Rachel's Outfit of the Day" on the FOX61 website. Yes, this is what it sounds like, a link completely devoted to Rachel Lutzker's wardrobe. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well apparently, it's one of our site's number one pages. You can't make this stuff up! Go Rach! (Sounds like I'm talking to myself.) She has quite the following!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Forecast From Wednesday Night

I had curly hair for the day thanks to Gino from the Gallery! And it only took a whole bottle of hairspray! Also included in the forecast is a tropical discussion...

This video has been deleted...sorry!

Random Thoughts By Rachel Frank

Temperatures:
After struggling with cooler temperatures early this summer, we finally hit the 90 degree mark August 10th and 11th! On an average year, Hartford hits 90 eighteen times. This year we hit 90 four times...I guess we still some catching up to do.

Dancing:
Watch my Grandfather (Boo) dancing to Rihanna. Then notice how my Nanny ignores him and keeps eating. We're pretty serious about food in our family! make sure you watch until the end.

Tropical Depression #2:

The 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been off to a slow start. Now it looks like activity is picking up. There are several tropical waves I'm watching. Tropical Depression #2 well out in the Atlantic may become Ana, the first named Tropical Storm of the season. Watch for a potential landfall in the US later next week...

Funniest e-mail of the day:
As a bit of background, I had to wear glasses today because I have a stye. Apparently the glasses were a hit because here is one of the e-mails I received. "The hair and glasses were smoking... I don't even know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow." Awesome! Maybe I should get painful pimples under my eyelids more often...

Stay Tuned:
I am editing a YouTube sketch comedy video about being a meteorologist. It's either going to be really funny OR you will never click on this blog again.

End stream of consiousness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ReminderNews, Vernon

The Vernon ReminderNews recently published an article about the Morrin Education Fund Dinner. I know a bunch you attended, so I thought I would share the article. Even Governor Rell contributed to the community affair which raised over $25,000 not including silent auction items! There are some nice pictures in the article, including one of the FOX61 News team. You may not recognize me in a pony tail. I'm the really really short girl. ;) Thanks again for making this event such a success. Look for more fundraisers to come!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunflowers For Wishes

No, this is not a fake or doctored picture. Every year, Buttonwood Farms in Griswold plants 300,000+ sunflowers. At first they were planted for their beauty. But so many people came from all around to visit them and take pictures, the farm came up with a better idea. Now they sell bouquets of the flowers and donate the money to the Make A Wish Foundation. I missed the event this year, but I drove down last week just to see the flowers. All I can say is....WOW! It was even more beautiful than I expected.

Since the festival ended, the farmers unleashed their cows upon the helpless flowers, allowing them to graze. The cows were going nuts! It was like Halloween for them hunting down sunflower seeds and chowing down. They were also very vocal! I was giggling like a little girl remembering the toys I used to play with as a child "a cow says....moooooooo". They certainly do! What a fun day! Click here for more pics from the farm if you're interested.

Here's the link to the Sunflowers For Wishes page. You have to check it out next year! I love exploring Connecticut so tell be about your favorite places to visit in the comment section below(nature, food, whatever)!

Friday, August 7, 2009

NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook

Remember on June 2nd when I wrote this on my blog? "Every year forecasters put out predictions about the number of storms. I ALWAYS take these numbers with a grain of salt. At times us weather-folk have been known to make a mistake on the 7 day forecast...So how can you expect forecasters to predict the number of tropical storms in a whole season?"

Well, now it seems those forecasters are biting their tongues, changing their initial hurricane predictions for the 2009 season. I would still take the forecast with a grain of salt. But least the predicted number of storms is dropping, and you can thank El Nino. "El NiƱo produces stronger upper-level westerly winds over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean, which help to reduce hurricane activity by blowing away the tops of growing thunderstorm clouds that would normally lead to tropical storms.”

Even though this hurricane season had a quiet start, it's not over yet! The peak usually occurs in late August through October.

Click here to read the NEW forecast for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

ANOTHER Confirmed Tornado

What an active season!! Connecicut has an average of 1.3 tornadoes per year. Now a THIRD tornado has been confirmed by the National Weather Service. This tornado also occured on July 31st (the same day as the storm in Shelton). Sometimes it takes the NWS a little time to investigate damage before they make a confirmation. The EF1 tornado with winds of up to 100 miles an hour storm touched down in Madison (New Haven County) at 4:28 PM. The twister had a path width of 100 mph and traveled a distance of 2.75 miles. Old trees were uprooted by the fierce winds.

Click here to see pics of the damage from the Madison Volunteer Fire Department

Here is the entire statement issued by the National Weather Service:

"...TORNADO CONFIRMED ON JULY 31 AT MADISON IN NEW HAVEN COUNTY CT...

LOCATION...MADISON IN NEW HAVEN COUNTY CT
DATE...JULY 31 2009
ESTIMATED TIME...428 PM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF1
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...100 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...100 YARDS
PATH LENGTH...2.75 MILES
BEGINNING LAT/LON...41.30N/72.62W
ENDING LAT/LON...41.28N/72.57W
* FATALITIES...0
* INJURIES...0

...SUMMARY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK NY...IN COLLABORATION WITH THE NORTH MADISON VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY AND THE DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF MADISON....HAS CONFIRMED A TORNADO AT MADISON IN NEW HAVEN COUNTY CT ON JULY 31 2009.

THE TORNADO CUT A NARROW...DISCONTINUOUS SWATH OF DAMAGE NEARLY 3 MILES LONG FROM NEAR COPSE TRAIL EAST-SOUTHEAST TO HULL ROAD BETWEEN ACORN AND SAXON ROADS. DOWNED TREES ON WELLSWEEP DRIVE WERE STREWN IN MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS IN A PATTERN INDICATIVE OF A TORNADO. SNAPPED AND UPROOTED HARDWOOD TREES WERE ALSO INDICATIVE OF MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS AROUND 100 MPH...OR EF1 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Cold Hard (& Wet) Facts: June/July

You knew this summer was cold. You knew June and July were wet. But did you know we set new rainfall and temperature records the past two months? At least we receive some sort of acheivement for putting up with this crappy weather!

Hartford/Bradley International Airport CT Official records since 1905 (over 100 years ago!)

Precipitation Records:

This June/July were the #1 wettest on record with 17.44" of rain, that's 9.92" above average! This year beats the previous record of 17.42" which was set back in June/July of 1938.

This July was the #2 wettest on record with 11.17" of rain, that's 7.5" above average! The #1 spot wasn't too far ahead with 11.24" set back in 1938.

Temperature Records:

This June and July was the 5th coldest on record with an average temperture of 68.3 degrees. That's 2.8 degrees below average.

This July was the 6th coolest on record with an average temperture of 70.2 degrees, that's 3.5 degrees below average.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS...

- HARTFORD/BDL NO JUNE OR JULY MAXIMUMS 90 OR HIGHER - TWO SO FAR THIS YEAR.

- THE LAST TIME A 90 DEGREE PLUS DAILY HIGH DID NOT OCCUR IN EITHER JUNE OR JULY WAS BACK IN 1932....PRIOR TO THAT IN 1920 (NO 90 DEGREE HIGHS ALL YEAR)...1915 AND 1906.

- 43 DAILY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES BELOW NORMAL...16 DAILY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ABOVE NORMAL...2 NORMAL IN JUNE AND JULY 2009.

- 37 DAYS OF MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION 0.01 INCH OR MORE OCCURRED IN JUNE AND JULY 2009...DEPARTURE PLUS 16 DAYS. THIS BEATS THE RECORD FREQUENCY 29 DAYS IN JUNE AND JULY 1959.

Tornado In Shelton, Fairfield County 7-31-09

This is the second tornado this year! The first one touched down in Wethersfield on June 29th. Here is the statement issued by the National Weather Service. If they send any additional updates, I will be sure to post them as well.

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service New York, NY
Tornado confirmed near 3 miles south of Shelton in Fairfield County Connecticut

Location: 3 miles south of Shelton in Fairfield county Connecticut.
Date: July 31 2009
Estimated time: 3:56 pm
Maximum EF-scale rating: EF1
Estimated maximum wind speed: 95-105 mph
Maximum path width: 100 yards
Path length: 1/2 mile
• Fatalities...0
• Injuries...0
The National Weather Service in New York NY in collaboration with The CT department of homeland security has confirmed a tornado near 3 miles south of Shelton in Fairfield County Connecticut on July 31 2009.

A narrow path of wind damage extended along the Yutaka trail near Kanungum trail and Agawam trail to long hill avenue near Pochong Trail. The most concentrated wind damage was along the Oronogue Trail...where many trees were downed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Morrin Fundraiser Raises Thousands!

Thanks for making the Morrin Education Fund dinner a HUGE success! Here's a "vlog on my blog" saying thanks and make sure you listen to the funny story at the end. Story of my life...


If you want to make a donation in memory of Alice Morrin, please send your donation to: Morrin Education Fund
c/o Rockville Bank
1645 Ellington Rd.
South Windsor, CT 06074
Thanks! :)

Here's Governor Rell talking with one Alice's daughters.

You can find more pics on FOX61.com

Here's Tom Lewis' story on the fundraiser from last night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Morrin Education Fund

The first major event in support of the Morrin Education Fund is underway. A dinner and fundraiser is coming up to benefit the fund. You have heard me talk about how much Alice means to me! Alice left behind two amazing girls who need our help! I am doing the morning show the next day so I can't stay too late. But if you want to say hi, come around 4:00 PM! Here is an interview with Alice's brother Tom telling us about the event on the FOX61 Morning News with Sarah French.

 

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Time: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Rockville High School 70 Loveland Road, Vernon, CT

All proceeds will benefit the Morrin Education Fund.

Donations Accepted at the Door.

If you can't make it but would like to make a donation, checks can be sent to:

Morrin Education Fund c/o Rockville Bank 1645 Ellington Road South Windsor, CT 06074

Thanks!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eating At Le Cirque

It's restaurant week in New York City! This is the only time of the year you can step into a swanky NY restaurant without dropping $250 on lunch. I went to Le Cirque and it was le delicious! At first my Mom and I had some trouble getting seated...probably because we don't look rich enough. So I said "don't you know who I am? I'm Rachel Frank from FOX61 in Connecticut"! Then they apologized and found us a seat immediately after. (Kidding obviously)

I am trying to get my own show on the Food Network so I decided to tape my own review for my demo reel and here it is. Enjoy!

So I'm obviously kidding about trying to get a job on the Food Network. Can you imagine what the table next to us was thinking? They were giving me and my Mom dirty looks the whole time. Come on, have a sense of humor! I also find it funny that I am talking about a steak that's already been devoured by the time this was taped. I'm a pig and I'm proud of it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Historic Headstone Hunt

A historic headstone goes missing in Milford. But a clue to the stone's whereabouts was right under their nose the whole time...

 
What a character. After interviewing Richard Platt I wanted to give him a hug! Notice in my standup I'm standing a little funny...that's because the gravestone was so heavy! My biceps and calfs were throbbing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

She Was A Quiet Girl

This is not me...I just thought the first couple minutes were funny and relate to the news. P.S. this New Zealand girl is inspiring me to "vlog". The gears in my hear are spinning.

Watch "She Was A Quiet Girl" on YouTube

Behind the Scenes at Netflix

 
One of the coolest places I have ever been! Sad, I know. But if loving high-tech robots pushing DVDs makes me wrong, then I don't ever want to be right. The regional distribution center, located in Bloomfield looks like a big warehouse from the outside. Inside, the center looks like a science fiction movie with machines hard at work shuffling DVDs. The warehouse is large and there’s a constant whirring sound from all the fast-moving robotic technology. On Tuesday, 90,000 DVDs are getting sorted, sealed and delivered to New England movie renters.

Anthem Rate Hike

A public hearing was held on Wednesday about Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's request to raise insurance rates 32% by October 1st. Lots of people are scared a rate hike may cause them to drop coverage altogether.

 

Bob Dylan, John Melloncamp & Willie Nelson Play at New Britain Stadium

 

This was supposed to be a live shot....don't ask.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friend's 911 Tapes Released

I want to direct you to my friend Shelly's blog. Because she took the words right out of my mouth...It's been a tough few weeks.

She writes...

"I think we made the right call and at the same time learned a valuable lesson.
Sometimes the news we report hurts people.
This time, it was us...."

For the rest, please visit Shelly's blog

Accident In New Haven Injures Four

 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Today's Forecast

After a sunny start to your Saturday, clouds will begin to increase during the afternoon as a cold front approaches. The front=92s timing will be perfect for your daytime outdoor plans. But at night, showers and storms will rumble in from west to east. The activity could hamper some delayed Forth of July celebrations. It's going to be a close call. So don't cancel plans, but keep an eye to the sky. The front moves through fast so Sunday is also looking nice, turning partly sunny and warmer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rest In Peace, Alice Morrin


A very close friend and co-worker, Alice Morrin was invovled in what Police are calling a murder-suicide last night. We report objectively on things like this all the time in the media. But I have never experienced the pain and horror of being emotionally connected to a "Top Story". And today, the world looks a little different to me.

Alice Morrin was hands down, one of the nicest people I have ever met. She was filled with smiles and optimism, the glass always half full. I would tell people she was like my "Connecticut Mommy". When I first came to FOX61 back in October, I didn't have many friends and she took me under her wing. Alice would invite me to dinner and movies with her family, helping me feel comfortable in my new environment. When I was feeling down or had a problem, I could go to Alice in confidence for advice. At the same time, if I had a great day, I could go to Alice to share my joy and excitement.

But Alice wasn't just my Connecticut Mom, she was a real mother to two beautiful girls who she cared about more than anything in this world. Rest in peace Alice, you touched all our hearts in some way or another.

You can find the full story on the FOX61 website here

Wethersfield Tornado--Latest Information & Why The Damage In Farmington WAS NOT Deemed Tornadic


The National Weather Service issued a more detailed report of the severe thunderstorms that ripped through the area on Friday. Let me know if you have any questions...but I think this statement is pretty readable. (Not too technical).

...EF1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN WETHERSFIELD CT ON FRIDAY JUNE 26...

LOCATION: WETHERSFIELD...HARTFORD COUNTY...CONNECTICUT
DATE: FRIDAY JUNE 26 2009
TIME: 450-453 PM
MAXIMUM EF SCALE RATING: EF1
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED: 100 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH: APPROXIMATELY 40 YARDS
PATH LENGTH: APPROXIMATELY 1.7 MILES
*FATALITIES: NONE
*INJURIES: 1

*NOTE THESE NUMBERS COULD CHANGE AFTER ISSUANCE OF THIS PRODUCT.

...SUMMARY...

LATE IN THE AFTERNOON ON JUNE 26...A POWERFUL SEVERE THUNDERSTORM MOVED EAST-SOUTHEASTWARD ACROSS SOUTHERN HARTFORD COUNTY...DOWNING TREES AND POWERLINES ACROSS MANY TOWNS...INCLUDING BURLINGTON...FARMINGTON...PLAINVILLE...WEST HARTFORD...SOUTHINGTON...BRISTOL...NEW BRITAIN...NEWINGTON...WETHERSFIELD... GLASTONBURY... AND MARLBOROUGH. HARDEST HIT WERE THE TOWNS OF WETHERSFIELD AND
FARMINGTON.

ON SATURDAY JUNE 27...TWO NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (NWS) TEAMS INVESTIGATED THE DAMAGE. THE FIRST SURVEY TEAM WAS FROM THE NWS IN TAUNTON MASSACHUSETTS WHICH LOOKED AT DAMAGE IN THOSE TWO TOWNS AND SPOKE WITH EYEWITNESSES. THEY WERE ACCOMPANIED BY STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS...AND AN AMATEUR RADIO COORDINATOR FROM WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS. THE SECOND TEAM WAS FROM THE NWS IN UPTON NEW YORK. AIDED BY THE CIVIL AIR PATROL...THEY PERFORMED AN AERIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE DAMAGE FROM AS FAR WEST AS TORRINGTON TO AS FAR EAST AS COLCHESTER. THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS.

SEVERAL POCKETS OF STRAIGHT-LINE WIND DAMAGE WERE NOTED THROUGHOUT THE AFOREMENTIONED TOWNS. IN FARMINGTON...THE STORM HIT GENERALLY AROUND 420 PM. ESTIMATED WIND GUSTS OF 50-60 MPH KNOCKED DOWN TREES IN THE VALLEY VIEW DRIVE AND CEDAR RIDGE DRIVE AREAS...JUST TO THE EAST OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT HEALTH CENTER. THE DAMAGE WAS RANDOM AND MANY OF THE AFFECTED TREES HAD SHALLOW ROOTS WITH HOLLOW CENTERS. FARTHER TO THE NORTHWEST...IN THE UNIONVILLE SECTION OF FARMINGTON...15 TO 20 TREES WERE KNOCKED DOWN ON PERRY STREET NEAR THE FARMINGTON RIVER. THESE WERE HEALTHIER TREES. A DIVERGENT PATTERN WAS SEEN IN THE DAMAGE WHICH AGAIN INDICATED STRAIGHT LINE WINDS...OR A SMALL MICROBURST. WIND SPEEDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 60 TO 70 MPH AT THAT LOCATION. THROUGHOUT THE TOWN...ALL TREES WERE BLOWN DOWN FROM THE WEST-NORTHWEST TO THE EAST-SOUTHEAST. INTERESTINGLY...19 HOURS AFTER THE EVENT...A SOLID PATCH OF HAIL STILL REMAINED ON THE FRONT LAWN AT A HOME ON PERRY STREET.

IN WETHERSFIELD...DAMAGE WAS MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT. NUMEROUS TREES WERE KNOCKED DOWN...SOME DRIVEN COMPLETELY THROUGH HOMES MAKING THEM UNINHABITABLE. STREET LIGHTS WERE STILL OUT. LARGE HEALTHY OAK TREES WERE SLICED IN HALF...SOME NEAR THEIR BASES... AND OTHERS WERE UPROOTED WITH ROOTS EXPOSED. ALTHOUGH MANY TREES WERE SEEN BLOWN DOWN FROM THE WEST-NORTHWEST TO THE EAST-SOUTHEAST...THE GROUND SURVEY WAS ABLE TO DISCERN A DEFINITIVE TORNADO TRACK EMBEDDED WITHIN THIS GENERAL STRAIGHT-LINE DAMAGE.

ON WOLCOTT HILL ROAD NEAR ROBBINS DRIVE...TREES WERE FALLEN FACING DUE SOUTH. FARTHER TO THE SOUTHEAST...IN THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF OLD WETHERSFIELD... A VERY INTERESTING PATTERN WAS FOUND IN THE TREE DAMAGE. ON BROAD STREET AT THE GREEN... TREES AT RAYNOR LANE WERE POINTING TO THE NORTHEAST WHILE ONLY A BLOCK OR TWO NORTH ON ELM STREET...TREES WERE POINTING TO THE SOUTHEAST...INDICATINGCONVERGENCE TOWARD A VERY NARROW TRACK. FOLLOWING ELM STREET SOUTHEASTWARD BETWEEN MAPLE STREET AND INTERSTATE 91...THERE WAS A CORN FIELD. THE FLATTENED CORN STALKS WERE IN A CRISS-CROSS PATTERN AND ABOUT 100 FEET INTO THE CORN FIELD...THERE WERE TALL STALKS THAT WERE SEEMINGLY NOT IMPACTED AT ALL BY THE WINDS. THIS SHARP DELINEATION IS INDICATIVE OF TORNADIC WINDS. FARTHER TO THE NORTHWEST...ALONG THIS SAME NARROW PATH...SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE OCCURRED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF PARK AVENUE AND NOTT STREET.

ANOTHER INDICATOR OF A TORNADO WAS A MEDIA REPORT OF A STORE ON SILAS DEANE HIGHWAY DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE TOWN HALL WHICH HAD ITS LARGE WINDOWS SUCKED OUTWARD...WITH A KAYAK FROM INSIDE THE STORE BEING DEPOSITED ON THE ROAD IN FRONT OF THE STORE.

SO...THE TRACK STARTED NEAR NOTT STREET AND PARK AVENUE AND CONTINUED SOUTHEASTWARD FOR APPROXIMATELY 1.7 MILES PASSING JUST SOUTH OF THE TOWN HALL AND ACROSS THE GREEN BETWEEN RAYNOR LANE AND ELM STREET AND ENDING JUST AFTER THE CORN FIELD BEFORE INTERSTATE I-91. CALLS BEGAN BEING RECEIVED AT THE 9-1-1 CALL CENTER AT 450 PM.

WITH THE STORM TRAVELING AT 25 TO 30 MPH...THE TORNADO IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE LASTED FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES IN WETHERSFIELD. STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE OCCURRED BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THIS...DUE TO THE STRENGTH OF THE LARGER PARENT THUNDERSTORM CELL.

INDEPENDENTLY...THE GROUND SURVEY TEAM AND THE AERIAL SURVEY TEAM ESTIMATED WIND SPEEDS OF 80 TO 90 MPH WITH SOME GUSTS PROBABLY AROUND 100 MPH. THE DAMAGE INDICATORS SEEN WERE CONSISTENT WITH AN ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE RANKING OF EF1. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT BOTH TEAMS FOUND THAT THERE WAS LITTLE EVIDENCE IN THE WAY OF
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO HOMES OR BUSINESSES...EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHICH WERE HIT DIRECTLY BY FALLING TREES.

EYEWITNESSES REPORTED A LOUD ROARING NOISE BUT DID NOT OBSERVE THE TORNADO...WHICH WAS LIKELY OBSCURED BY HEAVY RAIN AND LARGE HAIL. QUARTER TO HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL WAS COMMON IN WETHERSFIELD.

APPROXIMATELY ONE-QUARTER MILE TO THE NORTH OF THE TRACK...A HOME WAS SLICED IN HALF BY A LARGE OAK TREE WHILE TWO RESIDENTS WERE INSIDE. AMAZINGLY...THEY ESCAPED WITHOUT INJURY. ON JUNE 27...THE DAY AFTER THE EVENT...A TREE LIMB THAT HAD BEEN BROKEN OFF DURING THE STORM BUT WHICH HAD REMAINED HIGH UP IN THE TREE FELL DOWN AND STRUCK A MAN. THIS WAS THE ONLY REPORTED INJURY. WHILE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THIS NARROW TORNADO MAY HAVE AFFECTED OTHER AREAS TO THE SOUTHEAST OF WETHERSFIELD...IT COULD NOT BE CONFIRMED BY THE AERIAL SURVEY TEAM. AGAIN...MOST OF WHAT THEY COULD
SEE FROM THE AIR WAS STRAIGHT-LINE WIND DAMAGE SCATTERED ACROSS THE ENTIRE ROUTE...FROM LITCHFIELD COUNTY...THROUGH THE SOUTHERN HALF OF HARTFORD COUNTY....AND INTO EXTREME NORTHERN NEW LONDON COUNTY.

ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR SINCERE APPRECIATION TO ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH THIS SURVEY PROCESS. IN PARTICULAR...THE CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY...THE CIVIL AIR PATROL...FARMINGTON AND WETHERSFIELD POLICE CHIEFS...WETHERSFIELD TOWN MANAGER...AND THE WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS AMATEUR RADIO COORDINATOR. ALSO...A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE WHO WERE DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY THIS EVENT YET TOOK THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wethersfield Tornado CONFIRMED

Here is the statement issued by the National Weather Service about Friday night's storms.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
730 PM EDT SAT JUN 27 2009

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

...EF 1 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN WETHERSFIELD ON FRIDAY JUNE 26...

THIS IS A PRELIMINARY STORM SURVEY REPORT. ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE INCLUDED IN A SECOND REPORT TO BE ISSUED ON SUNDAY JUNE 28TH.

A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN TAUNTON MASSACHUSETTS CONDUCTED A STORM SURVEY IN FARMINGTON AND WETHERSFIELD CONNECTICUT TODAY DUE TO THE MAJOR DAMAGE WHICH OCCURRED IN THESE TOWNS ON FRIDAY. IN ADDITION...A SURVEY TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN UPTON NEW YORK CONDUCTED AN AERIAL SURVEY OF THE SAME AREA. THESE SURVEYS CONCLUDED THAT...WHILE MOST OF THE DAMAGE THAT OCCURRED ACROSS SOUTHERN HARTFORD COUNTY WAS DUE TO STRAIGHT LINE WINDS...A NARROW TORNADO OCCURRED IN WETHERSFIELD CONNECTICUT. THIS TORNADO WAS RATED AN EF 1
ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE...INDICATING WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 85 AND 100 MPH. DUE TO ONGOING STORM WARNING OPERATIONS...MORE INFORMATION WILL COME IN A LATER REPORT TO BE ISSUED TOMORROW...SUNDAY JUNE 28TH.


Photogallery of tornado damage from FOX61.com
Photogallery from storms on FOX61.com

Meteorologist Joe Fury saw the damage first-hand and made the call on Friday night. But we still have to wait for confirmation and investigation by the National Weather Service. This is why...earlier this month, a TV station relayed a viewer report of a tornado on the ground in Arkansas. Even as the tornado warning expired, the station's meteorologist continued to report a tornado on the ground producing damage due to these viewer's emails. This all turned out to be a hoax, and the FBI is investigating.

Tornado HOAX
Another article about the hoax if you're interested

If you recall, there was an incident in 2007 where WFSB displayed a tornado picture that was a fake. The storm looked potentially tornadic on the radar; however, the photograph looked very unrealistic for Connecticut.
Geoff Fox has a great blog entry about this: http://www.geofffox.com/MT/archives/2007/07/21/know_your_source.php
It should also be noted that the tornado warning issued on that 2007 storm was a result of a police officer spotting a funnel cloud. That was found to be an error. Not all Police officers are certified weather spotters. No damage was found in the area where this alleged tornado was reported.

It's so tough to go live, ad lib, and make quick decisions about the information you're given. But I think we as a station handled the situation Friday well. I leave you with a photo of the calm after the storm. This pic was taken by a viewer named Robert looking southeast from the North Cove region of Essex Village and captures the richness of a clearing summer sky while the sun sets after the storms.

Forecast From 6-26

Severe Weather Coverage 6-26

Narmeen and I broke into programming to tell viewers about the storms moving through the state. There is always a fine line between helping people stay safe but not being too alarmist. And as always lots of adlibbing. Blackberries are great for this because as new watches and warnings came in I could see them immediately and pass them along to you.

Cut-in #1:


Another Cut-in: