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!

LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK!

Instagram @RachelFrankCT

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can You Dig It?

NEWS FLASH....It's too cold to garden outside! This week on Can You Dig It,indoor gardening for any skill level!
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Looking Back At Monday's Storm

1"-2.5" of rain with gusts up to 55 mph! My story surveying the damage across the state is below. There was a minor mudslide in Norfolk! Crazy! Below the video I posted rain totals and peak wind gusts. If temperatures were cooler, we could have easily seen 2 feet of snow.
 
Rain Totals:
Southington: 2.56”
Berlin: 2.38”
Avon:2.09”
East Hartford: 2.03”
Thompson: 2.08”
Danbury:2.40”
Durham: 1.68”
East Meriden: 1.89”
Wallingford: 1.19”
Meriden: 1.10”

Wind Gusts (mph):
New Britain:47
Berlin: 45
Willimantic:48
Vernon: 46
Danbury: 44
Bridgeport:43
New Haven:54
Meriden: 50

Monday, January 25, 2010

Warm, Wet and Windy Monday

A warm soaking rain doesn't seem quite as offensive to me as a cold rainy day. Blowtorch southerly winds are sending temperatures soaring through the 50s! But the wind is also causing power outtages! Right now, as of me writing this there are 3,250 outtages. Middlefield boasts the most homes without power.

Why is it so windy? The wind is caused by large differences in pressure. This graphic shows a computer model. Each line on the image is a line of "equal pressure". Whenenever its very windy, those lines get very close together just like they are today! In meteorology we call that a "tight pressure gradient".

A High Wind Warning is in effect for most of the state with wind gusts up to 65 mph!

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect statewide today through this evening. 1"-2.5" inches of rain can fall today. Remember, the ground is frozen so the soil will not be able to absorb all the rainfall. Small streams and creeks could rise out of their banks. There can also be some minor flooding of small streams, creeks, low-lying areas and poor drainage areas.

Rain will come down heavy at times this afternoon before tapering off around the evening commute.

Forecasts From SatNight

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009: Year In Review

In 2009, Obama takes office, Michael Jackson dies, Captain Sully lands in the Hudson River, and Connecticut gets 2.13" of precipitaion above average. Here are the official National Weather Service stats from good old '09.

Below Average Temperatures:
Average Temperature: 49.8. The coolest since 2004 (also 49.8)
Departure from average: -0.4
1971-2000 30 year normal temperature is 50.2

Above Normal Precipitation:
2009 precipitation total 48.29"...wettest since 2008(65.35")
Departure from average: +2.13"
1971-2000 30 year normal: 46.16"
2009 days measurable precipitation 0.01" or more...135 days
Departure +6 days
1971-2000 30 year normal 129 days

Below Normal Snowfall:
2009 snowfall total 37.6"
Departure from normal: -8.4"
1971-2000 30 year normal: 46.0"

Temperature Extremes:
Max High temperature: 94 degrees April 28th and August 17th
Warmest Low Temperature: 72 degrees August 19th and August 21st
Coldest Low temperature: -3 degrees January 16th and 17th

Precipitation Extremes:
Max Daily Precipitation: 2.36” July 31st
Max Daily Snowfall: 7.9” March 2nd

Wind Extremes:
Highest sustained wind: 2 min from NW at 37 mph Nov. 28th & Dec. 29th
Peak gust: From NW 46 mph Jan. 14th, Oct. 7th, Nov. 28th, Dec. 29th

Cold Cutting Off

Temperatures have remained below freezing for seven out of eleven days this month with a big dip in the jetsream allowing arcitc air to flow in from Canada. Even Florida was feeling the bitter cold! The average high temperature from now through the end of the month is 34 degrees for Windsor Locks. That is the coldest average high temperature of the year, so you could say we are in the dead of winter right now. In February, the average high slowly increases.

But it looks like some milder air is on the way! The upper left square on the graphic below shows the 12Z WRF computer model featuring isotherms (lines of equal temperature). The green color shows temperatures climbing into the low 40s by Friday. That means temperatures will be above average! But neither the reccent cold weather or the milder weather represents something out of the ordinary. As my teachers in college always said in school (also a quote from Mark Twain), "climate is what you expect, weather is what you get". Climate represents an average of weather conditions over a period of time. So it is normal for temperatures to fluctute above or below the average on a daily basis.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Q & A For a School Project

A Suffield high school student asked me to fill out an interview for his English Media class. Since it took me a while to complete, I thought I would share the interview with you. Plus, if you look closely enough you can figure out how old I am...hehe.

1. What college(s) did you attend?

Pennsylvania State University

2. What did you major/minor in college?

I have a B.S. in Meteorology with a Weather Forecasting & Communication Option

3. Did you take part in any internships?

I had an opportunity to intern at News12 New Jersey but turned it down to take a position as a meteorologist on a college TV show called “Weather Or Not”. I felt that hands-on on-air experience would be more beneficial for me.

4. Have you worked at any other stations?

WICU 12News in Erie, PA
WFMZ 69News in Allentown, PA


5. Do you rely on technology often with your job?

Yes, everyday!

6. What technology do you use/rely on the greatest?

Radar, satellite, current observations (shared through a network on the internet), computer models, weather graphics, live doppler radar.

7. Have you ever been in any dangerous situations such as hazardous weather conditions?

Yes, I have reported live on the highway during a snowstorm. That can be dangerous as people speed by you on the slick roads. I have been caught outside severe thunderstorms with large hail and frequent lightning but not while I was working.

8. Were you ever affected by a news story, if so, what news story affected you the greatest?

Anytime I do a story on a funeral of a fallen soldier or a house fire where a family lost all their belongings, it’s really emotional. I once did a story on a missing man. His friends said the man was a drug addict. But when his family watched the story they were extremely hurt that we broadcasted his problems with drugs. The missing man’s children were watching the news. I felt horrible! I think that was the news story that affected me the most.

9. What is the most embarrassing moment that happened to you on set?

I was covering a snow storm when I first began my career and my graphics system crashed. I started reading an old graphic that said “Partly sunny, High: Near 50” when it was snowy and cold. I have learned now how to recover better when my equipment fails.

10. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you were an adult?

Since 7th grade I knew I wanted to be a meteorologist. But before that time I wanted to be a doctor or an actress (I was all over the place).

11. What jobs did you hold before holding your current job?

I got a job as a broadcast meteorologist straight out of college. Before I graduated, I had a job in retail and I was a waitress for a short time.

12. Have you ever won any awards at your job? If so, what's the greatest award appreciated?

In Erie I won a Golden Mic Award for Best Weekend News Team

13. What is your favorite part of your occupation?

The weather is always different so my job is different every day.

14. What is the most difficult part of your occupation?

Forecasting…it’s not an exact science.

15. Have you ever taken part in public relations work?

No.

16. Did you ever have a mentor?

No.

17. How many hours do you work a week?

40 hours, unless there is a big storm. During inclement weather I work overtime.

18. What influenced you on this career choice?

In 7th grade I did a project on clouds. I found it interesting that people can do some basic forecasting just by looking at the sky. I wanted to know what other tools meteorologists looked at to forecast.
19. What is the one college course that best prepared you for your current job?

I had two classes in forecasting the weather. Those were most helpful.

20. What is the most interesting moment that happened to you on set?

It’s always interesting when you have to focus on giving a weather presentation while people are talking all around you. It takes a while to learn how to block out everything.
21. What qualities or experience make you the best candidate for this position?

I have a degree in meteorology and have 9+ years experience forecasting. I have 4+ years experience on-air. I know how to break down the weather in a friendly, personable way that is easy to understand. AT least I hope I can!

22. Have you ever made a mistake in your job, and if so, did you learn anything from it?

Whenever part of the forecast is wrong, I always go back and try to understand why I made a mistake. Then I learn/know how to forecast in a similar situation in the future.

23. What is the one moment while working that you have had the most fun?

This answer is going to sound fake, but I always have fun working! Forecasting is my passion and I also enjoy reporting and meeting new people.

24. What motivates you to do the best on the job?

I want to learn how to communicate the weather better so that people can use and understand the information I give them,
25 How would your co-workers describe you in three words?

Dependable, Friendly, Hard-Working