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!


Instagram @RachelFrankCT

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Talk About Hurricane Earl

Almost all of the computer models show a storm passing EAST of Connecticut which is a more favorable track. At this time that means SOME rain, SOME wind, but no hurricane force winds. The map in the upper left shows a 10-30% chance of tropical storm force winds. However, high waves, dangerous rip currents and beach erosion are a realistic problem that we face NO MATTER the track the storm takes.

Here is one of the latest computer models--the 12Z GFS for Friday night around 8:00 P.M. Remember this is just one computer model. But there are no big outliers at this time. Meaning, most of the models are showing pretty similar scenarios.

The box in the upper right shows rainfall. You can see the heaviest rain still offshore, but it's still not out of the question for a decent soaking, especially if the storm moves as little as 50 miles west. The box in the upper middle shows us where the center of the low pressure will be moving (offshore). The lines around the low pressure system are called isobars or lines of equal pressure. When those lines are close together it shows a big difference in pressure. And winds are driven by differences in pressure. Tight lines=VERY WINDY!

The bottom right shows accumulated rainfall which is tough to rely on at this point. But a soaking is not out of the question.

I would be more concerned at this point for people who live on Cape Cod. They will be closer to the storm's center and some nasty winds and rain may become a reality for them.

The cone in the picture to the right is called the "cone of uncertainty". The National Hurricane Center creates a cone around the forecast track to account for errors in forecasting or uncertainly in forecasting. That's why the cone gets bigger with time. But you will notice we are on the edge of the cone. So don't be alarmed if you see a map like this. It does not mean a hurricane is forecast to hit CT. But it means we need to watch this storm carefully because it's making forecasters at least a little nervous.

The bottom line: Nuisance? Probably. Should we start buying milk and eggs? No.

But stay tuned for updates. These storms are tricky!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watch Me Co Host The 4 PM Show!

This was my first time ever anchoring!! Only about 1/8 of my part of the show is on the teleprompter. All of the clips below are adlibbed! Watch me all next week on the FOXCT news at 4!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Big news…I’ll be hosting the new 4 PM show this Friday and all of next week. A lot of the show is based on viewer comments/feedback! So if I post an interesting news story on facebook this Friday or next week, I’m going to need your responses to share live on the show!

What is the 4 PM show? Our newest hour-long weekly newscast started this Monday. It’s a very different show. You will NEVER find two stuffy anchors sitting at a desk going through the stories. Everyone gets involved in the newsroom. If there’s a breaking news story, Rachel Lutzker will approach the assignment desk and get the scoop live, for the first time along with the rest of the state. Courant reporters and other newsroom staffers who are not “trained in TV” will appear on a regular basis. And viewer feedback and comments are a regular part of the show.

Rachel handles the fun stuff, Brent Hardin covers hard news and Garett Argianas is on weather duty! You should watch the show and make suggestions. We are willing to hear them!

Again---I’ll be anchoring this Friday and all of next week. You can also find the show streaming live on

Forecast From 8-25


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brent Looks Pissssssed....

Storm Totals From Sunday, Sunday Night, Monday







MERIDEN : 2.88
HAMDEN : 1.94


OAKDALE : 2.57

Weather From 4PM Show 8-24


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


What the...? Just kidding! YES this is Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton. BUT the boat was just a float participating in the 6th annual Friends of Lake Pocotopaug Dennis Griswold Showboat Parade. Staying with current events, the Spencer Funeral Home sponsored the likes of a BP skimmer pontoon boat. It was adorned with plastic brown water fowl, yellow haz-mat suits, and many cans of cold liquid dispersent.

How fun would it be to borrow that boat for a day and see how many people freak out? I would love to do a hidden camera show about that. Who's with me?!

To see this and more pics from the event, visit my buddy Al's website.

Perseid Light Show

As predicted below, last Friday was a fantastic day to view the perseid meteor shower. Check out this fantastic picture from my friend Al Chaniewski.
He took took several pictures with a second exposure and compiled them in photoshop. The long streaks in the sky are debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. You can see more of Al's pics here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Weather Discussion

Get ready for some fantastic weather this weekend! High pressure building in from Canada will keep the clouds away on Saturday with sunny skies and a dry comfortable air mass. Temperatures will top out in the upper 70s to low 80s with very low humidity. On Sunday the moisture in the air will increase a little, but it will remain pleasant outside with partly to mostly sunny skies. The humidity really gets cranking on Monday and Tuesday with the chance for showers and storms as a cold front approaches.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cosmic Crumbs

The perseid meteor shower peaks tonight in Connecticut. This year was SUPPOSED to be exceptionally good for viewing because the moon will set early in the evening (9:00 PM) leaving the sky dark for nature’s light show. GO FIGURE…it’s cloudy outside and we don’t expect the clouds to break until midday Friday.

The perseid meteor shower is really just debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle which has been orbiting the earth for centuries. As debris collides with the earth’s atmosphere at 133,200 mph, the debris heats up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat causes the long lived streaks you see in the sky that resemble a shooting star. On a good night you can see one meteor a minute.
So what now? Well on Friday night skies will be mainly clear. The peak viewing period will have passed…BUT if you’re persistent you will probably get to see some action. Just go to an area with little or no surrounding city lights and look up! The best time to see the perseids will be after midnight through the pre-dawn hours Saturday morning.

Good luck. I’ll be staring up at the sky too! If you get any good pictures, send them my way!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Dog Days Are Over!

The dog days of summer have ended! The dog days of summer are named after Sirius, known as “the dog star” to ancient Romans. The dog star rises and falls with the sun in late July through early August. Since Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, the Romans thought it contributed to the summer heat. So they called the period of July 3-August 11 the dog days of summer. We know now, that the heat generated by Sirius is insignificant. People (especially in the news, I'm sorry to say) tend to use the term "dog days" for every little heat wave that comes along. Now you know that's WRONG. And now you can share this little tidbit with your friends at the watercooler. They will probably call you a nerd. OWN IT.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekend Anchor Announcement

As you all know, our Rebecca Stewart is now working for Hartford Hospital. Since she left, FOX CT has been playing musical anchors.

Well we have finally hired a new permanent weekend anchor. She will start working August 25th. I have not met her yet but received this e-mail from our News Director, Coleen Marren.

"I am happy to announce we have hired a weekend anchor. Alison Morris will be joining us on August 25. Alison joins us after spending the past five years in Pittsburgh at KDKA-TV. Alison is from Long Island and attended Yale. She has worked for the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. She will be working on the weekends as an anchor and during the week she will be doing some consumer reporting for the web and the Courant.

Alison is a dedicated, multi-media journalist who is filled with enthusiasm. She is a marathon runner and plans to run the Hartford Marathon, adding to her successful completion of the Paris Marathon earlier this year.

Her family and friends are welcoming her back East. I trust you will do the same. Alison will be here Tuesday to meet everyone. "

Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday's Weather

Get ready for some spectacular weather! Today will be mostly sunny, dry and pleasant with low humidity remaining in place. Temperatures will be near or below average for this time of year. The UV Index will peak at 7. If you have fair skin you can get a sunburn in 15 minutes! Tomorrow will turn warmer and a bit more humid with partly cloudy skies. There could be an isolated sprinkle but most places stay dry. A shower or thunderstorm is more likely on Monday as a cold front moves through.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Temperatures

The sun's angle continues to lower with increasing speed throughout the month. So temperatures will trend cooler.

Look at the average temperature for the beginning and end of the month.

August 1st
High: 85°
Low: 63°

August 31st
High: 79°
Low: 57°

The cooling trend will pick up the pace in Septemper!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Ties For Warmest on Record

The Monthly Climate Report is in...This July will be one for the record books.

  • July 2010 average temperature: 77.1°
  • July Normal (1971-2000): 73.7°
  • Departure from normal: +3.5°!

This ties the previous record of 77.1° set back in 1994. Here are the top three warmest July's.

  1. 77.1°, 1994, 2010
  2. 77.0°, 1955
  3. 76.8°, 1949

Two heat waves were recorded in July...From the 4-9 and the 16-18. The highest temperature was 102 degrees on July 6th which set the record for that date. The precious record was 99, set back in 1999. A second 100 degree reading was recorded on the 7th. The last time two consecutive days of 100 degree or greater high temperatures occurred on July 19-21, 1991.

Number of 90+ Days so far:

  • July Total: 15
  • June Total: 3
  • Summer Total: 18
  • May Total: 2
  • April Total: 1
  • 2010 Total: 21 days

Although the heat was the main attraction this July, here are the precip totals for anyone who is interested.

  • July 2010 Precip: 3.29"
  • July Normal (1971-2000): 3.67"
  • Departure From Normal: -0.38"

LAST JULY WAS THE OPPOSITE! July 2009 was the 2nd wettest and 6th coolest on record with 11.17" of rain and an average temperature of 70.2°.