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One Week, Three Different Kinds of Weather

Saturday, February 19, 2011, 20:52 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

We have a saying here in New England: if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change. I’m sure people in other places have similar experiences, and if you’re one of them, you’ll be able to relate to my experience this week.

It started with bitter cold, to the tune of about 15°F. It wasn’t good weather for moving, but the movers took it in stride. Then mid-week, it turned warmer, culminating in temps in the mid-50s yesterday afternoon.

That’s when things turned ugly.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory, which in all my years I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, at least not on land and in the absence of a hurricane, blizzard, or tornado. What I’m finding out is that a wind warning is like a major storm warning, but without precipitation. We even had thunder and lightning last evening. But the worst of it, as the name of the weather advisory suggests, is wind. I’m talking about the kind of wind that howls and whistles and wakes you up from a sound sleep. And that’s before the gusts, which this afternoon at Worcester Airport hit 74 mph.

If you’ve never seen a wind advisory, this is what it looks like:

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA 353 PM EST SAT FEB 19 2011
…STRONG WINDS CONTINUE INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS…

…WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM EST SUNDAY…
* WINDS… NORTHWEST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.
* TIMING… STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE EARLY MORNING HOURS TOMORROW. EXPECT THE STRONGEST WINDS TO OCCUR LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT AND BEGIN TO SLACKEN TOWARD MORNING.
* IMPACTS… STRONG WINDS WILL BE CAPABLE OF DOWNING SMALL TREE LIMBS AND BRANCHES… POSSIBLY CAUSING ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES. LOOSE OBJECTS INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL WILL EASILY BE BLOWN AROUND. DRIVING CAN ALSO BE DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE 31 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS WILL RANGE BETWEEN 46 AND 57 MPH.

PLEASE STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO… YOUR LOCAL MEDIA… OR GO TO WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BOX FOR FURTHER UPDATES ON THIS WEATHER SITUATION.

What they don’t say but should is that high winds can also cause things to bang around in attics with gable vents, which is what has been happening in my attic since about 7:00 last evening. Unfortunately, since I don’t yet have a ladder, I can’t get up there to remedy the situation. And since the wind advisory is in effect until tomorrow morning, that means another night of broken sleep. At least I have all new draft-free windows, so that’s something.

I shouldn’t be surprised that my first nights in my new house aren’t restful. Nothing about this entire process has been easy. Maybe I’m getting the problems out of the way early and week two will be uneventful. Or at least less windy.

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