High Wind and Rains Before Thanksgiving

It was a wild weather day in New England. We started the day off at 60° in Boston. By lunchtime the temperatures were tumbling into the 50s as winds shifted from the south to the west. Winds were howling out of the west with gusts to 50 MPH. Those wind gusts were enough to cause some minor damage across the area. All of this wild weather caused by a cold front moving through. Ahead of the front, the temperatures climbed, the air turned humid and the barometric pressure dropped. Behind the front, the temperatures crashed, the air dried out and the barometer quickly climbed.

I was asked by a school teacher during a recent school visit if any of the old-school weather forecasting techniques are still used. I’ve always enjoyed collecting weather instruments. An old friend that I made in Rochester during my first job in TV gave me a “weather stick” as a going away gift. It curves up to the sky when there is high pressure and curves down to the ground when there is low pressure. The sticks are made out of balsam or birch. When there is moisture in the air it causes the stick to bend down and once the rain ends and the clouds clear it dries out and bends up. The weather stick actually predates the mercury barometer. I tried a time-lapse of the process today, but unfortunately the recording stopped too soon. However, I did take a before and after picture. The picture on the left was taken at 11 AM before the cold front moved through. The picture on the right was taken at 1 PM. It might be old technology, but – it works!

High pressure will prevail for Monday and Tuesday. The weather turns active again on Wednesday – unfortunately it is the busiest travel day of the year. We’re expecting mainly rain except in the higher elevations of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. It turns colder and drier for Thanksgiving Day.

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