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April 9, 2012

April Showers

Posted: 04:42 AM ET

This past Easter/Passover weekend was dry for many across the U.S. But as the old saying goes: “April showers bring May flowers...” This month can be a wet one! Where can you find the most rain on average in the month of April? At the Farmer’s Almanac, they compiled a list using records from NOAA of April rainfall totals on average for the past 30 years. Here’s what they found:

Top Ten Rainiest Cities in April
1. Hilo, Hi – 12.54 inches
2. Yakutat, AK – 10.80 inches
3. Mt. Washington, NH – 8.43 inches
4. Quillayute, WA – 7.44 inches
5. Annette, AK – 7.37 inches
6. Jackson, MS – 5.98 inches
7. Memphis, TN – 5.79 inches
8. Meridan, MS – 5.62 inches
9. Baton Rouge, LA – 5.56 inches
10. Kodiak, AK- 5.48 inches

Source: farmersalmanac.com

HLN Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is the author of EXTREME WEATHER, on sale now in bookstores everywhere – go to www.BonnieWeather.com for more info

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April 6, 2012

Severe Weather Season – Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider says, we are in the thick of it

Posted: 04:28 AM ET

Texas Twisters, the cleanup begins

The recent tornadoes in the Dallas, Texas area are a reminder that we are in severe weather season. Here are more facts about tornadoes, nature's most violent storms.

Tornado Facts (noaa):

In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is in March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer. In some states, a secondary tornado maximum occurs in the fall.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9pm but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.

The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.

Tornadoes can last from several seconds to more than an hour. Most tornadoes last less than 10 minutes

- Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider, author of EXTREME WEATHER, BonnieWeather.com

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March 9, 2012

Time to Spring Forward on Sunday!

Posted: 04:44 AM ET

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2:00

It's that time of year again. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2:00 am so move your clocks ahead one hour. It's also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarm. Here some other facts about Daylight Saving Time, you may not know according to TimeandDate.com:

- All US locations except Hawaii, Arizona, Midway Islands & Wake Island will observe DST in 2012

- Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but modern DST was not proposed until 1895 when an entomologist from New Zealand, George Vernon Hudson, presented a proposal for a two-hour daylight saving shift to the Wellington Philosophical Society.

- Many people believe that DST could be linked to less road accidents and injuries. The extra hour of daylight in the evening is said to give children more social time and can boost the tourism industry because it increases the amount of outdoor activities.

- Daylight Saving Time will begin in most of Europe on Sunday March 25, 2012. Clocks will move 1 hour forward at 1am (01:00) UTC, (from 2am to 3am local time in some areas).

- For the US regions observing DST, it will end this year Sunday, November 4, 2012, 2:00am.

Hope you have great weather this weekend to enjoy the extra hour of daylight!

Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Bob Van Dillen this week on Morning Express with Robin Meade. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com

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March 8, 2012

The 4th warmest winter on record – Bonnie Schneider explains why:

Posted: 08:11 AM ET

Warm Winter!

A high today of 69 degrees in NYC? 73 in Washington? 72 in Atlanta? It's hard to believe this is the forecast for March 8th. It's still winter, you know. But if you look at the trend for the winter season so far in 2011/2012, warm is the word. Temperatures were above average in the Northern and Eastern portions of the US for this past December, January and February. According to NOAA, this was the fourth warmest winter on record in the U.S.

Dec 2011 - Feb 2012 Statewide Ranks frm National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA

"Warmer than average temperatures were widespread with twenty-seven states in the Northern Plains, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast having winter temperatures ranked among their ten warmest. Only New Mexico had winter temperatures below the 20thcentury average." – NOAA

Why so mild? One of the reasons include the fact that the areas that saw the most above-average days were south of the jet stream, so the coldest air did not make it to their regions often enough or long enough for a big impact.

Keep in mind just because it's mild in early March, doesn't mean winter is over. We still have about two weeks before spring. In the meantime, if you're in a place with above-average temperatures in the forecast, enjoy the early taste of a milder season.

Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Bob Van Dillen on Morning Express with Robin Meade this week. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com

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March 7, 2012

Bonnie Schneider's Rip Current advice for Spring Breakers

Posted: 06:47 AM ET

Spring Breakers watch out for Rip Currents today! The risk for Rip Currents off the East Coast of South Florida is high.

There is a lot of misconception about Rip Currents. Here are some facts, according to NOAA:

www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov

What is a rip current?
Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. (The surf zone is the area between the high tide level on the beach to the seaward side of breaking waves.)

How big are rip currents?
Rip currents can be as narrow as 10 or 20 feet in width though they may be up to ten times wider. The length of the rip current also varies. Rip currents begin to slow down as they move offshore, beyond the breaking waves, but sometimes extend for hundreds of feet beyond the surf zone.

Rip currents are dangerous and even the most experienced swimmer can be in danger if caught in one. The United States Life Saving Association recommends to only swim at a beaches where there is a lifeguard. If you are ever caught in a rip current, the best thing to do is swim parallel to the shore until you are out of it and can swim back without a struggle.

Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Morning Express with Robin Meade's Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen this week. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com

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March 6, 2012

Tornado Timing – Recent Outbreak 'Deadly and Unusual'

Posted: 04:03 AM ET

Last week's tornado outbreak was deadly and unusual in it's size and intensity for the month of March. Over a hundred tornadoes were reported on Friday alone! Confirmed tornadoes on March 2nd were at 43 at the time I'm writing this, but that compare that to approximate average of number of March tornadoes that occur for the entire month - around 50.

Depending on where you live in the US your peak "tornado season" may vary. (Note: tornadoes can and do happen year-round.) According to NOAA, "the frequency of tornadoes in the United States is closely tied with the progression of the warm season when warm and cold air masses often clash. Most of the early spring tornadoes in the U.S. tend to occur in the Southeast and South Central regions. Gulf States, such as Mississippi and Louisiana are the frequent recipients of tornadoes from February to April. Late spring tornadoes generally spread a bit farther north, often into Kansas, Nebraska and the Tennessee Valley region. By mid-summer, most of Tornado Alley is active and tornadoes may occur throughout the U.S. Late summer tends to bring some of the stronger tornadoes into the upper Midwest and Ohio valleys..."

NOAA/NWS U.S. Tornadoes by Month 2003-2005
(courtesy: NOAA)

Keep in mind that the months typically with the most tornadoes are still ahead: April and May. So stay prepared and alert for severe weather!

-Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Morning Express with Robin Meade's Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen this week. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com

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March 5, 2012

Bonnie Schneider: Tornado Myths and Facts

Posted: 03:51 AM ET

iReporter records tornado hitting neighborhood in Henryville, IN

Two tornado outbreaks with many lives lost - just in the first few days of March. These tragedies and others like them last year brings the focus of the country to nature's most violent storms. While tornadoes get a lot of coverage in the media and even in movies – there is still much misconception about them. Here are some basic facts and myths, according to NOAA:

Tornado Myths:

MYTH: Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
FACT: No terrain is safe from tornadoes. In the late 1980's, a tornado swept through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 ft. mountain.

MYTH: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to "explode" as the tornado passes overhead.
FACT: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.

MYTH: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
FACT: Opening windows allows damaging winds to enter the structure. Leave the windows alone; instead, immediately go to a basement, interior room, or bathroom without windows.

-Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for "Morning Express with Robin Meade" Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen this week. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com

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February 28, 2012

Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen warns blizzard conditions coming for some, tornadoes possible for others

Posted: 06:25 AM ET

Winter '11-'12: "I'm not dead yet!"

A major storm is churning out the heavy snow and rain across the Four Corners this morning, and it is about to eject it's energy into the Plains and Upper MW. The storm itself is over Utah now and should end up centered over Nebraska by this afternoon. A strong jet stream south of the surface storm will help to add energy and tighten up the circulation allowing it to strengthen into a blizzard maker. Winds late this afternoon will get over 40 mph, the snow/sleet will pick up in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Eastern Minnesota.

The snow will total 6-12 inches by tomorrow morning and with a little extra juice off of Lake Superior, the Minnesota arrowhead may get close to a foot and a half of the stuff. It’s on to the Northeast by tomorrow afternoon, with winter storm watches posted in parts of New England.

Below the winter part of the storm is some warm air. Severe storms will fire up late this afternoon in the Mid Mississippi valley. Some of these could produce tornadoes in Arkansas and Missouri late today as the warm and humid air meets up with the jet stream and a dry line.

See you out there starting at 6am ET on HLN.

*Follow HLN meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen

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February 23, 2012

Bob Van Dillen's "dynamic" national forecast: Thursday Feb. 23

Posted: 08:05 AM ET

National Weather Service

A storm jumping off the Rocky Mountains and into the Plains today will be a pretty big deal. Spring-like temperatures on the East and South side, Winter weather on the North. This storm has more confusion than the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ in a Calculus class. It already has the snow going in the Dakotas and Iowa with winter storm warnings posted, looking for 4-8” of snow there today. Next up is the Chicago metro area for this afternoon. It will begin as rain later and then switch over to snow in the evening hours, and pick up in intensity. 6-10” is what I am thinking by tomorrow am, along with some thunder in the mix there. Lower Michigan and into Detroit will see the same thing happen, just a few hours later.

Under this storm the air will heat up for February. I’m looking at temps 15-20 degrees above the average from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic Ocean. With this warmth and humidity boosting north from the Gulf, severe storms will develop in the Ohio valley to Georgia this evening and overnight tonight. Isolated tornadoes are a possibility here.

Windy conditions are back for the almost everybody East of the Rockies, disrupting air travel.

Dynamic weather over the next 36 hours!

*Follow HLN Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen.

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February 22, 2012

Bob Van Dillen's forecast: Severe storms in the South

Posted: 07:09 AM ET

Severe storms have stayed away from the South over the last few weeks, but like a crazy rant from Charlie Sheen reemerging, it's always just a matter of time. A juicy air mass is edging northward from the Gulf Of Mexico early today will set the groundwork for severe storms to develop later this afternoon in northern Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina today. Some energy from a large scale trough will get the instability going this afternoon and a warm front lifting in the vicinity will be the trigger for the storms. I think the main threat today will be damaging wind gusts, but with some speed shear in the mix we could see an isolated tornado late today too.

NOAA / NWS Storm Prediction Center

The other story is the constant barrage of wind, rain and snow from the Northwest into the Rockies. The jet stream is positioned right over the area allowing for Pacific moisture to slide into the area. Heavy snow in the Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado mountains will pile up to around 10-20 inches, and the winds will scream to 80 mph at times. It'll be a bumpy ride in a plane over the Rockies today, no doubt.

Just a heads up for you!

Follow HLN meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen. Sample tweet:

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It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!

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