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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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November 25, 2011

Bonnie Schneider's Black Friday travel tips

Posted: 06:10 AM ET

*Note: Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Bob Van Dillen today on "Morning Express with Robin Meade"

Hope you had a relaxing and restful Thanksgiving! Today you may be on the go – headed home after the holiday, or maybe to the stores for Black Friday. While the roads may be packed now with travelers and shoppers, today will not be the busiest one of the weekend. Traditionally, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after will be the most jammed on the roads and in the air. In fact this year, look for even more people out and about than last year:

“Thanksgiving travel in the U.S. is projected to increase 4 percent this year from 2010, with more than 42.5 million Americans taking a trip of 50 miles or more away from home between Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 27. Auto travel remains the preferred method of travel this Thanksgiving with 38.2 million Americans traveling via automobile, also up 4 percent from last year. Auto travelers make up 90 percent of all holiday travelers”
-AAA

Since triple A says most people will make their journey by car, it’s important to make sure you have an emergency kit ready in your vehicle. What should the kit contain? Here is a checklist from Ready.gov:

• Jumper cables
• Flashlights and extra batteries
• First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
• Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
• Water for each person and pet in your car
• AM/FM & NOAA radio to listen to weather and traffic reports and emergency messages
• Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
• Shovel
• Ice scraper
• Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
• Blankets or sleeping bags

Enjoy the holiday weekend & have a safe trip!

Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider
@BonnieWeather
BonnieWeather.com

Bonnie’s book EXTREME WEATHER (Palgrave Macmillan) will be in stores everywhere on 1/31/12!

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November 4, 2011

Daylight saving time ends Sunday morning, set your clocks back when you go to bed Saturday night

Posted: 07:38 AM ET

Before bed on Saturday 11/5/2011 set clocks back one hour

It’s almost time to Fall Back! The first Sunday in November means those warmly lit late evenings outside are about to give way to cooler, early darkness. If you're up and at em' first thing, then you may like the brighter morning skies, due to the additional hour of daylight. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2am on Sunday, Nov. 6th. That means for most people in the U.S., clocks will be turned back one hour and return to standard time.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation:
"Under law, daylight saving time is observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, with the nation returning to daylight saving time starting Sunday, March 11, 2012. Prior to legislation that took effect in 2007, daylight saving time was observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Federal law does not require any area to observe daylight time, but those that do must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law. No resetting of clocks is required for those parts of the country not observing daylight time: Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas."

You've probably heard this reminder before, but don’t forget it’s also a great time to change the batteries in your fire alarm! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission explains why this is so important:

“Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by enabling residents to detect fires early in their development. The risk of dying from fires in homes without smoke alarms is twice as high as in homes that have working smoke alarms.”

How do you feel about Daylight Saving Time ending? Do you prefer brighter mornings and darker evenings, or the other way around?

The TIME is now for you to EXPRESS yourself and comment below!
(Little play on words there! *grin*)

-Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider
BonnieWeather.com
Facebook: BonnieSchneiderCNN
Twitter: @BonnieWeather

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November 3, 2011

Southern California's Santa Ana Winds

Posted: 04:49 AM ET

Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Bob Van Dillen today on HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade. Her new book, "Extreme Weather: A guide to surviving flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, snow storms, tsunamis, and other natural disasters" comes out in January.

Hot dry winds caused temperatures to soar in Southern California this week and fan the flames of brush fires. The fierce wind also knocked down power lines causing thousands of people to be without power in the region. Dust kicked up by wind gusts of 50 mph or stronger brought poor air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. This type of wind has a name corresponding with a city in California – Santa Ana.

Santa Ana Winds, according to NOAA, occur in Southern California specifically. They are a weather condition in which strong, hot, dust-bearing winds descend to the Pacific Coast around Los Angeles from inland desert regions.

The warm air compresses and heats as it comes down the mountains. (Imagine a giant hair-dryer blowing down slope) Santa Ana are especially dangerous for rapidly spreading fires as they can lift burning embers up and carry them for miles.

Today the winds will be gusty, but not as bad as Wednesday. However, as this is the dry season for the region, Santa Anas continue to be a threat. The County of Los Angeles Fire Department offers this safety advice on their website:

Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by dialing 911 (If you dial 911 from your cellular phone, you MUST know your location)
Use extreme caution when operating spark or flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.
Have an evacuation plan in place
• If you are asked to evacuate by fire or police officials, do so immediately.
Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.

-Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider
BonnieWeather.com
Facebook: BonnieSchneiderCNN
Twitter: @BonnieWeather

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About this blog

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!

Contributors
Robin Meade
Delivering your dose of morning news, to get you out of bed and off to work.
Robin Meade
Bob Van Dillen
From tracking storms to airport delays, Bob is your weather and travel expert.
Bob Van Dillen
Jennifer Westhoven
Jennifer has the tips you need to take action on stories affecting your wallet.
Jennifer Westhoven
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