For such a tiny island, one that makes barely a blip on the global scene, Fairhaven's West Island still manages to pack a punch in international personal weather communities.
The weather station on the 535-acre island, at the southern end of Sconticut Neck, has become a favorite of weather buffs worldwide, drawing international traffic from places like Moscow and Germany and earning a spot on many website favorites lists.
Now, the island's advanced weather station is expanding its reach and the information it can provide with the addition of a new camera at the island's southern end. The new station joins two existing sites from which real-time data is already being recorded.
Longtime weather spotter and founder of the weather station M.L. Baron said the new South Point Station is in the perfect location for recording weather conditions.
"I am very excited about this point. It is literally onshore, on one of the tallest houses on the island," he said. "We're right in the middle of Buzzards Bay."
The new site is the work of Jeff Vercellone, a marketing executive and weather enthusiast who joined West Island Weather Station as a member a few months ago. Vercellone then proposed siting an additional camera at his house at the southern end of Balsalm Street.
As part of the all-volunteer operation, the West Island resident purchased the necessary equipment himself, which Baron then installed and hooked up to WestIslandWeather.com.
Through the site, curious individuals can access West Island from anywhere on the globe, finding out current weather conditions through an online weather dashboard or seeing for themselves through live streaming video. The dashboard display includes conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, daily rainfall, and wind chill.
From the new station, live streaming video shows a close-up of the Town Beach, a shot looking southwest out toward Cuttyhunk, about 12 miles away, and one of Wilbur's Point/Angelica Island, a mile away, according to Baron.
A weather spotter for 35 years, Baron has recorded data from many big weather events in the area, including Hurricanes Bob and Gloria. His information-packed site includes videos and photos of significant weather events on the island and other daily happenings in a small coastal community.
But despite his own passion, Barron remains a bit perplexed by his worldwide guests.
"I am baffled by it," he said. "I wonder, what is your obsession or fascination with little West Island?"
April here in Acushnet was both very warm and very dry.
It was the warmest April on my records, some 5.4 degrees above normal.
An early beach day occurred on April 7th. when the temperatured soared
to 88 degrees. Low readings for the month never fell to the freezing mark.
Forsythia bloomed on April 1st. followed by the pear tree on the 19th. and
then the apple tree by the 21st.. The blooming thing was much to early and
not a good thing.
Only 0.29" of rain fell during the first 15 days of the month.
That was a good thing after a 15.61" monsoon of a month of March. The
second half of the month featured several periods of cold nuisance rains.
Evening t-storms on the 22nd. of the month where the first of the year and
featured a photogenic double rainbow.
A male hummingbird arrived on the afternoon of the last day
of the month. No sign yet of the Baltimore Orioles who will miss by weeks
apple blossom time.
April 2010 41deg,44min N 70deg,55min W
Ave High 64.3 deg
Ave Low 41.4 deg
Apr Mean 52.9 deg is 5.4 Above Normal
High Temp 88 on Apr 7th.
Low Temp 33 on Apr 28th.
Total Precip 1.65" is 3.28" Below Normal
Max 24 hr Precip 0.49" on Apr 22nd.
Snowfall 0.0" is 1.5" Below Normal
Total 2010 Precip 26.22" is 7.68'" Above Normal
Season Snowfall 35.6" Oct - Apr is 1.3" Below Normal
T-Storm Days 1
High Wind Gust 36 mph on Apr 29th.
Heating Degree Days 372
Cooling Degree Days 3
High Barometer 30.52" on Apr 14th.
Low Barometer 29.21" on Apr 27th.
Tom Carr WA1KDD
Volcano’s impact would have been far different if the US was down under.
What if our continent was below the equator? The Iceland volcano fallout would have affected the US far greater than what the UK is experiencing today. Prevailing winds, the jet stream, storm systems and the like transit from east to west down under. The United States would have been paralyzed for weeks and even months, with the Northeast getting hit the hardest. Closed airports with ceased air traffic would have been the least of the problems. Crops, livestock, and the waterways would have been devastated . The mid-west and even the west coast would have been adversely affected as well.
click photo above for more information on climbing Mt St Helens
The Mt St Helen’s eruption in 1980 disrupted weather patterns in the US for over 2 years. In fact, Mt St Helens was the leading air pollution source in the State of Washington for a few months late in 2004, spewing up to 250 tons of acid- rain making sulphur dioxide a day, years after its cataclysmic eruption.
(ABOVE) This vile contains volcanic ash, a fine powder from Mt St Helens in 1980. Some of these fine microscopic particles where once huge boulders weighing several tons before being pulverized after the huge explosion during the volcanic eruption
In comparison, Mt St Helen’s 1980 eruption was little league compared to the big boys like Hawaii’s Kilauea and Pinatubo in the Philippines with discharges into the atmosphere in the thousands of tons per day during their last major eruptions.
The question arises: Could the plume from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano eventually circumnavigate the earth and affect the US? This appears to be unlikely according to some nervous scientists as some volcanologists await another potentially more dangerous eruption from another volcano 6 miles away that could be 100 times more powerful. This could change the whole global environmental scenario significantly.
FYI-Hurricane Gloria in 1985 just refused to fizzle out. It circled the earth three times as a storm system, low pressure area, and a meager disturbance until finally fading away into history.
COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE:
My name is Lauren Jackson and I wanted to provide feedback on your page, http://westislandweather.com/. I'm not sure if you're the right person to contact, but I wanted to tell you that since I have been working on creating some new Volcanoes resources, your page was a great source of information.
As a thank you, I thought I would pass along this additional resource I have been using as well in case you were looking to add more to your page. I have been using material from this page, http://www.onlinecollegedegrees.net/volcanoes. It has a ton of great great volcano resources that you and your users may find useful!
Thanks Again :)
Interesting stuff. With all the talk over the past decade of an asteroid threat, I felt that the far bigger threat was from within, namely volcanic activity. The earth has had a tumultuous past and who’s to say that it could not happen again. It would not really take too much ash to severely alter the global climate and end all talk of global warming. Hey, this is all natural. How’d we get our oceans?
Jeff Vercellone- South Point Station
As New England continues to dry out and pick up the pieces negative predictions continue to come out on more severe weather expected down the pike. The waning El Nino cycle is mostly to blame. In a nut shell, developing tropical storms and hurricanes have a blank check along the Atlantic seaboard this season. With no predominant wind shear and other contributing factors, it won’t take much for a juvenile tropical system to get into a lot of mischief.
My gut instinct as a long-time weather spotter also tells me to expect an above average summer season with potent thunderstorms, hail and even some isolated tornado events right here in Southern New England. With all this in mind, you’ll might want to dust off your home owner’s insurance policy and read the fine print. You’ll discover that your deductible has quietly tripled or quadrupled of what it was just a few years ago.
Here’s the anticipated numbers for this years 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season:
(Keep in mind these are preliminary early figures and will get tweaked over the coming months. They could change for better or worse.)
According to the head hurricane honcho at Colorado State University, Dr Bill Gray, 11 - 16 named storms are expected, of which, 6 - 8 could become hurricanes with 3 - 5 being of major Category 3+ whoppers. A Category 3 hurricane packs winds of 111 to 130 MPH winds with surges over 12ft.
2010 Hurricane Names
1. Hurricane Alex
2. Hurricane Bonnie
3. Hurricane Colin
4. Hurricane Danielle
5. Hurricane Earl
6. Hurricane Fiona
7. Hurricane Gaston
8. Hurricane Hermine
9. Hurricane Igo
10. Hurricane Julia
Senior Weather Spotters Dennis Bollea of Fairhaven and Tom Carr of Acushnet have been keeping weather records going back to the late ‘70's and both concur that March 2010 was on of the most historic and record breaking March months since they’ve been keeping records. Tom Carr reported an astounding 15.61" of rain which was 10.19" above normal. In contrast, Dennis Bollea reported 10.68" which was 6.04" above normal. (More on this scroll down)
With all this ground saturation, insects and reptiles are going to multiply in very high numbers not to mention an above average pollen count.
Bug spray anyone?
MARCH 13-14 GALE BROUGHT IN
MARCH MONTH IN REVIEW
WITH TOM CAR, ACUSHNET,MA
The wettest and warmest March on my records with snowfall
below normal. The incredible 15.61" of precipitation during the month is
some 10.19" above a normal March. 24.57" of precipitation has already
fallen this year. Three long duration events produced all but 1.07" of the
March 13-16th. saw 5.71" of rain - wind gusts to 38 mph.
March 22-24th. saw 2.65" of ran - wind gusts to 30 mph.
March 29-31st. saw 5.91" of rain - wind gusts to 30 mph.
The end result was historic flooding of local ponds and rivers and
homes and cellars and highways and backroads from Eastern Massachusetts
into Rhode Island and Connecticut. It was the wettest month of any month
on my 30 years of record.
The wet cloudy March prevented overnight temperatures from falling
to much and this helped to make this March the wamest on my records with
a mean temperature of 44.1 deg. which is 6.1 deg. above normal.
Croci opened on March 7th., grackles showed up on the 10th;
followed by honey bees on the 17th; peepers peeped on the 18th; and that
woke up the neighborhood woodchuck on the 19th. and then early daffodils
and a balmy 73 deg. Spring day and then the floods came..... March 2010
Ave High 53.1 deg
Ave Low 35.1 deg
Mar Mean 44.1 deg is 6.1 Above Normal
High Temp 73 on Mar 20th.
Low Temp 24 on Mar 6th. & 28th.
Total Precip 15.61" is 10.19" Above Normal
Max 24 hr Precip 3.74" on Mar 29 - 30th.
Snowfall 2.3" is 4.4" Below Normal
Total 2010 Precip 24.57" is 10.96" Above Normal
Season Snowfall 37.9" Oct-Mar is 1.0" Above Normal
T-Storm Days 0
High Wind Gust 38 mph on Mar 14th.
Heating Degree Days 655
Cooling Degree Days 0
High Barometer 30.45" on Mar 28th.
Low Barometer 29.26" on Mar 23rd.