Paint Schoodic

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Ice Tsunamis? Seriously?

It is almost this cold in Rochester right now...

There has been a bitter wind blowing from the west for the last several days. It snow-squalled lightly in Western New York this weekend and it is flurrying in Saranac Lake today. But at least we’re not experiencing ice tsunamis like those in Minnesota and Manitoba.

How does the plein air painter facing a Little Ice Age (or floods, drought, hail, or locusts) prepare? I am a fan of the National Weather Service’s Hourly Weather Graph.

Another of my favorite things... the National Weather Service's Hourly Weather Graph. It tells me everything I need to know.

Above I’ve posted a screenshot of this afternoon’s graph for my neck of the woods. The most pressing issue is that the temperature will rise and the wind will drop this week…not just for us outdoor painters, but also for the organizers of Rochester’s Lilac Festival. And it’s certainly useful to know that the rain is done for a while.

But I could get that information from the newspaper. What the graph gives me that I don’t find elsewhere is the Sky Coverage forecast. This evening and tomorrow evening, the cloud cover should diminish at dusk, giving us the potential for beautiful sunsets. I can set my schedule accordingly.

Of course, different parts of the graph will be more useful in different parts of the country. We’re seldom overheated up here in the far north, but if I were in Arizona, I’d care a great deal about the Heat Index.

This year, I’ve been watching the weather in two places: Rochester, NY and Rockland, ME. Maine tends to be warmer in winter and cooler in summer than we are here inland. Makes for good painting, so if you're interested in joining us for a fantastic time in mid-Coast Maine this summer, check here for more information.

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