Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Friday, August 18, 2017

This Week Marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Flood of 1955

This week marks the 62nd anniversary of The Flood of 1955, which was the direct result of the effects of hurricanes Connie and Diane less than a week apart in August of 1955.

Here is the front-page story from The Bridgeport Telegram the following day, Saturday, August 20, 1955. Please click "view" to enlarge and read.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today Marks 62 Years Since Hurricane Connie Hit Connecticut

Many long-time area residents will never forget the deluge which happened 62 years ago today. Hurricane Connie brought nearly four inches (3.92") of rain to the region on Friday, August 12, 1955. Take a look at the front page of The Bridgeport Telegram from Saturday, August 13, 1955.

August of 1955 will be remembered for two of the most memorable hurricanes --- Connie and Diane --- battered the Northeast. Hurricane Connie soaked New England with torrential rains on August 12 and 13, 1955. Then, just five days later, Tropical Storm Diane followed suit creating massive flooding not seen since the 1930s. Take a look at the front page of The Bridgeport Telegram from Saturday, August 20, 1955.


The combination of Connie and Diane yielded rainfall totals close to 25 inches in some areas, resulting in unprecedented flooding. Nearly all of the major rivers in the lower Connecticut Valley exceeded flood stage. Some rivers rose more than 20 feet over their banks. Read the Valley News archive of daily weather events from August of 1955 to gain a better understanding of the power of those two August hurricanes!

While the two hurricanes affected the entire Atlantic coast, Connecticut suffered the most damage. For example, of the 180 lives that were lost, 77 were in Connecticut. Of the 680 million dollars in property damage, over 350 million dollars occurred in Connecticut. Over 200 dams in New England suffered partial to total failure. Many of these were in the area immediately south of Worcester, in the Thames and Blackstone headwaters. Here is a photo of Winsted, Connecticut, virtually devastated following the flood.


If August was not bad enough, two months later, a four day storm dumped an additional 12-14 inches of rain in southwestern New England. This event was not as widespread as the August storms, but record flood levels were achieved in some locations of the Housatonic and Hudson River basins. The tropical season has been fairly quiet thus far, but things usually stir in late August and September. Tropical Storm Irene (2011) and Hurricane Gloria (1985) are two recent examples.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

August's Full Sturgeon Moon Happens Monday Afternoon

The work week will get off to a cloudy, wet, and cool start with periods of rain likely Monday. There is even the chance of an isolated thunderstorm. Unfortunately, we won't be able to see the Full Sturgeon Moon since it happens at 2:11 p.m. EDT. It looks like we won't get a chance to see it Monday night, either.

So, how did the August full Moon get its name? The fishing tribes are given credit for naming it, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Thunder and lightning are quite frequent with Summer storms in August. So, this month’s full Moon also goes by the name of the Lightning Moon for the Summer thunderstorms. Other names given to the Moon in August are the Red Moon and the Dog Moon. Full Moon names date back to the days of the Native Americans, in what is now the Northern and Eastern United States.

The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

Two weeks from Monday is the New Moon and  a total lunar eclipse. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the spectacular celestial event.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weather Blog Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus and a change of careers from award-winning television meteorologist to full-time fifth-grade teacher, I am happy to announce that my weather blog is back.

My local weather journal originated in 2006. You can access the original posts which appeared on the News 12 Connecticut Web site by clicking the link in the right-hand margin.

I hope you enjoy the local weather blog.