November 30, 2007

Need a gift for a weather geek?

You say you have a weather nut on your Christmas gift list this year? Never fear. There are lots of toys out there for people who keep the TV tuned to the Weather Channel and actually LIKE the Oregon Scientific Crystal Weather Stationbackground music for Local on the Eights. is featuring a rundown of some of the more unusual products, from refrigerators with built-in forecasts, to weird glowing orbs that predict the weather. Have a look.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

July 26, 2007

New NOAA data bouy deployed

Looking for information about winds, waves and water conditions out on the bay? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just deployed a third data bouy in the Chesapeake, this one at the mouth of the Patapsco River.

All the information its sensors gather on winds, air temperature, water temperature, salinity, waves and much more is sent by wireless telemetry to the Internet. You can dial it up anytime by visiting this page. Here is the main page.

Explore. There is an impressive amount of data from the Patapsco bouy, as well as others at the mouth of the Potomac and at Jamestown, Va. You can construct graphs showing the changing conditions over time. The times are in Universal Time (UTC). That's currently four hours ahead of EDT.


Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

April 18, 2006

San Francisco quake centennial

OK, so it wasn't exactly a weather event. But I couldn't let the 100th anniversary of the Great Earthquake of 1906 go by without a mention. The calamity - the quake and the fire that followed in San Francisco - began exactly 100 years ago this morning. The earth along parts of the famed San Andreas Fault shifted by more than 20 feet in some places. Text, photos and links to a wealth of information about the Great Quake can be found through the U.S. Geological Survey site.

The danger - even the likelihood - that a similar quake will recur in San Francisco is reason enough for me not to live there. But remember, not even Maryland is immune. You can read more about the geology and history of Maryland quakes in this report compiled by Jim Reger, at the Maryland Geological Survey.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 2:07 PM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)
Categories: Cool sites

November 10, 2005

Those darned crickets

Now that colder weather is moving in, so are the crickets. I nabbed one in the kitchen sink this morning, a day after scooping one out of the tub. As the days get colder, experience tells me we will be finding them all around the house, especially in the basement.

They're probably "camel crickets," named for their humped backs. They are amazing leapers and hard to catch if they're strong and alert. They're looking for warmer places to spend the winter, and a dark basement is perfect for these bugs, also known as cave crickets.

University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp wrote about them recently in his regular "Bug of the Week" column. Have a look.  I may have to spend some time this weekend caulking up some gaps where the heat-pump hoses pass through the brick wall. I suspect that's where they're getting in. I know I'll score points with my wife. These bugs really creep her out.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:16 PM | | Comments (0)
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May 19, 2005

Bob Dylan on weather; (Yes, THAT Bob Dylan)

Alan Robock, an environmental scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has written an admiring essay in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society on the poetic weather imagery in Bob Dylan's songs. He writes:

"'Chimes of Freedom' (1964) is the most wonderful, poetic description of a thunderstorm of which I am aware. It begins:

'Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside a doorway thunder crashing...
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing.
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight,
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight.
An' for each and ev'ry underdog soldier in the night.
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.'"

There's lots more. You can read it here.

Posted by Admin at 12:44 PM | | Comments (0)
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May 13, 2005

Breathing problems? Click here

The summer smog season has begun, and Marylanders sensitive to common air pollutants can anticipate plenty of uncomfortable, unhealthy "bad air days." But this year the Maryland Department of the Environment's "AirWatch" program is making air quality forecasts and warnings easily available to anyone with access to a telephone or an online computer.

MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick, said, "Summertime ground level ozone can be harmful to all of us, especially children, people with respiratory disease such as asthma, and those who work or exercise outdoors. Even at moderate levels, ozone may cause coughing, nose and throat irritation and chest pains. It can make lungs function less efficiently and it can make people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses."

Just call AirWatch at 410 537-3247, or go online to There you can find a graphical display of current air quality readings across the region. You can also sign up to receive faxed or emailed alerts when air quality is deteriorating to unhealthy levels across the region.

"We consider it an early warning system for your lungs," said Thomas C. Snyder, director of MDE's Air & Radiation Management Administration, in a prepared release.

A quick exploration of the state's Website finds that not all its features are up and running yet. But there is plenty of information, and many links to related sites and "hazecams" across the Northeast. Try it. And breathe easier.

Posted by Admin at 5:50 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

April 6, 2005

New weather data feature

Curious to know what the weather was like in Baltimore on the day you were born, or on that icy day last winter when some guy skidded into your car? Need to find out how cold it got overnight, or how much rain has fallen in the past few hours? has unveiled a new feature that finally puts that kind of information literally at your fingertips.

Scroll down to the lower left-hand corner's home page. Beneath the "Did You Know" feature, you'll see a spot where you can enter any date back to 1949 (when BWI became Baltimore's official weather station). That will bring up a chart listing temperatures, precipitation and other weather information for that date.

More recent dates - since July 1996 - will also yield strip charts and detailed tables showing hourly conditions at BWI, including humidity, barometric pressure and more. Enter another city and state at the upper left-hand corner of the data page and you can access similar information for other major weather stations around the country.

The "Weather Data" feature can also be found on the "rails" alongside weather stories accessed from the home page, and from any of the forecast pages.

We hope you find this new feature useful. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Posted by Admin at 10:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

February 3, 2005

This crazy weather....

Well, it's actually been pretty normal around these parts lately. But 2004 saw all kinds of wacky weather around the world. The National Climatatic Data Center has assembled the most significant events into a fascinating map, highlighting droughts, floods, snowstorms, heatwaves and more. It's worth a look. (If the map appears too small to read, rest your cursor over it, and then click on the enlargement icon that appears at lower right.)

Posted by Admin at 11:21 AM | | Comments (0)
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November 16, 2004

New England snow seen from space

Remarkable satellite imagery shot on Sunday shows snow in New England and upstate NY, and rain runoff flushing sediment into Lake Erie. The
picture was taken by the international TERRA Earth-observation satellite. Maryland and the Chesapeake are at the center of the image. To zoom in a bit, place your cursor over the picture and then click on the box that appears at lower right.

The picture comes from an air quality "Smog Blog" maintained by folks at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who work with Terra. Smile. You never know when someone's taking your picture.

Posted by Admin at 4:28 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Cool sites

October 21, 2004

Laser images of Ivan's destruction

The U.S. Geological Survey has published images of coastal damage wreaked in Alabama last month by Hurricane Ivan. They include before-and-after shots of destroyed beachfront buildings in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Pine Beach, and of barrier islands cut through and overwashed by the storm's waves and tides. The set includes both photos and survey images shot using airborne laser altimeters.

Just click on the link above, then go to the second paragraph and click on any of the linked image descriptions there. You can then toggle between the before and after views. Fascinating, and very scary if you own beachfront property somewhere.

Posted by Admin at 2:19 PM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)
Categories: Cool sites

October 14, 2004

NASA looks at Mount St. Helens

Cool airborne images of a very hot Mount St. Helens caldera just went online. Shot in both visible and infrared wavelengths, they show the glow of the lava that's oozing up onto the growing lava dome inside the volcano's crater. The site also has a view from space.

Posted by Admin at 5:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

October 11, 2004

Clear skies at Mt. St. Helens

The clouds and rain have cleared from Mount St. Helens, and the US Forest Service Volcano Cam is working again. Nice pix of the steam venting from the lava dome at this hour.

Posted by Admin at 1:15 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites

October 8, 2004

Volcano Cam

You can keep your own watch on Mt. St. Helens, from the comfort of your computer chair, via the U.S. Forest Service's Volcano Cam. Sometimes it's clouded in, fogged in or obscured by raindrops. And sometimes there are flies crawling on the lens. But hey, you don't have to worry about being buried in ash.

Posted by Admin at 10:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Cool sites
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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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