Wind Chill, what is it? 20140122-2

What is wind chill?  Jack touched on it in his previous post but I thought I would dive a little deeper since this has been a common term over the last several weeks.

Wind Chill is defined as the rate of heat loss on the human body resulting from the combined effect of low temperature and wind.

While I am not a native New Yorker, I have been living here for the past 38 years.  I remember in the past seeing incredibly low wind chill values such as -40 and even worse.  What happened? Why are we not seeing extreme wind chill values as frequently in the past?

The first wind chill formula was developed by Paul Allman Siple and Charles F. Passel in the late 1930′s and 40′s.  This was finally made available by the National Weather Service   by the 1970′s.  This formula was based on the cooling rate of a small plastic bottle as its contents turned to ice while suspended in a wind as measured by an anemometer.

As technology and research capabilities changed, during the fall of 2000 a joint research project sponsored by the US and Canadian governments developed, tested and implemented a new wind chill chart.  In the summer of 2001 human trials were conducted at the department of Environmental Medicine in Toronto, Canada.  These trials consisted of a number of male and female volunteers.  Sensors were placed on their faces to measure heat flow from the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose.  By measuring the heat flow in a wind tunnel with a controlled temperature, scientists were able to establish a more accurate “feel like” mathematical formula.  This formula was published in an easy to read chart and implemented November 1, 2001.

The old and new charts below show a great disparity in wind chill temperatures.  So, what I remember as extremely low wind chills are easily explained by a change in the chart in 2001.

wchill-old-chart new_windchill

Weather Reporting Hotline: 315.332.1043

Bill Boggess
Storm Trackers Team

Stay in touch with the Storm Trackers Team of Wayne county for further updates.  In addition to Facebook, you can find us on our website:

Storm Trackers Team NY News 20140122-1

Good morning everyone! I just wanted to touch base with you on this arctic air mass that has call our area home for while! Our criteria we use for issuing a Dangerous Cold Warning is when the “real feel” temperature is -20 F or lower for an extended period of time, usually lasting more than a few hours. The “real feel” temperature includes the actual air temp and the wind speed combined. Today the values where generally running about -5 F to -15 F, with a few places down over the Finger Lakes area flirting with that -20 F mark. This generally is below our criteria levels we have set. Yes, it sure it cold out, but not at the extreme levels we look for when issuing this type of alert. Schools are advised from the New York State Dept. of Health to “consider” closing school when wind chills values reach -25 F or lower. It comes down to each school deciding what is best for their district depending on many different factors. We do not advise schools in any way to stay open or close however! I hate to say this, but this bitter arctic air is likely to continue at various stages for the next few weeks, with still some very harsh winter weather ahead. If you are considering going somewhere warm, you may wish to consider Alaska!! Temps in parts of Alaska are in the 40s!! Guess where their cold weather has gone to lol!!

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY

Updated Warning Alert System 20131120

 Updated Storm Trackers Team Warning Alert System!

We are excited to continue to revise our new alert system to our viewers!  Our monitoring area covers the following locations:

Eastern Monroe


Northern Cayuga

Much of Ontario

Much of Seneca

Western Oswego

Lake Ontario from Irondequoit Bay to Oswego NY

The reason why we have created this alert system is because currently we are restricted by terms and time frames that the National Weather Service uses. There are times we may feel different on an upcoming weather event, but due to our respect for them, we followed their terms. We highly support the National Weather Service, but we feel this new system will better serve you. We are however, cautious about any confusion this may cause to the general public by having different terms floating around out there. We feel our terms are more specific to the event we are talking about. The following is a list of our updated terms and a brief definition.

Wind Events:

* Strong Wind Advisory – Winds gusts between 45-55 mph for 3 hours or longer

* Damaging Wind Watch – Wind gusts of 55 + mph for any time frame possible

* Damaging Wind Warning – Wind gusts of 55 + mph for any time frame likely

Flooding Events:

* General Flood Advisory – Less intense flooding situations

* General Flood Watch – Gradual flooding possible

* General Flood Warning – Gradual flooding likely

* Rapid Flood Watch – Quick flooding situations possible

* Rapid Flood Warning – Quick flooding situations likely or occurring

SEVERE Thunderstorm Events:

This will not change on what the National Weather Service Issues!

* Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Tornado Watch – Tornadoes, Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Tornado Warning – Tornadoes, Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

NON SEVERE Thunderstorm Events:

* Heavy Thunderstorm Watch – Small hail, heavy rains, freq. lightning, winds of 40+ possible

* Heavy Thunderstorm Warning – Small hail, heavy rains, freq. lightning, winds of 40+ likely

Winter Events:

*Travelers Advisory – Lighter snows, Fr. Rain, Sleet, Fog, Blowing Snow, black ice, flash freezing that falls below warning criteria.

* Travelers Warning – No Unnecessary Traveling Advised

* Heavy Snow Watch – Heavy snowfall is possible

* Heavy Snow Warning – Heavy snowfall is likely

* Heavy Ice Buildup Watch – Ice buildup of ¼” + is possible

* Heavy Ice Buildup Warning – Ice buildup of ¼”+ is likely

* Heavy Mix Precipitation Watch – Heavy snow, sleet, fr. rain possible

* Heavy Mix Precipitation Warning – Heavy snow, sleet, fr. rain likely

* Wind Driven Snow Warning – Significant blowing snow likely

* Wind Driven / Heavy Snow Watch – Significant blowing snow and heavy snowfall possible

* Wind Driven / Heavy Snow Warning – Significant blowing snow and heavy snowfall likely

* Blizzard Storm Watch – Blizzard conditions possible for at least 3 hours

* Blizzard Storm Warning – Blizzard conditions likely for at least 3 hours


* Marine Waterspout Watch – Waterspouts are possible

* Marine Waterspout Warning – Waterspouts are likely

* Special Mariners Warning – Thunderstorm events

* Marine Gale Force Warning – Winds of 39-54 mph

* Marine Storm Force Warning – Winds of 55-73+ mph

* Lakeside Flood / Erosion Watch – Significant flooding and erosion possible

* Lakeside Flood / Erosion Warning – Significant flooding and erosion likely 


* Dangerous Heat Warning – Feel like temps of 100 F or higher likely

* Dangerous Cold Warning – Temps below -15 F or windchills below -20 F

* Special Weather Bulletins – Issued for updating weather situations

Definitions of Advisories, Watches, and Warning.

The general public has struggled with these terms for years. The easiest way to remember these is…

A “Watch” means we are only watching for the potential hazard.

A “Warning” means we are now warning you of the potential hazard

An “Advisory” means this is more of a nuisance weather event and is less than a “Warning”.

I want to be sure we are clear on this. The National Weather Service will continue to issue their own alert terms as usual and we will begin using our own terms immediately. I am sure we will need to make some adjustments and maybe even add some new terms in the future. You will be kept informed of any changes. As always, we would love your feedback on this. We are excited to bring this to you and hope you will continue to help spread the word on Facebook about us!

Jack Matthys

CEO / Founder

Storm Trackers Team NY Announcement 20131023

Storm Trackers Team NY Announcement

Let it be known to all viewers of this web site and our facebook page of the Storm Trackers Team NY that the reports and alerts issued are solely owned by this team. Reproducing such reports without the team’s name and name of forecaster is strictly prohibited. Also let it be know to all viewers that the alert terms issued by the Storm Trackers Team NY to the public are only issued by this team and no other agency or group is involved. Also, team members are volunteer in nature and there maybe times (although rare) when alerts may not be issued to the general public or severely delayed due to technological problems or other problems beyond our control. The alerts terms issued by this team is solely for informational planning purposes only and the Storm Trackers Team is not responsible in any way for incorrect or alerts not being issued for severe weather events. If weather information in not readily available by the Storm Trackers Team NY; our viewers should turn to the National Weather Service or local media for the latest information. As always we thank you so much for your support throughout the year!

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY

Wild Waterspout Day on Lake Ontario!

waterspout 20131020Historic Waterspout Event

What a wild day on Lake Ontario! The Storm Trackers Team was out this morning spotting waterspouts and had no clue on what they where in for! From 10 am until 1 pm, the team recorded 54 waterspouts on Lake Ontario. That is not a typo, 54 is the number observed today. I want to stress this is just from the team. I am sure the general public reported even more. One chaser was in Sea Breeze looking due north, another was looking north from Fair Haven and yet another was just east of Ontario NY. Here are some facts about today’s historic event.

* 54 Waterspouts recorded from the Storm Trackers Team.
* Old record was 32 in any one event per Wade S. from ICWR
* It seems like every cumulus cloud that formed produced a waterspout! Unreal!
* The most reported at one time in a row was 5.
* The waterspouts had a much longer life span than a normal waterspouts we have seen. * Some lasted almost 15 minutes.
The real hot spot that we observed was at the very end of the band over central Lake Ontario. They just continued to form over and over and often.
* One chaser reported 6 today, another 15 and the winner was 33 waterspouts.
* All members that where involved in today’s event stated very large waterspouts were seen much more frequently than usual.
* We believe that this type of event maybe more common than we think. The fact is today was Sunday and we had a good solid network of trained observers out recording. We had them spaced out enough so they where not seeing the same ones.
* Pictures where a little hard to get today, because the band was so far offshore. Here are just a taste of the excitement the team had today!
* Great coordination today between my team, National Weather Service Buffalo, and ICWR – Wade Szilagyi. and as always all of your reports you sent us!!

Storm Trackers Team Membership

Storm Trackers Team Membership!

We are always looking for new members to add to our dedicated team. We are involved in a lot these days; chasing storms, research, forecasting, and so so much more! Oh, we have lots of fun too! Currently we are looking for interested and dedicated people in the following areas:

* Wayne County: Savannah, Clyde, Butler Areas

* Ontario County: Victor, Canandaigua, Phelps, Geneva or surrounding areas

* Seneca County: Seneca Falls, Waterloo or surrounding areas

* Cayuga County: Auburn, Victory, Weedsport, or surrounding areas

* Oswego County: Fulton or surrounding areas

We have our business meetings and training sessions on the last Wednesday night of each month. We will provide all training! If you have time and would like to be part of this team, please contact me and we will set you up for an interview.


Jack Matthys
Storm Trackers Team

Breaking Weather News! Storm Trackers Team Hotline Announced

Breaking Weather News!

We are so excited to announce that we now have a new Weather Reporting Hotline! Here’s how this new technology will work. When you want to report important weather information of any kind to us, you now have a quick and easy way to contact us.

SIMPLY CALL: 315.332.1043  Your message when then quickly be converted over to text and a text message will come directly to the forecasters on duty with your information. You may also send a text message using this number. This will be the quickest way to get your information to us!

When calling this number, this is what you will hear:

You have reached the Storm Trackers Team Weather Reporting Hotline! Please leave the following information.

What are you reporting? Be specific!
Where did you see this event occur?
What time did it happen?
Was there any damage?
If we have further questions, how can we reach you?

Please also feel free to leave any other information you feel we should be aware of.

Thank you for calling the weather reporting hotline. Your information will quickly be reviewed by our on duty forecasters.


If you have less urgent information to report, you can still send us messages / comments on Facebook or email us at our new email address:

Time is critical when trying to report information and we wanted to be sure we are receiving your information as quickly as possible. We still will be monitoring Facebook like always. Don’t forget this number: 315.332.1043!

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY