NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “weather” Category

Fresh Snowfall Belies Chuckles’ Early Spring Prediction

Posted on February 21, 2019


My Potter’s Bench awaiting the early arrival of spring – ha! Photo by Jacqueline Bennett


By Jacqueline Bennett


A fresh late February snowfall is not unusual in New England, however, on Ground Hog Day 2019 both Punxsutawney Phil, and Chuckles at the Lutz Chidren’s Museum here in Connecticut promised us an early spring. So what pray tell is this new white stuff all about?


Despite the century-old tradition of turning to a groundhog for a long-term weather report, these a.k.a. woodchucks that are of the marmot species – basically, large squirrels., have been accurate only 40 percent of the time, according to a CNN report. Nonetheless, thousands of spectators continue to turn out annually to witness the sleepy animal’s forecast in Punxsutawney, PA. In Manchester, CT, home to the Lutz and the state’s official groundhog, the mayor and other local dignitaries were present for the prediction.


How did it come to pass that a big ole squirrel is thought to hold the answer which certified meteorlogists are paid to know? The phenomenon is said to date back to ancient Christian times when people brought candles to services for winter blessings and somehow it evolved to include animals., says CNN.


No shadows were seen by Punxsutawney Phil or Chuckles meaning bye, bye winter. Only in theory this year, as across the country bitter cold and heavy snowstorms have been the trend. Another four to six inches of snow fell this morning for us with an icy mix. Warmer temperatures are expected by tomorrow, into the low 50s, likely to result in melting. Still, I wouldn’t pack away the wool sweaters and mittens yet ~ it appears the earliest spring will arrive in the Northern Hemisphere is, as the calendar states, March 20th.

Cloaked for the First Frost

Posted on October 15, 2016

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Connecticut’s first frost of autumn 2016 arrived last night which meant covering the outdoor plants and pumpkins. According to the the first frost of the season is distinguished from the first freeze by temperature.   When temperatures are predicted to drop to 36 degrees F or below, prepare for the first frost which can kill plants left outside. Following the first fall frost, the first freeze – 32 degrees F or below – typically arrives about two weeks later, notes     Even hardy mums need some TLC -tender loving care- when the nights become slightly more than what New Englanders refer to as crisp. Light cloth is all that is required to protect the vegetation.…

Update – Big Chill Arrives in Connecticut & Northeast

Posted on February 13, 2016

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   (Update 2/14/2016 Sunday 5:30 a.m.: A Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until noon today. Current temperatures in the Greater Hartford, Connecticut region are hovering around minus 10 degrees – my outside thermometer which is slightly sheltered is reading +4 degrees. It is described as “dangerously” cold outdoors with alerts to avoid exposing skin to the frigid temperatures – clearly weather best suited to snowmen! FOX 61 reports “The Wind Chill Warning for the state will expire at noon, as winds back down to just a breezy 10-15 mph.” )          It is a good weekend to hunker down and stay inside in Connecticut and much of the Northeast. The National Weather Service…

After Unseasonable Weather, A Snowstorm Surprise

Posted on February 6, 2016

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Overall is was a beautiful sight and a typical New England snowfall.   Nonetheless, following weeks of unseasonably warm weather, parts of Connecticut were surprised Friday, February 5, with a foot or more of snow. Although the snow had been predicted, Winter Storm Barbara brought more inches than had been anticipated to areas, arriving in a wet, heavy form that caused power-lines to sag and snap. Compounded by whipping winds, the result was power outages (which had been predicted), as well as, motor vehicle accidents, school closings and a busy day for AAA. At peak, Eversource reported 65,000 customers without power, noted area broadcasters.     State, local and private plow drivers worked to clear the…

More Snow for New England

Posted on February 10, 2015

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Whether or not snow in New England is actually ‘news’ is a question to be pondered. Reports of snow certainly dominate the local airwaves this time of year. Anchors are typically called in to work earlier than usual and the morning news shows go on anywhere from a half hour to a hour ahead of their time slots  – some at 4 a.m. – as meteorologists keep viewers informed almost minute by minute about the amount of snow on the ground and, or, falling from the air.     Television coverage has taken to calling the accumulations, “snow events”. And, weather reports have consumed so much of the broadcast news that it prompted a local newspaper editor to write…

‘The Icicle Man Has a Frozen Nose’ – Winter Continues in New England

Posted on February 9, 2014

By:Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb “The icicle man has a frozen nose, woah it’s cold, achoo it’s cold…” At this time last year we were snowbound in Connecticut thanks to a powerful nor’easter that between February 8-9 brought heavy snow and hurricane force winds. Although there has been considerable snowfall here this winter causing flight cancellations, school closings and a depletion of salt reserves in many town’s public works departments – the real story continues to be frigid blasts of air and Arctic-like temperatures. Despite occasional spikes, for the most part temperatures have hovered in the low double digits, single digits and below zero. Yesterday morning it was 11 degrees when I started the SUV. At this time last year I awoke to snow several feet…

New England Back in the Deep Freeze

Posted on January 24, 2014

By: Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb (Update – snow showers expected this weekend) Polar vortex has become part of everyday vocabulary across the United States and its effects have put New England and other regions back in the deep freeze. Following a brief reprieve from previous frigid blasts, in recent days temperatures here in Connecticut have been hovering in the low double to single digits with predictions of sub-zero readings to come – and COLD temperatures will stay- into the foreseeable future. Three waves of Artic air are headed for New England, according to “Into the first part of next week the polar vortex will hover just north of the United States border causing waves of frigid air to blast into the Midwest and much of the…

CL&P Linemen Hailed as ‘Heroes of the North’ – Restore Power in Maine Hit by Ice Storm

Posted on January 14, 2014

Story by Jacqueline Bennett   Photos courtesy of Mike Larned and Scott Herman                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seventy-six Connecticut Light & Power linemen…

Hoping for a January Rebound

Posted on January 11, 2014

Having been under the weather – no pun intended- for a few weeks, my energy level has been at an ebb. Typically, I would have been out and about snapping photos of the polar vortex’s impact on New England and sharing that information here. However, I channeled my energy into my work – which by the way included a very pleasant interview with Vladimir Petrenko. Now a skating coach in Connecticut, he is a former competitive figure skater himself and the brother of Olympic gold medalist Viktor Petrenko.   I did take some blog pics on January 2 just as a substantive snowstorm was getting underway following an already moderate snowfall – both coupled with sub-zero and single digit temperatures brought on by what…

Blast of Frigid Air & Snowstorm to Kick Off New Year in Northeast

Posted on January 1, 2014

Best wishes for the New Year from newsandviewsjb!  Button up your overcoat – a blast of frigid air and a snowstorm will kick off 2014 here in the Northeast. According to ACCUWEATHER a bubble of cold air moving down from Canada and making its way from the Midwest to parts of New England later in the week is expected to produce temperatures that could go below zero – the coldest temperatures since 2009. As well, a snowstorm is “brewing” that could drop between six to ten inches of snow in areas from Thursday into Friday. ACCUWEATHER reports the worst of it will be Thursday night when the snow will be heavy compounded by the cold and winds. On a separate note, for anyone who…