Pat Shingleton: "Weather Words and Weather Events..."
A gust of wind and the pilot's effort to counteract the gust is referred to as a "gust load." A "hurly-burly" is a thunderstorm in England. Ice crystals that form in super-cooled water are called "frazils" while salt water frazil is called "lolly ice." A trip to Webster's has been replaced by a trip to your computer and a quick Google of the word. Dictionary maker, Merriam-Webster polled its readers to submit their favorite, made-up words not found in the dictionary. Of the thousands of submissions and out of ten most submitted words, two were weather related. A "slickery" refers to a surface that is wet and icy. A "snirt" means plowed snow, found on the side of the road that is dirty. The most submitted word was "ginormous" which is an adjective meaning bigger than gigantic and bigger than enormous. October weather items find us rewinding to October 23 and 24, 1973 when smoke from a garbage dump mixed with swamp fires and moist air to produce extremely dense fog on the New Jersey Turnpike. Multiple vehicle collisions resulted in nine deaths and more than forty injuries. Speaking of smoke, on October 25, 1997, lightning struck a switchbox at a residence in Hartselle, Alabama. The lightning bolt ripped into the house, setting it on fire and killing a man due to smoke inhalation. On October 25, 1925 a 400-yard-wide tornado bounced across Woburn, Massachusetts damaging 75 buildings, injuring six with one fatality. It became the strongest tornado to hit New England so late in the year. Finally, on October 27, 1998, Hurricane Mitch fizzled but became the strongest October Atlantic hurricane of record. Estimated rain totals of 75 inches caused devastating flooding and mudslides in Honduras and Nicaragua, killing more than 11,000.