LINX Camps in Wellesley scored a timely guest last week when WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher visited science campers on the Dana Hall campus just two days after Wellesley got whacked with a macroburst of windy/rainy weather that ripped down trees and damaged homes. Many campers got a first hand look at the macroburst as they were heading home from camp the day the storm hit.
Fisher discussed the difference between smaller microbursts and larger macrobursts, as well as shared more general info about the weather and his career as a forecaster. Among the morals to his story: respect the forces of nature.
“It smells like a Christmas Tree lot all over town”
— Mrs. Swellesley, July 18, 2016
A short and wicked storm that blew through Wellesley this afternoon has downed numerous trees, damaged homes and knocked out power in parts of town. The Dana Hall area of town was particularly hard hit.
Local meteorologists are referring to the storm as a “macroburst.”
Microburst was likely the cause in Haverhill/Plaistow areas. More of a 'macroburst' from Wellesley to Hingham (larger area of wind damage).
— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) July 18, 2016
I happened be driving through Natick when the skies let loose with rain and hail, only to find serious damage upon coming back to Wellesley… There are lots of police and town vehicles at various scenes across town, detouring people around certain damage.
Rainfall has been lower than average this month by about 3.5 inches, but all that dry weather has kept sun-loving perennials happy and convinced the roses to go from bud to bloom in record time. Here are a few pics of what’s been growing in Wellesley lately:
ALSO OF INTEREST:
Every Spring in our yard, with the blessing of the Wellesley Fire Department and the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention, we exercise our right to do our much-anticipated open-air burn. All that brush that has been too much trouble to haul to the dump’s yard waste area gets dragged out from its pile at the the edge of the property line and set afire. Thorny rose vines, branches the trees have dropped throughout the year, my old Palm Sunday palms, the Christmas tree (which goes up in spectacular style), hedge clippings, and other woody debris are all fair game. The burn is a little tradition that requires the strong backs of the young to lift the debris and toss it onto the pyre coupled with the patience of the old (that’s me) to tend the fire once the excitement wears off and the pizza that I bribed my helpers with arrives.
We aren’t the only pyromaniacs in town. According to a fire department representative, this year 40 households in town applied for a permit and 67 requests to burn were granted.
It’s easy to get an Open Air Burning Permit in Wellesley. You just have to follow a few simple rules. The Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations lays out the following directives:
The disposal by burning brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris, excluding hay, leaves, and stumps from January 15 to May 1 shall be conducted:
a) at a location greater than 75 feet from any dwelling (this rule is probably the most challenging for Wellesley residents, given the close proximity of homes to one another)
b) Between 10am and 4pm
c) On land proximate to the place of generation
d) While in constant attendance and until completely extinguished.
e) The Wellesley Fire Department requires that garden hose be available at the site of the burning.
Permission to burn must be obtained each day that you wish to burn. Weather conditions are taken into consideration when determining if burning will be allowed each day. No permission to burn will be granted after 1pm.
That’s all there is to it. You sign your agreement to these rules, which must be done at the Wellesley fire station at 457 Worcester St., and you’re given a number. On the day you want to burn, you call the Fire Department, identify yourself by your permit number, and you will receive permission, or not. The OK is not a given. There are a few weather particulars that can stand in your way. If the cloud cover is too low, you’ll get a no. If it’s windy, it’s a big no. If it’s been dry lately, that’s another no. I’ve sweat it out some years as the May 1 deadline signaling the end of burn season crept closer and closer and I kept hearing, “Not today, ma’m. Too windy,” or “Not today, ma’m, too dry.”
But when the conditions are right, and the labor is willing, there’s nothing to match a good old-fashioned backyard burn. Here are some pictures of our yearly ritual:
Sunday, May 8th: Meet at the parking lot next to the Main Library at 7am to go to Mount Auburn Cemetery with Alice Cestari.
Sunday, May 15th: Meet at the parking lot next to the Main Library at 8am to bird locally with Dan Kemp.
Sunday, May 22nd: Meet at the parking lot next to the Main Library at 8am to bird locally with Natalie Starr.
Sunday, May 29th: Meet at the parking lot next to the Main Library at 8am to bird locally with Alice Cestari
I’d been meaning to give the giant, fence-crushing fallen tree branch at the Wellesley High School track its 15 minutes of fame, so here are a couple of photos.
That tree wasn’t alone in taking a hit from the recent wind and snow storms, though. In fact, reader SRP says a friend in Dallas saw a downed Wellesley tree on the nightly news. Maybe it was this one:
— Wellesley Police (@WellesleyPolice) April 3, 2016
Meanwhile, in happier tree news, if you’ve lost a tree or want a new one, check out the town of Wellesley’s tree planting program.
Wellesley public schools are kicking off Spring with a two-hour delay due to overnight snow. That’s the official word from the school superintendent.
AWS Preschool start time: 10:45 AM
Morning session cancelled. Full day starts at 10:45 am; afternoon session starts at 12:30 pm. Students who extend day until 1:00 pm will arrive at 10:45 am.
Elementary start time: 10:30 AM
WMS start time: 9:30 AM
WHS start time: 9:30 AM
So not nearly as dramatic as those two snow days that bookended the first weekend in February.
The snow day calculator that we consulted with early Sunday had spit out a 99% chance of a snow day, though lessened that figure later in the day to the mid-60%-70% range.