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CommonWx

Commonwealth. Common weather. CommonWx. Issues of weather and climate impact everyone across this state regardless of socioeconomic status, religious affiliation or political leanings. It's one thing that's common to us all.

The CommonWx newsletter — curated by Radio IQ Meteorologist Nick Gilmore — explores topics of weather and climate in Virginia.
  • With technology advancing every day, it might be a bit of a surprise to you that the leading weather agency in this country still relies on some very old tech to feed data into its forecasts.
  • Research has already told us a lot about the connection between a warming climate and severe weather — but there's still a lot we don't know.
  • It’s Flood Awareness Week in Virginia – a time blocked out by Governor Glenn Youngkin and other state officials meant to help people understand the risks associated with flooding.
  • Spoiler alert: most places are behind on snow totals so far this year.
  • If you’ve lived in Virginia – especially the western part of the state – for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen a scenario like this play out before: the forecast calls for a significant snowstorm and when time comes for the event to happen – you either see very little compared to your neighbor in the next county or nothing at all.If that’s frustrating for you, just know it’s also frustrating for meteorologists as well.
  • For the second edition of this newsletter in a row, we’re going to be talking about climate change. Obviously, it’s a real problem. But how can scientists, meteorologists and climatologists all relay that message in a way that the general public and decision makers understand?That was the topic of discussion for Marshall Shepherd at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Center in Roanoke.
  • This may sound obvious – but climate change is a very real problem.Data continuously shows that Earth’s climate has been warming for some time and it looks as if that trend will only continue in the years and decades to come.That was one of the key messages from a symposium held by the Virginia Climate Center at George Mason University this month. It was presented to broadcast weather professionals across the state.
  • We’re right, smack-dab in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season – which runs through November 1st. But the peak of the season typically occurs between August and September.So far in this still pretty young season, there have been four named storms, with only minimal impacts to the continental U.S.
  • The National Weather Service is the go-to government agency for alerting the public about various weather-related hazards. You’re probably most familiar with what they do when they issue a Flash Flood Watch or a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.You’ll likely get an alert on your phone or will see the messaging pop up on your TV when that happens. But do you know the difference between a watch, warning and an advisory?
  • The calendar now says March, which means Virginia is entering severe weather season. The state’s Department of Emergency Management, known as VDEM, says now is the time to prepare.
  • If you love winter – or are just a weather observer in general – you’ve probably got a very pressing question: Where is all of the snow?
  • While most of Radio IQ’s listening area hasn’t seen a significant snowfall so far this winter, there is still certainly time for that to happen. Some parts of Virginia have recorded snowfalls well into March, after all.So, there’s still time to see one of the most beautiful sights in all of nature: the snowflake.
  • Kevin Myatt has been a weather observer and columnist for the Roanoke Times for nearly two decades. He’s now filling a similar role with Cardinal News – in addition to his “day job” with the communications team at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Radio IQ Meteorologist Nick Gilmore caught up with him to discuss the ins and outs of his career and what he has learned while covering the weather in this region.
  • While things have started to change recently, the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season – which runs from June 1st to November 30th – has been abnormally quiet.
  • Ken Graham is in just his fourth week as director of the National Weather Service.Graham took some time to talk with Radio IQ Meteorologist Nick Gilmore about his hopes for the agency – as it deals with a changing climate and the continued need to make forecasts understandable and usable to the public.
  • As hard as it may be to believe, summer will arrive – at least meteorologically speaking – on June 1st. So what can Virginia expect this summer?
  • Tornadoes are low frequency, but high impact events in Virginia. And while that means they aren't typically at the forefront of people's minds, proper preparedness can be the difference between life and death.