The Weather: On the Road from Michigan to Boston (Page Three)


Written by Robert J. Ruhf
Digital camera images by Patrick Newland

We decided to make a brief stop at Niagara Falls after we crossed the bridge from Canada to the United States. We found a park that charged $5 (per vehicle) to walk alongside the falls. We went into the park in spite of the fact that a cold, strong wind was blowing and heavy rain was coming down. We were four of only a few visitors to the park that day. (Very few people were as crazy as we were!) Steve took pictures with his camera and Patrick took pictures with his digital camera.

There was a tower in the park that presented a view of the falls from higher up. Only Patrick and I decided to go into the tower. Steve went back to the van. Paul also decided not to go into the tower because it was too cold and rainy.

It was very windy on top of the tower, and, combined with the fact that I was soaking wet from the heavy rain, I was starting to get very cold. Steve let me use his umbrella, but the wind caught it at one point and bent it out of shape. I was able to get it back to normal, but it was already too late. I was drenched with water!

Patrick got several excellent images with his digital camera from within the tower including the image of the trees on page two of this story. He also took the following image.

(Note: These images are huge! Scroll to the right to see the entire image!)

This image is of Niagara Falls. It is somewhat dim in terms of the brightness because of the heavy rain.

Our van had the ability to read the outside air temperature. We were therefore able to see a change in temperature as it happened. It was 43 degrees Fahrenheit when we left Kalamazoo, Michigan at 7:30 A.M. on November 2. The temperature fell to 40 degrees shortly after the rain started near Detroit. It stayed near 40 degrees until we hit Niagara Falls. I knew, however, that we were traveling faster than a cold front that was moving east through the state of New York. Temperatures would rise dramatically as we approached and crossed the front.

The temperature began to rise after we passed through Buffalo heading toward Rochester on Interstate 90. It was 47 degrees by the time that we passed Rochester, and it was 58 degrees by the time we passed Syracuse. What made this so interesting was that we crossed the cold front from the reverse side. It therefore got warmer even though we were technically crossing a cold front. The front was moving in the same direction that we were but at a considerably slower rate. We were therefore able to catch up to it and enter into warm air out ahead of the front. This, as trivial as it may sound, was a fascinating experience for me!

Temperatures continued to rise dramatically. It was 60 degrees by the time we drove by Utica, New York. The temperature finally peaked at 65 degrees in western Massachusetts. Heavy rain was coming down even though it was 65 degrees. This made for very juicy and humid air. Even though it was warm in Boston when we arrived, we knew that the cold front would eventually reach Boston. It would be cold in Boston within 36 hours.

This image was taken while we were driving through Boston. Look carefully above the rear view mirror (in the upper right portion of the image) and you will be able to see the digital reading of the outdoor temperature. It reads 65 degrees! Quite astonishing for November! And quite astonishing in light of the fact that hours before it had read 40 degrees!

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