MWN in the Press

Weather News is a Rare Media Bright Spot

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Cirrus Weather Solutions to Provide Weather Support Services to a Trio of Memphis Traditions

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Want Great Weather Info on Twitter? Here Are Some Suggestions to Get You Started

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Erik Proseus Tapped for U.S. Meteorologist Honor

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Watching the Weather 24/7 — FedEx

Watching the Weather 24/7

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FedEx Meteorologist Becomes Entrepreneur

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(Click to view copy of Q&A outside of MBJ website)

Independent Weather Group Joins National Effort

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MWN Recognizes TN Severe Weather Awareness Week with Weather Education and Promotions
WRN Ambassador

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MWN Recognizes TN Severe Weather Awareness Week with Weather Education and Promotions
TN Severe Weather Awareness Week

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“The White Christmas Deadline”
Blog post with information from the MWN Blog

“Memphis Morning News” segment on StormWatch+ app
Tonya J. Powers interview with Erik Proseus

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Cirrus Weather Solutions Introduces StormWatch+ Severe Weather Alerts to the Nation

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“Memphis this Morning” segment on StormWatch+
Chris Wade interview with Erik Proseus

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“Memphis Morning News” segment on Tornado Safety
Tonya J. Powers interview with Erik Proseus

Click to download file to play (may take a minute to load) iPhone App Upgraded to 2.0 with StormWatch+

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Plugged-In Weatherman

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“Memphis Morning News” segment on nowcasting/StormWatch+
Tonya J. Powers interview with Erik Proseus

This audio is no longer available. Android App Upgraded to 2.0; StormWatch+ Debuts

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“Tennessee Matters” segment on nowcasting
Tonya J. Powers interview with Erik Proseus

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Part-time Forecasters Narrow Weather Reports

Click to view article Chosen as the Official Weather Source for Radio Memphis

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Meet Memphian No. 125, Erik Proseus

Erik Proseus

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Click to view release iPhone App Now Available

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Coffee Break: Weather app available

With March roaring in like a lion, now’s the perfect time to check out a new iPhone application, launched just this week, by Erik Proseus, the force behind and @memphisweather1 on Twitter.

Available at the online Apple Store, the new app features updated forecasts, detailed weather information and interactive radar and was developed by Ben Deming.

“Memphis Morning News” segment on Severe Weather Safety
Tonya J. Powers interview with Erik Proseus

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A rotting appearance on tree can mushroom

As gardeners, we try to exert a certain degree of control over the plants we choose to have in our landscapes.

But surprises happen.

Lovely plants “show up” from seeds scattered in the wind or by birds.

Not so great are the weeds that take hold of a spot and don’t want to let it go.

Sometimes, especially after rainfall, mushrooms pop out on lawns, in flower beds and even on our trees.

I thought the white spongy growth bulging from a crease in one of my trees looked so much like Santa Claus I was tempted to put a red hat and lights on him during the holidays.

Now that Christmas is over, it seems more like a tower of soft-serve ice cream.

Dr. Mark Follis, owner of Follis Tree Preservation, said that white fungal blob and mushrooms on trees are indications of structural problems within the tree.

“Mushrooms are opportunists that feed on dead tissues,” Follis said. Mushrooms at the base of trees are indicators of root and butt rot, common diseases for hardwood trees.

When a tree’s protective bark covering is breached by a lightning strike or from a broken limb, fungal spores have a chance to get into the tree tissue.

“The more mushrooms and the bigger the mushrooms the larger the decay in the tree.”

But seeing fungal growth or mushrooms doesn’t mean it’s time to panic about the tree falling on the house.

“Trees can handle some hollowness or internal decay before they have to be taken down,” Follis said.

But to be safe, you probably should have the tree evaluated by a professional. Follis often recommends “thinning” trees with rot to reduce wind resistance and the likelihood of the tree falling during a storm.

“In nature, trees are surrounded by other trees that protect them and reduce wind resistance,” he said. “In urban settings, most large hardwood trees are standing alone.”

Thinning involves removing dead wood and some other branches.

“It’s like taking a sail down during a storm,” Follis said. “You need to be particularly careful of trees on the west side of houses. Most of our storms come from the west.”

Trees with mushrooms should not be fertilized because it promotes the growth of new limbs. Because tree decay is a structural problem, it can’t be cured with good nutrition.

“The right storm can take down any tree whether it has mushrooms growing on it or not,” Follis said. “During Hurricane Elvis (the devastating straight-wind storm of summer 2003), trees with butt rot did about as well as trees without it.”

Prepared for the cold

The majority of plants and trees in our gardens should be able to withstand this week’s extreme temperatures and snow, said Rick Pudwell, director of horticulture at the Memphis Botanic Garden.

“Plants that are marginally hardy here might not make it,” he said. They include gingers, elephant ears, such as alocasias and some colocasias, and other tropicals.

Pudwell said spring bulbs will be fine and pansy flowers, which are now frozen, will start to recover and bloom again in March.

He cited several reasons why severe damage is unlikely: plants were completely dormant before the plunge in temperatures; the ground is moist; and drying winds have not been excessive.

“Everyone thinks snow is bad for plants, but it actually insulates them,” Pudwell said.

Unpredictable changes

It’s much easier to look back on a year gone by than to peer into the year ahead.

That’s especially true when to comes to the weather.

We do know that at the end of 2009, rainfall officially recorded at the Memphis International Airport was about 7 inches above the normal 54.65.

But many gardeners got a lot more than that.

In rain gauges monitored by the National Weather Service at the Agricenter, rainfall totaled 74 inches or about 20.5 inches above average.

No wonder fungal diseases were a problem for all those growing tomatoes in the community gardens at Shelby Farms. July, a prime time for harvesting and growing tomatoes, was especially hard.

“It came down in buckets on several days at the Agricenter,” said Chris Duke, meteorologist for the weather service.

Three inches fell on July 16; 2.5 inches on July 21. Total for the month was 11.62 inches or 7 inches above average.

In October, which is climatologically the driest month of the year, rainfall totals were 7 inches above normal, said Erik Proseus, a meteorologist with FedEx. On six days during October, more than an inch fell.

Proseus, who lives in Bartlett, knows that precipitation can vary within a few miles. Last February, for instance, three inches of snow fell at the airport.

“I had nine inches in Bartlett, said Proseus, who has a Web site and a blog about local weather:;

When making long-range predictions about the climate, Proseus consults scientific data, Farmer’s Almanacs, arthritic knees, you name it.

El Niño, the periodic warming of water in the Pacific Ocean, is expected to make the first half of 2010 a little dryer and a little cooler than the norm here.

But instead, we have been greeted by extremely cold temperatures this week.

There’s no crystal ball that can predict the weather challenges gardeners will face.