Coffeehouse Series: Weather in Western New York

With the recent windstorm that blew through Rochester earlier this month followed by Winter Storm Stella, it is fitting that our recent coffeehouse discussion series focused on “Weather in Western New York.” Over 80 elders gathered in the Chestnut Court Parks Room at St. John’s Meadows to welcome Glenn Johnson, chief meteorologist at WHAM 13. Discussion points included: the science of meteorology, specific tools and experience in making a good weather story, and various forms of communication used in today’s tech-savvy world.

As Glenn mentioned the unforgettable blizzard of 1999, residents nodded and conversed with one another reminiscing on the 40 inches of snow that covered the city over a 3 day period. Another discussion point was the Ice Storm of 1991 that paralyzed portions of western New York. Glenn discussed this as a “hundred year storm” that brought the city of Rochester and surrounding areas to a virtual standstill. After 17 hours of falling rain, Rochester residents woke up to three-quarters of an inch of ice covering everything. Of course among the most talked of storms, our recent windstorm and snowstorm were the top contenders. 

After remembering all of the major storms that impacted the Rochester area, Glenn explained how “weather is a matter of perspective” and it is constantly changing. “There is no precise way of forecasting the weather for the future,” stated Johnson. He also discussed the positive and negative impacts of social media and two-way communication within today’s fast-paced society. When asked what is was like to work during both the windstorm and snowstorm, Glen replied, “The days were longer and more intense.” He continued to explain how weather is a “product” and it is important to “be every place that people are looking for weather.” 


Coffeehouse is a resident inspired open discussion lecture series. The objective is to focus on topics that satisfy inquiring minds as a fun and engaging experience. Coffeehouse provides premium coffee and refreshments in a relaxed environment where everyone is encouraged to participate. 

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