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Caribou among nation’s 8 ‘safest weather cities,’ Weather Channel says

Julia Bayly | BDN
Julia Bayly | BDN
Chain saws and other debris-removal equipment could be heard all over central Aroostook County in July 2011 as residents cleaned up from damaging thunderstorms that passed over the area. Despite occasional storms in the region, The Weather Channel calls Caribou one of the safest weather cities in the nation.
From wire reports

Caribou, Maine, is among the eight “safest weather cities” in the nation, according to an analysis released recently by The Weather Channel.

Using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman looked at weather that could kill, such as excessive heat, snow and ice, cold, heavy rain that produces flooding, hurricane remnants, lightning and tornadoes.

From that historical data, Erdman came up with a list of safe weather cities. He assigned a rating for each potentially deadly weather phenomenon, on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 for “no risk” and 5 for “high risk.”

Despite a long, often difficult winter in Caribou — score 5s there — Erdman concluded “ Caribou’s northern location serves it well protecting it from other dangerous weather.

“Uncomfortable 90°-plus heat typical of other U.S. locations is fleeting (2 days a year) here. Due to the relative lack of persistent heat and humidity, thunderstorms are noticeably less frequent in Caribou (10-20 days a year),” he wrote. On lightning, tornadoes, floods, heat and cyclones, Caribou scored 1s or 2s.

“Only two named storms, Hurricane Donna in 1960 and Tropical Depression Esther in 1961, survived as tropical cyclones within 75 miles of Caribou, he noted, “That said, Irene’s remnant circulation in late August 2011 did produce gusts up to 56 mph in northern Maine.”

Other safe cities were Rochester, N.Y.; Honolulu; San Diego; Asheville, N.C.; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; International Falls, Minn.; and Lexington, Ky.

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