Monday, April 23, 2018

Rainfall stats & how the chances look this week

Welcome to a new week and how fantastic was the rain over the weekend. Now I know some of you will read this and scoff because you didn't get very much. It's easy to get frustrated but we just have to remember there isn't anything anybody can do to change it.

Here's a map showing the weekend rainfall amounts. There is a legend on the side to help understand the colors.

The current drought started up in late September and early October. Here's what the drought map looked like at that time.
And here's where we are now (keep in mind this does NOT include this weekends rainfall):
Even after you throw in our weekend rainfall, many areas are still 4-7 inches below normal since early fall 2017. Here are some numbers for the major reporting stations. And I did look up Salina too. You don't see it on the graphic, but Salina is 2.84" below since the beginning of October.

So our only shot at some rain this week will likely come Tuesday - early Wednesday. It's NOT the same kind of setup that we had with our weekend storm. This is a system that approaches from the northwest, so it's very unlikely that we will see any decent rain amounts out of it. However, some areas will likely get up to .25", and if you get more than that, you'll be lucky.

And I don't know yet how realistic this will be, but we are seeing hints of possible stormier days into early May. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Some CRAZY tornado records about to be set

The highly anticipated rain maker is about to move across the Plains and this is something we've been watching for almost 10 days. But what is most amazing to me is what we are NOT forecasting... severe thunderstorms. When you stop and think about the fact it's late April, in the Plains, big system pushing in from the west, and there's almost no chance we will have thunderstorms in Kansas. Even south of us into Oklahoma, there could be a few thunderstorms, but chances for SEVERE storms are incredibly low.

Consider these stats:
In Kansas:

In Oklahoma:

There could be some hail and wind with a few storms down in Texas Saturday, but overall, for the time of year, the severe risk is very low. 

I mentioned this in an early blog post that one big contributing factor is the relentless cold air that keeps hanging around. Just look at the month so far.
The average temperature is nearly 5 degrees colder for the entire US. So one of the benefits of having below normal temperatures is that it keeps the tornado threat much lower. 

What does a slow start to the season mean? Nothing!
Take for example 2013. That year, we had 0 tornadoes through March. Only 2 tornadoes in April. And then when May hit, we had 49 . So a slow start doesn't mean the rest of the season will be a dud. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wind trend & weekend storm update

The pictures we were getting in the weather center Tuesday evening were just incredible. The wind and lack of rainfall has been devastating for farmers and ranchers. If the wheat isn't suffering from drought, the wind and freezing temperatures aren't helping either.

Just look at some of the incredible dust storm pictures:


From Wallace

The wind will go down later this evening, but until then, we can expect gusts around 40 mph at times. And you know by now, that means a ridiculous fire danger presents itself once again.

Here's the latest on the weekend storm. It will be coming through the 4 Corners area tonight/Thursday. While we wait on it, Thursday in Kansas looks beautiful with much less wind and seasonal, spring temperatures.

We are so excited for the rain that it will be easy to get impatient. The rain will start in Colorado and far western Kansas, then spread east Friday night. Most rainfall on Saturday will be over central Kansas. Although it's looking less likely we will get 2 inches of rain, there's still a good chance we will be close to 1" in many spots. 

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