Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Next few rounds of rain chances

Good morning bloggers. It seems like every time we forecast rain 5 or 6 days in advance, as it gets closer, we scare the heaviest south, east, or north of us. I think that's what is going to happen on Thursday with yet another system tracking across the central US. Earlier in the week, it looked like we might get something to produce widespread showers (nothing heavy), and now, it looks like it will slide just far enough south that we won't get much out of the first rain chance in the extended period.

There is a much better chance for there to be rain over the Easter weekend. Timing may not be the best, but we can't be picky when you're dry as a bone. It looks like it could be a statewide rain chance by Sunday, but once again, doesn't look like the amounts will be all that high. Biggest problem here is we are talking about a weak storm system, but maybe it will hang around longer than 12 hours to give us more than just a tenth of an inch. We can hope.

I'm sharing another picture from the lunar eclipse the other night. We have some really good photographers in our viewing area that like to share pictures with us (and it's very nice). This one is from Kelly Seal in Wichita and she calls herself an "amateur", but I think it's about as good as anything I've seen. If you missed it the other night, the next one is October 8, and there are two more after that. The solar eclipse in March of 2015 will not be visible from the United States. It looks like the next solar eclipse (where the moon passes between earth and the sun) visible here in the US will be on August 21, 2017 (so you have some time to prepare)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Record lows and another chance for rain

Did you get up for the lunar eclipse this morning? What a spectacular view with Mars just to the side of the moon. I woke up at 1:15 and it was just beginning, but then I fell back asleep and missed the total eclipse. Bummer. Hopefully if you wanted to see it, you remembered.

So far, it looks like we've had record low temperatures in Russell where the morning low dropped into the teens. And Salina starting out with 22 breaks the old record of 23. What a cold morning for April! I certainly hope this wasn't the nail-in-the-coffin for the winter wheat crop, but experts will tell you there probably isn't a way to know for sure until closer to harvest time when you can see how much grain is actually in the head.
Rain amounts from the GFS computer model
We are hopeful for some much needed moisture again Wednesday night into Thursday. One computer model puts the higher amounts across southwest Kansas where they definitely need it. I think it may be slightly overdone with amounts between .50-1 inch, but we should get something out of the system Wednesday night - Thursday. There may even be a little more snow mixing with the rain in far western and northern Kansas. And how bizarre is this for the middle of April? Talk about a quiet start to the severe weather season for much of the country. The 4-8 day outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has no risk areas. We've had several systems pass through, but so far, most of the severe storms have all been to our east. I'm not complaining about missing the hail, wind, and tornadoes, but I do hope we can start getting some of the systems to produce rain. We want that moisture going into the summer season.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cold, snow, and total lunar eclipse

What is going on with this weather? Several people have been lodging complaints on Facebook and Twitter about the cold and snow, or maybe it's a complaint about how little rain you received this weekend. Either way, we can't make everyone happy, but warmer weather and some rain sure looks appealing to most right now. This big storm system that created the severe weather on Sunday has produced some light snow for us here in Kansas. Here is a view from Dodge City at 7:30 this morning. It didn't amount to very much, but it's enough to have some of you scratching your head wondering what month we are in.

After a hard freeze again Tuesday morning, temperatures will be back to near 60 and close to 70 for Wednesday. We are watching a storm system that will arrive on Thursday, and that will be the next chance for some rain by then.

In the meantime, get ready for our first total lunar eclipse since 2011. The partial eclipse begins at 12:58 a.m. Tuesday (central time) and total lunar eclipse starts at 2:07 a.m. The total eclipse will end at 3:25 a.m. The moon should turn red because it passes through the earth's shadow and no direct sunlight will be reaching it. Remember, a lunar eclipse happens more frequent than a solar eclipse. If you miss the one Tuesday morning, the next chance to see part of a lunar eclipse will be October 8th of this year.

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