Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

This weather has to be frustrating for those trying to harvest wheat and put up a hay crop. It is nice to have everything so lush and green going into the hot, dry summer months, but the general feeling from those in eastern Kansas is that we need a dry stretch of weather.

I'm posting a map from one of our computer models that shows the weather pattern will change for next week. It looks very much like a summer pattern taking hold with the stronger winds staying well north of Kansas. The high pressure system will set in overhead and the heat will be increasing across the Plains. In a typical summer, this high pressure system will not break down until late August or early September when strong cold fronts begin to approach from the north. This is also about the same time we can expect the humidity to go away. Feels like Costa Rica around here lately with all of this humidity in the air.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Paintball Anyone?

I was fortunate to have Saturday off this week, which allowed me to try something I've never done before. Paintball! Have you played this sport yet?
It was a bachelor party that led us down to Derby and we spent 5 hours hiding behind trees, brush, hay bales, etc. just hoping to eliminate the other team by blasting them with paintballs. I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance but that didn't ward off the nervousness of getting hit with a paintball. Everyone had been telling me all week how bad it stings when you get hit, so I was skeptical when we arrived. I made it through most of the day unharmed, but on one of the last few courses of the day, I took a bad hit in the neck. I'll have to do my best at covering it with some thick makeup (yes, the guys on TV wear makeup).

It was a nice, very warm, muggy Kansas afternoon with no wind, so the conditions were just right for excessive sweating. The recent rainfall has really helped increase the mosquito population and we witnessed it first hand while hiding in the wooded areas. I know there were two pictures taken on Saturday and if I get my hands on them, I'll post it here. Have a good week.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Signs of the Season

I know the wheat crop this year is less than desireable in many places, but as I drive back and forth from work, I notice the area fields are turning more and more yellow so harvest is very close. There is another sign that harvest time is almost here and it is the lightning bugs that are showing up in the area. We would entertain ourselves in the harvest field by trying to catch them while we waited for a load of wheat to take into the elevator.

Growing up as kids, we enjoyed the wheat harvest because it was a chance to pack our lunch and eat in the field, make trips to the elevator, and of course, ride in the combine. The adults looked at harvest as more of a headache because there was always some sort of mechanical breakdown and of course, you were racing against Mother Nature's impending round of golf, which usually wiped out one of the best crops in years.

Memories were made with cousins and close friends at harvest time and I've attached a few pictures from those days. Yes, a few years have passed since these pictures were taken and the style of sunglasses has changed too, I think. I hope my brother, sister, and cousins aren't upset when they see these great photos on the world wide web.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Father's Day Gift Idea

Well Father's Day is coming up this weekend and if you haven't picked anything out for your dad yet, I have an idea. Are you ready for this?

It's a tipping bucket rain gauge. I've posted a picture of what it looks like on the inside and I'll explain how it works. The measuring device actually looks like a see-saw or teeter totter that you would normally find in a park. When one side fills up with water, it dumps through a hole in the bottom of the canister. The other side of the bucket, now in the up position, catches water until it fills up. It will then dump and the process goes back and forth. Generally speaking, each time the bucket dumps, there has been one-hundredth of an inch of rainfall (.01"), but other units can be used. The best part about it; you never have to empty the rain gauge and what dad wouldn't appreciate that.
If I still have your interest at this point, you are probably wondering how much one costs. Well, prices will range depending on where you get it, but the cheapest ones might go for $50, while other models will be slightly over $100. I'm a weather geek and I purchased one many years ago to install on the farm. The best part about it is going to the local COOP and telling the area ranchers and farmers that you had .05" of rain and watching them look at you funny, wondering how you get such an accurate rainfall reading.
To my dad and all the others out there, Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Important or Not?

The week is finally winding down and because the weather is quiet, it gives me a chance to talk about something that may have crossed your mind before but never remembered to ask a meteorologist. I'm referring to the credentials that broadcast meteorologists apply for during their career that usually help them land jobs in bigger television markets.
There are three different seals that meteorologists can apply for and each one has different requirements. In order to obtain the AMS seal (American Meteorological Society), one has to have either a degree in atmospheric science or have taken a set number of atmospheric science classes through an approved college. You don't have to have a degree to get an AMS seal.

The NWA seal (National Weather Association) is similar, but again, you don't have to have a degree in meteorology. In order to apply for this seal, one must have two years of professional broadcast experience as a full time employee.

The CBM seal (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) is the newest credential for a TV meteorologist. You must have a degree in atmospheric science in order to be eligible. Once your application has been approved, you must pass a 100 question exam that is very difficult.

All three seals require the meteorologist to submit an on air performance to be critiqued by a panel of judges, which can also be very tedious.

What do they mean to the viewer? We hope you find some importance in them, but I'd like to hear your comments. Would you not watch a TV meteorologist if they didn't have a seal attached to their name? Post your comments and have a great weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Soggy Month

I was hoping to have this posted days ago, but we finally have the official rainfall amounts from the month of May. Some areas picked up about 6 months worth of rain in just 31 days, which is why we've had the flooding problems.

Here is a short list of May rainfall amounts for selected cities in Kansas.

Salina: 15.96"
Hutch: 13.70"
Winfield: 5.91"
Russell: 5.74"
Wichita: 4.11"
Dodge City: 2.35"

The surprising numbers are those from central Kansas. It's no wonder there was so much flooding in the Salina and Hutch areas during the month. Salina's average yearly rainfall is just over 32 inches and Hutch typically sees about 30 inches of rain in a calendar year.

It would be nice to space our rainfall out over the next 3 months so we don't burn up in the summertime heat. We will see how things pan out for us. Have a great week.

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