Friday, August 31, 2007

Have a Great Weekend

Just want to wish everyone a great holiday weekend. The weather is looking pretty good this weekend, although maybe not as warm as some would like for those heading to the lake. At any rate, enjoy your long weekend and I'll be back on the air Monday evening. We could be looking at another big temperature change late next week along with some more rain. It should set us up for a cool start to the Kansas State Fair. More on that topic next week. Be safe this weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

An Early School Visit

I had a chance to visit the 5th graders at Rex Elementary School in Haysville on Tuesday. The kids had a ton of great questions and seemed to be overly impressed with the old cloud-in-a bottle trick. Even the ones that had seen it before were still amazed. I told the kids I would give them a shout out Tuesday night on Fox at 9 p.m., but wouldn't you know, I remembered just after we went to commercial break. We were able to squeeze it in at the very end of the newscast, so sorry about that.

In the meantime, what did you think of the lunar eclipse? Interestingly enough, I just happened to wake up at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and it was quite a sight to see. I guess if you have seen a total lunar eclipse before, this wasn't anything new. We had perfect conditions with clear skies and a full moon. I'm paying the price today because I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open.

Anyway, SOME rain will come through on Wednesday and the cooler weather will be here for the rest of the week. This just might be our first taste of fall. Temperatures at 9 p.m. Tuesday night were already cooling off across western Kansas. Anyone else ready for the change? Hope the rest of the week goes well.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Don't Miss Out

Hope you had a nice weekend. We are going to have a total lunar eclipse this week. It will take place early Tuesday morning and you will most likely have to set your alarm clock for this one. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon travels through the Earth's shadow, dimming the sunlight that hits the moon's surface. The total eclipse will start at 4:22 a.m. Tuesday and will reach its peak at 5:37 a.m. The total eclipse will end at 6:22 a.m. Skies will be clear, so we shouldn't have anything obscurring our view of the eclipse.

I've always been fascinated by these types of events. Meteor showers are also fun to watch, but they can be frustrating as they definitely test your patience.

We are entering one of my favorite times of the year. The weather pattern begins to show signs of change, resulting in cooler air from Canada and hopefully, some much needed rain to help revive things after the summer heat. We should see a decent change later in the week with a cold front arriving Wednesday, ushering in some modified, Canadian air that will drop our highs back into the 80s. We are also anticipating lower humidity by the end of the week. Wouldn't that be nice. Another reason this is my favorite time of the year... football season begins. Have a good week.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Random Thoughts Late at Night

I'm filling in for Merril for a few days, which means I'm here late covering severe storms in Kansas. Isn't it nice to see some rain in the state? I know the severe weather has caused some problems this week, but the moisture is always good, especially after the triple digit temperatures that we've had lately.
Here is a look at the radar at 11 p.m. Thursday night. Severe weather is finally winding down, so maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.

I've had a ton of comments from viewers, even some phone calls about my dog, Millie, showing up on TV last Saturday night. It has created quite a stir around the office and Roger Cornish is going to feature her in his AnswerBack segment Sunday night at 10. You'll get to see her up close during his segment. I don't know if she will be a regular on the weekend shows, but I'd be interested in your feedback. If you think seeing Millie more often is a good idea, let me know. I won't tell her though because I'm afraid it will just go to her head and she'll be begging for more milk bones. I'm always looking for ways to spice up the weather, so maybe a dog is the answer. Millie doesn't know any fancy tricks, but she is very well mannered and definitely loves to be around people. I hope you will get a chance to watch Sunday night and look for her in the weather center in the future. Now if I could just teach her how to forecast, we would be in great shape.
Have a great weekend!
(By the way, this is post #50 for me on my blog, so I guess we've reached a milestone)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watch Your Head

We saw thunderstorms develop from northeast Colorado into southern Minnesota Tuesday night and they turned out to be BIG hail producers for our neighbors to the north. Trained weather spotters reported 6-8 inch diameter hail stones Tuesday night, but nothing has been confirmed just yet. The report came from Dante, South Dakota which is a very, very small town about 110 miles southwest of Sioux Falls. I had trouble finding it on a map, it was just that small. The largest hail stone on record is around 7 inches, so if an 8 inch stone is confirmed, we would be rewriting the record books. I'm attaching a radar image from 6:02 Tuesday evening when the hail stone was reported. It definitely looks like a severe storm, but it's next to impossible from this radar image to see just how large the hail might have been.

More storms are coming later in the week, so if you haven't had any rain yet, or just haven't had enough, be patient. Some of the more widespread rain should arrive Friday into Saturday.

I'm counting down the days until we get that first big push of cooler air from the north and gets rid of the humidity around here. Anyone else ready for the cooler, drier air?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Interesting Weekend!

Remnants of Erin dumped HUGE amounts of rain on Oklahoma this weekend. Some areas had over 11 inches of rain and there were several water rescues caught on video from TV stations out of Oklahoma City. A few storms developed in eastern Kansas Saturday and Sunday, but few places had any measurable rainfall.

This will be an active week of weather for the central US and Mexico. First, Dean continues to maintain itself down in the tropics. Warm water continues to feed the monster hurricane and it will most likely come onshore in Mexico by Thursday. When hurricanes reach the intensity that Dean has achieved, there will be some fluctuations in strength as the eye wall breaks down and then reforms. The strongest winds are found in the right front quadrant of the hurricane, which happens to be where Jamaica ended up for a short time this weekend. I placed an "x" in the right front quadrant of this particular hurricane.

Our weather will definitely be more active this week as frontal systems get closer to Kansas. Big storms will develop across Colorado, NW Kansas, and into Nebraska over the next few days. Eventually, those storms will push deeper into Kansas later in the week. By the time we reach Thursday and Friday, we should see rain into southcentral Kansas along with some cooler temperatures. The hot weather has definitely dried things out in many areas.

I noticed some of the milo leaves around the area curling a bit in the hot weather, so some rain and cooler weather would help out there. Farmers that planted dry land corn this summer have a big smile on their face. There could be some pretty big yields in Kansas, thanks to some early summer rains, but I guess we won't know until it's harvested later on. Have a great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Hurricane of 2007

It didn't take long for Dean to reach hurricane status but it finally did early this morning. Indications are that Dean will strengthen into a category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale by the time it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Key ingredients to this hurricane strengthening include the warm Gulf water and light winds in the middle part of the atmosphere. Should be interesting to watch through the upcoming weekend. We'll be tracking it for you.

The remnants of Erin moving through Texas will spread clouds across Kansas this weekend, but it sure doesn't look like significant rainfall is in our future. Northern Oklahoma and extreme southeast Kansas might get some rain, but most of Kansas will miss out. One positive side of the clouds though... not as hot for Saturday. I guess we will take what we can get. See you Saturday for updates on these tropical developments (and our forecast too).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hurricane Season 2007

So far it has been a rather uneventful hurricane season, but we are just getting into the prime of the season and the Climate Prediction Center released an update to their earlier outlook on the hurricane season. They are still forecasting an above normal year for hurricanes with 13-16 named storms, 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 possibly becoming major hurricanes. Major hurricanes are those that reach category 3 or higher.

We are just beginning to see some activity off the coast of Africa and the National Hurricane Center is already issuing statements on TD 4, which may very well strengthen into a storm Tuesday. It will get the name "Dean" when it reaches tropical storm strength.

Our weather is still uneventful, just like the hurricane season has been. Thank goodness for the rain earlier in the summer, or else we would be burning up in this extended period of hot weather. Still no big signals in our computer models that a change is coming soon. The big high pressure system (the same one I've talked about for a while now) could begin breaking down some this weekend, which may actually allow for some rain by Saturday or Sunday. We don't see any real change in the temperatures until next week sometime.
Best of luck to the kids headed back to school this week. Where did the summer vacation go?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Summer's Excessive Heat!

It's hot outside, skies are sunny, and the heat shows no mercy and probably won't for several days to come. See the last blog entry for more on why it's so hot. This big upper air high pressure is definitely slow to move and could last for the next 2 weeks. Needless to say, keep the air conditioners going on full blast and do what you can to avoid the hottest part of the day, which falls between noon and 5 p.m. Anyone else ready for fall and for football season to start again?? It's no secret; I don't like long, hot stretches of dry weather because it just dries everything out.

I wanted to let you know that we have now added a LOOPING radar to our weather page on Check it out (when it rains again here in Kansas) and be sure to let me know what you think. It is 90 minutes worth of radar imagery to help you follow storms across Kansas. We have been working very hard to get this information available to you and now we are interested in your feedback.

I'm headed back to the family ranch for the next few days and will be back to update you on the hot weather Saturday. Stay cool!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Summer in High Gear!

It's been a busy week as we settle into a new month and it's only going to get busier as kids go back to school, sports practice begins, etc. I had a great time this week helping my sister move back to K-State and prepare for another semester of college. There are days when I miss that college atmosphere, but I don't miss the college calculus and physics that still haunts me today.

Wichita has not had 100 yet this summer, but we will make a strong run at it the next several days. We should prepare for a long, hot, dry spell that will continue through at least the next 7-10 days. Remember, the wind flows clockwise around high pressure, so the storms will track around Kansas through the next several days. Underneath of the high is where you find the excessive heat and we may see that next week in some parts of Kansas. I'm attaching another map from our computer models that shows the high pressure system directly over our state.

If you wondering about watering your lawn, well don't wait for Mother Nature. Rain and storms will be few and far between through next week so if you haven't had moisture already, you most likely won't get it until later in the month. Remember the heavy rainfall from earlier in the summer? It's amazing how fast 90 degree heat can dry things out, but we know it could be much worse. Stay cool and enjoy what is left of the weekend (and summer for those kids getting ready for school)

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