Sunday, September 30, 2007

Skunked Again!

On my way to work Sunday afternoon, you could see the cold front coming through the area. I took a picture through my windshield (hence the bug juice) because it was a dark, ominous line of clouds racing through the Wichita area at 1 p.m. SOME people had rainfall, but most of us missed out again. However, we have another chance coming up on Tuesday. You see, as a meteorologist, when we get skunked by one storm system, we just look forward to the next one right away. The rain chances look a little better on Tuesday than they were Sunday, but I'll believe it when the rain is actually hitting the ground.

A BIG weather change is coming next weekend. Fall weather is coming back with a very strong cold front that is expected to arrive on Saturday, possibly bringing some rain to the area at that time. That is KU/KSTATE game day in Manhattan, so we will hope the rain holds off until after the game. Yours truly will be paying a visit to the Little Apple, hopefully on the sidelines to watch the game, but we'll see. The sports guys haven't told me I have a ticket yet. Have a great week.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Calendar Confusion

Here we are coasting into the month of October and where did that cool, fall weather go? Remember two weeks ago when we had highs in the 50s and 60s? Most people I run into on the street are anxiously awaiting for that cooler weather to revisit Kansas, but I honestly don't see it happening for at least another 7-10 days. Okay, so if we can't have the cooler weather, can we get some rain?

There is a pretty good storm system coming in from the west for the weekend. About the only thing that is certain is we will have strong winds this weekend. The temperatures should be warm and if everything goes as planned, we SHOULD get some rainfall. I'm posting a snapshot of the weather pattern for the upcoming weekend. How can we get some rain out of this system? The first thing that must happen before the storm gets here on Sunday is we need to draw in some Gulf of Mexico moisture. The strong south winds should help in doing that Friday and Saturday and when that low gets to Kansas Sunday, storms should develop. The last couple of systems have been rather disappointing in terms of rain, mainly because they are too far north of Kansas to do any good. We will see how things change on Friday and Saturday, but wouldn't it be nice to get a good 2 inch soaker? I guess we can't have it all, right? Have a good weekend and if you do get rain this weekend, post your amounts on the blog. I just might use them on the air too.

Thanks everyone.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Idea in Early Stages

It is not a new idea, but it is something I've wanted to establish at KWCH for a few years now. It is a network of viewers that will collect rainfall or snowfall from communities across Kansas and send us that information once a day (when we have weather of course). We have a HUGE viewing area and we are reminded of it every spring and summer when we track severe storms through the area. This map shows the counties in our viewing area (counties in green) and keep in mind, for KWCH, we extend our coverage area into northeast Colorado. Right now, we get precipitation information from a network of National Weather Service observers, but that data only comes in once per day (at 7 a.m.) I've always thought it would be great to get a group of dedicated weather watchers that would call in rainfall reports and snowfall amounts at 7 p.m. This would give us access to updated rainfall numbers for our 9 and 10 p.m. newscasts. When I worked at the TV station in Lawrence, we had a "Skyhawk" network with about 15-20 people scattered across town that would call in when they had rain or snow to report. It was a big success and people enjoyed seeing rainfall amounts from their neighborhood on the local news (at least, that's what they told me). Anyone could participate, but we would be counting on you to call or email when you have numbers to report. It would be ideal to have an even spread of weather watchers across Wichita, Hutch, and some of the bigger cities in Kansas, but in a perfect world, it would be great to have someone in each of the smaller communities too. What do you think? Would you participate?
This is an idea in early stages, but I am just wondering how many people would even be interested in participating. Let me know. Have a great week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sunsets & Signs of Change

Did anyone catch the sunset Wednesday night? I noticed it driving back to work, but I didn't have a camera with me. Fortunately, one of my friends was able to capture one of the best sunsets I've seen in a long time. If you have some good cloud pictures, sunsets or sunrises, etc. feel free to send them to me and when time allows, I'll post them to the blog. When KWCH started collecting stormshots from viewers years ago, we started noticing that we have some great photographers in the viewing area. Keep the pictures coming; they are really good.

Our weather will finally change again soon. I was out running some errands on Monday, and had two or three people stop me and ask when the cool, fall weather was coming back. I'm still waiting for Millie to tell me when it's going to change for good, but we will get into cooler weather early next week. I'm really hoping that this week of hot weather is Mother Nature's last blast of summer. Like many of you, I'm not crazy about winter but I'm ready for the lengthy stretch of 70 degree weather (and more rain would be nice). Speaking of rain, I want to get you, the bloggers and viewing audience involved in reporting rain. Check the blog over the weekend for more on that, and in the meantime, have a great day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rainfall Returns

Some of us are getting some nice rainfall out of this slow moving storm system. The band of storms moved into central Kansas late Monday evening and that's where it stopped. Doppler Radar is estimating over 1 inch in several spots this morning. I didn't get time to doctor this image, but you can use the key down at the bottom. The green indicates 1.5-2 inches of rainfall since the storms began late yesterday evening. Wichita hasn't had anything yet, but if we are patient, some storms should move through later today. LETS HOPE!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Summer or Fall?

I know I've mentioned it before, but this is my favorite time of the year with all of the big weather changes taking place. The changes can sometimes be gradual, or they can be drastic (anyone that has lived here for a long period of time knows what I'm talking about). Look at the high temperatures from Saturday across the state. We have summer on one side of the state and fall on the other. The clouds contributed to the unseasonably cool temperatures in eastern Kansas.

So what's next for Kansas weather? One thing is for certain in the upcoming week; there will not be any more cool, Canadian air coming in for a while. There will be a couple of cold fronts approaching our area, but they will be coming from the Pacific Northwest and not from Canada.

We might catch a couple of storms late Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday night across the area, but this will be a dry week for most of us and rather quiet too. Our computer models are showing a pretty good storm system out on the west coast by next weekend, but it will probably weaken significantly before it gets to our part of the country. This will be the only big weather feature to watch this week (YAWN).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Millie's Fair Visit

When I visited the state fair on Monday, several people were asking about Millie because of her recent appearances on the weekend newscasts and AnswerBack. After giving it some serious thought, I decided to have Millie make a special visit to the KWCH booth Wednesday and it went well. I know there were several people who stopped by to have their picture taken with her and hopefully they turned out good. If you took some good pictures at the fair, send them to me and I'll upload them to the blog. You'll have to email them to me; you can't upload them yourself on my blog.

I had a chance to meet some of the fellow bloggers at the fair on Wednesday. It's nice to put a face with the names and feel free to keep leaving comments. My time at the fair has ended for the year which is good because otherwise, I'd keep eating the fried foods that are so common on the fairgrounds. I didn't get a chance to try the fried Coke, but if you did, what did you think? I also heard about fried Oreos, but I knew that if I saw them, I'd end up eating a dozen of them. So, it's probably a good thing I'm not venturing back up to the fair this year. Thanks everyone for the nice comments.
Enjoy the rest of the fair and the upcoming weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2007

State Fair Visit & More

I had my first visit to the Kansas State Fair today (Monday) and everyone was asking about the chilly weather. It seems we get it all during the state fair and you will hear people say "it always rains during the state fair". Rodney Price did some digging through state fair weather history and found that the last dry fair we had was in 2000, so more often than not, it seems to rain some during the 10 day event. Thanks for stopping by the booth and signing up for weather umbrellas and the TV. I'll visit the fair again on Wednesday (perhaps even with Millie) and hopefully get a chance to take some pictures to post on here later in the week. Be sure to check back.

What is with the crazy, cool weather? Well, first of all, this is why I really like this time of the year. Mother Nature is beginning to make the transition from one season to another, and forecasting these big changes is very exciting. The cool snaps don't last long, so warmer weather is coming back for the rest of the week. BUT, there is another storm developing in Canada by the end of the week, and it will send another cold front across Kansas by Thursday night and Friday. More cool, fall-like weather will settle in by the first part of the weekend. The graphic that I have on here is the jet stream by 7 a.m. Thursday morning, as forecasted by one of the computer models. You can see the storm developing up north. I have a bad feeling that this one will not bring much in the way of rain, just like this storm that came through Monday. (click on the graphic to make it larger) Have a great rest of the week and I'll update Wednesday night after my fair visit.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kansas State Fair

It is hard to believe, but it is time for the Kansas State Fair again in Hutchinson. It is a very busy time for all of us at the station, but it's always worth it because we get a chance to visit with our viewers. I'm truly amazed at the number of Kansans that haven't experienced the fair, even though they have lived here their entire life.

If you haven't been to the fair before, I'm attaching a map of the fairgrounds. I've also labeled the KWCH booth, so please stop in and say hello. We are out in front of the Eisenhower building, very close to Ye Old Mill (my KS State Fair tradition).

The weather staff will be coming and going throughout the fair. If you really want to know which person will be there and when, leave a comment here on the blog and I'll get back with you.

The state fair just wouldn't be the same without the food... so what is your favorite? It's a toss up between funnel cakes and the roasted corn for me.
Enjoy the fair and we look forward to seeing you.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day 2007

I really hope you had a nice holiday weekend. It seems like every year for Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day, we have severe weather to contend with, but this year was a quiet one.

I spent some time with a friend in Oklahoma City over the long weekend. We had a chance to check out Bricktown as well as the National Memorial. Bricktown is definitely a place you could spend an entire afternoon or evening. There are so many great restaurants and the atmosphere is hard to beat. (okay, so the "Boomer Sooner" thing was a little old, but I was outnumbered, so I couldn't start "Rock Chalk Jayhawk")

The National Memorial is also worth checking out, if you haven't already seen it. It's a tribute to the lives lost in the explosion on April 19, 1995. It is one of those tragedies that you remember what you were doing when you heard of the news. I was sitting in 7th grade current events class (oddly enough) when our teacher came in and said there had been a bad explosion in Oklahoma City, so we spent the rest of the morning watching it on TV. If you are ever passing through OKC, it is worth your time to stop in and see.

It's back to work and school now for a while. Scary to think our next big holiday will be Thanksgiving. Of course, there is Halloween in there, but last time I checked, most of us don't get the luxury of time off for that one (just those on candy overload)
The Kansas State Fair begins on Friday. I'll have more on that in my next post later in the week.
Best of luck keeping the days straight this week. Tuesday will feel like Monday for most.

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