Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Busy Day & Snow Coming

I had a chance to help with the JASON project over on the WSU campus today. The JASON Project is a National Science Curriculum that is part of National Geographic, and this year the focus is on Monster Storms. The kids had a chance to watch a video on how scientists and meteorologists are trying to place instruments in the path of an oncoming tornado. So far, they haven't been successful, but acquiring measurements from inside of a tornado may answer some of the many questions that we still have about tornadoes. There were some pictures taken, and if I get a few of them soon, I'll post them.

Alright, so the countdown to spring rolls on, but we have another round of snow coming to Kansas Thursday. The heavies of the snow should end up over the eastern half of Kansas. My vehicle has been nice and clean for a few days, so I guess we are due for some messy weather now. Isn't there a concert Thursday night? Some lady by the name of Reba or Kelly. I'm a little jealous for those that will get to attend.

I really enjoy reading all of the conversations on here. It just makes the blogging more exciting and interesting for others to read. I am headed to a weather meeting in Great Bend for Wednesday. See you back on the air Saturday night... maybe with Millie.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cover Your Head!

I should first point out that this is my 100th post on the blog. It doesn't really seem like that many, but we have covered many topics on here.

A friend of mine suggested I talk about the falling satellite that is expected to hit Earth late in February or early March. It's not a weather satellite, thank goodness, but it's a spy satellite that government officials use. It could have hazardous materials on board, but there isn't any way of really knowing where this thing might come down. They are watching it, but you should know that there have been numerous satellites that fall from outer space and never cause any harm. I'm sure there was an equation I learned in meteorology school that I could use to find out where this thing will land, but it will have already crashed into the Earth by the time I come to any conclusions.

How about the warm weather today (Saturday). I'm ready to fire up my lawn mower!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thinking About Spring

How is the week going for everyone? It's been busy for me, but then again, it always seems that way. Ty has the countdown going to the first day of spring and for some of us, it just can't get here fast enough. The weekend is looking warmer, so we don't have to wait too much longer.

We are always looking for trained weather spotters to help watch severe weather during the spring and summer months. The National Weather Service is holding spotter talks, which will actually begin next month.

This link will take you to the National Weather Service here in Wichita and if you are interested in attending a meeting, they are free and last for about two hours. The meetings are very good and very informative. If you live in western Kansas, let me know and I'll get the meeting schedule posted on here.
I'm off to enjoy my weekend. See you back on the air Saturday evening.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Great Weekend

Other than the frigid temperatures, this was a great weekend in St. Louis. I was visiting a friend there and we had the chance to journey to the top of the arch. I guess its official name is the Gateway Arch as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which stands 630 feet tall and is 630 feet wide (an interesting tidbit for you). The ride to the top of the arch takes less than 10 minutes, but the capsule that you ride in to the top is very small, so you can't be claustrophobic.

We also toured the Budweiser brewery and one of the local TV stations there in St. Louis. It's always interesting to see how others get things done and to see their setup.

Looking at the new data tonight, temperatures will be going up as we get closer to the weekend. I normally like winter weather and forecasting snow, but wow, some 60 and 70 degree weather would sure feel nice right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where Does Time Go?

Time seems to get away from us and I was reminded of that last week. My dad and I have been keeping weather records for the Geneseo area for 10 years now, and we were presented with an award from the National Weather Service last week. I have to give most of the credit to my dad because he checks the gauge for me when we have storms, and then I fill out the paper work and send it to the weather service. It is something we started when I was in high school and it has been a fun chore over the years. So, thanks dad for doing most of the grunt work. My dad couldn't make it to Wichita to receive the award; that is Joe Rosner from the National Weather Service who is in charge of the cooperative observers around southcentral Kansas.

I haven't done this yet, but I'm told you should check out Rodney's blog here at KWCH.com. He has a link to some audio that serves as a good reminder when you should and shouldn't call 911. Apparently, some people freaked out when they heard the tornado sirens last week and called 911 to see what was going on. It wasn't here in Kansas, but I think it was up north in Wisconsin. Check it out... I'm sure it's pretty funny.

The cold air is coming in as I write this entry. I hope you are ready!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Canada Comes to Kansas

It is so good to see all of the blog activity in the last few days. It makes it more interesting when people are posting comments and talking about things going on around Kansas. Some of you have been talking about the Jason Aldean concert coming up this week. I like some of his music, but will not be around to go to the concert, so if you end up going, I'd like to hear your comments on the blog.

We have another weather special coming up in March and it's time for us to start preparing stories for the show. Last year, my weather story focused on the new Enhanced Fujita Scale that is being used when surveying tornado damage. Do you have any story ideas for our weather special this year? It can be anything from technology to talking with tornado survivors.

Cold air is coming in this week and springtime severe weather will be a distant thought on Wednesday. The computer model posted here shows the Arctic air coming in on Wednesday and with some wind, it will be cold. Melissa, you'll need to bundle up before riding this week. Lets see, about 2 months until the first day of spring! Yes, I'm counting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Damage Survey Complete

Damage assessment teams discovered the tornadoes from Monday night did some EF-3 damage in some areas of Missouri. The attached picture is from Springfield and the crews determined the tornado did EF-1 damage in town. Southwest of Springfield, there was EF-2 damage to some houses and an elementary school. EF-2 tornadoes are estimated to contain winds up to 135 mph.

The most significant damage occurred north of Marshfield and Strafford where several homes and a barn was destroyed. EF-3 damage occurred in these areas. You might recall, the National Weather Service started using the new Enhanced Fujita scale last year to get a better estimation on wind speeds associated with a tornado.

The weather situation looks much quieter for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Very Unusual Stuff

Looking at the radar Monday night, we are shocked at how impressive this line of thunderstorm activity is east of Kansas. The Storm Prediction Center has over 30 reported tornadoes and at least 3 fatalities from the storms in Missouri. It is not unheard of to get tornadoes in January, but an outbreak like this is rare. This radar image is from 9:30 Monday night and the storms extend from Oklahoma into Michigan.

This type of weather system is something that is more common in March or April as we make the transition into spring. However, with the unprecedented warmth we have had the last few days, it is no surprise that we are getting some severe weather in the central US.

The weather will quiet down some later in the week, but it will not be as warm.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Spring has sprung... or maybe not

This weekend was incredible with the big warm up. The snow is all but gone now, except for the big piles in parking lots and some shaded areas. Wichita was just three degrees away from having a new record high for the date.
It is very hard to not think about spring when the temperatures get this warm, but remember, the winter season is just about 3 weeks old, so we have some time to kill before we should be getting excited about spring.

We are looking for rain and some snow in Kansas the next couple of days. The best shot at moisture will come Monday evening and overnight with rain changing to snow. Limited moisture and a rather fast moving system should limit the chance for measurable snowfall, so if we were to see snow accumulation, it would likely be less than one inch.

Have a great week. Hopefully, the blogging will pick back up in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year and A Change

Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions? I don't really make any resolutions because they just don't last for more than a week.

I'm gearing up for the Orange Bowl this Thursday and hoping the Hawks can pull off a win in Florida. I've been watching the forecast for Miami this week and there will be some big changes in their weather. A wind chill and freeze watch is in effect for the area as temperatures drop about 30 degrees. The Hawks will be sharing some of this cold weather with the Floridians as high temperatures drop all the way down into the low 60s for highs. I don't know about you, but 60 degree weather sounds good about now (and I normally like cold, snowy weather)

I'm posting a visible satellite image from Tuesday afternoon. You can see how much of Kansas is still trying to melt off the snow from the recent storms and if you look closer, you can make out some of the area lakes and rivers across our state. Most of this will be gone by the weekend as the warmer weather returns.

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