Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Greensburg One Year Later

If you've been watching the Early Show this week on CBS, then you've noticed they are broadcasting from Greensburg to mark the one year anniversary that is coming up on May 4th. They've been surprising the residents with special gifts that people from across the nation have donated to help those who lost everything that night.

I've been asked to do a story on the technology that was used the night Greensburg took a direct hit. It will hit the air Monday night during the 10 p.m. newscast. It wasn't a tornado, but it sure looked like one from the picture that Lisa Shaffer sent to us of a dust devil that developed outside of town. If anything, it was an eerie reminder of the big wedge tornado that tore across the area last year. Dust devils are usually caused by an uneven heating of the earth surface and then the of course the wind gets them spinning. They aren't dangerous, but winds inside of them could be as strong as 45 or 50 mph, just enough to stir up some tumbleweeds.

I think Mack will be our winner for the guessing game I had on the blog earlier this year. Mack, I'll need you to email me your address again so I can send you a few other items. You should've been a meteorologist because you are good at predicting!

My week wrapped up with a school talk at Clark Elementary School today. The 2nd graders were very excited to see the weather balloon and the cloud-in-a bottle trick, but I think with summer just around the corner, they have their minds on something else.
Get ready for some much cooler weather by the end of the week. May will start out with below normal temps for Kansas.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Earth Day Pics and A Winner?

Okay, so we have a slight problem. The first tornado warning of the season occurred on April 24th up in northwest Kansas. There were several brief touchdowns through the evening. Someone guessed April 20th and said Ellis county, so they are the winner. But they posted anonymously, but did sign off with a "V". So if this person doesn't come forward, then the next person in line for the prize is Mack, who just so happen to win the snowfall contest. Mack's guess was April 18th. Hopefully we can get this ironed out soon. If you are the person that guessed April 20th, and you signed off with "V", send me an email

The Earth Day talk went very well at Jefferson Elementary school. I wasn't too sure I would get to go because we were having severe weather in Wichita just before the talk. I was able to slip away for a while and was glad I did. The kids were outstanding. Here is a picture from last Wednesday. Thanks again to Jennifer for inviting me to visit the school. I'll hope to return next year.
Severe weather is over with now for several days, so we can relax a little. Warmer weather is on the way next week.
Have a great Sunday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

It's been a busy week for school talks. I had 3 different talks on Tuesday, two of which were at Park Elementary here in Wichita. I visited with some Cub Scouts in Valley Center Tuesday evening and as always, the kids were great. Today is also Earth Day, and we will celebrate it one day later at Jefferson Elementary on Wednesday.

I know there are some pictures coming from the talks, so I hope to post them tomorrow afternoon. If you haven't checked it out yet, Millie has a bio now on the KWCH website. I'm going to add some more pictures to the slide show in the future, so be sure to check back often to see what's going on in her world. I recently added a picture of Millie's close companion, Ellie, so be sure to check it out when you can. I guess she is officially part of Storm Team 12 now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Back from San Diego!

I was off for most of the week on a trip to San Diego and I have to be honest, it was like pulling teeth to come back home. The weather was so nice with highs near 70 and light winds, but it did get rather cool during the evening hours with the wind coming in from the ocean. I spent part of the time just watching boats come in and out of San Diego Harbor. If you are not familiar with the area, there is a huge bridge, the Coronado Bay Bridge, that stretches for 2.1 miles and connects San Diego with Coronado Island. Ships pass under the bridge, so it has to stand rather tall. The Navy has an air station on the north side of Coronado Island and it just so happened to catch this Navy destroyer leaving the harbor. The picture isn't that good because my cell phone had a smudge on the camera lens. There were several Navy Seahawk helicopters taking off from the air station as well, so there was plenty of activity to watch through the afternoon.

The afternoon at Sea World was awesome. Shamu puts on a very good show and for those sitting in the front few rows, yeah, you get soaked. The weather was rather cool that afternoon, so I took the high, dry route and sat above the "soak zone". It is amazing what the trainers can teach the whales and dolphins, but I'm sure there is an amazing amount of time that goes into it all.

It's good to back in the weather center. After all, Kansas is home and it's the weather I know best (I guess).

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Stormy Week Ends

This has been a busy week with the rain and occasional bouts with severe weather. However, now that we are into the weekend, the weather will be much quieter and most of next week looks good (and dry too).

Here are some storm shots that came in this week. The hail, the wind, and the snow that piled up in northwest Kansas. Hard to imagine 2 foot snow drifts in April, but residents in northwest Kansas are no strangers to weird weather in April.

Millie will have a profile on, so be looking for that next week. We will see how she ranks compared to Roger and Cindy in terms of "web page hits". I hope you have a nice weekend and enjoy the warmer weather when it arrives next week.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nature's Perfect Timing

Okay, so I have to tell you, we had a 30 minute meeting on Monday to discuss what we would do in the event severe weather developed during the KU/Memphis game. I tried to inform everyone that severe weather would wait till after midnight, but in the event that it didn't, what would be our plan. Well, turns out, severe weather started to develop at 11:30 Monday night, so Mother Nature finally worked in our favor and held off until after the big game. I'm still pretty excited about the outcome, but I had to catch up on my sleep Tuesday morning, so I don't have any championship gear just yet.

We will be watching for severe weather on Thursday as an area of low pressure moves into Kansas. Some areas will see over an inch of rainfall and for the first time in a long time, there is actually a pretty good chance western Kansas will see some good, measurable rainfall. Our FutureTrack computer is showing up to 1 inch of moisture possible in the Goodland area by the end of the day on Thursday.

I am doing a community talk tomorrow morning here in Wichita. If we get pictures, I'll post them by Thursday. Get ready for the rainfall!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pratt Pictures Arrive

The adrenaline rush from the KU/North Carolina game finally wore off early this morning, but I'm still amazed at the outcome. Like many other KU fans, I thought they were going to loose it halfway through the 2nd half. It was very hard to focus on my weathercast Saturday night with the flurry of activity going on down in San Antonio. I know when you work for the media you are supposed to be neutral, but as a KU Alumni, I'm cheering for the Jayhawks.

There will be a chance for severe weather Monday night. Large hail is the primary concern with the storms that develop, but I think the action will hold off until after the big game. Can you imagine how many upset people would call the station if we interrupted the game for a weather update? Whew. I don't even want to chance it and I'm sure my bosses won't let me unless it was a life threatening situation.

Here are a few pictures from the school talk in Pratt. This is the Kindergarten bunch that made the morning so interesting. Thanks again to the staff at Sacred Heart in Pratt for giving me the chance to come visit with the kids. In the middle picture, I am showing the kids what an actual weather balloon looks like before it is inflated. The kids always seem to find the balloon most interesting.
Enjoy the game Monday night if you are planning to watch. I'll be covering some of Merril's shows this week, so you'll be tired of me by the end of the week.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Radios, Millie, and more

We have recently started selling weather radios here at KWCH and it turns out they are pretty popular. We have a demo model here in our office and when the severe thunderstorm warning was issued Sunday night for Sedgwick county, it performed like it should. The display shows what type of warning is in effect and how much time is left before the warning expires.

I've been very busy with school talks lately. Pictures are on the way from Pratt, and you will see them on here next week. I visited John Marshall Middle School Wednesday afternoon to talk with the 6th grade students. Next week, I'll be talking with a slightly older group over in the Old Manor area here in Wichita. Should be fun and of course, we will focus on weather safety.

Millie and I have done some hiking in the cool, spring weather that we've had lately. I know the weather isn't warm enough yet because even after a 3 mile run, she still isn't quite ready to dive off into the water. There has been some talk about adding her to the "personalities" section of, but we haven't finished filling out her profile section just yet. I'm beginning to think my dog is stealing the spotlight.... but I'm okay with that. She's pretty special. I'm gearing up for the Final Four this weekend. Should be a good game! I'll be back Saturday evening, after the games.

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