Saturday, May 31, 2008

Who Needs an Alarm Clock?

Who needs an alarm clock when you have Mother Nature blasting you out of bed at 5 a.m. with golf ball size hail? It happened again Saturday morning with storms that developed over southern Kansas and we had some hailstones up to softball size in Cowley county. This large hail is about to wipe out an above average wheat crop and it is a good year with the prices higher than normal. I'm sure area farmers want to cry each time we have large hail in the forecast.

It is amazing to see how much rainfall southcentral Kansas has had in the 2nd half of May. It is a very different story in western Kansas where some ranchers are moving cattle around because the grass is burning up. It would be nice to share the wealth with those in the west, but maybe the storm system coming in late next week will help out.

Our weather pattern still looks a bit unsettled for the next week. It will mean more rainfall for some areas that don't really need it. The wheat is beginning to change color here in the Wichita area. It won't be long before the combines start rolling. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Sleepy

I always try to get creative with the blog entries, but I can't seem to go more than 10 minutes without yawning, so my creativeness is running low. Thanks for the compliments on our weather coverage. We get several phone calls when prime time programming is covered by weather updates, but we are just doing the best we can to help save lives and keep everyone informed. It is a true team effort when you have several days on end with storms, and now we finally get a break in the active weather.

Our Stormshots folder is full of hail pictures and flooding from the recent storms. There is one unusual picture I wanted to share with you that came from a viewer on Monday. Hail stones come in many different shapes and sizes, but have you ever seen hailstones that look like this? Oddly enough, I have some in my freezer at home. It is nice to know our viewers have a sense of humor. I definitely had a good chuckle out of this photo and wanted to share.

I'm posting other pictures on here of the hail that fell on Monday and you can see the rings in one of the hailstones (hail picture from Minneola and the tornado was from Salina). Each time the hail gets carried up and down in a storm, a new layer of ice is added and that's where they get the rings. We also had a microburst hit Wichita Sunday night with winds up to 100 mph. A microburst, sometimes called a downburst, is a strong rush of wind that descends from a thunderstorm and can produce winds over 100 mph. It can result in damage similar to that of a tornado.
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Crazy Tornado Day

This was an unusually active day for tornadoes in Kansas. Several areas in the west had tornado touchdowns reported and I happened to be near a few late in the day. Things didn't go quite as planned, but I was able to catch a few of the tornadoes with my cell phone. I was right on the Gove/Trego county line when these pictures were taken. At one point, I must have been within 1/2 mile of the tornado. You know it is close when you can see the dust and debris getting picked up right in front of the vehicle. I think it is the closest I've ever been to a tornado.
Enjoy the photos and it is time for so much needed rest. More severe weather is expected this weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Storm Chase 2008

I spent most of my afternoon on Wednesday gearing up for a storm chase on Thursday. Millie and I have not been out this year, but it looks like we will get our chance. The next several days could be active here in Kansas, so for anyone getting an early start on the holiday weekend, make sure you have a way of getting updated weather information.

What are you doing this Memorial Day weekend? I'll be close to the weather office and will be working through most of the weekend. I know we will be covering some prime time TV the next few nights, but we hope you will be patient with us. I know there are several TV shows that are wrapping things up with their season finales, but we will do the best we can.

If we get any good pictures from the chase on Thursday, I'll put them on the blog. Have a great holiday weekend and be safe.

Monday, May 19, 2008

If You Thought It Was Hot...

There was plenty of heat in the central and southwest part of the country on Monday. I was checking some of the high temperatures around the region and Phoenix hit 110 degrees Monday afternoon. It was a new record high for the day and was 15 degrees above average even for their area. Wichita was 12 degrees above normal with a high of 89 Monday, so this is definitely a summer pattern we are experiencing. Good thing it wasn't 110 here; Millie doesn't have her summer haircut just yet.

There will be some cooler weather coming in the second part of the week. I'll have more for you on Wednesday. Have a great Tuesday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summer Comes Early!

I must admit I am slow at updating the blog this week. The weather has been quiet the last few days and it will continue into the first part of the week. In fact, the pattern we are currently in resembles a summer pattern where high pressure dominates in the west and storms go around our state. What does this mean for you? Well, if you like a lush, green lawn you may need to water because dry weather is expected through Wednesday and temperatures will be above average. Eastern Kansas could break into the 90s as early as Monday afternoon.

It is warm enough now that Millie had her first swim in the Park City creek on Friday. Yeah, there is nothing like wet dog smell when you get back home, but she sure enjoyed it. Fortunately when she shows up on TV, you won't be able to smell anything. Millie is no primadonna; she likes to get dirty and she is scheduled to get a bath soon (maybe Sunday).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tornado Outbreak

A terrible cold got the best of me late last week and over the weekend. I missed work on Saturday hoping that sleep and medicine would fight this bug that some how found me.

It is making headlines again, another tornado outbreak occurs southeast of us with more than 20 fatalities reported. The hardest hit area was northeast Oklahoma. Picher, OK suffered some terrible damage from a tornado that hit at 5:30 or 6 Saturday evening. Picher was once a booming mining town with 20,000 residents, but many have been moving away over the years because of a lead pollution fear. The government has been trying to buy out homes in hopes of getting residents to move, and now, this may be their only option. Even though there is substantial damage, the government has made a pledge to not leave anyone behind. There were 6 fatalities in Picher from the storm system.

We have a chance to see some more rain and storms on Tuesday. The severe weather threat should be relatively low for our area. Have a great week! Any school kids or teachers ready for summer?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stormy Week

This has been a busy week with severe weather here in Kansas and if all goes as planned, we should be able to catch our breath in the next few days. Although we haven't had any tornadoes this week, we have had some amazing hail storms and the pictures that we are getting from viewers are incredible. I mentioned this last night on the FOX broadcast, but it's worth saying again because the attached photos are pretty amazing. Thunderstorms are very dangerous, but they often provide us with some of the best pictures that we will ever get from Mother Nature.

The first picture is from Salina where lightning hit on the golf green and you can see what happened after the electricity traveled through the ground. Definitely not the place to be during a thunderstorm. This was nature's chance at a hole-in-one and she got it.

Lightning struck our tower in Hays, which isn't much of a surprise considering this is a metal rod sticking up in the air. What is surprising is that Chelsey was in the right place at the right time to capture a photo of the bolt.

Strong winds rolled across central and southcentral Kansas on Monday and Tuesday, and we had an amazing shelf cloud that developed in the Great Bend area and rolled all the way down into the Wichita area. It looks like a wall cloud that might produce a tornado, but this cloud feature is much too big and when you see something like this, you should expect strong winds.

Finally, the destructive hail was amazing this week. Garden City had several rounds of severe weather and the hail left its mark. Thanks for sending in pictures and lets hope for some less-active weather for a few days.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weird May Weather

People have been talking about the unseasonably cool weather that we have been having, especially Friday and Saturday. I'm pretty certain the cooler than normal weather has also helped keep a lid on the severe weather here in Kansas, even though we have had some decent storms lately. There is likely to be more severe weather this week in Kansas, and it could start as early as Monday morning. Tuesday night into Wednesday will be another time frame to keep a watch on things and yes, it will be warmer this week.

I was one of the drivers caught in the middle of the hail storm Thursday night. It hailed for what seemed like an hour, and in some places, the ice started to accumulate in grassy areas. It is some of the larger hailstones that we've had this year in Sedgwick county, but other areas were hit harder with hail and wind. Greenwood county has some significant wind damage from 100 mph winds that rolled through Thursday night.

The sunset picture comes from Colby. It arrived in our Storm Shots email inbox and I wanted to share it with you. Contrails can make for interesting sunsets here in Kansas.

And finally, Millie, after a very long day forecasting weather. Be sure to check out her profile if you get a chance under "Meet the Team" section here at

We are anxious to chase a storm this year, but I'm not sure when that will be.

Blog History