Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Changing Again

I haven't had much time to blog this week with the crazy weather that we are having in Kansas. We are still in need of moisture here in the state, but it is probably a good thing we missed the more significant moisture, otherwise we would've ended up with a HUGE amount of ice in southern Kansas and 5 or 10 inches of snow elsewhere. Oklahoma has been hit very hard the last few days with the freezing rain. They declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma with power outages all over the place. The ice accumulation on the pine cone gives you some idea of how bad the conditions are in the Oklahoma City area.

We haven't had much in the way of active weather this month, but it looks like January will end on a quiet note. It still looks as if the first part of February will be active with another system rolling out of the west sometime next week. I don't think it will be a major storm system, but the computers have been struggling with the extended forecast lately. We haven't had a major winter storm this winter, and it is possible we won't have one at all this winter. But we still have several more weeks of winter to get through and I know we haven't seen the last of the snow yet. As soon as I have a definite feeling on the rest of the season, I'll be sure to post it on the blog. Hope the rest of the week treats you well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spring Fever.... Gone!

It felt a little like March on Thursday, but those warm temperatures are now a thing of the past. We continue to watch for wintry weather going into Sunday and Sunday night. Light freezing drizzle is expected for southern Kansas Sunday night and Monday. When we start talking freezing drizzle and ice, you probably start thinking back to the major ice storm of 2005 for Wichita and others think of December 2007 when ice hit central Kansas. That will not be the case with this storm, but we'll watch it through the weekend. There just isn't that much moisture to work with, so we should escape a big icing event.

I'm taking a quick day off Saturday, but will be back to track the system with you on Sunday. I hope everyone stays warm. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Changes Ahead

Our current weather pattern is nothing short of amazing. Highs in the 50s and 60s have helped us forget that we are still in the middle of January. We haven't had any real significant moisture for about a month now and we are still waiting for our first significant winter storm of the season. Snowfall has been rather limited this winter as the main snow track has been well north of Kansas.

However, the computer models that help guide our extended forecast have finally started to pick up on the weather pattern change that is coming at week's end. The main pattern will shift back to the southwest, and as I indicated in my last blog entry, that type of pattern brings moisture from the Pacific as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Where and when will the storm develop? Right now what is clear to us is that a cold front will be coming through on Thursday, taking us out of the 60s. It gets even colder going into the weekend and chances for moisture should be increasing during that time too. We do have snow in the forecast for next weekend, but I'm not 100% sure that we will really get that much snow yet.

Have a good week and enjoy the January warmth. Wednesday should be the warmest day, so record highs will likely be crashing during the afternoon. The forecast for Inauguration Day calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 32 in Washington D.C. There is going to be a stiff northwest wind too, so expect most of the people to be wrapped up in heavy coats.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Search of Warmer Weather

This weekend was a chance for me to explore a warmer climate. A place where there is an abundance of green at this time of the year and they grow oranges. The state has the nickname "The Sunshine State". Yes, Florida was home for a few days as I had a chance to see Disney World, tour Kennedy Space Center, and even had one day to visit the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. It was the first time I had ever been to Florida and what better time to go. It was very easy to forget that it's January when you're in such a sunny and warm place. The local meteorologists were calling for a HUGE drop in temperatures, which means going from 78 to 60 in the course of two days. Most Kansans would scoff at that, and if you are like me, you're thinking, I'd take 60 in the middle of January any time.
At any rate, the trip to Kennedy Space Center was my favorite. Even if you are not much of a space buff, there is so much history to take in with so little time. From the Challenger and Columbia disasters to the success of the International Space Station, it is so phenomenal to see what advances have been made in space exploration. On the journey, we were able to see a 750 lb bald eagle's nest and several different alligators. The space center sits on a wildlife refuge which is also home to many different bird species.

Our weather is changing fast and furious. Bitter cold will be around Wednesday and Thursday. Look for a significant warm up by the end of the week and this weekend, 50s and 60s should return to the area. We still expect a stormier pattern to evolve by the end of the month with systems approaching from the southwest. So far, January has been a very dry month, but I have a feeling we'll see that change too by the end of the month.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Interesting Inaugural Weather

President-elect Obama will be taking office on January 20th and as we all know, it is an outdoor event, subject to some crazy winter weather. There is a great deal of weather info from that date, but I'm only sharing what I think you'll find interesting.

*The normal high for that date is 42, which is rather tolerable for wintertime, but how often is the weather actually normal.

*Surprisingly, there is just a 1 in 20 chance of snow for the day (remember this is based on previous inaugurations)

*The most dramatic and tragic was back in 1841 when President William Harrison was sworn into office on a cold, windy day. He caught pneumonia and died just one month later.

*In 1909, the weather was so bad it forced the ceremony to be held indoors. A storm dropped 10 inches of snow on the Capital City and it came with wind too. Just after the President delivered his speech, the snow finally ended.

*The warmest January inauguration occurred in 1981 with President Reagan taking office. The temperatures was a balmy 55 degrees at noon. Just 4 years later for his 2nd inauguration, another record was set. It was the coldest inauguration ever for the Capital City with a noon temperature of 7 degrees. Amazing how Mother Nature works.
Our weather is going to be very quiet for several more days. Other than some day to day temperature variation, don't look for any drastic changes this week and it will be dry. The next storm system to watch will be Friday when a cold front swings through the state. The weather pattern may very well turn active after January 20th with more storm systems approaching from the southwest. Those are the ones that usually result in wintry precipitation. We'll be watching!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

So another year is just getting started. Do you ever sit back and wonder what will happen in your life this year? How about around the world and what big things will we talk about at the end of the year. So much can happen in one calendar year and it will be interesting to see what happens and changes for us this year.

2008 was historic for rainfall in Wichita. Of course by now, you already knew it was the wettest year ever for us here in the Air Capital, but did you know in 2008 we had the wettest May ever with 13.14 inches. September was the wettest ever with 12.96" and our spring season was the 2nd wettest on record with just over 18 inches of rain. We consider the spring months to be March, April, and May. Autumn in Wichita also made it into the record books with 18.36 inches of rain, making it the 2nd wettest ever for the city.

I'm lucky to get the next 10 days of weather figured out, so I can't speculate on what will happen with our weather in the year ahead, but I can tell you it will be just as exciting as in years past. And I'm excited to have the chance to be on the air talking about it each and every night. Welcome to 2009!

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