Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rare November Tornadoes

It was amazing to see the number of tornado warnings Monday afternoon across the southern United States, especially for the end of November. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there were 8 tornado reports Monday in the US. One area that took a hit was Yazoo City, MS which was hit by tornadoes earlier this year. So if you ever thought that tornadoes can't strike an area twice, well, we have proof that it can happen, and in the same year
Our weather pattern will continue to be dry through the weekend. The sad thing is the same storm system that produced the tornadoes in the southeast Monday, rolled right across Kansas and didn't produce a thing (other than some light snow in northern Kansas)

We could have some light snow in Kansas early next week, but it won't be a drought buster by any means. And this time of the year, we wouldn't expect that anyway as our average precipitation drops off in the winter months.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Forecast

If you didn't get a chance to watch the winter forecast Sunday night, I'm putting the basics here on the blog. All in all, we do expect this winter will be a warm one, with lengthy dry spells for the area. Last winter in Wichita, we did not see a 60 degree high temperature in the winter months, and that hasn't happened in 122 years. Last winter, Washington D.C. had 3 major snowstorms that set records and Dallas had a late season snowstorm that dumped 12 inches on the metro area. This year, because of La Nina (where the Pacific water is colder), we expect less snowfall and above average temperatures for the region. I know several areas of the state are still anxiously awaiting some moisture. There have been news articles recently suggesting the chance of ice this winter. If the colder air doesn't travel as far south this winter as it did last winter (and that's what we are looking at), then the stage could be set for icy weather in late December and January. And we'll still see some snow, but I would anticipate below normal snowfall for Kansas. What should have people talking this winter will be the warm spells that may last for several weeks at a time.

Long range forecasting is difficult, but we'll see how things turn out this winter.
In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter Forecast and Thanksgiving Travel

If you are interested in what could be on the way to Kansas this winter, be sure to watch Sunday night at 10 for a preview of what we think will happen this winter in our area. Last year we had a healthy El Nino, where the ocean water along the equator was warmer than normal. This year, the water is cooler than average along the equator and it is known as La Nina (click image for a larger picture). It looks like it will have an impact on the weather conditions this winter, keeping most of Kansas dry and a little warmer than normal. Previous La Nina winters have shown tendencies for below average snowfall with temperatures just above average. But we also believe there is a better chance for ice in the months ahead, which is never a good thing. As anyone knows, ice accumulation is bad for many different reasons, and we'll hope to avoid a major ice storm, but the chance is certainly there this year as the cold air may not go as far south as it did last winter. So if you remember, try to catch our story Sunday night and chat live with us just after the story airs. We can answer some questions then.

I'm posting another graphic to show the travel weather in the middle of Thanksgiving week. We shouldn't have any major storms to worry about, but light snow is possible from northern Colorado to Iowa and Minnesota Tuesday or Wednesday (most of it will pass Kansas by to the north). What is so surprising to me is the load of Arctic air that will plunge south heading into Thanksgiving day. It's not unheard of, but a strong blast of cold air (like the one we'll see next week) is a little unusual in the 2nd half of November and afternoon highs will struggle to reach the upper 30s.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finally, Rain!!

After patiently waiting and waiting, it finally rained in Kansas. The west didn't get as much as the central or eastern parts of the state, but we have to be thankful for what we did get. It has been so dry, and I'm sure firefighters were tired of chasing after grass fire after grass fire. In some areas, the average November rainfall was doubled with just one storm system. Quite amazing for November.

Next week our weather will be staying active, with a couple of strong cold fronts coming through our area. The pattern is not one to bring much moisture to our area, but temperatures will be changing almost every other day.

There are signs the weather will stay active into the week of Thanksgiving, and a stronger system could be impacting holiday travel. So stay tuned. We have our Holiday Travel Hotline coming up on Monday, November 22nd, so you'll be able to call in and check the forecast.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November and Rainfall

If you are like me, you are wondering what happened to October. Seems like the Kansas State Fair just ended, and in 3 weeks, it will be time for Thanksgiving. We are getting desperate for rainfall and if we don't get something soon, the 2011 Kansas Wheat Crop will be in serious trouble. Most areas had less than .50" in the month of October, and we don't typically see much moisture in November. So what should we be expecting in the near future?

The pattern will continue to support big swings in the temperatures, with most of the state seeing a hard freeze by Saturday. Next week will start to get interesting with a storm system diving into the western part of the US. If we are going to get some meaningful rainfall in Kansas, we're going to need some Gulf of Mexico moisture. The next system coming in early next week will have a chance of tapping into the Gulf, but everything has to come together just right in order for us to get some decent rainfall. Usually at this time of the year, cold fronts zip through the area so fast they just don't have much time to produce rain. At any rate, the waiting game for rainfall continues and we'll hope that something changes soon.

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