Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heat & Colorado Fires

Weather pattern heading toward the weekend

The hot weather recently is serving as an unnecessary reminder of the 2011 scorching summer that we dealt with here in Kansas. The weather pattern here in Kansas isn't that unusual for the end of June or early July. As a meteorologist, when we see this type of pattern where high pressure locks in over the central US, we know it's going to be hot. And because the air sinks under high pressure, you essentially eliminate the chance for rainfall. This type of pattern is normally very stubborn and it's going to take a healthy storm system to knock it down and allow rain and storms to head back toward Kansas. Even if we knock the big "H" down, it doesn't necessarily mean a dramatic cool down is going to follow. It is unlikely that we will have the number of 100 degree days we had in 2011, but if trends continue, we're still going to have a lot of them. In the absence of La Nina (unusual cool water near the equator in the Pacific), the dome of heat/high pressure should be a little easier to suppress, but it will be interesting to see how July and August shape up. Still going to have some hot days, but hopefully not a lengthy stretch of 100s.

Colorado is dealing with wildfire trouble because of the same dome of heat that is locked over Kansas. The winds are strong, there isn't much rainfall, and unfortunately, there isn't much change for the area. Millie and I hiked in Waldo Canyon during the 2nd week of June, so it is a little crazy now to think we were just there and now it is burning up. You get a wonderful view of Pike's Peak from the hike in Waldo Canyon, but now, it would be so covered in smoke, you wouldn't likely see anything.What a tough job for firefighters to fight those huge flames when the temperatures are so dang hot.
Waldo Canyon fire spreads
Map of current fires in Colorado

Monday, June 11, 2012

Motorcade follow up

My proof of meeting the President finally came in the mail a few days ago and I thought I should share it with you since I discussed the motorcade experience in my last entry. This will be one of the most fascinating things I'll do in my lifetime, and I'm still working on compiling my pictures and the emails exchanged leading up to that day. There were 6 primary drivers in the motorcade, but two alternates in case something were to happen (i.e. sickness, injury, etc)

We had some storms Sunday evening (June 10) in southcentral Kansas and a viewer sent us a StormShot that I thought was worth sharing again. Technology advances with the KWCH app and cell phones has led to a dramatic increase in the number of pictures that we get during and after storm events. We can't possibly use them all on the air, but it is fun to sort through them to see how the storm pictures match up with the reports we receive through the event. Let's hope for more rain soon. We need a big system to approach from the west coast, and it will be awhile before we see that happen again.

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