Friday, May 2, 2014

Millie heading for Dodge & a preview for next week

Happy Friday morning. Millie and I are loading up and heading for Dodge City for the day. We are talking with 7th and 8th graders about weather and tornadoes. We normally don't travel this far for a school talk, but every once in awhile, we can make an exception if the weather is quiet and our schedule allows.

Last night at 10 p.m., Cindy Klose had a story about the 15 year anniversary of the Haysville tornado. It was May 3rd, 1999 and I was just finishing my junior year in high school. I was already determined to be a meteorologist by that time, and those major events only fueled my passion for weather. Historically speaking, some of the strongest tornadoes on record have touched down in the first 5 days of May. You have the May 3rd 1999 outbreak (Haysville, KS and Moore, OK) and remember Greensburg? That was May 4th of 2007. May can be a very violent month for weather.
Mini heat wave Sunday!
No reason to worry about severe storms this weekend. Warmer air spreads in from the south and west and because we are so dry, it won't take much to see the temperatures soar. Scary to be getting so warm so early in May, but there isn't much we can do. Everyone knows we need rain here in Kansas. Wichita should have over 7 inches of rain by now and we only have 2. Much of the state is hurting and the wheat crop is suffering.

Storm system kicks out of the western US
We still expect a western storm system to approach mid to late next week. We've been hesitant to put rain in the forecast because moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico has been sluggish this spring. So the questions we have to figure out before that next storm system arrives include a) how much moisture will surge in from the south, b) will the moisture get shunted east of our area c) will the dynamics be enough to get storms to develop here or south and east of us. I'm a little concerned that the activity may be very spotty Thursday/Friday, but we are still waiting on the computer data to give us a better handle on how the system will evolve. We had a chance for storms last Saturday, but mid-level temperatures were too warm and kept the storms from forming. That could happen again late next week, but those kinds of details are hard to figure out 5 and 6 days out. Stay tuned. Have a great weekend. You can follow me on twitter @KWCHRoss and ask questions there, or send me an email,

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