Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trading tornadoes for earthquakes

Are the earthquakes we are feeling here in Kansas outpacing the tornadoes? It's starting to feel like that after a relatively quiet storm season that I touched on yesterday. I think the earthquake Monday evening just before the start of our 10 p.m. broadcast caught us all off guard. But then again, there isn't a good way of knowing when those kinds of things are going to happen anyway. What's always amazing to me is how fast you can go from a routine evening around the TV station to crazy in just a matter of a few minutes. No doubt, when the earth starts shaking below you, it's going to get your attention. The phones were ringing off the hook for a good 30 minutes.

Map showing the epicenter of the quake Monday night and how far away people could feel it.
The Richter scale (used to measure the magnitude of the quake) is not a liner scale. For every jump in whole number (i.e. 3.0 to 4.0), it's 10 times the energy released from the quake. The one in Oklahoma last night was 4.3 and had a depth of just over 4 miles and could be felt up in some parts of central Kansas. It's still considered a light earthquake, and it isn't until you get up around 5 or stronger that you start getting concerned for possible damage.

Forecast for rainfall the next few days
Rain chances are increasing for the next couple of days. You can't complain about moisture in the middle of summer, and some of the heaviest will be in places that only had about 5-10 inches of rain last year altogether. The heavy rainfall will begin in southwest Kansas tonight and continue for much of the day tomorrow. Some places will see over 2 inches, and as the map shows, areas along the Oklahoma state line will have the best chance of getting some fairly significant moisture. If you are farther north, the amounts will drop off quickly. The storm system will exit the area Thursday, leaving us with dry and warmer weather for the end of the week.

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