Friday, February 19, 2016

Smoke seen from space & changes coming next week

What is up with our weather right now? This is just absolutely crazy. I will say that there is NO connection between hitting 80 in February and a long hot summer. Several concerns were raised yesterday of the potential at seeing another very warm spring and a long, hot summer. It is so RARE to get into the 80s in February, let alone, see 90s like Great Bend and Hays. We ended up with a dozen record highs and 2 ties. Unbelievable!!

courtesy Buck King - fire near Buffalo, OK
Luckily, with such warm weather AND wind Thursday, grass fires were at a minimum in Kansas. It was a different story in surrounding states. One very large fire developed in northwest Oklahoma and the smoke plume came right over south central Kansas. There were a bunch of fires in eastern Oklahoma, with those smoke plumes also visible from outer space. It takes a pretty large fire for it to be seen from 20,000+ miles above Earth. Smaller fires are quite visible from Dopper Radar. That huge smoke plume from the fire just north of Buffalo, OK showed up very well on the Wichita radar Thursday evening. 

NEXT WEEK: The pattern will change and there will not be record highs! It cools off quite a bit, but the Arctic air looks to remain around the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. So our temperatures will be closer to normal for late February. When it comes to moisture, there is a chance on Tuesday as a weak system slides in from the northern Rockies. It's not going to have a ton of moisture, and it's unlikely for it to produce much more than some light rain showers or a few flurries. I do see signs of stronger storms hitting the West into early March and making it into the Plains. Details are unclear, but it's beginning to look like our quiet stretch of weather may end pretty soon. 

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