Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day After Christmas Severe Weather

After being in the 20's recently, expect 60's on Christmas Day and then possibly 70 on Friday! It will feel like March as humid air streams across Oklahoma ahead of the next cold front. That cold front could trigger some thunderstorms late Friday and Friday night, with some severe weather possible across Eastern Oklahoma. Don't be surprised if a Tornado Watch is issued for Eastern Oklahoma the day after Christmas. Hey, it's Oklahoma. Why are you shocked?

By the way, the entire country of Canada is experiencing a White Christmas. This is the first time that has happened since 1971! So much for global warming! Don't get me started on that subject........

Saturday, November 22, 2008

POTENTIAL Winter Storm.....

Some of the latest model forecasts show a huge pool of arctic air developing in Alaska and Northern Canada, then diving south during the first week of December, sometime on or after 12/2. This cold air could be followed by a potential winter storm. It is way too early to know specific details and dates, but stay tuned.......

Friday, October 17, 2008

Winter Forecast

Here goes! This forecast is based on gut feeling, looking at past trends, what has happened so far this year, and El Nino-La Nina. Last year I predicted a warmer than average winter and near average precipitation. It turned out to be an average winter temperature-wise. We had above average precipitation.

So far this year, the U.S. has received near average or below average temperatures. In fact, global temperatures have fallen slightly the past couple of years. Also, El Nino AND La Nina are both absent right now, so neither will have that great of an effect.

I am going to predict a colder than average and drier than average winter. We can expect more frequent intrusions of arctic air than in the past few winters. In fact, I'll make a BOLD prediction that we will see a below-zero temperature reading in Oklahoma City for the first time in over a decade.

I don't think we will see an ice storm as crippling as the one we had last year. Snowfall will be around average, so we can expect about 10 inches of snow for the whole winter.

There you go. Print this out and laugh at me come Spring.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning: RANT

I just don't understand.

If you were told one morning that there was a 10% chance that your house would be hit by a tornado and you would be killed later that day, would you stay home and hope for the 9 out of 10? To me, this is basically what the people who refuse to leave Galveston Island are saying that are in MANDATORY evacuation zones.

I would not be playing Russian Roulette with a possible 20 foot storm surge that could rival that of Katrina's due to the sheer size of this hurricane. Yes, previous storms have veered away and missed you. Yes, this one could also miss you. Unfortunately, if the 10% does happen, by the time you realize it, it is too late. If you try to fight water, water will always win. Period.

Sorry to sound a little harsh. But it is frustrating to have the technology to warn those that could be affected, but still have a pit in the stomach feeling that a worst-case scenario (10% odds) with this storm could claim hundreds of lives.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ike Likes Texas.....and Oklahoma

Before I continue, check out this video of Ike when it hit Cuba:

Ike is rapidly strengthening after leaving Cuba, and it is probably going to become a monster in the Gulf of Mexico. I think it will strengthen to a borderline Category 3-Category 4 hurricane by Thursday with max winds near 130MPH. It will make landfall Friday night somewhere near Galveston. Not only will Ike be strong, but it will also be very large. Currently, the Tropical Storm-force winds (40-74MPH) have a radius of 230 miles around the center of the storm! By the time it makes landfall, Hurricane force and Tropical Storm force winds could extend out 300 miles from the center, which would affect the entire Texas coast, not just the point where the center makes landfall.

The following is my take on how Ike will affect our weather later this week and this weekend.

Disclaimer: The following scenario is subject to change, but this is what the last 3 model runs have shown for the next few days.......

1) A swath of 4-7 inches of rain across the I-44 corridor, with a few isolated locations near 10 inches from Thursday through Sunday.

2) The center of Ike will head north just east of I-35 Saturday night and Sunday, creating winds gusting to as high as 40-50MPH.

3) Isolated tornadoes possible Saturday night and Sunday from I-35 east.

I'll update this info as things become more clear over the next few days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hype With Ike

You might hear some local TV meteorologists sounding the alarm over the next few days about the remnants of Ike moving through Oklahoma late this weekend, possibly causing significant flooding. We all know that some local guys can tend to "overhype" weather events on occassion. However, if the remnants of a hurricane are forecasted to move overhead, I would do the same thing if I were the forecaster. Here is why: Inland Flooding from heavy rain is the number one killer from hurricanes. Not storm surge at the coast. Not high winds. The most deaths occur inland, away from the coast, becuase of the rain that results inland.

We are still too far away to know if Ike will affect us, but if it happens, it's not something to be taken lightly.

Here are the top five rainfalls caused by tropical systems in Oklahoma history:

1) 18.71 inches from Norma, 1981 in Kingston

2) 16.95 inches from Tico, 1983 in Chickasha

3) 12.81 inches from Erin, 2007 in Eakly

4) 12.07 inches from Dean, 1995 at Great Salt Plains Lake

5) 11.02 inches from Frances, 1998 in Valliant

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The residents of the Gulf Coast need our thoughts and prayers. Especially those that live between Houston and New Orleans. All signs are pointing towards a potentially devastating hurricane making landfall in the U.S. sometime Tuesday afternoon or night. Gustav has the potential to "bomb out" (meteorological meaning-rapidly intensify) Friday and Saturday. Currently it is a Tropical Storm, but the potential is there for it to become a Category 3 hurricane by Saturday and potentially a Category 4 storm by Monday. Unfortunately, the waters of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico right now are about as warm as bathwater, and the winds in the upper-levels of the atmosphere will be light. There appears to be nothing to stop Gustav from becoming a monster.

There is also a chance that Gustav could affect our weather by next Wednesday or Thursday. If by chance the remnants make it our way we could see flooding rainfall and a few isolated tornadoes.

Also of note: Tropical Storm Hanna has formed east of the Bahamas. This storm also has the potential to impact the U.S. next week, possibly as a major hurricane as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

It's late and I'm finally done doing homework. Checked out how newly formed Gustav is doing. Needless to say, it went from Tropical Depression to Hurricane in less than 24 hours. Model projections look grim at this point. Before you read the following bullet-points, remember that forecasting a hurricane past 3 or 4 days in advance is about as accurate as a Ouija board.

-Gustav looks like it will stay south of Cuba, and move closer to the Mexican Yucatan peninsula.

-Gustav could enter the Gulf of Mexico as a potentially devastating Category 4 hurricane.

-The mere presence of a hurricane of this magnitude will cause oil prices to skyrocket. Oil currently sits at $110/barrel. $130/barrel would not be out of the question if the above scenario takes place.

-Currently, any city that lies on the Gulf of Mexico is at risk. It is too early to estimate a location of landfall.

Be ready to get your fill of Gustav.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oklahoma Weather History.....August 18 (continued)

The following is the aftermath of the storm I posted about yesterday in the entry below. It must have been some sight to say the least. Again this is from the National Weather Service website.

Residents who were in the path of the 1994 Lahoma storm, awoke on this morning to find a strange world. The devastating wind and hail storm on the previous day had stripped nearly every tree of leaves in the Lahoma and Drummond areas. That, along with plowed fields from harvested wheat, left the August landscape looking eerily more like mid winter. Hail was still on the ground in some protected areas around Lahoma on the afternoon of the 18th, more than 24 hours after the storm.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oklahoma Weather History.....August 17

I ran across this on the National Weather Service website. Incredible!

One of the most memorable severe thunderstorms in recent history struck north-central and central Oklahoma on August 17, 1994. The communities of Lahoma and Drummond suffered the most damage from an unusually intense supercell storm, that moved south into Oklahoma near Manchester, and continued across Goltry, Lahoma, Drummond, Kingfisher, and Okarche. Widespread severe damage occurred to between 500 and 800 permanent homes and businesses, and between 80 and 120 mobile homes, all the result of very large hail driven by hurricane-force winds. Peak wind gusts in Lahoma were measured at 113 MPH, before the wind equipment gave out. Hail reached golf ball to baseball size along the entire storm track. One hailstone that fell between Kingfisher and Okarche was said to look like a football. Several people were treated for hypothermia in the Lahoma area as a result of the large volume of hail, as air temperatures fell from near 100 degrees, down into the lower 50s.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay....Major Hurricane Next Week?

The newest Tropical Storm has formed today over the island of Haiti & the Dominican Republic. It is forecasted to cross over central or western Cuba over the next couple of days, and then curve to the north-northwest towards the Florida panhandle the middle of next week. I have a feeling this is going to become a newsmaker, because once Fay crosses Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico, the waters are extremely warm, and most importantly, the winds are very light. We could be looking at our first Category 3 or higher hurricane next week, affecting the U.S.

Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Dolly

Dolly? Seriously? Even when it becomes a hurricane, who is going to evacuate from Hurricane Dolly? Look out, big bad Dolly means business!

They really should consult me before they name hurricanes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Open Letter To Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature-

As much as I am fascinated by severe weather and tornadoes, can this severe weather season please be over? We started back in February with the Super Tuesday outbreak that killed over 50 people in the Southeast, making it the deadliest U.S. outbreak since 1985. Then, even though Oklahoma has escaped the worst this year, the city of Picher's relocation project was tragically hurried along. An EF-5 tornado nearly wiped an Iowa town off the map. If that isn't enough, now four Boy Scouts, ages between 13 and 14, were killed in a tornado in Iowa yesterday, along with two other people in Kansas. The city of Manhattan took a direct hit, with K-State University suffering damage. Also, Iowa State University is suffering flood damage from floods that are approaching once in every 500 year levels in Iowa.

Enough is enough. Please stop.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why You Should Take Tornado Warnings Seriously: Exhibit A

The following link takes you to a video from a bank surveillance camera during the Parkersburg, Iowa EF-5 tornado. The few seconds of pitch black before the tornado hits is really eerie.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tornado Outbreak Recap....More on the Horizon

This photo (courtesy of the National Weather Service) is from the tornado that hit Parkersburg, Iowa last Sunday, May 25th. It has been rated as an EF-5, the first since Greensburg last year and the first in Iowa in 30 years. The entire first floor is gone, and the basement has been left exposed. Unfortunately, this tornado has now raised the number of tornado deaths this year to over 100, which is the highest in a decade. The past week has seen a major tornado outbreak. 269 tornadoes have touched down between 5/22 and 5/30 in every Great Plains state from Mexico to the Canadian border. Kansas has been the hardest hit state with nearly 100 tornadoes there alone.

Unfortunately tornado season doesn't want to die yet. In fact, at least for Oklahoma, the worst may be yet to come. A very powerful storm for June standards will be making it's presence known between next Wednesday and next Friday, 6/4-6/6. Right now it appears as though the area from the Red River on north to the Great Lakes has the potential to see a widespread and very significant tornado outbreak, including more strong/violent and long-tracked tornadoes. This is definitely a storm to watch closely over the next few days.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Colorado/Kansas Tornadoes.....and a RANT

First I want to start off by saying that there were 50 tornado reports today, mainly in Western Kansas. Some large tornadoes, as a matter of fact. From the reports I have seen so far no towns were hit, thank goodness that area of Kansas is very rural. As for the video of the very large tornado north of From what I have seen it looks like EF-3 damage. You would have thought F-5 after seeing that video, but the size of tornadoes doesn't always coorelate to how strong they are. Generally the larger the tornado the stronger it is, but not always. In any case, the tornado was massive. In the weather world we call it a wedge tornado.

What was amazing to me is that the temperature was only 58 degrees as the tornado was occuring! There had to have been incredible wind shear to produce that tornado with a temperature that low. It just goes to show how much we still don't know about tornado formation.

I will post a forecast for Friday and the weekend on Friday. I think the tornado outbreak will continue in Kansas and Nebraska.

I have a rant to post about some irresponsible weather coverage I saw tonight. I don't have a degree or TV experience, but this is just my opinion. A local TV guy showed footage of a brief tornado outside of the small town of Hammon in Western Oklahoma. Hint: it wasn't Gary England or Rick Mitchell. To me it appeared the tornado lifted a minute or so later. TV guy goes to radar and starts commenting on a "donut hole" that he sees on radar. He then goes on to state that it is a mile wide, and this is an indication that there is a large tornado moving directly toward Hammon. He did not confirm this with storm tracker reports either. How would you have felt if a TV meteorologist had claimed a mile-wide tornado was moving toward your hometown, and it was just a "false alarm"?

To be honest it made me angry. Radar is a helpful tool, but only in rare situations can you actually pinpoint a tornadic circulation on it. If you are going to claim a mile-wide tornado is on the ground, you better be *darn* sure it is there by confirming with your spotters. This kind of reporting is what gives meteorologists a bad rap about blowing things out of proportion. Thank you to the other 2 stations for keeping your sense of sanity. As for the other station, thank you for your ridiculous Broadway production.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday Update

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk of severe weather for Western & Central Kansas and extreme NW Oklahoma. This area of Kansas has a threat for a few strong and long-lived tornadoes Thursday afternoon and evening. In the rest of Western & Central Oklahoma there is a slight risk of severe weather, but don't be fooled by the term "slight". Any storm that develops in the state tomorrow afternoon and evening has the potential to produce a significant tornado, in my opinion.

Later this afternoon and evening, and especially Thursday morning, you should feel the difference in the air as compared to what the air feels like as of Wednesday at Noon. Very humid air that is now residing over south Texas and the Gulf of Mexico is going to flood the state tonight. This air is the key ingredient for producing significant severe weather.

Bottom line: I would keep informed of weather conditions Thursday afternoon and evening....(it's hard NOT to be informed with our TV weathermen). I can't tell you where and exactly when, but my gut tells me something significant is going to happen tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Memorial Weekend Tornado Outbreak

It is looking more and more evident that a violent tornado outbreak will occur this Thursday through Sunday, but fortunately the area of concern is west of OKC. The affected areas are looking likely to be western Nebraska, western Kansas, and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. Unfortunately for these areas, the storm is going to stall-out and produce repeated rounds of very severe weather over the same areas over multiple days. If OKC gets any severe weather I would say it is more likely to be around Sunday and Memorial Day, and I don't think it will be a tornado outbreak like further west.

Like always this can change. If it does I'll post an update.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Update For Next Week


There are two main computer models that are used to forecast in the medium to long-term. Both of them are in relatively good agreement, which is a rare thing 7 days in advance. The time period beginning next Thursday and then lasting for about a week could rival the 2003 tornado outbreak sequence of May 4-10, which collectively produced 401 tornadoes across the country. As of right now, the following states are at greatest risk, in my opinion: Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and yes, Oklahoma. This is going out on a limb, but I would expect the Storm Prediction Center to issue 1 or 2 rare high-risks somewhere in the above mentioned areas, possibly beginning as early as Thursday, May 22.

As we know, things can definitely change. But the fact that one of these models has been consistent in showing this pattern developing for almost a week now has me feeling confident in making the above predictions. I just hope all of the tornadoes stay out in open fields, because my gut tells me there is going to be a lot of them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Severe Weather Ahead

I thought the severe weather potential next week deserved a post. A pretty nasty looking storm is showing up for later next week into next weekend (May 22nd-May 26th). The computer models have been pretty consistent in showing this developing, so even though it is over a week away, I am starting to feel fairly confident that a tornado outbreak will occur on the Plains during this timeframe. Locations/specifics are still way to early to pin down, but this situation looks like a classic Oklahoma severe weather event, instead of the surprise spin-up mini-tornadoes we have been getting here in the city the past couple of months.

Also, I haven't blogged since the outbreak this past Saturday that included the tornado in Picher. Very sad, especially considering the plight of the town regardless of the tornado. The tornado was rated EF-4, the first tornado in Eastern Oklahoma rated that high since 1993. The tornado hit really close to home for a friend of ours, and she recently blogged about it.

The width of the tornado was a mile at it's widest, and the path length was an unbelievable 76 miles. To put that in perspective, no tornado on May 3, 1999 had a path length that long. One tornado being on the ground for that long is extremely rare. The norm is for a supercell to create a "family" of tornadoes, where one tornado dissipates, and then the storm re-organizes and a while later puts down a new tornado, and so on.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 3, 1999

It's hard to believe that we're at the 9th anniversary of the largest tornado outbreak in Oklahoma history. My memories are still vivid from that day. I remember leaving school that afternoon and feeling how hot and humid it was outside. The sky looked and felt angry. If you have lived in Oklahoma a while, you know that feeling. I had to work that night (and yes, I wish I would have called in sick to watch the live coverage), but before I left for work I was watching Gary England showing the first tornado touchdown of the day, SW of Chickasha. I expected the tornado to be on the ground for a minute or so and then lift, as most tornadoes do. As we all know, these weren't going to be like "most tornadoes." Before I left for work I turned to my dad and said, "tonight is going to be a bad night." Little did I know how bad it would turn out to be.

I still remember how green the sky turned later that night. I remember calling my parents to find out how many different tornadoes there were at any given time and if there were any headed towards us. I also remember the guilt I felt for being excited about tornadoes after finding out how bad the destruction was.

I have listed a few facts and other things you may not know about May 3, 1999. Also, share any memories you have from that day, if you would like.

-A total of 70 tornadoes were reported that day, a majority of them from 3 different supercell thunderstorms.

-The most "infamous" tornado of the day was the one that struck Moore. However, after dark, a tornado that struck Mulhall (just north of Guthrie) was possibly just as intense, IF NOT more intense, than the Moore tornado. Since no structures were hit and the tornado was in open country at its' peak, we will never know. Radar and a few storm spotters have placed estimates that the circulation itself was possibly over 2 miles wide at times!

-It was not evident until later in the afternoon that a tornado outbreak was imminent. In fact, only a slight risk of severe weather was forecast the morning of May 3rd. It was upgraded to a moderate risk around noon, and a high risk around 3PM.

-The events of that day finally put to rest a popular misconception....that highway overpasses are a safe place to seek shelter. NEVER, EVER, WHATSOEVER seek shelter from a tornado under an overpass. You might as well stand in a wind tunnel with debris thrown in it.

-For the first time in National Weather Service history, a "Tornado Emergency" was issued. National Weather Service forecasters felt that the term "Tornado Warning" was not enough for the situation. Since then, Tornado Emergencies have been issued only when a large tornado is headed directly for a population Greensburg. Below is the original text for the OKC "Tornado Emergency"

657 PM CDT MON MAY 3 1999



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Joys of Severe Weather Forecasting

The weather has been rather tame lately, so there hasn't been too much to talk about. What follows are random thoughts about weather forecasting......

There have been a couple of "busts" over the past few weeks with regards to severe weather forecasts. I remember the night of the NCAA National Championship many forecasters thought we were in for a substantial outbreak of severe weather. I had bought into the forecast as well. Needless to say, it didn't pan out as expected. Yes, we had a storm with hail that moved through North OKC that night, but that was only one of a few severe storms in the state that day, and none were even close to producing tornadoes. Now for the reason why.....

Lack of moisture. That's it. That's all. Most of the computers had predicted the high-moisture, high-octane air that was sitting over south Texas to surge north into Oklahoma during the evening, providing the last ingredient needed for tornadoes. The more moisture that there is in the air, the closer to ground-level that clouds can form, and the easier it is for storms to rotate closer to the ground. I honestly believe that if more moisture HAD been in place that night, the results would have been different. The storm that moved through OKC had a well-defined hook echo, but this "hook" was located a few thousand feet above ground level, so it was never a threat to tornado. Had that circulation been at ground level, I believe the result COULD have been a large tornado.

The forecasters did the right thing. The potential was there for dangerous weather that night. When the elements are coming together for an outbreak, you better err on the side of caution, because failing to do so could produce some undesirable consequences.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday Update

Just got done studying for my Intermediate Accounting test tomorrow, but before I go to bed here are my thoughts for Monday......

We have ALMOST all ingredients in place for a fairly nasty severe weather event Monday night. The one thing that will be lacking the most is moisture. Even if moisture ends up being a little low, I expect a few supercells to form in western Oklahoma between 5 and 7PM. The storms will probably be along a line from Alva to Clinton to Altus. Wind shear will be more than adequate for the storms to acquire rotation. They will move in an easterly direction at about 25 to 30MPH, putting them at the Highway 81 corridor around 9PM and possibly the I-35 corridor between 10:00 and 11:00. The storms will be capable of very large hail and isolated tornadoes, especially in the 9:00 to 11:00 timeframe, which is when surface winds will increase out of the SE, feeding the storm's inflow.

I will add that we should be thankful that moisture isn't going to be any higher than it already is going to be on Monday. If that were the case, I would be talking about the potential for strong/possibly violent tornadoes Monday night.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Monday Severe Weather

Looking at the latest info, it appears that Monday evening/night could be rough. Many storm chaser message boards are buzzing about the prospects of a regional tornado outbreak in western and central Oklahoma. Wind shear (changing of wind direction or wind speed with height) is forecasted to be strong. Temperatures are going to warm to near 80, and dewpoints should be in the low to mid 60's, which is definitely enough moisture for severe weather.

It seems like I had this exact same post last week, but the storm system didn't pan out as had been forecasted a few days in advance. That could definitely happen again this time, but if this active pattern continues this Spring we are bound to get hit eventually....

More posts to come as needed.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reader Question

Sorry, couldn't resist the title.

Someone recently asked me how it is that a tornado can damage one house but leave the house next to it with little, if any, damage. From what I know here are the 3 main reasons:

1) Path of the tornado

Often times a tornado is weak enough or small enough to inflict damage on only a very small path. The most intense winds may be only a few yards or even feet wide, leaving one neighbor unscathed and the other neighbor weighted with bad luck. Also, a tornado may not always be fully in contact with the ground, displaying a "hop and skip" pattern.

2) Structural integrity

Small subtleties in the construction of a house can make a big difference. How well is the frame anchored to the foundation? What kind and how good are the clips that are used to attach the roof to the house? One home may display significantly more damage than another because of a small difference in quality of construction. If one small corner of a roof fails and causes the roof to become detached, the rest of the home is left open for the tornado to damage. A house across the street is hit by the same tornado, but the roof remains intact, and thus no interior damage is done......maybe except for a few windows.

3) Multiple-vortex tornadoes

Sometimes several small "suction vortices" will be visible in a tornado (see above image). Sometimes what appears to be one large tornado is actually many smaller vortices, all rotating around each other (hence the name). Oftentimes these can be the most violent tornadoes, and they can also leave striking damage paths. Since the smaller vortices are all rotating every which way, total destruction can lay next to a few shingles peeled off, only a few hundred feet away. The picture below shows a field that was hit by a multiple-vortex tornado. Note all of the smaller paths where the smaller vortices passed.

I hope that answered the question well enough (or maybe too well for some of you!)

Monday, March 31, 2008

That Was a Little TOO Close....

Apparently I ticked off Mother Nature with my post about a piece of land being affected by a tornado once every 2,220 years (see two posts below). A couple of homes only a half-a-mile to our NW had their occurrence happen just last night, in the Valencia addition at 178th and Penn. From what I have seen it looks like F1 damage.

It all started about 12:45 last night as I picked up the remote to turn off the TV for the night. It just happened that Gary England was on and he was noting a peculiar "configuration" at 150th and County Line Road. Soon the configuration turned into a full blown hook-echo that almost looked like the eye of a hurricane, and about the same time Val reported a brief tornado. The rotation continued to intensify as it headed pretty much in our direction, with such terms as "could tornado at anytime" and an occasional "WOW" being thrown out by storm chasers that are sitting a mile from our house. It really happened that fast. Going from ready to go to sleep to a possible tornado headed directly at you is a little unnerving. The "official" tornado warning came out a few minutes later, and Liz, myself, and Enid (not so happy in her cat carrier) found ourselves sitting in the bathtub.

I have never been that close to a tornado. I know so because the wind went from howling at 40 MPH out of the SE to dead calm in a couple of minutes. Looking back it is probably when the wind went dead calm that the tornado was only a couple of streets to our NW. It was eerie to say the least.

I never "endorse" watching a particular meteorologist. Until now. I've often joked about the acronym, but I have never seen as detailed of a radar as MOAR. When I get the images from last night I will post them here, they were incredible. If we had been watching the two other stations we would have turned off the TV and fallen asleep. They were five to ten minutes behind Gary in showing the rotation. And throughout the night, Gary interrupted programming the LEAST. When he was on air, it was for relevant updates. Just my "two cents."

By the way, expect another round of severe weather Thursday, possibly significant.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Let Severe Weather Season Begin!

Sunday night and Monday afternoon could yield the first major severe weather event for the western half of Oklahoma in 2008. A low pressure center will set up over northwest Oklahoma, with a cold front sitting in northern Oklahoma and a dryline extending south across western Oklahoma. Right now it looks like a few isolated storms will form after 5PM west of OKC. If all of the ingredients come into play at the right time (wind shear, moisture, instability), a few tornadoes could occur Sunday night. As a matter of fact, the new severe weather outlook just issued by the Storm Prediction Center mentions the possibility of a couple of strong and long-lived tornadoes Sunday night. It might be a good idea to do a refresher of tornado safety rules in case there is an outbreak.

The cold front won't move through until Monday evening, so the severe threat will continue through Monday afternoon. The amount of severe weather Monday depends on the amount of cloud cover we have in the morning. If storms move out during the morning and we get breaks in the clouds during the day, we could have another substantial event. Only time will tell.

It is more certain that we will get heavy rain Sunday and Monday, on the order of one to inches worth.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tornado Odds

Ever wonder what the odds of a particular location being hit by a tornado are? Well, if you live in Oklahoma, it's approximately once every 2,220 years, according to a study that I came across. Whether you live in Moore, downtown OKC, or Edmond, this is how often a piece of property will be affected by a tornado. (Nobody can explain the Moore phenomenon.....I attribute it to plain bad luck.) If you break it down to the odds of being affected by a violent tornado (F4 or F5), the frequency becomes once every 7,000 years or so.

Heat, cold, lightning, and floods all kill more people than tornadoes do every year. Not that the risk from tornadoes should be ignored, but sometimes I think the threat is a little exaggerated, even in the heart of tornado alley.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Little Background

(crayon-inspired weather map at age 11)

To kick off my new blog devoted to the weather, I thought I would start with a little background of how I got to this point. This isn't a hobby that I picked up as a teenager or a casual affair for actually goes back as long as I can remember. My first memory of weather is asking my mom what the "H" on the weather map meant. (It means high pressure for the weather impaired.) It is only fitting that my second memory of weather was a record OKC snowstorm that ruined my bowling birthday party when I turned 7.

I wasn't the most.......ahem........normal boy growing up. While other kids were playing G.I. Joe and Batman, I was drawing weather maps, like the one above. (Hey, I got cool points for liking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, right?) My mom was great at supporting my interest. She set up a meeting for me with Alan Mitchell, a former weatherman from Channel 9, when I was 10. (I thought it was really cool that he could zoom in on the big swimming pool of one of the nearby houses with their new satellite pictures.) She also brought me to the Omniplex when they opened the "weather studio" so I could practice being on TV. I froze in front of the audience of about 10, needless to say. She also helped me plan out what classes I needed to take in high school to prepare for all of the calculus I needed to take in college for a meteorology degree.

I landed an internship my Senior year in high school at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman. The following year I started my basics at Oklahoma City Community College. Here is where the problem occurred: I loved weather, but was not a big fan of advanced math. And I was going to have to take ALOT of math classes. So after much contemplation, I decided I wasn't willing to go through 5 years of Hades to major in something for which the job market didn't have many openings to begin with. Also, it wasn't like I couldn't be involved with the weather if that didn't become my profession of choice.

So that brings us here. Ten years ago I would have never guessed I would love my job as an Internal Audior at a financial institution and that I would be back in school going for my CPA. I would also have never guessed I would start a weather blog, or would have aspirations of one day becoming a volunteer storm spotter when Liz and I have the available funds. Storm chasing is not cheap.

So welcome to my blog. I will use this as my forum to spout about anything weather related that interests me.......I hope occassionally I interest you too.