Monday, August 3, 2015

Rainfall This Week

Here is this week's forecast rainfall. Click on map to enlarge.

Hurricane Katrina and "Warnings"

What does one professional reviewer think of Warnings' coverage of Hurricane Katrina?

Not surprisingly, the most critical event in the book is Hurricane Katrina. Among other things we learn what could go wrong with the forecasts’ timely releases, what did go wrong and why, and how they tried to get the evacuation process going while there was still time. The survivors were literally 'hung out to dry' as buck-passing and meals in high end restaurants took precedent over people. How many more could have survived if it weren't for the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo and selfishness? The night of August 31, 2005 should be etched in their memories forever as deaths of survivors began to pile up. If bureaucracy hadn't fumbled the ball, the meteorological scientists would have netted it.

This is a fascinating book, full of suspense, telling it like it is, and a great learning experience without realizing just how much of what you read will stay with you. I highly recommend this book

As the 10th anniversary of Katrina approaches later this month, pick up a copy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Delta 191: 30 Years Ago Today

For nearly two decades a debate had been raging in weather science: there was a small area of winds in some thunderstorms that flowed down then spread out near the ground with wind speeds accelerating to 50 to even 100+ mph. According to Dr. Ted Fujita, the originator of the hypothesis, they were responsible for a number of catastrophic airline crashes.

Shortly after 6pm, thirty years ago today, Delta Airlines Flight 191 crashed on approach at the north side of Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW).  One hundred thirty-seven died, including a motorist on the way to his own birthday party. Below is a diagram of the flight path (orange arrow) and the plane being forced off the path by the 100 mph microburst winds.

After Delta 191, the political and scientific winds shifted and the FAA and meteorology got to work putting the scourge of wind shear crashes behind us. The last downburst crash was USAir 1016 in Charlotte in July, 1994.

Three chapters of Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather are devoted to Delta 191: How the crash occurred, the most important trial in aviation history and how Fujita and others made air travel much safer for all of us.

Today's Tornado Risk

Parts of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Forecaster Evie: Be Safe at the Pool!

Forecaster Evie went to the pool today, but they had to clear the pool when lightning moved into the region. Here you see Evie checking the radar and the rain.

Remember: Take shelter if you can hear thunder. If you hear thunder, the lightning is close enough to strike. Stay in shelter until the thunder has ceased for 30 minutes.

Today's Tornado Risk

A large area of the northern Plains is at risk later today and tonight.
If you live in the brown area, which includes the Twin Cities, Sioux City and Sioux Falls, please keep an eye on the weather later today.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The TRUE Story of Hurricane Katrina

August, 2015, represents the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I’ve already received the first press release from a federal agency boasting about its performance. Be prepared for many more self-aggrandizing articles pertaining to government agencies. 

Fact: Meteorologists performed extremely well: The storm and its effects were forecast well in advance. Those forecasts allowed the largest storm-related evacuation in history saving tens of thousands of lives from the flooding. 

For those that did not evacuate, truth is that all levels of government performed miserably. As the media asked, over and over, at the time: Where is the cavalry? Why weren't people evacuated as the winds calmed but the waters rose. 

Warnings tells the story of what actually went wrong behind the scenes leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Storm Moving into Wichita

Wichita Airport Authority
Photo of this morning's storm moving across Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita. Great soaking rain and lot's of lightning; which converts the rain into liquid fertilizer.

Attention: Medical Profession

A fascinating (caution: graphic photo of wound) article about the fungus-related deaths in the Joplin tornado.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Global Warming Hypocrite XXXVIII

The latest is Hillary Clinton:
The story was backed up with photos of the jet and Ms. Clinton boarding the plane. Entire story is here.

In the immortal words of Glenn Reynolds: I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me it's a crisis start acting like its a crisis!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Think You Can Find the Cold Front?

Thunderstorms are casting shadows to the east as they develop along the front.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sprites Over Northwest Kansas

...taken from 700+ miles away. This is really amazing video of a rare phenomena. Enjoy!
Sprites and Meteors, 26 July 2015 from ZT Research on Vimeo.

Massive sprites and a few meteors captured with a Watec 901H2 Ultimate low light camera from Rapid City, South Dakota on the night of 26 July 2015. Sprites are huge electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere that start about 60 km in altitude and extend both upward to 90 km and downward to 20 km. They occur when a large cloud-to-ground lightning flash takes place in a large storm system below. Typically, a large negative field change caused by a horizontally extensive positive cloud-to-ground flash initiates bipolar/bidirectional electrical breakdown of the rarified air in the upper atmosphere. Positive streamers travel downward and negative streamers travel upward. They can be seen up to 700 km away with a low light camera and good view conditions. The sprites captured in this video ranged between 400 - 700 km (south central Nebraska to northcentral-northeastern Kansas).

This Week's Rainfall

Here is the forecast rainfall through 7am Saturday:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

WeatherData in 1987

Want to see what a combination commercial weather company and television weather department? Here is a video I happened to run across taken at WeatherData, Inc. in 1987.

Sunday Fun: Methlab in Federal Lab

The details are here.