Monday, October 21, 2019

"Without Warning" = Fake News

"Without warning" is fake news and the journalists that wrote this headline should be ashamed of themselves.

Here is the forecast that was posted on this blog at 10am yesterday, 11 hours before the tornado.
North Dallas was in the "enhanced" tornado risk area. That forecast was reiterated throughout the day.

This tweet was 40 minutes before the tornado.

One minute before the tornado touched down. Note that it cited "NW Dallas" as the threat area.

Two minutes later as the tornado was touching down.
Here is the warning:
In addition, the DFW TV stations were cutting in with storm warnings, weather radios were going off and smartphones were sounding alarms. To claim the tornado struck "without warning" is simply absurd.

Some were appreciative of the warning effort.
So, don't believe it when the media reflexively writes "no warning" seemingly after every tornado. Trust the warning system to provide forecasts and warnings when major storms threaten. 

Tornado Safety: A Necessity Throughout the Year

With the destructive tornadoes in Kathleen, Florida, and elsewhere over the weekend, here is an ebook about the essential nature of tornado warning systems. You can easily read it in one evening.
Here are some recent ratings.
The book contains excellent safety advice for home, work and school. I will be among the best $2.99 you'll ever spend.

1:45a Special Tornado Update

1:42am, the tornado threat (purple polygons on this map) is, as expected, now concentrated in southwest Missouri. 
The yellow counties are still under tornado watches. In Arkansas, those last until 7am.

This is the last update as I am retiring for the night.

Special 12:01am Monday Update

The yellow-tinted counties are currently under tornado watches. Between midnight and 2a Monday, I'm especially worried about the area I've outlined in yellow which encompasses much of the Ozarks. Wind gusts to 80-90 mph and brief tornadoes are likely.

Below are safety suggestions you should implement immediately. 
  • Because of the higher than average overnight tornado risk, I strongly recommend downloading  the AccuWeather app . Be sure to "allow" location services. 
  • Making sure you have turned the emergency notification feature (ENF) your smartphone. Easy instructions below. For all of its many imperfections, it is ideal for this use. 
  • If you are in the threat area, put your (fully charged) smartphone with the AW App and the ENF turned on next to your bed. Turn on your weather radio. 
  • Insure your PC and phone are fully charged but take them off the charger before lightning arrives.
  • Put any family heirlooms (scrapbooks, etc.) into your shelter area now. 
  • Have a flashlight (check the batteries), a couple bottles of water, and diapers in your shelter area. Take your cell phone into shelter with you. Crucial medications should be taken to shelter with you. 
  • Always wear shoes into your shelter. 
Here is how to turn your smartphone into a tornado alarm. 
On an iPhone, go to "Settings" (the "gear" icon) 
and then choose notifications (arrow).

Once you have tapped Notifications, scroll down to the bottom and turn on Emergency Alerts.
While not as fast or as location-specific as NWS warnings provided by the AccuWeather App, the WEA tones will wake you up at night if the phone is next to your bed and the volume is turned up. So, you want both. Because WEA only triggers for tornado and flash flood warnings you don't have the false alarm problem that you have with many NOAA Weather Radios. Please make sure family and friends have done this.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Special Update: Tornado Watch Southwest Missouri Until 5am

This watch is in effect until 5am. Scroll down for instructions to make your iPhone an overnight #tornado alarm."

Note: A tornado went across north Dallas this evening causing injuries and considerable damage. The path is below. Click to enlarge. 
Sunday Night Football was in progress in Arlington while the tornado was cutting through north Dallas. Because of the progress we have made in tornado science, there was no need to stop the game. 

That's all for tonight. 

Last Update of the Evening

Here is an overview of the warnings in effect as of 8:44pm. On this map, purple = tornado warning and red = severe thunderstorm warning.
So far, this weather situation is evolving about as expected with the higher probability of tornadoes from about 9pm to 3am in the areas outlined by tornado watches (below).

This will be the last blog update for the evening. For more, please follow me on Twitter @usweatherexpert.

Tornado Watch: Eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas Ozarks

This tornado watch is in effect until 3am. Strong tornadoes and 80 mph winds are forecast by the NWS.


OVERNIGHT TORNADO FORECAST, UPDATED 7:35PM

Updated NWS Tornado Forecast to 7am 
Also, Strong Tornadoes Forecast to Occur
From Now Until 3am 

The NWS's significant tornado risk is the brown area from near Ft. Worth to near the Mississippi River in Missouri and Arkansas.

The yellow area is an enhanced risk of tornadoes and, in the hatched area, strong tornadoes are forecast to occur. It is time to begin monitoring the weather throughout this area. 

"What Should I Do Now?"
Below are safety suggestions you should implement immediately. 
  • Because of the higher than average overnight tornado risk, I strongly recommend downloading  the AccuWeather app . Be sure to "allow" location services. 
  • Making sure you have turned the emergency notification feature (ENF) your smartphone. Easy instructions below. For all of its many imperfections, it is ideal for this use. 
  • If you are in the threat area, put your (fully charged) smartphone with the AW App and the ENF turned on next to your bed. Turn on your weather radio. 
  • Insure your PC and phone are fully charged but take them off the charger before lightning arrives.
  • Put any family heirlooms (scrapbooks, etc.) into your shelter area now. 
  • Have a flashlight (check the batteries), a couple bottles of water, and diapers in your shelter area. Take your cell phone into shelter with you. Crucial medications should be taken to shelter with you. 
  • Always wear shoes into your shelter. 
Here is how to turn your smartphone into a tornado alarm. 
On an iPhone, go to "Settings" (the "gear" icon) 
and then choose notifications (arrow).

Once you have tapped Notifications, scroll down to the bottom and turn on Emergency Alerts.
While not as fast or as location-specific as NWS warnings provided by the AccuWeather App, the WEA tones will wake you up at night if the phone is next to your bed and the volume is turned up. So, you want both. Because WEA only triggers for tornado and flash flood warnings you don't have the false alarm problem that you have with many NOAA Weather Radios. Please make sure family and friends have done this.

First Tornado Watch of the Evening

This tornado watch is in effect until 2am. In addition to tornadoes, very large hail and damaging thunderstorm winds are likely.

Addition tornado watches will likely be issued farther north as the evening progresses.

If you want additional data pertaining to warnings, please follow me on Twitter @usweatherexpert.

Sunday Fun: Yes! This is Kansas!


This is Kansas' newest state park. It opened last week and it is amazing (yes, I have been there).

If you want a unique outdoor experience, I highly recommend it. More information here.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

One Private Jet Flight = 1/3th of Recommended ANNUAL Per Capital Carbon Consumption

Here is a good way to measure words versus deeds. Following each candidates' statement about global warming is the amount they spent on private jet travel in just the third quarter of 2019.
"Vice President Joe Biden, who dropped about $924,000 on private air travel …"

"Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent nearly $479,000 on private flights over the past three months"

"Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) used about $253,000 in campaign cash to charter flights"

I'm always amused by people whose carbon footprints are the size of Montana telling the rest of us how urgent it is that we cut ours. As Dr. Glenn Reynolds says, I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis. 

Sometimes, I think the ego and private jet travel, rather than public service, are the main reasons people run for President.

H/T Breitbart from which the quotations came.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Tropical Storm Nestor Has Formed

The above indicates the path of the cent of Nestor (the white area) and the tropical storm watch (blue). Nestor is, and will be, a lopsided storm with gusts to 70 mph along the white path and as far southeast as the red line. In addition, tornadoes are possible in these areas. 

Because of the storm's fast movement, the rains will not cause serious flooding. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

World Series Earthquake: 30 Years Ago This Evening


It was 30 years ago this evening when meteorologist Rick Dittman and I were standing in the WeatherData, Incorporated forecast center expecting to watch the World Series as we went about our work for the evening. Boy, were we surprised.

I have the video cued up at about the 4:20 mark on the original video. About ten seconds into the excerpt, you hear the crowd start to stir as the stadium begins shaking. A few second later as the feed begins to break up, you hear the voice of Al Michaels saying, I'll tell you what, we're having an earth..." and the feed is lost. Michaels comes back on at about 5:02. I think you'll find his commentary to be quite interesting.

It was one of the worst earthquakes in the United States in the last 50 years.

Thank You, Property and Casualty Insurance Industry of Kansas

Mike and I had a great time in Manhattan last week during his talk to the Kansas Property and Casualty Insurance Industry. Thank you for having us and we look forward to working with you again soon.
                                                    -- Shelley Seidl

More Wind and Solar in the United States = Unstable Electric Grid

It is spring in Australia with summer coming up. There is increasing concern their electrical grid will not be able to handle the summer heat. Details here. Why is this the case? Australia has implemented more solar and, especially, wind. I strongly recommend the United States does not repeat Australia's mistake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Please Stay Away From Tracks During The Tour of Union Pacific #4014


As part of the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike to create the U.S.'s first Transcontinental Railroad, Union Pacific's "Big Boy" #4014 is touring the western half of the nation the rest of the year. You can find its schedule here. The Big Boy is the largest locomotive (of any kind) ever produced and it is a truly thrilling sight.

That said, I want to provide this caution: Stay at least 25 feet from the track. In 2018, a woman was killed standing next to the track in Brighton, Colorado, while photographing Big Boy's sister #814.
Since witnesses said she was looking through the camera's viewfinder at the time, one could surmise she was using a wide-angle lens that made the train look farther way than it actually was. And, unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. The headline below is also from 2018.

And, always assume every track is active. Big Boy is loud and you don't want to be struck by a train coming from the opposite direction. The picture below was taken Saturday evening.

So, please go out and enjoy #4014. It is an amazing sight. But, stay well away from the tracks. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"Warnings" -- A Great Gift

A brand new review at Amazon:
I would recommend that all weather geeks, meteorologists, forecasters, emergency management personnel, storm spotters and chasers read Mike Smith's uplifting tome on weather warnings. All info presented was thoughtful and pragmatic and historically accurate -- A great read. Mr. Smith is also a great writer. 

And, the review immediately before:
I expected this book to be interesting. But, I didn't expect it to be such a page-turner. I couldn't put it down. The writing is excellent. It has a good pace and kept me coming back for more. I love reading about weather, but I can't say too many meteorology books have had me up min the middle of the night saying, "just one more chapter!" This one did. The specific storm stories weave together the topics perfectly. I want to deliver a free copy to anyone who snakes about the weatherman never getting it right. They just don't understand. This book shines a light on the everyday heroics of storm forecasters that go unnoticed and unappreciated. And, it's a fun read!

And, yesterday, an unsolicited comment from Twitter about both books.

This uplifting book is a perfect gift. 
With the holidays coming....

Congratulations, Wichita's Newman University

Tomorrow, Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman will be declared a saint of the Catholic Church. There will be a canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

Newman is the only university in the United States named after the soon-to-be saint. They have been celebrating all week and they will be watching at 3am CDT tomorrow when the celebration begins.