Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blog Update

Spending Monday doing an interview with the BBC. Not sure if I'll get a post up.

There are some thought-provoking posts below.

Yes, Tornadoes Occur in Other Nations

I am frequently asked about tornadoes in other nations. Here is one from Great Britain yesterday.
Details and more photos here.

Sunday Fun: Steam Locomotive in the Middle of a Freeway



There is a place on I-10 as you drive from downtown Los Angeles to San Bernadino where the Metrolink tracks suddenly appear in the median of the freeway. Imagine the surprise the drivers who suddenly found themselves next to this giant steam locomotive.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Review: "Disasters & Climate Change"

To many, especially those that read about global warming in the media, my insistence that disasters have not increased in the global warming era seems odd, to say the least.

There are two reasons my position does not track media reporting. The first is that the media reports "science by press release" rather than the actual content of scientific publications. Press releases usually emphasize the sensational aspects of a paper in order to get press coverage. So, it is a never-ending cycle of disaster hype.

The second reason is that, as a meteorologist, I try to keep up with the actual science. In that regard, I just finished a great book that reaffirms that disasters have not increased.

The title is The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. Dr. Pielke's research demonstrates:
  • The dysfunctional nature of climate science with regard to attribution of global warming and increased disasters.
  • There is high confidence that global warming has driven daily extreme high temperatures to more frequent occurrences. 
  • It is "likely" (i.e., better than 50/50) that some parts of the world are observing more rainfall due to climate change. One of those areas is Central North America. If true (and, it may be), that is a good thing!
  • But, even though some areas may be receiving more rainfall, "there is very little evidence to suggest that these increases have been accompanied by increasing floods." I completely agree with Roger's conclusion. There is virtually no reliable evidence that floods are increasing. The implications of this are huge: America is the breadbasket of the world. More rain (and, longer growing seasons due to a warmer climate) without additional floods means more food production for a hungry world.
  • US hurricane intensity is decreasing. The US is in the longest "drought" of major hurricanes in more than 200 years. We have not had a major hurricane in nearly 11 years.
  • Page 70 says there is no discernible trend in worldwide hurricanes. 
  • There is no indication tornadoes are increasing. Note from me: The graph in the posting below shows major US tornadoes are decreasing.
For more than a quarter-century, we have been hearing about supposed doom from worsening disasters due to global warming. They haven't occurred in spite of humanity harmlessly passing literally dozens of "tipping points." 

Roger recommends decarbonizing energy production, especially by finding new sources of inexpensive energy that are very low or no carbon. He correctly cautions that we cannot know for sure that additional CO2 in the future might cause disasters to increase. 

I am less enthusiastic about decarbonization because of the delay in bringing affordable energy to extreme poverty areas of the third world. I also believe additional greenhouse gases are a form of insurance against global cooling which would be catastrophic for mankind. However, that is a debate where reasonable people can disagree. 

Roger's book is quite readable to the non-scientist and I highly recommend it. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Weaponizing the Atmosphere" -- Another Silly Global Warming 'News' Story

Does anyone in Big Climate realize that their claims can be checked? Here is the key part of a new climate scare story:
There is no such thing as a "rain bomb" -- they had a dramatic photo of a downburst and decided to use it because it looks "weaponized."

How many times do I have to debunk the "tornadoes are getting worse" meme? They are not. Here is the official data.
Unfortunately, this graph ends at 2014. It would show even fewer major tornadoes for 2015 and for 2016, to-date. 

The article pines for a better time before global warming caused rainfall to increase and even shows a graph of the increases. Okay, since according to climate 'science,' human-caused global warming began in the 1950's, let's look at a time when Mother Nature was firmly in control, say, this month in 1934:
I've never understood why the catastrophic global warming people want to go back to this nostalgic era when Mother Nature was in control. It was colder and drier. Crop failures and famines were much more common as previously documented on this blog. 

I suspect this is another "conveniently timed" story given that a certain political event ended last night. 

More Nuclear Power? Yes!

A complete summary, here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Damaging Winds Possible

I don't normally cover severe thunderstorm watches but the potential for 85 mph winds and a brief tornado or two are possible as the line of storms sweeps southeast through Kansas.

Please prepare accordingly.

Tornado and Damaging Wind Risk

Late this afternoon and tonight is a risk of tornadoes:
The 5% area is where the risk is significant.

And, there is a damaging wind risk:
The 15% area is the significant risk area. The hatched area is where winds could exceed 75mph!

Please prepare accordingly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Climafornication" DNC-Style

I was amused to learn the Democratic National Convention was going to screen a climate movie this evening. I didn't watch but was intrigued when Twitter lit up about "over the top" and how poorly the movie went over.

So, I went to the DNC web site but couldn't find the movie. However, I did find it here. And, much to my surprise, most of the early part of tonight's movie is recycled footage from two years ago! The original program ran on Showtime and it was called Years of Living Dangerously. I wrote about it here. The title of my piece was an allusion to Showtime's "Californication."
Note the photo of Arnold from April, 2014, and the screen capture below from tonight's movie.
The entire Dangerously video had an intentional sepia tint to make it look "drier" and conditions worse than they were. I lightened up the screen capture above so you can see the match with Dangerously's advertisement (at top). 

Tonight's movie repeated the same sepia-tinted west Texas footage about the supposed terrible drought in that region (see below), presented as current climate conditions. A farmer is on camera talking about "last year" as if it were 2015 when, in reality, it was 2013. 

The only problem with that segment is the drought in west Texas broke long ago. Currently, no part of Texas is experiencing drought conditions. 
NOAA's official current drought index. Browns = drought.
No browns in any of Texas. 
Apparently, the climate has been so benign that they couldn't find new more disasters to film since tornadoes are way down,  there have been zero major hurricanes in the U.S. and the drought in West Texas ended. The same old footage of Hurricane Sandy has gotten tiresome.

The DNC movie repeated the same old lie that the rise in sea level the last 100 years is "largely due to climate change" when the rate of sea level rise hasn't changed since the end of the Little Ice Age.

I had to laugh at noted climate scientist Jack Black making a prediction about when Miami would be under water.

So, the DMC got to see old footage, inaccurately presented. Typical of Big Climate.

I hope the DNC knows what they were being billed for.

Wind Energy Crisis in South Australia

click to enlarge
"If you don't have affordable energy, you don't have sustainable jobs."

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Power of Lightning!

9 Lightning Deaths in the Past Two Weeks

A week ago today, I posted about lightning safety and AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' new lightning warning technology.

I am very sorry to report that nine people have lost their lives in lightning strikes in the United States the past two weeks.

If you are in charge of an outdoor event venue or have outdoor workers, please contact us so we can tell you how our lifesaving storm warnings can benefit your business and your workforce.

Update 4:26pm: Sorry to report there has been another lightning death today bringing the total to 10.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wind Damage in Chicago

Last night, it was heavy rains.

Tonight in Chicago, it is high wind damage. Via Twitter.

It is damage to the covered walkway along the L Train between Chicago and Racine caused by high winds. Here is a Tweet. Again, caused by wind not lightning.

Here is what the radar looked like at the time.
There is other damage in the city.

UPDATE from Chicago Tribune:  

Portions of the CTA’s Red Line, Blue, and Brown Line service have been temporarily suspended because of damage to a platform and debris, including a tree, that fell onto the tracks during Sunday night's storm, according to the transit agency.

Service on the Red Line between the Belmont and Grand stations has been halted on the North Side because a tree fell onto the tracks near the Armitage station, according to CTA spokewoman Catherine Hosinski, who was citing preliminary information.
As a result, trains are operating in two sections -- between the Howard and Belmont stations and between the Grand and 95th stations only, according to the CTA. Shuttle buses will be available shortly.
Additionally, Blue Line service is suspended in both directions between Kedzie and Racine stations because a pedestrian ramp which leads from the Illinois Medical District station to the platform was damaged, said Hosinski.
Hosinski initially said debris had fallen onto the tracks.

"Air Conditioning Worse Than Isis"

Kerry: Refrigerator chemicals are just as bad as ISIS

Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to “life on the planet” as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

Kerry was in Vienna negotiating a global climate deal to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants in basic household and commercial appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists blame for contributing to global warming.

Kerry made the remarks as part of a pep talk for negotiators working through the weekend to amend a 1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to deal with the chemicals.

“Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations — defense ministers and foreign ministers — as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism,” he said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we — you — are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

I wonder how the families and loved ones of people killed by ISIS (81 in Baghdad the same day Kerry made those remarks) feel about his sentiments.

Sunday Fun: I've Been Riding the Wrong Buses!

Amazing what you see on the streets of Wichita. Here is a photo taken Wednesday afternoon while
stopped in traffic. Nothing unusual until you look at the bus's destination.
"Honolulu"?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chicago Area Flash Flood Danger

A classic train echo is setting up over the northern part of Chicagoland. A "train" echo is individual thunderstorms, often in an east-west configuration, taking the same path and causing very heavy rains. Think the of boxcars moving down a track.

The train echo may continue until the line of thunderstorms to the west arrives later this evening.
Please monitor this situation and, if you are along the train echo remember, "Turn around, don't drown!"

Unusual July Rainfall Pattern

Over the next seven days, substantial rains are forecast to fall with the Southwest Monsoon and with a weakened high pressure system over the central United States.
It is unusual to see this much substantial rain forecast this time of year.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tornado Risk Today

There is a small area of the northern Great Plains that has a significant risk of tornadoes today.
If you live in this area, please keep up on the weather later today.

Climate Central: Do What We Say, Not What We Do



The folks at Climate Central are having a field day posting scary climate headlines (is there any other kind?) about the world temperatures in 2016. Of course, they don't bother to point out the high temperatures earlier in the year were highly influenced by the El Nino and temperatures are already dropping as a result of it dissipating.

It isn't even all that certain temperatures were all that high.

Satellite measurements show a peak a few months ago. Temperatures are now rapidly cooling (but you would never know that from Climate Central's headlines).

The widely respected data from Great Britain's University of East Anglia's ground-based air temperature and sea surface temperatures (below) shows that temperatures were never that high to be begin with.
So, even given Climate Central the benefit of the doubt, this is no especially big deal.

But, where I can't give them the benefit of the doubt: they do not practice what they preach.

They love to tell the rest of us we need to reduce our carbon footprints.


So, last week, I asked an official of Climate Central (the conversation is on Twitter) if they had air conditioning. Answer: yes. Doesn't that seem odd to you?

They constantly hype the global warming threat while telling us to reduce our carbon footprints. Yet, they can't give up their comfort in summer to reduce their carbon footprints. 

As Glenn Reynolds says, I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me it is a crisis start acting like it is a crisis!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Largest Hailstones in U.S. History

My friend and AccuWeather colleague, Jesse Ferrell, yesterday posted an interesting item about large hail and the largest hailstones in U.S. history. It is here. Check it out as it has a lot of interesting information.

If you look closely at "largest hailstones" map, you'll see the report of 7.75" hail in west Wichita in September, 2010.
As usual, this blog was right on top of that situation.
Over time, I have come to call 7.75" hailstones "baby noggin-sized hailstones."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ian Livingston is a Very Discerning Reader

I appreciate Ian tweeting a portion of his bookshelf.
If you would like to add this 5-Star rated book to your bookshelf, click here.

Is There a Global Warming Expedition That DOESN'T Get Stuck in Ice?

Another expedition to prove global warming is melting the polar ice cap and yet another ship stuck by the ice. This is getting so routine, it almost isn't worth reporting any more.

Real Science calls them "climate clowns." Sounds about right.

Thank You, "Warnings" Readers

Someone or someones bought a whole bunch of copies of Warnings from Amazon. Thank you!!

I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate the purchases and I hope you will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Heat Continues

AccuWeather is forecasting the heat in the Great Plains and Midwest will move east later in the week.
Details here.

Interesting Analysis of Storm Warnings

By my friend Ian Livingston.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Video of Downbursts

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang has superb video of downbursts in Phoenix yesterday. It is here.

Special Bulletin

Since it is hot over much of the nation and no major severe weather is forecast anywhere, I'll provide this special bulletin.
Dave Barry is coming to Wichita.

Yes, Dave Barry (his latest report on the Republican convention is here) will be here the evening of September 13, Abode Venue, at 7:00. The full details are here. He will be promoting his new book, "Best State Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland" which will be published the day before.

I usually buy Dave's latest book when I go on vacation and Kathleen (and the flight attendants) get upset with me because I am laughing out loud during the 'safety' ("to buckle the seat belt, insert --AHH-HAH-HAH -- the metal tab into the...") demonstration and the rest of the flight.

So, come join Dave, Kathleen and me at Abode. I don't know whether Kathleen will tell Dave to add a "do not read during the safety demonstration" warning to the cover of his books. If she does, it should add to the festivities.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Inside of "Doc" at Takeoff

Here is a cool video that shows what it was like to be in the nose of the restored B-29 "Doc" when it made its first flight after being restored yesterday.
Doc was built at Boeing Wichita during WWII, so it is especially appropriate it was restored and flew first the first time yesterday.

Lightning Hitting Stadium

This tragic headline from AccuWeather:
The story contains this important item,
Scott Pasour, 54, was struck and killed by lightning on Saturday afternoon near the entrance of Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina.
Pasour and two other motorcyclists had stopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway to put on rain gear, according to the Gaston Gazette.
The two other men were not hurt and reported that they did not see any lightning or heard any thunder until the deadly lightning bolt.

The "first bolt" from a thunderstorm is disproportionately dangerous. More about that below.

Also, via Twitter and meteorologist Brad Panovich comes this photo of a lightning strike hitting the seating area of Bank of American stadium in Charlotte. During the video from which this screen capture was made lightning strikes several times. Thank goodness the stadium was empty at the time.
AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions (AES) provides timely lightning and other types of storm warnings to more than 1,000 outdoor events each year.

As noted above, the "first bolt" from thunderstorms is disproportionately dangerous. During the past month AccuWeather advanced the state of the art again by partnering with NextStorm to provide even more advance notice (greater "lead time") before lightning strikes. Only AccuWeather has this valuable technology. 

The image below (purple rectangles) shows areas where lightning is going to form before any lightning is occurring. Our goal is to give reliable warnings in time for precautions to be taken.
So, if you are a patron of one of an outdoor event and the promoter  tells you to take shelter (as occurred Saturday night in Raleigh), please follow their instructions. And, if you don't have AccuWeather supporting you, please click on the AES link above and get in touch with us.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Forecast Rainfall for This Week


Sunday Fun: Johnny Carson Interviews 105-Year Old Kansan



One the great pleasures of my broadcast career was working at John Holt (now of WDAF TV, Fox, KC) when we were both at KSNW TV in Wichita. This is the great Johnny Carson interviewing John's 105-year old great aunt, Mildred Holt. The interview is a delight.

There was no one like Johnny Carson in the history of television.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

How Dangerous Were They??

Below, I posted an item about what I was expecting to be very dangerous storms in southwest Kansas yesterday. How dangerous did they turn out to be?

There were at least six tornadoes in southwest Kansas and far eastern Colorado yesterday (red symbols).
The squares are thunderstorm wind gusts above 75 mph! Take a look at this:
Measured gusts of 117 mph are extremely rare.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dangerous Storms: Southwest Kansas

Two tornado warnings are out along the KS-CO order near and just north of U.S. 50. Other strong thunderstorms, with possible tornadoes, are likely in southwest Kansas through this evening as the weather system shifts to the southeast.

"So, Did the Secret Service Wrestle the Tornado to the Ground!?"

I've been waiting years to write that headline and finally, it is appropriate.
According to the Capital Weather Gang, the tornado sirens rang out as the derecho moved through central Arkansas producing a gust of 68 mph. The storm began near Wichita earlier in the day when it caused an 81 mph at Eisenhower National Airport.

The story of ex-Presidents and other dignitaries in the basement is covered by Jason Samenow, here.

The derecho (path between the red arrows) caused more than a million people to lose power.

Farm Belt Rainfall

The last seven days, for July, have produced relatively widespread rainfall throughout the Farm Belt.

The next three days will produce relatively widespread (again, for July) rainfall in the region.

HOWEVER, things are going to heat up and dry up big time next week in the heart of the Farm Belt as the storm track shifts east.
AccuWeather has the full details.

UPDATE: AccuWeather has sent this updated map.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Ruthless!"

So, let me get this straight. Great Britain has been around, more or less, as a nation since the year 410 AD. So,

2016 - 410 = 1606 number of years Britain has existed

We can conclude the Brits have been around a while.

Three years ago, the British government created the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Now, as a result of Brexit, it is going to be abolished:

So, Great Britain is 'ruthlessly'going back to the status (no climate office) of its first 1603 years. Oh, the humanity!

I knew I'd approve of Brexit!

Heads Up: New England, Great Plains & Ozarks

Yesterday's storms, which began in the morning, left more than 1,000,000 people without power.

We may see something similar today with severe storms already under way in Kansas. Other strong wind producing storms may affect New England.


Wichita was already under a severe thunderstorm warning as of 8a.

The dangerous condition is high winds as the radar at 8:03am shows winds near 70 mph (pale blue) just to the northwest. Storm moving ESE.