Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Hail Was as Bad as Forecast

Fortunately, the tornadoes were not.
Thunderstorm moving toward the Smith House this afternoon.
There were so many huge hail (≥2") reports (black symbols) you can't begin to see them all on this map. More will be posted tomorrow. The only tornado (red) was east of Ada, OK.
Goodnight, everyone!

Tornado Watch Just Issued For Oklahoma and North Texas Until 11pm.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of central Oklahoma and north Texas (the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex is included) until 11pm.
The area I'm most concerned about for tornadoes is from around Pauls Valley in southern Oklahoma to around Gainesville in northern Texas and one county on either side.

The first thunderstorm is developing southeast of Duncan, OK. on the 4:07pm radar. It should begin moving northeast.

Sunday: 2pm Severe Weather Update

Dear Readers,

I continue believe (see below) that there will be tornadoes and severe thunderstorms with very large hail as indicated below.

I don't expect anything major before 3 to 3:30pm, so if you want to ran an errand in the affected area, now is the time to do it. After that time, please keep up on the weather at the first sign of a thunderstorm's approach.

I'll update again when I think things are beginning to develop.


Major Hail and Tornado Threat

While it is in a geographically concentrated area, there is an important tornado and very large hail threat in parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

From the Kansas border to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, there is a significant chance of tornadoes with an enhanced chance in southern Oklahoma from around Norman to just south of the Red River. I recommend people in this region pay attention to the weather later today.

Very Large Hail
It is a "put your car in the garage day"!
The significant threat level on this map is 15% (yellow) and, as you can see, the threat is 45% from near Perry to DFW. The hatching means the hail could be larger than 2 inches.

I'll update on these threats later today.

Sunday Fun: A Bonus From the California Rains

In addition to ending the drought and fixing the water crisis (and, yes, creating some soggy salads), California will greatly increase hydroelectric power. This means zero carbon emissions at no cost and cheaper energy for the Golden State.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

How Much Rain Has Fallen So Far?

Here we are, into the third day of the extended period of rain for the Great Plains. The rainfall amounts, so far, are below.
The yellow areas have had more than two inches. There is a tiny spot in eastern Colorado with three inches. Of course, my house had 0.08 inches.

More rains to come.

By Definition, If It Isn't Reproducible, It Isn't "Science"

Reproducibility shouldn't give them a second thought. It should be in their figurative DNA. That is, unless they are advocates rather than scientists.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Amazon Running Low

It has been a very good week for sales of Warnings. Amazon is running low.

It is now up to 60 reviews and they continue to be stellar.
All six reviews at Barnes & Noble are five-star.
If you combine the ratings, it means that 89% of the reviews are 5-Star and 9% are 4-Star. Not bad!

The bad/mediocre reviews come from meteorologists and meteorology students who, unfortunately, expect a textbook-type experience rather than a great story about how the (still, unfortunately) under appreciated storm warning system came to be and how lives get saved every month by this amazing system.

So, if you are looking for a great book. Click on the green link above. You'll really enjoy it!

Attention Gardeners, Farmers and Ranchers

Here is the regional actual precipitation from the time it began in Colorado about 30 hours ago.

Okay, because we are now in planting season (soil temperatures rising) and I personally know people who are planning to garden this weekend, here is another update on rainfall prospects for the next ten days.

GFS Model Forecast for Ten Days
For reasons not well understood, the GFS typically is drier in its Great Plains forecasts produced from the morning data which again seems to be the case here. The other two models have turned wetter compared to last night's and yesterday's forecasts.

CFC Forecast
Yes, that is an 8+" area in northwest Kansas. Do not take any of the specific details of these forecasts too literally as illustrated below.

ECMWF Forecast
The ECMWF has forecast, like the CFC, some excessive rainfall in Kansas. But, this time, their forecast is for it to occur in the southern Flint Hills rather than northwest Kansas.

Again, do not take the details literally. The takeaway from these forecasts is that moderate to heavy rains will fall over most of this area the next ten days.

ECMWF Regional
Because the ECMWF is the usually the best of the three, here is the latest rainfall forecast for the entire region for the next ten days.

So, gardeners, farmers and ranchers -- use this information in a way that is most useful to you. The great news is that the long-forecasted rains have arrived and will continue for a while!

The Tornado Risk Has Increased a Bit

Five percent is the significant threshold. Ten percent, which includes Shreveport and Lufkin, means to really keep an eye out.

Thunderstorms are also forming (right now along the KS-OK border). There is a slight chance of a weak tornado or two (a/k/a, "landspouts") if the storms can interact with the upper atmospheric low pressure system.
12:25pm CDT Radar
These storms are moving almost straight north.

If All You Have Is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

Al Gore's latest attempt to stay in the news.
If you want to kill brain cells by reading the article, it is here.

Some Superb Advice

Late Season Snow

Snow likely through parts of the West.

Rain Amounts on Day One

Here are the rainfall amounts from yesterday afternoon and evening's showers and thunderstorms.

ADDITION: Close-up of amounts.

Tornado Risk Today in the South

The area in brown has a significant risk of tornadoes later today and tonight.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Multi-Day Rainy Period Begins

Finally: Rains begin in the Great Plains. 

Latest Ten Day Rainfall Update for the Great Plains

I'm going to arrange this the same way I did the last time so you can compare the forecasts directly, if you should choose to do so.

GFS Forecast

CMC Forecast

ECMWF Forecast
So, the prospects for rain continue to look good!!

How Do You Estimate Wind Speeds?

Plus, I'll have an update this afternoon on rainfall prospects for the winter wheat belt.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Rainfall To-Date

You can see that parts of the Great Plains (not to mention the Southwest) have had zero rain so far this month. That is all going to change starting tomorrow.

"Struggled to Put it Down"

A couple of posts on Twitter.
When I asked for permission to put her comments on my blog, Lynette wrote:
Thank you, Lynnette. Here is a link to the book at Amazon.

U.S. Greenhouse Emissions Continuing to Decline

We don't need no Paris agreements; thanks to fracking our emissions are actually going down.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ten Day Rainfall Forecast From Three Computer Models

GFS Model

This is usually the least skillful model.

CMC Model

The ECMWF is usually the best model for this purpose.

Let me stress that none of these models should be taken literally. The best way to use them would be to blur them together to get a general idea of rainfall amounts over the region during the next ten days.

There will be periods of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the central and southern Great Plains but those are too difficult to pin down at this point. Here is the one I expect late this week.


This short article is well worth the time.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Detailed Long Term Rainfall Outlook

Because of the critical nature of the rainfall outlook for the Great Plains, I am putting together this comprehensive outlook. If you have friends or associates that would benefit from this information, I invite you to forward it to them.

Wildfire Danger, Before the Rains Arrive
There is another period of high wildfire danger before the rains begin Thursday night.

Next Five Days
I believe these amounts are a little on the low side in Kansas and Oklahoma but this is where we are going to begin.

Rainfall PATTERN for Ten Days
It is very important as you view these that these are generalized, smoothed forecast of the rainfall pattern. Do not use them to determine rainfall at a particular spot.
ECMWF smoothed
GFS Smoothed
This CMC data is not smoothed, so it is especially important not to use it to assign an amount to a particular location. I'm simply showing this to show that three of the best meteorological models in the world are all coming to the same conclusion.
CMC unsmoothed
Rainfall PATTERN for 15 Days
ECMWF smoothed
GFS Smoothed
Rainfall Pattern for April 1 to 14
I am not a big fan of these experiment outlooks because they are often incorrect. These outlooks are often of inconsistent quality. However, there are a number of indicators beyond what is in the computer models that point toward the wet period continuing into early April. So, I am going ahead and showing it.

So, the bottom line is that rainfall over the Great Plains the next month should be wetter than normal. Very good news, indeed.

Why the Kansas Wildfires Are Such an Important Story

I appreciate the New York Times providing quality coverage of this catastrophe for the Kansas, and surrounding states', ranching sector.
Ranching families across this countryside are now facing an existential threat to a way of life that has sustained them since homesteading days: years of cleanup and crippling losses after wind-driven wildfires across Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle killed seven people and devoured homes, miles of fences and as much as 80 percent of some families’ cattle herds.

I highly recommend both the article and the accompanying video. 

This is why I am going to do extra coverage over the next two weeks of the prospects for rain across the Great Plains. If the rains are substantial and come quickly enough, it will make a difference to the 2017 winter wheat crop as well as help the pastureland come back more quickly.

Yet Another Terrible Tragedy

Another horrible and completely avoidable tragedy. The full story is here.


With the Rains Come Severe Thunderstorms

Unfortunately, in the Central United States, when the rains come so do severe thunderstorms. This is something to keep in mind later in the week.