Friday, March 30, 2018

Last Day at AccuWeather

Today is my last day at AccuWeather.
View of Wichita to the west of Downtown today; KSNW Ch 3's image
I want to thank this amazing team of people for all of the happy times we spent together battling Mother Nature and taking care of our clients.

I'll have more to say about my retirement later in the weekend.

Thank You Mayor Longwell!

From right: Mayor Jeff Longwell, yours truly, and AccuWeather's Jon Porter and Marshall Moss
I would like to give a special thank you to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell for making a surprise appearance at my AccuWeather retirement party yesterday. Mr. Mayor: Your words were very gracious!

I also want to thank the entire AccuWeather team (especially you, Amber!) for putting on such a wonderful celebration. I was deeply touched and I will miss you all.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Interview With "MarketWatch"

If you would like to read my pre-retirement interview with MarketWatch it is here.

Another Day With a Tornado Risk

The brown (5%) area has a significant risk a tornado today. That includes New Orleans, Gulfport and Mobile as well as points inland. Please keep an eye on the weather in this region today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Significant Tornado Risk Today

The brown area (5%) is a signifiant tornado risk. It includes Houston. Please keep an eye on the weather later today.

No Question, It's Not Even Close: All Scientific Data Should be Public

I don't think I've ever linked to Hot Air before but this time they are right on the money.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Serious Flash Flooding Threat

This is valid until 7am Wednesday. Please use extra caution, especially in the "red' area.

The Folly That is Wind Energy

So, in effect, we have come around full circle. A hundred-plus years ago, wind energy was recognized as an antiquated, unreliable and expensive source of energy – and now, after hundreds of billions of wasted tax and consumer dollars, we find that (surprise!) it still is an antiquated, unreliable and expensive source of energy. This is what happens when science is relegated to a back-of-the-bus status.

The entire piece is here.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

"I'll Believe Global Warming is a Crisis When the People Telling Me It's a Crisis Start Acting Like It's a Crisis

This headline is evergreen. You won't believe what the hypocrites at the New York Times are doing to 'fight' global warming. BTW, I somehow got on their mailing list and the article accurately represents the expedition.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Yes, Tornadoes Occur in California

My Retirement Press Release

As many of you know, I retiring from my wonderful career as a meteorologist on March 31. AccuWeather has sent out this press release if you would like to read it. I'll have more on my retirement between now and the 31st.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Illustration of Important Two Tornado Safety Rules

This and other photos from last night's tornadoes demonstrate two of the important tornado safety rules.
The tornado survivors are on the second floor of the home. The lowest floor is relatively undamaged.

Always go to the lowest level during a tornado warning. A basement is best. If not, get on the lowest possible floor and put as many walls as possible between you and the tornado. The lady is taking clothes out of her undamaged closet. The extra set of walls can make all the difference if a tornado strikes.

Dangerous Flooding Likely in California

The yellow areas in the Sierra and in southern California are where more than ten inches of rain are forecast the next five days. This could result in serious flooding, especially in the burn areas between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Another Success for Weather Science

A violent tornado struck Jacksonville, Alabama, last night -- in darkness. As far as it known there were no fatalities in last night's swarm of tornadoes.

Unfortunately, we have another day to deal wth this storm system.
Note that the risk of tornadoes is "high" and the risk of strong tornadoes is "moderate." Please keep an eye on the weather today.


Significant Tornado Risk Today

The significant tornado risk is in the brown with an enhanced risk in the yellow.

Major Snows in the Northeast

Be prepared for major snows in several areas. AccuWeather has more details.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Two Tornado Watches; Tornado Warnings Starting to Be Issued

The northern watch includes Nashville. 

The southern of the two watches is a particularly dangerous situation watch -- which is a rare category of tornado watch issued when violent tornadoes are possible. 

As of this posting, 4:36pm CDT, the radar below shows the first tornado warning of the day in northeast Mississippi to the northeast of Tupelo (red polygon).
The storms in this line are forecast to intensify and produce tornadoes into tonight.

Please keep up on local weather information. This will be the only update now that the storms are in progress.

Tornado Forecast Upgraded

There is now a serious tornado risk in the area hatched below.
This area now has a 15% chance of violent tornadoes beginning on the west side of the area during the late afternoon and ending on the east side of the area tonight. This includes Huntsville and Birmingham.

Some recommended safety procedures:
  • Make sure your shelter is ready to go. Have a flashlight already in your shelter area.
  • Bring an infirm friend or neighbor to your home by 2pm or so if they would have trouble getting to shelter on their own.
  • Put heirlooms in the shelter area now.
  • If a warning is issued, take your cell phone and wear sturdy shoes in case you are to walk out through debris.
  • Have at least two ways (TV and the AccuWeather app, for example) of getting the warning.
This is a situation for preparation but not for worry! Just keep up on the weather this afternoon and into tonight. 


Enhanced Tornado Risk Today in the Southeast

The brown (5%) represents a significant risk of a tornado and I recommend you keep an eye on the weather in that area.

The yellow is double that risk and the hatching is where violent tornadoes may occur. This includes Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville and Nashville. In this area it is appropriate to check on infirm friends and relatives and make sure they have a plan to get to shelter quickly should warnings be issued.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tornado Threat in the Southeast Monday

Because it is early in the season, I want to give everyone a heads-up about the tornado threat in the Southeast Monday.

Goodbye From Wichita

Thank you to all of our visitors for joining us for March Madness. We loved having you and hope you'll come back when we host it again in 2021!

Tornado Risk for DFW

There is a risk of tornadoes northeast Texas, including the DFW Metroplex, later today. Please keep up on the weather.
There is also the risk of very large hail in the the DFW Metroplex.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Terrific Low Price For "Warnings"

$16.17 is the lowest price I've ever seen for Warnings. 
It is a wonderful, uplifting book for your spring or summer vacation. Who knows how long the price will last? Order now.

My Apologies to Wichita's NCAA Visitors

A couple of days each spring we have ridiculous winds. Today (naturally) is one of those days.

The winds will be much lighter tomorrow and Sunday. Sorry you have to deal with this.

Attention Meteorology Grad Students....Attention Meteorology Grad Students

This essay is essential reading, along with the comment from Karen Lynn.

But I knew nothing. I had assumed that the entire business world consisted of salespeople and paper pushers. I could either: (a) be a professor or (b) endure the soul-crushing monotony of corporate life. I didn’t choose the professoriate so much as I thought it was the only appealing choice...

...To be honest, I’ve found the for-profit world to be far more supportive of me as a person than academe ever was. Rather than being soul-crushing, working for "the man" has been liberating and allowed me to be who I want to be in the world. Plus, my parents aren’t terrified anymore, which is a nice perk.

There are amazing, fulfilling, supportive, and meaningful jobs outside of higher education. So just quit. Or, rather, realize that deciding you are stuck doing something that is destroying you because of a decision you made when you were 21 is the real quitting.

As a person who has been a meteorologist for 47-years, I can assure you there are far too many PhD's in meteorology and, as the article states, the job opportunities are narrower than you might expect. There are also tremendous lost opportunity costs by paying for a PhD when you could be making a salary and putting money away for your future. And, these lost opportunity costs include a "full ride" PhD.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Atlanta: Ten Years Ago Tonight

An amazing story of how a 3-point shot saved a tremendous number of lives.

Attention: I can't find the program on the SEC Network's Listings on U-Verse in Wichita. This may be a regional broadcast.

They have a strange definition of "today." It aired last night. Hope it is repeated at some point.

One Month Later....

On February 14th, Wichita's Spirit Aerosystems sent off the 10,000 Boeing 737 fuselage and other parts via the BNSF Railway to Seattle.

On Tuesday, voila, the 10,000th 737.
To me, it is amazing they are able to turn the parts into a finished, pained airliner in a month.

Congratulations Spirit and Boeing!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wildfire!

With GOES-16's resolution, meteorologists can see the location of wildfires and the smoke plumes
they produce. Here is a fire in Rice County of Kansas at mid-afternoon.

Northeast Flood Danger

There is a growing flood danger in the Northeast, especially if the snow melts quickly. 
click to enlarge
The National Weather Service/NOAA have the ability to sense how much moisture is in a snowpack via satellite. The dark pinks below represent more than four inches water in the snow and the bright pinks represent more than five. If the snow should melt rapidly or if rain falls into the snow, there is a significant flood danger. Please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

For Basketball Fans Driving to Wichita

Our mayor just reminded everyone of the construction on east Kellogg near the East Wichita Kansas Turnpike exit. You want to avoid it and it is easy to do so.

If you are coming from the south (eg, from Houston through Oklahoma):

Take Exit 42 from the Turnpike. Go north on Interstate 135 to Kellogg and go west a short distance to the downtown Wichita exit. 


If you are coming from the north (eg, from Lawrence):

Take the El Dorado Exit. Go west on K-254 about 25 miles to Interstate 135. Go south on I-135. If your destination is downtown Wichita, get off at Second Street (one-way west). 

Both avoid construction.

Global Warming: Is There Anything It Can't Do?!

For Basketball Visitors: Bruce Northam's Guide to Wichita

"One of the coolest cities in America."
Published today is Bruce Northam's (Thrillist) guide.

My only disagreement pertains to donuts..a critical issue. While the Donut Hole is unique and near downtown, I much prefer the gourmet donuts at Hurts (see my guide). Scroll down to see my guide to Wichita for those visiting for the NCAA Tournament.

Whichever guide and donuts you prefer, we welcome you and hope all of the 
basketball fans have a great time!!

Seven Day Precipitation Amount Forecast

Unfortunately, the drought area of the central and southern Great Plains is going to miss out again.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Basketfall Fans: Insider's Guide to Wichita

Congratulations and welcome Houston, San Diego St., Michigan, Montana, Kansas, Penn, Seton Hall and NC State!! You won't find a friendlier city anywhere to celebrate with your team.

Let me give you some idea what to do when you are not at Intrust Bank Arena watching your team:
Airport

When you step off your plane at Eisenhower National Airport, notice the glass jetways. They will take you inside to one of the most beautiful and modern airports in the nation. Usually, bag service is quite fast. Rental car is across the street in the parking garage. The airport is about 12 minutes west of downtown. 


Hotels

If you are staying in downtown: Ambassador (four diamond!), the Hyatt, Drury, Inn at Old Town, Fairfield or Courtyard Old Town you will be very pleased. You will also be very pleased with the full service Marriott in east Wichita. The Hilton Garden Inn at Bradley Fair is very nice, also. 

Note: there are other nice hotels in Wichita but the ones above are the ones I can personally vouch for based on family and AccuWeather business guests. 


Restaurants

I do not wish to recommend chains, I want to recommend restaurants that are unique to Wichita that I believe you will enjoy. These are in no order. Times quoted are by auto from the center of downtown.
  • Tanya's Soup Kitchen. Fantastic soups. Great sandwiches. The best bread pudding (even if you don't like bread pudding) in the world. Five minutes east of downtown on Douglas. 
  • The Anchor. http://anchorwichita.com  Eclectic place: great food, great drinks, unique atmosphere. Three minutes east of downtown on Douglas
  • Do-Dah Diner. https://www.doodahdiner.com  Both the play-by-play and in-studio announcers went on and on about the Diner's food at halftime of the Shocker's game last Sunday. These guys eat all over the country. Enough said. Three minutes south of downtown.
  • Picasso's Pizza. http://picassospizza.com  This pizza is very special in the town that invented Pizza Hut, Big Cheese Pizza and Pizza Inn. Try the "Big Island" and add sun-dried tomatoes. Amazing. Four minutes west of downtown in the fun area of Delano. 
  • Milkfloat. https://www.milkfloat.com  An all dessert restaurant and the desserts are terrific. Go have spicy pizza at Picasso's and then take the short walk to Milkfloat. Four minutes west of downtown in Delano. 
  • Hurts Donuts. https://www.facebook.com/hurtsdonutict/  Pink, yes that Pink, was in town last week and made a run to Hurts. Her family was apparently very happy with the result. Two locations. 
  • Chester's Chophouse. http://www.chesterschophouse.com  This is Harrison Ford's favorite restaurant when he is in town. Kathleen and I go there a couple of times a year and really enjoy it. Twenty minutes northeast of downtown. 
The restaurants inside the Hyatt, the Ambassador and the Drury are all great. Much better than average hotel restaurants. I especially like the Tuscan Siena Steakhouse in the Ambassador.

Exploration Place
Attractions

There are many. That said, there are several that I would highly recommend. 
  • If you have children, go to Exploration Place ( http://exploration.org ). Enough said. Four minutes northwest of downtown. 
  • If you are a space aficionado you MUST go to the Kansas Cosmosphere ( cosmo.org ) which many believe is the second best space museum in the world.  It is 50 minutes northwest of downtown. More than worth the drive to Hutchinson.
  • The Wichita Art Museum ( https://www.wichitaartmuseum.org ) currently has the traveling exhibit, "Monet to Matisse: French Moderns from the Brooklyn Museum, 1850-1950." It is eight minutes northwest of downtown.  
  • Sedgwick County Zoo. ( scz.org ) Much nicer zoo, with a children's petting zoo, than you might expect in a city of our size. It has won many awards. 
Note: the aviation factories, Learjet, Cessna, Beechcraft, and Spirit Aerosystems (where most of the 737 is made) do not give tours. While more airplanes are made in Wichita than in any other city in the world, since September 11 there are no public tours. 
On February 14, Spirit Aerosystems produced the 10,000 Boeing 737 fuselage

Shopping

I am not a shopper. Kathleen is not a "shopper." So, I am not an expert in this regard. 

If you are looking for a shopping center, I recommend Bradley Fair ( http://www.bradleyfair.com ). While shopping, dine at Red Rock Canyon, Bella Luna or Il Vicino. You won't go wrong with these three. Twenty minutes northeast of downtown. 

A shop unique to Wichita is Hatman Jack's, a locally owned hat shop in Delano. It is really cool and just three minutes west of downtown in Delano.  ( http://www.hatmanjacks.com )

Midwest Drum. I'm told this is an outstanding drum store ( http://midwestdrum.com ). It is seven minutes east of downtown.

Like nuts? A trip to the Nifty Nut House is essential. You won't believe it!!

A concentration of the "big box" stores are north of 21st on Webb. Greenwich [shows how much of a shopper I am].


Airport Return

If you get to the airport counter an hour before the flight, you will be there in plenty of time. There are two restaurants before security and three after security, including Old Town Brewery, an airport location of the Old Town brewpub of the same name. If you have time, view the history of aviation (our #1 industry) exhibit just before security. 


Summing Up

The following was posted by Thrillist two weeks ago. It is from their list of underrated cities. 

Kansas: Wichita 

The biggest city in Kansas sees little of the spotlight that shines on brawnier, Missourier Kansas City. But don’t sleep on the riches here: at least 33 museums, a Gallery Alley, timeless live music hangouts, nine authentic brewpubs, and in a rarity for Middle America, a half-dozen gay bars (possibly the Sunflower State's entire total). Urban art and Wichita State University set a backdrop for non-discrimination: what Durham is to North Carolina and Austin is to Texas, Wichita is to Kansas.

Historic Old Town now has 100-plus thriving businesses on brick-lined streets showcasing an anthology of mid-1800s converted brick warehouses, antique lamp posts, Coleman’s founding factory, and swank condos. You can sense the city’s rough-and-tumble cowboy history winking at today’s style-conscious happy-hour revelers. Outdoor music festivals include Riverfest (a nine-day country music-ish party) and Vortex (twang meets progressive). The 15 years-strong annual Tallgrass Film Festival is, like so much of this town, big, pretense-free, and criminally overlooked. -- Bruce Northam, American Detour

Additional information from Greteman Group:
Wichita’s craft beer scene has exploded, with Douglas Avenue serving as the main connector between Central Standard Brewing, the Hopping Gnome, River City, Third Place and Aero Plains. Food Network star Alton Brown has called Wichita “one of my favorite coffee towns in the United States.” He frequently visits Reverie Coffee. NCAA attendees should, too. It’s close by on east Douglas and just expanded into a new space with food, adult beverages and a bakery.

Safe travels to Wichita and enjoy your visit!!!

Sunday Fun: "Oh, What a Night!"

I'm happy to report that Jersey Boys is returning to Wichita's Century II on February 19-20. Details here.

Above Average Tornado and Hail Season??

Given the very slow start to the 2018 severe weather season, this forecast will either be in error or it will be a vicious April and May.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Wait! I Thought the Science Was Settled

High cholesterol linked to better brain function in the elderly.

The "science is settled" is the dumbest phrase in the history of science.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Update on Looming Winter Storm

For the second time in a week, I do not understand why parts of the Northeast are not under blizzard warnings rather than mere winter storm warnings.

Please do not be misled. This will be another major winter storm. According to news reports, more than 300,000 are still without power from Friday's storm. The blizzard will put a halt to restoration efforts and may cause few additional homes to lose power.

Let's begin with this update. Here is the radar at 5pm EST. Not much happening yet.

At 8am tomorrow (Wednesday), the storm will just be beginning.

Here is our latest forecast of total snowfall for this storm:

And, here is our wind forecast. I have added where blizzard conditions are most likely to occur.
Note, blizzard conditions may occur over a larger area than what I have noted.

Flights are going to be a complete mess. Waivers have been issued. Use them.

Another update tomorrow morning.

Don't Even Think About Traveling to the Northeast

Another major storm to strike tomorrow.

 Below are the warnings.
Pink is a winter storm warning. Dark green is a winter storm watch.

AccuWeather breaks things down. The high winds are going to cause more power outages and delay restoration from the last storm.

The snows with this storm will be more widespread than with the last storm.
The bottom line is that cancelling your trip is the wise thing to do.

I've run the winter storm preparation tips so many times since last October, I hope readers know what to do. Good luck!!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Reminder.....

To get the totality of my weather coverage, please follow me on Twitter: @usweatherexpert . 

This blog is: (c) 2018 Mike Smith Enterprises, LLC  All rights reserved.

Please check out our web site a www.mikesmithenterprises.com


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Major Winter Storm Beginning Tonight

Another major storm is in the offing, this time in the High Plains and Intermountain Region. I have marked up all of the warnings and the winter storm watch. This includes a blizzard warning for parts of Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. There are also high wind and extreme wild fire warnings for the central and southern High Plains.

Below is a map of forecast snow amounts from AccuWeather.
Use extreme caution regarding travel in the blizzard warning areas.