Friday, January 27, 2023

Note to Readers

While I see an Arctic cold front moving south, I do not see a major ice storm between now and 6pm Monday. 

There is some chance of ice in southern Oklahoma and Texas after that time but it is still highly uncertain. 

Northern Plains Winter Storm

Winter storm is starting from the northern Rockies across the northern Great Plains to Lake Michigan
Pink is a winter storm warning. Purple is a winter weather advisory (lesser condition). 

The radar shows the storm in the easiest stages. 

Tonight, I will begin forecasting the potential winter storm in the southern Great Plains. 

Another Blast of Cold Air Moving In!

As this is being written, another blast of Arctic air is moving south. 

Below is the temperature forecast and the location of the cold front at noon tomorrow (Saturday) from the Canadian Global model. 

By Tuesday morning, the coldest of the air will bring below zero temperatures to much of the nation. Single digits will extend from Ohio to Texas. 
Please prepare accordingly, including caring for your pets. 

While on the subject of extreme temperatures, I often talk about how wind energy fails when needed the most. Below is a closeup of forecast temperatures Tuesday morning for Kansas and southern Nebraska. Note Lincoln and Omaha forecast to be -13°F (circled). 
The wind forecast is below with Lincoln and Omaha circled. Their forecast wind speed? Just 3 mph!
Numerals are wind speed. Arrows are wind direction.
Since wind turbines do not turn with wind speeds of less than 6 mph, virtually the entire area of below zero temperatures will have winds too light to generate electricity from wind. 

What makes this especially significant is that Kansas is the #2 state for wind energy. Northwest of U.S. 56 the wind will be too light to produce any appreciable amount of electricity during a period when demand for electric heat will be extremely high. 

Addition: AccuWeather has a nice graphic of the forecast snow in the northern Great Plains.
More on the snow, here

Note: Lots of blogs are talking about an ice and snow storm next week somewhere in the southern half of the Great Plains. That is still quite speculative at this point. Hopefully, the situation will clarify tomorrow as to whether an ice storm will occur and, if so, where. Check back, please.

Elderly Woman Stands in Middle of Dessert Talking to Herself

I wonder how much energy was expended in hauling furniture to the middle of nowhere for someone named Jennifer Granholm to speak to no one? I'm also curious, from where did the power come to run the microphone, speakers and teleprompters? 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Engineering Analysis of Low Carbon Energy Alternatives

Increasingly, engineers -- the people actually understand how the grid works -- are speaking out against the mindless installation of wind and solar with no real plan as to how the new grid is going to work. 

This is an excellent piece that I highly recommend.

The bottom line is that nuclear is incompatible to wind+solar: that if you install nuclear, there is no reason for those poor technologies. As we have previously discussed, wind (especially) and solar advocates hate nuclear for that reason -- with it, the global warming problem is solved (no more issue for fundraising) and their ideas for a quaint semi-1890's American energy dissipate. 

However, as the piece points out, this only works if the nuclear is reasonably priced. The laughably expensive plants currently under construction are so expensive because the industry seems to be in love with one-off designs. There were plans to create standardized designs that would be much less expensive. Those need to be dusted off and used. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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Drought Situation Across the United States

Above is the Palmer Drought Index as of January 20th, the latest available. The drought has eased considerably over California and throughout the West with a few spots of wetter than average conditions. Over the next week, light to moderate precipitation is forecasted to occur over the state, so things should continue to improve. 

By far the worst drought now is over Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Unfortunately, this latest storm largely missed this areas. 
It looks like there will be another storm as well as a cold wave at the end of the month. I'll have more on that either this afternoon or tomorrow. 

Winter Storm Update

Pinks are winter storm warnings. Purples are winter weather advisories (lesser condition). Browns are strong wind areas. 

The tornado risk in Florida is winding down. There is a second area of significant tornado risk (brown).
in the Carolinas. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A Meteorology Success Story!

We had a major tornado pass through the densely populated area of southeast and east Houston with other storms east into the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area. Later, tornadoes developed in Louisiana. 

As of 11:22pm there has not been a single fatality. That is an amazing scientific accomplishment and all of the meteorologists involved: NWS (especially the Storm Prediction Center), broadcast and commercial meteorology should be praised!

There is one story I wish to tell. Take a look at the photo below. 
Those railroad hopper cars were blown over by the Houston Tornado. Because the railroad got advance notice of the tornado, the train was stopped when the tornado hit (often, trains are too large a target to get out of the way). You can see that the track is in pristine condition. 

If the train had been moving, it would have torn the cars apart, tornado apart the track and, possibly, put cars or contents in the water (foreground). That would have been far more expensive to the railroad and far more difficult to clean up than a simple blowover. 

That is the type of work commercial weather companies do in tornado situations. 

Path of Damaging Tornado in the Houston Metro

The blue-white line, oriented from southwest to northeast, is the path of a tornado that we know has done damage in the southeast part of the Houston Metro from about 2:25 until about 2:50pm. The extent of the damage and any injuries is unknown at this point. If you click to enlarge, the graphic is considerably better quality. 

Addition (see below) at 3:12pm.

Addition: 4:23pm.
Remember: the number refers to individual homes and businesses. Nearly 400,000 people are without power. 

Update on Winter Storm

The winter storm has moved into the Great Plains with snow reported as far east as Oklahoma City.

Forecast for additional snow:

Radar at 9:28am:

Serious Tornado Risk Later Today and This Evening

The yellow, hatched area has an enhanced risk of tornadoes this afternoon and tonight. The brown area has a significant risk.

Please make sure you have at least two independent ways of receiving tornado warnings and make sure your sheltering area is ready to go.

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Futility of Wind Energy

The timing of a load of wind turbine blades making their way by rail through Wichita this morning, was interesting. The the official NWS wind speed at the time was 3 mph -- which was too light for any electricity to be produced at any of the existing wind farms. 

In fact, the weather map of the region at 6am showed winds were too light not just in Wichita (arrow) but over a vast area of Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma -- states with an exceedingly high number of wind farms.
To decode: The large black circle around the inner green circle denotes calm winds. The green circles with the line sticking out of them and a half "barb" at about a 90° angle (I've put an "L" near a few) have winds too light to turn the blades. Where the line with a full barb exists, the winds are okay. As you can see, the vast majority of weather stations in the area have winds too light to generate electricity. 

Here's the thing: If someone had taken a magic wand and instantly tripled the number of wind turbines in Kansas and Oklahoma this morning, it wouldn't have made any difference. Calm winds mean no electricity.

The problem was not confined to the USA. This morning, I learned of a wind farm that produced negative wind energy for two days in Canada. Really! Story below.
For four days almost zero power. For two days the wind farm produced negative electricity!

How could it produce "negative" energy? The wind was so light during this period the blades were not turning. Because it takes power to run the farm (navigation lights, computers, etc.), the wind farm used one megawatt of electricity while producing zero. Negative energy. 

Around lunchtime Monday, I had a conversation on LinkedIn with a person in the wind energy business who could not seem to wrap his mind around the fact that wind energy fails when the wind goes calm or nearly calm. And, there's nothing anyone can do about it. Not "winterization," not different types of blades, nothing (well, maybe Michael Mann going out and blowing on them) can change that fact. 

No other form of energy has a systematic shortcoming that could prevent it from producing energy for four days. No other form of energy is more likely to fail when it is needed most?

Why? It is a meteorological fact that when it is extremely hot and extremely cold the winds are usually quite light. Note on the map that the -1°F temperature near the KS-NE border is with a calm wind. The lesson?
Extreme temperature = calm wind = no wind energy. 

5:15pm Update: Winter Storm and Major Tornado Risk Forecasts

National Weather Service Warnings and Advisories

Color Codes:
  • Pink = winter storm warning.
  • Turquoise = winter storm watch 
  • Purple = winter weather advisory (lesser condition)
  • Amber = high wind watch
  • Light brown = high wind advisory
The forecasts below still look good. Please keep in mind that Arkansas and, especially, Oklahoma do a very poor job with winter storms. I urge you to leave early and avoid the storm if at all possible. 

Forecast Radar: 9am Tuesday

Forecast Radar: 5pm Tuesday

Forecast Radar: 11:59pm Tuesday

Forecast Radar: 9am CST Wednesday

Updated Snow Amount Forecasts
From now until 6am this Tuesday

6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday

6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday Zoom
Zoomed forecast for 6pm Monday to 6pm Tuesday. Winds will be moderate with this storm, so there will be a little drifting but nothing major. Note: there is a chance of a snow thunderstorm south of I-40. When once occurs, a quick additional inch or two is possible. 

Tornado Risk
Unfortunately, for the fourth time in 2023, we have another major tornado risk in Texas and in the South. The forecast below is valid from 9am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday. From Louisiana, east, there is only a very small risk of tornadoes in the morning, the odds will increase in the afternoon.
Color codes:
  • Hatching = strong tornadoes possible.
  • Yellow = enhanced risk of tornadoes.
  • Brown = significant risk of tornadoes.
If you live in these areas please monitor the weather throughout the day.

Snow Forecasts: Northeast, Midwest Southern Plains

New England

Color Codes:
  • Pink = winter storm warning
  • Purple = winter weather advisory (lesser condition)

Southern Great Plains
I wish I could tell you I have a lot of confidence in this forecast. There are trustworthy models showing heavier amounts than indicated here. So, check back late this afternoon and I will update this forecast.

Yes, the California Drought is Over

The global warming crowd wants you to believe that it was global warming that caused the vitally-needed rainfall that has fallen in California since Christmas. Climate change wasn't the cause; even the extremely liberal Los Angeles Times now agrees
Now, the global warming crowd wants us to believe the drought is not over. I disagree. The U.S. drought monitor, mentioned in the article at the link, has a bias in favor of drought and is not a completely objective metric. 

In piece published Thursday, University of Washington professor of meteorology, Dr. Cliff Mass, agrees. The drought is over. The data agrees, also. 
The objective Palmer Drought Index, as of the 14th (latest available), shows no drought in California. Keep in mind that a considerable amount of rain has fallen after the 14th. 

The good news is that it appears there will be significant additional rain in February. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

My Response to Those Trying to Deplatform Tony Dungy

Someone by the name of Dave Zirin of “The Nation” is trying to get the great Tony Dungy fired and he is willing to completely misrepresent facts to accomplish it. While I am not a big fan of Dungy's sports commentary, the left-wing’s “cancel” campaigns need to be refuted and stopped, which is why I am writing this piece. 

The annual March for Life occurred in Washington last week. Even though it was post-Roe v Wade there were more than 100,000 people in attendance. Zirin begins his article with this libel:

I’ve covered the March for Life in Washington, D.C., for years. It is a madhouse of right-wing gadflies, disinformation addicts, Qanon adherents, and, most disturbingly, class after class of teenage and tween-age children dragged there by teachers who abuse their authority in ways that would make Ron DeSantis smirk. (He only outlaws the speech of some teachers.)

My children have participated in the March and his comments are false. The participants – who have to pay their own way -- are hardly “dragged.” One of my children wanted to go so much, but didn’t have the funds, he requested it be his Christmas gift. Santa complied. 


The people who attend to the March for Life are almost entirely serious, prayerful people from across the entire nation. They face harassment for their beliefs. Yet, year after year, they come to bear witness to the awful toll abortion brings to our society: In 2020 (most recent year for which I can find figures) more than 635,000 babies were killed. Statistically, 626,000 of those abortions were elective: i.e., not due to rape or incest or health of the mother or issues with the development of the baby in the womb. 


Of course, Tony is black. He and his wife Lauren have eleven children: three biological and eight adopted. He was, for the first time, a keynote speaker at the March. As with Clarence Thomas, the left-wing is unhappy that a prominent black man has different political views than they. So, Tony must be neutralized. 


While Zirin is willing to slander the participants in the March for Life, it appears his primary beef with Dungy is that he does not buy into the radical gay agenda. And, he wants Dungy fired. Get ready for this vomit:


[Dungy continuing to be employed by NBC] is a staggering indictment of the politics the NFL and the network’s partners allow and the kind that they condemn. When someone like, gee, I don’t know, Colin Kaepernick steps up and kneels down to end police violence and racial inequity, he becomes a pariah. Meanwhile, Dungy is held up as a deeply religious man and nearly a patron saint of the league. Dungy has used his devoutness as a cover for his anti-gay rhetoric and sharing platforms with unapologetic bigots. But what in the world is “religious” about bearing false witness against teachers and children with a lie that has had real-life repercussions? Every bomb threat leveled against children’s hospitals, every physical assault, bears the fingerprints of these lies. Dungy should feel shame. Instead, he is emboldened, ready to take the stage at a rally that’s been a blunt instrument for robbing people of their rights to privacy and the rights to their own bodies.


Wow. Just, wow. Talk about ‘tolerance.’ Talk about respect for ‘diversity' of opinion. (in case you couldn’t tell, that was extreme sarcasm) Per my Google and DuckDuckGo searches, no children's hospital has been "bombed" and the only bomb threat was anonymous and no perpetrator has been found. Zirin blames the right wing but -- for all we know -- it might have been a false flag. 


Could it be that Dungy is sincere about his religious beliefs pertaining to abortion especially because, on a per capita basis, black babies are aborted (err, provided ‘reproductive rights’) at a rate 4 times greater than white babies? Or, that Planned Parenthood targets black neighborhoods? Or, that politicians like Hillary Clinton praise the racist founder of this genocide against blacks? And, that liberals and the politically correct are on board with all of this?

I’ll say it: those supporting this genocide of black babies are the actual racists.


If you were to personally speak with Zirin and his ilk, I'm sure they would tell you how “tolerant” and respectful of “diversity” they are -- when nothing could be farther from the truth. They have a parochial view of the world. People like Tony Dungy threaten that view and, maybe, prick their consciences. That is always uncomfortable.

While I condemn the hyperbole throughout and the falsehoods in Zirin’s descriptions of the participants in the March for Life, you’ll notice I am not calling for “The Nation” to fire him or for him to be de-platformed. Why? Like everyone else, he has Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Speech is meaningless unless you are willing to defend the speech of those who disagree with you. So, I defend Zirin’s right to say and write about Tony Dungy. 


But Zirin’s position is as unAmerican as they come. Don’t like Dungy? Easy! Don’t associate with him. Don’t like what he says? Don’t watch him on NBC. His ratings will go down. Want to refute something Dungy says? Fine, but do it truthfully. 


What I have just written was completely uncontroversial 30 years ago. Everyone understood Free Speech and the other God-given rights we were possess simply because we are human beings. I hope this piece serves as a reminder that the American dream can only survive when we respect the rights of others, no matter how much we disagree with them. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs

...for making the AFC Championship game for the fifth straight year!

Forecast Snow From Now to 6pm Tuesday

The band of light accumulations from Wichita to Chicago-Milwaukee and into the Midwest is the existing storm (see post immediately below).

The area of snow in the middle and southern Rockies into Oklahoma is the next storm in the series. 

This entire region especially needs moisture so even though the snow is somewhat inconvenient, the precipitation is most welcome. 

10:45am Update on Winter Storm

Above is the composite radar as of 10:45am. The storm is generally moving east northeast. As much as 9 inches of snow have fallen in far western Kansas.

Forecast of additional snowfall.

Snow accumulation from this storm, so far.

This evening, I'll start coverage of the next winter storm due the first of the upcoming work week. 

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