Monday, February 28, 2011

Rotary Club Presentation

I'll be speaking at the Rotary Club of El Dorado, Kansas, Wednesday at noon. Really looking forward to it!

Blog Business

With all of the weather recently, it has been difficult to keep up with regular blogging. We went past the 75,000 readers mark last week and are now well past 77,600 readers of the blog. Thank you!!!

For our many new readers, we are having a contest that ends a week from this evening for our readers to send in photos of them with Warnings. They can be posted at .

When you have a moment, check out the parent web site at:

Thanks for reading!

Atlanta Update

UPDATE III: 11pm EST.  Atlanta Airport still has 1.5 hour departure delays. Story about the (mostly minor) damage in Atlanta here.

UPDATE II: 6:42pm EST. Tornado warning has expired. However, severe thunderstorm warning continues for south Atlanta including the airport. Delays at ATL average 1hr. 35 min. and are increasing.
Radar at 6:38pm EST. Damaging winds LIKELY in SC near arrows.
ATL Airport is indicated by the rectangle in south Atlanta.

UPDATE: 6:08pm Monday: Tornado warning for SW part of Atlanta.

The hook echo associated with the tornado warning (arrow).
Radar time was 6:08pm

East-west lines of thunderstorms are more likely to cause flash floods than north-south lines.

Radar estimates that more than two inches of rain have already fallen in north Atlanta.

Ohio Valley Flood Threat Continues

We've been talking about the flood threat to the Ohio Valley for more than a week. I expect a break in the rain for the next three days. Unfortunately, two more storms are expected to cause heavy rains starting about the 4th and continuing into the tenth. So, the threat is not over.

Tornado Warning North Atlanta Area

and, here is the AccuWeather radar. There are major delays in flights at the Atlanta airport.

"High" Risk of Tornadoes

Tornado watch until 8pm Eastern.

AccuWeather radar shows thunderstorms increasing in number and intensity.

Storm Threat Rest of Day

AccuWeather has details..

Tornado Watches Out

Several tornado watches are currently in effect from Pennsylvania to Arkansas.

The Contest Continues

Patty Yoon likes "Warnings"!
The contest continues for another week. Get your photos of you with Warnings in and enter the contest for some great prizes. Details here.

About the Recent Global Warming Headlines

Many times on this blog I have asked the question, "Where is the institutional incentive to disprove global warming?"

This question becomes pertinent when examining the recent headlines proclaiming that storms are now more frequent due to 'global warming' (which, as we have seen, does not exist at the moment as world temperatures are slightly below normal). A commentary in the UK observes,
As the great global warming scare continues to crumble, attention focuses on all those groups that have a huge interest in keeping it alive. Governments look on it as an excuse to raise billions of pounds in taxes. Wind farm developers make fortunes from the hidden subsidies we pay through our electricity bills. A vast academic industry receives more billions for concocting the bogus science that underpins the scare. Carbon traders hope to make billions from corrupt schemes based on buying and selling the right to emit CO2. But no financial interest stands to make more from exaggerating the risks of climate change than the re-insurance industry, which charges retail insurers for “catastrophe cover”, paid for by all of us through our premiums.

What do we mean by bogus science? As I have posted on this blog and elsewhere, the global warming scare is overwhelmingly driven by computer models. Here is what computer modeler Willis Eschenbach says about this latest "study,"
[Willis'] conclusion is worth quoting at some length: “When your results represent the output of four computer models, fed into a fifth computer model, whose output goes to a sixth computer model, which is calibrated against a seventh computer model, and then your results are compared to a series of different results from the fifth computer model, but run with different parameters, in order to show that flood risks have increased from greenhouse gases…” you cannot pretend that this is “a valid representation of reality”, let alone “a sufficiently accurate representation of reality to guide our future actions”.

Just a few days ago, I lamented the overuse of computer models in the global warming debate. The "study" cited above ignored the fact that the actual weather record shows no actual upward trend in storms. 

Ignore the hype. That is all it is. 

A present, there is no valid scientific evidence that storms are getting worse due to 'global warming.'

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Three Tornado Warnings in Missouri

And, here is the radar,
New thunderstorms are rapidly developing east and southeast of Tulsa. If you are in Missouri, Arkansas, southern Illinois, eastern Oklahoma please keep up on the weather during the night. 

Hook echo (arrow) with the tornado warning north of Springfield at 9:45pm.

Why is Science Always Dissed?

I'm watching the Oscars while proofing the eBook versions of Warnings  and I noticed Marisa Tomei being introduced to tell us about the "science" Oscars presented "at a luncheon earlier this month."

The scientists' moment of glory consisted of about a 5-10 second pan which, I guess, is better than nothing. Then, some guy in a tux standing next to Anne Hathaway leans into the microphone and says, "congratulations, nerds."

Would someone explain to my why scientists are always dissed?

The Overnight Threat Area Shapes Up

New thunderstorms are developing near I-35 in southern Oklahoma and north of Tulsa. I'm expecting more thunderstorms to develop over eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri during the night. These could easily become severe.

Tornado Crossing Mississippi River north of St. Louis

Long Track Tornadic Supercell

We have received numerous tornado reports from a single supercell thunderstorm in north central Oklahom and southeast Kansas. So far, no injuries or major damage has been reported.

New Tornado Watch in Missouri

This tornado watch runs overnight until 3am. The southernmost storm near Coffeyville, KS has produced multiple tornadoes.

And, if you are watching the Oscars or another program don't get mad at the TV meteorologist who is broadcasting tornado warnings. They are trying to save the lives of people in the threatened area. 

AccuWeather radar at 7:30pm

Storm Update

We've had one small tornado reported in northern Oklahoma northeast of Blackwell (the storm with the arrow).

Thunderstorms are starting to develop over northern Arkansas. This is the region where overnight tornadoes are possible.

ADDITION: At the time I was posting this a tornado was on the ground near Maple City, KS.

Tornado Warning northwest of Nashville

Nashville in a Tornado Watch

Tornado just issued for Nashville and points north.

Amazing Technology

Twenty years ago tornado footage was still rare. Today, you can track storms via the internet. Take a look at these images from 4:29pm.
Click to enlarge.
At left is a strong thunderstorm moving toward Pond Creek, Oklahoma. By going to you can watch images from their chasers. In this case, Jeffery Gonzales is showing the intense rain and hail (middle image) and you can see his location via GPS in the right image.

Just amazing.

Blowing Dust Coming Out of Texas

The thunderstorms in northwest Oklahoma are developing along a "dry line," which separates the moist unstable air to the east from very dry air (humidity less than 5% in places) and blowing dust to the west. Visibilities are one mile or less in the Texas Panhandle.

Update 4:02pm.  City of Borger is being threatened by a large wildfire in the blowing dust area. In addition:


Hail Spike on Radar

The purple-pink echoes (circled) indicate large hail and, there is a "hail spike" southeast of the hail-bearing storm (indicated by arrows). Any time you see one of these spikes there is a very high probability of large (2" or larger) hail.

First Tornado Watch of the Day

Thunderstorms With Hail Moving Toward Kansas City

These storms are moving northeast and may affect the southern parts of KC Metro in about an hour.

Hail at the Smith House

Maximum hail size was nickel.

This photo captures stones falling (arrows):

And, this photo shows them accumulating.

Thunderstorms Erupting

Thunderstorms are rapidly developing southwest of Wichita and will move rapidly northeast during the afternoon. Large hail will likely develop along with cloud to ground lightning.

Expect both severe thunderstorm and tornado watches to be issued for parts of KS-MO-OK-AR as the afternoon progresses.

UPDATE: 1:18PM first severe thunderstorm watch issued. It includes Wichita, KC, Emporia..

Update on Tomorrow's Severe Weather Potential

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has upgraded its severe weather outlook for east of the Mississippi River for tomorrow (Monday).

The hatched area is where especially violent tornadoes and wind may occur. 

Note: The severe weather threat for today, Sunday, continues as outlined below. However, I'm not expecting any severe storms before 2pm at the earliest.  

Dense Fog Continues

Believe it or not, there is a car in the other lane with its headlights on. It is so foggy (visibility is about 100 ft.) that it is difficult to see the traffic signals, especially when they are green. Photo taken at 9:45am in north Wichita.

Today's Tornado Threat

While the region is enshrouded in fog now (Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport officially is reporting visibility of zero), there is a very significant chance of tornadoes from Wichita south into Oklahoma and east to the Ohio River later today and tonight.

This is the NWS' Storm Prediction Center's tornado outlook from this afternoon through 6am Central time tomorrow. The solid lines are relative probability (i.e., yellow is the highest) and the hatched area is where they are predicting violent tornadoes to occur. If you are within the white line, pay attention to the weather this afternoon through tonight. Large hail and damaging thunderstorm winds are also possible.

Tomorrow, the risk of severe weather moves east:

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because it is so early in tornado season.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Feel Sorry for this Guy

From the Washington Post
And, from the articles' comments:  What is more disturbing: that this joker would write such an article, or that the Post would publish it?

What makes reading the article doubly uncomfortable is that world temperatures are below average and cooling. Here is the monthly data:
And, here is the daily data for February.
Orange line is the long term average.
Red line is 2011 temperatures as measured by satellite.
If any of our readers know this guy, email him a link to this to cheer him up!

Hat tip: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Yet Another Nonsensical Science Study

And, here is another "news story" related to global warming that is more or less reprinting a press release. Before reading this post, make sure you read the posting below about geoengineering.

OK, ready? In the posting below we learn that some non-scientists quoted by USA Today want to do "geoengineering" to the atmosphere or ocean to cool the earth.

Now we learn, from National Geographic, that cooling the earth would be bad.

Here are some salient quotes:

Even a regional nuclear war could spark "unprecedented" global cooling and reduce rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models.

Widespread famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate...

After ten years, average global temperatures would still be 0.9 degree F (0.5 degree C) lower than before the nuclear war, the models predict..
For a time Earth would likely be a colder, hungrier planet.
"Our results suggest that agriculture could be severely impacted, especially in areas that are susceptible to late-spring and early-fall frosts," said Oman, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

So, let me get this straight: [sarcasm on]
We are supposed to believe that global warming is bad. Cooling the earth is bad because it affects agriculture and will cause famine. So, we want to cool the earth through expensive geoengineering.
Now, I've got it!   [sarcasm off]

Hat tip: WattsUpWithThat

Another Expensive, And Premature, Global Warming Boondoggle

From USA Today, 

Scientists call it "geoengineering," but in plain speak, it means things like this: blasting tons of sulfate particles into the sky to reflect sunlight away from Earth; filling the ocean with iron filings to grow plankton that will suck up carbon; even dimming sunlight with space shades.
  • Once the domain of scientists' off-hours schemes scrawled on cocktail napkins, geoengineering is getting a serious look in the political realm.
    By Karl Gelles, USA TODAY
    Once the domain of scientists' off-hours schemes scrawled on cocktail napkins, geoengineering is getting a serious look in the political realm.

Each brings its own set of risks, but in a world fretting about the consequences of global warming, are these ideas whose time has come?
With 2010 tying as the world's warmest year on record and efforts to slow greenhouse gas emissions looking stymied, calls are rising for research into engineering our way out of global warming — everything from launching solar shade spacecraft to genetically engineering green deserts. An international consortium of 12 universities and research institutes on Tuesday, for example, announced plans to pioneer large-scale "ocean fertilization" experiments aimed at using the sea to pull more greenhouse gases out of the sky.

Do journalists not know how to read graphs?  There are four measures of atmospheric temperatures. Here they are, each updated to the latest information (January, 2011).
British Hadley Center data.
University of Alabama data
RSS data

NASA data

As all four clearly show, 2010 was NOT the hottest year. And, all four show temperatures are cooling at the present time.
It would be refreshing (and basic journalism) for reporters to stop reprinting claims from environmental groups and do some independent investigation.

The quotes from "experts" in the article are telling,

  • "We are moving into a different kind of world," says environmental economist Scott Barrett of Columbia University.
  • "That's where geoengineering comes in," says international relations expert David Victor of the University of California - San Diego
  • "Geoengineering is no longer a taboo topic at scientific meetings. They are looking at it as one more policy prescription," says Eli Kintisch, Science magazine reporter. (his biography shows no education in atmospheric science).

As seems to be the norm for these articles, none of the people quoted about modifying the atmosphere are atmospheric scientists.

That stated, it is my opinion geoengineering is a terrible idea at this time. Why? There is no indication it is needed (temperatures are now cooling and they have been essentially flat for 15 years as you can see from the graphs), the world economy can't afford it, and the "risks" of it backfiring are substantial. Once, for example, iron is dumped into the ocean it cannot be removed. What if it causes too much cooling? What if it kills (already depleted) fish populations?

As previously documented, there is a growing number of atmospheric scientists who are concerned that the world may be in for significant cooling in the next five to twenty years. If so, geoengineering would increase the amount of cooling. As this blog has demonstrated, humanity does much better with warmer temperatures than it does with colder temperatures.

Severe Weather Likelihood Increases

The area enclosed by the blue line now has a 45% probability of severe weather (see definitions in post below) and the lower probabilities 5 and 15% have been pulled a bit to the west in Oklahoma. Pay attention to the weather tomorrow, starting in the afternoon, if you live in these areas!

"Pedestrians" Crossing

They crossed from right to left, but, before getting to the curb, did a 180° and started going the other direction.

They then stopped in the middle of my lane and decided that, perhaps, it would be better to fly off into the drizzle.