Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Destructive Tornado and Severe Weather Event Possible

This is the probabilistic tornado and severe thunderstorm (latter defined as hail ≥ 1" in diameter and/or winds ≥ 58 mph) outlook valid from 6am Friday until 6am Saturday as forecast by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. 

Two things ratchet up my concern when tornadoes and severe storms are contemplated: 

  • Overnight

  • Out of Season

While very early March is technically "in season," a number of these areas haven't had any severe weather in 2012. Plus, the dynamics (jet stream strength, etc.) of this event may keep it going during the overnight hours with fast-moving (potentially less "lead time") storms. 

Breaking it down: the hatched area (in this case) means tornadoes ≥F-2 intensity and/or thunderstorm-generated winds ≥ 75 mph. This far (more than 24 hours) out, those are very high probabilities (45%), as well.  

So, if you live in these areas, I urge you to make sure you to conduct the following reviews:

AccuWeather has more on this subject. 

Considering we just lost twelve precious lives in the severe weather event that ended last night, please prepare if you live in these regions.  

Tornado Threat Not Over

The yellow counties are under tornado watches. The red polygons in western North Carolina are tornado warnings. The maroon are flash flood warnings.  

There is a good chance of more tornadoes the eastern half of the United states starting tomorrow night and lasting until Saturday morning. 

The Latest Tornado Watch

From the Storm Prediction Center is here, a tornado watch is now in effect for the areas outlined in red until 8pm CST.  


CNN: Ten Fatalities

Various news sources are CNN is reporting three ten fatalities so far in this tornado outbreak as of 11am Central time. 

Drew Pelz was nice enough to note our posting of the Reno County radar at 6:40 yesterday evening led to this photo of the tornado five minutes later. That storm did minor damage.

The NWS's Storm Prediction Center's "significant" (≥F2) tornado index continues above the threshold value of 2, especially over Tennessee. Keep a close eye on the weather in the region if thunderstorms approach.


UPDATE: 10:50am. Via KSDK (NBC, St. Louis) Twitter feed, here is an image of the damaging in Harrisburg, IL

Mid-Morning Tornado Update

These are the strongest storms as shown by AccuWeather regional radar:

The tornado watches are in yellow, tornado warnings in red, and severe thunderstorm warnings in amber.

The blizzard continues to rage in South Dakota with winter storm warnings (pink) east to the thumb of Michigan.  

Serious Tornado Risk

The 5% or greater probabilities are the threshold for concern...15% is quite high. In addition, the hatching means tornadoes of F-2 or greater intensity. I urge you to monitor the weather in these regions today.

Right now two tornado warnings are in effect in the Ohio River Valley.

More Tornadoes Today

Above is what is left of my friend (and former WeatherData meteorologist) Rodney Price's parents' garage on the south side of Harveyville, KS. His folks are OK but there were critical injuries in an adjacent home.

We have reports of major damage in Branson, MO and Harrisburg, IL.  

Thunderstorms are now moving into the easternmost tornado watch which is in effect for parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, including Nashville.  

As of 6:11am, tornado warnings are in effect for the areas in red polygons, severe thunderstorm warnings in the amber polygons. The tornado watch is yellow on this map.

Here is the "significant tornado index" (≥F2) as of 5am CST:

If other factors are favorable, powerful tornadoes may occur in the areas with index values of 2 or higher. Needless to say, please monitor the weather in these areas as thunderstorms approach.

I'll have an update a mid-morning.  

ADDITION at 6:45am: Via Jim Sellars on Facebook, here is the debris over Branson, MO on the new dual polarization radar. We believe we will be able to better detect tornadoes at night with these new radars. I've circled the debris.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tornado Threat Update

As of 2am, here are the tornadoes (in red) reported so far. There is damage and injuries with a number of these including "significant" damage in Harveyville, KS. At least one fatality has been reported in Missouri. AccuWeather has more on the damage. 

Tornado watches continue through the night in the Mississippi Valley:

And, more tornadoes are expected during the daylight hours in a large area centered on the Tennessee and southern Ohio River Valleys:

If you live in the areas with a 5% or higher probability of a tornado, please keep up on the weather as thunderstorms approach today.  

New Tornado Watch Until 1am for Kansas and Oklahoma

Tornado Trouble

At 8:02pm, there is a potential tornado moving toward the Flint Hills in the general direction of Council Grove, KS



Possible Tornado Near Gossell, KS

Radar is from 7:27pm, storm moving northeast at 50 mph. 

Other storms continue to strengthen west of Wichita. 

Tornado in Reno Co., Other Storms Intensifying

Tornado warning extended into S. McPherson, northwest Harvey, and northeast Reno Co. At 6:58, the arrow indicates the location of the tornado. It is moving northeast. Other storms are intensifying southwest of Kingman.  

Confirmed tornado southwest of Hutchinson about 6:40 indicated at location of arrow.


Tornado Watch Middle and South Central Kansas

The radar 6:26pm shows a severe thunderstorm in Reno Co. moving northeast. Damaging winds and quarter-size hail are likely. Keep a close eye on the south edge of this storm 

Tornado Watch Kansas and Nebraska

Until 9pm.

Keep an eye on the weather in this region.  It is possible a tornado watch will be issued into central Kansas later. 

This Just In!

Via WattsUpWithThat,

It just gets more bizarre by the day, doesn't it? 

"Did Gleick Go Too Far? I'm Not Sure He Did..."

Another sickening "ends justify the means" defense of Fakegate from the mainstream media (in Great Britain). This is known as "noble cause corruption." Climate science is rife with it.  

In this case, we are told, it is OK to forge a document, steal others, and libel people and an organization as long as you are on the "correct" side of an issue. 

Remember: The people involved in all of this -- Fakegate, Climategate 1 and 2, civil disobedience, 'Hide the Decline,' etc., etc. -- are not fringe characters. They are the leaders of the global warming movement!

Given the numerous defenses of Dr. Gleick's actions, the question that increasingly occurs to me is in what other unethical activity might they be engaged for their "cause"?

Dematerializing = Prosperity

Dematerialization doesn't mean vanishing when hit by a "ray gun" (from the 1950's television space serials), it means using less to produce more.

This paragraph from a story in Saturday's Wall Street Journal should give you the idea:

 If the cost of, say, computing power goes down, then the users of computing power acquire more of it for less—and thus attain a higher standard of living. One thing that makes such deflation possible is dematerialization, the reduction in the quantity of stuff needed to produce a product. An iPhone, for example, weighs 1/100th and costs 1/10th as much as an Osborne Executive computer did in 1982, but it has 150 times the processing speed and 100,000 times the memory.

One reason so many leaders of the global warming predict catastrophe is because they are Malthusians: That growing populations inevitably lead to starvation, shortages, etc. Yet, Malthusians have been wrong 100% of the time since the Malthus coined the term in the 18th Century.  Remember how just a year ago we were running out of oil and now we learn that North America is practically swimming in it? 

When human ingenuity is unleashed, we produce more with less and find new ways to do useful things. Even if word temperatures were rising (they are not), we can still count on innovative people to invent better tools (I'd rather have a car than a buggy whip) and new processes that will make life better. That is one of the many reasons not to sweat global warming even if world temperatures start modestly rising.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Variety of Active Weather

Blizzard warnings (orange) and watches (green) along with winter storm warnings (pink) are in effect for the northern Plains.

AccuWeather's snowfall amount forecast is below and storm coverage is here

Farther south, there is a "slight" (elevated) risk of large hail, damaging thunderstorm winds and, perhaps, a tornado in two in the indicated areas.

[caption id="attachment_7440" align="aligncenter" width="454" caption="Because of a major revision of SPC's forecast at 7am, here is the updated version."][/caption]


The severe weather risk continues into tomorrow.

Blizzard Expected in Northern Plains

Here is AccuWeather's forecast map for the region:

The National Weather Service has a blizzard watch (light green) for much of the region.

AccuWeather has details on the storm here

Demand on Agriculture

According to Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman, agriculture will have to produce in the next 30 years as much as it has produced in the last 10,000 in order to feed our world!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming... in this presentation by Dick Lindzen to the House of Commons in England. It is so impressive that even global warming proponents are now wondering if 'global warming' is comparable to the Y2K bug, a minor problem that was greatly inflated. 

How Fast Newspapers Are Falling

Last week, I wrote about the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper I worked with for over a decade, publishing an editorial (based on the Fakegate documents, no less) comparing people who don't believe in catastrophic global warming to Hitler. I went on to write:

Every time I think the pro-global warming forces cannot go any lower, I’m disappointed. For fear of repeating myself, Are these the behaviors of people who are confident in the accuracy of their position? To me, this increasingly outrageous behavior smacks of desperation. 

For a decade, WeatherData, Inc. (the company I founded in 1981) provided the weather forecasts and storm coverage to the Times. I really enjoyed working with them and met a number of great journalists. To see the Times fall this far is terribly sad. The Times’ circulation is down, way down. The most recent figures I could find (2010) state:

Circulation at the Los Angeles Times fell 14.7% to 616,606 on weekdays and 7.6% to 941,914 on Sundays.

When we worked with them, their weekday circulation was close to a million!

The next time a newspaper executive complains about dropping readership and increased corporate losses, suggest they look in a mirror. I think most people, regardless of political orientation, are fed up with the “Hitler” accusation. 

With a hat-tip to Instapundit, I came across these figures showing how the bottom is falling out of the newspaper industry's revenue:

I love newspapers. I was business manager of our high school newspaper when I went to Rockhurst (and, if we didn't raise enough money, there was no newspaper). I worked with newspapers at WeatherData for more than twenty years! Today, I still subscribe to two daily newspapers, The Wichita Eagle and The Wall Street Journal. 

But, as long as newspapers act as shills for political causes (see Hitler above) rather than honestly reporting news, they are going to continue their collapse. If that occurs, America will be far worse for their loss.  

Dust Devil in Arizona

From a few minutes ago on Golf Channel/NBC's coverage.

Because this occurs under a sunny sky, it is not part of the hierarchy of tornadoes that I talk about below. 

Why the The Pro-Global Warming Forces Think it is 'War'

Below, I have a posting that links to a Scientific American piece that calls the debate between the pro- and anti-GW forces 'war.' I agree. One side is fighting with science and the other is faking documents, fighting freedom of information act requests tooth and nail in court (wasting taxpayer funds on documents clearly in the public domain), the EPA's "scrubbing" its database of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it gave to Fakegate's protagonist (Peter Gleick), Climategates 1 and 2, etc., etc. The question some of my correspondents are asking is "why?"

Here is my theory as to why so much unscientific and unethical behavior is now occurring so frequently:

The Wall Street Journal just ran a second piece written by scientists like me that are skeptical of the Gore/IPCC theory of catastrophic global warming. It is the same piece I linked to yesterday.

The piece includes this graph that shows the IPCC's various forecasts (dotted lines) compared to the red line. Notice anything? All of the forecasts are too warm! The 1995 forecast isn't too bad but if you take out the 1998 peak, it would be almost entirely too warm, also. The unmistakeable conclusion is that the models overweight the effects of CO2...the very foundation of the catastrophic global warming hypothesis.

A pro-global warming defense of the forecasts presented in the above graph is here. In it, the author states that it takes 30 years to falsify the models. This is moving their own goal posts. They used to say seventeen years (one example here, I could link to many more). 

Here are world temperatures over the last 15 years:

See any net warming? Since temperatures are currently trending down, it would take something extremely surprising for the IPCC/Gore forecast to not be completely falsified in another two years. In fact, by any measure, the most famous of the forecasts, 1990, is already falsified. 

This is why you are seeing so much nonsense from the pro-global warming forces. They realize that, one day soon, the media and politicians are finally going to realize that there is at least no near-term (10-30 years) global warming crisis. Given the current federal budgetary constraints, the biggest -- by far -- gravy train in the history of atmospheric science may start drying up. So, desperate times call for desperate measures and you get Climategate 2 two months ago and Fakegate and its many defenders this past week. 

Thursday, both Republicans and Democrats asked the EPA to stop regulating CO2. Here is the list of Democrats (from ThinkProgress/Green):

There is little question that Democrats would not have signed this letter as little as two years go. It is dawning on more and more people that they have been "had." There is no immediate global warming crisis. 

I bring up the politics of this because the pro-global warming forces are seeing this major shift, too. Thus, the increasingly desperate tactics. I expect more between now and the election. 

UPDATE: 12:11PM via WattsUpWithThat, Dr. Judith Curry (a member of the IPCC and genuine climate scientist) writes about what I'm calling "Fakegate,"

When ‘Heartlandgate’ first broke, I saw no parallels with Climategate. Now, with the involvement of Gleick, there most certainly are parallels. There is the common theme of climate scientists compromising personal and professional ethics, integrity, and responsibility, all in the interests of a ’cause’. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

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

Global warming, if it ever occurs, may make us shorter

The Scientific Method Works!

Who knew?

That when you replicate another scientist's results -- a basic principle of the scientific method -- you often find errors. Such may be the case of the particles that seemed to move faster than the speed of light. A faulty cable may have given an incorrect result.

Now, if we can just get the 'leaders' of the global warming movement to try the scientific method to persuade their critics rather than faking documents, blocking legitimate papers from being published, and writing privately there is a "lack of warming" while publicly claiming global warming is "incontrovertible," we'd be onto something!

More on this subject here, including the growing and almost overwhelming evidence the Al Gore/IPCC hypothesis has been "falsified."

And, excellent discussion and comments about global warming and the scientific method from Judy Currry's blog. 

The pro-global warming "leaders" -- as a group -- suffer from a severe case of "noble cause corruption" -- that is, they are certain they are right (and that global warming is a major threat) so any behavior is justified. Fakegate is just the latest example.  Others including Climategate 1, Climategate 2, and Jim Hansen's nonsense. Real science simply does not work this way. 


UPDATE 3:07PM. And, like the sun rises in the east, Scientific American defends Fakegate.

The Gleick incident, he said, shows that the “debate” over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interview with Jim Moorhead

Jim Moorhead, "America's Crisis Advisor," interviewed me earlier this week and has the interview up on his website at:

Take a look.

Worst Science Story of the Week

Worst Headline: "Tornado Forecasting Eludes Weather Scientists" in my hometown paper, The Wichita Eagle. 

The headline was attached to the worst story science story of the week written by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press. The story was printed in many newspapers across the United States, including the Tulsa World, Miami Herald, and others. 

Let me state -- again -- on this blog how wrong this story is: Of the 551 people killed by tornadoes in 2011, more than 99% were located in both a tornado watch and a tornado warning at the time the storm arrived! 

Mr. Borenstein cites Joplin. Here is the forecast of the Joplin tornado in the form of the tornado watch:

The watch was issued at 1:30pm, 4 hours and 11 minutes before the tornado reached Joplin! The watch (a forecast) further says there is a "high" probability of tornadoes and a "moderate" probability of a tornado of F-2 intensity or greater.

Did things go wrong later that afternoon in Joplin? Yes. Are there still further improvements to be made to the warning system? Yes, to that, too. The warning system is hardly perfect. But, to trash the science that got the major tornadoes right 99% of the time is ridiculous. This type of ignorant reporting ( "Tornado Forecasting Eludes Weather Scientists") does nothing but discourage people from taking warnings seriously -- and that is dangerous

Because of stories defending the protagonist in Fakegate, there were many worthy contenders. Still, I hereby nominate Mr. Borenstein for the Dianne Sawyer Award for inaccurate reporting about weather and storms. 

Tornado Situation as of 1:50pm Eastern

Yellow-shaded counties under a tornado watch. Red = tornado warning (meaning take cover) and amber = severe thunderstorm warning (large hail and/or 60 mph or more winds).


Tornado Watches in Effect

Two tornado watches in effect in the Southeast. See posting below and keep up on the weather today if you live in these areas.

Tornado Threat in the Southeast

There is a substantial threat of tornadoes in the Southeast today.

This is the NWS Storm Prediction Center's updated (8am EST) and upgraded severe weather outlook:

Let's break it down: The maximum tornado threat is 10%, which is elevated (5% considered enough to be concerned about).

And, there is serious threat of damaging winds (hatched area = ≥75 mph in the strongest thunderstorms):

I urge you to keep up on local weather information throughout the day in these areas. The first watch(es) may be issued this morning. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Meteorologists are Struggling With Tornadoes

When tornado warnings were created in the 1950's, for all we meteorologists knew, there was one type of tornado. Now, we know there are at least five. In order, with the worst on top, here they are

  • Supercell

  • Squall line (aka, QLCS)

  • Tropical storm-related

  • Landspout

  • Gustnado

All of these are (relatively) narrow vertical columns of wind so they meet the definition of "tornado." 

But, we know -- to 100% certainty -- that a gustnado lasts tens of seconds, is difficult for meteorologists to detect, and that it will never do anything like Joplin-style damage. 

So, the National Weather Service is attempting to address this with the experiment I wrote about last week that will conducted, starting April 1, at their St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO), Topeka, and Wichita offices. They create three-tiered tornado warnings and allow those offices to add "a tornado is possible" to severe thunderstorm warnings. As I comment in the posting, I believe this experiment is misguided.

That said, there is a problem here illustrated by the situation in Kansas Tuesday. 

The radar image below indicate two areas of swirling air (arrows). there were a number of these late Tuesday afternoon.

[caption id="attachment_7330" align="aligncenter" width="337" caption="Radar at 3:39pm Tuesday. Arrows indicate swirling air in the storms."][/caption]

The photo below was passed around on Facebook a number of times and I'm not sure who the photographer was (email me if it is you and I'll happily credit you). It shows a funnel cloud that, I believe, was taken over northern Kansas with one of these swirls. 

As far as I know this funnel never touched down nor did any of the other swirls. Yet, you can clearly see a funnel and -- sometimes -- these do touch down and cause minor damage. Serious injuries are very rare -- the percent of tornado fatalities attributed to these types of tornadoes is well less than 1%.

If it touches down, the eyewitnesses will say, accurately, "there was a tornado!" and will expect a warning. 

So, what do we do? Sound the sirens? Interrupt the TV programs and radio?

While I believe there are better ways to accomplish this than multi-tiered warnings, there is a genuine problem the NWS is attempting to address.

Today's Severe Weather Risk

There is a significant risk of tornadoes in the South today, especially in Kentucky.

Meteorologists start getting concerned at the 5% tornado probability level.  So, it is a good idea to keep up on the weather in these areas. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Blackout Danger

This blog has discussed, on many occasions, the danger of losing the electrical power grid through major solar storm or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. I believe the cumulative threat is higher than airline highjacking for which we spend tens of billions on the TSA. 

Here is a story from today's Wall Street Journal on that topic: 

The director of the National Security Agency has warned that the hacking group Anonymous could have the ability within the next year or two to bring about a limited power outage through a cyberattack.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the director, provided his assessment in meetings at the White House and in other private sessions, according to people familiar with the gatherings. While he hasn't publicly expressed his concerns about the potential for Anonymous to disrupt power supplies, he has warned publicly about an emerging ability by cyberattackers to disable or even damage computer networks.

Gen. Alexander's warning signals a growing federal concern over the capabilities of Anonymous, a loose affiliation of so-called hacktivist computer programmers who have launched a raft of high-profile cyberassaults against U.S. government and corporate targets such as Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and eBayInc.'s PayPal serviceSo far, the attacks have primarily served to embarrass companies and organizations, and cybersecurity experts differ on the extent of the threat posed by Anonymous.The group has never listed a power blackout as a goal, but some federal officials believe Anonymous is headed in a more disruptive direction. An attack on a network would be consistent with recent public claims and threats by the group. Last week, for instance, Anonymous announced a plan to shut down the Internet on March 31, which it calls Operation Global Blackout

Think about it: We would, literally, be back to 1880 but without the 1880's infrastructure. Your car would not run after an EMP attack. Do you own a horse? Is there a grain mill run on water flow nearby? How would insulin and other critical medicines be kept cool without electricity? 

It is long-past time stop pouring money into the TSA (including a new TSA tax) and start focusing on these more serious threats. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More on Fakegate

Below, I write about "Fakegate" -- the deception involved in a phony scandal involving the Heartland Institute perpetrated by one of the leading pro-global warming scientists. Of course, most of his pro-global warming contemporaries have adopted either the "nothing to see here, move along" or the "fake, but accurate" defenses. 

I've written all I care to write about this matter, but I do want to quote from Megan McArdle (hardly a global warming skeptic) that I would like the readers of this blog who are pro-global warming to think carefully about her words:

Gleick has done enormous damage to his cause and his own reputation, and it's no good to say that people shouldn't be focusing on it.  If his judgement is this bad, how is his judgement on matters of science?  For that matter, what about the judgement of all the others in the movement who apparently see nothing worth dwelling on in his actions?


When skeptics complain that global warming activists are apparently willing to go to any lengths--including lying--to advance their worldview, I'd say one of the movement's top priorities should be not proving them right.  And if one rogue member of the community does something crazy that provides such proof, I'd say it is crucial that the other members of the community say "Oh, how horrible, this is so far beyond the pale that I cannot imagine how this ever could have happened!" and not, "Well, he's apologized and I really think it's pretty crude and opportunistic to make a fuss about something that's so unimportant in the grand scheme of things."  


After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you've lost the power to convince them of anything else.


Gleick was -- get this -- chair of the ethics committee of the American Geophysical Union, another pro-GW organization.


Courtesy of WattsUpWithThat, here are parts of an open letter to the new chair of the AGU's ethics committee written by Willis Eschenbach:

Make no mistake. If Peter Gleick walks away from this debacle free of expulsion, sanction, or censure from the AGU, without suffering any further penalties, your reputation and the reputation of the AGU will forever join his on the cutting room floor. People are already laughing at the spectacle of the chair of a task force on scientific integrity getting caught with his entire arm in the cookie jar. You have one, and only one, chance to stop the laughter.

Because if your Task Force doesn’t have the bal … the scientific integrity to take up the case of its late and unlamented commander as its very first order of business, my Spidey-sense says that it will be forever known as the “AGU Task Farce on Scientific Integrity”. You have a clear integrity case staring you in the face. If you only respond to Dr. Gleick’s reprehensible actions with vague platitudes about “the importance of …”, if the Task Force’s only contribution is mealy-mouthed mumblings about how “we deplore …” and“we are disappointed …”, I assure you that people will continue to point and laugh at that kind of spineless pretense of scientific integrity.

Folks are fed up with climate scientists who lie, cheat, and steal to attack their scientific opponents, and who then walk away without the slightest action being taken by other scientists. As long as there are no repercussions from the scientific community for the kind of things Dr. Gleick has done, mainstream climate scientists will continue to do them. Indeed, Dr. Gleick’s own actions were no doubt greatly encouraged by the fact that you noble scientists were so full of bul … of scientific integrity that you all let the Climategate un-indicted co-conspirators walk away scot-free, without even asking them the important questions, much less getting answers to those major issues.

You have the opportunity to actually take a principled stand here, Dr. Gundersen, and I cannot overemphasize the importance of you doing so. Dr. Gleick’s kind of unethical skullduggery in the name of science has ruined the reputation of the entire field of climate science. The rot of “noble cause corruption” is well advanced in the field, and it will not stop until people just like you quit looking the other way and pretending it doesn’t exist. I had hoped that some kind of repercussions for scientific malfeasance would be one of the outcomes of Climategate, but people just ignored that part. This one you can’t ignore.

Kansas Commodity Presentation

I would like to thank Greg Agaki and WIBW Radio today for inviting me to participate in their commodity forum where we discussed issues of importance to agriculture.

[caption id="attachment_7307" align="aligncenter" width="1087" caption="Question and Answer Time"][/caption]

Other speakers included U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman. Secretary Rodman made an interesting point: That  agriculture will have to produce over the next 30 years as much as it produced in the last 10,000!

[caption id="attachment_7308" align="aligncenter" width="820" caption="Multiple flashes fired when Senator Moran took the stage."][/caption]