Monday, September 30, 2013

Yarnell Hill Fire Report

The report is out about the horrific Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona June 30th that lead to the death of 19 elite firefighters. The report is thorough. I was sorry, but not surprised, to learn that incompatible radio frequencies again played a role in a public service tragedy. I'm not sure why this same problem persists so many years after September 11 and in spite of all of the subsequent calls to remedy it.

However, I was struck by this statement which is reiterated several times in the report:
The weather update accurately forecast the wind shift that drove the fire toward the firefighters. A thunderstorm's outflow boundary (gust front) caused the wind to shift and increase with gusts to 50 mph. This helped doom the firefighters. The report makes clear, without stating it explicitly, the implications of the outflow boundary were either not fully digested and/or not fully believed.

As meteorologist Dr. Cliff Mass reported shortly after the tragedy, the meteorological computer model guidance of this entire event was quite accurate. I recommend you read Dr. Mass' report before I make my next point.

The report goes on to suggest (p. 49):
This, in my opinion, could not be worse advice.

I present weather safety for business seminars for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions across the United States. One of the pieces of advice for security, risk analysis, and business people is not to 'play' meteorologist. Meteorology, today, provides highly accurate guidance in extreme weather situations of all kinds, as it did in Arizona that horrible afternoon. Asking people untrained in weather science to make life-and-death decisions is both unfair and likely to have adverse results.

Go back through Dr. Mass' blog. Do you really believe a non-meteorologist, in the field facing a rapidly growing wildfire, could make sense of all of that technical information?!

Weather science provides an amazingly high quality of service at a low cost to society. There should be less, rather than more, second-guessing of qualified meteorologists. 

Tornadoes and Schools

Dr. Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory has an interesting article here.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Week's Rainfall

Sunday Fun: "House" Singing "Midnight Train to Georgia"

I was home sick earlier this week, watching television while answering email, and saw one of the funniest things I have seen on television in a while.

House MD - Midnight Train to Georgia from selman bozkurt on Vimeo.

The "House" rendition of Midnight Train to Georgia. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hail Threat Increasing

Radar at 6:26pm CDT. Yellow polygons are large hail severe thunderstorm warnings. Storms moving northeast at 35 mph.
click to enlarge
Radar at 6:27pm. See below for more info on the severe thunderstorm and Friday night football threat.
Last update on this threat.

Friday Night Football With Large Hail and Damaging Wind Threat

We don't normally cover severe thunderstorm watches on the blog unless the meteorological threat is extraordinary. Making an exception because of the popularity of high school football in this region and the fact this severe thunderstorm watch is in effect from now until 1am CDT Saturday morning.

The NWS Storm Prediction Center is forecasting hail to 1" in diameter and wind gusts to 70 mph along with the threat of deadly lightning from these storms. Games should be suspended and everyone move to shelter if lightning approaches. 

There is a second area where the storms may intensify as the evening progresses (blue scallops):

In both areas, the storms will generally move from southwest to northeast at 35 mph (i.e., a half-mile per minute). 

Note: I'm not live-blogging the storms this evening. 


The new IPCC report is out. I'm in too good a mood to tackle it this afternoon, so I'm turning things over to Dr. Judy Curry ...

 Note the changes in these two statements from the final draft discussed last week:
“Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10–15 years.”
“It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951−2010.”
These changes as a result of the ‘conclave’ this week totally dissonates my cognitives. 

and to Cartoons by Josh...

Tornado Risk Central U.S.

I haven't posted a tornado risk in quite a while. We have one for this afternoon and tonight.
The 5% threshold is significant, so please keep an eye out later today.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New 5-Star Review at Amazon

And, here is a new Amazon review of When the Sirens Were Silent:

"Short, powerful, well-researched book...."

Sirens is the story of what went wrong in the Joplin tornado and why so many unnecessarily died. It is completely sold-out in softcover but available in Kindle for deliberately low price of $2.99. I want people to read this book as it will help save lives with complete tornado safety rules for office, school, and home.

For those that prefer the Nook platform, it is available here for the same low price.

If you live east of the Continental Divide, you'll want to read this book.

Want to Learn More About Tornadoes?

Here is a white paper I just wrote for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions. I think you'll find it interesting. Just click on the link.

Another 5-Star Review at Amazon

5-Star review pertains to the Kindle version:

If I were to tell you that I just read a history on the growth/improvement of tornado forecasting techniques in the 20th century, you'd probably think it sounded dull. Well, you'd be wrong. This book is anything but dull.

Applied meteorologist (and weather entrepreneur) Mike Smith has written a lively look at how tornado forecasting tools and techniques have improved during the past 50+ years and how these improvements have saved many, many lives. He's got a great writing style and a knack for explaining complicated things in a simple, straightforward manner.

I really enjoyed the book, especially those parts dealing with tornadoes.

Various government agencies, such as the FAA and the Weather Bureau (later, the National Weather Service) let politics and turf wars get in the way of better serving the public, in terms of issuing warnings and disseminating information. This was eye-opening to me...

The Kindle version has 16 color photos we could not fit into the hard cover.

Whichever version you choose, you will be reading an exciting, uplifting book about thousands of lives being saved. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From the Era When Tornado Film Was Rare

This is 40 years ago today, the long-track Salina, Kansas, tornado. It gets really interesting at about about 2:00.

"Shut Up, He Explained"

Just ahead of the release of the IPCC's report, Popular Science terminates comments on its articles. The editor tells us:

Comments can be bad for science. That's why, here at, we're shutting them off.

Of course, that is the exact opposite of the scientific method.

The scientific community provides a system of checks and balances that ensures the quality of scientific work, double-checks arguments, and makes sure that ideas are evaluated fairly. This scrutiny can serve a few different functions — from fact-checking to whistleblowing:

Fact checker/critic
The community evaluates evidence and ideas. Scientists describe their work at conferences, in journalarticles, and in books. By disseminating their ideas, study methods, and test results in these ways, scientists allow other community members to check their work, both by reviewing what has been done and trying to replicate all or part of it. This helps to ensure thatevidence meets high standards, that all relevant lines of evidence are explored, that judgments are not based on flawed reasoning, and hence, that science moves in the direction of more and more accurate explanations.

"Scrutiny." "Scientists allow other community members to check their work." "Reviewing."

Seems like Popular Science doesn't understand what science is all about. 

Why Does the IPCC Leak Its Findings?

So pro-global warming writers can write articles like this:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top scientists from a variety of fields say they are about as certain that global warming is a real, man-made threat as they are that cigarettes kill.
They are as sure about climate change as they are about the age of the universe. They say they are more certain about climate change than they are that vitamins make you healthy or that dioxin in Superfund sites is dangerous.
By doing so, they attempt to influence public opinion before the study is even officially released. Ladies and gentlemen, it is mostly about spin.

As we have previously discussed, I believe there is a 100% chance humans affect the climate. We've known that since the Metromex study of the early 1970's. Where I strongly disagree with the IPCC,

  • They believe the sun and cosmic rays play a trivial role in climate. 
  • They believe (simplifying) there is a one-to-one relationship between CO2 and earth's temperature. As the decade-and-a-half of no warming demonstrates, that isn't true. I believe it is a logarithmic relationship as the classic laboratory experiments demonstrate. 
  • They believe they have skill forecasting the climate decades in the future. I believe that skill doesn't currently exist. I wrote about that here and in other places. The wildly incorrect forecasts made last year of polar ice disappearing by 2013 (it rose 60%) and of this year's Atlantic hurricane season should convince any fair observer we can't make consistently reliable long-range months ahead, let alone years.
  • There is no evidence that hurricanes or tornadoes (see below) are getting worse due to global warming. 
If you would like to read the rest of what you might call the "climate skeptics' consensus," go here

The fact Big Climate is demonstrably wrong time-after-time has no effect on their certainty. For example, go back to the news headlines just twelve months ago:

Even with these headlines ascribing certainty, the summer of 2013 was colder than normal in the Arctic and ice cover was up 60%, as even Big Climate is forced to admit. [Note, I'm making no forecasts of the future.]

As to "runaway global warming 'arriving'," here are the last twelve months of world temperatures using exactly the same data (the HADCRUT data set) as used by the IPCC. See any runway warming? Me, either.

The official report will come out in a few days and people will believe what they want to believe. Is global warming a problem? Probably, but it is (in my opinion) likely to be small and is somewhat balanced out by its favorable aspects like longer growing seasons. There is also the potential for global cooling, which is -- potentially -- an even more serious problem for humanity than warming. Unfortunately, Big Climate mostly chooses to ignore that threat. 

So, billions will have been spent, millions of trees will give their lives to printing the news, and little will change. Of course, when compared to the cost of "curing" global warming, that is probably a good thing. 

Oh, and by the way: It is not at all certain that dioxin at some of these sites is hazardous. And, if you believe the Mayo Clinic, multivitamins may not make you healthier. Such is the quality of much science 'journalism' these days. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Flimsy Pro-Global Warming Science Gets Sold to the Public

I have a big respect for the Capital Weather Gang's work at The Washington Post and I am appreciative of the times they have asked my opinion on various issues. So, given that level of respect, this headline today caught my attention:

I wanted to learn more. The story told us that the earth is going to warm (no surprise there), it quotes two government scientists that praise the study (no surprise there), and a little about the study's methodology. After reading the CWG story and parts of the study itself, I found things didn't add up. Let's call the study which forecasts more tornadoes the "Diffenbaugh study" after its lead author.

It begins by telling us,

There is now considerable evidence that the occurrence and intensity of climate extremes have been increasing in recent decades, and that continued global warming likely will amplify these changes (1).

For those unfamiliar with scientific papers, the "(1)" is a footnote referring to another scientific study. In this case an IPCC study that was published last December.
So, the entire premise of the Diffenbaugh study is that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are increasing due to earth's warming temperatures and will continue to increase. Only one problem. The pertinent part of the IPCC study says no such thing. Here is what the IPCC study says (page 8),

(in case it is hard to read) There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail...

In what universe does "considerable evidence" in the context of a study about tornadoes and severe thunderstorm trends equate to "there is low confidence in observed trends in...tornadoes and hail"? Why is this important? The Diffenbaugh study is based on, at best, a flawed premise and, at worse, a false premise. Even though temperatures have warmed in the last 60 years, there is no upward trend in violent tornadoes.

Here is the National Weather Service's plot of violent tornadoes since 1954.
Here are world temperatures since 1954:

There is no upward trend in violent tornadoes. If anything, there were more violent tornadoes when temperatures were cooler!

So, where are we?
  1. The Diffenbaugh study misstates the pertinent findings of the IPCC study
  2. The IPCC study finds no discernible trend in tornadoes and hail storms
  3. There is no upward trend in violent tornadoes associated with rising temperatures 
  4. Yet, because a computer model says so, we are to believe that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms will be worse in the future because temperatures are forecast to rise even though rising temperatures, thus far, have not produced that result and -- perhaps -- the opposite result.
In science, nothing is supposed to be taken for granted. Skepticism is to be rewarded as it is part of the scientific method. Yet, the scientific method is too often given a pass when it comes to climate "science." The Diffenbaugh study and the CWG story, unfortunately, are yet another example. 

"The Sun That Did Not Roar"

Current image of the sun. There is one normal size spot in the southern hemisphere.
There are a few very small spots elsewhere.
Even The New York Times is publishing stories about the sun's highly unusual behavior. Because the Maunder Minimum in sunspot activity (mentioned in the article) is believed to have caused or influenced the Little Ice Age, it leads to concerns that the earth may cool going forward. 

I don't have an opinion as to whether the earth will cool other than the sun's behavior and effects on earth's climate is just as valid a field of research as global warming. Why? Cooling would be far worse for humanity than warming. 

Needed Rain on the Way

Badly needed rain forecast for the central third of the United States. I believe this is just the beginning. This forecast runs from today to day 7. I believe additional rains will fall days 8 through 10.

Monday, September 23, 2013

BUMPED: A Salute to Volunteer Weather Observers

It is not practical or cost effective to have National Weather Service offices in every town. So, meteorology relies on volunteer observers (I'm one) to measure rainfall and certain other readings.
Here is the Boulder cooperative observer taking the historic rainfall reading. Out-of-banks Skunk Creek is in the background.

ADDITION: I wrote this during the flooding in Colorado ten days ago. I've added this tribute to a cooperative observer.

Check Out My Essays at Answers.Com

In addition to this blog, my professional speaking, and my duties at Vice President at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, I'm now writing for about weather. Come over and check it out.

Now What? A Weather-Driven Shortage of Chocolate

Consumers from California to Switzerland are developing a taste for dark chocolate, taking a bite out of global cocoa supplies and driving up candy prices in both high-end boutiques and mass-market drugstores.
The cost of one kilogram of chocolate in the U.S. is expected to hit a record $12.25 this year, a 45% increase from 2007, according to market-research firm Euromonitor International.
Prices are on the rise due to a shortage of cocoa beans, which are roasted and ground to make chocolate. Market experts estimate that supplies will fall short of demand this year for the first time since 2010 and dry weather is expected to hurt the next harvest in West Africa, where 70% of cocoa beans are produced.

Yes, I'm one of the people that loves dark chocolate.  Full details here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

AccuWeather Covering Typhoon Usagi

I don't cover international storms on the blog. AccuWeather, being the world's leading commercial weather company does, of course. Here is the latest.

Two items of note: "Typhoon" is simply another name for hurricane.

One billion people a day get information from AccuWeather. We are opening an office in Beijing later this year.

Article on Warnings' Effectiveness

I have a new article up at about storm warnings' effectiveness.

If you have any questions about weather, storms, warning strategy, or anything else involving weather or climate, feel free to post them in the comment area below. Look forward to answering them.

A Very Nice Day in Most of U.S.

With the exception of a flash flood threat in West Virginia and along the Gulf Coast, most of the nation is going to enjoy the day. Get outside and enjoy it!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flash Flood Threat Gulf Region

Pacific hurricane Manuel will feed moisture in ahead of a cold from and very heavy rains will likely result:

Here are the forecast rainfall amounts:
click to enlarge
AccuWeather has the full story.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Global Warming: The Skeptic Consensus

Others are quick to pronounce climate science bunk.  David Rose wrote in the Daily Mail ‘A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.’ Hayley Dixon in The Telegraph put it less blatant but still succinct in her opening sentence: ‘A leaked draft of a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is understood to concede that the computer predictions for global warming and the effects of carbon emissions have been proved to be inaccurate.’
--From Germany's Klimazwiebel blog via Anthony Watts

We often hear about the alleged 'consensus' pertaining to catastrophic global warming. In a few days, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is going to release its next report. According to leaks, it will say they are 95% certain humans affect the client. I believe the real number is 100%. Humans do affect the climate.

However, I do not believe that CO2 is the overwhelming driver of changes in climate nor do I believe the earth is warming at a rate that is "catastrophic." The small, but growing, number of climate scientists who believe the earth will cool need to be heard but the IPCC seems to ignore them, if the news reports are correct.

I'm not the only atmospheric scientist who believes the IPCC overstates the problem. Two days ago, I noted the convergence of views among those skeptical of the Al Gore/IPCC's catastrophic global warning hypothesis. This is becoming more and more common.

Dr. Judy Curry, a working climate scientist, just published what might be called the "skeptical consensus." With permission, here it is (blue):

"So, exactly what differentiates the two sides in the debate?  I think Dana Nuccitelli (for once) hits the nail on the head:  consensus denial.  Exactly what is consensus denial?   Here are some characteristics of the social aspects of consensus denial:
  • Denial that experts selected by an organization (i.e. the IPCC) with substantial infiltration by ‘big green’ are objective arbiters of climate science.
  • Denial of the trustworthiness of the experts owing to the behaviors revealed by the Climategate emails and the explicit policy advocacy by IPCC participants, most particularly by those in leadership positions in the IPCC
  • Denial that a scientific consensus seeking process makes sense for an exceedingly complex problem like climate change that is dominated by uncertainties.
  • Concern that an explicit scientific consensus building process in a politicized environment is introducing biases into the science and amplifying them.
  • Concern over how the community of climate scientists allowed intolerant activists who make false claims to certainty to become the public face of the field - Roger Pielke Jr
  • [Concern that]  what is commonly called the “mainstream” view of climate science is contained in the spread of results from computer models. What is commonly dismissed as the “skeptical” or “denier” view coincides with the real-world observations. - Ross McKitrick
  • The idea of producing a colossal document of near biblical infallibility is a misrepresentation of how science works, and we need to look very carefully about what the IPCC does in the future. – Myles Allen
  • The “truth” about global warming, if it exists, lives somewhere in a constantly shifting probability cloud. – Indian Express
  • Concern that policies based on consensus science that are advocated to mitigate global warming are technologically, economically and politically infeasible.
  • Concern that policies  based on consensus science that are advocated to mitigate global warming, even if implemented, would be ineffective in controlling climate and extreme weather events
Dr. Ross McKitrick sums up the IPCC ‘consensus’ science in this way: As the model-versus-reality discrepancy plays out, the last place you will learn about it will be in IPCC reports."
The censoring (and that is the right word) of valid scientific papers authored by IPCC skeptics continues. Even with the ongoing attempts to block skeptical papers, a few get through the filter:
The paper is here.

I hope I am wrong but get ready for headlines next week about "95% certainty" and other tidbits from the report. But, the science will almost certainly be out-of-date and overwrought.

History of Color, Animated Radar

Moments ago, I captured this image of a thunderstorm moving into Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

How did I know it was moving into Medicine Lodge? Because I time-lapsed the radar and it showed northeast movement. We take animated, color radar for granted these days. I wrote a piece on the subject of how this came to be at the suggested of an editor. You can read how the weather became colorized, here

Drowning in Global Warming Nonsense

The usual suspects are attributing the Colorado floods to global warming. This is factually incorrect.

Here is a graph of world temperatures with arrows point to the major flood events in and around Boulder, Colorado.
Moving from left to right, the leftmost arrow points to world temperatures when the previous record high flood occurred on Boulder Creek. The second arrow was the wettest day in Boulder history prior to last week. The third arrow points to the world temperature during the Big Thompson Canyon flood of 1976 that killed 140. The final arrow is last week (actually, it points to last month's temperature).

As you can see, flash floods occur in the Boulder over a wide range of world temperatures. They have not become more common with the warmer temperatures recently observed. 

Second, a recent U.S. Geological Survey study says floods are not getting worse due to CO2 increases.

So, whether it is Boulder or the nation as a whole, global warming is not causing more floods.

Abolish the TSA

This blog attempts to assist people with assessing and mitigating the risks we encounter in the world. This editorial from the Las Vegas Review-Journal makes a tremendous amount of sense:

The TSA should go a lot further. So far, in fact, that the agency shuts down.
It is beyond insane that TSA employees still pull aside grandfathers in wheelchairs, mothers with infants, and small children for pat-downs when no one with those profiles has ever carried out an act of terrorism on an airplane. This outrage will continue under the TSA’s new process. The idea that only 25 to 30 percent of daily airline passengers are low security risks is preposterous. A more accurate figure is 99.9999999 percent.
The TSA might be the least-effective agency in the federal government — and that’s saying something. The agency sucks about $8 billion per year out of the economy to cover payroll and overhead, then consumes billions more through lost productivity and lost ticket sales; countless Americans refuse to fly because they won’t allow the TSA to humiliate them.

Agree 100%.

The TSA has done one good thing which is the inspection of checked luggage. That would continue in my suggested way forward. Otherwise, we would go back to private contractors (So we can stop the charade that the TSA is law enforcement. It is not) with the level of security we had before September 11th. No silly liquid ban, no taking off shoes, etc.

If you agree, write your congressional delegation. I have.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flood-Proofing Your Family and Home

I have an article up at on flood-proofing your life.

AMEM Conference- Breezy Point, Minnesota

Mike was a guest speaker at the 53rd Annual AMEM Conference at Breezy Point Resort over the weekend where he addressed an audience of 400 emergency managers from all over the United States who were attending the four day long event.
"How Storm Chasers and Emergency Managers Make Tornado Alley Safer"
Mike's presentation highlighted the important role storm casers an emergency managers have in  keeping the public safe and informed during the event of a tornado. He also honored the memory of Tim Samaras, his son and friend, who all gave their lives while saving others during the El Reno tornado last spring. Mike gave all the attendees a copy of his book WARNINGS: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather

On Flood Frequencies

A posting by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. of Boulder on the frequency of the recent Colorado floods that I believe you'll find to be of interest.

Heads Up: Gulf of Mexico

Just as Mexico is trying to recover from flooding from two tropical storms, there is a new threat.

For the first time this hurricane season, I believe U.S. and Mexico residents need to keep advised as this storm has the potential to become a hurricane. Its future path is highly uncertain. AccuWeather has more.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Great Minds Think Alike

Dr. Ross McKitrick today:

...since we are on the verge of seeing the emergence of data that could rock the foundations of mainstream climatology, this is obviously no time for entering into costly and permanent climate policy commitments based on failed model forecasts. The real message of the science is: Hold on a bit longer, information is coming soon that could radically change our understanding of this issue.

This writer made the identical point on June 24 and on previous occasions:

...this blog -- on the basis of the [ongoing] lack of warming buying us time -- has advised waiting until the end of 2014 before any decisions about global warming policy are made. That still seems like excellent advice.

I recommend Ross's excellent article in its entirety (found at green link). As Dr. McKitrick explains, the statistical probability the models will be proven correct is around 2%, which will drop to zero if significant warming doesn't begin soon. I make the identical point here.

The point is not to pat myself, Dr. McKitrick, or anyone else on the back. The point is that the real-world data has become so clear that multiple scientists are reaching the identical conclusion. Carbon dioxide does trap heat which, in turn, warms the earth. But, it does so at a much lower rate than the catastrophic global warming clique has been trying to sell for two decades. It isn't even clear that slow warming would be a net negative. Longer growing seasons = more food production and less energy use.

Special Announcement: Answer' Weather Expert

I'm pleased to inform everyone that I am now the weather expert for My page is here. My first article is about flood-proofing your family.

Of course, I remain Senior Vice President/Chief Innovation Executive at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions. And, I am still President of Mike Smith Enterprises, LLC. Please check out our new website.

Here is an answer to a reader's question as to how color, animated radar came to be.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nothing More Needs to Be Said

Following is verbatim:

A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.
The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly ‘assessments’ are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science. 
They are cited worldwide to justify swingeing fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy.
Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment,  published in 2007. 
Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade – a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models. 
But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction.

Full story here. To my American readers, please forward this to your friends because I guarantee the U.S. mainstream media will not report the story in as forthright a manner.

While it took them too long (this was obvious 3-4 years ago), I acknowledge the IPCC for having the guts to back off the "catastrophic" part of the global warming hypothesis.

Now, I'm waiting for the numerous apologies due me and the other prominent "deniers." I won't hold my breath.

Colorado Headline This Morning

From the Denver Post this morning: 

A list of closed highways and roads is here.

More than 10,000 19,000 homes are damaged or destroyed. Details here. As a basis for comparison, seven thousand were destroyed in the giant Joplin tornado. Homeowners insurance covered those but does not cover flooding. It is unknown how many Coloradoans had flood insurance but my guess is that is was relatively low. Thus, an economic catastrophe awaits.

The death toll is officially six. But, given the rising number of missing, I expect the total number of deaths to be in the double digits.

The good news is the five-day rainfall amount forecast is for only light rains in the flood-stricken area:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thunderstorm Downburst in Kansas Earlier Today

Sunday Salute: AccuWeather's 50th Birthday

AccuWeather celebrated its 50th birthday Thursday. 
Photo of founder Dr. Joel Myers teaching meteorology at Penn State

Thursday was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of AccuWeather.  Mother Nature got in on the festivities with lightning and thunder two hours before the start of the event. For many companies, the event would have been moved indoors.Not AccuWeather: Our excellent forecasters said the rain would be over and temperatures mild at 5pm – and they were right on the money.

Hundreds of guests flowed into the front entryway of AccuWeather’s World Headquarters for the occasion enjoying the food and drink.

Our CEO, Barry Myers kicked off the addresses and introduced a number of political dignitaries that included the #2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California. 
All of them noted AccuWeather’s lifesaving work and Joel’s creation of 400 jobs and their benefit to Pennsylvania, Kansas, and New York City. Later this year, AccuWeather will open an office in Beijing.

Our COO, Evan Myers, discussed some of the challenges in managing a 24/7/365 operation with truly a worldwide audience. More than one billion people each day receive information from AccuWeather in 48 languages. I can add that, during Hurricane Sandy, the computer systems of both the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel slowed to a crawl at times. AccuWeather’s, under Evan’s leadership, had no such problems.

Dr. Myers came to the platform to thank all of the people who helped him build AccuWeather into the powerhouse that it is today. He discussed the thousands of lives we have saved and the literally billions in adverted economic loss due to the extremes of weather. We are the only non-governmental source of weather information legally operating in China. Our mobile app is the #1 mobile app for weather in the world. Our company continues to make big investments in developing new products and further improving the range and accuracy of our forecasts. 

I joined AccuWeather six years ago when I sold the company I had founded, 25 years before, WeatherData, Inc., to AccuWeather. It has been a wonderful experience, I have made many new friends and have learned many new things. 

To all of my colleagues at AccuWeather, here are my best wishes for another great 50 years!