Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wichita News: It Opens This Week!

Three years in the making!
The Air Capital of the World (more airplanes made in Wichita than any other city) is finally getting an airport befitting its aviation prominence. It opens Wednesday.
For more information, click here. There is a detailed guide here.

Richard Crowson's brilliant editorial cartoon from this morning's Wichita Eagle:

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions is bringing a guest lecturer in for training the sixth day the new airport is open and I'm looking forward to seeing it in action. 

Come fly with us!

Quotes from "Warnings"

Want to read some quotes from Warnings? Just go to the link.

You can read the entire first chapter, free, here.

You can order the book from Amazon and from B&N or go to your local bookstore. It will make a great Father's Day gift!

Sunday Fun: For Those From Outside Kansas Who Can't Get Us to Answer Our Phones Today... is because we are otherwise occupied. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Heavy Rains in Houston

Here is the latest radar for the Houston area where more unwelcome heavy rain is falling.
The green polygon is a flash flood warning.

The satellite data shows the the large cluster of storms.

Whatever you do, do not try to cross flooded areas by foot or by car!!

The Weather Satellite Gap

This isn't just a problem for the military. Everyone's weather forecasts could be degraded. Story from the Capital Weather Gang.

Friday, May 29, 2015

President Obama and Defending the Pope on Twitter

This came over my Twitter feed a few minutes ago:

I replied to President Obama:

The inset in the President's tweet, enlarged below, is nonsense.
It does not make climatological or medical sense.

Seconds later (gee, could this be a coordinated campaign???), this came over:

Forecast the Facts is a nasty little organization (I've incurred their wrath) that likes to personally attack people who disagree with them. My reply to their feigned outrage against the 'attacks'  on Pope Francis and their claim they are part of "Team Pope,"
Full disclosure: I am Catholic.

For more on Catholicism and climate politics, go here.

Nearby Lightning Captured By Police Car

There are two things that can be learned from this video:
  1. A car is relatively safe in a lightning strike. If you are at your child's soccer game, your car is a good place to be until the storm blows over.
  2. Lightning can occur well away from the center of a storm.
We are headed toward peak lightning season. Please keep these in mind.

NOTE: I mistakenly thought the lightning hit the hood of the car. Thanks to James for pointing out my error. However, #1 and #2 are still valid. 

Weather Wisdom from James Spann

Finally, a day without a significant tornado threat anywhere in the U.S.

I'm honored to consider meteorologist James Spann a friend and he has some important things to say about recent weather and climate hype.

Back to my point… many professional meteorologists feel like we are fighting a losing battle when it comes to national media and social media hype and disinformation. They will be sure to let you know that weather events they are reporting on are “unprecedented”, there are “millions and millions in the path”, it is caused by a “monster storm”, and “the worst is yet to come” since these events are becoming more “frequent”.
You will never hear about the low tornado count in recent years, the lack of major hurricane landfalls on U.S. coasts over the past 10 years, or the low number of wildfires this year. It doesn’t fit their story. But, never let facts get in the way of a good story…. there will ALWAYS be a heat wave, flood, wildfire, tornado, tyhpoon, cold wave, and snow storm somewhere. And, trust me, they will find them, and it will probably lead their newscasts. But, users beware…
Please read the entire piece.

Catholic Climatological Kumbaya

Matt Briggs' (disclosure: Catholic like me) has a great piece on global warming, the Pope's possible global warming encyclical and Catholic groups writing sermons about the encyclical before it is even published. He says:

Temperatures have remained more or less constant these past two decades, and there’s no sign this steadiness will waver.
Let’s repeat that, because, strange as it might seem, word of this happy fact, this most welcome, cheering circumstance, does not appear to have reached the ears of those who are certain sure the sky has already fallen, including those many organizations who are preparing to turn Pope Francis’s issuance of an (anticipated) environmental encyclical into a holy day. 
We bring glad tidings to these nervous groups: the world has not been growing hotter. It is not worse than we thought; it is better. The scientists were wrong, as scientists sometimes are. (Science, after all, is said to be self-correcting.) Dear activists, your source of concern has been removed. You can cease worrying and stand down! Isn’t that wonderful?
No, it probably isn’t wonderful. 
If global-warming-of-doom is false, which it must be, since, consistently, predictions have not matched reality, organizations that have been created to fight it are battling a nonexistent enemy. These organizations thus have no reason to exist. Which means they have no need to raise funds. Which means they may as well disband. Yet they haven’t and won’t.
That gives you a taste of Matt's cogent message. Please read the whole thing here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giant Tornado Watch

If you live in southwest Texas or southeast New Mexico, please keep up on the weather if thunderstorms approach.

More Incorrect Global Warming Claims

It gives me no pleasure to write that, like vultures, you can count on Climate Central to swoop in after a disaster with a study that attributes the disaster, whatever it might be, to global warming. Here is a graph of Texas heavy rain from yesterday's article.

There is only one problem: It doesn't tie to global temperatures. Below is the plot of global temperatures from 1950 to 2014. Climate Central shows a huge rise in heavy rain from 1950 to 1977. But, temperatures during that period were flat (compare graphs). 
Temperatures rise rapidly from 1978 to 1998 but the rate of rise in Texas heavy rains is the same. In fact, the 'rise' in heavy rains is actually flat from about 1990 to 2014 (upper graph). 

But, it isn't just Climate Central that incorrectly tries to tie temperatures to heavy rain. The U.S. government has made the same mistake. Their study is for the entire nation. 
Note the decrease in heavy rain from 1910 to 1940 (brown bars). Now, compare world temperatures from 1910 to 1940 (graph below with brown vertical lines from 1910 to 1940). Temperatures are rising rapidly, at least as rapidly as the 'man made' global warming from 1978 to 1998! That would show an opposite correlation to the one claimed. 
And, the study shows heavy rain increasing in the 2000's even though temperatures were flat to even slightly down. 

What these two studies inadvertently prove is that U.S. heavy rain is not tied to world temperatures. 

Today's Tornado Risk

After an extremely active day in the High Plains yesterday, more tornadoes are forecast today:
Please keep an eye on the weather this afternoon and evening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

For Father's Day

If you enjoy this blog, you'll love reading Warnings. We received this unsolicited comment from a reader today:

I just wanted to thank Mike for enlightening me on the science of meteorology.  I feel really bad about what I use to say about the "weather" people. My apologies to Mike. What a wonderful and informative book. I read it in one afternoon.  Thank you. 

Amazon is down to three copies.
So, if you would like a copy for Father's Day, please order your copy as soon as possible.

Texas and Kansas Update

At 8:36pm, the storms are congealing as expected and a mesoscale convective complex is forming. It will probably make its way across southern Kansas the next several hours. High winds and heavy rains are possible.

As feared earlier, flash flooding is occurring in northern Tarrant Co, Texas, especially north of 820. A few spots have had as much as four inches of rain.
This will be the last update of the night.

The Rest of the Evening

The huge area of thunderstorms over the High Plains may begin to congeal the next couple of hours and start to shift to the ESE. The threat may morph into winds and/or flash flooding over time.

The multiple tornado-producing supercell near Canadian, TX continues. There is an unconfirmed report of injuries with them. The City of Canadian and US 83 should be aware of serious flash flooding with this slow moving complex of storms.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Tarrant Co. This will also cause locally heavy rains along with gusty, high winds.

I will not be live-blogging these storms but will have one more update later this evening. \

5pm Plains Weather Outlook

click for whole image
Satellite from 4:49pm. If you live an area with "OK" (dark), no thunderstorms of significance are expected before at least 7pm.

The storm in the Texas Panhandle is tornado-warned at the moment and may produce large hail and torrential rains. The the red line to the southeast? If the storm should move southeast along that line, it may produce periodic tornadoes the next couple of hours.

Here is that storm on radar at 4:59. It is the storm near Canadian.
Remember, tornado watches are out for much of the central High Plains (scroll down) and numerous tornadoes have already occurred from Kansas to Texas. Please keep up on the latest weather information.

I am going to take a break for a couple of hours. I'll have an update in the evening.

UPDATE: 5:07PM. Here is the tornado near Canadian, via Twitter.

Flood Risks: Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas

Here is a storm forecast summary map from the NWS as of 3:41pm. The yellow areas are tornado watches, amber = severe thunderstorm warnings and red = tornado warnings. Magenta in Oklahoma is a flash flood warning.

The main reason I am displaying that is to show the green areas which are flood warnings and watches. Storms will continue to intensify in many areas the next few hours. Keep in mind soils are saturated and any heavy rains will drive rivers and streams up all over again.

Remember: Never drive into a flooded area or try to cross it by foot. The photos of the last few days should convince you of the wisdom of that safety rule.
Keep in mind this statistic: 55% of flash flood fatalities are caused by people voluntarily trying to cross flooded areas by foot and by car. 

The other rule is that if you live near a low area or a stream/river, be prepared to move to higher ground at the first sign of rising water. This means having gas in your car, some cash, and (if you have an electric garage door opener) a way to insure you can get the car out in an emergency.

In looking at some of the homes in Texas where fatalities occurred, they would have survived had they simply gotten into their cars and driven to and stayed at the top of their driveways.

Tornado Watch: W Oklahoma & Texas Panhandle

Please note that, in addition to tornadoes, the probability of large hail is high.

Tornado Watch: W Kansas, NE Colorado, & SW Nebraska

Please keep an eye on the weather in these areas.

Today's Tornado Threat

There is only a small area of the U.S. where the tornado threat reaches the "significant" level (brown) today:
If you live in that area of the High Plains, please keep up on the weather as storms approach.

Save Lives: Support Global Warming!

No, I am not kidding

From a genuine peer-reviewed medical journal. Click here.

H/t: BishopHill. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Hailshaft over southeast Wichita at 7:15pm. It was producing 1" hail. Golfball-sized hail reported at El Dorado, Kansas, a few minutes ago.

Tornado Watch: Texas and Oklahoma

It includes Wichita Falls and Abilene until 10pm.

Houston Rainfall

How Much Rain the Past Week?

Here is the rainfall for the 24-hours ending at 7am:
(click to enlarge)
And, here is the 7-day rainfall.

Devastating Texas Floods

As one meteorologist noted yesterday, the four-year drought was broken in four weeks. This reminds me of 1957 when the terrible drought of the early to middle 1950's was broken in a short period of time. Unfortunately, it is fairly common for droughts to be broken by floods.  

I covered the terrible flooding in Austin on the blog yesterday.

Below is a tweet regarding the flooding on I-45 in Houston overnight and this morning.

Photo below is from the Houston Chronicle:
Residents of Houston are being urged not to drive to work today. At Hobby Airport, Southwest flights are delayed an average of 80 minutes because employees and crews cannot get to the airport. Fifty-two thousand homes and businesses are without power. At least two people have drowned.

And, in Dallas, there are departure delays because of a sinkhole that has opened up in one of the runways!
I am hoping that the advance forecasts (this is just one example) were helpful in mitigating these disasters. Regardless, I wish

I Blame Global Warming

Look out Great Britain!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Last Weather Update for the Day

I have been monitoring the weather for you since 10am, so I am going to have to call it an evening.

#1. New tornado watch in southeast Texas, including Houston.

#2. Austin has had what local officials are calling "historic" flooding. Please remember, "turn around, don't drown." It will take hours for the waters to recede.

#3. Two areas of flooding likely in Kansas.
I've circled the new area of flash flood threat in central Kansas.

Several spots in south central Kansas received more than two inches. Given the saturated ground, additional rains will cause flooding.

#4. Damaging tornadoes have occurred in eastern Oklahoma.

That is it for this evening. Please keep up with local weather information and with me on Twitter @usweatherexpert.

Flood Situation in Kansas

The green is a flash flood warning. The small yellow area = 6" of rain! Heavy rain is still falling in the area I have outlined on top of where 3" (purple) that have already fallen.

Also note I-135 south of Assiria. There may be some minor flooding in that area.

Potential Heavy Rain Situation

I'm starting to become concerned the storms are lining up and could cause heavy rain in the oval I've outlined. Given saturated ground, flash flooding may result. Keep an eye on this, please.

Flooding, Tornado, and Damage in Austin Area

There are reports of tornado damage in the red polygon. Throughout the area -- which was hard-hit by flooding Saturday night -- will be hard hit again.

The graphic below is a dual polarization rainfall measurement.
The light blue = 3.5" of rain. The bright green = 6.6" inches! I left the lightning on to show how dangerous these are.

In the colored areas and downstream, life threatening flooding may occur soon or during the next few hours. In the red polygon, a tornado is possible.