Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Update on Flood Threat

Here is the forecast rainfall in the Great Plains between now and Independence Day. Some areas are forecast to receive more than five inches.
As I often advise, jokingly, unfocus your eyes when viewing this. In other words, look at the pattern rather than the specific point rainfall amounts. I believe, when this wet period has passed, a few spots may receive as much as eight inches. Note also the pattern extends into Colorado. The heavy rain in the Rockies (see below) is still in the forecast.

Good news: There is no significant tornado risk anywhere in the U.S. the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Great Plains Flood Potential

From the 3.2" in the Rockies to 6+" in the Great Plains, the potential for flood-producing rains will increase over the Plains the next few days. Please stay tuned for updates.

Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!!

He turned 90 day.

Why Is It???

...that Hollywood films show the correct precautions to take in an earthquake (Paul Giamatti's character in San Andreas) movie set in California but the wrong thing to do in a tornado (Kevin Cosner as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel) set in Kansas?

I watched the former movie last night and was impressed the way the characters kept showing the right things to do. Now, if we could quit having characters take shelter under bridges during tornadoes. Sigh.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Can We Rely on Mainstream Science?

Increasingly, the answer is, "not without further examination."

I know too many people who believe data and reports simply because they come from "the government" and believe its output to be unbiased. Two recent reports indicate that is not the case.

The first:
The inspector general found biased and simply wrong results at the U.S. Geological Survey's lab in Lakewood, Colorado. Verbatim from the report:

USGS accused the chemist of data manipulation by intentionally changing the results produced by the mass spectrometer. The chemist also failed to preserve the data. Further, the Bureau accused the chemist of failing to operate the mass spectrometer according to established practices, which constituted scientific misconduct.

These two actions created the larger issue of loss of scientific integrity, a concern referenced in USGS’ inquiry. Scientific integrity is at the core of the mission of USGS. Also, given the widespread use of USGS data and publications by its many customers, scientific misconduct at the Inorganic Section has serious implications for energy and environmental decisions driven by information developed at the laboratory. 

Further, the report reads:

We did identify the following ultimate impacts—
  • unreliable scientific publications generated from research and assessment projects that relied on the laboratory; projects often take five or more years to complete and may result in multiple publications;
  • delayed completion of ERP’s research and assessment projects, including, for example, coal assessments in the Appalachian Basin in the eastern United States;
  • permanent loss of unique rock and water samples collected in the field— because of access restrictions to some areas and the sometimes short-lived nature of substances, USGS researchers may be unable to obtain replacement samples (e.g., a scientist who acquired samples from Jackson Dome, Mississippi, said she cannot return to the area because of landowner access issues);
  • diminished public trust in Federally-led scientific endeavors;
  • lost time and effort of scientists who worked on the affected projects;
  • wasted time and expense associated with reprocessing salvaged samples,
    reassessing the results, and reissuing publications;
  • damaged personal reputation of scientists; and
  • possible weakened or lost collaborations with Federal and state agencies,
    universities, and foreign nations. 
The entire report is here. It is well known in atmospheric science that historic temperature data is manipulated. There is at least one court case on this topic going on right now.

Isolated examples? Hardly.
Report here.

Of course, whenever critics of catastrophic global warming write something that disagrees with their activism disguised as science, the first response is, "is it peer-reviewed?!" Of course, climate science has "redefined" peer review so it massively favors pro-catastrophic global warming papers. Never mind that it takes critical papers as much as three years to be published, if they get published at all.

Still that is not enough. "Scientists" now rush out a press release about a new "study" long before it is peer reviewed. Reporters, who love disaster stories print the story and never report the revisions. It isn't just me that views this as advocacy disguised as science.

The question for Cullen and her colleagues, then, is whether this sort of scientific activism is truly effective. After all, other research has suggested that lingering skepticism and indifference toward climate science has little to do with a lack of scientific understanding among the general public, and is rather a product of social tribalism, where competing worldviews and value systems shape public attitudes far more than scientific literacy.

The fact is, it isn't "tribalism," it is the fact the case for catastrophic global warming has simply crumbled. The recent distortion of sea level data and temperature data previously covered on this blog are just two examples.

Remember the highly reported Virginia Commonwealth study in 2012 that liberals were more compassionate than conservatives and that conservatives were more authoritarian than liberals? Turns out, the authors entered the data into their computers backward and the results were the opposite
More on the correction:
The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.

So, what were the real results?

Conservatives are more compassionate. Liberals more authoritarian.

Since I read about the correction, I have watched our local paper to report on the correction. Nope! Nada! That would be a, shall we say, an "inconvenient truth."

My point is not the get into a political discussion. My point is that the news media needs to be much, much more questioning of these politically charged "scientific studies." Those are the ones most likely to be biased or incorrect.

And, scientists need to understand that distortion and manipulation of data are not tools of science.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Father's Day Gift Certificate? Just One Copy in Stock

After a nice Father's Day run, Amazon is down to one copy.

Warnings continues to receive excellent reviews. A except from the most recent:
One of the biggest impressions I got was how the discoveries of Ted Fujita and his contributions to our knowledge of wind shear have led to a remarkable improvement in air travel safety since the 1980s. There is some unavoidable delving into politics, from the early days of the battles between the Air Force, the Weather Bureau, and eventually TV stations over tornado warnings, to the unfortunate foot-dragging of the Bush administration with the Hurricane Katrina recovery. All told, this is a story of a triumph of true science over its adversaries, whether political or just human nature.
Yes, the book is the life-saving triumph of scientists over tremendous odds. It would be a great way to use your Father's Day gift card.

Yes, There Was a Forecast of Tornadoes

I've had people ask me if there was any notice of the horrible tornado that killed 99 in China.
Courtesy of my friend Paul Raymond, I learned there was an advance forecast of a tornado. Hopefully, that helped mitigate the terrible death toll.

And, by the way, here is how the Chinese write the word tornado:

Additional info. Jeff Lockwood says the full name of a tornado =  龙卷风 = "dragon+curl+wind."

This Week's Forecast Rainfall - An Unusual Pattern

This is a precipitation forecast that more resembles April than late June. Heavy rains forecast over the central United States with moderate rain in the south. Meanwhile, the northern states -- which often have heavy rain in late June -- are expected to have somewhat lighter rainfalls.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

West Virginia Flooding Update

As of 9am there were still 32,170 homes in West Virginia without power.

This catastrophe occurred Thursday as torrential rains fell throughout the day after heavy rains two days before.
In the area around White Sulphur Springs, the rainfall of 8 2/3rd inches in 24 hours, was an event with a probability of 0.001 in any given year.

The area around White Sulphur Springs, home of The Greenbrier resort, was especially hard hit with more than 10 inches over the mountains above the resort.

I wish to salute my colleagues at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions for providing outstanding warnings of the floods to our clients.

Note: The PGA Greenbrier Classic golf tournament schedule for July 7-10 has been cancelled due to damage to the course.

From Twitter:

Tornado Risk Today

There is a tornado risk in Minnesota (including the Twin Cities) and Wisconsin later today.
Please keep an eye on the weather in this region!

Friday, June 24, 2016

I Knew Brexit Was a Good Idea

Notice to My Blog Readers

When criticizing some of the silly forms of alternative energy, I have stated I owned no energy stocks. That changed today when I made a small investment.

Do you really believe a barrel of oil is worth less because Great Britain left EU? I don't, so I own am the proud owner of 150 shares in an oil company.

Note: I have long believed news reporters should undergo the same disclosure they force on others. I try to practice what I preach.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Continued Risk of Tornadoes

There was a a full-fledged tornado outbreak in northern Illinois last night.
The red symbols are tornadoes. Blue are winds of 60 mph or higher. The black in Minnesota are very large hail. The black in Indiana are very high winds (in some cases more than 80 mph). SPC's forecast worked out very well. Fortunately, the tornadoes missed population centers.

Today, there is still a risk of tornadoes.
If you live in the 5% area, which includes Cincinnati and Charleston, please keep up on the weather today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tornado Watch Until 5am

In addition to tornadoes, the threat is morphing into damaging winds over the watch area.

Here is the radar from 9:41pm.
There is one current tornado warning north of Bloomington, Illinois. Multiple tornadoes have been reported this evening with unconfirmed reports of injuries.

Three Areas of Tornado Concern

As of 7:54pm, there are three areas of tornado concern. The storms are moving ESE to SE.
Please take cover in these areas!

One last update later this evening.

Compton, Illinois, Take Cover NOW!

Strong tornado signature near Paw Paw at 7:30pm.

--original post--

7:20pm. Very dangerous situation in Compton and vicinity. Compton and Paw Paw take cover now!

First Tornado Warning of the Evening

The first tornado warning of the evening has been issued (red polygon). Take cover in this area!! Radar at 7:16pm.
Latest from Jeff in the field (7:16pm):

Additional tornado warnings are highly likely. I expect another tornado watch to be issued to the south and east of the current tornado watch later this evening. Damaging winds are likely.

Remember: I no longer live-blog storms. I will try to do one more update before I retire for the evening. 

First Warnings Are Coming Out

6:57pm, Jeff Piotrowski, near Amboy, reports strong rotation.
Here is the radar at that time. People in and around Amboy should keep a close eye out for any warnings or concentrated rotation in the clouds.

The first severe thunderstorm warnings are now coming out in northern Illinois. Those are the yellow polygons.
Jeff Piotrowski and other storm chasers have been reporting funnel clouds during the last few minutes. There is some rotation starting to show on Doppler radar. So, I believe we are not far away from the first tornado warning of the day.

Tornado Watch Until 1am

The NWS has issued a tornado watch until 1am which includes Chicago. Note that the tornado threat extends until well after dark.
Note there is a "moderate" chance of strong tornadoes, a moderate chance of 2" and larger hail and a moderate chance of 65 knots (= 75 mph) wind gusts.

Pretty much as forecast, thunderstorms are developing in the northwest part of the outlook area (below). Radar from 6:19pm below. These are expected to intensify into supercells and move southeast.
I'll update again later this evening.

Midwest Severe Weather Threat Update

I expect the primary thunderstorms to develop in the initial threat region and then spread southeast the rest of the evening. The storms should form between about 5:30 and 6:30pm. Tornadoes, very large hail and strong winds are likely with any storms near this area.

Stay tuned!

Some Updates to the Midwest Tornado and Damaging Wind Risks

The Storm Prediction Center has revised its forecasts somewhat and, while I agree with the direction they are taking, I don't think the tornado revision is revised enough.
This is the tornado risk, which you can compare to their earlier forecast below. Remember, 5% (brown) is the significant risk for tornadoes. Hatching means strong (EF2 or greater) tornadoes are possible. Note they have added the City of Chicago in the "strong" tornado risk area and have extended the strong tornado risk into northwest Illinois I agree with that.

However, there is so much rain-cooled air over northeast Illinois, that the warm front might set up farther southwest than some of the forecast tools currently indicate. If that is correct, any thunderstorm that can set going in the purple area certainly has tornado potential. So, I recommend people in the SPC+my tornado risk area closely monitor the weather if thunderstorms approach

Hail Risk

Earlier today, the hail risk didn't seem particularly high anywhere in the Midwest. That has changed. Several tools -- including AccuWeather's model -- indicate the hatched area -- again, including Chicago -- has a risk of 2" inches or greater in size. Put those cars in the garage!

Damaging Wind Risk Area
I expect a "derecho" --a meteorologists' name for a long-lived, severe wind event -- in the hatched area. A few areas could have gusts to 85 mph causing power failures. Some of those failures could be long-lived. This forecast is unchanged from earlier this morning. Some of the severe storms will continue well into the night.

While I no longer live-blog storms, I will update at least 2-3 times this afternoon and evening.

Tornadoes and Damaging Winds Likely

There are scattered thunderstorms over the Midwest at the present time. However, this is not the main event which is still a few hours away.

Unfortunately, the severe weather event for the Midwest covered yesterday appears on track to become a serious tornado and severe thunderstorm wind situation. Here are the details.

Tornado And Giant Hail Risk
Five percent (brown) is the significant threshold for tornadoes. The hatched area, which includes the Quad Cities, Rockford,  and western suburbs of Chicago is where strong tornadoes are forecast to occur.

Damaging Wind Risk
The significant threshold is 15% (yellow). The hatched area is where winds are forecast to gust to 75 mph or higher. It is possible that a few areas will see gusts of 85 mph which will cause power failures, perhaps widespread.

The advice?
  • Go to your ATM and get some extra cash. Credit card machines and ATM's don't work during power failures. 
  • Make sure you car's fuel is topped off. Power failures, some of long duration, are quite possible. 
  • If you have a chain saw or generator, make sure they have fuel.
  • Go to Radio Shack or a similar car and get an inverter you can plug into your cigarette lighter to recharge your cell phone. They run about $40. 
  • If you need to move things in a garage so you can put your car in, now would be a good time.
  • Make plans to insure your children/infirm relatives or friends can get to shelter quickly.
  • Make sure your flashlight and weather radio have fresh batteries. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge. Plan to take it to your shelter area, if needed, with you. 
  • In this case do not discount severe thunderstorm warnings as they could mean winds of 75 mph or more which could cause trees to fall, trampolines and other objects to fly and other serious hazards.
My final advice: Don't let this ruin your day. You've been informed and you have a checklist to prepare. Now, keep an eye on the weather but go about your business until the storms start to develop. Then, play Scrabble or something with the TV on. Take shelter if a warning is issued. But, don't freak out because there is no reason to. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Update on Wednesday's Severe Weather Threat

As promised, here is an update on tomorrow's severe thunderstorm and tornado threat. The highest probabilities have been trimmed a bit on the northwest and north sides of the risk area. Otherwise, it is pretty much unchanged, as is my advice below, particularly if you live in the hatched area.

Tornado Risk Today

Three areas have a tornado risk later today, including Washington-Baltimore and the surrounding area. 
Please keep up on the latest weather information in these areas. 

Major Severe Weather Threat Wednesday

2016 has been an unusually quiet year for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the Midwest. That is going to change tomorrow in a big way. So, I am starting coverage of this event now.
The threshold for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms on this day-before outlook is 15% (yellow). The hatched area is where violent tornadoes, thunderstorm wind gusts of 75 mph or giant hail (2" or larger) are forecast to occur. The purple area is a 45% probability is three times the significant threshold. If you live in this area, there is the possibility of power failures due to the forecast high winds.

What is my preparatory advice at this point?
  • Go to your ATM and get some extra cash. Credit card machines and ATM's don't work during power failures. 
  • Make sure you car's fuel is topped off.
  • If you have a chain saw or generator, make sure they have fuel.
  • If you need to move things in a garage so you can put your car in, now would be a good time.
  • Make plans to insure your children/infirm relatives or friends can get to shelter quickly.
  • My friend Steve Drews reminded me to add: Make sure your flashlight and weather radio have fresh batteries. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge. Plan to take it to your shelter area, if needed, with you. 
These are no cost plans (you'll spend the money or use the gasoline anyway) that will allow you to mitigate the inconvenience this weather situation might cause. 

I expect to post on this subject again this afternoon. 

Co-Founder of Greenpeace on the Essential Aspects of Carbon Dioxide

Anthony Watts has the details.


This is getting way out of hand.

Three nights ago, Kansas City Royals fans had to break into a car to rescue a pet that broiling in the heat. They have now started a petition not to allow cars with pets to come into their parking lot in th first place.

Please keep an eye out for children and pets in hot cars. Call the police immediately if you see one!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Fun: Sun Shadow

Wednesday, I posted about the incredible flash flood situation just north of Wichita.
At the same time the flash floods were occurring near Wichita, friend Dr. Mike Khadavi took this photo from Kansas City at the same time looking west northwest. I'm posting this with his permission.

The thunderstorm complex north of Wichita at the time, which was below the horizon as viewed from Kansas City, blocked the sun creating the shadow (at left). At right, the sun is unblocked creating the brilliant sunset.
If you are interested in how this works technically, here's a diagram.
As seen from Kansas City (marked with a circle), the sun is in the WNW sky. The higher clouds are marked with the green arrows. So, as seen from Kansas City, the higher storm clouds are on the left (causing the shadow) and the high clouds creating the orange sunset are on the right. You don't see the higher clouds because they were below the horizon.

The highest clouds, circled in purple, is the complex of severe and flash flood producing thunderstorms near Wichita.

Annual Sonic Reminder

While I don't know if it is a Kansas or national promotion but Monday is half-price cheeseburger day (they're delicious!) at Sonic.

So, my annual reminder: If you are getting drinks (only) or, maybe, a single cheeseburger, go to the drive through.

If you are feeding the tribe, pull into a stall and order! That is what the carhops are for.

Last week, I was the car behind the car at the window and I waited 12 minutes (!!) while the car in front of me got four drinks, a juice box and four sacks of food.

And, finally, there was a conversation by some storm chasers on Facebook asking the question, "Should you tip your carhop at Sonic?" My gosh people, they work in the rain, snow, hot and cold.

Tip Your Carhops at Sonic!!!

Happy Father's Day!!!

It is my opinion that father's do not get the credit they deserve for raising children and that vital contribution to society.

Unmarried Men: Being a husband and father is the greatest thing in the world. 

Yesterday, daughter Tiffany sent this photo.
From left, Forecaster Evie, future forecaster Jillian, and daughter Tiffany. A photo like this warms your heart until you feel like it is going to explode.

One of our sons is in Italy on vacation and the other starts a great new job tomorrow. I am so very proud of all three of our children!

Advice you didn't ask for: Don't "live with" your girlfriend. If you love her, marry her! Have kids. Studies conclusively show married men live longer and are happier.

Unmarried Men: Being a husband and father is the greatest thing in the world. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Subtle, But Important, Lightning Danger!

This was moments ago southwest of Wichita (far upper right). See the lightning strokes southwest of Conway Springs (lower left) that appear to be in the middle of nowhere?

If we tilt the radar up higher in the atmosphere you see that thunderstorm is not entirely vertical. There is plenty of intense storm very close to the bolts. This display shows where the bolt hits the ground, not where it originates inside the storm.
This again illustrates that you do not have to be in the rain for lightning to strike. 

By the way, today's storms are moving from southeast to northwest, the opposite of normal. Be careful out there!

Tornado Risk Along Canadian Border

Tornado forecast later today along the Canada border (our NWS does not extend across international borders).

Friday, June 17, 2016

There Are Few More Rewarding Sights Than a Bully Taken Down

From the Wall Street Journal. Please read the entire piece.

There are few more rewarding sights than a bully scorned, so let’s hear it for the recent laments of Attorneys General Claude Walker (Virgin Islands) and Eric Schneiderman (New York), two ringleaders of the harassment campaign againstExxon and free-market think tanks over climate change.
Consider Mr. Walker’s recent retreat in District of Columbia superior court. In April he issued a sweeping subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demanding a decade of emails, policy work and donor names. The goal is to intimidate anyone who raises doubts about climate science or the policy responses.
CEI fought back. It ran a full-page newspaper ad highlighting the Walker-Schneiderman effort to criminalize speech, and it counter-sued the Virgin Islands, demanding sanctions and attorneys fees.
The District of Columbia has a statute to deter what is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The law exists to curb malicious lawsuits that are designed solely to chill speech, and they put the burden on filers like Mr. Walker to show why their actions are likely to succeed.
Mr. Walker quietly withdrew his subpoena on May 20 (though retaining the right to reinstate it). CEI is pressing ahead with its suit anyway, and in an extraordinary filing on June 2 Mr. Walker essentially said “never mind.” He asked the court to dismiss CEI’s motion for sanctions and fees, writing that the think tank had “wasted enough of [his office’s] and the Court’s limited time and resources with its frivolous Anti-SLAPP motion.”
So having violated CEI’s First Amendment rights, subjected the group to public abuse and legal costs, and threatened its donors, Mr. Walker blames CEI for burdening the courts.
Mr. Schneiderman is also on defense for his subpoena barrage and claim that Exxon is guilty of fraud on grounds that it supposedly hid the truth about global warming from the public. The AG felt compelled to devote an entire speech at a legal conference to justify his actions. He accused Exxon and outside groups of engaging in “First Amendment opportunism,” which he said was a “dangerous new threat” to the state’s ability to protect its citizens. So exercising free speech to question government officials who threaten free speech is a threat to free speech.
He also cited a 1978 opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti by then Justice William Rehnquist that the AG said supported his action against Exxon. Mr. Schneiderman failed to note he was quoting a Rehnquist dissent, meaning the law is the opposite of what the AG suggests.
The left keeps losing the climate political debate, so it resorts to imposing its policies by regulatory diktat as President Obama has, and now it is trying to use government power to intimidate and silence opponents. Congrats to CEI and Exxon for insisting that these political prosecutors obey the law.

This commentary has it exactly right: The scientific case for catastrophic global warming has crumbled which risks Big Climate's gravy train. The AG's are nothing but bullies forcing these organizations, and others, organizations to spend a great deal of money, time and worry for having the temerity to actually pay attention to the science rather than Al Gore's hysteria.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"I Got More Than I Bargained For in the Best Way"

Below is a excerpt from a reader interview at Amazon. The full review is here
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TL;DR review: Exciting, engaging, informative, couldn't put it down, you should buy this book

I initially purchased this book to get over a fear of tornadoes, thinking that the more you know about a subject, the better you are able to deal with it. I got more than I bargained for in the best way.

First of all, the author Mike Smith is a great writer...

This book would make a great Father's Day present!

Tornado Risk in the East Today

This weather pattern just won't settle down. Here is AccuWeather's overview.

Here is where tornadoes are possible (brown, 5%) area.
This includes the western suburbs of Washington, DC.

Please keep up on the weather if you live in these areas!