Friday, September 30, 2016

10pm CDT Hurricane Matthew Update

We have an extremely rare Category 5 hurricane on our hands. Matthew's central pressure is down to 941 mb and sustained winds are 160 mph! 

The storm has not begun its northward turn and is still moving southwest. The photo above was taken at 9:15pm CDT. You can see the center is a little south of a straight line between the two forecast points (the red hurricane symbols) on either side of the eye.

I have a concern that being farther south than the projected path, for any length of time, will result in the turn to the north being delayed. That would increase the already serious danger to Jamaica. If you have friends in Jamaica, tell them to prepare for a possibly record hurricane passing near or over the island.

Category 4 Hurricane Matthew

As feared, Matthew has become a major hurricane which will put Jamaica in peril.

Some weakening will likely occur as the storm interacts with the Jamaican land mass and further weakening is likely as the storm moves over Cuba.

Unfortunately, it is too soon to know whether the storm will affect the United States.

Friday UnFun

We often have a "Sunday Fun" feature here but I have two bits of bad news to pass on.

  • NYC's epic Carnegie Deli is closing the end of December. No cheesecake! No giant sandwiches!
  • Jersey Boys is closing January 15. The show about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is now the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history. If you haven't seen it, make your plans. Or, you can come to Wichita on December 16 and see Frankie Valli himself with the new Four Seasons here at Hartman Arena

Update on Hurricane Matthew

Here is the latest AccuWeather forecast:

As to the United States, here is a preliminary look. It is very possible the storm will veer off and not affect our coast. It is too soon to know.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew is strengthening in the Caribbean.

Undoubtedly, you are going to be reading a lot of about Matthew the next few days because once it turns (see map above), it is going to move into the vicinity of the United States. However, the range of uncertainty is higher than usual as to the storm's future location. To amuse you, here is a plot of computer models' locations.
There's nothing wrong with this: any potential landfall in the United States is more than five days away and we do not claim any skill in forecasting beyond that time interval. So, I would like to caution our readers that there will undoubtedly be a lot of hype early in this process.

We'll provide -- free of hype -- forecast and safety information if the need presents itself.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Middle Atlantic Tornado Risk

There is a tornado risk later today in the Middle Atlantic Region. It is depicted in brown.
This includes Washington, DC, Richmond and Raleigh. Please pay attention to the weather later today and this evening.

Note: There is also a flood risk over the next two days in the northern part of this area.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Forecast of Flooding: How Did We Do?

All week, we warned of the possibility of flooding in the 
Great Plains and Upper Midwest. 
How did we do?

Here is a map of river gages along primary rivers. I think you'll agree the location of the flooding
corresponds well to where we forecast the heavy rain (scroll down to peruse the various forecasts). The flooding is serious in a number of areas, especially Iowa.
Various headlines from the Cedar Rapids "Gazette"
The heavy rains are not over. Parts of Texas (reds and dark grays) will receive more than 3" (locations approximate) over the next two days.
Again, weather science in general, and the forecast team at AccuWeather in particular, provided excellent preparatory information for people in areas threatened by

Sunday Fun: The National Weather Museum

Long overdue... and I congratulate the people in Norman for making it a reality.

It is located at:  1200B West Rock Creek Road in Norman. Zip is 73071. Please check it out the next time you are in central Oklahoma.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why Radar is Crucial in Flash Flood Situations

Here is some current data from the Kansas Mesonetwork (a special grouping of weather stations run by the State of Kansas).
I put a W over Wichita. The KS Mesonet is great. But, you could never have enough constantly reporting rain gages to make sense of data like this.

However, if you add the rain gage data to dual-polarization radar, it makes sense. Here is a radar measurement of rainfall that shows 1.15" over the mesonetwork site in southeast Sedgwick County. The turquoise and greens represent a narrow band of heavy rains (up to 2", so far) with much lighter rains in gray.
While dual-polarization data is excellent, it is not perfect. At AccuWeather, we use the radar and rain gage data to cross-check the other to insure accuracy.

By the way, to learn more, there is a great book on how meteorologists issue the critical storm warnings we all depend on.

Short Time-Lapse of This Evening's Thunderstorm

Tropical thunderstorms in northeast Wichita with heavy rain, gusty winds and lightning.

Well Said

Heads Up: Football Fans

Lightning and rain are going to be a problem!

These are approximations of what the radar will look like. The yellow and red areas will have heavy rain and, likely, lightning. Prepare accordingly!

Here is the current AccuWeather Regional Radar.

Here is the forecast radar for 4pm.

And, for 8pm the storms extend farther south so here are two maps.

Global Warming is Good? Some Others...

...have had the same ideas you have been reading here. Article about fewer major storms.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Still Concerned About Flooding

This is the area where we at AccuWeather are forecasting heavy rains, sometimes accompanied by lightning (football fans, beware!) Saturday and Saturday night.

As you get into Texas, the rains will be heavier and last longer. Please plan accordingly.

A Book You Need to Read If You Are Interested in Tornado Safety

Tornadoes occur in the United States all months of the year. That is why it is vital to have effective plans when a tornado threatens. Unfortunately, a great deal when wrong in the Joplin tornado of 2011. When the Sirens Were Silent tells the story of what went wrong and how to fix it. The book includes tornado safety rules for home, for business, and for schools. We priced it inexpensively at $2.99 because we believe it is important for you to read this book!

As one reader posted at Amazon:
Mr. Smith's timeline and reporting of the warnings received is spot-on. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tornadoes Occur in Every State

If you were following me on Twitter (@usweatherexpert), you saw a couple of tweets about a storm near Ogden, Utah that concerned me. Here is the hook echo that was near South Ogden.

And, there was a tornado along with separate reports of 81 and 75 mph winds.
So, it doesn't matter where you are in the USA. If the right set of conditions develop, a tornado can occur.

ADDITION: Photo from the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
They also report that 33,000 homes and businesses are without power.

Even More Preventable Than Weather Injuries

A truck was on the crossing when a CSX Transportation locomotive struck it a few minutes ago in Alabama.
. Look at what is left of the cab of the truck.

Please, please use care around railroad tracks. And, please also, do not take photographs on tracks. Too often, people never hear the train coming. 

The Heavy Rain Event Has Begun

As forecast, the extended period of heavy rain in the Midwest and Great Plains began last night with torrential rains that have closed rail lines and highways.
The threat for heavy rains will continue one more night in the area above and then migrate south from tomorrow through Monday.
Stay tuned.

I Didn't Realize Astronomers Had to Deal with This

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, people see a strange rock, Google the list of experts in meteors (= astronomy as opposed to weather = meteorology), see the same names at the top and the same people the same questions over and over. I feel for them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kansas Turnpike Authority Uses AccuWeather For Storm Warnings

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions is very pleased to continue our 13 year relationship with the Kansas Turnpike Authority. They just published a piece about our relationship, here.

Our SkyGuard® storm warnings and our forecasting of extreme weather is the gold standard. If you run an enterprise affected by weather, reach out to us at the orange link. We'll help you function safer and more profitably!

Heavier Rain Forecast

The heavy rains over the next seven days are forecast over the Intermountain Region from Montana to Utah. There is a serious flooding risk. in the West and Central United States. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Yet Another Flood Threat

Remember when global warming was going to make the Great Plains a desert? If you don't, go to Google and search the news coverage from 2012-13.

Anyway, the moisture from the remains of Pacific hurricane Payne are going to link up with a slow moving low pressure system in that will stall over the Rockies.

There is an immediate threat of flooding over southern Wisconsin, southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

The bigger threat comes beginning this weekend and into next week. Here is the forecast rainfall extending out to Monday night.
This is a smoothed forecast and the rainfall situation will last into Wednesday or even Thursday in some locations. Some spots, exact location unknown, will have more than a foot of rain.

I'll be following this as it unfolds.

Flooding Threat

The remains of Hurricane Payne could be a pain in parts of the Great Plains and Midwest. I'll have a posting on that topic this evening.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weather Threat in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois

If you or friends or family live in the pink area, you may want to keep an eye on the weather as things evolve this afternoon and evening. I think severe thunderstorms are a pretty good bet and tornadoes are also possible.

Tornado watch just issued for part of this area:

Severe thunderstorm watch in southern Wisconsin:

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Coming to Wichita

Some great news. The man himself will be here December 16!
Frankie typically plays a continuous 1 hr. 45 minutes and gives a wonderful show. He'll be at Hartman Arena and tickets go on sale Friday. More here.

Today is a Tornado Risk Day

The area in brown has a significant risk of tornadoes this afternoon and tonight. Please keep an eye on local weather information.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Couple of Thoughts on This Week's Weather

The upper Mississippi Valley has been quite wet lately. The forecast heavy rains for this week could cause flooding.

The band of heavier rain extending to Oklahoma may be associated with severe thunderstorms late in the week.

Sunday Fun: "Storm Chasing Anthology"

Superb documentary by Blake Naftel. It tells the history of storm chasing from its beginnings to now. Highly recommended.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Another Happy Reader

If you would like to read a short but gripping story about one of the worst tornadoes, ever:

The reason I wrote this book is to analyze what went so terribly wrong that day so it would never happen again. Details about When the Sirens Were Silent here.

Thank You, Forbes...

...and Marshall Shepherd for naming my tweets among the best to follow for weather.  If you are not yet following, it is @usweatherexpert .

Venture Capital + Innovation = More Expensive Energy

Why venture capitalists have given up on 'green' energy. It is the same product (invisible moving electrons), just at a higher price. More from The Wall Street Journal

Friday, September 16, 2016

"I Read It in One Sitting, It Was So Engrossing"

Reader review posted at Amazon:
Love this book. I learned of this book from Mike Smiths weather blog which is always full of interesting information. He is well known in the Wichita, KS area for having a good handle on the weather so I decided to give this book a try. It was very informative on the history of weather forecasting and all the trials that accrued up to the present day on getting forecasts more accurate and warnings of severe weather out faster. I read the book in one sitting,it was so engrossing. I had never given weather forecasting much thought but now I am hooked. Mike Smith wrote a page turning, well written informative book and I have recommended it to everyone I know.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tornado Risk Today

From Sioux Falls to Phillipsburg, Kansas, there is a risk of tornadoes (brown area, 5%) this afternoon and evening. Please keep up on the weather later today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Like All Geniuses, He is Left-Handed

Kathleen and I had a great time at the Dave Barry comedy routine, concert and book signing this evening. Yes, he is just as funny in person as he is in his books. As a special bonus, he played a couple of numbers with Wichita's Watermark Books' house band.

Here is the rest of his book tour schedule. Take the opportunity to see him promote Best State Ever. You will not be disappointed.

Addition: Already got a question, "He really played the guitar?" Yes, he did.

Second addition: Dave sings "The Tupperware Blues". 

In Honor of Dave's Wichita Appearance

Here is Dave's guide to hurricane safety. Follow it closely, especially if you live in Nebraska.

Dave Barry: Tonight's the Night!!

Yes, Dave Barry will be in Wichita tonight and Kathleen and I have tickets. In spite of being "alert readers," we haven't met him in person until this event. We are really looking forward to it.

Here is Dave's own personal comment about tonight.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Photos Like This Scare Me

May I respectfully suggest that Louisiana State University needs a competent commercial weather company?  AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions hereby volunteers.