Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Update on Drought Situation

click to enlarge
Unfortunately, the long-term forecast tools' indication of developing drought in the Great Plains turned out to be correct. I'm especially concerned about the winter wheat crop at this point.

Below is the official NWS precipitation amount forecast for the next seven days.

Here is the ECMWF model's precipitation amount forecast out to 15 days (via AccuWeather Pro).

I agree with these forecasts. So, at this point, there is no real relief in sight.

Congratulations to the American Meteorological Society

As I have stated on a number of occasions, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has, too often, crossed from being a scientific society dedicated to advancing weather science to a political organization dedicated to advancing global warming. I resigned from the society two years ago for this reason and have been publicly critical of the AMS for this change in emphasis.

So, I was pleased earlier today to see this letter from the AMS to President Trump. It was constructive and well-written. Kudos.

Bill Nye Good! Bill Nye Bad!

I thought Bill Nye was the host of the "March for Science" and a fierce critic of President's Trump's stance one global warming.
The Guardian
A few minutes ago, while looking for something else, I ran across people who were part of the March for Science fiercely criticizing Nye:
The above is from Scientific American via Twitchy. Apparently, Nye is going to be part of the peanut gallery at tonight's "State of the Union" address.

To those of us who are not fans of Nye, or the personification of science, the irony is delicious. 

There is no reason to believe that Mr. Nye's global warming views have changed. But, that is not what is important to these "scientists." What is important is whether he is on the correct "side" (whatever that might be).

I cannot conceive of a better example of why scientists need stop worrying about who is on what "side" and go back to focusing solely on what the hard science says.

Finally, there was a set of comments on Facebook this morning claiming that President Obama had arrested global warming while President Trump was undoing Obama's progress. That is not true. Below is a graph of carbon dioxide concentrations since 1958.
As you can see, the rate of change of carbon dioxide concentration is exactly the same. Neither President has made any progress.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


We changed policies a couple of years ago and now delete coverage of routine storms.

For record storms (i.e., this year's hurricanes, Sandy, etc.) we leave the coverage in place so people can go back and see the quality, or lack of quality, of those forecasts.

Sunday Fun: "Best Surprise in the Midwest"

Yes, we charmed another one. Details about dining in Wichita here. Be sure the watch the video.

And, have a great week.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Storm Warning Dissemination

If you are interested in the topic of storm warning dissemination, the American Meteorological Society has guidance on the topic.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Critical Wild Fire Danger

The early afternoon hours is when the threat is the highest.
Please use extreme caution out of doors.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hypocrisy Alert!!

Via Breitbart 
I think the picture and the headline say it all but I will add Glenn Reynolds' immortal words: I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Minnesota School Kerfuffle

As I was seconds from walking out of the house to drive to the courthouse, my testimony was delayed until tomorrow. So, tomorrow will be the day I am taking off from blogging.
Map of the actual snow from the storm. Click to enlarge.
There is an interesting kerfuffle going on in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the school district made what they now say was the wrong decision by having school yesterday. As is too often the case, they blamed meteorologists. I am delighted to say, they got caught this time.

Here is what the school district said,
Here is what Minnesota Public Radio said in response.
One of the parents, whose children were delayed for hours on a school bus, wrote:
“Had we known…” Are you even serious? Every forecast in the region was clear. The stress and strain you put on families and the children you put in danger when you put them on the roads tonight was absolutely unacceptable. Take responsibility. This was nothing short of very poor planning. Not only did you have a pretty clear radar as early as yesterday, you had enough snow by noon to know what the afternoon would look like. Had you known…please.

I've often talked about how the weather is an "all-purpose excuse" which is used even when the forecasts are fine.

Fortunately, people are catching on to this. Even United Airlines is making changes to improve the company's credibility.

I do have one bone to pick with MPR's story and that is this.
No, every meteorologist does not "work off the National Weather Service." While I cannot speak for others, AccuWeather has its own team of meteorologists who make our own forecasts for our clientele.

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' expertise is to provide warnings of and mitigation of extreme weather to businesses and other enterprise clients. Whether you run a school district or any other business, please contact us at: sales@accuweather.com and we'll show you have to make great decisions to improve safety and efficiency.

No Blog Post Today

I am serving as an expert witness in a weather-related trial today. That is tying up all of my time and so there will be no blog post today.

Back to normal, I hope, tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The First Tornadoes of 2018

Occurred yesterday and this morning. Tornadoes are indicated by the red dots.
Blue dots are reports of winds of 58 mph (50 knots) or higher. Hail reports are green dots.

Snowfall to 7am

Above, thanks to my AccuWeather colleague, Jesse Ferrell.

Currently (11am), blizzard conditions are occurring in the blue outlined area.
Travel is hazardous and virtually impossible in this area.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

3:50pm Sunday: Storm Status Update

This is a giant storm that will cause all kinds of trouble. 
The blizzard warnings include Goodland on Interstate 70, Grand Island on Interstate 80 and Sioux City on I-29. Travel with be extremely dangerous in these areas and I highly recommend against it.

Pink areas are winter storm warnings. Purple represents winter weather advisories which is a lesser condition than a warning. The grayish green color in Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan are winter storm watches. Gray is dense fog advisories.

To the south, the gold (on the uppermost map above) is a high wind warning. Blowing dust may limit visibility on I-40 and I-25. The magenta color in Texas and Oklahoma is an area of extreme wildfire danger. Light browns are areas of high wind advisories. The yellow is the tornado watch (see below).

The First Tornado Watch of 2018

A tornado watch is in effect until 11pm for parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Because it is very early in the year, you might want to make sure any friends or relatives in the watch are aware of the threat and that they should be monitoring the weather.

Note: I will not be live-blogging the storms. Please monitor reliable local sources of weather information.

John Coleman, Rest in Peace

I was shocked to learn that John Coleman passed away last night. He was 83.

John revolutionized television weather with his Good Morning America reports where he creatively used chroma-key and actually gave highly accurate and comprehensive weather as opposed to the "feel good" weather on Today. He also fought some of the same battles I was fighting with the NWS at the time. The most prominent was the release real-time weather satellite photos. Looking back, it was absurd -- but the NWS was concerned that releasing real-time weather satellite images would cause some imaginary harm. With John's national clout, we solved that problem.

I first got to know John when I was working at KTVI and he came to town to do GMA. He operated out of my weather department for several days and we quickly became friends. I saw him from time to time even after I moved back to Wichita. I also appreciated, in recent years, his calming influence when it came to global warming zealotry.

John was the founder of The Weather Channel. He was forced out and the meteorological quality was never the same. He spent the final years of his career in San Diego and retired in 2014.

John, you will be missed.

Blizzard Warnings Are Posted

The Areas in Orange Are Under Blizzard Warnings
The blizzard warnings include Goodland on Interstate 70, Grand Island on Interstate 80 and Sioux City on I-29. Travel with be extremely dangerous in these areas and I highly recommend against it.

Pink areas are winter storm warnings. Purple represents winter weather advisories which is a lesser condition than a warning. The grayish green color in Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan are winter storm watches. Gray is dense fog advisories.

Here is the AccuWeather forecast of snow accumulations.
It will be extremely difficult to measure snow depths because of the extreme drifting of the snow due to the blizzard conditions.

The map immediately above is through Monday night. Here is a rough idea of the storm total snow forecast.

To the south, the gold (on the uppermost map above) is a high wind warning. Blowing dust may limit visibility on I-40 and I-25. The magenta color in Texas and Oklahoma is an area of extreme wildfire danger.
For additional, go to the AccuWeather (orange) link above. We are unaffected by the government shutdown. 

Risk of Tornadoes Later Today and Tonight

If you live in the brown area, you have a significant risk of a tornado later today and tonight and I would recommend that you keep up on the weather. This includes Dallas, Ft. Smith, Little Rock and Shreveport.

Sunday Fun: A Glimpse Inside the Smith House

click to enlarge
There is much more from Baby Blues here.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Winter Storm Warnings Posted

The pinks are winer storm warnings. The dark green are winter storm watches. The purple are winter weather advisories (a lesser condition than a warning). The brown in the southern Plains are high wind warnings (for tomorrow) and the hot pink are wild fire warnings. This is as of 1:35pm Saturday.

Friday, January 19, 2018

AccuWeather is Operating Normally

I'm sure you've seeing news like this:
While I regret this is occurring, I want to let you know that AccuWeather continues to operate normally.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Protecting the Orange Crop

click to enlarge
Without getting too deep into the physics, in the act of freezing, water gives off heat. So, that transformation from liquid to solid provides some heat to the oranges and then the solid layer of ice helps keep the extreme cold air away from the oranges themselves.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

48-Hour Snow Accumulations

Take a look at the South.
New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport is closed the entire day because the runways are icy and they have no equipment to remove the ice.

If You Were Worried About Sea Level Rise Would You Pay $65,000,000 For a Miami Beach House?

In 2014, I wrote a piece that if the Maldives were so severely threatened by sea level rise, why was there a hotel building boom?

Below are current ads for $60 million plus homes in Miami.

Conclusion: The smart money isn't too worried about sea level rise. 

Hat tip: Steve Goddard

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Do You Have a Holiday Gift Certificate?

If you have a gift certificate from Amazon, B&N or an independent bookseller, I would ask you to consider one of my books as a gift to yourself. If you enjoy reading this blog, you'll enjoy both books.

Warnings, written in the style of a novel, tells the exciting and amazing story of the weather scientists that risked their lives and careers to create the warning system that protects all of us and saves more than one thousand lives in the United States each year. Every review of the book has been highly positive and I invite you to read the reviews: Barnes & Noble (scroll down) or Amazon.

When the Sirens Were Silent is the story of the catastrophic Joplin tornado which caused 161 to lose their lives. I wrote the book to expose all of the things that went wrong that horrible day so they will never occur again. As you will see with the reviews, the readers (including some in Joplin that experienced the tornado) who are not associated with the National Weather Service love the book while those associated with the NWS despise it. Why? Because it tells the story of how the storm warnings failed the citizens of that city allowing scores of unnecessary deaths to occur. I'll let you read it and make up your own mind.

The paper copies of Sirens sold out within a couple of months of it going on sale but the ebook version is available. We priced the ebook very inexpensively -- $2.99 -- because we want everyone to read it, including the detailed tornado safety rules at the end. Those safety rules are broken down for home, school and work. The book is 67 pages and is a quick read.

By the way, you do not need a Kindle or Nook or other device to read Sirens. Just go to: read.amazon.com  
and it will give you the ability to read Sirens or any other ebook without a dedicated device. It is quick and easy. 

For the Entirety of My Coverage...

....of important weather changes, please make sure you follow me on Twitter,

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Frivolous Lawsuit and Two Extraordinary Papers About Global Warming

An excellent paper about global warming was brought to my attention yesterday and I wish to bring it to yours. It is by Larry Kummer and available here. The posting is well-written and easy to understand. If you really wish to get into the issue, read this essay by Larry first. Both of these have my highest recommendation.

Larry is also of the opinion is that human effects on climate are significant and require modification in the way we do business. But, climate science is often defective and riddled with advocacy. Larry suggests ways of  fixing that problem. He also urges climate science to (my words) restart the way it uses computer models and the way it communicates to non-scientists.
With that in mind, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's lawsuit against oil companies (Shell, ExxonMobil, etc.) for causing Hurricane Sandy is absurd and, from where I sit, counterproductive. It is this type of taxpayer-subsidized stunt (and that is what it is) and abuse of our legal system that validates global warming skeptics. 
And, speaking of Mr. de Blasio, the New York Times documents this recent example of hypocritical behavior that may enhance human-caused global warming:
Purring in the mild winter day, a small armada of S.U.V.s was parked Thursday morning along 42nd Street outside the New York Public Library. Inside was Mayor Bill de Blasio, at an interfaith prayer breakfast that went on for quite a while.
By divine right of mayoralty, or someone, 13 vehicles waited at the curb in a no-standing zone, among them four black S.U.V.s (three Chevy Suburbans and one Yukon XL) an ambulance, a huge E.M.S. vehicle and a police school safety van. The engines on those big boys were running while the mayor was inside, for about two hours.

To repeat the brilliant thought from Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds: "I'll believe global warming is a problem when the people telling me it's a problem start acting like it's a problem."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pictures of the Day: Things Where They Aren't Supposed to Be

From Sky.com

If you are wondering, -53°C = -63F. Why is this person outdoors?!

The Sunny Skies in Some Areas Today May Fool You

More light snow and Arctic air on the way east of the Rockies.
Please take a look at AccuWeather's site for the snow and cold forecast for tomorrow and beyond.

Sunday Fun: THE Place to Visit in 2018

More and more people are discovering Wichita as a great place to vacation. Here is another:

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita tops my list this year for the biggest surprise and my most recommended US city to visit. When I stepped off of the plane, I had no idea what a cultural windfall I was in for. Wichita has stellar museums (such as the Mid-Atlantic All-Indian Center where I witnessed my first Pow-Wow), a fabulous local theater (Mosley Street Melodrama, also offering dinner), noteworthy living history (at Old Cowtown Museum), beautiful gardens (Botanica), and tasty eats. In fact, I ate the best breakfast of my life at Wichita’s kitschy Doo-Dah Diner. I love the free public transportation in downtown Wichita and that my age group is well represented in the city’s nightlife.
The best part of Wichita is the art; more than just murals. Keeper of the Plains, a huge steel sculpture of an Indian with his arms raised to the sun that burns nightly for 15 minutes, is something that you have to see to believe. It is mesmerizing!

And, if you are looking for a place to live and work, Wichita was just named as one of the Top Ten Cities wth the Best Work/Life Balance:
Come see us!!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

False Alarm! This Time It Is a Missile Warning for Hawaii

For the Thousandth Time, Get Rid of the EAS and WEA!!
The above message was sent, via cell phone, to every smartphone in Hawaii -- resident or tourist-- this morning. It was in error. And, it took them 40 minutes to correct it. My instinct is that 30 of those minutes was spent getting their stories straight.

Added information to the original post. Here is what the EAS warning looked like in Hawaii:

Given the issues with North Korea, it is entirely possible real damage (heart attack, etc.) was done by this false alarm. I have no way of knowing at this point. This is yet another example of why these ever-expanding governmental programs often do more harm than good. Readers of this blog know that I have called for their elimination on multiple occasions. Some background:

The EAS is the obnoxious tone that interrupts your television and radio program with a weekly test. In markets like Wichita that is all it does. In Dallas, they play that silly tone before every tornado or severe thunderstorm warning -- which does nothing but slow down the dissemination of the essential information! An EAS test is below.

The theory behind the EAS is so "emergency" information can be disseminated because -- get this -- the government is concerned that TV and radio will not carry it voluntarily.

Consider: The EAS was not activated on September 11. Did you notice any problem with stations breaking in and providing coverage that terrible day? Of course not.

In a bureaucracy, nothing succeeds like failure. So, after the September 11 fiasco, the government decided it needed WEA so they can send you incorrect information over your cell phone. There has been criticism in the media this past week that the WEA system is not widely used enough. The issue, as I see it, is there are just too many preventable false alarms.

There are two types of false alarms:
  • Unpreventable. A hook echo with rotation on radar and a tornado warning is issued but no tornado occurs. That is an unpreventable. The state-of-the-science is not advanced enough to prevent all false alarms. 
  • Preventable. This like today's when government officials are goofing off or not following the correct protocol. 
There are way too many preventable false alarms. And, I am not aware of anyone getting fired for sending one of these out. The current warning system worked extremely well before WEA and without EAS. Get rid of them both.

Note: It is a proper role of government to warn people of certain hazards. It is the commandeering of smartphones and other communication systems to which I am objecting along with the lack of accountability when these avoidable problems occur.

Another addition: more on the WEA mess here

Second addition: A man had a fatal heart attack after "goodbye" call as a result of the false alarm. Story here

Does a Cold Winter Mean Fewer Summer Insects?

Not necessarily. The details here.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico: The Finest Presentation I've Ever Viewed at an American Meteorological Society Meeting

The American Meteorological Society (AMS), at its annual meeting earlier this week, presented a special forum on the United States' hurricanes of 2017. I heartily recommend the entire series of presentations.

But, if you do not have time to view all them, may I urge you to view Ada Monzon's presentation about Hurricane Maria and how it was forecasted and how it affected Puerto Rico. I promise, you will find every minute worthwhile! In my opinion, it was the finest talk ever at an AMS meeting. I received a standing ovation -- something that scientists rarely give each other.

Click here for the entire set of presentations. Go to 1:12:35 on the video if you wish to view Ada's presentation only.

This will be the only blog post because I am having a medical procedure today.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Attention Over the East

This is a new storm developing now over Texas and moving northeast over the St. Lawrence Valley.

Fantastic News: RECORD U.S. Oil Production

The United States oil production is going to soon exceed production records set in 1970

Of course, this allows us to have much more foreign policy latitude and means we are much less dependent on the Middle East and other unstable oil producing nations. It also means more jobs and a better economy in the United States. 

Thank you, fracking. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Absolutely Essential Reading

California talking out of both sides of its mouth regarding global warming. The author, Steven Hayward, catches the hypocrisy of the climate change movement red-handed. It short and I urge you to read it.

After reading it, Big Climate wants you to know its plans for the year 2028:
License to have children? Crime to question climate change? Kettles turned off?

Is this the type of world we want for us and for our children?

Big Climate is authoritarian, dangerous, and hypocritical (private jets for its leaders). I don't often ask you to forward my blog posts but I recommend forwarding this one to your friends and family.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Congratulations Phil, Ali, Becky and Justin!

The American Meteorological Society has recognized our team for its flash flood warning in Mexico that prevented a catastrophic train derailment. The storm was in a data-sparse area yet our technology and their ingenuity allowed them to make an outstanding forecast for the largest railroad in Mexico.

The team recently posted this sign at the entrance to the AccuWeather Extreme Weather Center. Every one of our meteorologists and developers are champions. The best of the best!