Monday, April 30, 2018

Please Follow Me on Twitter


I offer commentary on weather, climate, storms and other topics of interest. I hope you will follow along and enjoy what I have to offer.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Reminder: Keep Off Railroad Tracks

ANOTHER person, a woman, needlessly killed by a train in south Wichita this evening. PLEASE STAY OFF RAILROAD TRACKS.

A Reminder Of the Power of Tornadoes

This was from April 27, 2011. With tornadoes forecast for the Great Plains this week, I thought a reminder was worthwhile.
Keep an eye on the weather this week if you live in the Great Plains.

Sunday Fun: A Day Off in Space

I have never heard of this incident before. I can understand why the astronauts mutinied.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Planning For Tornadoes

Tornadoes are a near certainty in the Great Plains in the next five days. So, given our mobile society, I would like to provide some tornado safety rules to newcomers and as a reminder to long-time residents. I recommend you pass this along to your friends and relatives who might find it useful. 

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, the basic philosophy is to put get to the lowest level of your building and put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors. If you do not have a basement, go to a small room in the middle of your home on the lowest level. The best option is a bath due to the plumbing providing reinforcement to the walls. Here is a helpful video. 

If your shelter is in an area you rarely use, take the time today to clear out the cobwebs. Put new batteries in your weather radio. Upload the AccuWeather app.

Regardless of what app you are using when the warning is issued (e.g., reading the Huffington Post or playing Scrabble), the storm warning will pop up on your screen and your phone will make the "message arriving" sound. The warning will display only if you are in the threatened area, so the false alarms are very few. As good as the app is, I still recommend always having at least two independent sources to receive the warnings.

As we evaluate the weather the first of the week, I'll provide additional information.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Yes, There Will Be Tornadoes in the Great Plains Next Week

The "tornado drought" (as some have called) it is approaching record levels in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas.

That "drought" will end the early to middle of next week.

However, it is too soon to forecast exactly when or where. As I said in the most recent post, it is time to make sure you have fresh batteries in your weather radio, etc. That's it for now.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

27 Years Ago Today

Shawn Aeby posted on Twitter a few minutes ago and reminded me that this is the 27th anniversary of the Wichita-Andover Tornado and the other tornadoes in Kansas and northern Oklahoma that day.

At about this time (9am or so), I had a pain in the pit of my stomach as I knew it was going to be a terrible day for tornadoes. That feeling of dread persisted until the supercell thunderstorms actually developed. At that point, we were so focused on warning people there wasn't time to think about anything else.

If you wish to see my coverage on KSNW-TV, it is below. Unfortunately, this mash-up does not include me explicitly warning the City of Andover.

If you wish to see video of the Wichita-Andover tornado, it is here. This is one of the most dramatic tornado videos ever taken.

The Great Plains has been more or less tornado-free so far in 2018 but that bit of good fortune looks like it will end the middle of next week. So, it is time to make sure you have fresh batteries for your weather radio and have the AccuWeather app on your smart phone (it is free). Note: I am now retired from AccuWeather but that does not change my recommendation. The AW app is an outstanding way to keep up on dangerous weather wherever you happen to be.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Amazing Footage: Cold Front Passing Oklahoma's Rhea Wildfire

Jeff Piotrowski's video of a cold front passing begins at :19. The front makes contact with the fire and smoke about :35.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

For Earth Day, A Book That Describes How Scientists Make Us Safer in Extreme Weather?!

For more Amazon reviews, just click here. A great book for Earth Day, for the graduate or for Mother's Day. 

Very insightful and fact-filled history of weather technology over the past 50 years.

September 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Drought Area Rainfall

....up to 7am this morning.

Sunday Silliness II: Laughably Wrong Predictions From the Environmental Movement

Today is Earth Day, a silly glorification of our planet. So, let's review some of the many predictions made by the United States' environmental movement:

Did you know that civilization was going to end in the year 2000?

Before civilization ended in 2000, 4,000,000,000 people, including 65,000,000 Americans, were going to perish in "The Great Die-Off."

By 1985, everyone would be wearing gas masks.

By 2018, NYC's West Side Highway would be perpetually underwater due to sea level rise from global warming. 

Anthony Watts has a great summary of these predictions here.

While there was a need for Earth Day in 1970, the air is pretty clean these days as is the water. So, most of the environmental groups have served their purpose. The environmental groups (I call them Big Climate because they take in billions, yes, billions each year.) use these scare forecasts to keep the money flowing. That is why every heat wave, cold wave, drought and flood is due to global warming.

Sunday Silliness: A Global Warming 'Story' Gets Dissected

The Washington Post reprints a global warming press release. Francis Turner takes it apart, paragraph by paragraph.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

I'm Still on Twitter

While I am off Facebook, I am still on Twitter. Please follow me @usweatherexpert.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Global Warming

PBS ran a two-hour program on global warming yesterday evening. It was full of attractive graphics. That's the best I can say about it.

However, if you really want to know the state of climate science as of this posting, Four Questions on Climate Change, is a lot more informative.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I'm Back From Vacation

Hi everyone, I am back from a vacation. I certainly appreciate all of the well wishes pertaining to my retirement.

I am rethinking the format and content of the blog and will announce it when that process is finished.

Wheat in Butler County, Kansas, east of Wichita
In the meantime, I have some thoughts I wish to pass along:
  • There was a lot of record-setting "weather" while I was away. Record late season snows with cold temperatures, tornadoes, and floods. In just about every case where someone posted a great photo, there were companies asking to use the photos for a credit only. In other words, free. Weather photos are rare and valuable; speaking for myself I would never allow NBC, The Weather Channel or other organizations to use my photo(s) free. 
  • There was a series of strong tornadoes (F-2 and F-3) in North Carolina and Virginia associated with a squall line on April 15. The Storm Prediction Center did a good job forecasting them. The thought occurred to me that, perhaps, some in meteorology don't pay enough attention to diagnosing and forecasting this type of tornado as opposed to the supercell-type tornadoes that are more common in the Great Plains. There is a tornado research program currently in progress in the Southeast that I hope will result in even better forecasts and warnings. 
  • While I was gone, the American Meteorological Society published a curious paper in its push to advance the global warming narrative. The paper is here. It is an entirely model-based paper: Actual rains and temperatures are not considered! It makes such statements as:  A simple projection of the current farm economy–AI relations into the future predicts that farm size will need to increase across the plains, but especially in the south, and that in the northern plains there will be a shift toward wheat cultivation and away from corn.  The authors don't seem to realize the Great Plains is already wheat country, rather than corn country, and has been that way for generations. I wonder if perhaps the authors, who are based in New York and Pennsylvania, have watched South Pacific too many times ("I'm as corny as Kansas in August...").
  • For a quarter-century, Big Climate has been forecasting an agricultural catastrophe due to global warming. From these actual numbers (not a model), warming has been a boon for agriculture. 
    Via Twitter; click to enlarge.
That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of the week!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Why I Closed My Facebook Account

I originally got onto Facebook for two reasons: my son had gone to Italy and posted photos of his trip and my publisher for Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather wanted me on Facebook to help build the book’s “platform.”

In the first couple of years I enjoyed it. Family members were sharing photographs and other information, even though I worried a bit about making all of this private information available to Facebook itself and to Facebook “friends.” Still, the benefit of that social interaction seemed to outweigh the negative of privacy concerns.

Over the past few years, however, I enjoyed Facebook much, much less. The family and friends’ photos decreased relative to the political discussions. I thought about getting off Facebook more and more. Those thoughts became action Saturday when I learned about news reports pertaining to Facebook making attempts to illegally collect medical information. I posted a notice and left it there for about an hour and then closed the account and requested* it be deleted.

I have no regrets at all about closing the account. However, in retrospect, I probably should have left the notice up longer. I apologize to my friends who didn't see it. 

The best way to rein in corporate bad behavior is not to buy their product any more. Facebook’s product is us. Do we trust them with our lives?

*One cannot delete their account. You can only request it be deleted.  

Sunday, April 1, 2018

I Am a Retiree!!

I am thrilled to report that my career as a professional meteorologist has ended. I've have a wonderful career full of fun and challenges.

I'm going to mostly take a three week vacation from blogging as I am just exhausted. After that, I will announce my plans for the blog.