Thursday, June 30, 2022

Outstanding Forensic Analysis of New Mexico Fire


This week, we've talked about weather as an all-purpose excuse. As climate = long-term weather, the same thing applies. 

You've probably read about the New Mexico wildfire that was set by the federal government and then got out of hand. Meteorologist Dr. Cliff Mass has an outstanding forensic analysis of the situation. Global warming had little to nothing to do with the fire. 

As Cliff points out, had the government used modern meteorology, this would not have occurred. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Today's Fun: The Advertising Algorithms are Getting Better

I love Maggianos and I will guarantee to personally keep them in business if they will open a Wichita location. 

This is an Example of the Pregnancy Centers Being Bombed

These are run by pro-life groups and are located across the nation. Recently, a number of them have been attacked. Below are two representative headlines. 

We in the pro-life movement know we must provide resources to help eliminate the need for abortion and we are doing so. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Trains and Trafficking

This man has had a bad year. A close call on April 29 in Andover  
(above) and then yesterday's Amtrak crash. 

Some serious thoughts: Yesterday was the second day in a row with a mass casualty Amtrak crash where a rural road crossed mainline tracks that requires drivers to turn their heads more than a 90° angle. I annotated a Daily Mail illustration below. 
Sunday's nearly identical crash was in California. 

Rural or not, we need to get lights and gates at all mainline crossings where the road is not at a 90° angle to the tracks. 

While the three crossing deaths in Missouri yesterday and the three in California were tragic and preventable, the human tragedy in Texas was far worse. 
Fifty precious people died in that truck in Texas yet it is receiving far less coverage than the Amtrak accident. This is not acceptable. The border must be secured and we must stop human trafficking. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Latest Airline Lie About Weather IX

This is yet another example of the Airline Lie pertaining to weather as we endure yet another day with hundreds of airline flights cancelled. 

The 5:45p CDT weather map is a late June dream for the airlines. 
I surmise this is occurring because the airlines have reached the end of the month and are out of employees that have sufficient "hours of service" left. Whether it is pilots, flight attendants or dispatchers, the Federal Aviation Administration has strict limits on sleep and on-duty hours that cannot be exceeded. Given how short-handed they are, I suspect this is the true reason. 

It is appalling how little actual reporting news agencies do these days. Whatever the reason for all of the cancellations, it isn't bad weather. 

Paul McCartney and Greta Thunberg: Electricity From Diesel Generators

At current exchange rates, $98.14 to recharge your car! They did end up discounting it to $61.34. 

After "cheaper" electric vehicle owners paid those fees, they got to hear Sir Paul McCartney on his 80th birthday and Greta Thunberg proclaiming:

“The biosphere is not just changing, it is destabilising, breaking down… unfortunately, this is not the ‘new normal’. It will get worse until we manage to halt the constant destruction of our life-supporting systems, until we prioritise people and planet over profit and greed.”

I dunno, but $100 bucks to charge an electric car sounds pretty profitable to me. 

-- addition --

This is what the venue looked like after. Evidently, they didn't pay any addition to Greta's speech about the environment. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Two Great Tweets

Almost every city of any size has a pregnancy crisis center. Every one about which I am aware does amazing work to assist women keep their babies and raise them in good health and reasonable prosperity. Please donate whatever you can: it is the most important it has been in fifty years!

My hope is the Dobbs decision, which struck down Roe and Casey, is the beginning of a return to sanity in our nation 

Better Still! Nuclear Works at Night!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Roe v Wade Has Been Overturned

Good for the Nation. 
Good for our souls. 

After a moment of jubilation, those of us in the pro-life movement must continue to do everything we can to assist women in crisis. We must help them raise their babies in good health and reasonable prosperity. We must recommit to assuring all children have a great education. 

The Campaign of Deception on the Kansas Constitutional Amendment

It is bad enough that the Kansas Amendment's opponents are running a deceptive campaign, but their latest ad that implies the Catholic Church is on board with their pro-abortion stance is beyond the pale. The image below is a screen capture from their latest commercial.

Here are the facts: The Kansas Supreme Court "found" that Kansas Constitution -- unlike the other 49 states' -- includes a "right" to abortion, even though abortion is not mentioned in the document. 

The purpose of the August vote is simple: A YES vote amends the Constitution to so that the question of abortion goes back into the hands of the people of Kansas and our elected representatives. That's all! By itself, the amendment does not change abortion laws.

I suspect polling tells the pro-abortion forces the amendment will pass (after all, a "yes" vote is pro-democracy) unless they lie, dissemble, and confuse the issue. So, they will lie if they must. 

Vote YES on August 2!!

-- addition -- 

The liberal Kansas City Star agrees with my assessment. Below is verbatim.
To reiterate: The pro-abortion forces know they can only win by confusing you. Don't allow this campaign of deception to succeed.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Talk About a "Green Sky" Tornado

From time-to-time people talk about a "green sky" with a tornado. This tornado, near I-70 earlier this evening, certainly qualifies. 

And, thanks to storm chaser and photographer Freddie McKinnely for reporting the storm!

It has been a busy evening in north central Kansas. 

Risk of Damaging Thunderstorms in Kansas and Southern Nebraska

I bring this to your attention because the potential exists for damaging thunderstorms in the area outlined in blue.
In the words of the NWS Storm Prediction Center:
I believe the tornado threat may be a bit more serious than stated above.

Given that 80 mph winds are forecast to occur, there will be the possibility of power failures and tree damage. Please prepare accordingly. Also, please remember to take your phone and computers off their chargers the first time you hear thunder as the resulting power surges can damage them. 

For later information please follow me on Twitter @usweatherexpert. 

New Photos Available!

I have uploaded a number of new photographs on my site at Adobe Stock Photography. Please head on over if you are in the market for commercial photography or just want to look at quality photos of outdoor subjects. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

China and Russia Continue to Laugh at US

No comments needed. 🙄

Does Hypocrisy Permeate Everything About Green Energy?!

We've written many times about how hypocrisy is rife in the 'green' movement (John Kerry's private jet travel, anyone?). 

Now, it his close to home: Kansas.
Per Kansas Representative Davids, congresspeople should not invest in companies -- unless it is her and unless it is green energy. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Derecho Causes Baby Formula Shortage

The latest issue to interrupt the baby formula supply chain was a derecho which struck Sturgis, Michigan, on June 13. I tell the story here

Monday, June 20, 2022

Another Garbage Article About Climate

Climate is long-term weather. Weather is what occurs day-to-day. More predictable than the weather is the Star and (following along) the Wichita Eagle hyping global warming. Especially when the meteorological science clearly demonstrates the dead cattle did not die because of global warming. 

While the summer heat is earlier than average in Kansas this year, that tells us nothing. Let's look at the real data, something the Star's editorial board didn't bother to do. 

Here is a graph, from NOAA, of June's daily maximum temperatures in Sedgwick county (halfway between the two main cattle areas) from 1900 to 2021. There is a slight upward trend but it is ≤ 0.1° per decade. Nothing huge. In fact, if you throw out the extraordinarily cold June of 1903, there is no trend at all! 
Now, let's focus on Wichita's June daily record highs from the National Weather Service office. These dates correspond to the duration of this year's heatwave. 
Not a single record high is even from this century!! Eleven of twelve are from 1990 or earlier. Eight of 12 are before 1958, the first year that climate chemists tell us that CO2 concentrations were sufficient to affect worldwide temperatures

The science clearly demonstrates that global warming did not kill the cattle. This is just another garbage piece to hype global warming. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Ten Most Deadly Tornadoes in U.S. History

I tell the story, here. Note that many of them are outside of "Tornado Alley." 

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day everyone! I miss my Dad terribly and wish he was still with us. 

Our society seems to completely devalue fathers. 

Father's and their contribution to their families and, especially their children, are rarely appreciated in modern American society. Missing manly influence is one of the reasons so many of our boys seem lost.

So, please wish your father and grandfathers a great day but -- more importantly -- love and appreciate them all the year around. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Global Warming: Is There Anything It Can't Do?!

Used to be the only temperature effect on human's was George Costanza's "shrinkage." Now, The Guardian has a ridiculous story that we are going to shrink because of global warming. Of course, if you read down to the bottom of the story, you find this:

Lister is also skeptical that humans will shrink as the climate heats. “We are not really controlled by natural selection,” he said. “If that was going to happen, you’d need to find large people dying before they could reproduce because of climate warming. That is not happening in today’s world. We wear clothes, we have got heating, we have got air conditioning if it is too hot.”

Must have been a really slow news day. Or, more likely, Big Climate is so terrified it has lost the narrative that they'll throw anything against the wall to see if it sticks. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

When the Biden Administration 'Says' They Want More Gasoline Supplies

“You have this new revisionism suggesting that we have to be pumping oil like crazy, and we have to be moving into long term [fossil fuel] infrastructure building, which would be absolutely disastrous,” Kerry said, speaking on June 7 at the TIME 100 Summit in New York City. “We have to push back, and we have to push back hard.”

The entire story is here

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Are We Getting the Full Story About the Latest Baby Formula Outage?

Did an inch and a quarter of rain really cause this?
When I saw this and other headlines about a flood and wind damage, I recalled Monday's derecho. While winds of 50 to perhaps 70 mph occurred in the area, I didn't recall any unusual rains. So, I did a little investigation.

The derecho at 8:26pm EDT

Below is an image from the South Bend National Weather Service (NWS) radar. It estimates rainfall with each scan. Its estimate was about 1.2 inches after the storm had moved out of the area.

The NWS and University of Oklahoma developed a system that combines radar, rain gauges and data to create a more sophisticated rainfall amount estimate. 
It displays an amount between 1.0 and 1.5 inches, which is consistent with the South Bend radar's estimate. 

So, this may not be the full story:

'Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area,' Abbott said in the statement. 'These torrential storms produced significant rainfall in a short period of time -- overwhelming the city's stormwater system in Sturgis, Mich., and resulting in flooding in parts of the city, including areas of our plant.'

Sturgis averages 38 inches of rain a year, so a storm that causes 1.2 inches of rain, by itself, is unlikely to backup the city's water system. What may be more likely is the plant suffered some wind damage which allowed rain to get in. 

Regardless of the precise reason for the latest outage, it is astounding that a plant which produces a quarter of the nation's baby formula is not better weatherized. Derechoes are hardly rare in southwest Michigan. 

Weather is often used as an all-purpose excuse by America's business community. Examples are here, here, and here. But it isn't 1922, its 2022. Weather science is able to mitigate the risks of extreme weather in amazing ways. Every business of any size should take advantage of weather science's capabilities. 

How Bad Would Tornadoes Be If There Were No Warnings?

To answer the question in the title, all you have to do is look at the past and increase the numbers for population growth. Here is a list of the ten worst U.S. tornadoes in terms of deaths. With the exception of Joplin, all occurred without an advance tornado warning and most occurred outside of the traditional Tornado Alley. 

With today's much greater population, these death tolls -- without warnings -- would be inflated that much more. That is why the tornado warning system is so very important. 

Tornado Risk in the Northeast Today

The brown area has a significant risk of tornadoes. 

The red area has an enhanced risk of damaging thunderstorm winds (60 mph or stronger).
The yellow area has a significant risk. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

National Weather Service Versus Tornadoes: Playing Defense

You don't want to be issuing [a tornado warning] on every one of those little circulations...because you are going to be alerting upwards of a million people in the middle of the night. 

         -- Julie Adolphson, meteorologist-in-charge, National Weather Service, Kansas City 

In 2010, when my book Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather was published, the United States had an excellent tornado warning system. Near the end of the book I wrote:

From that inauspicious beginning involving spare World War II leftovers, we have developed an effective and highly cost-effective systems that saves lives and dollars, nearly every week. Here's to the first fifty years of storm warnings. May the next fifty be just as rewarding. 

Unfortunately, things have deteriorated in ways I never would have imagined in 2010.

Joplin Tornado. Photo by the Basehunters.

The next year the Joplin Tornado occurred. It was, by far, the worst disaster of the tornado warning era. One hundred sixty-one died in part because the local office of the National Weather Service (NWS) told the the people of Joplin -- multiple times -- the tornado would go north of the city. Residents were unprepared when the exceptionally violent tornado struck. The after-storm "service assessment" (where the NWS investigates itself) was either incompetent or a coverup. 

Since Joplin, the accuracy of tornado warnings has plummeted as the NWS seems to have lost confidence in that part of its mission. Before Joplin, the NWS "played offense," by doing its best to insure there was an advance warning before every significant tornado. Now, it is "playing defense," -- trying to avoid false alarms at all costs in spite of the potential for loss of life. 

Hook echo (obvious tornado presentation) on Gaylord, MI radar
sixteen minutes before tornado struck. The storm is unwarned
at this time. 

The National Weather Service falls under the U.S. Department of Commerce. From Commerce's own web site
  • "Lead-time" is the amount of time to take shelter. It is measured from when the warning is issued to when the tornado touches down. From fiscal year (FY) 2005-2011, the average lead-time was 13.3 minutes. From 2012 to 2020 (latest year available) the lead-time had dropped to just 8.4 minutes. 
  • From FY 2007-2011, the accuracy of tornado warnings (probability of a warning being issued before a tornado develops) was 72 percent. From 2012 to 2021, the accuracy was down to 60.9%, a drop of 19 percent. 
  • The NWS sets accuracy goals for its tornado warnings. In 2007, the goal was 76 percent. In 2012, the agency dropped its goal to 72 percent, where it has stayed. In spite of that lowered goal, the Department of Commerce describes the its success at attaining the goal as, "not met,""not met,""not met,""not met,""not met,""not met,""not met,""not met," and "not met." The goal hasn't been met a single time in nine years! 
National Weather Service's map of the path of the June 8 south Kansas City Tornado.
I highlighted the unwarned portion of the path. 
So, it is not surprising when, 
  • There was no advance notice (zero lead time) for the EF-3 intensity Wichita-Andover Tornado on April 29.
  • When the meteorologically obvious Gaylord Tornado occurred on May 20, the lead time was just seven minutes. Two people died and 44 were injured in this EF-3 intensity storm. 
  • When a tornado cut through densely populated south Kansas City at 1:10am on June 8, the lead-time was minus eleven minutes even though the Doppler radar displayed both rotation in the storm and lofted debris from the time the tornado touched down. 
1:19am Kansas City NWS radar display showing tornado lofted debris over
the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. The tornado was still unwarned at this point.

Why has the NWS's tornado warning system declined so precipitously in a decade? Here are my suppositions:
  • Retirements. My generation of meteorologists, who learned to warn of tornadoes based on hook echoes, right-moving thunderstorms, et cetera, is gone. That background and experience is very useful. Part of that loss could be made up with excellent,
  • Training. Since I last wrote on this topic, a friend passed along links to the NWS's radar and tornado warning training. In my opinion, it is quite deficient in basics while overly complicated when it comes to real-time techniques. 
  • Fear of False Alarms (covered above).
There is more: Since Joplin, there are other issues (but I won't go into here) including the complexity that has been introduced into tornado warnings, the embedding of National Weather Service meteorologists into commercial events (think NASCAR races) in a form of corporate welfare -- when it should be focused on its core mission -- and that its aging technology frequently fails. For example, the first of its Doppler radars was installed thirty years ago -- with no plan to replace them. 

When I wrote Warnings, I was proud of the accomplishments of the NWS and wrote the book accordingly. Then-director of the NWS, Jack Hayes, invited me to its Washington headquarters where the book -- the first to tell the story of the storm warning system -- was celebrated by all concerned, including the head of the NWS's employees' union. 

Unfortunately, I could not write the book in the same way today. 

I wish to close with some good news. Ken Graham, who came up through the NWS's ranks, was appointed director of the NWS last week. He is the first director with this important experience since the 1950's. I believe Ken has what is needed to fix the agency's myriad issues provided he gets the support of NOAA, Congress and the Biden Administration. This is far from certain as the head of NOAA and senior NOAA management has no background in atmospheric science and major changes are needed. 

If you are concerned about a tornado striking without warning, please consider emailing your congressional delegation and President Biden. I'll keep praising the NWS when it does well and let you know when there are issues. 

This and all content: © 2022 Mike Smith Enterprises LLC

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Every Meteorologist's Nightmare!!

Saturday evening, in the Flint Hills of Kansas, was the stuff of every meteorologist's nightmares. 

Picture: Ten thousand people in open rangeland with a tornadic thunderstorm, that also contained golfball-sized hail, and no way to escape or shelter in time as a shelf cloud (the leading edge of wind, rain and hail) approached from the north. 
Photo by Paul Attwater
The event is the wonderful Symphony in the Flint Hills. One of its special charms is that it occurs in the middle of nowhere -- amongst nature and cattle drives. But, that is also its unique danger: how do you evacuate ten thousand people in a short period of time?

The tornado missed the site, but not by much. Below is a map showing the rotation track (pink arrow) with the blue color almost certainly indicating a tornado on the ground. The site is "S."
Friends described their cars rocking in 60+mph winds as the hail came down. Some said they were "terrified."

Clearly, event organizers waited too long yesterday evening. I was receiving calls from worried, or even  terrified people, as they heard about the tornado warning just to their east with nowhere to shelter or escape. There are no buildings on the site, just tents. 

I urge the Symphony in the Flint Hills to conduct a complete review of its location, procedures and points of egress before it selects a location for 2023. 

Sunday Fun: "Global Warming, Is There Anything It Can't Do?!"

While I reveal my age here, the fact is that I didn't have a single air conditioned classroom until I was in college; and even then it was probably half of them. Ironically, none of the meteorology classrooms at OU were air conditioned. 

In the Great Plains and Midwest, one can get 100° days in late August and early September. Much of this problem could be solved is to go back to the "Labor Day to Memorial Day" schedules of 50 days ago. It will lessen the number of days with extreme heat. 

Problem solved!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Update on Kansas - Nebraska Storm Reports

From my friends who were stuck in the Symphony in the Flint Hills' pasture for two hours, this lightning video was taken at 10:18pm. They were driving south on US177. 

Below are the rotation tracks to 10:30.

There have been extreme winds in the Flint Hills region of Kansas as well as tornadoes near the Kansas - Nebraska border. 
This data is as of 10:30pm. 

Below is the rainfall map to 10pm.

Unfortunately, Missouri has not been sending out real-time storm reports. 

This is the end of my weather coverage for the evening.