Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaping with joy!!

Tomorrow is the first day of March, my favorite month of the year. Besides the obvious reason-basketball tournament time (aka March Madness)-we also see significant changes in the weather. Warmer and windier weather means everything starts to green up. The KWCH 12 Storm Center starts to get busy with severe weather. And in recent years, March has added importance for me personally as it's the month of my daughter's birthday.

In my book, there's nothing like March. Let the Madness begin!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is this the last gasp of winter for this season?

That was the question posed by Diane from Salina this morning. She also included some neat pictures of the snow in her backyard (above).

Diane, as much as you and I would like it to warm up (any day now!!) past history would suggest that Old Man Winter isn't through yet. It's not even March yet! Speaking of March, looking back at that month for the last 10 years here in Wichita, only in 2004 did we not record any snow at Mid-Continent Airport. We had trace amounts in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007. (Of course last year, we got 1.8" of snow in April with the hard freeze!!)

March 1998 was a month to remember! We ended the month with 13.6" of snow, most of which fell on the 19th. I remember that snow quite well (which included thunder that morning too!) . I was out live at one point as the heavy snow came down. Quote: "I feel like a drowned rat!!" The snow was coming down that heavy and my hair was soaked by the end of the live shot. (Sorry, no pictures of that!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring can't get here soon enough!

Here we ago again! More thunder and lightning, sleet and freezing rain to start off a morning. To see a basic explanation about how this happens, see my previous blog entry.

I'm surprised we haven't received more nasty emails lately. Please don't consider that an invitation though! Remember: I'm in PR, not management. If I could make it warmer, I'd have pulled the ripcord on Winter a LONG time ago. I'm ready to get out in the yard, dust off the lawn mower (yes, I just said that) and take in the sights, sounds and smells of Spring.

Astronomically speaking, Spring begins March 20th.

Meteorologically speaking, Spring begins March 1st.

Guess which date I'm going to choose?!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Storms and freezing temps?

I'm sure you're scratching your head wondering how we've had two thunderstorm episodes in the last week with wintertime temperatures. While this morning's activity occurred with surface temperatures in the 20's, the temperatures aloft (a few thousand feet above the ground-in the red color on the above graphic) were roughly between 45-50 degrees. That doesn't seem so warm or humid but when you combine the transport of even a small amount of unstable air along with strong lift in the atmosphere, you can get thunderstorms in that warmer layer of air. These storms produced a combination of small hail, sleet and freezing rain over Wichita, making it a crunchy drive into work today.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

That Phony Punxsutawney Phil

So...the Groundhog "saw" his shadow and says there's 6 more weeks of winter. Have a look for yourself:

That would be extensive clouds covering much of Pennsylvania Saturday morning.

Surface observations across the western part of the state also report overcast skies. (the filled-in blue circles)

Unless there was some magical clearing over a very small area in western PA yesterday morning, I have a hard time believing the Groundhog saw his shadow from the sun. Perhaps a shadow from all of the camera lights and bulbs maybe...

Honestly, I really didn't pay that much attention yesterday morning to the happenings in Punxsutawney , PA as I was busily preparing your forecast. Rich Alexander from our weather partners at KSAL in Salina, put it best yesterday morning when he started my weather segment saying "they pulled that rat out of a hole...". I smell a rat indeed.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snowfall wrap

I've mentioned in past posts how much I like statistics. Well, here's some more numbers for you to munch on, concerning Thursday's snowfall in Wichita and how the winter season has stacked up thus far.

4.0": the official snow measurement at Wichita's Mid-Continent airport

18.1": Total now for this winter season (average is 16.7" for Wichita).

While I'll agree that's a lot of snow, it still doesn't crack the top ten for snowiest winters in Wichita. The most snow Wichita received in one winter was the winter of 1911-1912 when 39.7" fell. The 10th snowiest winter was 28.2" in the winter of 1912-1913. So, we've got a little way to go before even thinking about the Top Ten list.