Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav not goofing off

At 2:15pm Friday afternoon, Gustav was back to hurricane strength. Click here for the latest information on the storm. The projected path is still forecast to be somewhere along the Louisiana coast. Where exactly is anyone's guess. The tropical waters are plenty warm (the fuel) and winds aloft are weak (won't tear storm apart).

I have been looking at the various model forecasts this afternoon, trying to gain a little insight to the future movement of Gustav. When we make a plot of all of the computer models' path forecasts for a storm, it's called a "spaghetti plot" and it looks like this. (Courtesy Florida Atlantic University). As you can see, the bulk of the forecasts take the storm into Louisiana. There's still a lot of time though between now and when the hurricane makes landfall (late Monday into early Tuesday). Expect to hear a lot about this storm this upcoming holiday weekend. I'll talk to you later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I wanted to help

I felt bad for the owner of the black car (left) shown in a parking lot of Hutchinson Community College. I was monitoring the weather via webcam this morning and noticed this poor person left one of their back windows down a little bit. As of this writing, the Hutch airport has had 0.56" of rain. That amount is pretty small compared to the rain they saw overnight in Smith, Rooks, Osborne and Phillips county. The NWS reports 3-6" with several roads under water. Remember, if you encounter water covering a roadway: "Turn around, Don't drown!" Flooding is the number one weather killer annually.

I mentioned in the past that I have an extensive list of outdoor/traffic webcams that I use to monitor the weather around Kansas on my shift. Do you know of one we may not have? Let me know here in the comments section. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Extended Forecast Frustration

I chuckled when I saw the email arrive in our "Ask Storm Team 12 mailbox." A viewer wanted a forecast for Barcelona, Spain...for mid-October! Considering the 7-day forecast doesn't always pan out, there's no way I could tell you what will happen over 7 weeks from now!

Case in point: if you watched my Tuesday night forecast, the weekend at that point looked rather gloomy. It wasn't what you wanted to hear after having most of the previous weekend rained out:

Sat: High: 77 Low: 62 Cloudy and cool with occasional showers and storms.
Sun: High: 78 Low: 62 Mostly cloudy with showers.

Boy how things improved by the Saturday morning show!

Today: Turning mostly cloudy early, then partly cloudy and mild. Wind: NE/E 5-15. High: 81.
Tonight: Partly cloudy and cool. Wind: E 5-10. Low: 61.
Sunday: Increasing clouds and mild. Wind: E/SE 5-15. High: 82.
Sunday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Wind: SE 5-10. Low: 62.

What happened? A week ago, all of our computer guidance pointed to a big area of low pressure setting up around Kansas City for this weekend. There would be plenty of moisture too so it was a no-brainer at that point: another cool, wet weekend.

Going into the latter part of the workweek, our computer guidance began to shift the forecast track of the low. Now the models put the low out in Colorado! The impacts to our forecast are obviously huge! Wichita has had a beautiful weekend while the mostly dry western areas of Kansas get welcome rain.

The moral of the story is: always check back in with our forecast! If you are wondering about the upcoming weekend and you check out our forecast on Monday, don't expect that to be the final word! Be sure to watch again in another day or two and see if things have improved or not.

So, to answer the viewer's question about the Barcelona forecast: I have no idea! However, here's a look at the averages:

High: 70
Low: 54
Rain: 3.8"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I could get used to this

You could say the weather has been up and down the past few days. We had an 88 degree high on Friday (8/8/08). Then yesterday we set a daily rain record: 1.68" (1.13" fell between 7-8pm last night). The previous record was 1.54" on August 9th, 1951.

Besides the dreary weather, I'm having a great time filling in for Merril and Ross on the evening shifts. I hope you haven't grown tired of me yet...I have tonight, Monday and Tuesday yet to go. Hopefully you're more frustrated with the rain that washed out most of this weekend.

It's kind of nice sleeping in past 3am...and working the evening shifts...a person could get used to this!

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Triples!

On Sunday, Wichita experienced our second 100 degree day of 2008, with at least a couple more to go this week. The good news is that cooler temperatures and some rain will arrive here by Wednesday.

In the meantime, we'll have a couple of good nights for stargazing. The ISS will be flying over several times this week too. Here's a list of the times....substitute your Zip Code at the end of URL to get the times for your neighborhood. Keep cool!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dog Days are Here

Yesterday it was 107 near Tribune in western Kansas. Expect more of this simmering heat through the weekend and early next week. While temperatures here won't be that hot, Wichita should still be around 100 (+/- 2 degrees) now through Tuesday. Then when you combine it with the humidity, the heat index will get over 105 degrees.

Please take it easy!