Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Busy Thursday Night

For the second Thursday in a row, severe weather rumbled over northern and central Kansas. Storm Team 12 Chasers Scott Roberts, Brandon Ivey, Mikey Gribble, Tony Laubach and Ed Oneal were in hot pursuit!

Scott, Brandon and Tony targeted northern Kansas and found themselves in the Concordia and Belleville areas. Scott shot this interesting rain foot feature with a severe thunderstorm south of Concordia:


Meanwhile, Brandon captured this footage east of Belleville of a tornado-warned storm.

Last but certainly not least, here's Tony's account of the storms.

Unfortunately, Mikey and Ed were a little farther south and missed out on the daytime activity.

If you haven't already, you need to check out our new Storm Chaser Radar page! From the safety of your home computer, watch as the storm chasers pursue severe weather around the viewing area!

And to expand on the storm chasing theme, VORTEX 2 begins its second and final campaign tomorrow! Here's a number of links for your surfing pleasure!

VORTEX2 Blog from Karen Kosiba
Wolfpack in the Vortex
Texas Tech VORTEX2 blog
The Weather Channel's VORTEX2 Twitter Page

VORTEX2 runs from May 1 to June 15.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Even for Kansas, this is windy!!

Here's a list of NWS reporting stations around Kansas with their respective wind gusts today:

Mid-Continent Airport: 54 mph!! (severe thunderstorm is defined as having winds of 58 mph or greater!)

Jabara Airport: 52 mph
Hutchinson: 49 mph
McConnell AFB: 48 mph
Salina: 48 mph
Liberal: 47 mph
Manhattan: 46 mph
Newton: 46 mph
Dodge City: 45 mph
Topeka: 43 mph

And yes...more wind is in the forecast tomorrow.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trivia Question Time!

Take a close look at the Wichita NWS' Doppler Radar image from early this morning. Can you spot the wind farms?

Here's another example, also this morning but from Dodge City's radar.

Give up? Here are the answers...simply click on the picture.

In the first image from Wichita, the wind farms show up as the green and/or gray radar echoes. The Flat Ridge Wind Farm is northeast of Medicine Lodge in Barber County. The Elk River Wind Farm is near Beaumont in far southeast Butler County. Travel up north of I-70 and you'll find the Smoky Hills Wind Farm in far northern Ellsworth County and the Meridian Way Wind Farm south of Concordia in Cloud County.

While it's common to see the Elk River and Flat Ridge Wind farms on the Wichita radar (since they're closer to Wichita), that's not always the case for the two north of I-70. Typically the radar beam increases with height at longer distances away from the radar site. However this morning, the radar beam was being bent back toward the earth because of atmospheric effects (in this case, called an inversion). The beam struck the highly reflective surface of the turbines and wha-la...I have a blog topic!!

From the Dodge City radar, we see three wind farms. The Gray County Wind Farm is found southwest of Dodge City near Montezuma. The Spearville Wind Farm can be seen on this display northeast of Dodge, while the newest wind farm being built is southwest of Greensburg.

Don't worry...there won't be a test later. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Warning of the year for Wichita

Rainfall amounts Courtesy: CoCoRaHS

It was fascinating to watch thunderstorms fire along a stationary dryline yesterday afternoon here over the Wichita area. The storms would develop in northeastern Sedgwick County, intensify and then become severe once they moved northeast into Butler, Marion and Chase County. Finally after 5 p.m., the storms developed a little farther back into western and northern Wichita and created some spectacular differences in rainfall over a very short distance! In far west Wichita, amounts were less than a tenth of an inch, but near I-235, the totals were much greater: around a half-inch to nearly an inch!! The storms were accompanied by copious amounts of mainly small hail (marble to dime size) but there were larger stones of quarter to half-dollar size reported. The biggest I saw personally here at the station was penny size. Thanks to Debbie Perry who sent us this Stormshot (below) of nickel and (slightly larger than) quarter-size hail that fell near 13th and Ridge.

Of course with storms in the area, the KWCH Storm Chasers were out, feeding us live streaming video back to the station and to your TV screens. If you haven't seen our new Chaser and Interactive radar page, please check it out here!

In a case of "being in the right place at the right time", storm chaser Dick McGowan, one of our newest team members, caught this tornado in western Kansas. He was heading home from Denver when he saw this tornado east of WaKeeney, around mile marker 151 along I-70.

All in all, a busy day indeed...but knowing this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why It's always good to check back

In my last post, I listed our Thursday evening forecast for the next week. In bold is the actual high temperatures for those days.

Fri: 62 65
Sat: 57 58
Sun: 55 61
Mon: 65 72
Tue: 73 81
Wed: 79 85
Thu: 80 78

In the first couple of days, the difference wasn't great but generally got larger with time. And in nearly all of the days, the high temperature was warmer than our forecast. While we're not happy one bit with our forecast being off (we strive to be as accurate as possible) we were quite happy with the trend to warmer weather!!

Watch out for some storms overnight...and I'll see you on the air bright and early tomorrow morning!