Thursday, May 27, 2010

Textbook Outflow Boundaries

An interesting cluster of storms developed in and around Wichita this afternoon, causing flooding in Mulvane, Wichita and northeast of town. There was even some penny sized hail near Derby. Notice the lines in the three radar images (taken at 4:13 p.m., 5:01 p.m. and 5:49 p.m.). This is a great example of what an outflow boundary looks like on radar (in this case multiple outflow boundaries!). As the storms collapsed, the cooler air rushed outward in all directions and by the last image, there was hardly anything left.

Man, I love the weather!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jumpin' head-first into Summer!

After being so soggy the last couple of weeks, we have a much drier and warmer for this weekend and much of next week. A typical high here in Wichita is in the upper 70s...but we'll be well up into the 80s, with plenty of humidity too! Western Kansas should hit 90s today and tomorrow! Whoa Nellie!

As a big area of high pressure in the middle and upper levels of the sky expands over Kansas next week, the clouds will become fewer and the temperatures even warmer! Hey, there's no excuse now if you haven't been able to mow the lawn the last few days.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What if?

View KG-SG 05/11/2010 in a larger map

Thanks to the Wichita National Weather Service for this map of the tornado tracks from last Monday's storm. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Wichita was sparred a hit thanks to the cooler, more stable air that resided over the area due to the persistent cloud cover and drizzle. But what if the cloud and sun mix, along with the warmth and humidity we encountered Wednesday was present on Monday? A much different scenario could have possibly unfolded...right at rush hour too.

Thankfully we'll never know in this case.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sky Watchers Delight This Weekend

Sure I'm talking about rain and storm chances this weekend. See our forecast here. However, if we get enough breaks in the clouds by Sunday evening, there will be other things to look at up above.

My camera will be waiting...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Needing a Break

What a busy week this has turned out to be!! Thankfully, the warmth and humidity of Wednesday wasn't present Monday afternoon. I shudder to think the end result (and Monday was bad enough!)

Thanks to Pat Fulton for sending the above picture of a tornado 1 mile south of McPherson yesterday afternoon at 4:00pm. This was one of three tornadoes that set down across the area on Wednesday.

In other storm news, the National Weather Service has determined the damage in western El Dorado at the Turnpike was a result of a microburst, downing powerlines and causing semis to wreck.

I wish I could say we're getting several days of quiet weather but that doesn't look to be the case. Showers and a few storms will likely return to Kansas late Friday afternoon (west) and then over the east after Midnight into Saturday. There doesn't look to be a huge outbreak of severe weather this time around thankfully.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slight risk this afternoon

We already have some storms pushing over the Metro here at lunchtime. (There's one big rumble of thunder as I type!) More storms will develop this afternoon and severe weather is certainly possible. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible. The weather today does NOT look as extreme as Monday but as is always the case this time of year, keep up to date with the weather forecast!

Also, the risk area out today across the area is a Slight risk, not a HIGH risk that was posted on Monday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank the Clouds

Tornado Near Zenda, KS
Monday, May 10th
Picture Courtesy of Karla Westerman

Well, time to take a deep breath and reflect on the events of yesterday. The persistent clouds ultimately saved Wichita. We never got the breaks in the clouds here in the city to really warm things up yesterday afternoon. The farther northeast the storms traveled, they took in air that wasn't as juicy or unstable as it was where the storms developed initially. We really dodged a bullet. Can you imagine the above tornado in the heart of Wichita? Scary.

Our Oklahoma neighbors weren't as fortunate with the reports of injuries, deaths and damage. My heart goes out to those folks.

More severe weather is on the way late tonight and tomorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

High Risk of Severe Storms

I was concerned that when I woke up this morning, there would be a High risk of severe weather across part of the viewing area. I was right.

The clouds are certainly our friend right now, keeping us stable. They still could play a big factor in what ultimately happens this afternoon. Clouds aside though, as I took a look at all of the forecast parameters for the 4pm - 7 pm timeframe today, everything on the ingredients checklist was rated as "moderate" to "strong".

You know me...I'm not one to "cry wolf" at the drop of a hat. But if you do just one thing today, I urge you to please keep up with the weather forecast. Not just at lunch and then before you go home, check back every hour with us. Heck, when it gets to late day, every 30 minutes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday Looming...

The Storm Prediction Center has Wichita in a Moderate Risk for Monday. As I told a couple of our storm chasers this morning, there's no doubt the forecast wind fields and other storm parameters appear strongly supportive of severe weather tomorrow. Given the strong lift forecast with the storm system, there’s no doubt in my mind that the cap (a "lid" if you will that can suppress storm formation) will break.

Two concerns I have deal with (1) the after-Midnight storms and subsequent cloud cover location the first half Monday over Kansas. If we’re still overcast at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, then that may delay or inhibit the worst of the storm activity (a good thing). (2) the opposing model placement of the surface features tomorrow afternoon. If the clouds clear sufficiently and we get a good idea where the low, dryline and other possible boundaries are then I’ll have more confidence obviously on where the worst weather would start.

Obviously, a weather situation that we'll continue to watch.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Keeping a close eye on Monday Part 2

We still think Monday has the potential to be a very active day weather wise across central and eastern Kansas. The Storm Prediction Center also continues to eye our area very closely.

The conservative, non-hype person that I am still frets about the small details, such as the effects of clouds and overnight storms prior to Monday. Exactly where will the low pressure system, dryline and warm front line up in the afternoon? These are questions we still don't know exactly and won't know for certain until Monday morning at the earliest.

That said, the computer guidance displays many parameters very favorable for a big severe weather day.

Time will tell.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Keeping a close eye on Monday

Model #1: Forecast for 7 p.m. Monday

Model #2: Forecast for 7 p.m. Monday
© 2010

With last night's round of severe weather past us, we're looking toward the next chance. What we have seen from the computer models in the last couple of days suggests a very active Monday afternoon and evening. Our colleagues at the Storm Prediction Center are discussing this chance as well. However, our computer models this morning are showing some different forecast solutions. Note the difference in the surface pressure and wind pattern forecast by Models 1 and 2 for 7 p.m. Monday. While Model #1 has the surface low over central Kansas, Model #2 has it way out in far southwest Kansas.

Since we're still 3 days out from this potential event, we hope that our computer simulations become a little more aligned this weekend. That way we have a better idea of the what, where and when's of this forecast for early next week. Stay tuned to later forecasts this weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Watch and Warnings out

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for parts of central and northern Kansas until 2 a.m. The good news is that this watch does NOT include Wichita or Hutch but it does include Salina, Hays, Great Bend and Concordia (just to name a few of the cities).

At nearly the same time, the first warning of the day has been issued: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for parts of Cheyenne, Rawlins, Dundy and Hitchcock County until 7: 15 p.m.

Monitoring from here in the Storm Center...while our chasers are out in the field. Click here for our Storm Chaser page.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another Thursday with Severe weather

The Storm Prediction Center has much of eastern Kansas in a Slight risk of severe weather for late Thursday afternoon into the evening hours. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes appear possible.

VORTEX2 is heading to Kansas today for the events anticipated tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Always On"...for a reason!

During our extended severe weather coverage on Always On Storm Team 12 Thursday night, we received a message on our voice mail. The caller said, "I'm just letting you know you have an open mic on your cable weather channel. This is the second time this has happened lately."

What happened? Did our audio operator fall asleep on the job? Did Millie gain control to the board? Hardly!

Whenever we have severe weather in our viewing area, we plan on being live with continuous weather coverage on Always On Storm Team 12, until the threat has passed. The dead giveaway will be the "LIVE AUDIO FROM STUDIO" disclaimer at the bottom of the large radar picture.

You'll get a behind the scenes feel as we pass along weather information live as it comes in to Storm Team 12. The coverage at times will be a little less formal but that's by design. We don't plan to be talking the whole time. We'll be working on the computer, maybe taking a phone call or perhaps you'll hear us getting ready for a cut in on our main KWCH channel.

So our microphones are, like our weather channel, "Always On."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's May!

The calendar has turned to May, typically Kansas' most active month for severe weather. Today is pretty quiet though here in Kansas but the same cannot be said for the mid-South. There is a High risk of severe weather today over portions of Arkansas and neighboring states, areas hit hard by severe weather just last night.

Of course you know we'll have our turn before long. Count on Storm Team 12 to keep you ahead of the storms.