Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update to October 2010's data

Here's an update to last week's post:

October 2010

Days/High Temps:
4 - 60s
15 - 70s
7 - 80s
2 - 90s (90 on both the 7th and 8th)

Average high: 77.0°.
Coldest high: 65 (3rd).

The coldest high so far this month is warmer than 18 days in October 2009.

Wichita still hasn't experienced its first freeze of the Fall season either.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 2009 vs. October 2010

If you follow my blog, you know how much I like numbers and stats. Well, I just put together a comparison of high temperatures last October and compared it to the highs we've had so far this month. Thanks to the Wichita National Weather Service homepage for the stats.

October 2009:

5 - 70s Warmest: 76. (20th)
13 - 60s
9 - 50s
4 - 40s
Coldest high: 42 (10th)

Average high: 60.8°.

October 2010:

3 - 60s
9 - 70s
6 - 80s
2 - 90s (90 on both the 7th and 8th)

Average high: 78.3°.
Coldest high: 65 (3rd).

Interestingly enough, the coldest day we have had so far this month is warmer than half of the month's highs (17 days) in October 2009.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cool image of the Day

With the chilly and in some places frosty, start to the morning, here's a cool image (pardon the pun) that I wanted to share with you this morning.

This is an infrared satellite image (IR for short). It's from the infrared portion of the GOES satellite which senses the temperatures of both the clouds and the surrounding areas and displays it all with a color scale. In this case, the clouds associated with the rain in southwest Kansas are shown as light blue and white. However, look closely in eastern Kansas to the small, dark red spots surrounded by orange. I've highlighted those areas below:

Anyone familiar with Kansas knows what I've circled: to the west of Wichita that little red spot is what Cheney Lake looked like this morning via the infrared "channel" of the satellite. I've also circled nine other bodies of water here in the state: El Dorado Lake, Marion Lake, John Redmond Reservoir, Melvern Lake, Clinton Lake, Perry Lake, Milford Lake, Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Wilson Lake.

How did this happen? Thanks to temperatures in the 30s and 40s over Kansas, the air was considerably colder than the water temperatures at the various lakes I circled! Cheney's water temperature this morning was 69 degrees! As a result, the infrared portion of the satellite detected the heat of the warmer water and colored it differently than the surrounding colder land areas. Obviously, the lake has to be big enough to show up on this picture's resolution (won't see Lake Afton on there!)

In any event, it's fascinating to look at...even if you're not a weather geek like me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Official

Picture Courtesy of Melissa McCarter.

From the National Weather Service:

It’s Official: Wichita Hailstone Certified State Record for Diameter
Measured 7.75 inches in Diameter

WICHITA, Kan. – Members of the six-person State Climate Extremes Committee have declared a hailstone recovered in west Wichita after a storm Sept. 15, 2010, to be the state of Kansas’ largest diameter stone.

The hailstone fell near Pawnee and 119th Street after a severe thunderstorm dropped giant hail in a wide swath from Goddard to Udall. Up to softball-sized hail caused significant damage to roofs, vehicles and lawns, according to Mary Knapp, state climatologist and director of the Weather Data Library at Kansas State University.

The hailstone measured 7.75 inches in diameter shortly after the stone fell in west Wichita. However, the official weight and circumference were not able to be obtained until 15 hours after the stone had fallen. At that time, the stone weighed 1.1 pounds and had a circumference of 15.5 inches. That information was submitted to the state climate extremes committee, which was able to meet Thursday afternoon.

“This has been quite a summer for large hail,” said Jim Keeney, weather program manager at National Weather Service Central Region Headquarters in Kansas City. “We had a national-record stone recovered in South Dakota earlier and another is being examined as a possible state record in Oklahoma. These hailstones are significant recoveries, but they are records we wish we didn’t see.”

Some wonder what took so long to verify the measurements. The reality is that it takes some time to document all of the measurements, and record the procedures. “Questions arose around a National Climatic Data Center STORM DATA report from September 1970 of 7-8-inch hail,” said Knapp.“It was determined that those values hadn’t been documented, so the current stone claims the record. Careful documentation will minimize questions that might arise the next time a large stone is recovered.”

Final verification of the hailstone’s record status came from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center through the State Climate Extremes Committee.