Friday, July 29, 2011

More 100 degree stats

Even with the storms today, Wichita still managed to make it to 103 degrees, marking the 34th day of triple digits in the Air Capital.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the all-time record for 100 degree days in Wichita is 50, set in 1936. Thought I'd share the "Top 4" this time:

Here's that list:

1) 50 days - 1936
2) 46 - 1980
3) 42 - 1978/1954
4) 40 - 1934

Now, here's the Wichita forecast for the next 7 days:

101, 103, 104, 106, 104, 103, 102

If we do indeed manage to hit 100 the next 7 days, that will put us up to 41 days of triples, and 2011 would be the new #4 on the list.

..and that's with only one week of August complete.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

August Outlook: don't shoot the messenger

These two pictures are probably worth a thousand swear words! This is part of the August 2011 outlook, that was issued by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center this morning.

TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK

CPC: "ENHANCED CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INDICATED FROM PARTS OF THE
SOUTHWEST ACROSS THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS, AS FAR NORTH AS KANSAS."

PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK


CPC: "ENHANCED CHANCES FOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE INDICATED FOR CENTRAL AND
EASTERN TEXAS, EASTERN OKLAHOMA, AS WELL AS THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
INCLUDING ARKANSAS AND LOUISIANA."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where's Newton? An update... 7/21

I just chatted with the Wichita National Weather Service, concerning Newton's current conditions. The FAA is still wrestling with communication issues at the site, as a piece of the equipment is damaged. There is still no timetable on when it will return to normal. Bummer.

UPDATE: 7/21 - The Newton airport current conditions have returned to Always On Storm Team 12!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wasn't 1980 something?

"It was the dawning of a new decade
When we got our first microwave
And Dad broke down and finally shaved
Those sideburns off." - Mark Wills from the song "19 Something"

In Mr. Wills song, he talks about growing up in the 70s and 80s and some of the noteworthy events in his childhood. If I were to add some lines to the song, I'd have to pen something about the scorching summer of 1980. It was one of the worst heat waves in modern times, responsible for nearly 1,300 deaths nationwide that year. (Falk and Christmas, 1989)

I was only 10 that year and don't recall a whole lot from that far back but the heat is certainly something I remember. (That and waking up to my parents celebrating when the Royals won the American League Pennant that Fall.) My Dad bought our first air conditioner--a used window unit--for our home that summer. Our rooms on the second floor could get a little warm, to say the least. While it didn't cool off the upstairs, at least we had a spot downstairs to sleep in the living room!

Today is our 21st day of 100 degrees or higher in Wichita. In 1980 though, we topped 100 degrees or more 46 times (2nd only to 50 one hundred degree days back in 1936). Here's a look at some other cities and how many times they hit 100 or better that summer of 1980:

Topeka - 24
Concordia - 27
Hill City - 35
Dodge City - 39
Dallas, TX - 69
Wichita Falls, TX - 79!

The way the extended forecast looks, we'll be closing in on 30 days by the end of next week. And we haven't even reached August yet.

Thanks to the Kansas offices of the National Weather Service for the stats used in this posting.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where's Newton?

It's north of Wichita on I-135...(Wiseguy!!)

Seriously though, we've had a number of folks call or email us about Newton's missing "Current Conditions" that airs on Always On Storm Team 12. Since I just replied to one of those emails this morning, I thought I'd share that with a wider audience to let inquiring minds know!

The current conditions from Newton have been unavailable for the past few weeks. Since we didn't want old data to remain on the air (i.e. 73 degrees!) we took out the Newton segment from Always On Storm Team 12. The Federal Aviation Administration terms the outage as a "complicated telecommunications issue." Since the weather instruments are based at the airport, it is the responsibility of the FAA to resolve the issue. As such, we have no timetable for when the data will return to our normal feeds.

Fortunately, we do have one way to look at the current observations from the Newton airport (KEWK). Please go to http://www.saiawos.com/showstate.php?st=KS and click on red tag/icon by Newton.

I can assure you once the Newton data is back, we'll have it on the air promptly!

Friday, July 8, 2011

How many 100 degree days?

Mark Matney from Tree Top Nursery was here for our Noon broadcast today. Just before the show, he asked me a couple of questions. "How many 100 degree days Wichita has had this year and what is our average?" he asked.

The answer-through July 8th: 16 days at or above 100 degrees. (May: 1; June: 11; July: 4).

Wichita typically averages 10.5 days/year of 100 degree heat.

And while Mark didn't ask, you're probably wondering what Wichita's record is for 100 degree days in a year. That would be the simply awful summer of 1936, when 50 100 degree days were recorded. In second place is the summer of 1980 with 46.