Thursday, April 30, 2009

4:50pm Weather Update

A Tornado Warning remains in effect for parts of Mississippi Co., New Madrid Co., Scott Co., and Stoddard Co. in southeast Missouri until 5:15pm CT. The storm is moving to the east at 35mph.

The above radar image is from 4:44pm CT. It is zoomed in on the tornado warned area.

The SPC is also monitoring the Missouri bootheel and south along I-55 towards southern Arkansas for a possible watch.

11am Weather Update

It still looks like we could see some thunderstorms later today. Although, I am not totally sold on severe weather around the area this afternoon/evening.

At 11am, temperatures range from the upper 60's to middle 70's and dew points are in the lower 60's across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky.

Here is a visible satellite image from 11:02am CT. The sun is trying to pop out in some areas. When you look at the satellite image, you can see the center of low pressure. Can you figure out where it is?

We are going to see a mid-level disturbance move through the area later this afternoon and this evening. You can see it when looking at the 500mb level in the atmosphere. The first image is the initialization data for the NAM model valid at 12z (or 7am CT) this morning. The second image is for 0z Friday (or 7pm CT).

Image 1

Image 2

You can see the vorticity maximum (aka vort max) in eastern Oklahoma in the first graphic. In the second graphic you can see how it moves over southeast Missouri. The vort max could be the spark for some thunderstorms later this afternoon/evening.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has the area in a "Slight Risk" of severe weather through 7am CT Friday.

As a front is draped over the region, we will see daily chances for showers and thunderstorms over the next couple of days. There is also a daily chance of some stronger (if not severe) thunderstorms too. See the Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 outlooks below from the SPC.

Day 2 Outlook 7am Friday - 7am Saturday

Day 3 Outlook 7am Saturday - 7am Sunday

Day 4 Outlook 7am Sunday - 7am Monday

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Couple Chances of Boomers

This will be a quick post this morning. It is early (at least for me). I'm not feeling too hot. (I'm not oinking, so no swine flu here!), but I wanted to make you aware of a couple chance of thunderstorms this week.
Last weekend I mentioned that we would be moving in to a wet period this week. Luckily, the last two days haven't been complete wash outs for the area. Along with the almost daily chance of showers it looks like we have the chance of some stronger thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.
The Storm Prediction Center is already taking notice.
Here is a look at the Day 2 Outlook. The forecast period for this graphic is 7am Thursday through 7am Friday.

Here is a look at the Day 3 Outlook. The forecast period for this graphic is 7am Friday through 7am Saturday.

I have had a few people ask what a "Slight Risk" means. The SPC defines that by saying there is a 1 in 5 chance of severe weather within 25 miles of any point in the "Slight Risk" area.
Oh... happy 100th post!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

10pm Weather Update

New weather data coming in late tonight...

I'm not that impressed with the chance of severe weather Monday afternoon/evening. Looking at the 0z WRF model, there isn't very much instability in place across southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. That being said, this is just one model. I will be curious to see what the GFS shows from it's 0z run.

The new Day 1 Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center doesn't come out until overnight (1am/2am'ish).

Follow Up: Largest Model Rocket to Blast Off

The rocket launched! According to Gizmodo, the rocket launched Saturday. As a refresher, scroll down and see my blog post from Monday, April 20.

Here is a video clip from the launch.

Don't Wash the Car

That's right. Don't wash your car. Mother Nature will do it for you this week.

It looks like we have a wet week ahead for southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas. For several days the weather computer models have been showing this extended period of wet conditions.

Here is a graphical view of the potential rainfall for Cape Girardeau this week. This is from the National Weather Services Global Model. The model was run last night.

Note: Time runs from right to left.

The model is spitting out 2.9" of rainfall Monday through Friday.

The next image is the precipitation forecast for Farmington, Missouri from the same model.

Note: Time runs from right to left.

For Farmington, the model is putting out 3.1" of rainfall Monday through Friday.

It is not a sure bet that we will see THAT much rain, but it does look like we are going to see several days with rain in the forecast.

Along with the rainfall, the Storm Prediction Center is pointing out the chance for some damaging wind and large hail in their Day 2 Outlook.

This covers 7am Monday - 7am Tuesday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Largest Model Rocket to Blast Off

I have always been a BIG fan of the space program. I hope we keep pushing money to NASA so we can continue to explore.

I saw a great article today about a man and his model rocket. This isn't any model rocket. This model rocket is 1/10 the size of a Saturn V rocket (The same rocket that sent man to the moon.) and weighs 1,600 pounds. It will stand over 36 feet high and be powered by 9 motors equaling over 8,000 pounds of thrust. It is expected that the rocket will reach an altitude of 3,000 - 4,000 feet.

The guy plans on launching the rocket April 25. I imagine that would be a cool sight to see. I am sure video will be available online. I look forward to seeing it.

To give you a sense of scale, below is a picture of an actual Saturn V rocket I took pictures of when I was at the Kennedy Space Center in March.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Severe Thunderstorm Watch #171

The Storm Prediction Center has issued Severe Thunderstorm Watch #171 for parts of southeast Missouri and eastern Arkansas. The watch is in effect until 7pm CT.

It appears that the main threat will be large hail from any thunderstorms that develop this afternoon.

New Satellite Image

Wouldn't you know... Just as soon as I get my blog post up on the site, the satellite sends out a new pic. This was taken at 10:15am CT.

Note the clearing taking place over southeast Missouri.

Minor Changes

If you watched Heartland News at 10pm last night you might have heard me talk about a few minor changes to the forecast for Sunday (today). It is looking like those changes are working out well.

Originally, it looked like we would see rain through much of the morning before drying out late morning. Then the new data came in from last night's computer model runs. The new data indicated some of the heavier rain would come through during the overnight/early morning and then would shut off around 8am. That seems to have been the case.

It also looked like we could see some breaks in the clouds. That again seems to be the case. Take a look at this visible satellite image. The image was taken at 9:45am CT. Note the breaks in the clouds developing.

The breaks in the clouds should allow for a quick boost to the temperatures. That could also make for an unstable afternoon.

A surface low pressure area is expected to deepen over the top of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and northwest Tennessee this afternoon. With warmer temperatures from the sun, a developing cold front passing, and the area of low pressure developing, we could see some thunderstorms developing this afternoon.

To me, it appears that the main threat from any big thunderstorms that develop will be large hail. With the area of low pressure deepening over us, there will be cold air aloft. That will aid in the development in hail.

It looks like the Storm Prediction Center is in agreement. Note their Day 1 Outlook. They have southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas in a "Slight Risk" area through tonight.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you cNews?

This post is going to be a blatant "copy/paste" from Christy Hendricks' (sorry Christ) blog. Christy is a web producer/reporter for KFVS12.

cNews - Be a part of the news

We have a new way for you to share news with us at Heartland News and the rest of the Heartland. It's cNews. Just click on the icon on our home page. You can upload your own pictures and video and view the uploads from other people. You can even rate the pics/videos and leave comments!

The Heartland is a big area and sometimes it's difficult for us to get to everything, so here's your chance to be a part of the news. If you see news happen, snap a picture, record some video. Upload it and tell us what happened. It might just make it on-air during one of our newscasts.

cNews is another way for you as a viewer to get more involved and hands on. It's also great because you can see what others submit.
If you do submit something, just know that it will take a bit to show up on the cNews page because each submission is reviewed before it is posted.
I look forward to seeing your pics and videos!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Chase WAS On

I'm sitting in the McDonald's parking lot in Calvert City, Kentucky waiting for my 6pm live shot.

I did go out and attempt a storm chase today. Although, the storms were too far to the east to catch. I made it as far east as Muhlenburg, Kentucky. At that point I realized there was no way of catching them.

Hopefully you got a chance to log on to and ride along. I was streaming video from the time I left the station till the time I pulled in to the McDonald's parking lot.

We plan on doing more of this as we continue to go through the spring severe weather season.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

1:30pm Weather Update

My previous post, I opened my mouth too soon about today's rain potential. Sometimes as meteorologists we rely too much on computer model forecast data. Now having looked at the radar, I see that indeed rain is heading our way. (The models could be a few hours too slow moving the rain in.)

Here is the radar image from 1:35pm CT. There is some rain trying to move north/northeast out of Arkansas in to southeast Missouri.

The front line of rain seems to be moving at around 21 mph. At that speed, it would start to move in to Bloomfield, Missouri around 2:40pm CT, Cape Girardeau, Missouri around 5pm CT, Carbondale, Illinois around 6:45pm CT.

Keep in mind, the initial rain activity will be light showers.

Back to Work Special - Two Storms for the Price of One

It appears that most of Easter Sunday will remain dry. If you have any outside plans, you won't need the umbrella.

That will change later this evening/tonight as storm system moves closer to the area. Rain will spread over the area overnight. Some of it could be heavy at times. There could be some rumbles of thunder with it too. However, there shouldn't be any BIG storms with the first wave.

It looks as though after the first wave passes out of the area, skies will someone clear for a few hours in the mid/late morning. That will allow temperatures to increase and allow the atmosphere to get "juiced up".

A second wave of thunderstorms is expected to develop over southeast Missouri and southwest Illinois around noon (give or take an hour or two). This line will quickly move to the east. Initially, there will be isolated/scattered thunderstorms before merging in to a squall line east of the viewing area towards central Kentucky.

The SPC has the area outlooked for severe weather Monday. The below graphic runs from 7am Monday - 7am Tuesday.

Here are the probabilities of severe weather for the same time period.

Right now, it looks like the main threat from the storms will be large hail. However, we can't rule out the possibility of a few tornadoes developing.

If I can talk the boss in to it, maybe I will see if I can go storm chasing tomorrow and stream some of the video live online. Would anyone be interested in watching?

Friday, April 10, 2009

10:50am Weather Update - Elevated Hail

Watching a storm over northern Graves County, Kentucky that has some hail in it. However, the hail is caught up in the storm around 7,000 feet.

Here is a cross section image of the storm. Note the pink area in the storm. That is where the hail would be located. The image was taken at 10:43am.

The reason the hail shows up pink is that hail has more surface area to reflect the radar beam.

10am Weather Update - Tornado WARNING

Watching storm capable of producing a tornado at any moment. It fired up in northwest Tennessee and is now in western Kentucky. It will track across the southern half of Graves County over the next 40 minutes.

Above is a radar image taken at 9:56am CT. The storm looks very "healthy" and capable of producing a tornado. Notice the hook echo in the storm. It is a text book tornado producing storm.

11:30pm Weather Update

Here is a look at the NWS radar located in Paducah, KY. The image is from 11:32pm CT.

The main threats from the line is damaging wind, deadly lightning, and heavy rain. However, we could see some small hail in a few of the cells.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tornado Watch #127

The Storm Prediction Center has issued Tornado Watch #127 for northeast Arkansas, northwest Tennessee, and Dunklin/Pemiscot counties in southeast Missouri. The watch is in effect until 5am CT.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch #128

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for parts of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky. The watch is in effect until 5am CT.

9:30pm Weather Update

I just took a closer look at some radar imagery...

The storms are approximately 60-70 miles from Ripley and Carter counties in southeast Missouri. The storms appear to be moving just slightly north of east and traveling at approximately 50 mph. That would bring the storms in to Ripley, Carter, and Reynolds counties around 11pm CT.

9pm Weather Update

Storms are rolling across southwest Missouri and western Arkansas at this hour. There are a number of Tornado Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings up and down the line.

The below image is a radar picture from the Springfield, Missouri radar site. The image was taken at 8:55pm CT.

The red polygons are Tornado Warnings and the yellow polygons are Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

Currently, there is a Tornado Watch in effect that is west of the Heartland. However, the eastern extent of the watch is up next to our western most counties (Carter, Reynolds, and Ripley). The watch is in effect until 2am CT.

I anticipate a watch of some kind (tornado or severe thunderstorm) being issued east of the current watch sometime in the next couple of hours.

As mentioned earlier, tonight is a good night to turn on your NOAA Weather Radio before you go to bed.

3pm Weather Update

At 3pm, temperatures are ranging in the 50°'s to lower 60°'s across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky. Light showers continue to move across southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. Light rain is starting to become more widespread across western Kentucky.

As previously mentioned, one of the limiting factors for severe weather today/tonight could be the lack of dew points high enough to sustain severe storms. At 3pm, dew points ranged from 36° in Paducah, KY to 47° in Poplar Bluff, MO. For severe storms, I would like to see our dew points climb to the middle 50°'s.

Saying that, dew points are rapidly climbing just south of the above mentioned area. The dew point is 54° in Dyersburg, TN and 57° in Blytheville, AR. This is an indication that there is a warm front sitting over the area. North of the front, dew points remain low. South of the warm front, dew points are higher.

Here is the latest Day 1 Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center. It runs from now through 7am Saturday. The area remains in a "Slight Risk".

The interesting note is reading further in to the discussion behind the Outlook. Here is a section from the product issued from the SPC.
They seem to be interested in the idea of embedded tornadoes inside thunderstorms with the thunderstorm complex that moves through overnight.

This will be something to keep an eye on.

Tonight will be a good night to turn on your NOAA Weather Radio before you go to bed in case there are warnings issued for your area.

Storms Tonight?

It is a gorgeous morning! I hear the birds chirping, the sun is shining and there are no clouds in the sky. (Or at least that is what I see out my window.) However, later today clouds will start rolling in and so will the chances of rain.

The Storm Prediction Center is suggesting that there could be some strong storms later today/tonight. Notice the "Slight Risk" area in the below graphic. The graphic covers 7am Friday - 7am Saturday.

The biggest threat appears to be damaging wind and hail.
However, dew points are very low (in the middle 30°'s.) We need them to be in the 50°'s before we start talking about severe weather. Looking to the south you need to go to Memphis to find the 50°'s. At 10am, the dew point in Memphis is 54°.

On a side note... Sorry about the lack of posts the last couple of days. I have been filling in on the Breakfast Show (5am-7am) a few days this week. That means my alarm clock has been going off at 2am. Not fun! I am not a morning person!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tornado Watch #117

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch for western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, southern Indiana, and parts of southern Illinois, and southeast Missouri. The watch is in effect until 6pm CT.

We Have a Hailer

Watching the radar and we have a hailer. It is moving along the St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Jefferson (MO), Randolph county lines in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

(The above radar image was taken at 10:26am CT.)

Laura Wibbenmeyer is keeping an eye on the situation at the station. She has made a couple of program interruptions to let viewers know about new Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

I'll be heading in during the early afternoon.

Storms This Afternoon?

The SPC has a "Slight Risk" for southern Illinois, western/central Kentucky, northwest/central Tennessee, central/southern Indiana. (See below graphic) The outlook from SPC runs through 7am Monday.

It looks like the best time for us to see the stronger storms will be during the afternoon (12pm-5pm).

Forecast models are bringing a jet streak through the area in a favorable way for the development of severe storms. The next graphic is a look at the winds at 500mb. (500mb is approximately 18,000 feet.) See the area of red and purple? That is an area where the winds are moving much faster, approximately 100 knots or 115 mph.

At 10am, temperatures range from the mid-50's in southern Illinois to upper 60's in western Kentucky. Dew points have climbed in to the mid-50's across much of the area.

I am not totally sold on this happening yet. What is keeping my from being sold on the severe weather is the lack of instability. There is a little bit, but not as much as I would want there to be to support the storms.

None the less, the main threat from any strong storms that develops this afternoon is large hail and damaging winds.

Get out and enjoy the warmth today! Temperatures tomorrow will be 25-30 degrees cooler!

Is This Baseball Weather?

If you are looking forward to the start of the Major League Baseball season Monday and plan to watch/go to the Cardinals' home opener, don't get too angry with the weatherman.

The weather is looking pretty lousy for opening day in St. Louis. Lousy as in COLD, not rain. Temperatures are expected to in the upper 30's Monday in St. Louis. Winds will be gusting around 30mph. It will be overcast and there could even be some snow showers.

According to Chad Fryman, first pitch Monday is set for 3:05pm CT. My early estimate as to the temperature Monday afternoon around 3:00pm would be 38 degrees. Chad will be going up to Busch Stadium for Heartland Sports and Heartland News live coverage of opening day. I told him he might want to take a scarf, gloves, a hot water bottle, etc.

By the way, this is a new graphic I made tonight during Heartland News at 10:45pm. We will probably be using it this season when we have time to highlight a Cardinals' baseball game. What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tornado Watch

The SPC has issued a Tornado Watch that includes parts of southeastern Illinois, western Kentucky, northern Tennessee, and southwestern Kentucky. The watch is in effect unil 8pm CT Thursday.

Traffic Drops After Anti-Piracy Law

Interesting article I found today.

"Web Traffic in Sweeden Drops 33% in a Single Day After New Anti-Piracy Law is Enacted"


12:25pm Weather Update

Rain moving in to southeast Missouri. So far, it is not widespread. However, as we go through the afternoon widespread showers and thunderstorms should move in from Arkansas.

The below radar image is from 12:20pm CT.

10am Weather Update - Storms Today?

There could be some big storms across parts of the US today. The majority of the big storms should stay south of the "Heartland" (southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky). However, a few of these big storms could be close. Perhaps as close as Dyersburg, TN and south.

The SPC has the "Heartland" under a "Slight Risk". There is a huge "Moderate Risk" area generally from west Tennessee and south to the Gulf Coast. See the day 1 outlook issued at 7:30am below. The day 1 outlook covers the time period through 7am Friday.

Here is the tornado threat:

Here is the hail threat:

Here is the damaging wind threat:

If we see any severe storms, it should happen sometime from 12pm-5pm this afternoon. I think the main threat around here will be large hail and damaging wind. It isn't out of the question for a tornado to spin up around here due to the surface low passing over the top of us. (The surface low generates a lot of spin to begin with.)

One thing that could limit the amount of severe thunderstorms around here is the amount of moisture to work with. At 10am, temperatures range from the upper 50's to lower 60's in the area. Dew points are only in the upper 30's to lower 40's. The dew points will need to really climb (mid 50's+) to sustain stronger thunderstorms. Dew points in Nashville, TN and Memphis, TN are currently sitting in the middle 50's.