Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coming to you in HD

Did you notice that KFVS12 and Heartland News is now being broadcast in HD? They debuted the new set and HD equipment today during Heartland News at Noon. The set looks great! Wait until you see all the background changes that can be done with the set.

A lot of work and planning has gone on behind the scenes at the station to get the switch complete. A brand new set had to be designed, built, shipped and installed. Not to mention the HUGE expense of a new set ($$). All new television broadcast equipment had to be ordered, delivered and installed. Some of the new things include HD monitors, new switcher, graphics computers, wiring, lights, etc. I can tell you that the planning has been going on for months and, in some cases, years. Great job to everyone in the Engineering and News departments at KFVS.

I am going to be filling in for weather this Saturday, July 30 on Heartland News at 6pm, Heartland News at 9pm and Heartland News at 10pm. So you will soon get to see me in HD. I apologize in advance for having to see me in HD. It could be a scary!

I have gotten a lot of questions asked if I am coming back to KFVS12. I am not going back to KFVS12 full time. Before I left, I told the station I would be willing fill in for an occasional Saturday shift until they find a person to fill my old position. This is more of an occasional thing, not permanent.

On a side note: I have been a little slow at updating my forecast page. I am still in the process of getting moved in to a place in St. Louis. In fact, I am playing a game of musical hotels until my place is ready. Once I get settled in I will be able to get in to a routine of updating the forecasts on a daily basis.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Here's...... Johnny! 7/22

You will get to see me make an appearance on Heartland News/KFVS12 tomorrow (Saturday, July 23). I am filling in for the day while the other weather people get a well deserved day off.

You can see me starting with The Weekend Breakfast Show from 6am-7am. Then I'll be on Heartland News at 6pm, Heartland News at 9pm on Fox23 and on Heartland News at 10pm. (All times listed in CT.)

It has been a month since I was last on the air giving the weather forecast so hopefully I haven't forgotten how to do it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Heat is On 7/19

Glen Frey had it right. "The Heat is On". Temperatures have been hovering in the 90°'s and 100° for the last five to six days across the country. Heat warnings, advisories and or watches are in effect for 26 counties in the United States. Right now, it appears that the heat won't be going away anytime soon.

(Click on the image to see a larger view.)

The upper-level high pressure, I mentioned a couple days ago, is slowly progressing eastward across the middle section of the country. Did I mention it was moving slow?? It is going to take several days for it to move east of the Midwest. In the mean time, temperatures will continue to flirt with the 100° mark.

Along with the heat, moisture is abundant in the lower levels of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the moisture isn't in the way of rain. It is mainly in the form of thick, humid air. Currently, there is a broad area of dew points in the middle to upper 70° that stretches from North Daktoa to southwest Ohio. Amazingly, the Minneapolis airport has a recorded dew point of 82°. This makes it the most humid day for Minneapolis since 1891. The heat index at 2pm CT is 110°+ from eastern Iowa through north central Illinois and in north central South Dakota.

High temperatures will continue to climb a couple of degrees each day through the weekend. The one bit of good news is the air won't get much humid than it is now. To get a look at my latest forecast for Cape Girardeau, Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Louis check out "John's Forecast".

The heat can be extremely dangerous. Many don't realize this but heat is the leading weather cause of death in the United States. Often times it isn't the first couple of days in a heat wave that deaths occur, it is usually after several days when the temperatures don't drop much at night. It is a cumulative effect. Unfortunately deaths have already occurred from the heat in the St. Louis area and when dealing with this type of heat, that number is likely to go up. Stay safe. Check on your neighbors. Check on the elderly. Stay cool!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Airfare Price ALERT 7/15

AIRFARE PRICE ALERT: Delta Airlines has some pretty good deals right now. If you fly from St. Louis, Missouri (STL) to Tampa, Florida (TPA) in September and October you can go for as little as $138 round trip including taxes.

I don't know how long the deal is good for and I don't know if the price is good for other times of the year, i.e. if you look at November or December. I imagine the prices are higher then as you get out of hurricane season and in to the winter season.

I am thinking about taking up the deal and flying down to Tampa for the Indianapolis Colts vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Monday Night football game.

If you know me, you know I LOVE to travel. Not just travel, but find good (and cheap) deals for travel. To me, half the enjoyment of a trip is the planning and purchasing process.

Heat Returns 7/15

We have had a little break from the oppressive heat over the last couple days. It is still hot out, just not as bad as it was. Plus, we've had a little break from the humidity.

Forecast models are advertising hot air building back east of the Rocky Mountains and central Plains. An area of high pressure will establish itself in the upper levels of the atmosphere. This upper-level high is going to allow for temperatures to likely climb higher than the models are indicating at this time.

Over time, this upper-level high, a.k.a. Hot Dome, will move to the east over Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

Here is a look at the European Forecast Agency's computer forecast model's projection for 7pm CT Wednesday, July 20.

(Click the image to see a larger version.)

What you are looking at is the atmosphere at 500mb (approximately 18,000 feet). This is the level that I am looking at for the upper-level high. You can see it centered over St. Louis. It is the area inside of the 594 line.

With high pressure, air sinks. As it sinks it compresses. When a gas, in this case air, compresses it heats. This is what usually causes extremely high temperatures in the summer. Since the high will be right over the Midwest, temperatures will likely be high.

Here is a look at forecast temperatures by the European model for the same time frame.

(Click the image to see a larger version.)

The image is showing the temperature in Celsius at 850mb or approximately 5,000 feet up in the atmosphere.

Most likely the computer models do not have a good grasp of the higher temperatures just yet. I suspect we'll see the models trending warmer for next week over the weekend.

Highs will likely top out in the upper 90°'s to maybe 100° by mid-week. The timing of the heat obviously depends on how quickly the upper-level high moves in to the Midwest. Regardless, have your air conditioners, water bottles, pools, slip-n-slides and fans ready to go for next week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Continued Hot

At 11am CT, heat indices have hit 100° or higher for southern Illinois, western Kentucky and parts of southeast Missouri.

A frontal boundary has stalled out just north of St. Louis. There could be some storm development from the St. Louis area down through southern Illinois later today. I think storms could fire around 4pm CT. A few strong to severe storms will be possible. Main threat: damaging wind (from collapsing storms) and heavy rain due to their slow movement.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2011

Its Sweating Time

It is going to be a story you hear talked about on the national news for a couple of days. It is getting hot outside! Temperatures across the Midwest this afternoon are climbing to the middle 90's to 100° while the heat index climbs above the century mark.

High temperatures of the day:
  • St. Louis: 100°
  • Cape Girardeau*: 98°
  • Marion, IL*: 97°
  • Paducah*: 97°
  • Louisville*: 96°
  • Indianapolis*: 95°
  • Columbus, IN*: 95°
*Temperatures are indicating hourly observation high temperatures. Official highs for the day will come in later this evening.

Along with the high temperatures, dew points have climbed in to middle 70's (even 80° around Louisville). This is creating heat indices (the feel like temperature) in the 110°-115° range across much of the Midwest. Remember that the dew point is a specific measure of the moisture in the air. Dew point is much more accurate at depicting how humid it is compared to the relative humidity. I know, it sounds weird but its true.

A cold front will slowly move south across the Midwest Tuesday. It should allow for some slightly cooler, less humid air to move in to central Indiana and the St. Louis metro area. However, places like southeast Missouri, western Kentucky and places further south may see a slight increase in temperatures tomorrow as the air is compressed along the front. Typically, air just along and ahead of the front will get warmer than forecast models indicate.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Instant Watch & Warning Information

I am in the process of setting up a system so you can receive severe weather watches and warnings. You can access the watches and warnings via Twitter of Facebook. Most importantly, the service will be FREE of charge.

Not all counties will be available. Initially, I am going to start with a smaller number of higher populated counties from southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky. I am also going to include a couple counties from the St. Louis area and central Indiana.

Counties Included:
  • Illinois: Jackson, Saline, Williamson
  • Indiana: Bartholomew, Brown, Hamilton, Marion
  • Kentucky: Calloway, Graves, McCracken
  • Missouri: Butler, Cape Girardeau, Scott, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Scott, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, St. Louis (city)
If there are counties that you would like for me to include, please leave a comment and suggest the county/state.

To get alerts via Facebook. In order to get the watches and warnings you need to like my "John Dissauer" fan page. The alerts will then show up in your Facebook Newsfeed as soon as they are sent out.

To get alerts via Twitter. Follow @johnwxalert to have the watches and warnings instantly sent over Twitter.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Watch #588

The Storm Prediction Center has issued Severe Thunderstorm Watch #588 for eastern Missouri and south central Illinois. The watch is in effect until 8:00pm CT Sunday.

A few of the communities included in the watch include: Missouri: Chesterfield, Columbua, Farmington, O'Fallon, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve; Illinois: Belleville, Centralia, Du Quoin, Edwardsville, Effingham, Flora and Mt. Vernon.

Thunderstorms are beginning to flare up in the watch area along a weak front. Heating of the day is allowing the atmosphere to become unstable. Combine the instability and a lifting mechanism (the front) and you can get several strong thunderstorms.

The main severe weather threat will be hail. The storms will also be capable of producing heavy downpours. A few of the thunderstorms could produce some strong winds as storms collapse.

The thunderstorms are expected to move east at 25-30 mph.

Remember that you can check out the radar and the latest warnings by using the tabs at the top of my page.