Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On the early heat of the season for 2018!

Forsyth MO. - It was just half past 10AM on June 27, 2018 and already the outdoors temperature hung momentarily at 85 before going upwards! Adding insult to injury, the humidity was no slouch either, coming in at 62%! Area-wide, the National Weather Service had issued a heat advisory with planned readings in excess of 100 degrees by the following day. As a weather watcher of many years, I was growing a bit concerned.

My feelings were based partly on science and partly on intuition. June was coming in far above normal! (Highs were 5 degrees above normal and lows 8). When averaged, that was 6.5 degrees above the 30 year average... (And, that trend of it being warmer than normal has been going on for some time now). So, what's that mean for the coming month of July. Well, since the normal high and low for that month was 89/65 (Fahrenheit), then after applying an average 6.5 increase, you'd get 95.5 and 71.5 degrees respectively! Note that the thing about averages is that the actual temps will tend to wander around that average, with some days being higher while others could be much lower on any given day. So, while we might get a rainy day here and there that might help, we'd also get a lot of days that would see readings well above 100 degrees! [Wait! Is that what I'm forecasting for July?] No. I'm just prognosticating based on trends I've observed. It's also possible that July will turn out colder than normal, but I'm wouldn't bet the bank on that happening.

Another consideration for a really hot July would be the increased severity of any storms that might ride through an area on a frontal system or merely popup in the late afternoon. (The warmer and the moister the air packet, the faster and higher it will rise in the atmosphere). Such explosive potential is part of what can give rise to very large hail streaks, gustnadoes and the like. Oh, yes and lightening can also increase in intensity too! All in all, not a very fun scenario for those who spend time outdoors. At right, on an otherwise clear day, a couple of short-lived indicators for hail showed up at about 11AM in the morning!

The bottom line will be for everyone to be weather aware when out and about this summer. A weather radio would be a good thing to have, especially if you like to go boating.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sunday, June 24, could be interesting weather wise!

Taney County MO. - After a nice and quiet Saturday, the next day - Sunday, June 24 could prove to be anything but as the weather computers are forecasting a fast moving and energy laden storm system swooping out of Kansas into southwest Missouri early Sunday morning!

Depending on a number of factors, some unfortunate locations could see straight line winds, large hail and even tornadoes, as the frontal system sweeps through the region!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Doppler radar down in Springfield!

Anyone who might drive close to the Springfield Missouri airport may have spotted a tower with a white egg on top of it. That's the National Weather Service's Doppler radar which watches for storms all across southwestern Missouri. The trouble was that the radar went down on the 14th of June due to a storm that caused one of the 'gear joints' break, in the aging 25 year old tower. Repairs were expected to take as long as a week. Thankfully, this coincided with a period that saw few storms in the region.

In this National radar composite above, you can plainly see the gap in coverage circled in black. The other radar sites can be discerned as gray splotches.  Should repairs not finish before a major storm outbreak, the Springfield site will get assistance from other cities to try and help keep everyone from harm. When and until it's functioning again, everyone will need to be especially aware of any popup storms that might come their way!

This was the official notice published by the NWS on June 15:

The WSR-88D Doppler Radar (KSGF) at Springfield, Missouri has experienced a hardware failure and is not operational at this time. Parts have been ordered to repair the radar and National Weather

Service radar technicians will be on site this week to begin repairs. The radar will be restored to normal operation as soon as possible.

So, how long will the site be down? I'm betting it will be back up by Wednesday, June 20..But, then again, I'm an incurable optimist! Note: I did reach out, via email, to the NWS but never received a response back.... At any rate, the amount of time it takes this essential government agency to repair that device will be a good indicator of the health of the NWS!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Is Forsyth Missouri in increased wind and hail peril?

Is tornado alley moving to the east?
Forsyth MO. – In just three years, my home has been subject to three large hail events and two tornadoes! Insurance damage incurred had risen in the the thousands of dollars, leaving some folks wondering what the heck was going on?

It's really no secret that the climate is changing in front of our eyes in 2018. Global temperature averages are on the rise, and as it gets warmer, storms can develop more often with a tendency towards increased violence! That seems to be most definitely the case in my location in southwest Missouri as of late. And anyone who has ventured out in June, has certainly experienced the above average heat!

So, what's the deal? Can we expect storm system to become more numerous and severe in nature. The answer is sort of. In actuality, it isn't so much the storms themselves, as it is their locations that may be changing. And it's possible that the area of the Nation known as tornado alley may be shifting more to the east as other climate factors come into play! Dr. Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel has an interesting short video on this subject.

Traditionally, storms move more and more to the north as we enter into the summer months. It will be interesting to see if that pattern holds for the rest of 2018!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer heat already?

Forsyth MO. – With the start of summer still a week away, June 2018 has proven to feel more like July. With 7 out of 14 days topping out at or above ninety degrees, one has to wonder what July and August will look like? Of course, when one brings up the topic of global warming, it's not the daily highs that need to be watched. It's the lows at night that 'could' bode ill for planet Earth. Thus far in June, the Forsyth Missouri area has averaged about six degrees above the 30 year historical average! And, as I've looked back over the prior months and years, the temps have 'most always' been at least two to three degrees warmer than that average, month after month.... year after year...
So, does that really mean anything to us in the short term? Yes, it does but most individuals would rather keep their heads buried in the sand on this issue. What they may not be able to handle, however, it the simple fact that when the nightly temperatures start to hang out in the mid 70's in a consistent manner and over a period of months – Well, the daily highs can then springboard up rather quickly to the nineties and beyond. And often, when you see this form of scalar temperature profile (one that always seems to be headed upward), the storms that tend to develop get even more severe than what we've all grown accustomed to! (In my home location, just this year thus far, we've already had a major hail storm and a tornado!

[Note: Looking back over just the last three years – Two F0 tornadoes and three hail storms that have totaled over seven thousand dollars in damage to me, or more specifically, my insurance company)!] Is the worst yet to come? Stay tuned!

Other than that, please enjoy your summer and let's all hope for a cool spell....