Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Comments Answered & Severe Weather Facts

In my Feb. 15 post there were a few questions asked -- I am sorry I didn't get to them in a timely manner. I spent the weekend doing taxes and resting.

One question was about heavy rain and if the funnel and inner cylinder should be removed for an accurate reading. This observer was hoping to prevent loss of data from splash.

I personally would leave the funnel and cylinder in -- the splash is going to be very minor compared to the overall precipitation catch.

Now if you are anticipating hail, you could remove the funnel and inner cylinder. In this case, it'd be fascinating to have 2 gauges outside in the storm -- one to catch rain in the normal setup (with funnel on) and one to catch hail (without funnel).

You could then see the difference between the two and potentially tell how much extra water falls in the form of ice (or hail) during a thunderstorm.

The other question was about some unusual clouds in the sky. The person who left the comment is named HPH. Where are you located? That would be helpful.

One observer from Oshkosh, Wisconsin left a comment back for HPH attempting to help him figure out what type of clouds they were. And it was definitely a cold weather answer -- which could be the case.

But honestly, my first thought when I read the comment was mammatus clouds -- which are going to happen in a warmer climate near severe thunderstorms.

So if you will leave another comment sometime with your location, or if you have a picture of the clouds, we'll be glad to try and help you figure it out.


So do you think the severe weather we have seen so far in February is a sign of things to come?

According to the Storms Prediction Center (SPC) and their online storm reports database, there have been over 1,000 reports of severe weather since February 1.

Of those, half were on Super Tuesday. (Feb 5)

There have been 210 tornado reports, 272 hail reports and 554 high wind reports.

Of those 210 tornado reports, nearly 100 have been verified.

I found an awesome link online (a work in progress) that is recapping the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak.

Click here to read it.

I am sure there were more than 272 instances of hail during the recent severe weather events.

Hail is a weather variable that the data is highly searched for (esp. by insurance agencies) but very rarely recorded.

Unless a report makes it to the National Weather Service, or gets documented by a CoCoRaHS observer, it really isn't anywhere official.


  1. Chris, as soon as I read your thought about what type of clouds HPH was describing... a light went on and I automatically thought "Yes, that's got to be it." and this came to mind. I believe I would have been referencing Altocumulus with my cold weather scenario. I am uncertain though, my cloud knowledge is limited. Fun entry!


  2. Chris,

    Sorry about the initials, HPH is Howard P. Howard, CoCoRah volunteer from Live Oak, Texas. OSNW3(from Wisconsin I believe)came close. This peculiar cloud formation occurred on this past Monday afternoon at approximately 4:00 PM. The Temperature was about 65-68 degrees, winds were refreshing, Skies were scattered clouds. We were headed due south with the sun now coming from the west. These particular clouds were visisble looking South and West. The clouds were not excessively high or low. Sunshine was aboundant.

  3. HPH, I searched and searched the Internet for what I saw in my mind from your description and that was the best I could find. There has to be better photos of Altocumulus clouds available on the Internet. There are many days in WI that I see a sky of what you described. I will take a picture the next time it occurs. I am thinking Autumn.