Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flood Safety Awareness

March 17-21 was flood safety awareness week here in the USA.

Click here for a great website full of information and additional resources.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Floods Carry House Into Bridge

I came across some amazing raw video as flood waters carry a house down the White River in Arkansas.

As the house moves along the river, it approaches a bridge.

Click here to see what happens.

It just shows the power of water and Mother Nature!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chilly Start To Spring

Frost and freeze warnings were posted over the weekend deep into the southern states. A chilly northwest flow of winds aloft will keep the cool temps in place one more day.

Warmer weather will spread north this week on southerly winds. Portions of Texas will see 80s and a few 90s believe it or not.

60s and 70s will spread as far north as the Mason Dixon line.

If you aren't quite ready for the warmer weather, head north to the states along the Canadian border -- where highs this week will be in the 30s and 40s.

And for those in the north, hoping for warmth -- just hold on a bit, it will be here soon enough.

The sun angle continues to climb higher and higher with each passing day. That will help spread the warmer air further north in the days and weeks to come.

Speaking of the sun, have you ever tracked it's position in the sky to see just how much it changes over say the period of 2 weeks?

If you want to conduct a small, fun experiment -- click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Southern Deluge; Kudos For Intense Reports

Hey everyone, sorry it has been a week since I last posted.

Work got really hectic for me last week with some management in town. The visits went well and so did my event for Macys and Dillards.

We are relaunching DKNY and Kenneth Cole dress shirts this season and I was fortunate enough to get funding from my company to throw a nice sit down dinner party/training at an upscale restaurant in the Denver area.

OK ENOUGH with my life and on to the weather.

WAY TO GO on filing 3 dozen intense rain reports on Tuesday -- reports came from Texas to Indiana. GREAT INFORMATION!

By the way, YOU WILL HAVE to check out the daily comment reports and precipitation totals from Missouri and vicinity today.

Although I am writing this several hours in advance, I can almost assure you they will be impressive.

A widespread swath of heavy rain has drenched northern and central Arkansas, extending up into southern Missouri, Illinois and western Kentucky.

I have seen at least a dozen reports in the 5 to 10 inch range so far from these locations on the National Weather Service storm reports.

Having lived in a dry climate for so long now I forgot what it is like to see that much rain.

Many locations here in the west see that much in an entire year, with a portion falling as snow!

They are definitely seeing some flooding and will deal with this on the rivers for several days to come in that part of the world(esp. downstream on the Mississippi).

Here in Colorado, we would have done lost everything if that much rain fell at once. We float away during summer time storms that drop an inch of two!!

You can bet it will be a green spring in the southern plains and lower Mississippi River Valley -- with plenty of BUGS this year I am sure!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weather Stations - For The Home

Bill in Missouri asked me about home weather stations. One that is of good quality and will broadcast to the web.

Not to pass the buck, but this isn't really an area I am good with. I only own old fashioned, manually checked weather instruments.

One of our fellow CoCoRaHS'ians is a HUGE weather nut, and owns something like 3 different weather stations at his home. He has a website called weatherbuff.comand is really in the know about home weather stations.

Check out his website, and drop him an email. His name is Steve Hamilton.

Monsoon Season -- Now It's Defined

Well if you have any knowledge about the climate of the desert southwest and the southern Rockies, you know about the annual monsoon season.

Yes, there really is a monsoon -- just like the one each year in India and vicinity.

A monsoon has nothing to do with rain or thunderstorms, although it creates both.

The definition of a monsoon is a seasonal shift in the wind pattern, plain and simlpe.

Here in the US, this season wind shift brings southwesterly winds up from the Pacific Coast of Mexico, with moisture sometimes reaching as far north as southern Idaho and Wyoming -- maybe further north on a good day.

The North American Monsoon, or Mexican Monsoon, is declared active each year once Phoenix records a daily dewpoint of 55 degrees or higher on 3 consecutive days, and Tucson sees a 54 degree dewpoint or higher on 3 consecutive days.

The average start date is right around July 3. The earliest start was on June 17, 2000 and the latest was July 25, 1987.

Well that is all history starting this year. The National Weather Service has decided it is in the best interest of safety for all who live in the monsoon region to define a "season" for the weather activity, much like we have a defined hurricane season.

Which if you think about it, really isn't a bad idea. It gives those who live in the area a little time to prepare before the season gets underway.

Thunderstorms that form during the monsoon are often short-lived but intense, and because they form over areas that are typically dry, the result is a lot of unexpected flash floods.

Lightning is also a huge hazard. These aren't the type of thunderstorms that typically produce tornadoes, although it can happen, esp. the further away you get from the actual core of the monsoon, such as in eastern Colorado.

Beginning this summer, the annual monsoon season will start on June 15 and run through September 30.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

March Roaring For Some

Another large storm is winding up this morning across the south-central plains.

Most of the country (along and east of the Mississippi) will get hit with precipitation now through the weekend.

Strong to severe thunderstorms will roam the skies from southeast Texas along the Gulf Coast into the southeast this weekend.

We don't need the storms, but soaking rains will be welcome in the drought-stricken southeast.

Hopefully we can get some gully-washers right over Lake Linear in Georgia and Falls Lake in North Carolina -- which serve the Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham metro areas respectively.

On the back side of this storm system, a band of snow will form from Dallas to Little Rock and St. Louis.

There will be a bullseye of heavy snow somewhere in the vicinity of eastern Oklahoma and western to central Arkansas.

Some may see up to a foot.

By the weekend, heavy rain, ice and snow will move into New England.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Severe Weather Hits Nation

The weather will quiet down today after severe thunderstorms impacted much of the south on Monday and Tuesday.

Thankfully this event was mostly wind and hail with plenty of heavy rain -- some places really needed the rain while others didn't.

In portions of Arkansas, up to 5 inches of rain fell and then as the colder air moved in, up to 11 inches of snow fell -- just to the west and northwest of Little Rock.

There were a few tornadoes, but nothing like the outbreaks we have seen in recent days.

As the storm system moved up the east coast, it brought some severe storms to New England early Wednesday.

60 to 72 mph winds were reported across Rhode Island, and wind damage reports came out of Massachusettes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another Large Storm

Well here in Denver, we have went from a record high of 74 degrees on Saturday to 27 degrees with blowing snow less than 24 hours later.

The snow would be considered light to moderate if it weren't for the winds. They are sustained in the 30s and gusting to near 50 mph at times.

It is slowing travel a little but not stopping it. I think it is worse on the roads than in the air.

My house is in the southern approach path to Denver International Airport, and those planes have been coming over constantly all morning.

For those not familiar with Colorado weather, this is pretty typical stuff for us for this time of year. 40 to 50 degree temperature swings in 24 hours are just a way of life.

Weather here is very dramatic, largely made possible by the Rocky Mountains and Denver's relation to that wall of rock. It is any meteorologist's dream.

The same storm system impacting us today will move across the nation over the next few days, bringing a large area of wintry precipitation from Oklahoma and the Ozarks all the way up to the Great Lakes.

Ahead of the front, strong to severe thunderstorms will form later today and rumble into early next week.

The lower Mississippi River Valley will could see a few doozies by late Monday, with a few tornadoes not out of the question.