Archive for September, 2006

A sad day….
September 30, 2006

My Aggies were on their way to pull off a victory over Texas Tech until the last 2 minutes of the game. When we scored the field goal, I really knew a touchdown would be needed against their explosive offense. Unfortunately my fear became a reality as Tech upset us. I guess the good news is that we played more like a team than we have in a long time and for the most part, the coaching calls on the field were pretty good. We will go into our next game with a 4-1 record and hopefully will only do better for the rest of the season.
Gig’em Class ’96


Warm Pattern
September 29, 2006

A cool/chilly start to the day, but south winds are already blowing and warmer air is on the way. In fact, the pattern for the next several days will be quite warm with a high to very high fire danger across the state.

TODAY: Look for a quick warm up as south winds blow at 15 to 25 mph. Afternoon temperatures will climb into the 80s.

TONIGHT: The winds decrease under a clear sky. Lows will be mostly in the 50s.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Very warm, if not just plain hot, and dry. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s Saturday with upper 80s to low 90s on Sunday. Not much wind Saturday, but Sunday will be windy with southerly gusts around 30 mph. With the strong winds and low humidity, the fire danger will be very high.

EXTENDED FORECAST: Mainly dry for the next seven days with above normal temps in the 80s. An upper ridge takes hold over the southern Plains next week while a trough develops over the far west. That pattern could easily hold all the way through next weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone. Spend time with your families and enjoy the warm weather.


National Weather Center Ceremony Today
September 29, 2006

Today is the official dedication/ceremony of the opening of the new National Weather Center down in Norman. The massive complex houses the National Weather Service, the Severe Storms laboratory, the Storm Prediction Center, and many other government and private businesses. Several government big wigs will be in town for the event.

Fall’s Many Faces
September 28, 2006

Beautiful weather today. Sunshine with a cool north breeze and temperatures in the 60s to lower 70s. But don’t get used to it, autumn is about to change its tune.

TONIGHT: A cool, if not chilly night is in store. High pressure will move across the state lowering the winds and allowing temperatures to drop into the 40s and 50s. Winds will swing around to the south after midnight as the high slips to our east.

FRIDAY: Plan on a breezy to windy day with sunshine and a warming trend. Highs will be in the upper 70s to lower 80s. South winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

THE WEEKEND: very warm to almost hot and dry with highs in the mid 80s to low 90s. Not much wind on Saturday, but Sunday will be windy with southerly gusts around 30 mph.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change…mainly very warm and dry with a high fire danger. Highs in the 85 to 90 range with a gusty south wind, especially Monday and Tuesday.


The Fall Garden
September 28, 2006

Over the past few weeks, I have planted my fall garden. I start by taking up the summer plants that were burned by the drought, or have stopped producing. I started broccoli and cauliflower from seed, planted some green beans from seeds as well. This past weekend I put in 12 lettuce plants that will give me greens… this replaces my swiss chard from the summer.

I also planted some carrot seeds a few weeks ago, and only about half of them came up. Yesterday while I was at the Edmond farmer’s market, I found out why. I was talking with one of the farmers, and mentioned that I recently put carrots in the ground, and he asked me how I germinated them. I told him that I just put the seeds in the ground and asked why he asked. He said that carrots need a moist ground while the seeds germinate, and with our warm, dry weather, you really need to make sure the soil stays moist, or else they won’t grow. That explains why I only get half of them to grow.

If you like garlic, this is your chance to try an easy winter garden. Buy some garlic at the market, break it into individual cloves, and plant them in the ground (upright – about an inch deep, 4 inches apart). I usually plant at the beginning of October, and in May or June, you will have a fresh garlic bulb for each clove you planted. When the stalk flops over, it is ready to pick. Hang the garlic in a cool-dry place to dry out, and it will last for a long time. I still have a box full of garlic from this past spring.

Even though it is cooling down, remember to keep gardening! Our first freeze does not come until the first week of November, on average.

There’s A Cold Front Out There
September 27, 2006

It’s hard to tell by stepping outside, but a cold front is moving across the state. Actually, it’s more of a wind shift than anything. Winds have shifted from southwest to north. Temperatures will still climb into the 80s this afternoon despite the front. The real cool down will come tonight as temps fall back into the 40s and 50s across the state. You’ll definitely feel the cooler weather tomorrow with state highs in the 60s and 70s.

As far as rain chance are concerned, the best chance is a low chance in the east later today. Otherwise it looks like we’ll stay dry into the weekend.


September 27, 2006

An important weather research tool is being retired after 35 years of service. The T-28 storm penetrating aircraft operated by the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has been gathering hard to get information by flying through mature thunderstorms. The T-28 is a military trainer aircraft, but was modified with armor that allows the plane to withstand strong winds, hail and lightning. This plane flew through thunderstorms in Oklahoma, as well as other states in the plains, over the Rockies, and in Canada and Switzerland. During the dangerous flights into thunderstorms, this plane encountered extreme turbulence, updraft winds to 115 mph, hail larger than 2 inches in diameter and was struck by lightning numerous times. Through 35 years of core punching, this plane never had any problems related to storm penetration.

Global Warming the next "catch phrase"
September 26, 2006

It doesn’t take long for the media to latch onto a catch phrase on a hot topic that affects many. In this particular case, it’s global warming. We are asked all of the time if we believe this is occurring or not. Each meteorologist will have his or her own opinion. All I can do is speak for myself. Do I think the earth is warming? Sure, why not. Then again, the earth warms and cools all the time. It’s part of it’s cycle to ensure balance. Do I think man is causing it to happen this time? No, I don’t. Do I think man has some influence on global factors? Yes, I do. Enough to create chaos, no, not even close.

To visualize how insignificant we are when compared to the big picture, imagine looking down at your shoe from standing up. Now focus to the right of your shoe onto the ground. Do you see that little flea? You do? Do you think that flea is going to have any influence on you? Sure it may bite you, but what happens? You go on about your way. The earth looks at us the same way. Sure we can be a nuisance, but we can never impose our will.

But you say, what about a nuclear war? Well, that’s much different, and for the case of argument non related to global warming, I’ll entertain the idea. A nuclear war around the world would end our species for sure, not because we’ve changed the earth, just that we added too much at one time for the earth to disperse. Winds would carry the radiational fallout from one place to the next. Eventually, like your home air conditioning filter, the atmosphere and the cyclical processes would clear out the air. How long would it take? Who knows, depends on how bad the war would be.

Back on topic, just remember like everything you hear, take it with a grain a salt. Remember there are two camps to this issue and each has their good and bad points. According to the pro-warming camp, it’s too late and we’re all doomed anyway. Which begs the question, then why bother? Well, don’t worry, I don’t think we’re doomed and neither does a few people on the Senate Floor. I want you to read a very informational letter from our nation’s leaders. The pro-warming cries are answered with sound logic and science. Trust me, it’s worth the read.


Warming Trend
September 26, 2006

Not as cool out there this morning as low temperatures were in the 40s and 50s, but have quickly warmed into the 60s and 70s as of 9:30 am. We’ll stay with this warming trend through tomorrow before a cold front moves through tomorrow night.

TODAY: A beautiful fall day is in store with abundant sunshine and a southwest breeze of 10 to 15 mph. Highs temperatures will be in the middle 80s.

TONIGHT: Generally clear with lows in the 50s and 60s.

TOMORROW: Another warm day with highs in the mid to perhaps upper 80s. A cold front will move into northern Oklahoma by late afternoon with a few clouds but not much in the way of moisture.

TOMORROW NIGHT: The cold front moves through the rest of Oklahoma. While moisture will be limited, a couple of showers will be possible, mainly in the east and northeast. Lows will bein the 40s and 50s.

THURSDAY: Much cooler behind the front with highs in the low to mid 70s.

FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Temperatures will rebound as a southerly flow return for Friday and Saturday. Highs will be back in the upper 70s. A weak front may move through late Saturday or early Sunday, but rain chances look minimal at this time.

All in all a pretty quiet weather pattern. The tropics are calm and no huge storms loom on the horizon. Enjoy the tranquility.


3/4 Inch Hail & 58 mph Winds
September 26, 2006

The definition of a severe thunderstorm is a storm that produces hail of 3/4 of an inch diameter or greater, or wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. Ever wonder how these criteria were chosen? Engineering studies show that hail less than one inch in diameter rarely causes roof damage, and we can get 58 mph winds on a sunny day in Oklahoma. A severe thunderstorm with the bare minimum criteria will not cause much more damage than a few downed tree limbs.

To find out why these levels were chosen for a severe thunderstorm, we must look to the aviation industry. Back in the 1950s and 1960s when severe thunderstorm watches were first issued, there were actually two different types of watches. The Aviation Severe Thunderstorm Watch had a wind criteria of 50 mph, while the Public Severe Thunderstorm Watch had a wind criteria of 75 mph. To reduce confusion, these two were combined in 1970, and the wind criteria was compromised to 58 mph (50 knots).

The hail criteria is also linked to aviation. A study in 1952 concluded that the smallest hail that causes significant damage to an aircraft at plane speeds between 200-300 mph is 3/4 of an inch diameter hail. The 3/4 inch criteria has stuck ever since.

There has been an attempt recently to change the hail size criteria to one inch, but 3/4 inch remains.