Archive for April, 2007

Air Quality Awareness Week
April 30, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared this week air quality awareness week. Each day, Monday through Friday, has a different air quality or air pollution topic. The National Weather Service’s website http://www.epa.gov/airnow/airaware/ has links where you can find out more information about each day’s topic. The theme of this year’s Air Quality Awareness Week is “Be Air Aware: Keep an Eye on the AQI.”

Monday: Ozone and Particle Pollution
Tuesday: What Causes Poor Air Quality
Wednesday: Keeping Your Lungs and Heart Safe
Thursday: How to get Current Air Quality Info
Friday: What You Can Do To Make Air Cleaner

For current air quality indexes updated every day, check out the NOAA Air Quality Forecast Guide at http://www.airnow.gov/.

Happy Monday!

Kara Bolognini
Weather Intern

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Police officer survives direct hit by tornado
April 30, 2007

Officer tried to leave car before tornado hit it

LAPORTE, Ind. — A police officer whose squad car was swept up and tossed 120 feet by a tornado told supervisors she tried to flee the car as the storm neared but its doors wouldn’t open.

LaPorte County Police Detective Shayna Mireles said that just before a tornado packing winds of 110 miles per hour struck north of LaPorte on Thursday, she tried getting out of her car, but the doors would not open due to the outside air pressure.

At that moment, she saw the tornado, which lifted her car over a 4-foot high fence, causing it to land on its front end, then roll several times, coming to rest upside down 120 feet away.

Mireles suffered cuts and bruises, including a big cut on her forehead and a black eye.

She told the Post-Tribune on Friday from her room at LaPorte Hospital that she’s doing fine, but didn’t want to talk about her experience in detail until she left.

Just before her car became airborne, Mireles calmly called 911 to report turbulent weather.
“There are trees coming down everywhere here,” she said in that call.

A few minutes later, after her violent brush with the tornado, her voice was more frantic.
“I’m trapped in my car. It’s upside down,” Mireles told the dispatcher.

A Valparaiso University meteorologist said Mireles is lucky to be alive because motorists whose cars are struck by tornadoes most often die.

“It’s relatively common that people get killed in vehicles in tornadoes. It’s not a good place to be,” said Bart Wolf, chairman of the school’s geography and meteorology department.

Mireles was headed home after attending a daylong child-abuse seminar when the tornado roared along a county road north of U.S. 20, scooping up her squad car.

LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said Mireles’ police car was severely damaged.

“I don’t think there’s a piece of sheet metal that’s straight on it,” he said. “She’s in pretty good humor, but she still has got a lot of pain.”

According to LaPorte County Emergency Management, a representative from the federal bureau of Homeland Security was assisting Friday in surveying the damage.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070428/LOCAL/704280557
AT

Storms Developing
April 30, 2007

Storms are developing along the I-35 cooridor. The atmosphere is very unstable especially in the Eastern half of the state.

I had my meteorology students here at the college brief me on what they thought the weather would be like around Oklahoma today and Tuesday. They say it will RAIN…I AGREE!!

The nice weather of the weekend is over, now enjoy the rain.

Prof. Steve Carano

Eagle Pass Tornado Rated
April 30, 2007

The National Weather Service in Austin and San Antonio recently sent out a report on the Eagle Pass tornado that resulted fatalities right along the Texas-Mexico border last Tuesday.

They found that the tornado was an EF-3 on the new Enhanced Fujia Scale with a path width of one-quarter mile and a path length near one mile.

The max winds estimated in the tornado were around 150 mph.

Besides tornadoes, the supercell thunderstorm also produced golf ball size hail and outflow winds (non-tornadic) around 80 to 100 mph.
Here is a look at radar reflectivity (some of the colors associated with lighter precipitation are removed) and velocity from the thunderstorm:

There is definitely a classic supercell structure with the thunderstorm and a velocity couplet (area where green and reds are next to each other) associated with the tornado.

You can read more of the report by clicking here.

Vivek
Weather Intern

A Wet Week Ahead
April 30, 2007

April showers are moving through parts of the state right now. It’s a sign of things to come. This week will be unsettled with periods of showers and thunderstorms today through Thursday. The severe weather risk is rather low, although a gusty thunderstorm can’t be ruled out at just about any time. A greater risk will be heavy rain. Parts of the state could have more than 4 inches of rain over the next several days.

Our rain will be caused by a series of upper level storm systems that will move slowly through the southern Plains. Right now Friday looks dry, but more showers and storms will again be possible over the weekend into next week.

For a complete video explanation of our weather over the next few days check out today’s version of Hardcore Weather.

Rick

Expert claims global warming is natural
April 29, 2007

Yet another scientist speaks up against the bandwagon.
http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=106708

Global Warming Natural, Says Expert

Addresses Vatican Seminar on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Scientists might not have human behavior to blame for global warming, according to the president of the World Federation of Scientists.

Antonio Zichichi, who is also a retired professor of advanced physics at the University of Bologna, made this assertion today in an address delivered to an international congress sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The conference, which ends today, is examining “Climate Change and Development.”

Zichichi pointed out that human activity has less than a 10% impact on the environment.

He also cited that models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view. The U.N. commission was founded in 1988 to evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans.

Zichichi, who is also member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, showed that the mathematical models used by the IPCC do not correspond to the criteria of the scientific method.

He said that the IPCC used “the method of ‘forcing’ to arrive at their conclusions that human activity produces meteorological variations.”

The physicist affirmed that on the basis of actual scientific fact “it is not possible to exclude the idea that climate changes can be due to natural causes,” and that it is plausible that “man is not to blame.”

To that end, Zichichi explained how the motor of meteorology depends on natural phenomena. He gave as an example the “energy sent by the sun and volcanic activity that spits out lava and enormous quantities of substances in the atmosphere.”

He also reminded those present that 500,000 years ago the Earth lost the North and South Poles four times. The poles disappeared and reformed four times, he said.

Zichichi said that in the end he is not convinced that global warming is caused by the increase of emissions of “greenhouse gases” produced through human activity.

Climate changes, he said, depend in a significant way on the fluctuation of cosmic rays.

AT

What to do today?
April 29, 2007

Well, the weather was excellent yesterday and today will be just as good. A little warmer and maybe a little more wind by afternoon.

The Memorial Marathon hasn’t seen any problems this morning in downtown OKC. The weather has really cooperated for the Arts Fesitval too.

However, this is the last day of really nice weather. The rest of this week looks unsettled with the threat of rain showers and thunderstorms just about every day.

Now the real question, what to do today!? I don’t need to mow, the flower garden has been weeded and I don’t play golf. If I were in McAlester my dad and I would go fishing. It looks like today we will be celebrating my nephew Logan’s birthday in Edmond. He turns 8.

Whatever you plan on doing today, the weather will not be an issue.

Enjoy,

Steve Carano

Scientists say GW debate has become irrational
April 28, 2007

The current debate about global warming is “completely irrational,” and people need to start taking a different approach, say two Ottawa scientists.

Carleton University science professor Tim Patterson said global warming will not bring about the downfall of life on the planet.

Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that “changes in the brightness of the sun” are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the “Little Ice Age” in the late 19th century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.

“I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we’re about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere,” said Patterson. “The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it’s not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles.”

Patterson explained CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food.

Billions of taxpayers’ dollars are spent to control the emissions of this benign gas, in the mistaken belief that they can stop climate change, he said.

“The only constant about climate is change,” said Patterson.

Patterson said money could be better spent on places like Africa.

“All the money wasted on Kyoto in a year could provide clean drinking water for Africa,” said Patterson. “We’re into a new era of science with the discussion of solar forces. Eventually, Kyoto is going to fall by the wayside. In the meantime, I’m worried we’re going to spend millions that could have been spent on something better like air pollution.”

Tom Harris, executive director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project – an organization that attempts to debunk some of the popular beliefs about climate change – supported Patterson’s findings.

global warming assertions are based on inconclusive evidence put forth in science reports that had not been published yet, he said.

“The media takes (inconclusive) information that only suggests there could be a climate problem and turns it into an environmental catastrophe,” said Harris.

“They continually say we only have 10 years left, and they’ve been saying it for 20 years, and it’s ridiculous,” he said. “The only reason I got involved in talking to media is that I think our resources are being mismanaged.

“Go after something real and tangible like air pollution.”

After hearing a second scientist say climate change is part of a natural cycle, Elaine Kennedy – a local environmental activist – is interested in investigating the issue further.

She looks forward to examining scientific reports that will be published in a couple of months by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The problem may not be climate change, but the problem is still pollution,” said Kennedy.

She’s not alone in her assertion global warming is a pollution problem.

David Phillips, a senior government environment expert, believes there is more than one contributing factor to global warming. There’s a human element, as well as natural cycles.

Difficult to convince

“I’m a man that’s difficult to convince,” he said. “What convinces me is the large body of evidence, and highly reputable people promoting global warming, who are not lobbyists, but only seeking truth in science. They say the the earth is warming up faster and greater now than in the past.”

People who are contradicting the global warming reality, Phillip thinks, have their own motives for doing so.

“These skeptics are keeping the debate alive (for their own interests). They try to confuse people into inaction,” said Phillips.

Phillips believes global warming is solvable.

“We solved the ozone and acid rain problem. With effort, and a new way of doing things we could solve this one too,” said Phillips.

Full Article here

AT

Can it get any better!?
April 28, 2007

Can it get any better!?

Nope. I don’t think so.

I think this is one of the best days and weekends in a long time.

Here are my reasons:

1) Upper 70s to near 80 for high temperatures today and even warmer Sunday.
2) Winds will be Light (how often do you see this?)
3) No Chance for Rain/Storms

The weather will also cooperate with the fighting of the fire in Wynneswood.

Have a great Saturday and enjoy a picnic, working in the garden, washing your car, etc. Whatever you want to do today outside, the weather will be just fine.

Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Prof. Steve Carano

More Rain Across Parts of the State
April 27, 2007

We saw scattered showers and thunderstorms across the area today, and luckily we avoided any major severe weather with just some reports of small hail. Lightning also caused a fire down at a refinery in Wynnewood.

The showers and thunderstorms are now in southeast Oklahoma, as indicated by radar:

We’ll be closely monitoring radar trends the next few hours in case something redevelops , but right now it isn’t definite.

The good news is we did see some more beneficial rain out of this system.

As a matter of fact, here is a look at Oklahoma Mesonet rainfall totals over the last 24 hours (click and scroll up to zoom in):

Many areas saw at least some rain with a few lucky people seeing over half an inch of rain.

The good news is the weekend looks dry; however, we do expect a return to unsettled week next week, so stay-tuned!

Vivek
Weather Intern