Archive for July, 2007

CoCoRaHS
July 31, 2007

Storms like the ones we saw yesterday and will probably see today have highly varied rainfall patterns. One side of town may get a trace while the other gets 3 inches. We are lucky in Oklahoma with the Mesonet which greatly enhances are ability to give you storm reports and verify our forecasts.

In addition to the Mesonet, there is another project you can be a part of. It is called CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Project). It is completely a volunteer network that takes readings of rain, snow, and hail each morning. It is not difficult and they give you step by step instructions for the entire project. For more information on how to become involved, go to their website: www.cocorahs.org.

You would be doing a great service to the meteorological community while learning a bit more about weather or helping to foster an interest of your child.

As always, tune in or log on to KOCO for all the latest weather information.

Nick
Weather Intern

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More Tropical Downpours
July 31, 2007

Talk about your frog stranglers! Yesterday’s heavy rain in central Oklahoma sent people running for cover as well as for higher ground. Flash flooding occurred in Kingfisher where nearly 3.5 inches of rain fell in about an hour and a half. In the metro, parts of Norman had nearly two inches of rain, while Tinker AFB had 2.25 inches in about an hour. There was even a report of up to 5 inches east of Tinker in eastern Oklahoma county!

The weather setup today is similar to yesterday. The atmosphere is moist, and the upper level ridge over the southern Plains is rather weak. The day is starting with low clouds, and depending on how long they stick around, we may not heat up as much as we did yesterday which would limit our instability. Despite that fact, there will still be scattered showers and storms during the afternoon and evening hours capable of heavy rain. The slow movement of the storms will also result in the potential for more flash flooding. The good news is that severe storms are unlikely.

The trend over the next few days will be for the highest rain chances to shift south and southwest. So tomorrow’s rain chances will be lower than today’s, and Thursday’s will be even lower. I expect dry weather by Friday that will last into next week. Along with a trend toward drier weather, it’s also going to be hotter by the weekend into next week with highs climbing into the mid to upper 90s by Sunday and Monday. Some parts of western Oklahoma could top 100.

I’ll have more of what to expect coming up later today on Eyewitness News 5 at 5, 6, and 10 pm. If you can’t wait that long, or you would like a more in depth explanation of our weather, check out today’s edition of Hardcore Weather.

Enjoy this last day of July.

Rick

Diesel hybrids superior!
July 30, 2007

That’s right. A study by MIT states that as far as hybrid vehicles go, diesel will be better than hydrogen fuel cells. See below:

A new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that diesel hybrids will be better than hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in terms of total energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions until at least 2020. The study—authored by Malcolm Weiss, John Heywood, and co-workers—was published by the MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment (LFEE).

And while hybrid vehicles are already appearing on the roads, adoption of the hydrogen-based vehicle will require major infrastructure changes to make compressed hydrogen available. If we need to curb greenhouse gases within the next 20 years, improving mainstream gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions and expanding the use of hybrids is the way to go, according to the study. These conclusions were released just a month after the Bush administration announced a billion-dollar “FreedomFUEL” initiative to develop commercially viable hydrogen fuel cells and a year after establishment of the government-industry program to develop the hydrogen fuel-cell-powered “FreedomCar”.

The study assessed a variety of engine and fuel technologies as they are likely to be in 2020 with intense research but no real “breakthroughs”. The new assessment is an extension of a study done in 2000, which likewise concluded that the much-touted hydrogen fuel cell was not a clear winner. This time, the MIT researchers used optimistic fuel-cell performance assumptions cited by some fuel-cell advocates, and the conclusion remained the same.

The hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has low emissions and energy use on the road, but producing hydrogen from a hydrocarbon fuel such as natural gas or from water using fossil fuel-derived electricity requires substantial energy and produces greenhouse gas emissions. The “well-to-wheel” analysis performed by MIT included not only tailpipe emissions, but also the emissions and energy used in making and delivering the fuel and in the manufacturing the vehicles.

Hydrogen-fueled vehicles, however, may show an advantage over longer time frame, beyond 2020. “If auto systems with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions are required in, say, 30 to 50 years, hydrogen is the only major fuel option identified to date,” said Heywood. The hydrogen would have to be produced without making greenhouse gas emissions from a non-carbon source such as solar energy or from conventional fuels while sequestering the carbon emissions.

AT

More Boundaries, More Moisture, More Flooding
July 30, 2007

After hitting our convective temperature early today, in addition to the stationary front, outflow boundaries, and abundant moisture across the state, storms were inevitable. Scattered storms will continue to form across the state causing hazardous driving conditions and flooding issues. As some of these storms die out, more will form off the outflow boundaries from these dying storms keeping the rain chances high throughout the evening.

Storm Totals So Far:
Kingfisher: 3.17″
Norman: 1.80″
Hinton: 0.57″
Ketchum Ranch: 0.78″
(Oklahoma Mesonet)

Tune in or log on to KOCO 5 through this evening and tonight for all the latest weather information.

Nick
Weather Intern

A Few Afternoon Storms
July 30, 2007

After a week on the road, it’s nice to be back in my normal routine. I’ve had a chance to look at some of the new computer information and it supports a few thunderstorms this afternoon throughout the state.

Temperatures are climbing nicely and there is an abundance of moisture in place. A stationary front cuts right through central Oklahoma. All of these features will go into producing thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and early evening. While no severe storms are expected, there will be enough instability in the atmosphere to create a few strong storms with very heavy rain and wind gusts to 50 mph.

Storm chances will remain in the forecast for the next few days, although they will decrease after Wednesday.

Highs will be in the upper 80s to low 90s much of the week. Hotter weather is possible by the end of the week and the weekend with highs nearing 100 in the west. Even though OKC has not reached 100 degrees yet this summer, chances are we will before the summer ends.

Make sure you tune into Eyewitness News 5 at 5, 6, and 10 pm for the newest information regarding our storm chances. Have a great afternoon.

Rick

Could Be a Wet Start to the Week
July 30, 2007

After a hot and dry weekend, it looks like storms are in the forecast. A few have already fired up on this Monday morning, and more are expected through the day. They were slow movers and dumped some heavier rain in Grady and Stephens counties.

Where it hasn’t rained, including the metro, it has warmed up fast. Temperatures are already pushing 90 degrees in some locales, and it looks like we’ll see highs in the lower 90s for most of us.

Storms will redevelop this afternoon along a stationary boundary draped across the state. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain and frequent lightning, though no severe weather is expected.

It looks like rain will be in the forecast at least through Thursday as this boundary slow sags south of the area and fizzles out. The best chance of rain will come tomorrow.

Rusty

convert old tires into oil and gas
July 29, 2007

All you need is a souped up microwave like these guys have!
http://www.carbonrecovery.com/Videos_GRC.asp

A buddy of mine sent me this info about the company:
Global Resource Corporation has developed a machine (basically a rigged up microwave) that attacks hydrocarbons, turning them into oil and combustible gas, leaving behind all non-hydrocarbon products (excluding any water that gets evaporated). Here is a video in which some ground-up, used tire is zapped resulting in a bit of oil (roughly diesel quality) and high-grade carbon black.

Also a company in NY that recycles metal from automobiles has just purchased a GRC machine. Supposedly, the oil generated should be sufficient for the company’s fuel needs, while at the same time reducing what gets sent to the landfill.

You gotta love innovation!

AT

"I’m too stupid to know they would die."
July 28, 2007

That is a quote from a women to police who is doing up to 60 years in prison because she left her two children in a car while she got a massage and haircut.

You will see many reasons in the article below as to why parents left their children in the car. These children are dead and the parents crimes either land them in prison or in some type of treatment program.

July is the worst month for child deaths as the result of being locked or left inside a car. The death rate has been increasing and people from all walks of life are responsible.

Sentences vary when kids die in hot cars

Kevin Kelly is a law-abiding citizen who, much distracted, left his beloved 21-month-old daughter in a sweltering van for seven hours. Frances Kelly had probably been dead for more than four hours by the time a neighbor noticed her strapped in her car seat; when rescue personnel removed the girl from the vehicle, her skin was red and blistered, her fine, carrot-colored hair matted with sweat. Two hours later, her body temperature was still nearly 106 degrees.

What is the appropriate punishment for a doting parent responsible for his child’s death? A judge eventually spared Kelly a lengthy term in prison. Still, it is a question that is asked dozens of times each year.

Since the mid-1990s, the number of children who died of heat exhaustion while trapped inside vehicles has risen dramatically, totaling around 340 in the past 10 years. Ironically, one reason was a change parent-drivers made to protect their kids after juvenile air-bag deaths peaked in 1995 — they put them in the back seat, where they are more easily forgotten.

An Associated Press analysis of more than 310 fatal incidents in the past 10 years found that prosecutions and penalties vary widely, depending in many cases on where the death occurred and who left the child to die — parent or caregiver, mother or father:…..continued

AT

The End is Here!
July 28, 2007

Hello all!

This will be my last Blog for my internship here at KOCO. I have to say that it has been a blast working with Steve and the Saturday morning crew! However it will not be the last, Spring Time will come and I will be here in the weather center taking care of you during the Severe weather time frame. I have about 3 years left on my Meteorology degree with Mississippi State University and I can not wait to do this full-time.

Weather for this week will be scattered showers throughout the week with the temp’s in the lower 90’s with the lows around 70. I am enjoying these mild temperatures this summer, I am hoping it will stay this way. Remember to drink a lot of water if you are working in the outdoors.

Thanks for watching KOCO-5, see you all in the Spring!

Shawn P. Crouch
KOCO-5 Weather Intern
shawntheintern@yahoo.com

Lightning Impact
July 27, 2007

If you caught Eyewitness News 5 this morning, you saw my factoid that the United States receives more than 20 million lightning strikes each year. That’s hard to really imagine. I couldn’t even begin to quantify how much electricity those 20 millions strikes are generating.

Another hard thing to quantify about lightning, is the impact it has on our lives. We know lightning is extremely dangerous, and you should avoid being outside during a thunderstorm. But, beyond telling the public that, how could we quantify (or qualify) the impact that it might have on you?

The NWS office in Norman is probably the best forecast office in the country, and you see other NWS offices taking their lead and coming up with creative, graphical ways to interpret daily weather. One such graphic I ran across came from the Miami-South Florida office. They are trying to graphically show the chance for lightning in a particular area and how that might impact you.

The red area means numerous to widespread thunderstorms (60%-100% coverage). I think it’s a start, yet a few parameters that are lacking are when the thunderstorms will develop and just how much lightning will be in these storms. Some severe weather parameters we use can help predict those variables, but it’s certainly a tough call. I’m just glad to see that lightning impact is beginning to be explored.

Rusty