Archive for August, 2007

A Nice Weekend…Rain Chances Next Week
August 31, 2007

The Labor Day weekend is just about here and the weather looks great. We’ll have plenty of sunshine through Monday, the humidity will be low, the wind will be light, and high temperatures will be in the 80s Saturday and Sunday, warming into the lower 90s on Monday.

When I was a kid we would go camping over Labor Day weekend, and I’m sure a few of you will be doing the same thing. Enjoy the perfect weather.

One year, 1978, I remember being out camping with several camping families. We did all the fun camping things like boating, fishing, swimming, riding bikes, and eating lots of goodies. I also remember gathering around a black and white portable TV so we could watch Nebraska play Alabama in Alabama on Saturday night. It was a tough game and Nebraska lost 20-3. It was a revenge game for Bama because Nebraska beat them the year before in an upset.

I’m not much of a camper anymore, but I still love my college football. You can bet by the time the games come on tomorrow I’ll be in my favorite chair, taking in all the college action. Of course that means I’ll need to get my chores done early tomorrow, but that’s OK.

Speaking of football, the forecast looks good for the OU game in Norman, while OSU may deal with a few showers and storms for their game at Georgia.

Our chances for showers and storms will increase next week as moisture returns from the Gulf of Mexico. A storm system will move in from the west and I expect a chance of storms as early as Tuesday, but more likely later in the week.

I’ll be working Sunday and Monday, so tune into Eyewitness News 5 throughout the weekend for all of the latest.

Have a great weekend and be safe.

Rick

there are many upsides to global warming…
August 31, 2007

…Northern homes could save on heating fuel. Canadian farmers could harvest bumper crops. Greenland may become awash in cod and oil riches. Shippers could count on an Arctic shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific. Forests may expand…

Interesting read here. I’m on vacation but came across this article that was too good not to present. It comes from professor S. Fred Singer. I will list a link to the complete article below, but if you just want the conclusion, here it is:

The nations of the world face many difficult problems. Many have societal problems like poverty, disease, lack of sanitation, and shortage of clean water. There are grave security problems arising from global terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Any of these problems are vastly more important than the imaginary problem of man-made global warming. It is a great shame that so many of our resources are being diverted from real problems to this non-problem. Perhaps in ten or 20 years this will become apparent to everyone, particularly if the climate should stop warming (as it has for eight years now) or even begin to cool.

We can only trust that reason will prevail in the face of an onslaught of propaganda like Al Gore’s movie and despite the incessant misinformation generated by the media. Today, the imposed costs are still modest, and mostly hidden in taxes and in charges for electricity and motor fuels. If the scaremongers have their way, these costs will become enormous. But I believe that sound science and good sense will prevail in the face of irrational and scientifically baseless climate fears.

http://www.hillsdale.edu/images/userImages/smaxwell/Page_4221/ImprimisAug07.pdf

AT

A Nice Cool Down
August 30, 2007

I’m enjoying the extra cloud cover today following the passage of a cool front yesterday. Temperatures as of lunchtime are in the 70s and low 80s. Highs today will mainly be in the 80s across Oklahoma, a nice break from the low to mid 90s we’ve been having.

The front is located across southern Oklahoma right now. There is still a chance of showers and a stray storm this afternoon, but the best chances will be in the southern thrid of the state.

The Labor Day weekend will be dry with highs in the 80s on Friday, warming into the low 90s for Saturday through Monday.

The college football season kicks off tonight (HOORAY!!!!!), and our football forecast looks good for the state this weekend. Tomorrow’s high school games will have dry weather with kick off temps in the low to mid 80s.

OSU may have to deal with a shower or storm for their game against Georgia on Saturday evening. A kick off temp of 88 is expected. OU’s game with North Texas in Norman will be dry Saturday evening with temps in the 80s.

Don’t forget to check out Hardcore Weather, and join us for our news tonight on Eyewitness News at 5, 6, and 10 pm.

Rick

Latest on Scattered Storms
August 29, 2007

Here’s another quick update…scattered showers and storms have continued to develop the last few hours across Oklahoma, but so far none of the activity has been very organized.

The storms have shown signs of being pulse type thunderstorms where the storms quickly reach peak intensity and then weaken.

The storms have produced some gusty winds in a few locations. On the Oklahoma Mesonet, there was a 47 mph wind gust in Red Rock (Noble County) and a 46 mph wind gust in Weatherford (Custer County).

With weak wind shear present, the storms will likely remain disorganized as they slowly move south; however, isolated stronger storms can’t be ruled out. Gusty winds and heavy rainfall will be the main threats with the possibility of isolated flooding due to the slow movement of the storms.

Make sure to stay-tuned to Eyewitness News 5 as we’ll keep an eye on the storms.

Vivek
Meteorologist Intern

Storms Are Firing
August 29, 2007

Here’s a quick afternoon update. Thunderstorms are developing quickly across the state right now. The strongest storms are in north-central Oklahoma with the capability of heavy rain and winds to 50 mph. These storms are moving slowly southeast at 10 mph.

Other storms have popped up in the metro, and we’ll likely see more throughout the afternoon. While widespread severe weather is not expected, a few will have gusty winds and small hail. I’ll be doing updates throughout the afternoon on Eyewitness News 5. You can also see Advantage Doppler streaming live on koco.com.

Rick

Katrina:Two Years Later
August 29, 2007

Today is the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes the United States as ever seen.

Katrina came ashore during the early morning hours of August 29th, 2005 as a strong category 3 hurricane, just downgraded from a category 4. Sustained winds were 125mph, with higher gusts. Katrina brought a storm surge as high as 27 feet along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The bottom line two years later, things are getting better, but they are hardly the same. Having worked and lived for three years in Biloxi pre-Katrina, I have many friends and ties to that region. It has been tough on me seeing friends struggling to regain their footing. I can only imagine what is like to have lived through it. Just one year ago, my friend told me McDonalds was five-star dining there.

The region will recover, the residents are resilient. But, I find myself asking the question, “What about next time?” Sure, they are making the structures stronger and the levees higher, but how much can really be done? It’s not a question of if, but when another major hurricane will strike that area. New Orleans is a city that is actually below sea level, so I think their flooding problems will always be with them.

It is great to see the human spirit alive and well along the Gulf Coast. It’s also nice to have heard the stories of so many residents of Oklahoma lending a help hand to those in need, back then and even today.

Rusty

Cool Front On The Move
August 29, 2007

A cool front will move across Oklahoma today through tomorrow bringing a few showers and thunderstorms to the state. While there will be a few periods of heavy rain in spots, much of the rain will be rather light with average rain amounts around .10″ to .25″, with isolated amounts of .75″. There will also be several dry hours with a mix of clouds and sunshine.

Highs today will be in the 80s north, with lower 90s common central and south. Tomorrow will be cooler with highs across the entire state in the 80s. We’ll also notice a brief drop in the humidity, so overnight low temperatures will fall into the 60s tonight through Friday night.

The Labor Day weekend will be dry and seasonably warm with highs around 90.

Football weather looks good Friday night for the high school games as it will be dry with kick-off temperatures in the low 80s.

On the college level, OSU may have to deal with a thunderstorm or two in its game with Georgia in Athens on Saturday evening. Kickoff temps will be in the mid 80s.

In Norman on Saturday evening, OU will have dry weather and temps in the mid 80s for the 6 pm kickoff.

For a more detailed weather briefing, check out my Hardcore Weather video. Also tune into Eyewitness News 5 at 5, 6, and 10 pm for an update on my holiday weekend forecast.

Have a great Wednesday!

Rick

Do you know what a sprite is?
August 28, 2007

I’m not talking about the “un-cola”, I’m talking about a very cool and rare phenomenon that’s largely unstudied. Did you know that a man in Broken Arrow saw some? Okay okay, what am I talking about?

Well, a “sprite” is an electrical discharge from the top of a thunderstorm into space. Usually these are witnessed from space not from ground level. However, one lucky individual was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. Not only was it a sprite phenomenon but something even better called “Gigantic Jets”, and no, you can’t make this stuff up. =)
From Spaceweather.com
GIGANTIC JETS: Think of them as sprites on steroids: Gigantic Jets are lightning-like discharges that spring from the top of thunderstorms, reaching all the way from the thunderhead to the ionosphere 50+ miles overhead. They are enormous and powerful.
You’ve never seen one? “Gigantic Jets are rare,” explains atmospheric scientist and Jet-expert Oscar van der Velde of the University Paul Sabatier’s Laboratoire in Toulouse, France. “The first one was discovered in 2001 by Dr. Victor Pasko in Puerto Rico. Since then fewer than 30 jets have been recorded–mostly over open ocean and on only two occasions over land.”
That’s why researchers are excited by the events of Aug. 20th. On that night, amateur astronomer Richard Smedley of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, was hunting for meteors using a low light video camera when instead he caught two Gigantic Jets:

Click on the play button below to watch a video of the action:
“They were much brighter than a typical meteor–more like a fireball,” says Smedley. To appreciate the size of these things, consider the following: “They came from a thunderstorm more than 100 miles away in Missouri: map.” This means the Jets were about 48 miles tall measured upward from the top of the thundercloud.
Because they connect thunderstorms directly to the ionosphere, Gigantic Jets play some role in the global flow of electricity around our planet, but how big is that role? “No one knows,” says van der Velde. “This is cutting-edge research and these photos from Oklahoma provide an exciting new case-study.”
AT

A Cool Front Headed This Way
August 28, 2007

Nice job to Chris Caldwell for the lunar eclipse time lapse video on the earlier post. I was thinking of getting up early and shooting some of the eclipse, but then I realized doing that would keep me from getting sleep. Naturally, I chose to stay in bed, but thankfully Chris came through for us.

My forecast thinking remains the same as yesterday with a cool front expected to arrive in northern Oklahoma by early Wednesday. Shower and storm chances will start to increase in northern Oklahoma tonight, and spread across the rest of the state tomorrow. The front will take its time moving across Oklahoma, so rain chances will be with us into Friday, although the highest chances will come Wednesday night into Thursday.

While some heavy downpours can’t be ruled out, rain totals over the next couple of days will average .25 to .50″, so flooding does not appear to be a high threat right now.

Temperatures will cool off nicely by the end of the week. Highs today and tomorrow will be in the low to mid 90s, but then cool into the 80s for Thursday and Friday. Highs for the Labor Day weekend will generally be around 90 with dry weather expected.

College football starts this weekend and I can’t wait. I love watching college football. Love it, love it, love it! The forecast for this Saturday in Norman is dry with a high near 90. OSU plays an evening road game at Georgia and the forecast calls for the weather to be partly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm. Highs will be near 90, with game time temps falling into the 80s.

That’s all for now. I hope you tune into Eyewitness News 5 at 5, 6, and 10 pm for any updates to my forecast. Have a great Tuesday.

Rick

LUNAR ECLIPSE TIME-LAPSE
August 28, 2007

This is a video showing about 90 minutes of the Lunar Eclipse. It is 54 seconds in length and its a bit shaky in spots since the moon was moving so fast. I had to reposition the camera as often as every 7 minutes at a couple of the zoom settings I was on. I’t isnt really smooth but its better than nothing at all. Enjoy!

CHRIS CALDWELL
FAST UNIT 55