Archive for March, 2008

Severe Storms Conference
March 31, 2008

This past weekend I attended the 12th Annual Severe Storm and Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.  Of the 200 meteorologists at the conference the areas represented were broadcasting, the National Weather Service, the Storm Prediction Center, university professors, researchers, graduate and undergraduate college students.  The conference really was a great way for exchange of ideas and discussion between the professionals in different sectors of the field.  Such discourse is so important for the science of meteorology.

I’d like to share some highlights from the presentations I found most interesting.  On the first night of the conference Paul Markowski from Penn State spoke on the VORTEX2 project that is in the works for next year.  The actual formation of a tornado in a supercell is still a big unknown in meteorology and the research from the VORTEX2 project will attempt to shed light on this mystery. 

Another speaker gave a presentation on what a La Nina year (which we are in now) means for the Central Plains region.  The research showed that in La Nina years the temperature gradient is greater between warm and cold regions in the middle of the country, possibly influencing an increased number of tornadoes during the storm season for the Plains.

Also at the conference was a citizen of Greensburg, Kansas who spoke about what it was like to live through the EF5 tornado that devastated her town last May.  Sometimes in meteorology the human impact of the weather is not always directly realized by the scientists.  Hearing from someone that actually lived through the event and her own story of survival gave all of us a unique perspective of the tornado.

Be aware of the weather this week as a chance for severe storms comes back to the state on Wednesday and Thursday.  Stay tuned to KOCO to keep you alert during this severe weather season.

-Alek Krautmann

Weather Intern


EF1 in NW Oklahoma City
March 31, 2008

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service went out and surveyed the damage from the early Monday morning tornado. They found damage consistent with an EF1 tornado, with winds of 86 to 100mph.

The tornado appears to have develop near the intersection of NW 178th and Pennsylvania at approximately 139am. The path length was a third of a mile and the path width of 50 to 100 yards.

The tornado caused damage to the Valencia neighborhood. Many homes there sustained roof, window, garage door and fence damage. After a gap, additional damage was observed near the intersection of NW 192nd and Western. Several large power transmission poles were blown down.


March 31, 2008

This has to be fast. We’re in wall-to-wall coverage. More severe weather will be possible later today. Slight risk for central Oklahoma, moderate risk for eastern Oklahoma. Storms should form 50 miles either side of I-35 late morning/early afternoon and will move east.

More severe weather is possible on Wednesday and Thursday.

More later.


Late Sunday Morning
March 30, 2008

A steady area of showers and thunderstorms continues in southeastern Oklahoma. Western Oklahoma is clearing out, and temperatures are warming into the 70s.

A very quick update on the storm threat….We continue with a slight risk for severe weather over the northwestern half of the state late this afternoon and tonight. I’m still watching an area, bounded roughly a line from just west of Clinton to Woodward to Enid for an enhanced threat for severe weather. The potential exists for large hail, strong winds and isolated tornadoes. At this point, it appears that storms will hold off until late afternoon/early evening. Once they develop, they will spread northeast across northwestern/northcentral Oklahoma and will continue into the late night hours.

Severe weather will be possible in southwestern Oklahoma, but storms in that part of the state should be isolated.

One note about the severe weather potential for today–it’s not set in stone. We have a cold front moving into northwestern Oklahoma and the dryline moving into western Oklahoma. Upper level winds are increasing, and we have “turning”. You can feel the humidity if you step outside. There are a lot of factors leaning toward the development of severe weather. At the same time, temperatures in the mid-levels of the atmosphere are increasing (what we refer to as the “cap”.) This cap could stop storms from forming.

Monday will bring the threat of a squall line moving across the eastern half of the state with the threat for hail and wind. This line should be east of the OKC metro area by 3pm, if not much earlier. I really think the main threat for severe weather Monday will be in eastern Oklahoma.

Stay with Eyewitness News 5 and for the latest.


Sunday Morning
March 30, 2008

Thunderstorms have been persistant across southeastern Oklahoma this morning. Some of these storms have produced hail. That activity is moving east-northeast, into Arkansas.

Central and eastern Oklahoma has seen drizzle and fog this morning. The drizzle and fog will will diminish, and we should see partly to mostly cloudy skies this afternoon.

As of now, it still looks like there will be a risk for severe weather late this afternoon and tonight across northern and western Oklahoma. I’m really focusing on the northwest, an area bounded by Clinton-Woodward-Enid. Tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds will be possible. I’m not saying that there won’t be storms in other areas, but the area most likely will be in that zone I listed above.

Monday, as the dryline and cold front pushes across the state, more storms will be possible. The main focus for Monday will be central and eastern Oklahoma.

The morning (12z) weather data will start coming in soon, and I will post our updated severe weather forecast later this morning.


Active Week Coming
March 29, 2008

Greettings All,This week will be an active one and storm season is upon us.

The first chance of storms could be here tonight. This will mainly be in E & SE Oklahoma and mainly a hail threat. Overnight low temperatures in the 50s.

Sunday there will be a chance for more organized storms along the dryline and surface Low that sets up in W & NW Oklahoma. It may be late before the storms really get going. Hail, wind and isolated tornadoes are the threats.

Monday in the morning there may be on-going storms then moving out to develop again Monday afternoon with daytime heating along the same boundaries listed above. This could be the stormiest of the next couple days. One thing that could occur however is that storms hang around too long Monday AM and this could wipe us out for Monday afternoon and evening. If that happens this would push the greater threat of severe into E Oklahoma.

Another round of severe weather is expected for Wednesday and Thursday. This is a long way out to give too many details but it may be the strongest of the systems.

Stay Tuned,

Prof. Steve Carano

Severe Weather Potential
March 29, 2008

There will be several opportunities for thunderstorms over the next few days.   So, here goes…

 First will be late tonight and early Sunday.  Some elevated storms may fire courtesy the low-level jet.  The main severe weather potential with these storms will be hail, with the highest risk being in eastern Oklahoma.    I can’t rule out storms in the OKC area late tonight and tomorrow morning.

 Next comes tomorrow afternoon and evening.  This is when it gets a bit trickier.  A cold front and dryline will push into western/northwestern Oklahoma.  We will increase our wind shear, but we will also increase our cap.  Isolated thunderstorms will be possible in western Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening.  If storms develop, they will likely be severe with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.  Those storms would then increase tomorrow night, primarily in northern Oklahoma.  It is not out of the question that the cap could hold, and that any thunderstorm activity would be limited to Kansas and far northern Oklahoma.  On the other side of that arguement, it’s not out of the question to see significant severe weather west of I-35 in the state of Oklahoma tomorrow. 

The cold front and dryline won’t move very far until Monday.  On Monday, an upper storm system will push the cold front/dryline across the state.  With that being said, there is still some potential for severe weather Monday.  Much of Monday depends on Sunday.  If Sunday ends up being quieter, Monday could be a bigger deal. 

We will go quiet until early Wednesday when moisture starts to return to the state.  That could bring more elevated, hail-producing storms.  Then on Thursday, here comes another dryline/cold front/upper storm system with the potential for more severe weather.

Again, the *potential* exists for significant severe weather tomorrow.  We will be watching eastern Oklahoma late tonight and tomorrow morning for hail, and western Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon and evening for supercells.  Stay with Eyewitness News 5 and for the latest.


March 29, 2008

There’s a lot to talk about for Sunday and Monday. I want to tackle that a little later when I have the rest of the morning computer model data available. Some of it is in, but I want to see the rest.

I ran home after the news to grab a bite to eat and had to use the wipers a few times. We have patches of drizzle across central and eastern Oklahoma late this morning. Earlier, we had some strong/severe storms in southeastern Oklahoma.

For today, I’m not expecting much sunshine. There will be a few breaks in the clouds, especially in western Oklahoma. Highs will range from the 50s in the northeast to the 70s in the panhandle. South winds will return by late afternoon. This will start to bring warm, moist air in from the Gulf of Mexico. Just looking at the surface map, I noticed 65-70 degree dewpoints in south Texas. By this point tomorrow, it will certainly be warmer and more humid.

As the moisture returns late tonight, we could see a few showers and thunderstorms during the late night hours. I can’t rule out hail with some of those storms, especially in eastern Oklahoma.

We’re still tracking the severe weather potential for Sunday into Monday. More on that later….


Weekend Severe Storm Chances
March 28, 2008

Despite the chilly weather out there today, there is a risk that we’ll have a few severe storms in the state this weekend. 

The highest chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight will be across eastern Oklahoma, and widepread severe storms are not expected.  Maybe a few hailers, but that’s about it.

 Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and cool with highs in the 50s and 60s, although panhandle temps will top 70.  While a few hit and miss showers will dot the eastern part of the state, much of the time will be dry.

There will be a chance of showers and storms tomorrow night, mainly across the eastern half of Oklahoma.  Again, I don’t expect widespread severe weather, but we’ll keep a close eye on the situation.

The highest chance of severe storms will be Sunday afternoon into Monday as a cold front moves into Oklahoma.  Storms will develop Sunday afternoon or evening in the west and move northeast.  The ingredients will be in place for severe storms with large hail, damaging winds and even tornadoes.  Highs on Sunday will climb into the 60s and 70s.

 Storms will be possible Monday as the front continues moving into central and eastern Oklahoma.  Again, severe storms will be possible.

Our weather will quiet down for Tuesday, but more storms will be possible Wednesday and Thursday.


Flipping Numbers
March 28, 2008

The high yesterday in OKC was 85…85! I have the high today as 58…58! The numbers have flipped, and perhaps Mother Nature has flipped out. Now if Lawton goes from 91 yesterday to 19 today, then we really have something!

You can thank the cold front that moved through last night and thick clouds for the chilly weather today. Wind chills this morning will be in the 30s, so make sure you take the jackets on the way out the door.

Staying cooler for Saturday as well. We could see a few light showers on Saturday morning, but we’ll stay generally dry. Things do change on Sunday afternoon as another cold front moves into the area. Moisture will quickly return and there will be a good “twist” to the winds in the atmosphere. There is a slight risk of severe weather for the state both Sunday and Monday.