Archive for October, 2010

Fire, Football and Fear!!
October 29, 2010

The coldest morning so far this season in most areas was THIS morning.  Brrrrrr if you ask me.  I found myself doing some on-line shopping for a new winter coat!  Good excuse right?  Well leave it to Oklahoma to feel like ice in the morning and then have the threat for fire in the afternoon.  Fire Danger is in the Extreme category this afternoon in NW Oklahoma.  Red Flag Warnings are posted for the counties shaded in Red.

Well if you are going out to trick, treat or just stay home and watch the games, the weekend is looking pretty good.  Lets start with the Football Forecasts…

Highs will be a bit warmer for this Halloween weekend.



My Top 5 Weather Events
October 28, 2010

What a whopper storm over the northern U.S. earlier this week. The “land hurricane” broke barometric pressure records with a minimal central pressure of 28.24″ or 956mb. I’m sure for many that went through the storm, it will be one they won’t forget. Which got me thinking, what are my most memorable weather events?

I grew up in Florida, but have lived in several places since being in television. When I started thinking about this list, I thought hurricanes and tornadoes would dominate it, but, winter weather is actually the most prominent. So here we go, the Top 5 weather events I have personally experienced:

1.  The No Name Storm of 1993 (Crystal River, FL) – We were the first victims of the so-called “Perfect Storm.” On a cold, March morning, an area of low pressure rapidly deepened in the Gulf of Mexico. It would bring a 10-foot storm to Florida’s Gulf Coast, carrying salt water well inland. Our family home was flooded with about a foot of water. I think it’s still the most helpless I’ve ever felt. We were out of our home for six months. When Mother Nature displaces you, you don’t forget. I wrote a blog about my experience

2.  The Christmas Eve Blizzard of 2009 (OKC) – I think this one is fresh in all of our minds. I remember as Christmas Eve pushed on, and the snow was piling up, thinking, “this is happening….in Oklahoma City!” I had to swallow a big lump in my throat before I went on-air and said we could a foot-and-a-half of snow. I mean, who’s going to believe me? Do I believe me? Spending Christmas Eve night at the station is something I’d like to not do again. The most memorable part would be driving back to the house Christmas Day. It looked like a kid had dropped a box of cars and they just scattered across the roads. Some cars were completely buried in snow and we had to drive on the wrong side of the road and some medians just to make it home. I’m sure stories from this storm will be told for generations to come.

3.  Tornado Outbreak 2006 (Jefferson City, MO) – March 13, 2006, I was Chief Meteorologist at KRCG. We knew it was coming, it was just hard to believe. Forty tornadoes in Missouri. At one point, I had three F3 or larger tornadoes on the ground simultaneously in my viewing area. We didn’t have the resources we do here. It was just me and the radar for 10 hours straight. I lost my voice, but gained a new respect for Mother Nature.

4.  Hurricane Elena, Labor Day Weekend 1985 (Crystal River, FL) – I was eight. It was the first time I had to evacuate for a hurricane. I remember hearing our towns name on the Weather Channel and thinking we were famous. My parents thought we were going to lose our house. All I cared about was that the friend’s house we were staying at had a big pool. Elena made an erratic turn just before landfall (and actually headed back into the Gulf) and Crystal River was spared.

5.  Ice Storm 2007 (OKC) – This one sticks out in my mind for the shear amount of ice we saw. It was like rock em’ sock em’ race cars trying to drive for a few days.  It was hard to believe that at one point, 40% of the state was without power. I think the ice storm would be higher on my if it weren’t for the fact that I was one of those fortunate souls who did not lose power. Seeing the damage the large tree limbs caused to some beautiful areas of Oklahoma City was heartbreaking.

Honorable Mentions

My first snow in Florida (1989)……Baseball Hail in Clarksburg, WV (1998)…….Two 20″ blizzards within a week in Albany, NY (2002)…….Hurricane Ivan (2004)…..Missouri Blizzard (2006)….this one could have, and perhaps should have made Top 5.


Frost Advisory Includes Metro Tonight
October 28, 2010

Lows will be in the 30s in most areas tonight, so a chilly start to your Friday and to your weekend!  Highs will rebound a bit into the afternoon but Frost Advisories are in effect through 9am Friday morning in the Blue/Turquoise shaded counties.

This will affect plants more than anything…bring them inside!

The pink shaded counties indicate the places where freezing temps will occur.

Stay warm!


October 28, 2010

Well it looks pretty good for the weekend Halloween festivities.  Expect comfortable daytime highs.  Lows will be a tad chilly but very seasonable for this time of year.



Salt Lake Lake Effect..
October 27, 2010

Nope, I didn’t mess up and type in the word “lake” twice above. Usually when we talk about Lake Effect snow, it’s usually somewhere in The Great Lakes Region. But, today, it’s different… Salt Lake City is getting their turn…

However, lake effect snow behaves differently from Utah to The Northeast. Lake Effect snow near The Great Lakes is common during the early winter season when the lake is still relatively warm compared to the surrounding air. Once the lake begins to cool and freeze, the lake effect snow ceases. However, The Great Salt Lake, Lake Effect behaves different. First, the Great Salt Lake never freezes. Remember, it’s full of salt. So, lake effect can occur from September to May. So, how do meteorologists know when to forecast such events? First, it takes a northwesterly winds, moving across the lake, southeast towards Salt Lake City. Notice how Salt Lake City is on the southeastern end of the lake. This means that with the right wind direction, you would get the greatest amount of “fetch” over the lake. ( Basically, the wind would move across the longest portion of the lake, giving the snow bands more moisture to work with.)  Limited shear and a good amount of Pacific moisture upstream, since the Great Salt Lake itself contributes only a small amount of moisture to the snow itself. And while it may only provide a small amount, it’s just the right amount to produce snow that is incredibly low in moisture. It’s not unheard of to see snow to liquid ratios here of 30/40:1. That means, 30-40 inches of snow, to 1 inch of rain/liquid. It’s ratios like that, that give Utah the famous phrase of having “The Greatest Snow on Earth”.


Land Bomb!
October 27, 2010

It’s the storm that will be studied for decades. Whether you call it the “Chiclone” or the “Land- Hurricane” or even a “Land Bomb”. A storm with a barometric pressure that resembled that of a Cat. 3 Hurricane left a ton of storm reports in its wake. Check this out..

In the last 2 days, this storm has produced almost 500 total reports.

However, if you go back 3 days and look at the storm reports from Texas, which were part of the southern end of the cold front associated with this massive low, then our storm reports jump up to over 750! Unbelievable! And we’re still not done..the storm is still going bonkers… crazy!


An Amazing Record!
October 26, 2010

Usually, when we talk about record, we talk about record highs, or record lows. But, how often do you hear a record low pressure? It may be a while before you hear about it again. That’s because a new record low pressure for Minnesota was set this morning as a powerful low tracked across The Northern Plains. In Aitkin, Minnesota, the barometer dropped to 28.41″. How low is that? Well, it’s not as low as Katrina, which registered a low pressure of 26.64″. But then again, this storm was not a “Katrina”. This was a land storm and a powerful one. For Oklahoma, our record low pressure sits at 28.81″ in Oklahoma City and 28.74″ in Tulsa.


Just What I Thought..
October 26, 2010

What I was hoping wouldn’t happen, did. The drought, which for a while had been very weak across Oklahoma is now gaining full steam as we head into the driest time of the entire year. My hope was that we would pick up a good 4-6 inches of rain this month areawide, not just locally, and that would have delayed the drought for a while. However, a MODERATE DROUGHT is now inside The Oklahoma City Metro. The rain last week was nice, and it was not tabulated into making this drought monitor. But, officially at Will Rogers Airport, not even an inch of rain has been reported this month. Because of that, I don’t see there being much improvement to this map. Get ready for a bad fire season this winter.. unless we can get a lot of rain.. or a blizzard.


Yep, That’s A Lot of Snow!
October 26, 2010

No, this picture wasn’t taken last winter, it was actually taken on Sunday. The same storm system that brought us the winds, the same storm system that Rick said made him feel old, the same storm system that brought the first blizzard in months to The Dakotas, the same storm system that is bringing tornado watches from Illinois to Georgia. You get the point here… that storm system brought a lot of snow to The Grand Tetons. This picture was snapped along The Teton Pass, Elevation: 8,431 Feet. If you look closely, you can see the road in the back of the picture. This is how it looks today, 2 days after “The Big Dump”


Snowfall totals for The Teton Pass have been in the 15-20 inch range. I’d be skiing too!


Current Fall Foliage Report
October 26, 2010

Oklahoma is about to be ablaze with color. And in some locations, it already is! Thanks to the cool nights, and shorter days, the leaves are now showing their actual color! According to many reports, from Lawton to Pauls Valley, trees are displaying peak color with reports of red and orange being the dominant colors. The same is being reported around Great Salt Plains State Park. The locations that are not peaking right now, are expected to peak within the next 7-10 days. Hurry up and check ’em out. Within the next 2 weeks, the foliage will begin to fall from the trees. The trees that are showing the most color right now are the Sumacs. Cottonwoods, Elms and Oaks will likely peak next week.