Archive for August, 2011

Hottest Summer EVER!
August 31, 2011

Well it is official.  According to the mesonet we broke a record set back in 1936.  Our 100 degree day record that was set back in 1980 was broken already, but 1936 actually had hotter temps overall when you include the highs and lows. This was until 2011 came along…

Sarah

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Tropical Depression #12
August 29, 2011

This disturbance will likely be our next Hurricane.  If so, the name will be Katia.  This name is the replacement to Katrina.  The storm names rotate every 6 years, but if it is a big enough storm, the name is retired.

 

Sarah

Irene Update
August 26, 2011

Here is the update on Irene! Folks along the East coast will have a tough weekend.  Please monitor this if you are headed east even into the beginning of next week.

 

 

 

 

Sarah

 

 

 

Update On Irene
August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene has been battering the Bahamas and will continue to do so today and tonight.  Here is the latest Satellite picture, and track.

Irene will take a more northerly shift as we head into the weekend.  This storm will have a big impact on coastal North Carolina and Virgina, it will also be affecting the Chesapeake Bay area over the weekend.  This storm will affect a very large area and as it pushes further north it will weaken, but parts of New England may even experience damaging winds depending on the strength of this storm as it moves north.

 

 

Sarah

The SLOSH Model
August 24, 2011

We talk a lot about the computer models we use in helping us forecast the weather. Because of Oklahoma’s extreme weather, we tend to scour over available model data everyday.  It’s a vital component to our forecasting. Just as there are computer models which help forecast fronts and temperatures and severe weather, there are models that help forecast for hurricanes.

The specific one I’m focusing on today is called the SLOSH model. It stands for Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes. It doesn’t forecast the track or strength of hurricane, rather it’s used to” estimate storm surge heights resulting from historical, hypothetical, or predicted hurricanes by taking into account the atmospheric pressure, size, forward speed, and track data.”

What I found interesting is that the SLOSH model consists of a set of physics equations which are applied to a specific locale’s shoreline, incorporating the unique bay and river configurations, water depths, bridges, roads, levees and other physical features. In essence, it is a mesoscale model, very detailed for a small area. There are 37 such regions that the SLOSH model is divided into.

Here’s what the New Orleans basin looks like. Notice how fine a “mesh” the grid is divided into. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ssurge/images/NewOrleans.png

Predicting storm surge is a difficult, but very important part of hurricane forecasting. The storm surge, and the associated inland flooding, is the number one killer in a hurricane. Knowing how high the storm surge will be and how far inland the surge will affect, greatly helps Emergency Managers in issuing mandatory evacuations.

Here’s an animated SLOSH model from Hurricane Dennis 2005: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ssurge/images/2005Dennis.gif

It is just a model, and shouldn’t be taken as the spoken word. The SLOSH model isn’t available to the public, and I doubt you would see it shown on television. You will see “storm surge” graphics on television, but they are normally much more generalized compared to this model. Predicting storm surge is tricky and if the model is incorrect, could be life-threatening if people didn’t evacuate solely based on this model.

Rusty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Irene Update
August 23, 2011

Irene has strengthened and will continue to strengthen as it pushes northwest.  Hurricane warnings are posted for the Bahamas.  If you have plans for that area over the next few days, you may want to call your hotel.  The East coast will be affected into the weekend.  The track of this storm will be monitored closely.  This storm has the potential to see Category 4 status.

Sarah

We Did It!
August 23, 2011

Yesterday, we got up to 103.  That makes 51 days over 100 and today will likely be 52!

Sarah

100’s and Counting!
August 22, 2011

Well…it looks like we may have to wait ONE more day to break that all awaited record.  We hit 105 on Saturday, tying the record, Sunday was 99, Today may be 98, so tomorrow over 100?  I think it is a good possibility!!

Sarah

Hurricane Irene
August 22, 2011

Looks like this one stays well to our east.  Most of the computer models bring it right through this cone of uncertainty.  The storm strengthened overnight and this storm is expected to become a Category 2, before affecting Florida.  There is a chance the center of circulation will stay east of Florida but rain and wind will still affect the coastal areas.  If you are headed there for vacation, you may want to monitor the progress of this storm. Here is a look at the timeline.

 

Sarah

The Heat Is Back…
August 18, 2011

After a short break yesterday, we will be back over 100 today.  Heat advisories are in effect through Saturday.  Heat index values may be over 105 at times.  There is a front moving into the state Sunday, this wild give us a slight chance for rain, a bit more cloud cover and as a result a tad less hot temperatures as well.

Hang in there, we are past the middle of August! Today will make day 48 of 100 degree days but so far…  47!

Sarah