Saturday, October 29, 2011

10/29 - 4pm - The Hokey Halloween Cape Returns!

In the spirit of Halloween I wore my famous Hokey Halloween cape on-air this morning during a couple weather segments. It was really cold out there during our show, getting down to 28 degrees at the lowest point. After seeing 60 for a high in Jackson today we should bump up to near 70 by the middle of next week. A weak cold front will pass through on Monday, but that shouldn't really impact conditions much. Storms on Thursday will be our next rain chance before getting much cooler again for next weekend. Check out the video below to see the caped forecaster!

As if the cape weren't enough, a stolen SUV that police were looking for sped into the parking lot at WBBJ-TV around 4am while I was working on my forecast graphics. The suspect driving the vehicle fled on foot after attempting to find a way out. Master control, who monitors the security cameras, immediately called the police and K9 units were on the scene within minutes. All of us inside the studio and newsroom were obviously spooked because the suspect was on the loose for a few minutes as police tried to locate him. How often does breaking news come right to the door of a TV station? Wow! Check out the video below for the full story:

Monday, October 24, 2011

10/24 - 12:45pm - Foggy Start, Warm Day!

Some thick fog developed over portions of Mississippi this morning causing some visibility issues across the region. That has since cleared out and we're left with clear skies and temperatures that will be getting into the middle 70's this afternoon in Starkville. We'll warm it up to around 80 by Tuesday, but thunderstorms are on the way for Thursday and Friday as a cold front passes through on Thursday. Not expecting any severe weather at this point, but drier areas to our north will benefit from the rain greatly. Things should really cool down behind the front this weekend and skies will clear as well. Check out your detailed forecast in the video below:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10/22 - 12:30pm - Warmer Temperatures in West TN, then Snow?

Jackson, TN bottomed out at 32 degrees this morning, which is two degrees warmer than our low temperature yesterday but still very chilly. We'll warm things up gradually around West Tennessee this weekend with 60's for highs today, 70's for both tomorrow and Monday, and 80's for Tuesday. What a warm-up! A cold front coming through on Wednesday night will generate some thunderstorms for Wednesday and Thursday, possibly into Friday as well. This system has slowed down on the computer models a little bit, but I think we should have all the rain out of here by Friday evening. It will be MUCH colder behind this front and as NWS Memphis points out, there's even a hint of some hypothetical snow on the computer models with this system:
Honestly I don't think much if any snow will make it to the ground on Thursday night, but it could be close as some very cold air filters in behind that cold front. Check out some video from this morning's edition of Good Morning West Tennessee on WBBJ below:

I'll be on the 6pm and 10pm shows this evening (which will likely air a few minutes later than their assigned times due to football on TV), so be sure to tune in and check out the latest changes in your forecast!

Monday, October 17, 2011

10/17 - 11:30pm - NWA 2011 Meeting Wrap-Up

Both yesterday and today I attended and volunteered at the 36th Annual National Weather Association Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. This was the most-attended NWA meeting in history and evidence of that was clear this morning when there were no more seats for attendees! The volunteer portion of my attendance had me taking video of research posters from students and professionals for the agenda on the NWA website. While the meeting runs until Thursday, I had to leave late this afternoon to attend to class-related things back in Starkville. I wish I could've stayed longer because this was one of the best put together functions I've ever attended.

Speaking of attendance, I was able to meet quite a few experienced broadcast meteorologists while I was there. Some of those folks were Jim Cantore (The Weather Channel), Jacqui Jeras (CNN), Christie Dutton (WAVE-TV Louisville), Ryan Vaughan (KAIT-TV Jonesboro), Mary Wasson (YNN Austin), and Dave Freeman (KSNW Wichita). It was also great to see some old friends whom I've met before in Starkville at the Mississippi State Severe Storms Symposium.

The sessions that took place while I was there mostly focused on the historic tornadoes from this past year, and some of these spurred some really great discussion on how we as broadcast and operational meteorology professionals can improve our methods to save lives in severe weather. One of the things that strikes me from multiple presentations is the public's low use of NOAA weather radios. While these are lifesaving devices, it's clear that these things are very difficult to operate if you're not familiar with consumer electronic devices or don't understand how SAME codes work. This is a huge problem because people then depend on less reliable means of receiving warnings like tornado sirens. As I tweeted earlier today, Dave Freeman suggested that weather radios should use ZIP codes instead of SAME codes to separate out warnings. This would be much easier because just about everyone knows their ZIP code, but almost nobody (including me!) knows their county SAME code without consulting the NWS website. It's true that this wouldn't be an easy solution since either the radios or warning system would have to be able to identify ZIP codes based on coordinate polygons and because some ZIP codes are way too big. In the long run though, these would be relatively minor changes to a system that's had years of development behind it.

There's also been talk from a lot of people suggesting the placement of GPS chips in weather radios to determine exact location so that there's even less of a chance of the radio going off for a warning that does not pertain to the user. This is also a great idea that wouldn't require terribly huge changes to radios and how warnings are issued. Overall, I gathered from today's and yesterday's presentations that more needs to be done to make severe weather warnings more accessible and understandable to the public to save lives in events like April 27th. The technology is there and the ideas are in place, and the recent tornadoes that claimed so many lives this year are proof that these changes are necessary.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10/15 - 3pm - It's Blast Furnace Time in West Tennessee!

Are you ready for a big warm-up? As high pressure shoves eastward we'll be seeing southerly winds bringing in some very warm air this weekend. This will push highs into the middle 80's for Sunday and Monday, which is almost record-breaking for West Tennessee. A cold front will bring an end to the warm temperatures on Monday night and storms appear likely. Some of these could be on the strong side, but we're not expecting a severe weather outbreak at this point. Temperatures behind this front may struggle to reach 60 on Wednesday, but we'll warm into the upper 60's by the end of the workweek. Check out my video below for a full forecast!

Monday, October 10, 2011

10/10 - 1pm - A Few Showers Around Mississippi

Moisture from the area of low pressure over Florida is providing us with a few rain showers across Mississippi today. These will likely continue throughout the day and taper off tomorrow. Not everyone will see rain, but don't be shocked to find a few raindrops falling at your location this afternoon. A cold front will move through on Wednesday evening and increase the potential for a few showers and storms, but after that point we'll see cooler temperatures and sunny skies as we head into the weekend. Check out the video below for more details:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

10/9 - 2pm - Can We Get Some Rain?

It's been over two weeks now since rain has been recorded in Jackson, TN, but luckily there are some rain chances in the forecast. If you look off to the east you'll see a deck of high, thin clouds that will be moving into the area later this evening. These clouds are a general outline of the westward-moving tropical moisture that will power the chance for a few showers across West Tennessee tomorrow. A more appreciable rain chance with some thunderstorms will arrive on Wednesday night as a cold front passes through. After that point we'll be left with clear skies and temperatures only in the 70's.

Check out some clips from my weathercasts on Good Morning West Tennessee and the 6pm news on WBBJ yesterday for more details on this week's weather:

Monday, October 3, 2011

10/3 - 2:30pm - Gradual Warm-Up on the Way!

After having lows in the upper 30's this morning across much of North Mississippi and the Golden Triangle, we're enjoying temperatures in the lower 70's this afternoon. High pressure will gradually move east of us this week, meaning southerly warm winds will return to the region. Warmer temperatures are on tap throughout the week here in Starkville, getting into the mid 80's by the time we cap off the workweek on Friday. The next chance of rain will be sometime early next week, so enjoy this nice stretch of weather! Check out the video below for your detailed forecast:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10/1 - 3:30pm - October Comes in Cool

Across West Tennessee this morning we saw overnight lows in the upper 40's, but luckily we've warmed up to a slightly chillier-than-average 66 degrees so far. Tonight's lows across the region will be in the mid to upper 30's. Low-lying valleys and other areas prone to cooler temperatures could see patchy frost early tomorrow morning. The rest of the week features warming temperatures and sunny skies. That's a pleasant and easy-to-digest forecast for sure! Check out the video below for some highlights from my weathercasts on this morning's edition of Good Morning West Tennessee on ABC 7: