Monday, April 30, 2012

4/30 - 8:15pm - WeatherBrains Tonight!

This evening April 30th starting at 8:30pm CDT (0130 GMT) I'll be a guest panelist on the worldwide webcast of WeatherBrains! Be sure to tune in using by clicking this link which will take you to the live stream of the show. I'll be sure to post the recorded version of the podcast when it becomes available. Should be a fun time! On the podcast are lots of true "weather brains" like James Spann of ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, AL, Bill Murray, Brian Peters, J.B. Elliot, Kevin Selle, and a featured guest each week.

Update: Listen to the recorded podcast on my website.

5 days until my annual storm chasing trek with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

4/28 - 4:45pm - Hot Weather, Fun Show at WBBJ!

Today marks my last show at WBBJ until August when I come back from my college summer break. And boy what a fitting show it was. Of course the weather is going to be hot and muggy through next week with pretty consistent small daily storm chances (each day except Wednesday). A pesky frontal boundary sticking around the region for a few days before eventually lifting northward will be the culprit for these pop-up showers and storms. You can check out the video from this morning's weathercast below. The big show today was an interview by Myles Savage, the lead singer from the Platters, this morning on our show. He gave a fun and spirited performance that none of us in the studio will ever forget! The video of his interview is below my weathercast. Enjoy!

Just ONE WEEK until my first three weeks of storm chasing begins in the Plains!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/25 - 12:45pm - A Hot Week in Starkville

The rest of the week in Starkville is going to be hot by most standards. Today through the end of the workweek will see highs in the mid 80's. Sunshine should be plentiful, but Thursday and Friday could have a few clouds thanks to a cold front that will be parking itself right over Tennessee. Warm southerly flow from the Gulf will also moisten up the air in preparation for our next (small) rain chance on Saturday. The video below is my last Mississippi State University Campus Connect weather update for the semester since classes ended today. Look for these to return next fall!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

4/21 - 9:45pm - Cooler, but Sunny Weather Ahead!

It took a little longer than expected, but the clouds did clear this afternoon in West Tennessee after rain overnight. Sadly, temperatures didn't make it into the 60's in Jackson as expected thanks to the longer duration of cloud cover during the day, so it was a chilly one out there. Slowly warming temperatures and mostly sunny skies will prevail though most of next week and the next rain chance for the region will be on Thursday. Pretty simple forecast! Thanks to all the folks who came out to the West Tennessee Earth Day Celebration at Pringles Park in Jackson this afternoon. Even though it was a little cooler than most would have wanted, the turnout was great! I was there today presenting my "cloud in a bottle" demonstration, which is a little experiment that involves exactly what the title describes it as. Glad to have met so many great people! Check out more on your West Tennessee forecast in the video below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4/18 - 9pm - Rainy End to the Week?

Low off the Gulf Coast on Saturday
After seeing well over three inches of rain yesterday in Starkville we're enjoying much more pleasant weather that's going to continue over the next few days. Southerly winds will be bringing moisture and temperatures near 80 for both Thursday and Friday, but the weekend is a question mark at the moment. Our next system tracking to our south will be sending up rain our way for a good portion of the day on Saturday, but the most recent computer forecast model runs suggest this may be less of an issue than previously thought. Should that system stay well enough south and not send as much moisture our way, Saturday may be showery but not a washout. Sunday should be much cooler regardless but at least the sunshine will return! Your full forecast is available in the video below:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

4/14 - 2:30pm - Nice West TN Weekend, Outbreak in the Plains

Sunday Night storms on NAM Model
It's a nice weekend across West Tennessee with warmer temperatures and breezy conditions. Another day of 80-degree weather is on the way for Sunday, but storms will roll through the region on Sunday night into Monday morning. Some of these storms could be a little strong, but they shouldn't be terribly severe, if at all, since they will be weakening as they approach the Mississippi River. Rain chances should subside completely after Tuesday and sunshine with highs in the 70's will be with us through the middle portion of the workweek. Check out my video from this morning below for more details!

A potent severe weather outbreak is just getting started in the Plains right now. Areas from Nebraska to Oklahoma are under a rare High Risk of severe weather from the Storm Prediction Center and violent tornadoes are expected this afternoon and evening. Already we've had quite a few reports of tornadoes touching down and doing damage in Kansas this afternoon, and more of the same can be expected as this system pulls more moisture northward and destabilization continues. On the left you'll see the latest EHI chart from the SPC, which is a measure of helicity (spinning motion in the atmosphere) and instability. This is a decent indicator of where the strongest tornadoes could form. It's really ramping up with values as high as 7 in Oklahoma right now, but those values are expected to increase and possibly move northward this afternoon and evening into Kansas and Nebraska.

Be sure and join me again on WBBJ for 7 Eyewitness News at 6 and 10pm tonight!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4/12 - 5pm - Louisville Heat Island Research

It's finished. Since January I've been working on a bit of research that seeks to explain roughly how much the urban heat island effect is skewing the temperatures at Louisville International Airport (KSDF) compared to the rest of the city. Even though I completed this paper for honors credit in my applied climatology class at Mississippi State, this is a project I've been wanting to undertake since my high school years. (See update at bottom of post)

Louisville International Airport
As a kid growing up in Louisville, KY I realized through watching countless TV weathercasts and reading many weather discussions that the high and low temperatures at the airport were considerably warmer than the rest of the city. Louisville has a well-documented heat island region in the center and northern portions of town where the highest concentration of development is, and consequently the increased heat from this area greatly influences the official temperatures at Louisville International Airport. This wasn't always the case. For many years the official measurements were taken at the suburban National Weather Service office off of Smyrna Road in Louisville. These measurements were not as skewed by this effect because it is in an area of trees, vegetation, and suburban housing instead of airport apron, large swaths of roadway, and urban development. This research puts a degree number on how much these measurements at the airport are affected by the heat island.

The time was right back in January to start on this research because climate records from internet-connected personal weather stations around the city have now been available for quite a few years for a good comparison. Not only that, but I feel that I've come far enough in my weather education to do something like this without having holes in understanding block my path. This is research that deals with simple averages and simple data, but I feel that the simplicity makes it powerful. Limited data and manpower put some constraints on this research, but the end result is what I believe to be a good rough estimate. I do offer suggestions for future research, which could maybe lead to some changes in how records are being kept within the city. This is a matter I feel strongly about because these airport temperature measurements in my opinion are not representing the city well, and there's quite a bit of explanation about that inside the paper. Give it a read and tell me what you think in the comments section below!

UPDATE: Mark Jarvis, senior forecaster at NWS Louisville, emailed with information saying that the temperature sensor at KSDF was changed in June 2011 and apparently the anomaly between KSDF temperatures and those in surrounding areas is not as great as it once was due to this. A study will be conducted by the NWS this summer to see how the sensor is performing. This does not change the 2009-2010 data and results I obtained in my paper above.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/11 - 4pm - Quiet Weather Ahead, Storms in the Plains

A stretch of very nice quiet weather is ahead for North Mississippi after a couple days of scattered storms. Cooler temperatures filtering in behind a cold front that came through yesterday will continue to be with us until this weekend and skies will clear out even more too! These clear skies will give us some chilly temperatures tonight in the lower 40's and possibly even upper 30's. The next thing that really will happen with our weather is the approach of a system early next week that could give us clouds and eventually a chance of strong storms by late Monday into Tuesday. This chance is certainly something to keep an eye on. Check out my video at the bottom of this post for more details on this week's forecast.

Speaking of storms, the Plains has a risk of severe weather every day this week through Saturday. Persistent southwest flow aloft coupled with a few shortwave disturbances and eventually a big trough moving through later this week should trigger severe storms in quite a few locations in Tornado Alley. Right now there's a Tornado Watch out for the Texas Panhandle up through Southeast Colorado because of a stalled surface front that is providing a focus for storm development. A supercell that has popped up just north of Amarillo is providing quite a show on radar but has not put down a tornado yet according to the National Weather Service. The risks for severe weather out in that part of the nation will likely become more elevated as the bigger trough moves through later this week. In less than 24 days I'll be traveling the Plains again with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours in my 5th year of being a tour guide with them. I can't wait!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

4/7 - 7:15pm - Fantastic Easter Weekend

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies will be with us in West Tennessee and North Mississippi for Easter Sunday tomorrow with temperatures in the lower to middle 70's. Some like it hot and some like it cold, but I think most like it like this! The clouds we'll see tomorrow will be generated by a cold front that will move through early in the morning, but I think rain chances are zero for tomorrow at this point because there is very little moisture in the air. Another one of these dry cold fronts will move through on Monday, but this time it will bring a batch of cooler air that should bring temperatures down into the 60's for highs on Tuesday and Wednesday. Get a full look at your forecast in my video below from this morning:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4/4 - 3pm - Are the Storms Scared of Starkville?

Fast-moving outflow boundary at MSU on Monday
Over the past three days we've had three separate instances where storms have approached Starkville only to die before they reach us because of either being cut-off from their moisture source in the Gulf or having their cold outflow air rush out and undercut the inflow of the storms. The latest instance of this was this morning as a line of storms perished before our eyes just as it hit the Oktibbeha County line. What happened was that storms to our south cut off the moisture source for the northerly storms and left us in a cold pool of air that was not conducive to storm development.

Tomorrow's SPC severe weather risk
This cold pool has lingered into the afternoon as expected and the chance of storms, especially severe ones, is minimal at this point. Once the atmosphere recovers tomorrow and a cold front starts moving through the region, we could see a much better chance of storms. A few of these may be a little strong, but I think the best chance of severe weather will remain to our south where better moisture and wind shear will be located. Check out the video below for more details!