Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22 - 6:30pm - Great Start to the Week, Rain Ahead in Starkville

Today's weather has been just perfect for our Earth Day here in Mississippi but tomorrow is going to be even better! Temperatures will top out in the middle 70's with a few clouds around so be sure to make time for outdoor activities tomorrow. Rain and storms will move through as a cold front does during the morning hours of Wednesday, but luckily no severe weather is anticipated with this. We'll clear out the storms for the end of the workweek. Check out my LAST-EVER Mississippi State University CampusConnect forecast below. It's been a great four years here in Starkville and I'm going to miss all of the great folks down here. I'm looking forward to my new beginnings at WAVE 3 in Louisville!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/17 - 6:35pm - Severe Weather Tomorrow in Mississippi

A line of severe thunderstorms will move through Mississippi tomorrow, bringing the threat of damaging winds, tornadoes, and hail. The timing on these storms in Starkville will be somewhere near 10pm. Given the uncertainties in this forecast you should be on alert for severe weather in the Golden Triangle between 8pm and midnight tomorrow night. Be sure you have a NOAA weather radio or a smartphone weather alerting app ready to go! All the details on this severe weather forecast are available in the video below.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4/11 - 7pm - Rough Day of Severe Weather, Sunshine to Come

We've had 7 reports of tornadoes so far today across the South as storms really ramped up ramped up earlier in the afternoon. One of these tornadoes caused injuries and a fatality in Kemper County, MS as it moved through there and eventually it moved through Noxubee County into the Macon area. Thankfully the severe weather has pushed off to the east and we'll begin working on clearing out the skies over the next few hours. Check out my latest CampusConnect forecast below for all the details!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2 - 10:45pm - After Some Rain, a Warm Weekend in Mississippi

A stationary boundary stretched across Mississippi is giving folks to the south quite a bit of warm weather this evening but we're cooling down here in Starkville as we remain on the north side of it. An associated area of low pressure currently in Texas will move through the region later this week, triggering showers on Wednesday and Thursday. While temperatures will take a small tumble on those days we'll warm up vigorously into the 70's by the weekend. Check out your CampusConnect Forecast below for all the details!

Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25 - 11:35pm - Weather Says January, Calendar Says March

A biting wind brought in much cooler air today across Mississippi and we even saw a few snow showers across northern portions of the state. As a large trough over the eastern part of the nation begins to break down we'll see temperatures in recovery mode as we head toward the weekend. If you're looking for more appropriate spring-like weather, hang on! Later this week and the weekend will certainly feature more of what you're looking for. Check out my Mississippi State University CampusConnect forecast below for your complete outlook.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3/5 - 11:55pm - Warmer Weather Ahead in East Mississippi!

This morning's cold front brought rain and wind to the Golden Triangle but we've now cleared that out of here as the front is well to our east. Temperatures for tomorrow will be cooler than they were today by about ten degrees but a warming trend will take us well into the 70's by the weekend. How about that... we've gone from snow flurries to warm temperatures in the 70's within the space of a week! Check out my latest CampusConnect Forecast video below for all the details.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28 - 10pm - Snow Showers Possible in MS This Weekend

As cooler air filters in overnight we'll see chilly temperatures tomorrow morning in Starkville along with cloudy skies. A disturbance rotating through the backside of a large low pressure area over the Eastern US will give us a shot at some flurries and snow showers late Friday night into the morning on Saturday. Just like a couple weekends ago, there could be some flurries flying at the MSU baseball game on Saturday afternoon. Temperatures will begin to warm a bit on Sunday and eventually we'll get all the way into the 60's for the new workweek. Your full Mississippi State CampusConnect forecast is in the video below!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19 - 11:30pm - Strong Storms in Mississippi Later This Week

After a nice warm day in Starkville we're gearing up for a cooler, cloudier day tomorrow before storms set in on Thursday. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk of severe weather on Thursday for areas southwest of Starkville. We're right on the fringe of it. Since moisture return and instability look rather limited, the potential in the Golden Triangle for severe weather will be fairly marginal and centered around gusty winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning. It's certainly something to watch though. Rain should clear out for the weekend and leave us with a warm and partly cloudy stretch of weather. Check out the video below for all the details!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/14 - 11:55pm - A Curveball Forecast for MSU Baseball

Ready for some baseball? Tomorrow marks the start of the collegiate baseball season here at Mississippi State and the weather will cooperate... for some of the games this weekend. Friday looks good with temperatures in the mid 50's and partly cloudy skies but unfortunately a cold snap on Saturday will bring the chill for the game on Saturday as temperatures only reach into the mid 40's. Look for a bit of recovery for Sunday's double-header games. Next week brings us more rain as we're just drying out from all the rain we had earlier this week. Yuck. The only redeeming value to this will be the warmer temperatures that will accompany the system generating the rain. Get your full Mississippi State forecast in the video below!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2/5 - 10:30pm - Dense Fog Tonight

Dense fog is already beginning to develop across North Mississippi and West Tennessee as temperatures fall for the overnight hours. A Dense Fog Advisory (see right image) has just been issued for the entire region until 9am CST since visibility could drop below a quarter mile at times. Please be careful as you're out and about in the early morning because this fog will make it difficult to see cars in front of you where it's the most dense. As we mix out the fog later on in the morning we should be left with a beautiful day and clear to partly cloudy skies. Highs tomorrow could reach into the upper 60's in a few spots! As we head into tomorrow night clouds will be on the increase but by Thursday rain moves in. The rain will stick around through some of Friday as well but at least we'll get a break by Saturday. More rain... just what we needed around here, right? Check out the video below for your complete CampusConnect forecast!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/31 - 11:15pm - Snowy to Our North, but Clear Here!

An Alberta Clipper system moving through the Lower Ohio Valley is spreading snow all the way down to I-40 in Tennessee this evening. Those of you in Starkville hoping we might get some flakes tonight will be disappointed to know that this system is running out of steam over the Jackson, TN area and will have trouble even generating any clouds for us this evening. Behind the cold front associated with this Clipper is some cooler air that will be working in overnight. This means we'll get down into the mid 20's by morning in the Golden Triangle and only reach into the lower 40's for highs tomorrow. Ouch! Luckily we'll have full sunshine as we end the workweek but a few showers are poised to move through the area for the early half of Saturday. Check out the video below for your detailed CampusConnect forecast!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/30 - 7pm - Fulfilling a Childhood Dream in Weather and Television

Watch the video for Ryan's big announcement!

Back in the mid 90's I began having a fascination with weather thanks to my childhood fear of thunderstorms. In particular I can remember going to the basement for the storm that eventually generated the May 28th, 1996 tornado in parts of Jefferson, Bullitt, and Spencer Counties in Kentucky near the Louisville area. The TV was turned up loud so we could hear it from the basement and the voice I remember was John Belski's, who was chief meteorologist at WAVE 3 TV in Louisville. His was a calming voice in the middle of the chaos that was going on outside as this supercell storm moved through town. As I watched him after Jefferson County was cleared from the tornado warning I realized that he had the coolest job in the world. He worked with computers (check!), forecast weather events (check!), got to talk to lots of people everyday (check!), and most importantly saved lives during severe weather with his information (double check!).

While other childhood dreams came and went, this particular fascination with weather and my desire to get a degree in meteorology never fluctuated. In middle school I had finally made up my mind that becoming a meteorologist would be the ultimate end game for me. Since then I've been working every single day to make sure that I could become the best meteorologist that I could be. WAVE 3 was a huge part of this because John Belski and others would routinely post things on the Internet that I could learn from. I grew to really enjoy watching this station as a student because the meteorologists who worked there were different. They each knew the area very well, used sound science in their forecasting, and most importantly, had a passion for weather I've not seen anywhere else. This hasn't changed.

I was fortunate enough to intern with Kevin Harned, Brian Goode, and the rest of the WAVE 3 Storm Tracking Team over the summer and quickly realized that Louisville and WAVE were still home to me. I know a lot of people like to leave home once they go to college and into a career but after seeing so many different places in my years of storm chasing, working in TV, and going to college I found that the best one for me is right at home in Kentuckiana. But never did I think that I would be able to return there so quickly.

That's right. If you haven't guessed it yet (or watched the video at the top of this post), I'm announcing today that my childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist in Louisville at WAVE-TV will become a reality in late May after I graduate from Mississippi State. The position I've accepted has me as a meteorologist on WAVE 3 Sunrise Saturday and a social media and marketing graphic artist for the rest of the week while still assisting the Storm Tracking Team in their online offerings. This brings the number of hometown meteorologists on the WAVE 3 Storm Tracking Team to 6. Yes, 6! That's an astounding amount of resources for a TV station and it's only going to aid in serving up the best weather forecasts and information for Kentuckiana. This is a fantastic opportunity and I'm still trying to comprehend just how amazing it is. I'm looking forward to being back home in my city, my Louisville, and doing what I love most. Thanks to all who've supported me over the years. This is big stuff!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1/29 - 5:45pm - Serious Severe Weather Concerns Tonight

Latest Severe Weather Updates

A severe weather setup that we see normally in the springtime is about to unfold on this late January night across a large expanse of the Southeast. While not "unprecedented" or "once-in-a-lifetime", this outbreak is going to impact quite a few people and it's important that everyone have what they need to be prepared and safe. This post is mainly for folks in North Mississippi and West Tennessee, but you can figure out pretty well how you'll be affected if you're not in these areas by some of the maps and information below. Everyone needs to be aware of what's going on because this will be happening at a very bad time of night when even the night owls are asleep.

Fast Facts

A MODERATE Risk of severe weather has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center for the overnight hours in West Tennessee and most of North Mississippi. Tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail are all on the table for these areas as storms move through. Even though places like the Golden Triangle in Mississippi are just outside of the Moderate Risk area I would treat this as if you were in it because these storms are going to be very, very strong still as they move through this region. Please, please, please have a weather radio or smartphone app that's armed and ready to alert you if a Tornado Warning is issued for your location tonight. This will be hitting when most people are asleep so it's a very dangerous situation.

Timing - North MS and West TN

8pm - Midnight - Small chance for some isolated storms. These would carry a tornado, wind, and hail threat.

Midnight - 2am - Slightly better chance for isolated storms, small line of storms may try to form ahead of main line.

2am - 7am - Main line of severe thunderstorms moves through. This will affect everyone. Tornadoes, severe damaging winds, and hail are a good bet during this time.


A line of storms stretches from the Great Lakes to Texas right now and will continue to move eastward through the evening. A few reports of severe weather have come in already from this but the main show will be overnight as this line of storms encounters a more rich environment for severe weather.

The main storm mode for tonight will be a squall line of storms with embedded rotation in portions of it (AKA what's termed a QLCS). Supercell storms will be possible ahead of the main line of storms too and could easily produce tornadoes if they develop. Tornadoes in QLCS lines of storms like the one we'll have tonight are more difficult to identify on radar since they're embedded within the line. While not as strong as supercell tornadoes, QLCS tornadoes can be strong and cause massive damage in the right environment.

While directional shear, which is needed to produce tornadoes, isn't very good for this event, the speed shear or tendency for winds to increase in speed with height will be very good. But, the directional shear may just be enough to cause problems. When you combine helicity (caused by shear) with instability in a formula you get what's called the Energy Helicity Index (EHI). This, in my mind, is a good determinant of tornado ingredients in an environment. The NAM model has increased levels of the EHI throughout West Tennessee and Mississippi tonight as this squall line is moving through so these QLCS tornadoes may have some kick to them if they develop. Not good news at all.

Also, since winds at 850 mb (about 5,000 feet) will be howling it will not take much for any part of this line of storms to pull these winds down to the surface and create straight-line wind damage. I wouldn't be surprised if folks affected by the worst of these winds thought they were hit by a tornado. I'm hearing the word Derecho being thrown around a bit with regard to how this system will develop tonight. That's certainly a possibility with this system but I think it's a relatively small chance.

One more thing to mention, and this is not the least important at all, is the fact that moisture and warm air continues to stream in from the south in advance of this system. When the dry line that's triggering these storms hits this richer air tonight you'll know. The whole line of storms should really begin to light up by then. Having air this warm and moist in January is never a good thing because Mother Nature intends to correct it in a violent way.

Follow me on Twitter and my Facebook page for the latest updates tonight!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/24 - Ryan's Top Weather Apps for 2013

Last March I made a blog post listing some of my favorite weather apps. Since the mobile weather landscape has changed a bit since then I've updated this list for 2013. With the ever-growing number of mobile devices there is similar growth in the weather app market and it's difficult to keep up with all the new apps. The apps listed below are ones that I use on my mobile devices as a student of meteorology, a broadcaster, and a storm chaser. Some of these apps are great for everyone while others are more suited to die-hard weather geeks and professionals. I'd like to point out that I use an iPhone and an iPad, but I've indicated which of the iOS apps that I use are available for Android too. I've not listed prices for these apps, except for the free ones, since they are subject to change.

RadarScope - (iPhone/iPad and Android)

Radarscope is by far the most feature-packed weather radar viewing app for mobile devices at the moment. I've been using this app since it was released in 2008 and have been impressed with the subsequent updates that have been applied since. This app is so powerful because it allows you to view radar products like base reflectivity, base velocity, VIL, echo tops, and now even dual-pol products and Level 2 SuperRes data. If you don't know what any of that means and just want a simple radar app to show you where you are in relation to the storms around you, this is still an app for you. It displays weather warning polygons, which are essential because you're able to easily see which storms are severe near your location or anywhere else in the US. If you're a die-hard weather geek or storm chaser, this app also accepts packaged weather data plans from AllisonHouse for expanded capabilities. There's even a Mac version of this app that many use in place of the famous GRLevelx suite of radar apps for Windows that cannot run on a Mac.

MyWarn - (iPhone, Android in development)

MyWarn is a simple app that alerts you of severe weather that will affect your location. Efforts to turn your smartphone in to the equivalent of a NOAA Weather Radio have been made with other apps before, but this app does it differently and simply. MyWarn's one and only function is to alert you when severe weather watches and warnings are issued for your current location, much like a real weather radio. The interface is very clean and there are quite a few settings in the app that allow you to customize which alerts you want to receive. Something I really like about this app that I've not seen in others is that it will alert you when the Storm Prediction Center issues a severe weather risk for your area, which gives the user a lengthy heads-up that severe storms may be an issue later in the day. The alerts are shown in graphical form once you open up the app so that you can see where exactly where you are inside the watch or warning area. The app's simplicity is what caught my attention because users generally don't want to fiddle with complicated setup wizards and a daunting number of customizations.

Weather Underground - (Free - iPhone/iPad [WunderMap] and Android)

Weather Underground has an impressive app because it leverages a few key features that other general weather apps don't have. Besides displaying a computer-generated for your location and a weather radar, which just about every other major weather app does, Weather Underground's app displays weather observations from their network of over 24,000 personal weather stations around the world. This means that you can get more precise current observations for your location because chances are one of these neighborhood weather stations are closer to you than the official observations. The app also displays live weather webcams from users who have opted to put those online along with their current weather data. Finally, and most impressively for weather geeks, is the ability to listen to live streaming audio from NOAA weather radio stations across the country on the smartphone edition of the app. These audio streams are crowd-sourced much like the observations and webcams, so your mileage may vary with availability of these streams for your area.

InstaWeather - (Free/Paid - iPhone and Android)

InstaWeather takes posting your weather photos on Instagram to a new level. Using weather observations nearby, InstaWeather overlays on your photo the current temperature, winds, humidity, and more at your location. There are quite a few choices in what kind of data you want to show up on your photo along with multiple styles of how that data is presented. You're not just limited to Instagram with your photos though as the app allows you to post directly to Facebook and Twitter as well as save the photo to your phone's camera roll for further sharing options. The pro version removes ads from the app and mention of the app's name from your photos. While the social weather app field is a crowded one, this app stands out for its simplicity and cool factor.

mPing - (Free - iPhone and Android)

mPing is the mobile version of the National Severe Storms Laboratory's PING Project. This project seeks to create algorithms that will better identify what kind of precipitation is falling in your neighborhood based on model data, radar data, and civilian reports. That's where you come in! This app allows you to report what kind of precipitation you're seeing at your location (rain, sleet, snow, etc) so that NSSL can bundle your report to the data that they have. The hope is that the end result of this project will be a radar product that will allow you to see exactly where sleet, snow, rain, hail, and other types of precipitation are falling instead of the loose rain/snow/mix algorithms (AKA the green, white, and pink that you see on TV radar displays) that are used now. Help the future of meteorology by sending in your reports!

Soundings Mobile - (iPhone/iPad)

Soundings Mobile is an app that is mainly aimed at die-hard weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, and storm chasers. This app allows for viewing of both observed and forecast atmospheric soundings at any location where the National Weather Service sends up daily weather balloons. This app displays Skew-Ts and hodographs and even shows a box of stats like CAPE, CIN, LCL, etc that you would find at the bottom of most sounding output pages online. The intriguing thing about this app is that the soundings displayed are not images ripped from the SPC or another online source but rather rendered on the device from the raw data. This means that you can zoom in on and manipulate the sounding without distorting the quality of what you're looking at. This app is great on the iPad but performs well on the iPhone too with an interface adapted for the smaller screen size.

WeatherGeek Pro - (iPhone/iPad and Android)

WeatherGeek Pro is for, well, weather geeks! It is a fairly simple forecast model viewing app that displays output from the GFS, NAM, SREF, WRF, RAP, and other models. As an added "bonus", you can view MOS output for any location within the app. This is a great app if you need to keep up with the latest model runs without the added frustration of navigating NCEP's website on a small screen. The app now has items that you can buy within the program with like ECMWF model viewing and additions map views for certain models. This is not an app I'd recommend unless you have some experience with weather models and forecasting.

AeroWeather - (Free/Paid - iPhone/iPad)
AeroWeather makes it easy to keep up with your favorite METAR sites and the TAF forecasts for them. While these products are aimed at aviation they are useful to any meteorologist or weather geek looking for raw METAR data. An example of when I use this app the most is during winter weather events with mixed precipitation types. At a glance you're able to see exactly who's reporting snow, who has freezing rain, and who is seeing sleet. The free version of this app displays the surface observations and their TAFs while the paid version expands upon that with radar images, webcams, and further airport information for pilots.

These are eight apps that I use frequently, but this doesn't mean that there aren't other good ones out there. Leave a comment on this post with your favorite weather apps!

(Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for or was asked to post this list of apps. These apps are merely ones that I use and enjoy personally and I receive no financial incentive for mentioning them on this blog.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1/23 - 7:15pm - Rainy End to the Week, Nice Weekend!

Tonight's low clouds aren't showing up well
on infrared satellite imagery.
After an evening of cool temperatures and a few clouds we'll be seeing a few rain showers setting in for the morning hours across the Golden Triangle and North Mississippi. These showers will be in advance of our next system that will bring us appreciable rain on Friday. But, how about the weekend? After this system moves out we'll have slightly cooler temperatures but at least the sunshine will be out in full force on Saturday. Temperatures will warm a bit for Sunday before we see more rain just in time for the new work week. Your full forecast is available in the CampusConnect video below!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1/20 - 2:45pm - Bitter Cold Air is Arriving Soon!

Temperatures in the 30's were common last night in West Tennessee and North Mississippi but temperatures are poised to drop much further than that tonight. A dry and relatively marginal cold front is moving through West Tennessee right now and that cold front is the first of two cold shots for the region. This will put lows down into the mid 20's in West Tennessee and lower to mid 30's in North Mississippi as cold air pours in behind the front. This cold air won't allow temperatures to rise much during the day tomorrow either, with highs in the upper 30's closer to Jackson, TN and closer to 50 down toward the Golden Triangle in Mississippi.

During the day tomorrow the second of two shots of cold air will pour in as another cold front passes by. This one will bring the ├╝ber cold weather that we'll see on Monday night and Tuesday morning. The winds behind this front will be out of the north, meaning the source region (AKA where the air is coming from) for the cold air we'll see during this time will be in the Upper Midwest where they'll be below zero. While that kind of cold isn't expected, mid to upper teens will be common in West Tennessee with readings closer to 20 or 25 degrees down toward North Mississippi. A low of 16 or 17 degrees in Jackson, TN on Tuesday morning looks pretty reasonable given the intensity of the cold air spilling down. While our neighbors to the north may scoff at this being branded as "bitterly cold" in the South, this is still some incredibly cold air. Pets will certainly need to be inside during this time and people need to be bundled up as much as possible. Limit your time outside on Tuesday morning, if possible, and be sure to cover any exposed skin if you do have to be out. Temperatures during the day on Tuesday will warm to a more reasonable lower 30's in West Tennessee and lower 40's in North Mississippi.

Temperatures will moderate during the week thanks to the return of wind flow from the south. This return flow means more moisture in the air across the region. You might guess that this warmer air and more moisture will eventually lead to rain chances... and you'd be right! A low pressure system and associated upper-level shortwave disturbance will track through near the end of the week, bringing rain chances. There's some disagreement between various models over whether this will start on Thursday or Friday. The GFS model's timeline on this is posted below. My guess at this point is that the timeline you see below will be delayed by about 12 hours, so expect rain chances to creep into the region ahead of this low on Thursday afternoon and continue through the night into Friday.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that a little bit of wintry precipitation may fall on the backside of this system on Friday. If cold air flows in behind a cold front associated with this system fast enough then some of the last few rain showers could mix with or change over to a brief period of snow. The GFS identifies Kentuckiana as being the prime target for this but we all know that model has been trending too warm lately in all the winter weather events we've dealt with. So in my mind, West Tennessee is in a potential area for this mix or snow switchover to occur. We're too early for specifics on this so the forecast will have to be fine-tuned during the week. Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1/15 - 8pm - Just Plain Rain for Starkville, but Snow Later?

While the Delta region has been plagued by an ice storm yesterday and today we've been lucky enough here in Starkville to just be experiencing plain rain and temperatures above freezing. It's 35 degrees in Starkville right now and it still looks like we'll keep above freezing for the remainder of the overnight hours. A Flash Flood Watch is still in effect through late tonight for the area due to all the heavy rain we've had. As this rain begins to move out tomorrow evening there's a chance that some of this could as snow. It's not real clear who will get the most snow and how much, but there's at least some potential for light snow as we go through Wednesday night into Thursday morning. That forecast will continue to be fine-tuned throughout the day tomorrow. Check out my video below for all you need to plan your week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1/10 - 8:30pm - Tape Time

Happy New Year! I just got finished editing together my first professional weather resume tape. Well, it's not really a tape but that's what it's still called in the industry since tapes are a relic of the not-too-distant past. It's hard to believe that I've been doing weather on TV now for nearly two-and-a-half years. Time flies when you're having fun!