Tag Archives: flash flood

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 19 – 29, 2016

Greetings everybody! I hope everyone’s having a good week and, if you’re dealing with the heat wave covering a good portion of North America, you’re staying cool and comfortable. For much of the USA, drought conditions are spreading and even include many northeastern states. For folks into citizen science, there’s news regarding the mPING app. And, as usual, there’s plenty of climate data to keep up with…so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re using an older version of the mPING app, please update so your important weather reports will work with the updated database. If you’re not familiar with mPING, it’s a great way for citizen scientists to report weather events to the National Severe Storms Laboratory to help with their research. The mPING app is free, takes up very little space on your smart phone, and is available for both iOS and Android.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter finally dealt a blow to one if it’s most offensive users. Let’s hope this isn’t a one-time publicity stunt.

Twitter is also regrouping in an effort to attract new users in order to, “help people to understand that Twitter isn’t really a Facebook-like social network where you connect with friends and family (thank goodness for that!) nor a place where you have to show up and tweet every day.” For severe weather information, Twitter is “hands-down” the best social media platform to receive severe weather watch and warning information…so long as you follow official media and National Weather Service accounts.

Trolls are an ever-present irritant in the online world, but there are ways to soundly destroy them…and it’s not that difficult.

An incredible technology and aeronautical achievement has just been completed. A solar-powered aircraft had circled the globe!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An excellent read on why we need to remember the Apollo moon landings.

The red spot storm on Jupiter has been observed for hundreds of years. The air in its thunderstorms boil at temperatures of of at least 2400°F (1300°C).

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Now that the DSCOVR satellite has been orbiting the Earth for over a year, its EPIC camera has finally captured enough images for a year-long time-lapse video of our home.

Thanks to climate change, wildfires in the USA have burned over 2.6 million acres so far this year…and there’s more to come.

California isn’t the only state in the US that is currently ravaged by drought. The northeastern states are in the grips of dry conditions as well.

A novel idea that’s worth looking into. If you’ve got an overabundance of CO2, get more giant trees.

For those who have the daunting task for forecasting flood events, climate change just changed the rules they must play by.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

We all need weather forecasts available on our mobile devices. The National Weather Service has you covered for your summer vacation…and year round.

Weather Ready Graphic

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Do You (Or Your Meteorologist) Understand What 40% Chance Of Rain Means?”

For the next three months (August, September, and October, 2016), NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s outlook is for above average temperatures for the contiguous forty-eight states and Alaska.

We’re only in late July and, according to data from NOAA and NASA, 2016 is already shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures.

With 2016 shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures, here’s an important look at many USA cities which are bound to set records of their own.

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded.

A very informative read on how climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming.

Part health, part weather…a good read on keeping the human body cool during a heat wave. Your life could depend on it.

While on the topic of heat and the human body, here’s a comprehensive list of seven misconceptions about heat and humidity. Chances are you believe in some of them.

An interesting map of the climate worries that are (most likely) in the USA’s public mind…state-by-state.

An interesting read on one of the more enigmatic lightning related phenomenons in meteorology: ball lightning.

Yet another media-hype unscientific term has infiltrated itself into mass media and the colloquial dictionary. Welcome to the “heat dome.”

Finally, a look at the best arguments that climate change denialists can devise. From the article, “These are the publishing climate scientists who argue that something other than humans is responsible for the majority of global warming, although their explanations are often contradictory and don’t withstand scientific scrutiny.” The flat-earth society is still alive and well.

That’s a wrap for this post!

One last note; due to ongoing commitments to many other projects, this blog post will now be published on Friday. I’d also like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! All of Tornado Quest’s social media links can be found below.

Cheers!

————————————————————————

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Significant Flooding Event Underway: Overview & Safety Tips #arwx #kswx #okwx #txwx

As of 4:00 PM CDT, a significant flash flooding event is unfolding across parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The latest forecast discussion from the Tulsa National Weather Service (NWS) underscores this point and doesn’t mince words as to the significant dangers.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK

337 PM CDT SAT MAY 23 2015 .

.DISCUSSION…

…LIFE THREATENING FLOOD POTENTIAL TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY…

WIDESPREAD CONVECTION IS UNDERWAY ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS WITHIN AN EXPANDING PLUME OF TROPICAL MOISTURE. OBSERVED RAINFALL RATES HAVE BEEN IMPRESSIVE ESPECIALLY FOR AREAS BENEATH ANY CONVECTIVE SEGMENT THAT BECOMES ORIENTATED PERPENDICULAR TO THE LOW LEVEL SOUTHERLY FLOW. FLOW ALOFT WILL CONTINUE TO BACK AS UPPER TROUGH APPROACHES WHILE DIFFLUENT REGION GRADUALLY SPREADS EASTWARD. THIS WILL ALLOW THE ONGOING CONVECTION TO EXPAND IN COVERAGE FROM WEST TX NORTHWARD INTO CENTRAL AND EASTERN OK THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT. RAINFALL FORECASTS MAY BE CONSERVATIVE BASED ON OBSERVED CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON…AND LATER UPDATES MAY NEED TO INCREASE TOTALS A BIT FURTHER ESPECIALLY FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING ACROSS EASTERN OKLAHOMA.

IMPACT: WET SOILS ALONG WITH MANY LARGER RIVERS NEAR OR CURRENTLY IN FLOOD STAGE WILL ALLOW FOR RAPID ONSET OF FLASH FLOODING. EVEN THE CONSERVATIVE RAINFALL TOTALS WILL PRODUCE LIFE AND PROPERTY THREATENING FLOODING. THE RAINFALL AXIS WILL SHIFT EASTWARD SUNDAY AFTERNOON / OVERNIGHT AND IMPACT WESTERN ARKANSAS. WHILE THE RAINFALL TOTALS MAY TAPER A BIT AS THE UPPER FORCING REMAINS LESS…THE SATURATED CONDITIONS WILL MAINTAIN THE POTENTIAL FOR DANGEROUS FLOODING. OF ADDITIONAL CONCERN WILL BE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY AS A LARGE COMPLEX OF STORMS ORIGINATES ACROSS WESTERN TX AND SPREADS NORTHEASTWARD. WHILE THE BULK OF THIS RAINFALL IS CURRENTLY FORECAST NEAR THE ARKLATEX REGION…HEALTHY RAINFALL TOTALS ARE LIKELY TO SPREAD INTO SE OK AND WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS WHICH WILL QUICKLY WORSEN ANY ONGOING FLOOD CONDITIONS. A LULL IN CONVECTIVE COVERAGE IS EXPECTED FOR THE MID WEEK PERIOD BEFORE A COLD FRONT AND UPPER WAVE IMPACT THE REGION BY LATE NEXT WEEK WITH MORE WIDESPREAD RAINFALL POSSIBLE.

Though rather technical in nature, the basic message behind the forecast discussion is quite simple. Over a vast area of the southern plains, a significant and potentially life-threatening flash flooding potential exists. As a result, the Tulsa NWS has also issued a Flash Flood Watch.

FLOOD WATCH

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK

355 PM CDT SAT MAY 23 2015

PUSHMATAHA-CHOCTAW-OSAGE-WASHINGTON OK-NOWATA-CRAIG-OTTAWA-PAWNEE- TULSA-ROGERS-MAYES-DELAWARE-CREEK-OKFUSKEE-OKMULGEE-WAGONER- CHEROKEE-ADAIR-MUSKOGEE-MCINTOSH-SEQUOYAH-PITTSBURG-HASKELL- LATIMER-LE FLORE- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ANTLERS…CLAYTON…HUGO…PAWHUSKA… BARTLESVILLE…NOWATA…VINITA…MIAMI…PAWNEE…TULSA… CLAREMORE…PRYOR…JAY…BRISTOW…OKEMAH…OKMULGEE…WAGONER… TAHLEQUAH…STILWELL…MUSKOGEE…EUFAULA…SALLISAW… MCALESTER…STIGLER…WILBURTON…POTEAU

355 PM CDT SAT MAY 23 2015

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING…

…LIFE AND PROPERTY THREATENING FLOODING EVENT UNDERWAY…

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF EAST CENTRAL OKLAHOMA…NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA AND SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA…INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS…IN EAST CENTRAL OKLAHOMA…CHEROKEE…MUSKOGEE…OKFUSKEE AND SEQUOYAH. IN NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA…ADAIR…CRAIG…CREEK… DELAWARE…MAYES…NOWATA…OKMULGEE…OSAGE…OTTAWA… PAWNEE…ROGERS…TULSA…WAGONER AND WASHINGTON. IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA…CHOCTAW…HASKELL…LATIMER…LE FLORE…MCINTOSH… PITTSBURG AND PUSHMATAHA.

* THROUGH MONDAY MORNING

* WIDESPREAD SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL OVERSPREAD MUCH OF EASTERN OKLAHOMA TONIGHT…AND SPREAD EASTWARD INTO WESTERN ARKANSAS DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY. RAINFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR WILL BE COMMON WITH THE HEAVIEST RAINS.

* WIDESPREAD RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED ACROSS MUCH OF EASTERN OKLAHOMA…ESPECIALLY AREAS ALONG AND WEST OF A LINE FROM MIAMI OKLAHOMA TO HUGO OKLAHOMA. LOCAL AMOUNTS OF 8 TO 9 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE WITHIN THIS SAME AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

LIFE THREATENING FLOODING CAN QUICKLY DEVELOP WITH THESE RAINFALL AMOUNTS…ESPECIALLY NEAR AREA RIVERS AND LAKES. BE PREPARED TO ACT QUICKLY SHOULD WARNINGS BE ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA.

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD TO UNKNOWN DEPTHS. TAKE A DIFFERENT ROUTE TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION OR WAIT UNTIL THE WATER RECEDES.

IF YOU ARE IN THE WATCH AREA…KEEP INFORMED…AND BE READY FOR QUICK ACTION IF FLASH FLOODING IS OBSERVED OR IF A WARNING IS ISSUED. HAVE A MEANS OF RECEIVING ANY WARNINGS ISSUED OVERNIGHT SUCH AS A WEATHER RADIO.

For many parts of Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas, the flooding threat is just as significant. The latest information from your local NWS office can be obtained by NOAA weather radio or clicking your locale on this map which will take you directly to your NWS office. Obviously, the weather media (local and national) outlets of your choice have excellent information as well. Most of the flooding will take place in the Arkansas/Red Basin region. The West Gulf region is also expecting major flooding as well.

Here’s some important flash flooding safety information from the NWS. Remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown. More people are killed every year from flooding than all other weather hazards combined. Last but not least, here’s some helpful disaster supply kit information from Ready.gov.

Stay safe and stay very weather aware during this event. With knowledge being power, you have all the information at your fingertips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Cheers!

 

 

Updated: Potentially Active Severe Weather Episode Mid-Week For Central/Southern Plains

The potential for severe weather on Wednesday and Thursday is becoming more clear with the addition of new weather data to the forecast. Let me preface the rest of this post with two points. 1.) I’ve included for your convenience some severe weather safety links at the bottom of this post and 2.) it’s my hope that the information I’m sharing will alleviate some of the unnecessary anxiety and stress that is so often fostered by attention hungry fear mongers in social media. Having said that, let’s take a look at this week’s severe weather potential.

Updated 7:20 PM CDT: There is a Slight Risk tonight for parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma with a pending watch from the Storm Prediction Center. If any storms for tonight, they could have an effect on the atmosphere in such a way that Wednesday’s severe weather outlook could be changed.

It’s no surprise that the Storm Prediction Center added an Enhanced Risk to Wednesday’s severe weather outlook. As is often the case, as more data become available, it’s easier to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Here’s a look at Wednesday’s SPC severe weather outlook. While some severe weather scenarios are almost textbook, this forecast challenge has become more daunting as the days when storms are likely has drawn closer.

WEDNESDAY

Day 1 SPC Categorical Outlook 7 April 2015Tomorrow’s severe weather setup is a very complex scenario. The next two days will certainly be no small challenge to any meteorologist. As of this post, SPC forecasters feel that storms may form much earlier than usual. This will have a significant effect on where and when any additional storms form later in the day. From the SPC discussion, “STILL..DEEP LAYER
SHEAR SHOULD BE STRONG ENOUGH FOR ORGANIZED CONVECTION…INCLUDING SUPERCELLS AND AN EVOLVING STORM CLUSTER…IN THE PRESENCE OF SIZABLE CAPE.” In other words, in spite of the fact that storms may form early, there are ingredients available for them to become potent supercells. It’s possible that if storms form early, it could be in the north-central Oklahoma/south-central Kansas border region…but that is subject to change. As the afternoon progresses, peak heating occurs, and several other elements fall into place making the atmosphere more volatile, there will be, “AN INCREASED RISK FOR SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING VERY LARGE HAIL AND A COUPLE OF TORNADOES. INITIALLY ROUGHLY NEAR THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN KANSAS/OKLAHOMA BORDER AREA…THIS ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD NORTHEASTWARD/EASTWARD TOWARD THE LOWER MISSOURI VALLEY…BEFORE GRADUALLY WEAKENING WEDNESDAY NIGHT.” Now, let’s take a look at the SPC’s severe weather probability map.

WEDNESDAY’S SEVERE WEATHER PROBABILITY MAP

SPC Probabilistic Outlook 1 7 April 2015As I’ve stated in previous posts, the purpose of the probabilistic map is to give people in the shaded areas an idea of their chances of seeing some kind of severe weather within twenty-five miles of a point. For parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma shaded in red, there’s almost a one in three chance of some kind of severe weather occurring fairly close to any specific area. In the “hatched” area that’s outlined in black, there’s a higher probability of storms with a bit of extra power to their punch. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you are properly prepared for severe weather and aren’t doing anything foolishly risky, you’ll be just fine. If you live in a mobile home or will be working in a large room with a wide span roof, a barn, outbuilding, or outdoors (all typically areas that have an increased danger and are particularly vulnerable to even weak tornadoes or strong straight-line winds), you might consider planning today where you would take shelter if you’re in a warning. Outside of the red shaded area is our 15% and 5% probabilities regions which cover a large part of the southern plains to the Ohio valley. Keep in mind that storms may be very isolated in the 5% area, but can still pack quite a punch. So, to wrap up Wednesday’s outlook in lay terms…current SPC forecasts convey the possibility that some storms may get an early start. If they do form, expect them to be severe. Later in the day, the atmosphere will be primed for even more robust storms to form. Expect all modes of severe weather (aka: large hail, damaging straight-line winds, flash flooding potential, and tornadoes), numerous severe thunderstorm and/or tornado watches, and many warnings issued by your local National Weather Service office. Perhaps most importantly and once again, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of following official sources of watch and warning information.

THURSDAY

Day 2 SPC Categorical Outlook 7 April 2015Thursday’s severe weather outlook will be just as challenging as Wednesday’s…perhaps even more difficult…but the same hazards will be possible, especially in the Slight and Enhanced Risk areas. From the SPC discussion, “WHILE RESIDUAL CONVECTION/CLOUD COVER COULD ALTER THE LOCATION OF — OR EVEN HINDER DEVELOPMENT OF — THE NEXT ROUND OF AFTERNOON/EVENING STORMS AHEAD OF THE ADVANCING SYSTEM…IT APPEARS AT THIS TIME THAT AMPLE DESTABILIZATION WILL OCCUR AHEAD OF THE FRONT IN THE WAKE OF PRIOR PRECIPITATION. In a nutshell, in spite of widespread storms Wednesday that will have used up a lot of “energy,” the atmosphere will have plenty of time to re-charge its batteries for another round of rowdy weather. This time, the focus will be from northeastern Texas to southern Wisconsin and southwestern Michigan. The Enhanced Risk introduced yesterday by the SPC still holds. In fact, population wise, there will be almost three times as many people in the Thursday Enhanced Risk area as there were on Wednesday in spite of the fact that it is a slightly smaller area. Now, let’s take a look at Thursday’s probability map.

THURSDAY’S SEVERE WEATHER PROBABILITY MAP

SPC Probabilistic Outlook 2 7 April 2015Once again, the purpose of this map is to convey to you the probabilities of severe weather in or close to where you live. It’s not meant to scare or alarm anyone but, knowledge being power, to inform you so you can prepare for the possibility of storms and take necessary precautions if you’re in a warned area. The current thinking is that the highest probabilities will exist for much of eastern Missouri and most of Illinois…including the St. Louis and Chicago metro areas and surrounding suburbs. From the SPC discussion, “EXPECT SUPERCELL MODE TO EXIST — AT LEAST INITIALLY — WHICH THUS SUPPORTS INTRODUCTION OF AN SIGNIFICANT SEVERE-WEATHER AREA AND ENHANCED CATEGORICAL RISK ACROSS ILLINOIS/EASTERN MISSOURI AND VICINITY…WHERE LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS APPEAR LIKELY ALONG WITH A FEW TORNADOES.” Just like Wednesday, supercell thunderstorms will exist with all the trimmings. Regardless of where you live in the Marginal, Slight, or Enhanced risk area, prepare accordingly for the possibility of all modes of severe weather. Friday could be active as well from Georgia to the DelMarVa region and Saturday in western Texas…but with two rather significant days of severe weather already on our doorstep, we’ll cross those bridges if/when necessary.

Before I wrap this up, I’d like to pass along some helpful information from the Storm Prediction Center. This graphic is an excellent resource and clearly explains the new severe weather risk categories.

SPC Outlooks Graphic 2Here are some more helpful links:

Let’s meet again tomorrow to take a look at the day’s severe weather setup. It’ll be a much briefer post than this one, and will only focus on tomorrow’s severe weather probabilities. Once again…follow only official National Weather Service sources of watch and warning information along with the broadcast meteorologists of your choice…plan accordingly if you are in a watch…take proper precautions if you are in a warning…and you’ll be just fine. It comes as a surprise to many…but regardless of what these storms throw at you…if you take the necessary safety precautions you’ll come through smelling like a rose.

See you good folks later…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Feb. 23 – March 5, 2015

This has been a very busy week for me with several important projects in the works, two media interviews, and last but not least, a potent March winter storm. Hence the short post for this week. Spring, and the severe weather that accompanies the seasonal changes on the Great Plains, is just around the corner. Along with that goes many long, long days for me. In lieu of my usual post, I’m sharing some severe weather safety information. It’s that time of year to prepare as the inevitable uptick in severe thunderstorm, hail, high winds, tornadoes, flash floods, and lightning events will take place.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Communicating science to a largely apathetic general public is often one of the most challenging communication dilemmas a scientist will face.

Not directly weather related, but a result of it. “Insurers pay out more on claims in storm-prone Oklahoma.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Many parts of the USA will be affected by climate change…and the “breadbasket” is no exception.

A very timely essay on the hazards of posting weather model forecast images in social media.

Here’s this week’s US Drought Monitor. Aside from minor improvement in Texas, extreme and exceptional drought conditions persist in several states.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, and Lightning: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

National Weather Service Website Legend, Definitions, Safety, & Preparedness Info

Also, a quick reminder to always practice very strict due diligence when making choices on where you get potentially life-saving weather information for you and your loved ones. The best and most timely information (where seconds can literally mean life or death) will come from your local National Weather Service office, NOAA weather radio, and the broadcast meteorologists (local and/or national) of your choice. It will not come from weather hobbyists, storm chasers, etc. who, all too often, are fishing for Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and a great deal of attention for their social media. Having said that, I will re-emphasize what I have always said about my own online presence; Tornado Quest is not, has never been, and never will be a source for potentially life saving information. I may pass along severe weather watch and mesoscale discussion for the southern plains (I have a very high percentage of followers in this region) and may comment occasionally on a severe thunderstorm or tornado radar image I find intriguing in a scientific sense, but never in a warning mode or masquerading as a source of very important weather watch and/or warning information. You know who you prefer in your local or national television market in terms of broadcast meteorologists and should know how to get information from your local National Weather Service office via computer, cell phone, or NOAA weather radio. My opinions on who you get your weather information from are not popular with many hobbyists, but I stand firmly by everything I say.

And on that note, have a great day…see you next time!

Cheers!

%d bloggers like this: