June, 2012

It Wasn’t A Tornado

June 30th, 2012 at 9:16 pm by under Weather

The weather event that unfolded across our area on Friday was very significant, producing widespread damage, but it wasn’t a tornado.

What we saw was a straight line wind event.  When it moved across our area, it was a bow echo and by the time it got to central Ohio it morphed into a “derecho.”   What is a derecho you ask?   The local National Weather Service of Northeastern Indiana has a great web article about this event here.  If you click on the storm reports here, you will see that there were only two confirmed tornadoes, not in our area, but over 600 wind reports.

The reason people think it was a tornado that hit there neighborhood is that they can’t believe that straight line wind damage could take down a 5 foot diameter tree, flatten a foundry or even an old school house.  But they can and they did.   This is why it is so important to take shelter when a thunderstorm warning are issued.   Severe thunderstorm winds can reach up to 100 mph, take down buildings and look like damage produced by small to moderate tornadoes.

To everyone who lost a tree in their yard, have been without power, or had significant damage to their property, I am sorry for your loss.

Friday Storms

June 30th, 2012 at 9:25 am by under Weather

Friday’s storms definitely left their mark on the area.  Thousands are still without power.  The full story on the power outages on wane.com can be found HERE.  Here is a quick look at the storm reports with this storm.

Friday Storm Reports

Notice that most of the dots are blue, representing wind damage reports.  The yellow dots represent wind gust reports.  That is the main thing that we experienced with this storm.  Unfortunately winds were powerful enough to cause major damage across the entire area.  Take a look at the wind reports from around the area.

Wind Reports Friday

91 mph wind gust at the Fort Wayne Airport!!!  If those winds were associated with a tornado (which it was NOT), that would eb an EF1

Enhanced Fujita Scale

Even though we are expecting a few more storms this weekend, we are not expecting anything like what we saw Friday.  For a look at some of the damage across the area, check out the photo gallery from Friday’s storms.  If you have any pics of the storm use Report !t.

Bow Echo Brings Widespread Damage

June 29th, 2012 at 7:03 pm by under Weather

Sorry for the late blog update folks, it has been a crazy day in the weather center as I was swamped with just trying to keep up with that line of storms.

What we saw today was a “squall line” or a “bow echo.”  It is called a bow echo because the leading edge of the storm bows out.  It is on the leading edge of the bow that you can find weak tornadoes and very strong straight line winds.  The damage we saw today was mainly all straight line wind damage, but at times, those winds were up to 90 mph.

The winds at the Fort Wayne Airport were so strong at 91 mph, that both rain gauges were knocked out of commission.  There were dozens of reports of winds up to 65 mph, but winds were up to 84 mph at the Paulding Airport and 88 mph near IPFW campus.

We have received over hundreds of photos from WANE viewers and it would take me a week to post all of them.  Thank goodness our web team was on it today and posted this storm photo gallery.

So, will we see this again tomorrow?  It’s possible but not guaranteed.  Look for another round of storms Saturday and there is a risk of severe storms to include winds up to 65 mph and hail up to the size of quarters.  So, most of the WANE viewing area is under a slight risk of severe storms for Saturday.

Record Heat Continues

June 29th, 2012 at 5:59 am by under Weather

The year’s most expansive mass of hot air continued its dominance over the weather of more than half of the Lower 48 states Thursday, bringing Fort Wayne its first triple-digit temperatures in since last July and the first triple-digit “JUNE” high in nearly a quarter century.
Thursday’s 106-degree readings Fort Wayne Airport a became the first 100s to occur in June in the city since 1988.

Hot spell could last through next week and into the following weekend producing one of the longest strings of 90°+ temps here in more than half a century

A string of 11 or more consecutive 90-degree or higher days hasn’t occurred in Fort Wayne since the late 1950s.  Five such strings are on the books since official observations began here in 1897.
The early read on the current hot spell is that it may last well into next weekend. If true, that would mean a collection of 12 back to back 90-degree or hotter days may occur, establishing a new record.

Hottest Day Ever, Worse Drought Ever?

June 28th, 2012 at 5:46 pm by under Weather

That’s right folks, today we lived through weather history in Fort Wayne.  Thursday was the hottest day every in Fort Wayne weather history with a high of 106°.  Actually, it is a 4 way tie between:

  • 25 June 1988
  • 14 July 1936
  • 22 July 1934

Even though we will see slightly lower temperatures over the next week, that is all relative.  Look for highs in the mid 90s for the next 5 days with the return of triple digit heat for the long holiday weekend.  The outlook for the next 2 weeks is for above average temperatures and below average rain.

There is a very low chance of storms for us for Friday night and for Saturday, but this meager rain chance will not be enough to make any dent in the drought.   After another week without significant rain, the drought has jumped to another level again, from “Severe” to “Extreme.”  Because the “Drought Monitor” is a relatively new product from the Climate Predication Center, it is hard to gauge how bad this drought is compared to the last 100 years.  My guess is that this will be the worst drought in our weather history.

This makes sense as our annual rain deficit is almost as big as our total rain for the year so far:  Actual 2012 rain total is 10.6″ and our deficit to average is at 8.13″.

This is just the beginning folks!  Look for the drought to worsen over the next month and for several other chances of triple digit heat.

If you are going to try to beat the heat this weekend by heading to lake country, look for highs in the mid 90s and a west breeze.  I grew up on the lakes during the summer and it looks like good wake boarding wind for the afternoons with the smooth water ski ride near sunset as the daily breezes weaken.


Hottest June Day In 24 Years!

June 28th, 2012 at 7:06 am by under Weather

The brutally hot air mass responsible for hundreds of record high temperatures over the Plains in recent days and for the “heat” and “excessive heat” advisories spanning 23 states Thursday, makes its move into the our area. It brings with it Fort Wayne’s  hottest June temperature in 24 years. The last time we hit 100 was back on June 25th, 1988 when we reached an all time high temperature in Fort Wayne of 106!

It’s very rare that Fort Wayne reaches temperatures above 100 in the month of June. In fact, it’s only happened 5 times since weather records have been kept. You’ve already read about the first time. During the drought of 1988 on the 21st of June it was 102. That was matched back on June 28th, 1934. Also in 1934 there was a recorded high of 101 on the 1st that year. The only time we reached temperatures over 100 was on June 20th, 1953 when reached the century mark.

106 which is the all time high for Fort Wayne has been equaled 2 other times on July 14, 1936 and July 22, 1934.

                                                                           OZONE Action Day

Ground level ozone has been building over the last several days and with the heat building this afternoon an ozone caution day has been issued for folks who have breathing problems and asthma asked to stay indoors if possible.

6 to 10 day precipitation probability outlook

The next 6 to 10 days don’t look that much better with below normal precipitation probabilities

The Heat Wave Begins

June 27th, 2012 at 6:20 pm by under Weather

If you don’t like hot weather, you may not want to read the rest of the blog post.  Not only is Thursday going to bring us record heat and high fire danger, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Get ready for the hottest day of the year so far for Thursday with a high of 103°.  Not only will this be a new record high temperature for the day, it will likely be the highest temperature since the late 80s, and the 2nd highest temperature every recorded in June in Fort Wayne.

On top of the heat, the fire danger will be very high, so the National Weather Service has issued a “Red Flag Warning” for most our our area.  So, what does this mean?   The fire danger will be high and we need to do our part to help prevent the start of grass fires.  If you smoke, DON’T TOSS YOUR CIGARETTE BUTT OUT THE WINDOW OF YOUR CAR!

So, will this be anything like what we are seeing in Colorado?  Now, before I answer this, I don’t want to down play the fire risk here in our area, but the conditions are different.  In Colorado, the humidity is lower, the winds are stronger and they have a lot more dead pine trees then we do.  Our fire danger will be very high for us and grass fires are very possible, but I don’t expect widespread forest fires in our area.

This heat wave is just the beginning and I expect a very hot and very dry July.   This has all to do with the position of the “heat dome” and our drought.  Yes, our drought and dry soil will make the heat worse and reduce our rain chances.   Some of the short to mid range forecast models want to trigger rain over the next 4-5 days, but those same models are over forecasting the amount of humidity in the area.   The forecast models have a hard time “modeling” or gauging how dry the ground is.  This arid soil will absorb the humidity and eat away at our rain chances.   As the saying goes: “Drought begets drought.”



The Hottest Day Of The Summer…So Far

June 27th, 2012 at 11:50 am by under Weather

Temperatures soar into the triple digits across 15 states west  of Indiana Tuesday–new records established in 11 of them!

The peak readings observed across the Plains and South Tuesday were stunning. Among the hotter readings were 112-Russell, Kansas, 111 Miles City, Mont., 105 at Denver—the second day with temperatures equaling that city’s all-time high—104 Oklahoma City and 105 at  Houston Texas.

This record heat is headed toward northeastern Indiana Thursday and is only expected to last a day. There will be some dangerous side effects with this very high temperature. The first is a Fire Weather Watch, while this is a fairly new term for most people it is something that western states face every summer, with the dry air combined with unusually low humanities the fuels (grasses and dry plants) could be easily set on fire from a simple spark. (Like a cigarette butt), This will most likely be changed to a Red Flag Warning  by Thursday.

The intense heat will back off a bit by Friday as a weather system which should bring storms to Northern Illinois and Iowa brings some relief, Futurecast rings some scattered showers in, even they do fall across the area it will do very little to weaken the severe drought conditions across the area.

Triple digit highs Thursday!

June 26th, 2012 at 4:16 pm by under Weather

The dog days of summer are here already!  We are forecasting highs of 100 for Thursday.

Dog Days of Summer

Here is a look at temperatures across the area for Thursday.

Futurecast Temps - Thursday Highs

For tips on staying cool… check out my blog post Staying Cool This Summer.

Drought will worsen in July

June 26th, 2012 at 5:49 am by under Weather

Drought impacting area crops; USDA reports top and sub-soil moisture low over much of state; 62 percent of state’s corn crop rated “fair” or worse

The worsening drought is impacting soil moisture levels and crop development in the Midwest, according to the USDA’s weekly report released Monday.

The agency reported 84 percent of top and sub-soils in Indiana were either “short” or “very short”. At the same time, the USDA indicated that 62 percent of Indiana’s’ corn crop and 76 percent of its soybeans are rated no better than “fair”—with 36 percent of corn and soybeans in “poor” or “very poor” shape.

The extended outlook doesn’t look good at all either. In fact, over the next 6 to 10 days there is about a 60% chance that we will stay below normal. The 14 day outlook keeping thing below normal as well. Meanwhile, the 30 day outlook for July has no indications that we will see increased chances for precipitation and the next 3 months doesn’t see much promising news.