Greg Shoup

Space RADAR

September 19th, 2014 at 11:31 am by under Weather
A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station.

A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station.

Imagine a radar that could measure ocean winds, track hurricanes and help scientists track 15 year climate records of events. The most exciting part of this radar called RadScat is that it will be mounted on the International Space Station and help scientists with real time information during tropical ocean events. Even though NASA doesn’t fly shuttles into space anymore they are able to help NOAA scientists that measure ocean climate and temperature in an innovative way

 


A dipping and diving jet stream still causing cold across much of the U.S.

September 18th, 2014 at 11:32 am by under Weather

The extreme cold that enveloped much of North America this year is being caused by a diving jet stream. It’s not so unusual for troughs of low pressure to move across the U.S. or high pressure to push the jet stream north like what’s happening right now across the western U.S. causing record heat. What is unusual is that this situation has gone on for months on end. This is what has scientists collectively scratching their  heads. According to an article published by NOAA this climate pattern may have to do with a number of issues related to atmosphere.

“...researchers are investigating a few hypotheses—Pacific Ocean temperature anomalies, climate change, natural atmospheric dynamics—but there are no firm answers yet.  Given the exceptionally long stretch of time we are talking about with the 2014 event, Masters thinks it’s probably multiple influences acting over different time scales, some long-term and some, like Typhoon Neoguri in the Pacific in July, short-term.”


Cooling trend will continue

September 17th, 2014 at 9:17 am by under Weather

If you have been enjoying these late October type temperatures then you will really like the extended forecast. The latest 6 to 10 day outlook has temperatures staying below average through the 22nd of the month. What is interesting about this forecast graphic is that it also is building the heat across the pacific northwest and the northern Rockies. These two areas are really not known for their autumn heat waves. Many times when you experience one extreme in one part of the country you have another extreme in the opposite side of the country. This is specifically true here as we are seeing temperatures that are record setting and extremely warm across the western U.S. and very cool in much of the Midwest and Great Lakes.


A tropical weekend forecast

September 16th, 2014 at 8:56 am by under Weather
Tropical remnants of Odlie are headed across old Mexico and may move toward our area over the weekend

Tropical remnants of Odlile are headed across old Mexico and may move toward our area over the weekend

Some of our forecast solutions are not portraying what could be a wet Sunday forecast. The remnants of what was Tropical Storm Odile could get caught up in a Pacific weather system which will move across the country and may move toward our area by this weekend. This would mean a warm and a very wet forecast. High temperatures could be close to 80 both Saturday and Sunday with some heavy rainfall possible with this scenario Sunday.


Monday rain update

September 15th, 2014 at 10:02 am by under Weather

Showers have already been moving through the area this morning and will continue into this afternoon and evening. We are not expecting to see any severe weather we are going to see widespread showers through early this evening. This weak weather system will also be enough to keep temperatures down into the upper 60s through Wednesday.


Latest on storms for area

September 10th, 2014 at 8:34 am by under Weather

 

There is still a slight risk for severe weather across our area but the focus for the most damaging winds will be southwest of our area. There is still a very small risk of tornadoes but without the sunshine we will probably not see the severity of storms we expected to see with morning sun to destabilize the atmosphere.

 

Much of the focus has been shifted to storms that will produce heavy rainfall.  Futurecast has heavy rain through much of the early afternoon. It also forecasts impressive rainfall amounts for the area through midnight with up to 3″ from Fort Wayne to the south of Fort Wayne.

 

 


Severe risk area…Latest forecast for Wednesday

September 9th, 2014 at 11:24 am by under Weather

Here is the latest on the severe weather risk for Wednesday. A powerful weather system will move through the area. This on its own will create a good amount of forcing and instability. That coupled with some morning sunshine may be all the atmosphere needs to fire off some strong storms.  There are still quite a few questions that only the atmosphere will answer Wednesday. First and foremost will we see any sunshine? If we do see sunshine that will cause increased visibility and severe weather will mostly likely happen.

  •  The first graphic shows the entire area under a slight risk as assessed by the Storm Prediction Center for Wednesday Afternoon and evening.
  • The second graphic is the same risk area with the area most at risk assessment as northeastern Indiana. There is a 45% risk that we will see severe weather across our area Wednesday and Wednesday evening. 
  • The third graphic shows that Futurecast has the timing of this event between about 3pm and 9pm on Wednesday with the highest risk of severe weather between 4 and 8pm.
  • Finally, the last graphic shows that the highest risk will be for wind as there will already be  considerable amount of wind created by the changing pressure.  There is also a moderate risk for hail and there is also a risk for tornadoes.

 


Watch out for Facebook weather sites

September 8th, 2014 at 8:46 am by under Weather

Last night I saw something that peaked my attention. Here is the headline:  Meteorologists predict record shattering snowfall coming soon.

Bread & Milk Prices Expected To Soar

It is accompanied by a graphic that shows snowfall above normal even in the Gulf states. This was the first indication it was a fake or satirical since snow is very unusual to get at all in many of those states. There are references to a ‘doctor of global weather’ and other things that set the article off as a fake.

Here is the problem. Most Facebook readers just look at headlines and captions so they really have no way of knowing that it was supposed to be a joke. We blogged quite a bit about this during the winter that you’ve got to be very careful where you get your information. Stories like this can cause a panic and there really isn’t any scientific validity to them.

So follow the rule of thumb here when viewing Facebook stories by sources you don’t know or amateur meteorologists,  if no other site or media is forecasting the same thing then it probably is not reality.

 

 


Big changes ahead

September 4th, 2014 at 11:24 am by under Weather
Severe thunderstorm potential to our north

Severe thunderstorm potential to our north

As heavy rainfall and storms move closer to our area we are going to see severe potential in areas to our north. There will be heavy rainfall today to the north. As this system shifts there will be shower and storm potential for our area especially by afternoon Friday. It doesn’t appear that this system will linger very long so severe potential will be limited to a very short window Friday afternoon/evening if we see anything at all. Most likely we could see some brief gusty winds as this system moves through at a very fast pace.

Cooler air moves in this weekend

Cooler air moves in this weekend

After the system moves through we are going to be dealing with a very different air mass. This air will be dry and much cooler than we will see on Friday. This cooler air may create some brief instability because of the cooler air in the upper atmosphere and the sunshine which will make the ground warmer. This will cause brief instability and mostly some clouds by Friday afternoon with an isolated shower not out of the question.

The biggest change you will notice are temperatures will be almost 15 degrees cooler Saturday afternoon.


What’s the difference between meteorological fall and astronomical fall?

September 3rd, 2014 at 10:24 am by under Weather
Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

So unless you pay careful attention during the change of seasons or even the beginning of September  you probably missed our reference to the end of meteorological summer and the beginning of meteorological fall. The first question I get asked about these different starts and ends to season is why don’t you guys just follow the astronomical seasons like everyone else?

Here is the answer to that question from the National Weather Service:

“Because the Earth actually travels around the sun in 365.24 days, an extra day is needed every fourth year, creating what we know as Leap Year. This also causes the exact date of the solstices and equinoxes to vary. Additionally, the elliptical shape of the Earth’s orbit around the sun causes the lengths of the astronomical seasons to vary between 89 and 93 days. These variations in season length and season start would make it very difficult to consistently compare climatological statistics for a particular season from one year to the next. Thus, the meteorological seasons were born.”

Climatologists are the scientists who keep track of historical weather data and find it much easier to put together statistics based on seasons that have the same number of days each year. So what the meteorological community does is put seasons into three month groupings. December 1 through the end of February would be meteorological winter. March first through the end of May would signify meteorological spring. June 1st through the end of August would signify meteorological summer and of course September 1st through the end of November would be meteorological fall. So welcome to fall!

The NWS explains this further:

“The length of the seasons is also more consistent for the meteorological seasons, ranging from 90 days for winter of a non-leap year to 92 days for spring and summer. By following the civil calendar and having less variation in season length and season start, it becomes much easier to calculate seasonal statistics from the monthly statistics, both of which are very useful for agriculture, commerce, and a variety of other purposes.”