Jonathan Conder

The Winds of Change

September 25th, 2013 at 4:46 pm by under Weather


Every night, you tune in to get your detailed weather forecast, whether from your family room, your kitchen, or maybe from the garage.   Maybe your favorite meteorologist becomes a part of your family, then all of a sudden, they might be gone without little mention on tv as to why.

You deserve more than that, and this is the purpose of my last blog post for WANE TV as my wife and I have decided to move back to Oklahoma.   After a year of raising Jacob, we know we need help as we expand our family and we can only do this by moving back to where our roots are.

Maybe you didn’t care for my style.  Maybe you were tired of my references to my storm chasing experiences in the Southern Plains.   That experience has hands down, made me a much better severe weather expert, since I have stood in front of live tornadoes, able to compare them to what they actually looked like on radar.  Even though we had no significant tornadoes in the last 3 years, I firmly believe it is only a matter of time before this area sees a significant tornado.   Maybe it’s next month, maybe next year, maybe in 10 years, but it will happen.

Maybe you liked my style and my presentation.   For that, I thank you and I want to let you know that I love what I do and I try each and every day to get the forecast as accurate and as precise as possible.   If I completely missed it, I hope you heard me apologize on air as I do hold myself accountable each and every day.  Trust me, nobody takes it more personally when it rains when it is not supposed to.

So, what’s the next step for me?   This broadcast industry is unique that openings are very rare and I am so lucky that there was an opening back in OKC.  (Luck is where preparation meets opportunity, right?)  Starting next week, I will be the newest member of the First Alert Weather Team at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.

Again, thank you for your time over the last three years.

Sincerely, Jonathan

PS:  If you haven’t had a root beer shake from Zesto yet, or been to Pine Lake, put these on your short list.

Fall Foliage, One Stop Shop

September 24th, 2013 at 3:35 pm by under Weather


I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite season.   Maybe it’s the cool crisp air, the memories of Halloween as a kid, or maybe because my birthday is next month.   Anyway, if you haven’t noticed, our leaves are changing and this is the inspiration for today’s blog post.   Here are a bunch of links to get you educated and informed about this years fall peak foliage:

US Forecast Service, Science of Fall Colors

US Forest Service, Eastern Region, Leaf Report

US Forecast Service, Eastern Region, Leaf Report (pdf)

Brown County Indiana, Leaf CAM

State of Indiana, Best Fall Foliage Locations.

Seaonal Drought Outlook

September 23rd, 2013 at 3:54 pm by under Weather
Drought outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

Drought outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

I hope you enjoyed the rain last Friday and how your lawn greened up just a little bit as the next few months may be dry and the drought may persist or even worsen.   Above is the new seasonal drought outlook from the Climate Predication Center and if you look closely, you can see that parts of the area, the drought is expected to persist.

If you live south of Fort Wayne, where we saw a lot of rain last week, you may be doubting the drought level.   You have to remember that the even though the soil may be wet on the top, the drought level is a summation of the overall amount of precipitation we have had over the last several months.   Also remember that a D0 drought is the very beginning of a drought (abnormally dry) and we are no where near close to where we were last summer.

Rain Likely, Any Severe Storms?

September 20th, 2013 at 1:53 pm by under Weather
Severe storm outlook for Friday afternoon into the evening.

Severe storm outlook for Friday afternoon into the evening.

If you’ve been paying attention to the forecast, you know that it is going to rain this afternoon.   Showers are likely and even some t-storms, but what’s the risk of severe weather?

The official outlook by the Storm Prediction Center only has eastern Williams and Defiance counties under a “Slight Risk” of severe weather.  This area is highlighted in yellow above and is the area most likely to see some scattered severe storms with winds up to 60 mph and hail the size of quarters.

The area I have highlighted in blue in the map above is another area that may have an isolated heavy storm; capable of producing winds up to 50 mph and hail the size of dimes.

Even though there is not a widespread risk of severe weather in the WANE viewing area, lightning will still pose a threat, especially those of you heading out to Friday night football games and sitting on metal bleachers.

So, look for on and off rain this afternoon and into the evening with the bulk of the rain moving out after midnight.   Even though most of Saturday looks dry, don’t be surprised to see an isolated shower in the late morning and early afternoon.

Drought Worsens

September 19th, 2013 at 3:24 pm by under Weather
Current drought levels, courtesy the Drought Monitor.

Current drought levels, courtesy the Drought Monitor.

Despite the near half inch of rain we picked up last week, the drought has worsened across the WANE viewing area.   Now most of Northeastern Indiana is under a “D0 Drought,” or abnormally dry.

This updated level does not include the rain from this morning or this afternoon and this drought level is determined by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Compare the drought level from one week ago in image below.

Comparing the drought level from last week to current conditions, courtesy the Drought Monitor

Comparing the drought level from last week to current conditions, courtesy the Drought Monitor

You can clearly see there is a lot more yellow on the map and the area of tan (D1 Moderate Drought) has expanded into parts of Miami County.

So, how will today’s rain impact the drought?   The more rain the better, but about 1″ rain is needed just to stop the growth or expansion of the drought.  Only time will tell and hopefully, the rain on Friday, will help make a dent in the drought.   Sadly, on average, September is not one of the wettest months of the year, but actually, the 5th driest.  In my honest opinion, I expect the drought to worsen in the next 30 days before it weakens.

Red Sky In Morning, Sailor Take Warning?

September 18th, 2013 at 6:08 pm by under Weather
Wednesday morning sunrise picture from Angela Conner.

Wednesday morning sunrise picture from Angela Conner.

This is by far my favorite picture for this morning’s red sunrise.  Check out our WANE photo gallery here from this morning.

So, does a red sky in morning really mean a sailor should take warning?  The old thinking was that the storm producing the clouds would be just to your west at sunrise, moving towards you.  Hence the chance of rain.  Here is a much longer explanation.

Again, this is a very old saying, created well before sailors had good understanding of weather forecasting, well before the invention of satellite or radar.   (In summary, I would not trust it as a 100% accurate nowcast.)

Full Harvest Moon Coming

September 17th, 2013 at 6:03 pm by under Weather
Full Moon courtesy NASA

Full Moon courtesy NASA

You may have noticed the waxing moon the last few nights and come Thursday, it will be full.  The name given to this months full moon, is the “Full Harvest Moon” as the corn harvest is right around the corner.  For more information about our Full Harvest Moon, check out this article.

Biblical Rain

September 16th, 2013 at 4:55 pm by under Weather
Rain totals for the Boulder Colorado area courtesy NWS.

Rain totals for the Boulder Colorado area courtesy NWS.

Here in Indiana and Ohio, I feel we are so far removed from what is happening in Colorado.   We have no idea how bad the flooding is.

Let’s put this in perspective.   Boulder Colorado only sees 20.5″ of rain each year, and only 1.63″ in September.

Check out this interactive rain map from the National Weather Service.

As you can see, parts of Boulder have received over 17″ of rain (or a years worth) in less than a week.

I believe a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to weather….. check out this photo gallery.

Check out this aerial photo gallery of HWY 34 washed out along Big Thompson Canyon.

Words can not describe the devastation there.

Rain on the way, but how much?

September 16th, 2013 at 3:40 pm by under Weather
5 day rain total outlook from the Weather Prediction Center.

5 day rain total outlook from the Weather Prediction Center.

Good news if you want some free water for your lawn: We are expecting about a half inch, to an inch of rain total over the next 5 days across the WANE viewing area.   Yes, this is great news is you are a home owner and want to keep your grass green without the cost of having to pay for the watering bill.

But, this is also a Catch 22 for the farming community.   During this time of the year, the corn is pretty much done growing and this is when the farmers let the stalks dry out before harvest.   A significant rain before or during harvest is not good for the farmers as they will have to pay to dry out the corn after it is harvested.

Now, I am not a farmer so I may be off by a week or two on this, but this rain should not affect the harvest which is still about 3-4 weeks away.

5th Annual Safety Fair

September 13th, 2013 at 3:18 pm by under Weather


Are you a weather enthusiast or ever wanted to learn more about weather or storm chasing?    Come on out this Saturday to the 5th Annual Safety Fair at Jefferson Point from 10am to 1PM.   Meteorologist Jesse Hawila will be there with our storm chasing vehicle, Fury Tracker 15 and will be available to answer any questions you may have, from tornadoes, to weather forecasting.   We are not the only ones there, check out the list of other participants:

- Fort Wayne Fire Department Safety Village and fire truck
- Homeland Security booth
- Free food from Chick-fil-A & McAlister’s Deli while supplies last
- Lutheran Hospital helicopter
- Safe Kids Coalition car seat safety checks
- Lutheran Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance
- Fingerprint kits from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance
- Woodburn Fire Dept. fire truck
- New Haven Fire Dept. Survive Alive trailer
- Indiana State Police golf cart course with goggles to emulate drunk driving
- 911 communications
- Three Rivers Ambulance
- Miss Fort Wayne Scholarship Program discusses Stranger Danger
- FWPD Bomb Unit bomb robot
- St. Joe Burn Unit
- Animal Care & Control
- OrthoNortheast booth making “finger casts”
- YWCA discusses bullying
- Red Cross cpr instruction and mascot Blood Drop
- domestic abuse prevention
- Lutheran Adult Trauma Services
- New lutheran Pediatric ER booth
- Servpro Mobile Command Center with free hot dogs and Home Emergency Kits
- Kids Kraft Korner

We hope to see you there!