Jonathan Conder

Waterspout over Lake Michigan

September 12th, 2013 at 5:30 pm by under Weather

A big thanks to Jake Hoey for posting this video on YouTube.  Yes, this afternoon, storms over Lake Michigan were producing waterspouts, or tornadoes over water.

I have witnessed dozens of tornadoes up close and personal, but I have never seen a waterspout in person.   I guess I will have to put that on my short list.


Severe T-Storm Watch for Lake Country until Midnight

September 11th, 2013 at 4:47 pm by under Weather

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A severe t-storm watch has been issued for parts of Lake Country until Midnight (or the counties highlighted in pink above.)

Here is the technical discussion from the Storm Prediction Center:

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
   SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 522
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   440 PM EDT WED SEP 11 2013

   THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

   * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF 
     NORTHERN INDIANA
     SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN
     NORTHWEST OHIO
     LAKE ERIE

   * EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FROM 440 PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT
     EDT.

   * PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
     SEVERAL LARGE HAIL EVENTS WITH A FEW VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2
       INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
     SEVERAL DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE

   THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 45
   STATUTE MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES WEST
   SOUTHWEST OF BENTON HARBOR MICHIGAN TO 15 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
   MOUNT CLEMENS MICHIGAN.  FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH
   SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU2).

   PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

   REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
   FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
   AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
   THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
   AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
   DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

   &&

   OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 520...WW 521...

   DISCUSSION...STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE EASTWARD
   ACROSS THE WATCH AREA LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH A RISK FOR
   LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS.

   AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
   TO 2 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 60
   KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 500. MEAN STORM
   MOTION VECTOR 27025.

Watch Coming Soon?

September 11th, 2013 at 4:28 pm by under Weather
MCD

Area that next severe storm watch may be issued, courtesy the Storm Prediction Center.

The Storm Prediction Center just issued a “mesoscale discussion,” which means a watch may be coming soon for the area highlighted in blue above.  As of this moment, they think there is a 40% chance that a severe thunderstorm watch will be issued.   Click here for the discussion or just read below:

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1874
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0321 PM CDT WED SEP 11 2013

   AREAS AFFECTED...SRN LOWER MI

   CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE 

   VALID 112021Z - 112215Z

   PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

   SUMMARY...STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE LATER THIS
   AFTERNOON WITH ISOLATED SEVERE WIND AND HAIL POSSIBLE.

   DISCUSSION...STRONG HEATING CONTINUES ACROSS MUCH OF LOWER MI AND
   INTO NRN IND AND OH WITH CU FIELDS INCREASING. GPS PWAT SENSORS SHOW
   A CONTINUED INCREASE IN MOISTURE WITHIN A SW-NE ORIENTED PLUME FROM
   NRN IL INTO LOWER MI...WITH VALUES IN EXCESS OF 1.60". MEANWHILE...A
   MODIFIED 18Z DETROIT SOUNDING SHOWS AMPLE INSTABILITY FOR VIGOROUS
   UPDRAFTS...WITH A MODESTLY LONG HODOGRAPH MARGINALLY FAVORABLE FOR
   SUPERCELLS.

   RECENTLY...SURFACE WINDS HAVE BACKED TO SLY ACROSS SERN LOWER
   MI...ENHANCING A CONFLUENCE ZONE FROM SWRN LOWER MI NEWD TOWARD LAKE
   HURON AND THIS SHOULD BE THE MAIN AREA FOR INITIATION. STORMS COULD
   THEN MATURE AND MOVE TOWARD THE DETROIT METRO AREA LATER TODAY WITH
   SEVERE WEATHER POSSIBLE.

 


Severe Storm Update

September 11th, 2013 at 2:43 pm by under Weather

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As a wave of colder air moves through the region tonight, it will trigger scattered showers and thunderstorms this evening, tonight and even into tomorrow.

The Storm Prediction Center has our area under a “Slight” risk for severe storms, which is highlighted in the map above with the yellow shading.  So, what does this mean for you?   Be on the lookout for scattered t-storms and some may be capable of producing damaging winds up to 60 mph.   Because the winds in the atmosphere do not change direction from the surface to the jetstream, storms are not expected to rotate, therefore there is no tornado risk.

Here are a few more thoughts I have about this evening and tonight:

  • Storms are possible into the late afternoon, but they should be isolated.
  • Look for a line of storms mainly between 7-11PM.
  • Even though the biggest risk is damaging winds up to 60 mph, hail the size of quarters are possible.
  • Another line of storms is possible during the overnight, but I expect another line of storms to form Thursday morning.
  • This last line of storms may linger into early Thursday afternoon.
  • Temperatures may be tricking Thursday with the early afternoon warmer than the late afternoon as temperatures fall.
  • Get ready to break out the cool weather clothing as highs will only be in the 60s on Friday.

Hottest Day of the Year

September 10th, 2013 at 3:22 pm by under Weather

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Congratulations, you survived the hottest day of the year so far with a high temperature of 95°.   Here are some interesting facts about this heat:

  • The record high temperature for today is 97° set back in 1983
  • Today is the 7th time hitting 90° this year
  • We never hit 90° in August
  • On average, we hit 90° 16 days a year
  • On average, we hit 90° only 1.3 days in September
  • The highest temperature for September is 100°
  • The highest temperature ever for FWA is 106°
  • Highs will only be in the mid 60s on Friday.

Hottest Day of the Year Tuesday?

September 9th, 2013 at 4:09 pm by under Weather

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So far this year, the highest temperature for Fort Wayne has only been 92° and we have only hit the 90° mark 6 times.  In all perspective, this has been a very cool summer, but Mother Nature is going to make up for it on Tuesday.  Look for highs in mid 90s for Tuesday and officially, we are shooting for a high of 95°.  Even though this will be the hottest day of the year so far, it will not be a record breaker for Tuesday, which is 97° set back in 1983.   So, how much longer will this heat least?

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Based on a 30 year average, we should expect average high temperatures this month to slowly drop through the lower 70s, by 3° each week.   (Above is a plot for the average high temperatures for each Monday for the next 4 weeks.)   Based on averages, we would expect some heat relief in the next month, but based on the pattern this week, look for highs in the upper 60s by the end of the week.

 


Western sunset star is actually a planet

September 6th, 2013 at 9:15 pm by under Weather
Our western sky at sunset Friday night.  Courtesy Star Guide App.

Our western sky at sunset Friday night. Courtesy Star Chart App.

The last few weeks, there has been a very bright star on our western sky at sunset, but it’s not a star, it’s the planet Venus.   I consulted my Star Chart app on my iPad just to make sure and I am really impressed with the free app.  (No, this is not a sales pitch, I just thought I would share it with everyone. )  Enjoy.


Zero Prostate Cancer Run Fort Wayne Saturday Morning

September 6th, 2013 at 3:34 pm by under Weather

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It looks like we will have perfect conditions Saturday morning for the Zero Prostate Cancer Run Fort Wayne.   This year there will be a 5K walk/run and a 5 mile run.   Look for plenty of sunshine and cool and comfortable conditions.   Online registration is already closed, but you can register in person Saturday morning before the race at Portage Middle School.   Just because online registration is closed, there is still plenty of room for many more runners.   Even if you don’t run…. come out, walk and support a great cause.


Ever wonder where your radar data comes from?

September 5th, 2013 at 8:49 pm by under Weather

Thanks to the local National Weather Service office of Northern Indiana for creating this YouTube video, giving us a tour of the local 88D Doppler Radar.

When you look at rain on a radar image, this is the piece of equipment that gathers the data.  If you ever drive past WANE TV on State Blvd in Fort Wayne, if you look to the south of the station, you can see our Live Doppler 15 Fury in the back.


Drought may be expanding rapidly

September 5th, 2013 at 3:44 pm by under Weather
Drought level changes in the last 3 months.  Courtesy the Drought Monitor.

Drought level changes in the last 3 months. Courtesy the Drought Monitor.

If you read our blog post from this morning, you would have heard about a D0 level drought (abnormally dry conditions) expanding into the WANE viewing area.   This is mainly in Lake County, Jay and Grant counties.   So, what does this mean for the rest of the WANE viewing area?   Let me just say this: “drought begets drought.”

In my honest opinion, I think the drought conditions across the WANE viewing area are going to expand and worsen over the next 3 weeks.

Take a look at this animation of how the drought expanded over parts of Iowa.  In less than 3 months, they went from no drought, to a severe drought.

Now, I don’t think we will see severe drought conditions (D3 level) in less than a month, but I expect the entire WANE viewing area to be under a D0 drought level with portions possibly covered by a D1 drought.  The only thing that is going to change this outlook is for us to see significant rain in the next 30 days and generally speaking, we would need to see about 3-4″ during that time to stop the expansion of the drought.