Ophelia becomes a rare major hurricane south of the Azores

On the morning of October 14th, 2017, at 11:00am AST, Hurricane Ophelia was upgraded to a rare major hurricane south of the Azores Islands in the far northeastern Atlantic. Ophelia is a Category-3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115mph. Three days earlier, on October 11th, Ophelia became the 10th consecutive […]

How Many Days Until Fall 2017?

The fall (autumnal) equinox will occur on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 20:02 UTC. In the U.S., at 4:02 pm EDT, 3:02 pm CDT, 2:02 pm MDT, and 1:02 pm PDT. In the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the start of spring. The total duration of autumn 2017 is 89 days, 19 hours, and 26 […]

Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017

A total solar eclipse will occur across parts of the United States on August 21st, 2017. The path of totality will cross over the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The total eclipse over the U.S. will begin at 10:15am PDT in Oregon, and […]

Use Solar Panels to Power your Home and Cut Energy Costs

Going solar lets you slash heating bills, reduce your home’s carbon footprint, and embrace a green lifestyle. Installing solar panels can give you energy independence. However, you can still “go solar” and reduce heating bills without investing a fortune in expensive solar panels. Every unit of electricity you save is a unit you effectively generate. […]

Tropical Storm and Hurricane Names for 2017

Names for Tropical Cyclones in the North Atlantic and Caribbean Names for Tropical Cyclones in the East Pacific When Does Hurricane Season Begin? In the North Atlantic and Caribbean, hurricane season basins begins on June 1. In the East Pacific, hurricane season begins on May 15. What is the Difference Between a Hurricane and Typhoon? […]

Hurricane Readiness

Hurricane Survival: Supplies and a Plan of Action

Hurricane season starts on June 1st and runs through November 30.  This time frame was created based on long-term statistics, but hurricanes can certainly occur outside of this range.  In January 2016, for example, Hurricane Alex became the strongest Atlantic hurricane to occur during the northern hemispheric winter. So, irrespective of the date, take some […]

Did You Know There Are Three Types of Supercells?

Determining the type of supercells that may occur within a given severe weather environment is important for a multitude of reasons. A supercell is a thunderstorm that rotates. There are three types of supercells: low-precipitation (LP), classic, and high-precipitation (HP). The configuration of the wind shear profiles within a severe weather environment is critical in diagnosing […]

U.S. Cities With the Most Extreme Weather Conditions

If you are searching for diverse weather or extreme temperatures and precipitation, the U.S. is certainly one of the places to be. Have you ever wondered what U.S. city is the coldest or the warmest? What city experiences the most rainfall or the most thunderstorms? I thought that it would be interesting to come up with […]

Long Track Supercells in the Western Plains on May 16th, 2017

Long-track supercells formed across the western Great Plains on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017. Accompanied with these supercells were multiple tornadoes, damaging winds, and giant hail upwards of 4.00″ in diameter. Widespread flash flooding also occurred across the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern Kansas.  The morning data analysis, including the 1200z / 7:00am CDT observed weather balloon […]

The Influence of Wind Shear on Thunderstorms

Strong vertical wind shear is important for the development of severe convective storms including the type of thunderstorm, its orientation, and its life span. Wind shear can influence storms in several ways, including speed shear and directional shear. Speed shear is a change in the wind speed with respect to height, while directional shear is the […]

Thundershirt for Dog Storm Anxiety – Do they Work?

Do you have a dog that is terrified of loud noises such as thunder or fireworks? It can be devastating to watch as your dog shakes uncontrollably, pants, and paces every time a storm approaches or during Independence Day celebrations. Not too much is known as to why some dogs have a phobia of loud […]

Fire Danger Increases Across Southern Georgia and Florida

Extremely warm and dry conditions across southern Georgia and Florida has set the stage for the eruption of wildfires and brushfires. The largest fire, West Mims, was triggered by lightning in early April and has burned over 225 square miles. A extremely high fire danger is likely to continue across these areas, with little hope of relief anytime soon. […]

What to Do When Your Dog Is Afraid of Thunderstorms

Like humans, our pets can have phobias, such a stress-inducing fear of loud noises, fireworks, and thunderstorms.  As a pet-owner, you have an awareness of your dog’s mood and her behavior likely alerts you to an approaching thunderstorm, even before you hear the first clap of thunder.  She may cry or whimper, tremble, or scurry […]

Severe Storms in South-Central Kansas on May 11th, 2017

A low pressure system was located over the southern and central Plains Thursday, May 11th. Although the low-level dynamics were quite weak the combination of the mid-to-upper level winds, and outflow boundaries analyzed on the visible satellite, signaled the potential for severe weather in the early afternoon Thursday across the region. How to Get Flood Insurance – […]

Southwestern Oklahoma High-Precipitation Supercells on May 10th, 2017

Severe thunderstorms were in the forecast across southwestern Oklahoma on Wednesday, May 10th. The potential for supercells (a rotating thunderstorm) existed as well, particularly along the intersection of the dryline and outflow boundary. The forecast was quite complicated, with early morning convection and persistent cloud cover across much of Oklahoma that made for a complex afternoon for […]

The Tools and Concepts for Forecasting Winter Precipitation

Introduction This informative forecast writing will focus on the weather forecasting tools and concepts that are used to predict winter weather events. There are various types of winter weather events that are analyzed and forecasted including mid-latitude cyclones, ice storms, lake-effect snows and sleet storms. Each of these will be discussed separately. In addition, bust […]

Elevated Supercells in Eastern Colorado on May 8th, 2017

On Monday, May 8th, there was the potential for isolated thunderstorms across eastern Colorado with possible supercells (a rotating thunderstorm) along the Interstate 70 corridor in vicinity of the Palmer Divide. Although the tornado threat was very low, there was certainly a good chance of observing photogenic storms in the High Plains of Colorado.  Forecast soundings […]

Remembering the Greensburg, Kansas, EF-5 Tornado

Ten years ago today on the evening of May 4, 2007, the small town of Greensburg, Kansas, was nearly destroyed by a 1.7 mile wide EF-5 tornado, with a maximum wind speed of 205mph. Damage surveys concluded that about 95% of the city was destroyed, with EF-5 damage observed through the heart of Greensburg. The tornado tracked for […]

Truths and Myths About Weather Folklore

Weather folklore has probably been around as long as humans have been able to communicate verbally. Is there any truth to these, or are they just part of human myths and legends? Here, we will classify some of the weather folklore as truth or myth. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailors […]

Historic snowstorm in North Texas on 2/12/2010. DFW recorded its greatest 24-hour snowfall of all time (12.5").

General Snow Forecasting

Snow is a precipitation type that results from the build-up of ice deposition upon condensation nuclei. The snowflake size is amplified as ice crystals join together as the crystals move in the wind. A common theme in ice crystal development is the 6-sized structure of the ice crystals. The chemical bonding of ice molecules produces […]

Science Fair Participation Reaps Much More Than Ribbons

From elementary school through high school, I always looked forward to the month of March. But not for reasons that you might think. It was the month that I competed in science fairs. During those years, I had my share of successes and disappointments, but the benefits of my participation continue to this day. My experience with […]

How far away from a thunderstorm can lightning strike?

While injury from lightning strikes has increased since 1940, fatalities have decreased dramatically. In fact, lightning deaths have become exceedingly rare relative to other weather phenomena, but they still occur. The most dangerous lightning strikes are those that occur when our guard is down; lightning strikes from a sky that appears to be clear and […]

Splitting and Merging Storms in North Texas on March 26th, 2017

On the evening of Sunday, March 26th, 2017, severe thunderstorms affected portions of southern Oklahoma and North Texas. These storms were scattered, as predicted in our forecasts leading up to the event, and many people received no rain.  We also expected that thunderstorms forming along the dry line would quickly develop updraft rotation (i.e., become […]

Flood Insurance

How to Get Flood Insurance – Purchasing the Best Flood Coverage

What is Flood Insurance? Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage from flooding, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to obtain coverage for your home and its contents. Fortunately, flood insurance is widely available from insurance companies that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a partnership between the Federal […]

Are You Financially Prepared for a Catastrophic Weather Event?

Disasters can strike anybody at anytime, resulting in catastrophic property damage and loss. Fires in dwellings and natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, mudslides, and wildfires cause significant property damage every year across the United States. Although disasters usually strike without warning, there are measures you can take both before and after […]

Snow to Liquid Equivalent and Associated Forecasting Pitfalls

The snow-to-liquid equivalent is the amount of liquid precipitation that is produced after melting snow. The temperature profile of the troposphere and the surface temperature are important factors that determine this value. The “average” snow-to-liquid ratio is 10:1. This is saying that if 10 inches of snow fell and that snow was melted it would […]