What is thunder? How hot is lightning?

Imagine yourself as a cloud, happily floating over the surface of the Earth without a care in the world. As you drift across the sky, the millions of tiny water droplets and ice crystals that you are composed of brush against each other, causing a buildup of electric charges in your cloud body. The negative […]

Heavy Rain Event for North Texas on Friday 10/30

Final Rainfall Amounts [Posted Saturday 10/31 at 1:25 pm] The NWS in Fort Worth prepared this graphic depicting storm total rainfall amounts. Using the legend, I drew the 2-inch line. Clearly, most of the area saw 2 to 4 inches, but there was an area of 4 to 7 inches in Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, and […]

Heavy Rain Event for N. Texas this weekend (10/22 – 10/24)

  ➡︎  Update History:  Initial Forecast (Sunday 10/18) | Update #2 | Update #3 | Update #4 | Results/Records Broken  Latest Forecasts (Starting at Update #6 on Friday 10/23) Continued Here Forecast Verification and Records Tied or Broken ◙  Record #1 [Broken] 2.58 inches of rain at DFW on Thursday 10/22 shattered the previous record […]

Atlanta’s Top 20 Snowstorms & Temperature Trends

Atlanta’s biggest snowfall events of all time are listed in the table below.  The most snow ever recorded on a single day in Atlanta was on January 23, 1940 when 8.3 inches fell. The top 10 snowstorms in Atlanta have a median accumulation of 4.2 inches.  View the full list We often hear the cliche: […]

Watch a Full Year of Changing Seasons from Space

I love this animation.  After spending years trying to explain these concepts, along comes high-resolution satellite images sewn together from a Lagrangian perspective to create a fast animation that actually shows the seasons changing as Earth tilts on its axis from equinox to solistice to equinox and so on. Credit: Simon Proud, researcher in the […]

What is the Difference Between a Hurricane and a Typhoon?

Answer:  A hurricane is the exact same meteorological phenomenon as a typhoon. The difference is simply a function of the storm’s location relative to the International Date Line (180ºW).  A “hurricane” west of the International Date Line (IDL) is called a typhoon.  The term is believed to have its origins in Sinitic, one of the […]

Hurricane Katrina: The Dire NWS Warning That Saved Lives

On this, the -year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s final landfall east of New Orleans, I wanted to share some graphics and the very rare, dire warning issued the National Weather Service in Slidell, Louisiana that likely saved many, many lives. Radar Loop at Landfall   Satellite Loop at Landfall   Location of the NWS Brief […]

Hurricane Hunter P-3 Tail Radar on Google Earth

Prior to the advent of weather satellites and aircraft reconnaissance of tropical cyclones during the mid-20th century, the loss of life due to unexpected, landfalling hurricanes was tremendous. In 2015, hurricane forecasting continues to improve thanks to ongoing upgrades in observational technology (aircraft, dropsondes, tail radar, etc.), computational resources, improved numerical prediction models (model resolution, […]

DFW: Strong August Cold Front On Track For N. TX Wed (8/19/15)

Summary & Forecast Verification [Thursday 8/20/15 8 pm] ***Today Among Our Coldest August Days on Record*** A few days ago, I predicted that our strongest cold front in 3 months would move through North Texas (below). The forecast worked out perfectly (and to the contrary of the armchair meteorologists who declared otherwise on the day […]

How Many Lives Have Been Saved By Improved Hurricane Forecasts?

Trends In The Ratio Of Damage To Deaths Caused By United States Land-Falling Hurricanes 24th AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology (2000) Chris C. Robbins and James Gross National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida   We have estimated that, if the pre-reconnaissance trend continued at the time of Hurricane Andrew, approximately 4,354 deaths may have […]

Rapid Intensification of Tropical Storms & Hurricanes in the North Atlantic

A Climatology Of Rapidly Intensifying Tropical Cyclones In The North Atlantic Basin, 1975-2000 25th AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology (2002) Chris C. Robbins and Stacy R. Stewart National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida   1. Introduction Rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones pose a significant forecast problem for operational meteorologists. Unfortunately, the climatological nature of such […]

Hurricane Irene’s (1999) post-landfall intensification and downbursts

Mesocyclone-Induced Downbursts Associated With The Landfall Of Hurricane Irene (1999) Over S. FL 24th AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology Stacy R. Stewart and Chris C. Robbins Tropical Prediction Center, Miami, Florida   1. Introduction This paper examines the occurrence of multiple damaging downbursts or “miniswirls” with the passage of Hurricane Irene across South […]

What is the water cycle and can the cycle be disrupted?

A follower asked, “if the water cycle is real, how can there be water shortages?” In light of the recent drought in Texas, which ultimately ended with the historic rainfall during the month of May 2015, and the ongoing devastating drought in California, I thought I would make this brief post. What is the Water […]

May 2015: DFW’s Wettest May on Record

May 2015 was an exhausting month for forecasters in Oklahoma and Texas. One storm system after another brought enormous rainfall and significant flooding to many areas.  I will try to post some dynamics/thermodynamics analyses or a general recap of each individual storm system in a future addendum to this post.  For now, I wanted to […]

Dallas & Irving Tornado on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Many of you may have been awakened by the Tornado Warning in western Dallas/eastern Tarrant Counties early Sunday morning. The tornado sirens sounded across the warned area, and even in my area near the Grapevine/Southlake border. Fortunately the tornado in Irving dissipated as it moved north-northwest toward the residential areas of Carrollton. As it turns […]

Strong Tstorms & Flash Flooding Poss for DFW Sat-Sun 5/9 – 5/10

Below is my partial/subjective surface analysis using 2 pm data. There is certainly a convoluted mess of fronts associated with this surface low. However, the dry line is obvious with at least one dry-line bulge southwest of the metroplex. Surface-based convective available potential energy (CAPE) in that area exceeds 4,000 J/kg. There is a θe […]

Historic Rainfall Event in the Oklahoma City Metro on 5/6/15

Slow-moving, training supercells brought enormous rainfall amounts to the southern Oklahoma City metro on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Rainfall rates of 3 to 4 inches per hour occurred with the thunderstorms. Update: The rainfall total has been updated to reflect the final official amount as confirmed by the NWS.  The change was minor (a tenth of […]

DFW: Tstorms Late Weds (4/22) May be Severe w/ Localized Flooding

Update #2 [Wednesday 4/22 10:40 pm] ***Severe Thunderstorm Watch*** A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the thunderstorms that developed to the northwest as predicted. These continue to move southeast. The watch is in effect until 4 am.  Read my initial forecast discussion posted the day before, on Tuesday 4/21 Update#1 [Radar Update – […]

DFW: Severe Thunderstorms Likely Saturday Evening (4/18)

Special Update [Saturday 4/18 7:40 pm] Significant thunderstorm wind damage is likely in the path of this downburst throughout Tarrant County, with winds in excess of 70 mph possible. It is moving northeast through Tarrant County. Velocity Image at 7:40 pm: Fourth Forecast Update [Saturday 4/18 5:45 pm] ***Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 1 am*** Includes […]