Smoke from West Coast Wildfires seen by NOAA Satellites

A blocking weather pattern has encompassed much of the nation throughout the summer. A persistent area of high pressure and large-scale, high-amplitude ridging over the western half of the country has resulted in hot temperatures and extremely low atmospheric moisture content. These are the conditions necessary for the development of wildfires. Last week, NOAA’s Geostationary […]

Check out some of the fascinating things Doppler weather radar can detect!

The National Weather Service’s Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network across the United States consists of 155 Doppler radar sites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2013, the entire WSR-88D network was upgraded to dual-polarization capabilities, meaning that the Doppler radar can emit pulses in both the horizontal and vertical plane. […]

A look into the brilliant displays of atmospheric optics

The atmosphere can display phenomenal optical features through the bending of light. You may have looked up at the sky on a day with high-level clouds, e.g. cirrus clouds, which are composed of ice crystals. These hexagonal ice crystals act as prisms, and when a photon (a particle of light) passes through the ice crystal, […]

Rowlett continues fundraising for Christmas Tornado Relief

The City of Rowlett, Texas, continues their efforts to raise money for those affected by the EF-4 tornado that impacted the area on December 26th, 2015. Rowlett Strong, the non-profit organization involved, has earned a Gold Participant status from the GuideStar non-profit organization. GuideStar is one of the world’s largest source of non-profit information.  Rowlett […]

Remembering the November 17th, 2013, Tornado Outbreak

On Sunday, November 17th, 2013, an outbreak of deadly tornadoes occurred across the upper midwest region of the United States. 73 tornadoes were confirmed across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. Two of the seventy-three tornadoes were violent, of which both earned damage ratings on the Enhanced Fujita Scale of EF-4 (166-200mph winds). Both […]

NOAA’s New Polar Orbiting Satellite to Launch November 18th

A new polar orbiting satellite, the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), is scheduled to launch Wednesday, November 15th, at 1:47am PDT from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Update [11/16 at 11:39am CST]: The morning launch was scrubbed due to strong upper level winds. The new launch time is scheduled for Saturday, November 18th, […]

GOES-16 scheduled to be fully operational on December 20th

Last year on November 19th, 2016, GOES-16 (formerly GOES-R) was launched on the Atlas V541 rocket from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Nearly a year after its launch into geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 22,240 miles above the Earth’s surface, the satellite constellation will begin its drift to the GOES-East […]

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 […]

Ophelia 10th consecutive named system to reach hurricane status in the Atlantic

As of 5:00pm AST today, October 11th, Hurricane Ophelia became the 10th consecutive named system in the Atlantic Basin to reach hurricane strength. According to research meteorologists at the Colorado State University, this ties the all-time record previously set in 1995 for the second most on record through October 11th (it also ties records set […]

Atlantic Basin now Tropical Cyclone Free for the First Time in 49 days

As of 5:00pm AST on Saturday, September 30th, 2017, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, issued their final advisory for Tropical Storm Maria. During the past 49 days, there were five major hurricanes (Category-3 or higher) in the Atlantic Basin. These hurricanes had the names of: Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, and Maria. Hurricane Irma […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Student Perspective of Working in the National Weather Service

During my 2016-17 winter break, I had the opportunity to work at the National Weather Service field office in Wichita, Kansas.  Working with Chris Robbins, M.S. here at iWeatherNet had already shape much of my knowledge of the National Weather Service, since he worked for 15 years within the agency, including NOAA’s National Severe Storms […]

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 […]

January 21-23rd Tornado Outbreak Second Largest on Record in Southeast U.S.

On January 21-23rd, 2017, a rare, multifaceted severe weather outbreak occurred across the Deep South and southeastern United States. 80 tornadoes occurred over the three day span of the outbreak, of which several were strong (EF-2 to EF-3 strength), long-track tornadoes. This tornado outbreak was the second largest outbreak on record in the southeastern United States. […]

First Images of Earth from GOES-16 Revealed

The GOES-16 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on November 19th of last year. Originally, the name of the satellite was GOES-R as it is part of a multi-satellite series, as GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U, are scheduled to be launched in 2018, 2019, and 2024, respectively.  GOES-16 underwent several technical calibrations after […]

U.S. Tornado Count in 2016 Slightly Below the Annual Average

The year of 2016, there were a total of 1,059 tornadoes across the U.S. (with the month of May, 2016 having some of the more photogenic tornadoes). How does this compare to other years? According to the 2005-2015 tornado climatology, there was an average of 1,402 tornadoes across the nation. Tornado activity for 2016 was below the 2005-2015 average.  Each […]

Dangerous Ice Storm Likely For Portions of the Plains and Midwest This Weekend

Update #4 [Sunday January 15 at 1 pm EST] – Tom Moore The multi-day ice storm continues in the nation’s heartland. So far, the greatest amount of ice, reported by the NWS from this storm (.50″-1.00″), has occurred from parts of northern Oklahoma to southern Kansas and into southwest Missouri. Dangerous conditions continue Sunday from much of […]

Christmas Day Squall Line and Rare Tornadoes in Kansas

This past Christmas Day resulted in interesting weather across the central Plains. From strong thunderstorms in Kansas to the blizzard conditions in the Dakotas, the stockings were full of interesting weather Christmas morning. Nearly the entire state of Kansas, excluding the extreme western parts of the state, were impacted by a low-end squall line. I spent the […]

GOES-R to launch Saturday, November 19th

A new member of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) family will launch from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday, November 19th, at approximately 5:42pm EST (2242 UTC; Universal Coordinated Time). GOES-R, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series, will be the next generational advancement in meteorological forecasting and technology. It will […]

Rowlett to Collect Gifts for Tornado Affected Children

Last year on December 26th, the day after Christmas Day, an outbreak of tornadoes occurred near the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, metroplex. The area of Rowlett was hit the hardest by a violent EF-4 tornado. Many families lost everything as houses were completely destroyed, and donations for gifts and toys are being accepted for affected children. […]

November Supermoon Closest to Earth Since 1948

On November 14th, our closest celestial neighbor will reach its full phase as it orbits behind the Earth where the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned, respectively. As the lunar orbit reaches its closest approach to Earth, it is called a perigee. The moon’s orbit is elliptical around the Earth and as a result, the proximity of distance between […]