Archive for June, 2007

Why Are Clouds White?
June 30, 2007

Well, summer has arrived, and a typical afternoon will feature beautiful structures high in the sky. Towering upright storms that sit and dump heavy amounts of rainfall are pretty common for this time of year, but what makes them so white and pure looking?

Clouds are made up of water droplets. Water droplets tend to scatter light equally, making the appearance white. All of the visible colors of the spectrum become scattered in a process called “Mie Scattering”.

When the cloud gets real high or thick, sunlight becomes reduced, thus giving the cloud more of a grey type of appearance.


June 29, 2007

Whatever happened to the cow that was lifted into the air by the tornado?
Udder disaster!

What did the one tornado say to the other?
Let’s twist again like we did last summer.

What did the thermometer say to the other thermometer?
You make my temperature rise.

What happens when fog lifts in California?

What’s the difference between a horse and the weather?
One is reined up and the other rains down.

What did one raindrop say to the other raindrop?
My plop is bigger than your plop.

Why did the woman go outdoors with her purse open?
Because she expected some change in the weather.

What did the tornado say to the other tornado?
You turn me on!

What’s the difference between weather and climate?
You can’t weather a tree, but you can climate.

What happens when it rains cats and dogs?
You have to been careful not to step in a poodle.

What do you call it when it rains chickens and ducks?
Foul (fowl) weather.

What did the hurricane say to the other hurricane?
I have my eye on you.

How do you find out the weather when you’re on vacation?
Go outside and look up.

June 29, 2007

Venus and Saturn will be just a full moon and a half, width-wise, apart this Sunday. This neat astronomical occurrence will be viewable to the naked eye for about two hours after sunset. Look to the west just after the sun sets and Venus, providing we’re not clouded over, will be readily visible, shining bright as one of the brightest objects in the sky. Saturn will be just to the right.

June 29, 2007

Vostok, Antarctica holds the world record for the lowest recorded temperature. On July 21, 1983 the temperature fell to an unprecedented -89.4 C or -129 F!

The world’s highest official temperature is 136 F recorded at El Azizia, Libya, on September 13, 1922.

June 28, 2007

With the exception of a little dry layer here or there, this mornings Springfield MO is nearly saturated from the surface up to the tropopause. Springfield is on the warm side of a stationary boundary as are we. Daytime heating is all ready starting to “pepper” the warm sector with showers and t-storms. There is a little CIN (Convective Inhibition) to overtake in the shape of a ham steak, covering parts of our northern area, though this will likely not be a factor for too long. Drifting through our region over the next 24 to 36 hours, the front will be the focal point for steady and heavy rain.

We anticipate shower / t-storm activity, now in parts of eastern OK to spread westward throughout the latter morning and into the afternoon. The threat of some gusty winds and small hail with both isolated and grouped t-storms will carry into the evening, though the biggest issue will be localized flooding. Please remember not to try to cross flooded roadways; there have already been many deaths in parts of Texas due to flooding rains. Most flood related deaths occur in automobiles.

Heavy Rainfall Potential
June 27, 2007

Tonight we’ll be watching a surface boundary that will sit tight across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. This boundary will provide the focus for showers and storms that will likely train over the same area. Several embedded waves of low pressure at 500 mb will move over the stationary boundary creating the potential for heavy rainfall.
The latest computer model guidance suggests a developing 30 to 40 knt low level jet at 850 mb after midnight. This ribbon of air will interact with the stationary boundary to help sustain showers and storms throughout the overnight period.
Heavy flooding rainfall could become an issue, with some locations picking up and additional 1 to 2 inches of rainfall overnight. QPF is very high, so be very careful if you live around a flood prone area.

June 27, 2007

Drew’s blog entry prompted me to do some meteorological digging in the dregs of archived data and thankfully I didn’t have to go back that far to find a year that was “relatively” cool. Back in school, as part of the course work for Climatology, we had to collect and analyze over one hundred years worth of data that we collected from microfiche! Just the thought is giving me a headache and blurring my vision. Onwards, we march towards tales of cool.

OK, are you sitting down? The summer of 2004 was void of triple digit heat!

In fact, the highest temp recorded that summer was 97 F in Fort Smith and 92 F in Fayetteville. Interestingly, both June and July were very wet. Getting ideas or hopes? Rainfall totaled some15” for the two month period!

So, let’s move it to present times. The warmest day thus far has been June 19th of the present month when Fort Smith reached 93 F and Fayetteville topped out at 89 F.
Could the rest of the summer be “cool”? Let’s hope so.

This Just In…..No 100 degree Heat!
June 27, 2007

It can be challenging at times to go on television and repeat the same story. Usually during the summer we’re repeating “hazy, hot, and humid” over, and over, and over again; however, this summer, we may never see 100 degrees with the green vegetation, and the abundance of gulf moisture.

Evapotranspiration is a big part of the water cycle. Plants and trees help to continually hydrate the atmosphere during the spring and summer months; moreover, rich green plants contribute to evaporation, which in turn has a cooling effect on the surrounding air. Think about when you sweat on a summer day. Your evaporate water from your body, which helps to cool your body. Trees are cooling the air around them.

The U.S. Forestry service says that a mature 40 ft tree can reduce the surrounding air temperature by transpiring some 40 gallons of water each day.

Last year we hit 100 degrees in the middle of July in Fort Smith. Interestingly enough, both June and July were completely dry at the Fort Smith Airport. The vegetation was dead, which helped contribute to the hot temperatures.

If the vegetation remains green it wouldn’t surprise me to see the area dodge the dreaded 100 degree mark! I hope I’m right!

June 27, 2007

1994 The temperature reached 122 degrees at the Waste Isolation Treatment Plant east of Carlsbad, NM to set the state high temperature record for New Mexico. In Oklahoma, the temperature at the mesonet station near Tipton reached 120 degrees, setting an all-time record for the Sooner State! (NCDC)

June 26, 2007

The map displays forecasted rain totals by 00z Saturday. Disclaimer: Forecasting rainfall totals that are largely a product of convection or t-storms is a difficult undertaking for both machines (computer model) and humans. With that being said, we could and will very likely have some spots within our area that will be threatened by localized flooding. As we’ve been mentioning, any one t-storm can drop an inch of rain. Make that a slow mover, and that amount exponentially increases.

Please use extreme caution over the next few days. Don’t become a statistic! Remember to “Turn around, don’t drown”

The series of cut-off features that have been a part of our weather pattern over the past several months have kept us on the cool side with clouds and precipitation. Comparatively, Fayetteville has only topped 85 F ten times this year versus twenty nine for last and Fort Smith has only topped 90 F five times in 2007 as compared to twenty eight last year, by this time!