Saturday, December 20, 2014


The best winter weather driving advice I ever received was to drive slowly on snow and ice and that momentum is difficult to change in slick conditions. This video certainly illustrates that point. Most of the drivers were going too fast for the conditions and the poor traction/their momentum would not allow turns to take them out of harm's way.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yes, Still Worried About a Christmas Eve Storm

Even where "rain" is forecast, the strong winds will cause major airline delays. AccuWeather has storm details.

If you were planning to travel by air on Christmas Eve, keep an eye on your airlines' web site. If the storm forecast gels, they will likely issue "waivers" which allow you to change your reservations without charge. Go early to beat the storm. I would make the same recommendation to people planning to travel by car in the snow areas.

We'll continue to monitor the storm and post updates.

A Legend of Weather Science Passes Away

Bob Simpson, hurricane researcher, has passed away at 102.
Yes, it is Bob's name on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale. It was a life well-lived.

Traveling Today or Saturday?

No major travel issues.

Here is the forecast precipitation from now until 6am CST Sunday.
DFW International has 15 minute delays right now which will likely improve during the day. Heavy rain might cause some brief delays in New Orleans and, perhaps in Atlanta.

In the Northwest, heavy rains may cause brief delays in Seattle. Of course, snow -- heavy at times -- will fall in the mountain passes.

At this moment, there are several areas of fog across the country. The worse now is over the Ozarks which means slowing down.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Finally! Amazon Has Adequate Stock of "Warnings"

Finally, Amazon has filled its standing orders and has extra in stock. So, there should be enough copies for last minute Christmas gifts.
This account of people who do something about the weather should appeal to just about anyone who enjoys talking about it.  -- Publisher's Weekly
To be quite honest it is the best book I've read in years. I couldn't put it down and read the whole thing in a day and a half. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting book where you can learn something too.  -- Elysium
While weather forecasters often appear starchy and bland, Smith makes the weather into an urgent concern, and a remarkable victory. This story turns the weather into a quest, and meteorologists into the most unlikely heroes in recent literature.  
                                                  -- University of Nebraska

Precipitation from Now to Christmas Evening

Snowy Morning at the Smith House

Yes, those are rabbit tracks on the patio.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thundersnow in South Central Kansas

Here is an overview of the precipitation in the Central Plains and

A while ago, we had a report of lightning and thunder with snow and sleet in Harper and Kingman Counties to the west and southwest of Wichita. I've circled the area as it has moved northeast. The radar is from 6:48pm.

And, heavy snow falling northeast Wichita about 20 minutes ago.

Rough Outlook for Christmas Eve

While there is a lot that can go wrong with a 7-day winter storm forecast, this is important enough that we want to give you an idea of what things may look like on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.

6am Wednesday

8pm Wednesday

If this is an accurate, or nearly accurate, forecast then air travel will be a mess throughout the region due to high winds and rain/snow.

We are bringing this to your attention now so you can make alternate plans:
  1. If you have plane tickets, the airlines will likely issue "waivers" in advance which will let you change your tickets without fee. I strongly recommend (keep watching the blog) getting there before the storm. 
  2. If you can't get an earlier flight, consider driving or Amtrak before the storm. 
Here is my airline crisis travel guide which I recommend reading now so you have the tools you need to adjust if this forecast is confirmed. 

Winter Weather Update 4:50pm CDT

Here is the heavy snow falling in far northeast Wichita at 4:40pm.

And, the AccuWeather Regional Radar at 4:42pm.
The precipitation is moving northeast. The snow amount forecast (below) is unchanged.

Snow Begins in Northeast Wichita

It started falling at 3:27pm and the ground is already whitening.

Plains Winter Weather Update

Radar at 2:56pm CST.
The orange and reddish colors are ice pellets (sleet). A mix of precipitation moving NE as shown on the radar.

Roads will become very slippery in the area where ice may accumulate in light amounts.
UPDATE: 5:50PM. Conditions confirmed.

Here is the snow accumulation map.
Take it easy driving as the wintertime precipitation moves in.

Forecaster Evie Says, "Heads Up!"

Forecaster Evie is working with AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions meteorologist Kate Danna on forecasts pertaining to travel conditions next week.

While it is too soon for details, it looks like there will be a snow and wind storm in the 23rd to 25th time period. If this develops as it appears, air travel will be a complete mess and highway travel in the Midwest will be a mess, also.
We expect to have an update on the blog this evening but Evie wanted everyone to be aware so plans could be adjusted, if necessary.

Amazon Has 4 Copies of "Warnings"

Finally, Amazon has copies of Warnings back in stock. Note, however, it is a limited number.

Of course, we will still honor the requests sent to Mike Smith Enterprises. I autographed three copies yesterday.

No Change to Winter Precipitation Forecast

A winter weather advisory is out for the shaded areas.
I see no reason to change my winter weather forecast.