Thursday, April 24, 2014

Two Items About Tornadoes

If the climate is changing, it is changing for the better:
Via Twitter
Less tornado damage, something this blog has discussed on a number of occasions.

Tornadoes are possible Saturday through Monday and this is an important question. How do we get people to do the right thing in tornado situations? It is more difficult than you might think.

If Only That Six Inch Bullseye Was Two States Farther West

Six inches of rain over seven days would be great in Kansas where the rain is badly needed. In Illinois and immediately surrounding areas, it raises the possibility of flooding.

"When the Sirens Were Silent" -- Another Review

How did 161 lose their lives in the worst disaster since government tornado warnings began in 1957?

When the Sirens Were Silent 

When the Sirens Were Silent reviews in chilling minute-by-minute detail what the meteorologists, media, and citizens did right and seriously wrong, leading to the Joplin tornado's high death toll. Smith also gives simple, smart advice on how to build a safe plan for families, schools, and businesses. It's a must-read for anyone living in Tornado Alley (along with Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather). I give this short book a four ONLY because you absolutely must read Mike Smith's Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather to really appreciate the information in this book, which is a continuation of the first book as opposed to a stand-alone title.

The book, which you can read in an evening, gives you important strategies for keeping you, and your family, safe at home, school, or workplace.
Joplin's St. John Mercy Medical Center where 15 died.
Photo by Jaime Green, The Wichita Eagle
Smith provides a gripping countdown of the events leading up to the tornado, critiquing the series of decisions and actions from forecasters and emergency management and describing their consequences. His commentary is insightful and written plainly enough for the layperson to understand.   
---The Washington Post

This is a book for your entire family. For more information, click here

Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Update

Here is today's tornado threat area with 5% the significant number.

And, here is the damaging wind threat area with 15% the significant threshold.

The severe weather risk for Friday is low. However, it ramps up Saturday and will continue Sunday and Monday. Here is the combined risk for Saturday with 15% the significant threshold.
If you live in the hatched (very large hail and strong tornadoes possible) area, please keep up on the Saturday's weather.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Three Days of Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms

Red is Saturday. Purple is Sunday. Green is Monday. Each area has a significant chance of tornadoes and thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds.

This weekend will be a good time to keep up on the weather.

Gaps in the National Radar Network

The network of WSR-88D radars installed from 1991 to 1996 is one of the great achievements of weather science and the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense deserve great credit for making it happen.

However, there are gaps in the network, one of which has been in the news recently. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at this topic.

Here is a map of the WSR-88D radar coverage:
This map does not include gap coverage from the FAA's Terminal Doppler Weather Radar. Outside of tornado alley, coverage 6,000 feet and below is adequate. How much would it cost to fill the most important gaps? Here are some rough figures:

  • C-band radars, including a tower, cost about $600,000 each, far less than the NWS's primary radars. 
  • I have picked the top twelve gaps to fill based on meteorological threat, population and comers. For example much of America's coal comes from Wyoming's Powder River Basin which has terrible coverage. The top 12 are circled below. 
  • So, picking the top twelve sites would cost about $7,200,000 for the radars and towers. Round up to $10 million for up-front costs. Small by government standards.  
The gap northeast of Dallas (purple rectangle) may be filled by the north Texas CASA project. 

The U.S. Senate is considering the House's bill to provide additional funding for weather forecasting and weather research. Considering the small amount of money (by federal standards), this should be a priority for the additional funding.

Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Risk For the Next Six Days

After a record slow start to the 2014 tornado season, it looks like it will be trying to catch up for the next six days. 

This Afternoon and Tonight

The tornado risk (5% is significant) is geographically small.

The large hail risk (15% is significant) is much higher. The hatched area is where 2" or larger hail is forecast to occur.
Much more severe weather is forecast the next five days. More on that later today. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Couldn't Happen to More 'Deserving' Group

I have written, twice, (here and here) about this ridiculous series. Apparently, it is getting the ratings it deserves.
From Anthony Watts….

Multi-million dollar global warming disaster epic ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ beaten in TV ratings by ‘Bob’s Burgers’ reruns

Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” aired Sun, Apr 20, at 10:00 PM and didn’t even make the top 100 cable TV shows this week and was beaten in its time slot by a re-run episode of the animated cartoon Bob’s Burgers. Ouch!
Literally billions have been spent by Big Climate (much of it from our tax dollars) on a loosing battle to fool people into believing global warming is a catastrophic problem. Yale University even has a center for climate change communication to try to devise ways of selling global warming -- I know because they followed me around one day at an American Meteorological Society conference wanting me to help them. They were, shall we say, very determined.

It never seems to occur to Big Climate that the problem isn't the advertising; it is the fact they are selling a defective product -- people have been hearing about dire tipping points for a quarter-century and they can see nothing horrible has happened.

A Year Without Tornado Deaths?

So far, there have been no deaths due to tornadoes this year. USA Today has the story.

Unfortunately, the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will increase from tomorrow to Monday. I hope the streak continues but it can only do so if people respond to the warnings that are issued.


A reminder that I will be speaking at 4:30 this afternoon in the auditorium on the lower level of the Bank of America Building at Broadway and Douglas in downtown Wichita. There is a parking garage immediately west (across Broadway) from the building. If you have a copy of one of my books, I'd be very happy to sign it for you. We will also have copies of Warnings for sale.

Monday, April 21, 2014

As Severe Weather Season Ramps Up This Week...

…there are a couple of new reviews of my book about the Joplin tornado, When the Sirens Were Silent.

5.0 out of 5 stars thApril 1, 2014
This review is from: "When the Sirens Were Silent" How the Warning System Failed a Community (Kindle Edition)
When The Sirens Were Silent should be required reading for the people of Missouri, and a must read for anyone that has heard a tornado siren go off. Well written and a eyeopener. Might I suggest his otherbook Warnings. Excellent.

5.0 out of 5 stars Saving Your LifeMarch 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: "When the Sirens Were Silent" How the Warning System Failed a Community (Kindle Edition)
It's a quick read but raises some very good questions about the actions that were or were not taken that fateful day in Joplin's history. It will also bring up points that could well save your life.
The Vast Extent of the Joplin Tornado's Damage Field
Why was the 2011 Joplin tornado the only tornado since warnings began in 1957 to kill more than 100 people (161)? The answers are shocking -- and, pertinent to your home, school or business.

‘When the sirens were silent’ – an important read for learning from the Joplin tornado disaster

                                                                              -- The Washington Post
The print version sold out quickly. So, the ebook version has been priced at a bargain $2.99. It is available for Kindle and Nook. If you do not have one of those devices, you can read it on Amazon's free Cloud Reader.

Tornado season is the perfect time for When the Sirens Were Silent. For less than three dollars, you can go a long way toward better-protecting yourself and your family. 

Climate 'Science:' The Old "Truncate the Graph" Trick

As I was dial-flipping Saturday, I came across an episode of Years of Living Dangerously a topic about which I have already written. So, I decided to watch until I saw my first factual error (i.e., not one of opinion). It took, literally, two minutes. A graph had to do with solar output and temperature. The 'scientist' was presenting the graph as if it was current.
Look carefully: The data ends in 2005 (yellow circle I added). The temperature data (upper right, red line I added) shows flat temperatures back to 1998 -- seven years (1998 to 2005). They don't dare show current data because it would show 16 years of no warming! 

Sadly, this is exactly what I predicted from The Years of Living Dangerously -- it is propaganda, not science. We have gone 16 years without temperatures warming. Climate science advocacy cannot even present current, accurate data to make its case.

I ran into this exact issue when commenting on Dr. Kerry Emanuel's piece at 538 last week in response to the vile comments made toward Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. I, like Roger, contended that hurricanes are not getting worse. A number of links to graphs were posted, several like this (I truncated the first part of the graph before the satellite era so we would have an apples-to-apples measurement).
Blue is sea temperatures, dotted air temperatures, red hurricane index. 
Of course, the graph above ends in 2008, even though it is now 2014. Every graph posted at 538 ended in 2009 or earlier.

How, here is the real story (compare to red line above):
Dr. Ryan Maue, click to enlarge. 
The graphs are nearly the same up to 2008. Both graphs show a peak in 2005 (Katrina, Rita, Wilma). Since, hurricanes in both the northern hemisphere and worldwide have tanked. The U.S. has gone 8.5 years without a major hurricane hitting our coasts -- by far, the longest such interval in history. Highly inconvenient for those that contend hurricanes have gotten worse.

And, the record slow tornado season (a good thing) continues!

Meanwhile, the threat of global cooling, which would be far more devastating to humanity than warming, continues to grow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Benefits of Allowing Children Pursue Their Dreams

Image from Hubble Telescope. Courtesy: NASA
The story of two Kansas astronomers, Steve and John Hawley, is a real inspiration on this Easter Sunday.

My parents thought I was crazy standing in the rain as a storm spotter. But, it lead to a terrific, rewarding career.

Have a Joyous Easter!

In some areas it is a beautiful day. In some of the drought areas, glorious rain. Whichever it is in your location, enjoy this special day!

Anti-Climate Change Rap Video

I never thought I'd live to see this…