A huge congratulations to John Gordon, the Meteorologist in Charge at the Louisville National Weather Service office for being awarded the “Public Education Award” at the National Weather Association Conference in Birmingham last week for his “Beat The Heat, Check The Backseat” campaign. In addition, students from Western Kentucky University presented a poster of “A Synoptic Hydroclimatology within the Green River Watershed in Kentucky”.
You can click the link above and see picture and video highlights of these presentations. It’s great to do weather in a state where all facets of meteorology are well represented on a national level!
It was a great first day in Birmingham for the initial kickoff of the 36th Annual National Weather Association Conference.
When Shelia and I arrived in Birmingham around midday, the sky was blue and the sun was bright. Driving through downtown we found the McWane Science Center where “WeatherFest” was being held. “WeatherFest” was a free, open-to-the-public event geared toward everything weather.
“WeatherFest” had everything from young to old. The big draw was the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV2) from the popular Discovery Channel series “Storm Chasers”. The builder of the TIV Sean Casey was there to not only display the TIV but to show his IMAX movie “Tornado Alley” which I saw a couple of weeks ago in Chattanooga.
And while I didn’t get to see Sean Casey, I did get to meet his driver Marcus Gutierrez. If you’ve watched “Storm Chasers” then you’ve seen Marcus. In fact, he and I discussed the episode of “Chasers” that aired last Sunday that showed Marcus getting the TIV stuck in some thick Texas mud.
“Yeah, that was pretty nasty” Marcus told me. “There is a lot of video tape you guys didn’t see…mostly bleeping and cursing”.
Shelia is with me on this trip as she has been at most of these conferences. While I’m taking in a head full of knowledge at the seminars and sessions, she’ll be in the hotel room working on her knitting and crocheting. Christmas gifts for family and friends you understand. And of course, I can’t imagine going anywhere without her!
One of the best things about attending a conference such as this one is that it puts me together with other TV weather people across the country who do the same thing I do each day. Since the advent of social media, we get to “chat” with one another pretty much every day. Now, we get to sit face-to-face, pick each others brains and learn something new about the weather. Yeah, I’m pretty much in weather geek heaven!
Before I turn in tonight and get some rest before our first day of multiple sessions I want to thank the management of WBKO for allowing me this opportunity every three years. I always come back with new ideas, more knowledge and a fresh kick-in-the-pants to motivate me to make WBKO’s weather operation even better than before.
I will update you here, on my facebook pages and in my twitter feed as often as I can. Sometimes it will be a picture or two…or, if I have time, a quick video.
Tomorrow, we have our Broadcasters Workshop all day. We will hear from the TV weathercasters who were in the midst of the killer tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri this year.
Our weather remains on cruise control with yet another spectacular Fall day Wednesday! High pressure will continue to dominate through the end of the work week, assuring us of more sunshine and warm afternoons today and Friday. Highs will range from the lower to middle 80s both days with cool, comfortable overnight lows in the lower 50s.
A FEW CHANGES AHEAD…
The streak of sunny weather will continue into the upcoming weekend with highs in the low 80s and light south winds. Columbus Day (Monday) appears dry before some tropical moisture tries to sneak in from the Deep South Tuesday into Wednesday. This will result in small chances for rain those days with slightly cooler daytime readings.
Continued Sunny and Warm…High 84, winds SE-4
Mainly Clear with Areas of Patchy Fog…Low 52, winds Calm
Mostly Sunny and Warm…High 84, winds SE-5
THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER
The Summer of 2011 will not go out with a bang here in Southern Kentucky today. We’ll see some sun to start but giving way to more clouds by afternoon as our next disturbance moves in. We’ll have a good chance for seeing numerous showers and a few thunderstorms tonight into Friday morning. Once that weathermaker moves out, the rest of Friday looks good, though it will be quite a bit cooler with afternoon highs dropping 10 degrees from Thursday’s.
FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL!
Autumn officially arrives at 4:05am CDT this Friday, and the first weekend of Fall will feel like it with temperatures running almost 10 degrees below late September averages. The annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk takes place Saturday morning at Greenwood High School. At this time, it appears dry for that event, although a few spotty showers could move in late Saturday afternoon and evening. A small shower chance lingers into Sunday and early Monday before we dry out Tuesday. Readings should rebound back to near normal by midweek.
Partly Sunny, Chance of Sprinkles…High 79, winds NW-6
Showers Likely…Low 55, winds Calm
Rain Chance 70% – Rain Amount .15″-.30″
Mainly Morning Showers, then Clearing…High 70, winds N-6
Rain Chance 30% – Rain Amount .10″
FINAL DAYS OF SUMMER
As the Summer season draws to a close there won’t be any signs of a warmup or hot sunshine to wave ‘goodbye’ to. A brief warmup today will be followed by another cooldown for late week, with highs falling from the upper 70s into the upper 60s Friday. Today, a cold front will keep us with low clouds, scattered showers patchy drizzle. Most of Thursday itself looks dry, but another disturbance rotating around a slow-moving upper low brings us a shot for more rain Thursday night into Friday morning.
FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL!
Autumn officially arrives at 4:05am CDT this Friday and once we’re done with the rain, the first weekend of Fall should get off to a decent start. The annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk takes place Saturday morning at Greenwood High School. We’re looking for sunshine with highs around 70 Saturday. It now appears the weekend could end a bit unsettled, though, with yet another chance for showers returning Sunday into Monday.
Mainly Cloudy, Scattered Showers…High 77, winds W-7
Rain Chance 40% – Rain Amount .10″-.25″
Mainly Cloudy and Misty…Low 59, winds Calm
Partly Sunny, Ch of Evening Thunderstorms…High 74, winds NW-6
Rain Chance 50% – Rain Amount .10″-.25″
We’re dealing with the first of several weathermakers that will have an impact on our weather this week. Low clouds and light rain showers could hang tough for awhile today with the possibility of limited sun returning by afternoon. However, another cold front will move in for Wednesday bringing with it our next chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. This next system will be a slow mover so we’ll keep a chance of rain in the forecast through Friday. Highs will cool from a high around 80 on Wednesday into the upper 60s by Friday.
FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL!
Autumn officially arrives at 4:05am CDT this Friday and once we’re done with the rain, the first weekend of Fall looks fantastic! The annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk takes place Saturday morning at Greenwood High School. We’re looking for sunshine with highs in the low 70s climbing into the mid 70s by Sunday – still 7-10 degrees below normal!
Mainly Cloudy, Isolated Showers…High 73, winds SE-5
Rain Chance 30% – Rain Amount .10″
Mainly Cloudy, Isolated Showers…Low 61, winds SW-4
Rain Chance 20% – Rain Amount .10″
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms…High 78, winds W-7
Rain Chance 30% – Rain Amount .10″
We always love hearing from you.
Your comments – good, bad, otherwise – help shape the kind of weather content we deliver to you. So, beginning today and for several weeks (maybe months) I will ask you to help us shape WBKO’s weather content. This goes for all of our media platforms…TV, internet and mobile.
We’ll start with the basics: the everyday weather map. We usually display this near the end of our weather segments to show the next 36-48 hours of weather to come. We call it our “Futurecast”. What we hope to demonstrate with this map is to show areas of high pressure, low pressure, cold fronts, warm fronts along with areas of predicted moisture (rain, sleet, snow) and cloud cover.
But does this work for you? Current-day media consultants tell us you no longer care about “fronts” – what they look like, what they are or where they are.
Is that true?
Take a look at the map above. Look at the blue line with what looks like pointed teeth on it. That is a cold front. It represents a boundary of cool or cold air pushing southward (notice the “teeth” are pointed to the south). By the same measure, the red line to the west of the cold front indicates a warm front. The “half-moons” along the warm front indicate the direction warmer air will moving toward.
For those of us in the weather business, we often take these markings for granted but they actually help us tell the story. Question is…does this help tell the story for you?
Looking deeper into the above graphic you see a blue “H” over the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley region. I’ve had some tell me this means it will be “hot” or “humid”. Sorry. The blue “H” represents the center of high pressure. Air flows around us from low to high pressures in the atmosphere. Winds are created by changes in temperature. All of this is connected to bring us our weather.
Where there are areas of “H” (high pressure) this usually means the weather is nice and often dry as the amount of atmospheric pressure on the earth is high. Winds around areas of high pressure rotate clockwise like the hands on a clock. So, for today with the center of high pressure being to our north…and the winds rotating around the high like the hands on a clock (clockwise), you can easily see our winds today will come from the northeast (as indicated by the blue arrows surrounding the “H”). Air pressure of this kind falls to the earth and often clears away any moisture in most cases – therefore giving us a good weather forecast.
On the flip side is the red “L’s” that show up on the same map. Those are areas of low pressure. And since weather is made up of mostly opposites, areas of low pressure have winds that rotate around its center in a counter-clockwise fashion…as if the hands on a clock are going backward. In most cases, areas of low pressure are the connecting point to the earlier-mentioned warm and cold fronts. This usually means we’re in for inclement weather when a system like this moves in to the area. Low pressure systems help lift warm, moist air into the atmosphere where the moisture is cooled, condensed and eventually produces precipitation.
Okay…we’ve had a little “Weather 101″ to this point but what about the map itself? You’ll notice we have it centered on Kentucky and shaded in a darker green color than the rest of the states. We also stay focused on the eastern and southeastern sections of the country with this map. This allows us to show the weather systems most important to this area or the ones that are likely to have the most impact on our weather here. Years ago, we would show the entire US map but that was before The Weather Channel and a thousand other sources to see the weather anywhere you are on any given media platform. We prefer to stay focused here at home.
But, is that view too big? Too small? Do you know what you’re looking at?
That will do it for Part 1 of “Make It Your Weather”. I look forward to your feedback here (just type in the comment section) and will read each and every post.
How would you like to attend a two-day weather workshop where you’ll learn from some of the best weather experts in the business?
The 2010 Kentucky Weather Workshop will be held November 19th and 20th at the Carroll Knicely Center in Bowling Green.
The workshop is hosted by Kentucky Emergency Management to provide detailed and technical processes used for understanding weather forecasting and modeling. The workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about weather forecasting and storm spotting.
If you sign up before October 20th, the registration fee is only $20 but will go up after that date. With your registration, you will receive a workshop t-shirt along with a lunch for Friday, dinner Friday night and lunch again on Saturday.
A full agenda has not been set as of this writing but I am working closely with KyEM officials to finalize the schedule of events and presentations.
Yours truly will be making a presentation Saturday the 20th along with meteorologist Jennifer Rukavina from WPSD Channel 6 in Paducah discussing severe weather watch and warning criteria and the many new ways we now have to track and monitor storms.
I will be posting updates here on the workshop, so keep checking back often for the final agenda and any further announcements. In the meantime, if you want to join us, registration is limited to only 300 people and these will go fast – so click on the workshop link below and get signed up today!