Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Colonel Joseph Duckworth, a Weather Hero


Colonel Duckworth (1903-1962) was the first person to purposely fly through the eye of a hurricane in 1943. Bill Murray of Alabamawx.com wrote an interesting post about that event that occurred 64 years ago this week.

Above is a photo of the type of aircraft that he used on his historic flight that gave birth to the folks we now know as hurricane hunters.

Flying with the hurricane hunters would have to be in my top three (of many) weather geek dreams and fantasies.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Let's cool off a minute...

I read a cool post by Laura Radford on the WVUA Tuscaloosa Weather Blog about the Blizzard of 1993. It was nice to take a break from the heat, humidity, and pop-up isolated thunderstorms of late july and think about snow.

Unfortunately we have been in a snow drought in Alabama in recent years.

Between 1985 and 1993 we saw several occurances of snow and ice in North and Central Alabama. I remember a crippling ice storm in Huntsville in 1985, a 10" snow in HSV in 1988, an 8-10" snow in Tuscaloosa in 91 or 92, and of course the "Blizzard of 93". These were all major events and there were some others mixed in. Since then, we've seen very little snow or ice. That is too bad because my boys were born in 93, 96, and 99. They are missing out on snow. Maybe this winter......

What are some of your favorite snow memories?

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Dangerous positive lightning"

Check out this post by Tom Skilling.

I saw the lightning he was referring to and posted a video of it here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lightning and thunder

Awesome photos from Smith Lake on Alabamawx.com! I heard thunder at my place in Vinemont from 4 pm until 11 pm when I went to bed. Unfortunately we only received .04" of rain!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Comfortable July Weather in Alabama

Monday’s high of 81 tied the record for July 23 set in 1917. It was an awesome day in Huntsville!

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's July 20 and it's CHILLY!


From the NWS Chicago

I woke up to a chilly morning in Chicago today. Lows were in the mid to upper 50's. Yesterday it was real chilly at Wrigley Field too. Wrigley is close to Lake Michigan and the wind was blowing some very cool air off the lake.

This is supposed to be the warmest date of the year in Chicago. The predicted high today is 72. But, according to Tom Skilling at WGN, "Since 1928, temperatures on July 20th have surged to 90° or higher 30 times, the most of any day of the year. By contrast, highs have been as cool or cooler than today’s 72° only five times on this date. Fewer than a quarter of July’s high temperatures have been this cool."

According to the NWS in Chicago, northerly winds from a Canadian high pressure extending into Wisconsin is ushering in a dry and "mild" airmass. It's funny to me that they use the term "mild" I would say "cool".

Don't take this as a complaint! I'm loving this cool air. It feels like late October in Alabama. It feels like I should be travelling to Tuscaloosa to see the Tide in action or driving to an Alabama state park to enjoy the fall foliage.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Light Show

My son Matt came up with the title for this post.

This video was taken at 9:44 p.m. on 7/18/07 looking toward the south from the north side of Chicago. The main part of the storm had passed to the south moments earlier.

Radar from last night's storms

These radar shots give you an idea of the progression of the storms that rolled through Chi-town last night.





Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just after 8 in Chicago


Lots of CTG and dark clouds here.

7:10 PM in Chicago


Storms on the way to Chicagoland

This could be interesting

The SPC has placed much of the upper Midwest under a moderate risk of severe weather. The main threat in Northern Illinois will be very high winds associated with a derecho later this evening.

Last night at Wrigley Field


Here we were looking southeast toward downtown from Wrigley Field.


This is the intersection of Addison and Sheffield on the southeast side of Wrigley.


The rain held off and there was a nice sunset. The temperature at the beginning of the game (7:00 p.m) was 78 degrees, the dewpoint was a muggy 67, and the barometric pressure was 29.91". Winds were light, but there was a nice cool breeze coming off Lake Michigan.

The lights were installed in 1988. The Cubs always played day games before then.


This shot is looking toward the northwest, into the left field corner.


This is a shot of the scoreboard, right field bleachers, and Sheffield Avenue.


This is a shot of the bleachers and center field scoreboard. The lakefront of Lake Michigan is a little over a mile to the east.


Fans love to watch the game from the roof tops along Sheffield Avenue.

A passing shower





We made it through the ball game high and dry last night. I will post something about that soon. A few moments ago we had a shower pass through here on the North Side of Chicago.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Maybe the storms will hold off...


I've gone and done it! I bought tickets for David, Joe, and I to attend tonight's game in Wrigley Field in Chicago. See those storms forming in Wisconsin. That is probably the beginning of a complex of storms that will roll through here overnight. I'm going out on a limb and predicting that we will stay dry throughout the game. Wish us luck!

Chicago's Lincoln Park

Yesterday the boys and I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. The weather was relatively cool, with a nice breeze blowing off Lake Michigan. The skies were overcast and we had a few sprinkles. One of the best parts of the trip, though, was seeing the flowers around Lincoln Park in Chicago. Here are a few photos.



















Storms continue in the Midwest



The Chicagoland area has been placed under a slight risk today by the SPC. Yesterday, most of the rain held off until late at night. Here on the North Side we had about 4/10ths of an inch, most of which fell after midnight. There was quite an electrical storm around midnight which kept me awake for awhile.

There is an upper ridge over the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Temperatures have been reported over the century mark over the Northern Plains. Convective complexes are rotating around the periphery of this ridge.





The second complex is moving across Northern Illinois at the moment. More storms are expected to form to our west later this afternoon. This is the forecast from the SPC:
 IN THE WAKE OF THESE STORMS...AIR MASS WILL SEE FULL SUNSHINE TODAY
OVER MOST OF IA/SOUTHERN MN/SOUTHEAST SD. THIS WILL YIELD
SIGNIFICANT DESTABILIZATION BY LATE AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES IN
THE UPPER 90S TO LOWER 100S AND MLCAPE VALUES OVER 3000 J/KG.
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY TO INITIATE ALONG SURFACE
BOUNDARY ROUGHLY ALONG MHE-ALO AXIS AND QUICKLY BECOME SEVERE.
FORECAST SOUNDINGS SHOW SUBSTANTIAL LOW LEVEL AND DEEP LAYER
VERTICAL SHEAR INDICATING POTENTIAL FOR SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF VERY
LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS. STORMS WILL INITIALLY BE
HIGH-BASED...SOMEWHAT LESSENING THE TORNADO THREAT. HOWEVER...
EXTREME INSTABILITY AND SUFFICIENT SHEAR MAY RESULT IN AN INCREASING
TORNADO THREAT DURING THE EVENING AS STORMS TRACK SOUTHEASTWARD
ACROSS IA. EVOLUTION INTO FAST-MOVING MCS WITH ENHANCED DAMAGING
WIND THREAT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THIS EVENING ACROSS IA INTO IL/IND.
Now I have to decide if I should get those tickets for tonight's
Cubs game.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago weather


I will be turning this into a Chicago weather blog this week as the boys and I visit my sister up here. Tonight we are expecting heavy rain, thunderstorms, and the potential of flash flooding. grf ...ok... The "grf" was typed by my sister's kitten, who likes to get on the computer, literally.

While I'm talking Chicago weather, check out the WGN Weather Blog. Tom Skilling and his team does a great job with this.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Guy from Oklahoma

Today at the Cubs game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, I talked with a man and his wife from the Oklahoma City area. After talking sports, the weather geek in me couldn't resist bringing up tornadoes. He told me the story of a co-worker who lost his home in tornadoes in 1998, 1999, and 200?. He mentioned that he thought we had a lot of tornadoes in Alabama. Little did he know. I guess he was lucky I spared him my stories and stuck to sports!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Heavy rain!


ABC 33/40 Pinpoint Doppler

Heavy rain has been falling in Decatur, AL for the past 20 minutes or so. In fact i just heard a loud clap of thunder. Someone recently asked whether it did any good for us to pray for rain. The answer is obvious right now!

The Time Capsule has been opened...

Papers in a Greensburg, Kan., time capsule point up a decline that began before the May tornado

No deep secrets. No bundle of cash.
Instead, the sheaf of papers in a 70-year-old time capsule opened on Independence Day in tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kan., helps tell a story that residents of the rural farming community know all too well. Since 1937, when the copper capsule was buried in the cornerstone of the high school auditorium, district enrollment has dropped from 420 to about 280 students. Copies of the aged Kiowa County Progressive Signal and the Greensburg News showed a competitive two-newspaper town with commerce on the main street. More recently — even before the May 4 tornado — you could not find a cafe, hairdresser or grocery store. “You can call any rural town and the story will be the same,” school Superintendent Darin Headrick said Thursday. Elgeva Kerr and Ruth West, both 1937 graduates of the high school,
opened the capsule and found a membership list of a Masonic Lodge, an American Legion post, the Methodist Church, a band that played at that year’s Kansas State Fair, and the 1937 school board.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A discovery...

Very interesting article coming out of Kansas in the aftermath of the Greensburg tornado...

Greensburg demolition discovers 70-year-old time capsule

GREENSBURG (AP) School officials here are trying to figure out what to do with a small time capsule found earlier this month as workers were demolishing the town’s high school, severely damaged in the May 4 tornado that destroyed most of the town. The copper box sealed with lead was hidden in one of Greensburg High School’s cornerstones in 1937 to commemorate the construction of a new auditorium. School district Superintendent Darin Headrick said the box could be opened as part of the town’s Fourth of July celebration or during a town hall meeting on July 9.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I will not be blogging quite as often as I am currently without my own ISP.

It looks like the next several days will be typical weather for this time of year; isolated afternoon and evening thundershowers with lows near 70 and highs in the low 90's.

Have a great 4th of July and I hope you get to spend some great quality time with your family!

God bless the U.S. A.!