Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Can't Have It Both Ways...

If you keep up with the weather like I do, you know California had one of the wettest & snowiest seasons in history.  Gone is the recent drought with no part of California showing up in the weekly Drought Monitor as having a shortage.  So you can see why I'm confused by an article in the USA TODAY which states..."Wildfires maybe worse this year."    Now I could buy into that headline if the author said the recent above normal rainy season will allow for abundant growth in the underbrush which will create fuel during the normal dry season later this summer.     But noooo.  Here's what the author (Doyle Rice) said.   "Devastating fire seasons could be the rule...in the decades to come if climate change leads to increased temperatures (warming cycle) and reduced rainfall (not happening) - ideal conditions for large, ferocious wildfires".   Wait a minute.  We just had a super wet rainy season, not a drought, yet wildfires maybe worse this year?   Hummm!

Locally, my yard has seen 2 days of soaking rainfall (2.37") triggered by several fast moving upper air disturbances.  it appears we should see much less coverage Wed-Sat. with coverage dropping to below normal (20-30%).  Less rain usually means hotter temps and highs should rebound back into the lower 90s for the rest of the week.   The Tropics remain quiet Worldwide and our high Mississippi actually dropped slightly today.  If the rains farther north finally let up, river levels here should start falling rapidly once we get into July.   Let's hope so as fishing & oyster farming east of the River is terrible.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Remembering Dad...

This my 19th Father's Day without my Pop who left us in April 2001.  He was just a regular guy who went to high school, went off to WW II, came back to work in NW Indiana, married & fathered 4 children.   Dad was involved in little league baseball as a coach and he held nothing back, encouraging his team to never give up and to go down swinging.  Most of the time his teams won and he earned my respect as a player, but more importantly, as my Dad.  Bernie was animated, funny and known as "Mr. Personality"  The apple (me) didn't fall far from the tree! For those of you who still have a living Father, try to see him as often as you can.  You never know when you'll have to say goodbye.   For my youngest son, this is his first Father's Day.  I wish him many more and thanks for making your Dad...Pops!

More storms bubbled up during daytime heating today and I expect to see even greater coverage Monday into Tuesday as an upper disturbance will enhance our usual daily probabilities.   Coverage may be less later in the week, but we will not see another front dry us out like the one last week.  The rains keep falling up north ensuring the lower Mississippi River will stay very high into July.  The Tropics show no signs of coming to life for the next 7-10 days.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Rains Have Returned...

In previous posts, I've mentioned how unusual it was to have no rain on a typical June day.  The past week was exceptional as we enjoyed dewpoints in the 50s & 60s with bright sunny days and comfy cool nights.  Well,  reality has returned as dewpoints jumped back into the 70s, and that moisture coupled with daytime heating developed the more typical June showers & T-Storms.  We needed the rain and the increased cloud cover & showers kept highs below 90.  However, some spots received 2-3"  causing some brief street flooding, mainly across the South Shore.  It appears our daily shower chances will last  for awhile with only day to day fluctuations on coverage. 

With more rain forecast for the Plains into the Ohio Valley during the next 1-2 weeks,  the high water on the lower Mississippi is likely to linger well into July.  We have never seen such high river levels at the Carrollton gauge last for so long.   What we don't want to see are levels above 12 feet once we get into August-September.  That's when our best chances for a major hurricane occur.  We know if a major storm approaches the mouth of the river, it can raise levels at the Carrolton gage 7-8'+.   We don't need that added stress of the River topping our levees.  Let's hope the rains let up farther north so our River can drop before the heart of the season arrives.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Never Criticize the Boss...

Perhaps you've heard about the weather guy up in a small market in Illinois who was fired for being critical of a decision by management to use the terms "code yellow" and "code red" to warn their viewers of potential severe weather.  Stephen Colbert even did a skirt about it.   Fortunately, our local stations all follow the guidance put out by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) when we have a potential severe threat.  The graphics are clear outlining who might see severe storms the next day.   Having one station use something different is another way to confuse the message.  The Illinois broadcaster might have been right, but he chose the wrong platform (live on air) to display his disagreement.  It reminds me of a station consultant (they all have one) who wanted me to drop using the teeth on cold fronts and the half moons on warm fronts since he said..."nobody understands what they mean".  Nash started back on WDSU back in 1949 and was still using those standard ways to identify fronts in the early 80s.  I told this fella, "you mean the #1 rated weathercaster in this market has been using these graphics but nobody understands them?"   I didn't go on air and say how stupid he was.  Nope, I went to management and calmly told them how silly the idea was.  Fortunately they agreed and the rest is history.  There were many more stupid ideas coming from consultants and that will continue forever.  Just don't disagree with the Boss on-air.  It will get you fired.

Even the South Shore briefly dipped into the 60s this morning, but humidity is slowly coming back and we should feel it by Friday afternoon.  The weekend looks to be basic summertime, hot & humid with some spotty daytime heating T-Storms.  Since it has been awhile since we've heard thunder, so remember, when thunder roars, get indoors.  With the humidity back, we'll want the daily showers to break the heat.  Stay tuned!