Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station Review

Jun 08, 2014 - 0 comments
The Davis Vantage Pro 2 is a durable weather station that provides any weather enthusiast with valuable meteorological data that is track-able, accurate and most importantly fairly durable. I will break down my experience with the Vantage Pro 2 and list a review of the key features of the device. I've had the Davis Vantage Pro 2 since 2008 and it's lived up to the expectations. At first I had it mounted above a high wooden deck about 50-60 feet away from the console, located in my bedroom. No doubt the wireless feature is a big plus and I've never had any connectivity issues during bad weather. The station comes with a solar panel that provides, in my experience, three to four more months worth of power. For example: Battery only; without direct solar radiation: 5 - 6 months Battery and with direct solar radiation: 8-10 months Solar Radiation without battery: Works during daylight hours only. Let's get into the key features of the Davis Vantage Pro 2. Anemometer: I was looking forward to using this key feature, but I was left disappointed. I originally had placed the anemometer about 20 feet above a wooden slab (see photo) but the wind speeds never seemed to match the actual outside conditions. Our place of residence experienced a severe thunderstorm a few years back and the storm easily produced winds at least 40-50 mph. Yet, the highest wind speed the anemometer recorded was 17 mph! The problem

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TVN Weather - Tornado Chasers Season 2 - Review

Mar 21, 2014 - 0 comments
Welcome, TVN Weather, the re-branded look of meteorologist and storm chaser, Reed Timmer. Many have probably watched Reed and his TVN team on the show Storm Chasers featured on Discovery since 2007, but the show ended in 2011. Now, Reed Timmer and his crew have created their second season of quality storm chasing videos. This time of the year, most storm chasers, including myself, suffer from SDS (Supercell Deprivation Syndrome) and look for hours on YouTube for any storm chasing video just to get by the long winter. TVN Weather was another option, but I felt hesitant to pay for the episodes. I decided to purchase one episode of Tornado Chasers, Season 2 and see for myself. To my surprise it was well done in terms of video quality and the plot. I decided to purchase all of season 2. Tornado Chasers - Season 2 - Promotional Poster TVN Weather - Torando Chasers - Season 2 - Reed Timmer Episodes, Video Quality & Plot: There are 12 episodes, each lasting nearly 20-26 minutes long. You are able to stream the storm chasing video up to 1080p on an Android, IOS platforms (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV), Roku, Google Chromecast, and your computer. In addition, you're able to download the video native file. One of the main reasons I enjoy the TVN Weather Tornado Chasers Season 2 is because there is a lack of drama

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Rozel, Kansas Tornado - May 18, 2013 Case Study

Mar 15, 2014 - 0 comments
Today's blog entry is to explain the broad synoptic atmospheric overview that led to the tornadoes on May 18, 2013, including the Rozel, Kansas EF4 tornado. I will also review what meteorological parameters I utilized to help me pick a storm chasing target area. Synopsis: The Storm Prediction Center had issued a moderate risk of severe weather across Kansas and Oklahoma for the possibility of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds. The tornado threat was elevated over Kansas, but questionable due to weaker 500 mb flow and higher LCLs (more on this later). A surface low was expected to develop across southwestern Kansas during the afternoon with a dry-line expected to surge east into the better moisture axis and instability. This combined with the marginal wind shear, would help promote supercell storms. Before we picked our target area, the first parameters I checked were for upper air disturbances that help promote sources of lifting air parcels and atmospheric wind shear. So, let's first review the 300mb (30,000ft), 500mb (18,000ft) and 850mb (5,000ft) layers of the atmosphere for May 18, 2013 at 7:00PM CDT, 20 minutes before the Rozel, Kansas tornado. 300mb: The map shows a strong jet maximum entering the western U.S. with some upper-level divergence noted downstream over Kansas, but is more prominent over Oklahoma. Divergence helps air at the surface rise. The left exit region of the jet is

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January Cold Might Break Wisconsin Temperature Records

Jan 01, 2014 - 0 comments
An arctic outbreak will begin its march southward on Sunday that could break record cold temperatures across a large region of the United States and Canada. This cold snap may rival the January 1982, 1994 and February 1996 arctic blast that brought Milwaukee, Wisconsin to an all time low of -26 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe this record will be left intact, but it's more likely the daily record low temperatures for the city may fall. The record lows for Milwaukee next Monday and Tuesday are -18 and -21. For perspective, the coldest temperature ever officially recorded in Wisconsin was -55 F in northwest Wisconsin during the February 1996 cold outbreak. The medium range computer models have been advertising a very cold air mass from the arctic plunging south toward most of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Northeast for the past few days. Wind Chill Warnings will likely be issued for most if not all of Wisconsin and surrounding states. It's likely schools will be possibly cancelled over a large area. The cold weather is expected to continue to entrench across most of the area for the next month. Stay Tuned!

December Cold to Invade Wisconsin

Dec 01, 2013 - 0 comments
An unusual cold weather pattern will be invading Wisconsin and most of the northern United States at the end of this week that will cause low temperatures to fall well below zero. What is the cause of this early arctic outbreak? The expected upper level pattern will feature an omega block jet stream pattern across the eastern Pacific Ocean that is helping to send cold air south into Canada and the lower 48. This air mass will cause temperatures to only rise in the teens across Wisconsin this weekend. However, the coldest air will reside in the northern plains. Any snow that will fall will cause temperatures to be even colder in some areas. The ECMWF and GFS forecast models have been advertising these cold temperatures the past few days. Some moderation in temperatures are expected next week as most of the northern U.S. and Wisconsin return to more normal temperatures. Overall, this early arctic outbreak will be the coldest so far to date this winter season.

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Storm Chasing Forecast - May 2013 Anticipation

May 12, 2013 - 0 comments
Storm chasers might breathe a sight of relief thanks to an increasing threat of severe weather arriving upon the Great Plains later this weekend (May 17-20). This is usually a stressful time for storm chasers. I'm sure many have had countless hours looking at computer models, hoping for a stormy pattern during their storm chasing vacation. When the extended forecast looks favorable, then takes a turn for the worse, it can obviously cause an emotional roller coaster. Many U.S. and international storm chasers risk spending hundreds of dollars and failing to see any storms and come back home nothing to show for it. The lack of tornadoes in 2013 has been rare and essentially the plains have been shut down since May of 2012. At this point in 2013, the U.S. has experienced the lowest number of tornadoes going back to 2005. As mentioned above, there is some hope in the offering. The global models are now forecast to bring a southwest flow to the four corners region of Colorado, New Mexico. While the trough isn't expected to be deep, it will help increase the instability and low-level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. However, the models will continue to fluctuate with the mid-level pattern the next few days and I wouldn't be surprised if additional flies in the ointment pop up. Either case, Stay Tuned!

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RadarScope 2.0 App | iPad Mini Review

Mar 24, 2013 - 0 comments
The popular storm chasing app, RadarScope, has been upgraded to version 2.0 with an improved user interface and functionality that makes it even a more dependable weather app for the iPhone iPad, and iPad Mini. Version 2.0 includes the new Precipitation Depiction product, distance tool and other hot features below. Precipitation Depiction This product feature displays an "all in one" approach with rain, snow, mixture precipitation and intensity. I've used this for a few weeks on the iPad Mini and it provides the user with a better understanding of where the heaviest preciptation is located and what type of preceiptation is occuring. This product provides a high resolution image that makes it appealing. I personally like this product for winter precipitation since it does a good job on visually depicting where the heaviest snow is located. Either way, it's a cool new high resolution precipitation product. RadarScope 2.0 - Precipitation Depiction Improved Product Tilt Navigation Previous RadarScope versions had the user scroll through all the available products (Reflectivity, Velocity, Rainfall, Hail & Echo Tops, Dual Polarization) t

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December Blizzard aiming for Milwaukee | Chicago?

Dec 19, 2012 - 0 comments
Blizzard now underway across the Midwest A powerful blizzard is now under way and will affect a large part of the nation, including Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Snow totals are expected to be high particularly across Wisconsin. A strong 500 mb trough will become negative which will result in a rapid, deepening low pressure near Chicago into Michigan. Strong winds and heavy snow will no doubt cause major impacts. The big headache for forecasters will be where the rain/snow line will set up across southeast Wisconsin. This will make or break snow amounts. It should be interesting to see if thundersnow will occur during the storm on Thursday as well. Please take extra precaution and be safe my friends! December 16, 2012 A mid December 2012 winter storm will be aiming for Chicago and Milwaukee sometime around Wednesday night and Thursday. Just a reminder, the track and intensity of this storm can and will probably change. This storm is still 96 hours out and until the storm is sampled by the upper air network, there will be changes in the track. This storm has the potential to produce strong winds which will cause blizzard like conditions, but a full out blizzard is not likely at this point. Computer Model Run Synopsis Saturday's model runs were consistent with pushing the low further northe across Missouri, Illinois and southeast of Milwaukee. The 12z computer model guidance today o

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Warm Wisconsin Thanksgiving to give way to Snow?

Nov 24, 2012 - 0 comments
The prospects of a winter storm early next week has diminished for the upper Midwest. Most computer models are now advertising a zonal atmospheric flow that will inhibit a strong low pressure system to evolve. The prospects of snow should increase as we move into December. November 20 Blog Update The 00z ECMWF run has come in and as expected, the major snow storm is now longer there. It appears the 500 mb flow has become more progressive and has lost its amplified solution. The GFS model is somewhat saying the same tune with no storm forecast. Colder air is still looking likely across the upper Midwest, so that appears to unfold than a storm at this point. Things can still change this far out, so Stay Tuned! November 19 Blog Update A nice ridge of high pressure will usher in warm, possibly record high temperatures for much of the upper Midwest. High temperatures may even reach in the 60's across southern Wisconsin on Thanksgiving. These balmy conditions will be short lived, as a strong cold front will move through the region that will bring colder air. Of a interest is a second push of artic air that may invade the upper Midwest next week. Some computer models are suggesting a strong baroclinic zone setting up across the Midwest. This pattern is represented by cold air lurking across the Rockies and warm air over the Great Plains. This contrast in temperatures can bring the pr

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Packers - 49ers Weather Forecast at Lambeau Field

Sep 01, 2012 - 0 comments
Green Bay Packers - September 9 ,2012 The Green Bay Packers 2012 season will begin at Lambeau Field on Sunday, September 9th as they will face off against the San Francisco 49ers. For all the Packer fans wondering what the weather will be like, I have some news for you. The weather forecast is still well over a week away. and many aspects of the forecast are uncertain. The latest computer models are hinting at normal temperatures in the 60's and possibly 70 degrees at game time (3:25 pm CT). There is a outside chance a cold front may move through the Green Bay area on Saturday evening that will rush in cooler temperatures for the game on Sunday. Precipitation chances are even more uncertain at this time. What we can do is look at the climate conditions for Green Bay at this time of the year to get an idea what the forecast will be. Lambeau Field Climate There are usually two different types of climates at Lambeau Field during the Green Bay Packer season. September and October can bring warm game time temperatures along with heavy rain and thunderstorms. For these months, Packer fans can usually count on to wear seasonal summer and fall clothing that includes:

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Wisconsin Tornado Season Below Average

Jun 02, 2012 - 0 comments
The 2012 Wisconsin Tornado season has gotten off to a slow start. Only one tornado has been confirmed this year in north central Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin sees the most amount of tornadoes in the month of June as the jet stream pivots further north across the area and the presence of warm, moist air invades the region. The threat of severe thunderstorms persist through July and August, but the threat of tornadoes decrease due to the weakening jet stream. Wisconsin has an average of 23 tornadoes per year. 2010 saw a high number of tornadoes with 46 confirmed! 2011 followed up with another solid year with 38 tornadoes. History suggests we are due for a below average year and it appears the state is headed in that direction. If Wisconsin wants to replicate those tornado numbers from the past few years, the month of June will have to produce a large amount of twisters. Funnel Cloud over Barneveld, Wisconsin Tornado Frequency Down Across U.S. Overall, in the United States tornado frequency has been slightly below normal to average at best this year. The Storm Prediction Center's (SPC) Local Storm Report Graph shows less tornado activity compared to past years. For example, according to the SPC graph, on Ju

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Wisconsin Memorial Day Theme | Severe Weather and Hot!

May 26, 2012 - 0 comments
The state of Wisconsin will kick off the Memorial Day weekend with showers and isolated thunderstorms through Saturday night. The main story will be the very warm temperatures forecasted for Sunday. A strong warm front will lift north into Wisconsin that will help raise temperatures into the 90's statewide. Don't be surprised to see some record high temperatures throughout the state. The record high temperature for Milwaukee on Sunday is 94 degrees set back in 1911. Will it be broken? We will see. Memorial Day Weekend Forecast - Severe Weather and Hot Temperatures Memorial Day - Severe Weather Possible Thunderstorms are looking likely on Monday across Wisconsin. A strong cold front will be pushing across the state during the late afternoon hours. 0-6km shear will be plentiful between 30-50 knots, and dew point temperatures in the low 60's should give way to CAPE values between 1500-2000 j/kg. These parameters will set the stage for possible severe weather. The tornado threat looks low due unidirectional shear throughout the atmospheric column. A wash out is not expected on Monday, but Wisconsin residents may want to keep abreast for the chance of severe weather on Monday. Happy Memorial Day!

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May 10, 1990 Snow - Tree Damage across Waukesha, WI

May 10, 2012 - 1 comment
May 10, 1990 - Waukesha, Wisconsin Snow Event The last major snowfall usually ends in March and sometimes early April across southern Wisconsin. With that said, if you ask Waukesha residents when the last major snowfall usually occurs, they have a specific date in mind. The date they would probably mention is May 10th. It was on this date in 1990, a major snowstorm caught many meteorologists by surprise and had dumped nearly 8 inches of snow across Waukesha. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 75% - 80% of the 30,000 city trees in Waukesha had been damaged by the heavy snow. Here is my recollection of that storm at the young age of 10. May 9, 1990 - The Eve of the Snowstorm Our family lived on the western side of Waukesha, Wisconsin just across the street from Waukesha North High School. That evening, Channel 4 meteorologist Paul Joseph mentioned heavy rain was forecast across southern Wisconsin throughout the night. The National Weather Service had issued a Flash Flood Watch for most of the Milwaukee metro. The rain had begun in the evening and was heavy at times, but nothing suggested any snow. I woke up at 3:00 A.M. to use the bathroom and

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April Severe Weather Possible for Wisconsin on Sunday

Apr 14, 2012 - 0 comments
A major severe weather outbreak is expected for the southern and central plains Saturday and possibly over Wisconsin on Sunday. A strong trough is forecast to move into the upper Midwest that will promote a strong low pressure system with a dry-line | cold front combination, strong vertical wind shear, and a northward feed of gulf moisture to set the stage for severe thunderstorms. Let's take a closer look at the severe weather parameters for Sunday across Wisconsin. Severe Weather Outbreak - April 14|15, 2012 Instability This needed severe weather ingredient is questionable and not all that impressive. Clouds and possible rain showers may persist for a time on Sunday thus hampering the chances of a widespread severe weather outbreak. The models are forecasting high relative humidity throughout the mid atmosphere that will help form cloud cover to hang around longer through the day. However, if enough sunshine would occur, the upper Midwest and Wisconsin will be looking at more of a volatile weather situation. Wind Shear There is plenty of this ingredient in the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere. Wind Shear helps sculpt a thunderstorm and organize a certain way that would often tell a forecaster what type of storms there wil

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Brewers Opening Day Weather Forecast at Miller Park

Mar 26, 2012 - 0 comments
The Milwaukee Brewers will kick off Opening Day at Miller Park on Friday April 6, 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Opening Day is always a great time to celebrate the beginning of baseball season in Wisconsin. Brewers fans are passionate about cooking brats, hot dogs, eating cheese, consuming beer and of course their team. The wild card every year is the Milwaukee weather. What will the temperature be at Miller Park on Opening Day? The month of March has seen incredible warmth across the Milwaukee area. Some believe this trend will continue into April, but that's not always the case. Current indications make me believe the weather pattern will continue to promote average temperatures for this time of the year, but no major warm up is expected like the Midwest saw in March. Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day - April 6, 2012 The Milwaukee climate history suggests the normal high temperature for April 6 is 50 degrees. This does sound chilly compared to what we have felt in March. Climate - April 6, Milwaukee Temperatures:

  • High Temp 50
  • Low Temp 34
  • Avg. Temp 42
It appears temperatures wil

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Earliest Tornado for Milwaukee, Wisconsin | March 2000

Mar 07, 2012 - 0 comments
Southern Wisconsin is experiencing a pleasant first week of March with mild temperatures across the region. This early start of nice weather reminded me of the warm weather Milwaukee felt the first week of March in 2000. The city had many days reaching high temperatures in the 70's. The warm weather continued, until a cold front swept through on March 8, 2000 that brought a rare, early season tornado southwest of Milwaukee at the General Mitchell International Airport. Let's take a look back on how that day unfolded. A low pressure system featured a strong cold front and dryline, worked its way into Wisconsin and Illinois during the afternoon hours. A Tornado Watch was issued for most of the area by the Storm Prediction Center highlighting the threat of tornadoes. What was unique about this storm system was the presence of a strong dryline that provided the focal point for convection. Usually this front is confined to the southern and central plains. The dryline had initiated "mini-supercells" that raced northeast over 50 mph across Illinois and Wisconsin. There was a specific storm that developed in northern Illinois and had its sights for the Milwaukee metro. The National Weather Service (NWS) had issued a severe t

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Brookfield, Wisconsin Tornado Sirens | Cut Off In 2013

Feb 23, 2012 - 7 comments
The Brookfield, Wisconsin Common Council has ageed to cut off funding for all the tornado warning sirens in the city of Brookfield, Wisconsin starting in 2013. It appears the sirens will need to be upgraded to code which will cost Brookfield taxpayers too much money. At the bottom of the WISN article (linked above), many people from Facebook made comments about the Brookfield council's decision to cut off the sirens after 2012. Some were upset by the decision and I understand their frustration, but there is another option to ease everyone's fear if the tornado sirens are no longer available. The Brookfield fire chief mentioned with the internet and smartphone technology available today, warnings are more accessible through these avenues. This is true. I own a iMap Weather Radio App on my smartphone and it alerts me of any severe weather in my area. The problem is, do most of the population use smartphones, such as the elderly and someone who isn't technology inclined? Probably not. Their argument is valid for the need for tornado warning sirens. I had a fellow Wisconsin storm chaser comment on the article asking if this decision made by the Brookfield government officials was indeed a joke. At

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What Are The Odds Of Being Hit By Lightning?

Feb 16, 2012 - 0 comments
Lightning kills, yet have you ever wondered what the odds of being struck? It's higher than you think. Most people assume tornadoes and hurricanes are more of a threat, but lightning is more deadly. I'll explain my close encounters with lightning, and how you can beat odds. Personally, I've been nearly struck by lightning twice. My first experience was at Banting Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin back in 1990. I was attending a baseball camp when I was a young kid at the age of 10. A thunderstorm had been approaching from the west, and the coach ordered the entire team of little league players to take cover under a wood picnic shelter. We all waited for the storm to pass, and the next thing I remember was experiencing a bright, blinding flash and a horrible loud boom. I jumped away from the bright light and held my hands over my ears. Lightning had struck a telephone pole about 15 feet from the group. The coach said he felt his hair stand on end just before the strike. No one was hurt, but we were all very startled. Thankfully, the lightning current traveled directly into the ground and didn't spread out to where we were all standing. If that had occurred some of us would have been badly injured. The second incident was somewhat of an unusual occurrence. I was driving home from work back in 1

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EF5 Joplin, Missouri Tornado | Damage Pictures

Jan 09, 2012 - 0 comments
On May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri was struck by a large mile wide tornado that ravaged its way through the southern part of the city. An entire landscape was torn apart with many people killed and injured. Days after the tornado, the death toll kept rising: 24, 89, 124, 150 and finally settling at 161 people perished. The Joplin twister was the deadliest since the Woodward, Oklahoma twister in 1947. My family had the opportunity to visit Joplin, Missouri for the second time in two years and witness the horrible devastation. From a television perspective, the scenery didn't do justice when they saw the damage from their own eyes. Here are some of the photos within the EF5 damage path where many citizens lost their lives in Joplin. St. John's Regional Medical Center - McClelland Blvd - Joplin, Missouri St. John's Regional Medical Center was the iconic landmark when the Joplin Tornado first hit the southwestern side of the city. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was at EF4 strength when it struck St. John's Regional Medical Center. The media that arrived on the scene, moments after the twister, aired live video of the damaged hospital and the destruction surrounding it. Numerous cars were flipped over and destroyed. Trees were debarked and houses completely destroy

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Christmas 2011 Weather Forecast - Milwaukee, WI

Dec 10, 2011 - 0 comments
Will Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and the rest of the upper Midwest see a white Christmas? Forecast indications have advertised a possibility of a stormy pattern on the horizon but the amount of confidence is rather low at this point. The weather for December has been a rather mild one. Snow has fallen across the northern and central part of Wisconsin, but no major winter storms have materialized. I will update this blog regarding the forecast as we move forward towards the Christmas Holiday.

Christmas Weather Forecast - December 14, 2011 A low will be moving through the area today that will produce rain and even some thunderstorms, but no snow is expected. All eyes though turn to next week Monday|Tuesday with a possible snowstorm aiming towards Wisconsin possibly affecting Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. In my opinion, there is still too much uncertainty. The ECMWF forecast model shows a low moving across Wisconsin for next week but this will bring warmer temps decreasing the chance for snow. The other models have a weak low further south of the region. A white Christmas is still possible, but more time is needed for the models to come into better agreement. Thursday December 15 - Forecast Update The 12Z GFS continues to show a possible snowstorm moving across Wisconsin and Illinois that woul

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The Forgotten 1982 Tornado Behind Kohl's - Waukesha, WI

Nov 29, 2011 - 3 comments
Before you read this blog post, click the following link: Tornado over Kohl's Department Store - Waukesha, Wisconsin. Due to copyright issues, I'm not allowed to post the image of the tornado on my site. Once you have the image open, I'll walk you through what you're looking at. If you're a Wisconsin resident from the Waukesha, Brookfield or Milwaukee area you may have seen this tornado. I came across a picture of this twister in science text books from elementary, middle and high school. The photo captions from those books and the caption from the page link above have mentioned it was a Tornado over Washington County, Wisconsin. I never found out what tornado this was or when it happened. Recently, I was going through some of my weather documents and ran across a calendar from the movie Twister I had owned for years. I scanned through monthly photos and found this same tornado photo I've seen in school. I have a knack for severe weather history and my curiosity got me researching on what tornado this could have been and after analyzing the photo for 15 minutes I had a sense of déjà vu. It seemed like I've been at the place where this photograph was taken. Where in Washington County could this twister have happened? There is a sign highlighted in yellow that says Westbrook. Most Waukesha and Brookfield, Wisconsin residents know there i

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Thanksgiving 2011 Weather Forecast - Milwaukee, WI

Nov 18, 2011 - 0 comments
The Thanksgiving weather forecast for Milwaukee, Wisconsin is looking rather mild with daytime high temperatures forecast to be in the upper 40's across southern Wisconsin including: Madison, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. The latest ECMWF and GFS weather computer models indicate an upper level ridge of high pressure to anchor over the Midwest providing mild weather. The weather across Wisconsin during the Thanksgiving week is always unpredictable. Since 1998 Thanksgiving Snowfall in Milwaukee has been small to none, but snowstorms have happened close to the holiday in the past. A post Thanksgiving snowstorm struck southern Wisconsin on Monday November 27, 1995. Blizzard conditions, traffic slowdowns and accidents plagued the Milwaukee metro area. The storm was one of the top snowstorms to hit southern Wisconsin during the month of November. Last year in 2011 offered the other weather extreme. A few days prior to turkey day, the Milwaukee metro area experienced severe thunderstorms that produced Tornadoes in Union Grove, Wisconsin. There may be a minor snowstorm to affect northwest Wisconsin this weekend, but starting next week on Monday the upper Midwest and Wisconsin look good to go weatherwise. There is a chance of a weath

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Midwest Storm - November 5-7, 2011

Oct 31, 2011 - 0 comments
The GFS and European models are showing a deep mid level trough of low pressure forecasted to ride up into the Midwest states this weekend on the 5th - 7th. While it's too early to tell what may be in store, the GFS model has been advertising the intensity of this for quite some time. The 500mb plot shows a strong 90 knot jet max plowing through the region. The computer models will continue to offer different solutions since the jet energy is well out to sea. The upper air network will have to sample the full complexity of this system to determine where it will go and how strong it will be. This system could produce rain and more likely strong winds across the area. Severe weather is even a possibility but moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico is looking unlikely. I'll add more updates on this impending storm later tonight. Tuesday, November 1st The models continue to advertise a strong low to move into the northern plains this weekend. The difference today is the models have shown the system to slow down and track a little bit northwest from a earlier track over the Great Lakes. Also, severe weather is looking unlikely with gulf moisture not being able to be ingested into the region. The result will be heavy snow acorss the Dakotas, rain and strong winds across the upper Midwest. The track and strengh remains uncertain this far out. Wednesday, November 2nd Not much real chang

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2011 - 2012 Winter Weather Threatens Occupy Wall Street

Oct 26, 2011 - 0 comments
An early season snowstorm affected Occupy Denver that sent Wall Street protesters to the hospital for hypothermia this last Tuesday. This scenario may unfold again as the U.S. is heading toward a predicted rough winter and the people at these events may be putting their lives in peril. I'm neutral on the whole issue of their agenda, but wanted to express the dangers of winter weather. I'm not sure if you have listened to the news media meteorologists but the winter of 2011-2012 may be a brutal one. Now I know you're thinking they say that every year but let's look at the facts. The U.S. is now into their second straight La Nina pattern and will persist through much of early 2012. This pattern brings higher chances of much colder air into the northern U.S. and heavier snow across the Northwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. The thought of cold, low wind chills, hypothermia, snow and ice makes people want to stay inside for obvious reasons. The Occupy Wall Street protesters will side step the winter weather threats and will risk their health. Why? I'm from Wisconsin and have seen the uprising in Madison earlier this year. They slept outside of the capital in tents for days until they were finally told to leave by police. They were determined at keeping their cause alive no matter what the circumstances. They took advantage of the nice weather to prosper and it allowed them to con

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RadarScope App | iPhone Review

Oct 11, 2011 - 0 comments
RadarScope is the best weather radar app available for the iPhone. If you're outside doing yard work, attending a sports game or even monitoring severe weather, having access to weather radar app while on the go is a big plus to have for you and your family. Let's take a quick peek at what RadarScope has to offer. RadarScope - iPhone The RadarScope iPhone app provides the following visual products: Reflectivity, Velocity, Rainfall, Hail & Echo Tops, Dual Polarization, Storm Tracking and much more! Reflectivity - The average user will use this component the most out of any other listed below. You are able to monitor rain, severe thunderstorms, snow or an approaching hurricane. Out of all the other radar apps, RadarScope offers the best clarity for viewing precipitation especially for the iPhone 4/4S models. You can easily determine where the heaviest rain or snow is occurring by using the color code legend at the bottom of the screen. The brighter colors represent the heavier rain/snow/sleet, etc. Velocity - This product is somewhat more confusing if you don't have any meteorology background. Doppler radar can identify what

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Storm Chasers - TIV 2 | Dominator 2

Oct 09, 2011 - 0 comments
Storm Chasers has experienced an increase in popularity premiering in its 5th season on Discovery. Sean Casey and Reed Timmer are the main characters that have designed armored vehicles known as The Tornado Intercept Vehicle - TIV 2 and The Dominator 2 - D2. If any storm chaser decides to roam the plains in the spring to find a tornado you're more than likely to see one of these vehicles out in the field. In this blog post I have posted photos of both vehicles I managed to capture the past couple of years. TIV - TIV 2 The first time I saw Sean Casey was the week of the famous Quinter, Kansas Tornado Outbreak in May of 2008. He now rides in his upgraded vehicle, the TIV 2, but it was his first original vehicle known as the TIV. I remember the large, beastly tank coming up over a hill on a dirt road towards us. My chase partner and I were chatting with a van full of chasers from Mississippi State as one student screamed, "There's the TIV from Storm Chasers!" Everyone in our vicinity took their eye off the possible tornado in the distance and instead started to videotape the TIV roaring up upon our location. I could only imagine if I had one of these back home in Wisconsin to drive around. I'm not sur

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Hurricane Irene Hype Necessary?

Aug 28, 2011 - 0 comments
Hurricane Irene will go down as the storm that affected a very large population from North Carolina up through New England causing downed trees, flooding rains, tornadoes and power outages in the millions. The last I checked there was over 4,000,000 outages across the east coast. Pretty Impressive, but yet Irene affected a megalopolis so you could expect that type of strain on the power grid. This storm will also be known as the most "hyped up" storm in recent memory. Was the hype justifiable? Let's talk about it. Irene was on a track towards the United States (U.S.) for the past week and was forecast to be a category 4 as it was projected to move through the Bahamas. Thankfully, some dry air had entrained the storm it did not get that intense and it never developed a healthy eye. However, when the category 4 was predicted the media jumped on board and started to mention this could be the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history. On twitter, Hurricane Katrina was a nationally trending topic. Some tweets indicated from users they were afraid this was going to be another New Orleans hitting their city. The New York subway was shut down for the first time in history. People were watching the media portray this could be the storm of a lifetime. Why the hype? One simple word, Ratings! Media networks earn top dollar for advertising and viewership. I was suckered in because being a weather junkie or a viewer you want to see what television station can g

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Heat Exhaustion Can Creep Up On You!

Jul 26, 2011 - 0 comments
The last couple of weeks much of the nations mid section has become entrenched in a heat wave. Drinking fluids, staying out of the sun and using sunscreen is the norm to prevent any serious health issues. Yesterday, my first real experience with heat exhaustion had occurred. I have experienced the heat many times during my life here on earth. I worked for College Pro Painters when I was 22 and 23 years of age. I vividly remember the hot days and sweltering humidity while working nonstop 9 to 10 hour days. There were times I was very exhausted, but don't recall anything of feeling the effects of heat where I became ill. The heat and humidity of Florida is the king of hot weather. I moved to there and worked long hours outside in the heat at Disney. It took some time to get used to and did have some bouts with fatigue in the heat. However, I became accustomed to it over time. The temperature was usually around 92-93 degrees from June, July and August with a dew point around 70 degrees making it very uncomfortable outside. The temps did drop in the 80's come September and October but while comfortable for tourists, Floridians would put on long sleeve shirts or even a jacket! I still don't remember becoming ill from the heat during my tenure in Florida. Fast forward 7 years later. Yesterday, I began painting a house for a side job. During the day I became sunburned on the front and back of my body. I didn't put any sunscreen on because I wasn'

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Tornado Siren Policy Confusion - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jun 14, 2011 - 2 comments
Last week Wednesday, southern Wisconsin experienced its first severe weather episode this spring. In 2011, most of the severe weather has occurred outside of the Milwaukee metro area. The severe storms brought along some confusion for residents whether a tornado was on the ground in some parts of the area or if there was a mix up with regards to sounding the civil defense sirens. For most of the severe weather duration, there was a tornado warning issued for Dane County which was appropriate as Doppler radar indicated a tornado. Indeed an EF1 tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS). The storms eventually lined up into a bow echo and the remaining threat was from damaging winds. The storms entered Waukesha County, and the sirens were sounded throughout the area causing confusion while the county was under a severe thunderstorm warning. I had many friends wondering why the sirens were sounded when there was no tornado warning issued. This confusion resulted in residents thinking a tornado was imminent. Most people don't know that the tornado sirens can be used for high-end severe thunderstorm warnings in Waukesha County. The tornado warning sirens are sounded when a tornado warning has been issued, but also when the NWS advises local municipalities to sound the sirens for destructive damaging winds during a severe thunderstorm warning. This current procedure will continue to create confusion in the future as it did last week. For many decades t

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iMap Weather Radio App iPhone Review

May 20, 2011 - 0 comments
*Update* This review has been updated for the new iMap Weather Radio Version 2.0 that has been released on March 1, 2012. For storm chasers, skywarn spotters and iPhone users, the iMap Weather Radio app seemed to have the potential to be as good as a NOAA Weather Radio. The newly 2.0 version does just that as it has a better graphical interface and functionality. Radio The iMap Weather Radio is a computerized voice that speaks to you and displays warnings via text issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). I tested some cities from Oklahoma that experienced severe thunderstorms on March 18, 2012. By the time the NWS issued a warning for Velma, Oklahoma, the alert notification seemed faster than the previous version, only taking about 1 - 2 minutes to pop up on my iPhone lock screen after the warning had been issued.

  • If your phone is on standby mode and an alert is issued for your programmed area, the iMap Weather Radio will beep and begin streaming the alert audio without having the user to open up the app. This is exactly how a NOAA Weather Radio works.
Once you receive an alert notification, you proceed to your current location or specific location you programmed. You can choose which alert to listen to, and it takes you to a new window that displays the warning text for you to read and displays the

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Cumberland River Flood - Nashville, Tennesse Recovers

May 02, 2011 - 0 comments
During May 1-2, 2010 heavy rainfall had fallen over Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. The city of Nashville and other surrounding communities had been dealt with massive flooding, numerous deaths and millions of dollars lost. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall had surpassed over 13.00 inches for two days causing the Cumberland River to overlow its banks. A year later, I was able to take a trip to my second home where I call Nashville, Tennessee and witness how the city has recovered since the record flooding. It was a couple of days after the flood, the Cumberland River had crested nearly 52 feet. This level was not reached since the late 1930's. Most if not all of downtown Nashville was flooded with damaging consequence. The Bridgestone Arena where my favorite hockey team, the Predators, was damaged and underwater. LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, was also flooded. The famous Opry Mills Mall was underwater and nearly destroyed. Adjacent to that facility was the historic Opryland Hotel was damaged severely and closed due to massive flooding in the Cascades section of the hotel. With all that said, things today seem like it has become back to the daily routine. Downtown Nashville, Tennessee was vibrant as ever with locals

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Museum of Science and Industry - Science Storms

Mar 21, 2011 - 0 comments
The Museum of Science and Industry located in Chicago, Illinois has many visual presentations to explore. The Science Storms Exhibit is a great interactive display to visualize and learn about the atmosphere and natural earth occurrences, including tornadoes, lightning, fire, tsunamis, avalanches and chemistry material. Science Storms is located on the lower and upper levels filled with many weather and earth related information. One of the awe inspiring features at Science Storms is the Tornado Machine. This 40 foot spectacle attracted many to see the mechanics on how a tornado works. Another feature is the wind tunnel machine. You are able to step into a closed booth container and feel what it's like in a strong wind storm or hurricane. With the recent tragic events in Japan, the tsunami tank will grab the most attention and you will explore how these waves retain most of their energy crossing over large squa

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Japan Nuclear Fallout to reach Los Angeles, U.S.?

Mar 15, 2011 - 0 comments
>The earthquake and tsunami that has caused catastrophic damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant increased more radiation leakage into the atmosphere over Japan today. While experts say radioactive fallout spreading east across the Pacific is likely, there is some concern the radiation may reach the west coast of the United States. Here is current animation showing the potential dispersion of the radioactive cloud over the Northern Hemisphere. This animation displays a potential dispersion of the radioactive cloud (Caesium 137 Isotope) after the nuclear accident in reactor Fukushima I. The continuous release rate is very uncertain, thus the calculations have to be interpreted qualitatively. Dispersion in the near surface level (Level 1), in appr. 2500 m height (Level 12) and in appr. 5000 m height (Level 16). Source: EURAD Pacific Satellite Animation Radiation detected in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and parts of the East Coast: The continuing leakage of radiation takes about 4 to 6 days to reach the western coast of the United States from Japan. This is concerning some and raising questions since exposure to radiation can increase the risks of cancer including thyroid. Currently, the crises has caused a jump in iodide tablet purchases across the country. Unfortunately, most of the radiation w

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National Weather Service | Spotter Classes

Mar 07, 2011 - 0 comments
Each year the National Weather Service (NWS) offers spotter classes for the general public to attend and learn about severe weather. I believe these classes are beneficial for educating yourself and how you can help the NWS with reporting dangerous weather. The NWS Doppler Radar is a valuable asset for detecting severe weather and especially tornadoes. However, the radar can't see what's going on at ground level known as "ground truth". This is where storm spotters come in handy. Without these classes the NWS faces the prospect of the general public relaying false reports that can trigger warnings that indicate no tornado. From my experience I have been to three spotter classes and it's really useful to go back each year and get a refresher before severe weather season goes into full swing. Last night I attended my first "advanced" spotter class to see what the difference is between the basic class verses the advanced class. While very similar, the advanced class went in detail regarding supercell structure and radar interpretation of different storms. I recommend anyone to take a basic class to help you digest what you may be looking at when severe weather comes rolling in! The classes run for about 2 hours. NWS Spotter Class for Southeast Wisconsin: Here is the schedule fo

Blizzard Heading for Chicago and Milwaukee

Jan 30, 2011 - 0 comments
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for most of Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois for Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Meteorologists have been tracking this storm for days now as it appears the track has stabilized the past day. However, any slight deviation in the storm track could have huge implications of snow amounts. This storm will have a 1-2 punch as the first wave moves in Monday afternoon and lasts until Tuesday morning. This will cause a 2-5 inch swatch of snow across Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. The bigger threat then comes Tuesday evening as a strong low pressure system will track from Arkansas to Western Indiana. Heavy snow will be on the backside of the low across Central and Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin east into Indiana and Michigan. Some areas may receive over a foot easily as the storm moves off to the east. Strong northeast winds will help produce lake effect snow for a time as well. One important feature from this storm will be the synoptic winds which will gust to near 40 mph! Areas near the lakeshore from Milwaukee to Chicago could experience winds gusting near 50mph! This image shows very strong winds just above ground level gusting 40 to 50 mph. These winds will be easily transferred to the surface causing blizzard conditions. On another note, meteorologists are pointing out this storm may be similar to the January 2, 1999 snow storm that crippled

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Superbowl 45 Weather Forecast for Dallas, Texas

Jan 24, 2011 - 0 comments
The Green Bay Packers will square off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium. The weather should not be a concern for the game, but many wonder if the new stadium has a hole in the roof similar to Texas Stadium. The thought of cold air soothing it's way down to the field is a concern for fans to whether they should bring a jacket or warm clothing. So you may ask, does the new stadium have a hole in the roof like the old Texas Stadium? Well let's find out! Cowboys Stadium Texas Stadium did have a hole on top of the roof when built in 1971. The new stadium does have a similar rectangular hole but they designed a retractable roof to protect against any weather conditions. The stadium is also heated for the fans. Do expect the roof to be closed during the Super Bowl so spectators won't have to worry about being cold during the game. Super Bowl Forecast: Initially a winter storm will be moving through the area producing some snow through Friday. However, on Sat

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Bears and Packers NFC Championship Weather Forecast!

Jan 17, 2011 - 0 comments
The Chicago Bears will be hosting the Green Bay Packers this Sunday (2:00 P.M. Central) at Soldier Field. It will be the 2nd time in history that these two teams have met in a deciding league championship game. The last time this occurred was in 1941 as the Bears beat the Packers 33-14. The outcome of the game this weekend will be highly dependent on the weather conditions. Soldier Field has had a history of producing uncomfortable weather conditions during the winter season. Of recent memory was during the 2007 season where Chicago destroyed Green Bay 35-7. Wind gusts were blowing over 40 mph throughout causing headaches for both teams. Chicago Advantage: Aaron Rodger's high powered offense may be tempered somewhat due to the weather conditions expected on Sunday. His team may have to rely on the running game which is their weakest link. If that is the case, Cutler's crew will have a good advantage at stopping the run. The team has already been accustomed to playing outside in the cold against the Seahawks while the green and gold were cozy in the Georgia dome defeating the Falcons 48-21. Green Bay Advantage: The Packers greatest strength is their offensive passing game. The wind will need to be below 20 mph in order for Rodgers to throw accurate passes. If the conditions are similiar to the game in 2007, the Wisconsin fans will be nervous. No one can dispute that the Packers are the hottest team in the NFL wit

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NOAA Weather Radio or Tornado Warning Siren?

Jan 04, 2011 - 4 comments
In this blog post I'm going to discuss why buying a NOAA Weather Radio is important and depending on the tornado warning siren to take shelter is dangerous. On New Year's Eve (12/31/2010) a rare tornado outbreak ravaged the central and southern U.S. killing a total of seven people and injuring scores of others. Tornado fatalities have been happening for decades, but sometimes I wonder if the cause is ignited by individuals failing to own a battery operated NOAA Weather Radio. Of course there are other factors that a tornado can hurt people; taking shelter in a mobile home, out-driving a tornado in a car, or not having access to a basement. However, tornado warning lead time issued from the National Weather Service (NWS) has improved dramatically since the early 1990's thanks to improved Doppler Radar systems. You would think the death toll from tornadoes would be lower, but that's a perception. In my opinion the meteorological community and news media have done a decent job promoting the NOAA Weather Radio. Although, I believe citizens tend to ignore the dangers of not owning such a device. Everyone knows failing to own a smoke detector installed in your home is a hazard. Isn't not having a NOAA Weather Radio a vulnerability as well? What will awake you when there is a tornado secretly at your door step at 2:00 am? I know what you're going to say which

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New Years Eve Storm Coming for the Midwest!

Dec 27, 2010 - 0 comments
You might start to hear about a possible big storm system to affect the U.S. around the New Years Holiday. Computer models are now advertising a strong low pressure system to affect the Midwest with all sorts of weather, but the main ingredient will be warmer air settling across the Central U.S. The medium range models are forecasting a strong 500 mb negative tilt trough plowing into the plains at the end of this week. This type of feature is representative of strong cyclogenesis; development of low pressure to occur. Concurrently, the models show a strong low pressure system centered over the Midwest region on New Year's Day. The ECMWF computer model develops this low pressure system traveling from Kansas and then deepening to 991 mb centered near Duluth, Minnesota on New Years Eve. December 29, 2010 Update: The strong storm system to affect the Upper Midwest on New Years Eve/Day is still on track. Blizzard Conditions Expected! This storm will have the potential to produce blizzard conditions to the north and west of the low especially across the Dakotas. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC)has outlined the Dakotas and Northwestern Minnesota for the best chance to receive significant snow. Severe Weather Possible! The

Snow Coming for Wisconsin? Anyone's Guess Right Now!

Dec 09, 2010 - 1 comment
An Alberta Clipper will produce some minor snow accumulations today across Wisconsin, but the big story will be for this weekend. The past 4 days most of the meteorological computer models were painting a strong storm system to affect most of the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley region starting this weekend. The consensus was for the storm track to travel along a path near St. Louis to Indianapolis then turning more northeast towards Cleveland. Unfortunately, the computer models have made a huge jump to the north last night with regards to the storm track that could affect Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan with the potential for heavy snow. Meteorologists have been scratching their heads with this storm system as it has shown little consistency regarding the track of the low across the Midwest and the wide range of outcomes. This is very important since the track determines where the heaviest snow may fall. So when will we get a solid idea of where this storm will track? The main culprit is the energy from this eventual storm is still located out in the Pacific Ocean near British Columbia. The upper air network (weather balloons) have yet to sample this energy to be incorporated into the computer models. Meteorologists analyze these models to forecast the storm system's strength and path. In hindsight, it's somewhat hard to launch weather balloons from the ocean so we have to wait until the energy moves onshore. That is one reason

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Significant Wind Storm to Impact Wisconsin This Week!

Oct 24, 2010 - 3 comments
The model runs from this morning are still advertising a powerful storm system to affect Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin Monday night into Wednesday. A powerful jet stream will be digging across the Central U.S. causing a low pressure system to undergo rapid deepening to what is called "bombogenesis" (24 millibar pressure drop in 24 hours). That is a very significant drop in pressure in a short time span. Some models have the low deepening in the low 960 millibar range across Northern Minnesota, as shown here by the NAM model. The story with this system will be the very strong winds. Wind gusts will be anywhere from 35 mph to as high as 65 mph across Minnesota and Wisconsin on Tuesday lasting into Wednesday night. The 850mb chart from the NAM model shows winds blowing as high as 70 mph early Wednesday morning! These winds are at a height of 5,000 feet above the surface which could possibly be transported down to the ground! Wisconsin has had similar storms of this magnitude in the past. The November 10, 1975 storm produced very powerful winds causing the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior to sink. Unfortunately, the ship was inundated with large waves caused by the strong winds that sank the ship along with killing 29 crewman on board. Another recent wind storm occurred on

Powerhouse Storm System to Affect Wisconsin Next Week?

Oct 19, 2010 - 0 comments
Early indications are for the upper air pattern to change and take hold of the U.S. starting this weekend. A very strong powerful jet stream will move onshore the Pacific Northwest and head into the Central U.S. next week. This will result in a strong low pressure system to develop across the Upper Midwest states bringing showers and possibly some thunderstorms. Below is this morning's GFS model depicting a 140-150 mph jet stream across the U.S sometime around Monday. Keep in mind, this type of energy is usually common when heading into the fall months as more cold air is edging closer to the U.S. There will be changes in the forecast as this storm system is still 7 days out. Remember, accuracy decreases with time so the computer models will eventually get a better handle on this system at the end of this week and into the weekend. Right now, there is a consensuses there will be finally some needed precipitation across Wisconsin. The GFS model also shows a very strong low pressure system deepening to around 972mb which is a very strong low! However, the model tends to have a bias of generating strong lows this far out. Time will tell and stay tuned! Update! Thursday October 21, 2010 On Tuesday I mentioned there was a chance of some significant weather heading towards Wisconsin sometime this weekend into next week. It now appears a major storm system will take shape across the Upper

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Wisconsin Vegetation Ends This Weekend?

Oct 01, 2010 - 1 comment
This weekend most of Southern Wisconsin will experience the end of the growing season as a strong cold front will move across the state Friday evening. This front will bring colder temperatures throughout the upper Great Lake Region bringing overnight values down to the upper 20's to low 30's. While most locations across Northern Wisconsin have experienced freezing conditions, this will be the first opportunity for Central and Southern Wisconsin to experience frost this fall season. Ragweed and Vegetation The great thing about frost is its ability to kill ragweed. This plant is responsible for the airborne allergy that millions of Americans suffer every August until the first frost usually in late September/October. Vegetation is also prone to being damaged due to frost. Here is a video on how to protect your plants from frost - Protecting Your Plants. Moving forward, the Upper Midwest is in a quiet weather pattern. Expect things to become more interesting as we head into November with winter storm potential takes aim across Wisconsin. More on that later, but in the meantime, enjoy the colder temperatures!

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Wisconsin Record Tornado Outbreak - Looking Back

Aug 19, 2010 - 0 comments
On August 18, 2005 Wisconsin experienced its largest tornado outbreak ever for the state. While conditions were favorable for severe thunderstorms, here is a look back at what forecasters were starting to see unfold during the afternoon of the 18th. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues daily convective outlooks pin-pointing what areas of the country may experience severe weather. Usually if such an area may face the threat of imminent severe weather, SPC issues mesoscale discussions explaining the atmospheric environment and if a weather watch is needed. Around 2:00 p.m. on the 18th, the first mesoscale discussion was issued signaling a possible severe weather event unfolding across Southern Wisconsin. 209 PM CDT THU AUG 18 2005 SFC MESOANALYSIS SHOWS WELL-DEFINED LOW OVER SERN MN -- N RST AS OF 19Z -- FCST TO MOVE EWD INTO SWRN/S-CENTRAL WI THROUGH REMAINDER AFTERNOON. WARM FRONT EXTENDS SEWD FROM LOW ACROSS SWRN WI INTO OUTFLOW POOL LEFT BY MORNING MCS. WARM FRONT WILL CONTINUE LIFTING NWD AND WRN PORTION OF OLD OUTFLOW POOL WILL FAVORABLY MODIFY. 80S SFC TEMPS AND 70S DEW POINTS -- EVIDENT IN WARM SECTOR ALONG AND S OF WARM FRONT AND OUTFLOW BOUNDARY -- SHOULD SUPPORT MLCAPES AROUND 2000 J/KG BASED ON MODIFIED RUC SOUNDINGS. LOW LEVEL VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES SHOULD REMAIN MAXIMIZED INVOF WARM FRONT...WHERE BACKED SFC WINDS CONTRIBUTE TO ENLARGED LOW LEVEL HODOGRAPHS AND 0-1 KM SRH OF 150-250 J/KG SRH IN 0-1 KM AGL LAYER. THOSE VALUES -- D

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July 7, 1991 Southern Wisconsin Derecho

Jul 07, 2010 - 1 comment
This blog will fully detail my memorable experience with the July 7, 1991 squall line/derecho that plowed through much of Southern Wisconsin. Not only was this storm unique with its structure, but produced many uprooted trees, downed power lines across a wide area and destroyed a popular city landmark. I was 11 years old at the time watching a baseball tournament at Banting Elementary School with my parents in Waukesha. The morning started off hot and humid with not a single cloud in the sky. Soon around the early afternoon, the skies started to become gray with anvil clouds streaming from the west. I remember sitting watching the game when someone shouted in the stands that the National Severe Storms Forecast Center issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of Southern Wisconsin. As the game was wrapping up the final outcome, it started to rain with some cloud to ground lightning to the west. I knew there was a storm coming, but it didn't look to ominous as it was approaching. Storm Structure I remember vividly my parents driving through the south side of Waukesha to get home. The leading edge of the storm had a light gray color with moderate rain and some lightning that occurred for 5 to 10 minutes. In general, the storm structure wasn't threatening at all. That all changed as we drove further west as the sky had a darker appearance of gray with a bright white area foll

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Eagle, Wisconsin Tornado - Waukesha County

Jun 24, 2010 - 0 comments
The tornadoes that struck Eagle, and other parts of Southern Wisconsin were a surprise to many as the forecast called for limited severe weather earlier in the day. So, what happened? How did the atmospheric environment change so rapidly as to produce severe thunderstorms? Below I explain in further detail. Weather Synopsis: 3:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. There was an outflow boundary positioned across Southern Iowa into Illinois. The storms erupted along this boundary during the late afternoon, requring the Storm Prediction Center to issue a tornado watch for Southeast Iowa and North Central Illinois. To the north was an area of showers and isolated thunderstorms that developed across eastern Iowa in the late afternoon marching eastward into Wisconsin. These storms were not severe, and looked meager for several hours on radar. The Positives: There was a strong shortwave trough across Minnesota and Wisconsin that promoted lift for the storms to develop. Another ingredient that played an integral part in the formation of the storms was wind shear and instability. Deep layer shear (0-6 km), was more than adequate to help the storms sustain themselves as they traveled east. Enough moisture and instability were present for the storms to become severe. The Negatives: One reason forecasters thought severe weather would be minimal was the presence of weak lapse rates (decr

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Wisconsin Tornadoes - June Climatology

Jun 15, 2010 - 0 comments
Usually Wisconsin climatology suggests tornadoes occur in June out of any month of the year. Below are highlighted severe weather episodes: June 8, 1984 A deadly tornado destroys Barneveld, Wisconsin causing F5 damage which unfortunately produces deaths and many injuries. Click here for a summary of the event. June 21, 1997 A tropical airmass had become entrenched over Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. A warm frontal boundary had positioned itself over the region that helped ignite thunderstorms into a mesoscale convective complex. Southeast Wisconsin experienced flooding rains totaling near 5 to 10 inches! Click here for a summary of the event. June 25, 1998 Strong to severe thunderstorms roll over southern Wisconsin that caused wind damage and a memorable lighting display. Click here for to view the video of the event. June 11, 2001 A localized yet powerful bow echo raced across central and southern Wisconsin. The city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin was particularly hit hard with major wind damage and severe flooding. Click here for a summary of the event

South Dakota Storm Chasing Trip a Success!

Jun 02, 2010 - 0 comments
As a storm chaser and a human being that has non-stop passion for weather, this trip was over the top! My goal was to hopefully document some good storms out on the plains. Say the least, we saw seven tornadoes. This year featured May 22-24 being the most promising days. Saturday the 22nd, was a skeptical day because the cap was going to be an issue and upper level forcing may be too weak to ignite convection across the Dakotas. However, there was a chance that storms may form and produce severe weather across central and northeast South Dakota. To make a long story short, we captured four tornadoes on Saturday including a large wedge tornado that hit north of Bowdle, South Dakota which was rated an EF-4 tornado. The tornado was so powerful it knocked over transmission towers containing 345 kilovolt power lines. That was a truly powerful tornado. Sunday the 23rd, we drove through southern South Dakota, western Nebraska, and made our way into northwest Kansas. We saw some storms but were no match to what had occurred on the 22nd. Yet, the sunset was nice to view. Another joy was experiencing the Nebraska Sandhills while driving on highway 83 between Valentine and North Platte. Literally, civilization failed to exist across this region but was fun to experience. Monday the 24th, South Dakota was yet again the prime area for severe weather. This time the northwest part of the state was p

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Wisconsin has more Tornadoes than Oklahoma?

May 07, 2010 - 0 comments
The state of Oklahoma has had less tornadoes than Wisconsin so far this year. Say again? Yes, you would think having Oklahoma located in the heart of tornado alley would beat Wisconsin, yet Wisconsin has had more tornadoes so far in 2010. As of May 6, 2010 the tornado count for Wisconsin stands at five. Last Tuesday, two additional tornadoes were confirmed near Lake Winnebago by the National Weather Service office in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The average tornado count for the state of Wisconsin is 21 per year with the most amount occurring in June. I was looking at this years totals and was surprised to see Oklahoma with a tornado count of three. There is some explanation as most of the tornadoes have occurred in the Dixie Alley, a secondary tornado alley, across Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. So speaking, Wisconsin has had more tornadoes so far and raises the question, why aren't we considered tornado alley? This hasn't been the first time Wisconsin finished ahead of Oklahoma in yearly tornado counts. Wisconsin outran Oklahoma in 2005 with a staggering 62 tornadoes, including the state record outbreak of 27 tornadoes on August 18th. In 2002, Wisconsin had finished out the year with 26 tornadoes while Oklahoma had 18 confirmed tornadoes. So why isn't Wisconsin considered tornado alley? The answer is simple. There are more tornadoes concentrated across the southern plains than any other area in the U.S. and the world for that matter. Kansas, Oklahoma

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Severe Weather Season to Ramp up for May?

May 03, 2010 - 0 comments
During the past week the severe weather season has dramatically increased across the U.S. especially through the Dixie alley (Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and the upper Tennessee Valley). The Yazoo City, Mississippi tornado was a violent EF-4 that destroyed parts of the city and additional tornadoes across Arkansas the past couple of days damaged homes and affected many residents. On another note is the historic amount of flooding that has taken place across Tennessee. The city of Nashville and surrounding areas had received close to 14 inches of rain in just 2 days. The rivers across the area have gone above flood stage and have washed out many homes, including mansions across the suburbs. This event will go down as one of the worst flooding events to affect the Nashville area. Looking Ahead The computer models are hinting at a very active May across the southern and central plains. While this can change, most models support a severe weather threat across the central U.S. the next couple of weeks.

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Where Are All The Tornadoes?

Apr 07, 2010 - 0 comments
According to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) there have been only 83 tornadoes to strike the United States as of April 7th. This statistic is way below the four year (2005-2009) average of 316. It only takes a couple of outbreaks for the U.S. tornado count to reach the yearly average, but this doesn't seem likely in the near future. Severe weather is not expected for another week or so across the lower 48. Either way you look at it, this trend is very welcoming for homeowners and businesses. However, we all can't get too comfortable since April, May and June are the busiest months when it comes to tornado frequency.

Tornadoes as of April 7th:

  • 2005-2009 Avg: 316
  • 2005: 127
  • 2006: 366
  • 2007: 341
  • 2008: 544
  • 2009: 204
  • 2010: 83
Tornado totals retrieved from - SPC

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Big Warm Up On the Way!

Mar 30, 2010 - 0 comments
Well folks, expect a big warm up across Wisconsin this week across most of the upper Midwest. Temperatures will climb into the upper 60's reaching as high as the mid 70's across much of the region. Dewpoints will be generally low which will cause some fire weather concerns throughout the week. As we get closer to the weekend, moisture will increase as a cold front heads towards the upper Midwest. Showers and thunderstorms will be a possibility, but it's unclear at this moment if any of the storms will be severe. In hindsight, enjoy the nice weather starting today!

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