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30 September 2016

Historic Rainfall Event in Maryland and Delaware

In my last post, I wrote about the possibility of a severe flood/rain event in Eastern Virginia/Delaware/Maryland. Unfortunately my forecast was correct, and in short, it’s still raining. The town of Harbeson Delaware had over a foot of rain in 24 hours! Schools were closed, roads washed out, and many other closed.  I mentioned yesterday that the water temps in the Atlantic are at record levels, and it’s hard to …

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10 November 2011

Weather Radar Sees Birds and Bugs Take Flight After Quake

Almost all of the NOAA Doppler radars are being upgraded to a new technology called dual polarization. Simply put, the upgraded radars can send electromagnetic radio waves that are polarized  both horizontally and vertically. Comparing the difference in the reflected energy allows forecasters to see much more than with conventional Doppler radar. One BIG benefit is the ability top determine the shape of objects in the beam. Is it hail, …

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28 August 2011

Don’t Blame The Forecaster for Media/Politician Hype

  You can see some experimental surge forecasts here, but  they are based on a model underdevelopment, so do not base decisions on this alone.  The surge forecasts show about what would be expected with a category one storm. Watching some of the cable news channels last night I saw computer images showing severe flooding through out Manhattan, and this is just not going to be the case with a …

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26 May 2011

Radar Images From The Oklahoma Tornadoes

I saved some images as the storms rolled through Oklahoma on Tuesday and just like April 27, they are amazing. Forecasters can work 20 years and see these kind of signatures on radar only once or twice, especially if they work outside of tornado alley. A short description accompanies each image. I will be in Europe on holiday for the next ten days, but I will try to post a …

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23 May 2011

Deadly Tornado Wrecks Joplin Missouri (UPDATED)

An intense supercell storm spawned a violent tornado that tore through Joplin Missouri around 5:30 PM Sunday evening. The local paper is reporting 24 fatalities and the main hospital in the city took a direct hit. The hospital is being evacuated and patients transferred to nearby facilities. A friend of mine who is a storm chaser pulled 30 people from the rubble near the high school which appears to be …

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4 May 2011

Amazing Image of Rotating Storm Paths from NSSL

This has to be the most amazing image (I’ve yet seen) of the super swarm of tornadoes across the SE USA last Wednesday. Doppler radars are very valuable for severe storm forecasting because they can sense rotation in a storm and this allows for advanced warnings of tornadoes. These radars were not available in 1974, but in 2011 they allowed forecasters to give an average of 24 minutes warning in …

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29 April 2011

Incredible Video of Tuscaloosa Tornado

This was posted on YouTube today. This is the likely EF-5 tornado that destroyed part of Tuscaloosa, Al. on Wednesday afternoon.   This is what the radar looked like at that moment.   The blob south of the hook echo is called a debris ball, and you see this only in very large tornadoes. It’s caused by the radar beam reflecting off of debris in the air around a tornado. …

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17 April 2011

Wild Friday Tornado Outbreak

The tornado outbreak on Thursday night into Friday from Oklahoma into Alabama was the worst of the spring so far. More damage was reported into North Carolina on Saturday but the states of Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama were hardest hit. Most of the tornadoes were EF 0 to EF-2 which means winds were around 70-115 mph. You will survive if you are in a house, but a trailer park …

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24 March 2011

I’m a Klutz, but Apple Makes A Durable iPhone!

The TV station I work for operates a dual polarimetric weather radar called ARMOR (Advanced Radar for Meterological Operations and Research.). The radar is a joint project between WHNT and the University of Alabama at Huntsville and we were the first TV weather department in the world to have dual pole capability. UAH and NASA scientists at the National Science Technology Center use it for research and we use it …

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9 March 2011

Spotting A Tornado On Your iPhone-Part Two

  So what do you think? Is this a band of severe storms? For the most part they are just heavy, but there may be some strong winds in the line. Large tornadoes rarely come out of a line of storms like this.  Heavy rain and gusty winds are the main threat. In part one, I discussed using the Radar Scope app to tell if you are in the path …

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