Friday, August 31, 2007

Spectacular Start to September Just in Time for the MDA Telethon & My Wedding Anniversary

Courtesy of Monty Sloan

Hello, I really missed checking in with you. I am officiallly off work the rest of the week spending good time with my family and getting ready to replace my kitchen floor. If you want to come over and help me, please let me know. I am not the handiest guy in the world, but I am going to give 110%. Help, please help! Okay, I will regain my composure.

This weekend will certainly be a special one for me. It is hard to believe I will be celebrating my 12th wedding anniversary. You see I put a romantic picture of the moon above just for Julie. Julie has been the best wife I could have ever imagined and without her I certainly would not have been able to do what I love every night on television. I met her at a television station in Jacksonville, Florida and she was by far the most talented and beautiful reporter I have ever met. She decided that one of us in this crazy business was enough. Well, she was right like she always is and I really could never thank her enough for all her support not just as a wife, but as my best friend. She also deserves an award for the best Mom of the year. While I am giving the weather she is basically in charge of running 3 girls around town to all their extra-cirricular activities. If there was ever a super woman it is Julie! Now I have to regain my composure again....

I picked a great time to take off work. The weather is not just quiet, it is boring which is very unusual in Indiana.This beautiful picture above of the moon at Wolf Park on Tuesday night was a good omen for a beautiful weather pattern shaping up as we get ready to head into September. Yes, the wolves were howling with the rest of us. But we really need boring weather so that we can get all of those important plans in this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, I am going to go pick up my tux today for the MDA Telethon which begins on Sunday night and runs through 6:30 p.m. Monday. It has become a proud tradition of ours here at TV-18 to not only celebrate having a holiday weekend with barbeques, apple pies, and family but more importantly spreading the news that we are getting closer each and every year to finding a cure for muscular dystrophy thanks to your help. It is amazing how far we have come and all the medical advances made over the years. It truly was a dream when the telethon started in the 1960's to somehow make a difference, but here in the 21st Century, the dream is now a reality. We are closer than ever to really finding a cure and giving plenty of hope for those with Muscular Dystrophy and in the meantime helping them live their life as normal as possible.

I had the pleasure to chat with Miriam Whitlock, her camp counselor Bridget, and most of her family. She was truly an inspiration to me and she has plenty of great camp stories to share with us over the weekend. Miriam is a seventh-grader at Wea Middle School. Her twin sisters Hannah and Faith you see in the picture are first graders at Mayflower Mill. They were absolute dolls and loved all the lights and of course the weather wall at the TV station. Hannah wants to be a TV Meteorologist and she certainly is well on her way. Jeff Smith, Gina Q, Sue Scott, Special K. Dolan, Seth Conley, and I are all really excited about this year. We are looking forward to a record-setting year. This could be the year that puts us over the top in our fight with Muscular Dystrophy. That is how close we are. Thanks in advance for all your support and have a wonderful weekend.

I also appreciate all your support throughout the year! Happy September and enjoy this refreshing weather while we have it. September will likely be another hotter than average month and we will dry back out with below average rainfall. October holds hope for more typical weather. I will have more on this here on the blog by Monday and be back to normal at work on Tuesday. Take care.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Picture Perfect for TV-18's Day of Caring & the Morning Eclipse

The Chavez Family thanking the Weatherman for a perfect day!

It was a memorable day and it is a good thing the weather cooperated! Today our television station took part in a Habitat for Humanity project. We were building a home for the Chavez family. This is a big year for them. Not only are they looking forward to their first home, but their first baby is due in December. Mr. Chavez told me this will be the best Christmas ever for him and his wife. I was very proud to be a part of this project and our station is involved with this project to show a small token of our appreciation. Without you the community we would not even exist. We are Lafayette proud and it is not just a slogan, but a way of life.

The blue shirts of WLFI hard at work!

Kappa Sigma assisted us and became the first Purdue organization to sponsor a Habitat home

Hopefully this becomes an annual event. I not only hammered away this morning with my co-workers, but helped to raise the dry wall! I still have all ten fingers and I have Sue Scott to thank for that. She was one of our best workers and even made sure I used galvenized nails when necessary. I made sure everybody had enough water and stayed hydrated when it started to heat up. But overall I will remember it as one of my best days ever since becoming a television meteorologist in 1995! This even beats being on the beach during a hurricane, by a long shot. I want to thank Doug Taylor, who is the executive director and all the volunteers. This was also a special home because it was the 150th home Habitat for Humanity has built in Lafayette and their goal is to build 85 more in the next 5 years! The future certainly is bright.

Nature certainly came through for our weather team today. It may have been close to 90 degrees, but the low humidity made it just right for building a home. This morning everybody is still talking about the lunar eclipse. In case you missed it, here are a few pictures you can enjoy!

Courtesy of Bill Snyder

Wow, what a sight! A total lunar eclipse only happens about twice a year and the next one will not take place until February. What you are looking at is the earth's atmosphere being projected on the moon. If you were on the moon you would notice the earth blocking most of the sunlight and you would be able to see all of the earth's sunrises and sunsets taking place at the same time! This gives the moon its special glow. The more storms on earth the darker the red-orange or coppery color.

Courtesy of Schven Bigosh of White County

Schven did a picture timelapse for us from when the lunar eclipse started to when it finished. It certainly looks like somebody took a big bite out of the moon!

It was amazing how fast the moon seemed to be disappearing.

The moon's just about eclipsed.

Eclipse completed!

This will be the last lunar eclipse of 2007, and for the next one in 2008 you will need a heavy coat because it takes place on February 21, 2007. Now we can focus on the upcoming holiday weekend! I think we willl have plenty to smile about like Mollly below. She was the winner of the biggest doggie smile contest at Columbian Park last week.

Tonight, I will give you plenty to smile about. See you soon and thanks for reading.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Full Moon & Total Lunar Eclipse Alert Tonight!

It was a great weekend. I will get to the lunar eclipse, but first things first. I had a wonderful time emceeing at the always exciting Little Miss-Little Mister & Miss Camden pageant. I cannot believe it was already my third year at one of my favorite events. Time does fly when you are having fun. Here are a few pictures from Saturday.

Garrett Tomson-Camden's Little Mister 2007

From left to right: Little Miss: Taylor Williams, Miss Camden:Denise Kendall, Little Mister Garrett Tomson, and Camden Golden Star Marge Seiber

I even found a new weather watcher for the town of Camden. I am always looking for more weather watchers outside of Tippecanoe County. So e-mail me at if you are interested.

We really are in need of more weatherwatchers not only in Carroll County, but Cass County, Pulaski County, Warren County, Fountain County, and Montgomery County. The more eyes and ears I have out there, the safer we will all be. Welcome aboard Krista Tomson, our new weatherwatcher from Camden!

I also enjoyed visiting Dayton on Saturday so I could call off the rain and greet folks at the soggy Wabash River Cycle Century Ride. It did stop raining! I was amazed by the large turn-out. Andy Hersch and company tell me it rains almost every year so the cyclists are ready for it. I will have to make sure to remember this when forecasting next year.

My Saturday was highlighed by meeting Miriam and her family and friends to prepare for next weekends MDA telethon. You will find out more on Miriam. She has quite a story to tell that still has me fired up for this coming up MDA weekend! She certainly brought out the sunshine on a rainy Saturday morning. Speaking of sunshine, we will give Miriam all the credit for the weather clearing up for the second part of our weekend.

The weather was so great on Sunday it helped raise record amounts of money to help find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy. Special kudos and thanks go out to the Lafayette Fire Department for filling up their boots with close to 50,000 dollars. The Harley bike riders were there for Jerry's kids as always and raised over $100,000 dollars with their 100 mile bike trip, and today the weather looks just right for the Bear Raffle at 5:30 p.m. to help raise money to fight Muscular Dystrophy.

This is what makes this community special. Not only is it a special place to live, but we have the most giving community you will find anywhere. These intangibles are usually left out of all the "best places to live" surveys. If the really important things were taken into account, Lafayette would be in the top 10 in every single survey out there, without a doubt. We also have some of the best weather when it comes to change and variety. Tonight we will look to the sky for a total lunar eclipse. Check it out above! It will be first thing tomorrow morning and it will coincide with being a full moon. It should be breath-taking.

Contrary to all the rumors out there, there will not be two full moons in the sky tonight. Mars will not be as big and bright as the moon. This is called the Mars hoax that began in 2003. I will have more on this tonight. Mars will actually be closest to the earth in December and it will outshine all the other stars and planets, but certainly not the moon and it will be just a speck in the sky. Nature caught us up on rainfall in a hurry last week. That was certainly no hoax! I will also have more on this during the newscast tonight! Choose to make it a great day!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nature's Double Whammy: First the Heat, Now the Big Thunderstorms

We have been very lucky so far this year in the Lafayette viewing area when it comes to severe weather. The graphic above tells it all. Severe weather in this case is defined as having wind gusts of 58 mph or greater and or nickel-size hail or larger and or having a tornado. The huge ridge of high pressure that allowed the drought to spread into the Midwest not only detoured most of our rain, but severe weather.

If you look back at our past history it is very rare to have both a quiet Spring and early Summer storm season and a quiet late Summer and autumn severe weather season. So yes we are long overdue for some rough weather in more ways than one. I hope I am wrong that this will all catch up to us.

We have been lucky because fronts from the north have not been able to break the huge heat ridge down. But now that we are in late August, some areas in Canada have lost about 6 hours of daylight. This has allowed cooler air masses to really build up. This creates more formidable fronts that willl bring better chances of rain and thunderstorms here in the Midwest. Case in point, you can see what happened last night. Much of the upper Midwest, including extreme northern Indiana was rattled with severe thunderstorms.

That is right some areas across northern Illinois had wind gusts registered near 100 mph or what you would typically see in a category 2 hurricane. Everywhere you see the flags above registered wind speeds of 60 mph or greater. Valparaiso had wind gusts of 80 mph, South Bend and Gary had wind gusts to 60 mph, and there was a tornado reported in Will County. I did a couple of cut-ins and tons of crawls. We did have a tornado warning for Newton County for the second consecutive night, but the good news was the rotation did not reach the ground. Amazingly, we had no storm damage once again here at home.

Today and tonight this could certainly change. This same nasty front that has a history of producing severe weather will move our way. Our weather team will watch it closely for you. Just make sure to have a Plan B, stay alert, and stay tuned to News Channel 18. We will do cut-ins as necessary again tonight. Hopefully the front will slow down and come through late tonight sparing our high school football games and limit our severe weather, but right now it looks like storms will be on the increase by late today and this evening. Here is a map showing the main threats.

We also cannot rule out localized flooding and isolated tornadoes. But right now it looks like lightning and damaging wind gusts will be our main trouble-makers. We will have a nice weekend to look forward to once we get through tonight, so just stay calm and stay positive. I will see you soon hopefully with better news, but either way we are now prepared.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ring of Fire Pattern, May Fire Up Severe Weather for Us

I have been busy running errands, cutting my tall grass, cleaning the house, and finishing all those little things. I am preparing for possible severe weather in our viewing area that could basically pop anytime now between late today and Saturday. Make sure to tune in tonight for more details. I will also catch up on posting pictures I think you will enjoy here on the blog and yes your winter forecast which we talked a little bit about on the 11 p.m. news last night. Thanks for your patience. Now it is crunch time. See you soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Weather Goes to the Dogs Today & To the Snow Geese this Winter

It is a big day! It is Hike with your Hound Day at Columbian Park. You can see Tank above in his Superman costume last year. The pets will only briefly dress up because it will be so hot out today. We have got real dog day weather and this is a good reminder to make sure you have a cool place for your pet and that their water bowl is filled up. Dogs cannot cool themselves down as efficiently as humans. The Hike will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the contests begin at 7:15 p.m. at Memorial Island. The contests include: Best Trick, Best Costume, Dog/Owner Look-a-Like, and Biggest "Doggie" Smile. The weather and this day is certainly all about the dogs.

Today, I have the biggest "doggie" smile you have ever seen. That is right I have started your winter forecast and for all those that really know me, you know that only means one thing. Check back to see what year this winter could resemble (smile grows even bigger). I think the snow geese will be happy and fed well. Snow geese is the affectionate term I use to all those that love snow like I do. Speaking of snow, here is another example of why so many are thankful for the big rain this week. So far this year we have had more snow than rain! Take a look!

We have had 31 inches of snow in 2007, compared to 24.6 inches of rain. This is incredible. But it gets even better. Thanks to the blizzard in February our actual total yearly precipitation is actually .08" above average. This is incredible, especially when you consider 62% of the state of Indiana was in drought conditions as of last week.

Peggy in Shadeland received a grand total of 4.75 inches of rain Sunday and Monday and it was the highest amount of rain in the entire state! The Wabash Valley effect strikes again. To answer yesterday's blog question....if this was snow how much would we have had? Would we have had more than the blizzard of 2007? Well, here in Indiana we usually have a snow ratio of 10 inches of snow for every inch of rain. New research has this number closer to 13 to 1. But we will use the 10 to 1 ratio for simplicity. So Peggy in Shadeland would have had 47.5 inches of snow if this week's rain had been snow! This would have almost tripled our 17 inches of snow we received during our snowiest blizzard on record! Here were the official snow totals from that great day that I will always remember.

Now I will leave you on edge with time to ponder if this winter could bring yet another blizzard. Is it really possible? Just remember the late 1970s when nature went back to back on us with the Blizzard of 1977 and the Blizzard of 1978. Could history repeat itself? What are your thoughts. I will have my thoughts later today with your first official sneak peak to your winter forecast. Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Sky Bursts! Relentless Rain Drenches Lafayette

What a day yesterday. I am still a bit groggy-eyed this morning. I had my best sleep in weeks thanks to our heaviest rain of the summer and really our heaviest rain in 5 months, since March 22nd and 23rd. The picture above shows you the cracked, dry ground before the rain and the standing water in the fields after the rain. I have never won the lottery, but I think most of us can agree that it made you feel like you hit the jackpot. We ended up with 3.25" of rain at my house on the southside. My crunchy grass is nice and soft once again. Here are more of the incredible rainfall totals.

It rained so fast and furious in portions of Clinton and Tippecanoe County yesterday that I had to compare our rainfall rates with world records. We had reports of .60" to .75" in only 5 minutes. This compares to the world record for heaviest rainfall in one minute of 1.23" set in Unionville, Maryland. Not really close to the record, but it certainly looked like it. Check out the sheets of rain just pounding Attica yesterday!

Courtesy of: Norman Mitchell

E-mail poured in to me rejoicing the rain! I have not seen such excitement since the blizzard of 2007! Here is just one of many happy e-mails I received.

Hi Mike its me again....I just wanted to say "Way to go with the rain Dance"!!!!!!! We got exactly 3 inches of rain out here on the southside (Wyandotte Rd) and that was measured with my rain gauge from 8:30pm on Sunday until 8:30pm Monday....What a WONDERFUL Day it was....Maybe, just maybe the creeks will begin to flow once again!

Take Care Mike!


The torrential rain but a huge dent in our rainfall deficit and effectively ended the drought in Miami and Howard Counties. Here is more good news for you.

Tonight we will take a look at what this means for the Wabash River and how high it will crest and talk about yet another heat wave on the way. But don't worry, we will not have another hot and dry spell like we experienced this summer. We may not see anything like we just experienced in years. We survived it together, just like the blizzard of 2007. Through good times and bad, I am glad you are always with me. Now let's turn our sights to our blog weather question of the day. If this rain was snow, how much would we have received? Think about and make it a great day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Dry Spell Ends With A Bang at Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you.... We all had reason to sing and celebrate this weekend and for many reasons, cha, cha, cha. It was quite a night last night. Nature put on quite a light show. The electricity went off at my home for just over an hour. It happened of course during my daughter's 10th birthday celebration. Nature provided plenty of fireworks and the cake and ice cream never tasted so good! My daughter has always been closely tied to nature like the rest of us.

Last night brought back memories of Megan kicking up a storm in Julie's tummy during thunderstorms before she was born. Back then we lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where there are plenty of storms that pop up almost every day. Of course my wife was not too happy about this and wanted me to keep the storms away. But last night all was forgiven and we all cheered Megan and the nice heavy downpours. It is hard to believe that Megan is in the double digits. Here is a picture of Megan and her friends at her sleepover on Friday night. It is probably a good thing she did not have her sleepover last night. Yes, my wife and I thought it sounded like a hurricane was coming through on Friday night, but all her friends actually were well behaved and had a fun time making pizzas and dancing around.

My rain dance finally worked. I am not the greatest dancer in the world and this certainly did not help our rain deficit since late April, which is still anywhere from 6 to 9 inches across our area since early May. The chart above tells the story. Our weekend rainfall has been a dismal .06" over the past 7 weekends, but last night that all changed. Many areas in Tippecanoe County more than quadrupled this number with some areas near Clarks Hill receiving more than 10 times more rain this weekend than they had the previous two months.

While we wanted the rain, we did not want severe weather and there were reports of trees down along US231 in Montgomery County in the Linden area. The lightning was also vivid and constant. This is just the beginning of a very busy weather pattern for us. Last week, all the maps told us we would be going into a wetter pattern. But, let's be honest, until you or I actually saw the rain we certainly were quite skeptical based on what has happened. So batten down the hatches and get ready for more rain today. We could see an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain before all is said and done with locally higher amounts.

This will be a different kind of rain than we are used to as tropical remnants of what once was tropical storm Erin interact with a stationary front over the Midwest. So remember this and be careful of localized flooding and maybe a strong storm or two with damaging wind gusts. Of course I will keep you updated. It is time for nature's frenzy. Speaking of a frenzy. Here are some pictures from Friday night Frenzy. It was a great night for high school football on Friday.

Here is the class of 2008 at Central Catholic showing lots of school spirit before the game with Delphi.

Here is Delphi before the game warming up. They were happy we did not have a repeat of last year when it was stormy with plenty of delays and cancellations.

Well, I better get to work, I have not seen Live Doppler 18 this busy in a long, long time. My rain gauge just picked up .60" of rain in 7 minutes here on the southside of Lafayette. I have not seen rain like this since I lived in Myrtle Beach! Have a good day and be careful in the heavy rain. We simply are not used to it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Are You Ready for Football? It is Frenzy Time!

Finally a different question to answer today? You betcha. We all know that everybody is ready for more rain, but now it is high school football time. Are you ready for football? Don't worry i will not sing, just type. There is nothing like opening night for high school football. This can help to take our mind off the horribly dry conditions nature has sacked us with over the past few months. Not even Payton Manning could save us from nature's wrath. It has also been outrageously hot, but this forecast will help cool you down as well! Last year's opening games were stormy with plenty of delays and cancellations, but not this year.

I will have more on this, but I am so fired up now I am going to go work out. I look forward to being live at Central Catholic with the sports team tonight. They all know I have always loved sports, so I cannot thank them enough for including me. I will check back with you soon. In the meantime, choose to make it a great day and if you want you can check out some updated pictures and stories on the blog from earlier in the week.

What a fun time. It was great talking to folks and handing out our new Friday night Frenzy T-Shirts at Central Catholic. You can see a couple of Frenzy Fanatics above. I had fun wearing shoulder pads during my live-shot earlier this evening and even took a hit from Matthew on CC. I didn't get his number. I think it was #24. It was certainly a fun live-shot. The reason I wore those shoulder pads is to prove how it really was comfortable even in shoulder pads. My shirt will never quite be the same. It is hard to believe the heat index was over 100 at this time last week.

The only hard hits from nature will likely hold off until late weekend and eary next week with maybe a few strong thunderstorms. Rain amounts could be heavy, but I really do not like mentioning or talking about rain anymore. At least not until I see it. But I think an active tropics will actually help end our desert pattern here in the Lafayette area. The reason for this is the remnants from Tropical Storm Erin should interact with a front bringing not just rain, but sideways rain. Take a look at the overall pattern.

Tropical moisture usually runs around the periphery of our huge high pressure systems. This will bring a nice, rich tropical flow from the Gulf of Mexico we have not seen in quite some time. This change could not come soon enough as the drought continues to knock on our door here in Tippecanoe County. We still have two counties in official drought conditions. They are Miami and Howard Counties. If we do not get this rain in the next week, we will have an official drought in Lafayette. But I still think it is all about the tropics and a big change ahead. Mean Dean has formed in the Atlantic and it is one of the strongest early season hurricanes on record. I will leave you with a picture of the eye of the storm. This is such a beautiful picture, but unfortunately it is a deadly storm.

Next week I expect another hurricane to form with more of a threat to the eastern United States. Mean Dean is just the start of a pattern that needs to be watched closely. We can certainly count our blessings at tonight's football games.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Emergency Management is Ready for Severe Weather to Pick Up As Two Tornadoes Touch Down in Indiana

We dodged the rain here in Tippecanoe County last night and the tornadoes. Here are most of the storm reports from our area. There were also some downed trees in Fulton County. Wind gusts were estimated near 50 mph in Cass and Fulton Counties. I went to an emergency management meeting this morning and was amazed that Buffalo and even parts of Monticello had the ground briefly covered with small hail.

Talk about folks that really care. I cannot say enough about the great people I met in White County this morning you see above. Give them a standing round of applause. The emergency management directors meeting was the most productive weather meeting I have been to in years and it will go a long way into making sure you and your family stays safe. We have always had a great relationship with TEMA or the Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Agency at News Channel 18 and now that special relationship will include all of our counties in our viewing area to a much closer degree.

Folks depend on us just as much if not more in Newton, Jasper, Benton, Warren, Carroll, Fountain, Montgomery, Clinton, White, Cass, Pulaski, Fulton, Miami and Howard Counties. Our viewing area has always been the forgotten doughnut hole between three National Weather Service offices in Chicago, North Webster, and Indianapolis. Not anymore. Live Doppler 18 helps fill part of that void. But it is people that really matter and having a close communication not only with the National Weather Service offices but all emergency management agencies and their storm spotters will help complete a truly formidable severe weather safety umbrella over the Lafayette area. It is a big challenge when it comes to Indiana weather, but we have the right people in place to make sure we are storm ready no matter what nature dishes out. Preparation and communication before severe weather strikes goes a long way into saving lives. The whole reason I am in this business is to help others during severe weather and this is possible thanks to these folks. We went over many great ideas that we can implement over the coming year.

We also talked about a jet stream picking up steam as we head into the fall. This will collide with active tropical weather to our south bringing an increase in our severe weather here at home. It is a blunt reminder that severe weather happens 12 months out of the year here in Indiana. We will likely have a stormier October and November compared to this past March and April. I will have more on this in the coming weeks here on the weather blog.

Speaking of severe weather, last night the lightning was vivid and vicious with thousands of cloud to ground lightning strikes as the storms moved through the northern portions of our area. The tornado sirens were blaring in Galveston last night because somebody reported seeing a vortex or funnel cloud. The good news is the rotating thunderstorm did not reach the ground as a tornado in Galveston or anywhere else in our viewing area, but on doppler radar it certainly looked nasty. Here is what meteorologists see on radar when thunderstorms are spinning.

It may be a bit tough to see. But you can notice the red and green couplets next to each other on the radar image above. This is the radial velocity mode of the doppler radar that allows us to see through storms to see if they are rotating. It looks like nature has two red eyes with a green face. The areas of most concern were the areas around these "eyes". The right eye actually produced a brief tornado in Argus located in Marshall County, while the left eye located near Winamac produced damaging wind and hail. The spinning reached the ground as a tornado in Marshall County and not in Pulaski County because of what we call a bow echo. You can see how the storm bowed out above and below. Here is a more traditional look at the radar you are used to.

It is not often you see pink on the radar and many of these areas picked up a quick 2 to 4 inches of rain from Marshall County through Miami County. Peru officially had 2.50" of rain. Unfortunately, most of this rain came too quickly and just runs off and does not really soak into the soil. The main thing is everybody stayed safe and sound. Yes, we once again missed out on the rain here in Tippecanoe County, but I do not think any of us would want to catch up on rainfall this way. Folks in Cass County are telling me it was the worst storm they have seen so far this year and there will be a lot of cleaning up to do. At least 3 homes had trees on them in Twelve Mile. We have had a rough summer when it comes to rainfall, but we have not had much severe weather. So this was was quite shocking to many folks in northern parts of our area. This feast or famine pattern has many folks on edge. When will we finally get a nice, soaking rain? Our answer may lie in the tropics.

I will elaborate more on this tomorrow. In the meantime, a major hurricane is forming in the Atlantic Basin. You can see Hurricane Dean below with wind speeds expected to be well over 100 mph. I do expect it to eventually move in the Gulf of Mexico and it could be devastating to the Gulf Coast. This is the hurricane I have been forecasting for Texas or Louisiana since the middle of last week. I hope I am wrong about this. Have a great day. Thanks for making my day by reading this and being such loyal viewers. You also deserve a thank you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Grand-Daddy of August Heat Waves Slam Dunked By Storm Complex

Here is Deion after playing basketball out in the great heat wave of 2007 for more than 7 hours on Saturday. He is one of many that is glad the great heat wave of 2007 is now over after 9 consecutive days at 90 degrees or above. Do not worry, he did survive. Well, barely. He certainly knows our weather team means business now when we give heat safety tips. The heat wave finally came to an end thanks to a storm complex slam-dunked parts of the area with heavy rain, including just over an inch in Otterbein. Areas on the southside of Lafayette recorded over a half-inch of rain which was the heaviest rain in nearly 3 weeks. Brady Lane was on the verge of becoming the Brady Desert. This is just the beginning of nature's August version of March Madness. I have rain chances in the forecast 6 of the next 7 days. The forecast rain amounts are quite impressive as you can see below. Now it is summer and I cannot promise everybody rain, but this is a start!

This is what I call championship weather! It will not rain all day, it will be cooler, and we should still be able to salvage most of our plans this weekend. This past weekend Deion's team won the Buckingham Brawl which is the best basketball tournament I have ever been involved in. The tournament began at 8 a.m. and did not finish up until well past 5 p.m. The good news is that we had a big cookout between the morning and afternoon sessions to rest a little. Most teams played about 10 games up to 15. There were 10 teams composed of 4 players each. Everybody took frequent water breaks and amazingly nobody developed any heat-related illnesses. Here are some more pictures from all the great action. There were some great players out there!

Here is the championship team's one shining moment. I took this picture as quickly as I could so they could go get some more water!

The runners-up were certainly the big winners as well. If there was ever a day every team deserved a trophy it was today. Everybody played good, clean basketball. A special thanks once again to Boyd and Nancy Wheeler and their family that have helped to make this a summer highlight for so many in Lafayette.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Welcome Rain Should Keep More Trees From Turning Colors Early

This morning was a special one! There is nothing quite like it. It was the first day of school. The girls made it through their first big morning back to school routine with flying colors. They had no trouble waking up and could not wait to see all their friends again after a long, hot summer. Megan and Abbey had their outfits all picked out and things ran smoother than I thought possible. I snapped some great pictures of them by the Black-eyed Susans. Yes, I was getting plenty emotional and had a lump in my throat. You will see why when I post some pictures later today. The bus was even on time this morning.

We can even give nature a passing grade which we have not done much of this summer. The rain not only gave us free lawn-waterings but held off until the kids got to school. I am thankful we have such great schools and teachers in Indiana. It is one of the big reasons I love living in Lafayette. I also love our ever-changing weather and the latest maps are showing an active and more typical weather patttern for this time of year with plenty of rain chances through Thursday and again this weekend. Temperatures may hold in the 70s this weekend! It is just what all of us ordered, not just the doctor! Here is a rainfall map through Sunday and these amounts may be conservative!

I am still confident rainfall will pick up as we finish out August and head into Autumn. The overall pattern is not stagnant like we have seen the last several weeks. One big reason is the La Nina in the Pacific Ocean is really starting to take hold. These cooler than average temperatures in the equatorial Pacific should help stir things up here in the Midwest. But this will also stir up plenty of trouble in the tropics, which I will get to. This rain could not come soon enough. I hope that 1 to 3 inch range can be extended over us, but at this point I will take the 1" of rain. How dry has it been? It has been so dry some trees have changed color early. That is right, this dry pattern has stressed out the trees so much they are losing their leaves two months earlier than they normally do. Here is one of many trees with yellow leaves around the area.

This is not a sign of a bad winter ahead. In fact, most of the weather proverbs say that the longer the trees hold their leaves the harsher the winter. This is not good news if you love real snowy winters. The good news is this is not really giving us an accurate winter forecast. The trees are just feeling the impact of our extremely dry pattern. Officially it is our 7th driest growing season in the last 113 years and Miami and Howard Counties are now officially in drought conditions with Tippecanoe County still on the brink of drought. Unfortunately if we do not get some more rainfall soon, it will cause our fall foliage season to be drab with no brilliant colors and fiery leaves like we normally see. So bring on the rain! Here is when our fall foliage season normally peaks in the Midwest.

Now are you ready for autumn? I am, after looking at the map above. This weekend we may have a hint of autumn in the air as a polar air mass holds together. I will have more on this big cool down tonight on the news.

Also, as we so often see this time of year is that when we start to cool down in the Midwest, the tropics really start to heat up. Sure enough, Tropical Storm Dean has formed in the Atlantic and could pose problems for the Windward Islands late this week and the mainland U.S. by next week. Another tropical disturbance may form into a storm before then in the Gulf of Mexico. In the Pacific, even the land of Paradise is bracing itself. Hurricane Flossie is still expected to move just south of Hawaii with close to hurricane force wind gusts possible along with 20 foot waves and flooding rain. So we are not the only ones with an active forecast. Here is the latest track on Flossie.

Only two hurricanes have hit Hawaii since 1950 thanks to cooler waters that surround the islands. As of early this morning Flossie was still a major hurricane. But, it is moving into cooler waters and this should help to weaken Hurricane Flossie enough so that even if Hawaii is on the worst side of the storm, sustained wind speeds should stay below 50 mph. But flooding is still a big concern along with beach erosion. Have a great day and my hats off to all the parents and teachers that made the first day of school a big success.