Monday, November 12, 2007

Winter Weather Awareness Week Off to A Thundery Start!

Only in Indiana! We have Winter Weather Awareness Week and our weather team has been working non-stop on your forecast and tracking thunderstorms on Live Doppler 18. This is a sign of that extreme winter I was talking about. Remember what happens in November, nature tends to remember come winter. The good news tonight is no severe weather is expected. But remember your lightning safety rules and exercise caution on the roadways. Is it really possible we will end up with more November thunderstorms than we saw in May? Well, take a look at where we will stand after today!

This is quite impressive. We have caught up to May which is supposed to be one of our most active thunderstorm months of the entire year. I think next week the Midwest will be rattled with more thunderstorms in time for Thanksgiving with a major snowstorm to the north of Lafayette. Watch out Wisconsin and Michigan! Here in Lafayette we could easily equal the thunderstorm days we saw in July which is unheard of! It goes to show you the strange year we are having. At least we did need the rain. Here are the rainfall totals for Monday at 11 p.m. below.

Randy Rogers, our weather watcher in Frankfort did not float away, but he was ready to build an ark with nearly 3 weeks worth of rainfall in 4 hours. Things should settle down tomorrow with clearing skies and highs back in the 60s. Enjoy it while you can because autumn and winter return to the forecast in the next 7 days. Check back here on the blog for more. In the meantime, the blog bird story was so popular on Friday, I found another one just for you!

Here is the doppler radar out of Milwaukee/Sullivan over this past weekend. Migrating birds were being picked up on their doppler radar shown in the red circled areas! Here is more from their National Weather Service web-site:

Just after 6:30 am on Saturday, November 10, National Weather Service Doppler Radar near Sullivan began capturing a flock of migrating birds taking off near the Horicon Marsh in Dodge County. After the birds took off, they headed south into northern Illinois around 8:45 am. The staff at the NWS forecast office near Sullivan confirmed the radar signatures were indeed birds around 8:00 am as a steady stream of them flew over the office. Another flock of birds was also seen over western Jefferson, northeastern Rock, and northwestern Walworth counties.

Radar can see a flock of birds the same way it can see rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Radar transmits a pulse then listens for how much of that pulse bounces back to the radar site. The more pulse that bounces back, the greater significance an object has. For example, if there is a severe thunderstorm with heavy rain and large hail, a large portion of the original pulse is likely to return to the radar. This is how red can appear on the radar map. On the other hand, if only a few raindrops are falling from a cloud, then only a small portion of the original pulse can bounce back, so light reflectivities result. Radar determines how far something is by how long that transmitted pulse takes to return to the radar site.

For more information about how radar works, visit this site:

Above are the reflectivity images showing the progression of these birds from 6:22 am to 7:21 am. The red ovals represent where the birds were noted, all other reflectivities are the result of ground clutter. The orange dot represents where the radar is located.

Now there is more to this story of course! Apparently a stork delivered a special baby later that evening in Wisconsin. That is right, a new relative is here! I will hopefully have pictures to show you tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and WE are thankful for the one inch plus rainfall! Will write with a total later!

Mary Anne :-)