Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Spectacular Spring Start, But Weather Team 18 Is Busy Gearing Up for Severe Weather Season

Walter Poppinga in Lafayette took his dog on his first Spring walk at 2:30 p.m. today and shot these beautiful Spring flowers for us. Temperatures reached 53 degrees in the sunshine! Now that is the way to start a new season off on the right foot. But it is Indiana and.....

It has been a gorgeous start to Spring, but a polar vortex in Eastern Canada will end all thoughts about this weather sticking around. Highs on Easter Sunday may struggle to hit 40 degrees and a major snowstorm is likely just north of Chicago and the Indiana-Michigan border. Up to 8 inches of snow is possible in these areas! The Easter Bunny will need his snow boots in these areas. Here at home we will only have a few snow flurries and good travel weather. So I guess we should not complain about the cold weather.

Photographers Capture Atlanta Tornado As an EF-2 tornado swept across downtown Atlanta, one local photographer snapped the shot of a lifetime.Shane Durrance was on top of his condominium off Howell Mill Road when he saw the potential for a great photo of the downtown area. He took the photo just as 11Alive's Paul Ossmann was talking about tornado warnings in Atlanta.Durrance, who is an acquaintance of Ossmann's, sent the photo to 11Alive and said he believed he'd missed catching the tornado on film. But after Ossmann reviewed the picture, he assured Durrance that he had indeed gotten the shot.The picture shows a light-gray vertical strip of what looks like clouds connecting the cityscape to the larger clouds above. That is the actual tornado. Ossmann said it didn't look like the usual sort of funnel cloud because it was embedded in rainshowers at the time of the photograph.

It was a winter to remember for wild weather, but as we head into the Spring the La Nina which played havoc with our weather is showing no signs of dying. This is bad news for our severe weather season. We already saw what happened in Atlanta last weekend when an EF-2 tornado ripped through the downtown area. This is a sign of things to come. That picture above is certainly breath-taking and amazing is real. It is not some internet hoax picture going around. Nature means business in this pattern that is for sure. A La Nina season in Lafayette usually brings an increase in tornadoes. The same jet stream that brought 16 storms to Lafayette since January 1st will remain energized and a major player in our weather. It tends to add wind shear and spin to our thunderstorms here in the Hooosier state.

Our Weather Team is gearing up for severe weather and we will continue to add a lot of tools to our on-air presentation to keep you and your family safe. Doprad Fury is on the way in the next few weeks with new basemaps and street-level mapping. This is a special upgrade to your Live Doppler 18. We can now click on streets such as Teal Road to show you exactly where the thunderstorms are located and where they are moving. This data is updated instantaneously while we are on the air. Live Doppler 18 will now be up to 5 times faster than VIPIR and the National Weather Service radar. Time saves lives and thanks to Live Doppler 18 it will go a long way into not only keeping folks safe but calm. Speaking of severe weather here is some real interesting news from NASA on how we are continuing to improve tornado forecasting to help save lives and property.

Gravity Waves Make Tornadoes

Did you know that there's a new breakfast food that helps meteorologists predict severe storms? Down South they call it "GrITs."
GrITs stands for Gravity wave Interactions with Tornadoes. "It's a computer model I developed to study how atmospheric gravity waves interact with severe storms," says research meteorologist Tim Coleman of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
According to Coleman, wave-storm interactions are very important. If a gravity wave hits a rotating thunderstorm, it can sometimes spin that storm up into a tornado.

You can check out the rest of this article along with pictures and graphs by clicking the link below.

Have a great day and Happy Spring. I will post a few Spring pictures for you here this evening and check on that snowstorm to our north.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike....I am anxious to see the new forecasting tools in operation. I am thankful to live in an area covered by such modern equipment and for a wx team like that of WLFI. While I do love weather, I dread severe storms.

Mary Anne in Remington