Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thunderstorms With Lightning & Heavy Downpours on the Way

Forget the packing of the suit case. I will just get on the plane tomorrow morning with my family. That is all that really matters, doesn't it. Speaking of keeping everybody's family safe, there is a line of thunderstorms in Illinois that I have been tracking. It will not warrant a weather watch for us here in Indiana but it should still have plenty of lightning, heavy downpours, and wind gusts near 40 mph by time it arrives in our viewing area after 10 p.m.

Severe weather reports in Illinois have been very sporadic and this line has gone from producing near 10,000 bolts of lightning per hour down to about 6,000 bolts per hour as of 8:41 p.m. It will continue to weaken as it moves into a more stable air mass here at home, but it should be quite a dazzling light display and some areas could still pick up a quick one to two inches of rain. I will keep you updated.

Nature Cranks Up the Heat In Time for August


Good Morning! I have just looked at the latest maps and there is no doubt about it and that is we are going to add to our official 90 degree days even at the Lafayette airport. We have only had just one day of 90 or above and by now we usually should have had 10. Last week we just missed 90 degrees in Lafayette AT THE AIRPORT last week when most of our weather watchers had 3 or more days of 90 or above. At WLFI we hit 91 three straight times. Since most of us do not live at the airport I still called it our official first heat wave of the season. I have issues with the thermometer location and remember it is location, location, location that really matters. If you put that same thermometer where most of us in Lafayette live our average number of 90 degree days would go from 16 to at least 21. This would be a great weather conference topic!


This discrepancy is due to the heat urban island effect in which all the concrete and manmade structures are prone to hold a lot of heat and of course heat up much more quickly than a grassy meadow or farm field. This same heat urban island effect has been proven to cause bigger storms to flare up on the outskirts of Lafayette in southern Tippecanoe County, the Dayton area and Harrison High School with unusually high numbers of tornadoes. The warmer air acts like a frontal boundary and where it meets the cooler air the contrast can cause storms to explode! This heat island effect has also caused much warmer temperatures in Lafayette not just during the day, but at night. We have seen temperatures stay much warmer at night in Lafayette with an east to southeast wind coming over the city. By time those warmer breezes reach the airport you have a temperature bust! Only this time our forecast temperatures would be too low.


Now we are getting ready for our second heat wave as we head into August and there is no doubt about it this time. Nobody, even the airport at Lafayette should have trouble reaching 90 degrees for several days starting this weekend. We may even reach heat index advisory criteria by the weekend. I will have more on this during tonight's weather. Teri brought up that early snow in 1989 and believe it or not that year also matches up well with this one. I will let you know how much snow that year brought us to try to keep you cool.

We also need to keep our guard up for thundersorms! Remnants of what once was Hurricane Dolly will increase our chance for heavy downpours and localized flooding starting late tonight and continuing through Wednesday night. Luckily it has been much drier the past 3 weeks and this should keep the Wabash from flooding. Some areas could easily see one to three inches of rain with locally higher amounts. Our severe risk over the next couple of days will likely be damaging wind gusts of 60 mph. But right now the biggest threats are lightning and flooding.

But be ready for anything! I am heading on vacation tomorrow and the meteorologist jinx will take full effect. Something big always happens when I take off work. I will still try to check in with you as much as possible while I am out of the office through August 10th. Make sure to take care of the weather team while I am gone. I want to thank Brian and Steve for helping to cover for me so I can keep my priorities in line and go spend some good quality time with my family. The great news is we can keep in touch on this blog. I will write soon and I expect you all to keep the big stuff away while I am gone! :) Where am I going? Hint: This state has been hit by two category five hurricanes and is known as the lightning capital of the world. It is also where my wife graduated from high school 20 years ago and we have a big reunion to go to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back from Wisconsin & Bringing Back News of Trees Signaling an Early Winter



It is great to back in town after getting back from Oshkosh, Wisconsin over the weekend. It was a great time and our Christmas in July celebration was simply wonderful. You see the scrumptious cake above. I had at least two big pieces. The weather was just about perfect with sunshine and highs in the lower 80s. We all hit the pool. It is hard to believe little Lauren is almost ready to swim on her own. Below you see cousins Tony and Emma in the foreground and Megan and Abbey in the background. Lauren was practicing her kicking by the ladder with cousin Isabella.

The pool was one of many highlights of the day. We also played a cool family game of "corn hole". At least this is what many call it here in Indiana. I guess up in Wisconsin the official name of the game was the Tailgate Toss where you try to land the bean bag in the hole or at least on the board. Not to brag, but I did not lose a game all day. I may not be very good at another Hoosier game of euchre, but I have at least mastered one Hoosier tradition that folks usually play on Saturday morning before the big Purdue football game. It is hard to believe we only have about 6 weeks until football season! Boiler Up! Abbey made "corn hole" look easy and she made sure to tell everybody she was on my team. Together we were unbeatable. She is really competitive and when I tried to miss to give the other teams we were playing a chance she quickly put a stop to it with one mean glance in my direction. I better not teach her euchre, because I can see her quickly getting out of hand. I will try to teach her better self-control among other things before attempting this. Right now it would be like feeding a gremlin past midnight. I am competitive but she has taken it to a whole new level.

Speaking of Abbey, it was good to see all of my kids again. For those that do not know, Julie and I have been kidless for two weeks and it was like a second honeymoon for us. We may not have been on a cruise like the first time but it was every bit as relaxing and special. Julie and I found time to just talk and actually go on dates. The funny part is that we still did not get to go see a movie together. It has been at least a year, maybe two since our last movie but I would rather have spent time walking and talking with her anyway. It was much more exciting than Momma Mia. We really were both happy to see our girls again! It was a little too quiet at the Prangley house. I want to thank aunt Shelli and Uncle Tim, aunt Barb and Uncle Jeff, uncle Rob and aunt Molly, and of course Grandmother and Grandfather Becker. Our kids were back to fighting in the car on the way home, but it kind of put things back into perspective. As parents it is what we are used to and we wouldn't have it any other way. The only regret about heading back home was that I was missing th e Foreigner concert that was playing at the EAA air show in Oshkosh this coming up weekend. You can see some of the planes were already getting ready for the big show by practicing their circles in the sky. These are some cool contrail clouds that you normally do not see.


There really is no other place in the country quite like Wisconsin in the summertime. There are more parties and concerts going on there than anywhere else in the country. There is more than cheese in Wisconsin! I think REO Speedwagon is playing at Summerfest. Now that the Brewers are in a pennant race they whole state is going crazy.

The girls wanted to know if they missed any bad weather while they were gone and I told them it had been very quiet since they left. After having rain an average of 5 out of every 7 days to start our summer, we have only had rain 4 of the past 19 days. This is quite a turn-around! One of the reasons is the expanding High pressure systems to our South and West and of course the Bermuda high to our East. Now the big weather headlines in Wisconsin is that they have not had any 90 degree days. We have had only one official 90 degree day here in Lafayette. The big blog question of the day is what does it mean for our winter. We spoke a little about this on the air Friday. Here are the hard cold facts below.

I found some trees already turning a yellowish tinge in Shelli's yard in Oshkosh. This is a sign of an early winter according to some weather folklore! What are they really telling us meteorologically speaking? Well, if you look at the past history of the Midwest and compare it to this year, the big year that it matches up with is 1954! This was a very bad hurricane season for the East Coast.

Here in the Midwest this means winter should be coming early. Our first frost that year was September 23rd. On average our first frost is usually October 3rd. We had our first inch of snow on Halloween night and November first. Wear warm costumes this year! Maybe go as a bear with one of those thick grizzly outfits! In 1954, we ended up with between 10 and 15 inches of snow which was below our average of 22 inches. Spring set in early. So right now it looks like an early winter and an early Spring through much of the Midwest. Overall it looks like a much milder winter here in the Midwest than last year with an El Nino pattern developing. The stronger the El Nino the less our snowfall. If it stays more of a weaker El Nino I will bump up the snow totals later on. We still have a long way to go but this first sneak peak will help keep you cool with some of the hottest weather of the year on the way over the next couple of weeks. Here is our blog song of the day featuring Foreigner since I am missing them in Wisconsin. Of course since the early part of our winter will be as cold as ice. Here is this classic song from 1977.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Time for Christmas in July & A Merry Good Weather Weekend



It is Christmas in July time and I am heading up to Wisconsin to celebrate. You have to love the Christmas lights above! It may not be a white christmas but I will look forward to lots of great food and company. My wife's family started this tradition because of the harsh (awesome snowy) winters they have up in Wisconsin. The relatives that were snowbound and did not get to see their family during the usual holiday season decided to move Christmas to July when travel was much easier. Also if some relatives were unable to visit due to other committments it was now much easier on them since they had Christmas in July. The funny but not so funny part is that Wisconsin is still vulnerable to tornadoes this time of year. But overall it is a great concept and it gives me an excuse to listen to Christmas music during the summer months. Looking at the latest maps there is no snow or tornadoes to worry about so let the party begin. Now speaking of a good time, the Kiss the Pig contest was awesome last night. Over 1,200 dollars was raised for the 4Her's. I will make sure to post some of those pictures here soon. In the meantime, I found some pictures to get you in the holiday mood below. You see pictures from the blizzard of 2007 below and scrapbook photos that won prizes! It is good to see that I am not the only one that loves snow!

Let it snow, let it snow, and let there be a good weekend is what everybody at the fair asked for last night and I must say we have the best viewers on earth. It was so nice talking to many of you out at the fair and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces including Justin New who I actually even put on TV with me at the end of my weather along with Willie the famous weather blog Chihuahua. Justin has a great family and the fair was full of just wonderful people and it really brings to light how it really helps "community build". It is a place where you meet the most interesting and amazing people and I was very happy to have been a part of it! Now one more good thing about Christmas in July is that you can cook burgers out on the grill. Try doing that in December. Well we have great grill-out weather this weekend and you can see why below.

A big high pressure that steered Dolly into south Texas is blocking all of our Gulf Moisture and even though we have a front coming through this weekend it will not have moisture to work with. So rememember we could have a few isolated showers and thunderstorms mainly late tonight and once again Saturday, but the activity should not hamper plans. The farther south you go, especially toward Indianapolis this weekend there will be a better chance of scattered storms. This will be closer to the ring of fire you see above on the weather map or the ring of thunderstorms that naturally form on the edge of big heat wave producing high pressures this time of year. But the key word is scattered on the rain even in Indianapolis. On race day nature will try to make it interesting with a possible complex of storms racing in here on a west to northwest flow. I still think Tony Stewart will have the upper hand with the best chance of rain holding off until late day and during the evening. But it is no guarantee. Make sure to tune in tonight for the updated forecast. For now you can see the forecast below. Remember the sunscreen!


Here in the Lafayette viewing area on Sunday rain chances should be so low that I left them out of the forecast, but that northwest flow can be tricky and I will take another look with you tonight on the newscasts! It is also good to see our Live Doppler 18 up and running again and the best news of all is that we have a big training day today so we can share weather with you like never before! I will see you soon and since Christmas in July is our theme today, here is a recipe I will pass on to share with you. Instead of reindeer cupcakes how does zucchini PIE sound? This is a Christmas treat you normally would not have in December!


ZUCCHINI PIE
Peel and cut zuchinni into chunks,remove seeds. Boil until tender. 2 cups uncooked zucchini=1 cup cooked.
1 cup cooked zucchini(drained)
1 cup milnot or condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 T margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 t salt
2 T flour

Mix together and por into deep dish pie shell. Sprinkle cinnamon on top Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes then 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

From Diana and Jerry Farrell of Lafayette


Of course I met these nice folks out at the fair! Thanks so much Diana and Jerry. Now a lot of folks were asking about snow this winter and what I thought about this year. Well it is still early but we may have a better chance of a White Christmas than normal. I will tell you more about this here on the blog today and of course on tonight's newscast.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kiss the Pig Contest is Tonight & Dolly Continues to Hog the Weather Spotlight

Tonight is the big night at the Tippecanoe County Fair. It is the Kiss the Pig Contest and the Greased Watermelon Race taking place at the Coliseum. Remember to fill up Julie Krizen's TV-18 pig. All the proceeds go to the 4Her's and of course the one that raises the most money gets to kiss the pig. The best part is you can have a lot of fun and it goes to a good cause. It is great to hear that the money raised stays local. A big thanks goes out to Suzie Jero and the 4H coordinators that have made a difference in many lives including handing out 3 scholarships at 250 dollars each to Amber Bedwell, Matt De Golyer, and Dawn Cook. Congratulations! We have a lot of great and talented young people in our community and it is on display firsthand out at the fair. I still have my pig trophy from last year and display it with pride on my desk at home.

Now the big story today hogging all the attention is of course Hurricane Dolly that made landfall in Texas yesterday. The big impact it will have is flooding with 10 to 15 inches of rain. The fact that it made it up to a category 2 hurricane was impressive with wind speeds close to 100 mph before it quickly weakened after making landfall. Dolly is gulping up a ton of warm, moist, and tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico and it has a bearing on our weather. This storm may be bad news for Texas and Mexico but it is good news for us if you like unusually dry and cool air here at home. Dolly is intercepting the normally uncomfortable, sultry air mass that likes to pop thunderstorms this time of year here at home and that so often play havoc with those important plans. So instead of those 75 mph wind gusts like we saw at the fair in 2005 with severe thunderstorms we have been very lucky this year. Folks out at the fair are still talking about how tents went flying that day as Lafayette had its own little taste of hurricane force winds. Others remember 1999 for its heat. We had a heat index that averaged over 100 during the course of the entire week. But not this year! You can thank Dolly and those nice and comfortable northerly breezes.

Tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico usually do have an impact on our weather here at home, not for the positive but the negative. Hurricanes hit and weaken over land to our south, but the remnants have been known to ruin many a weekends here in Lafayette. Notice Dennis and Rita in 2005 moved up and around the high pressure in the Atlantic Ocean. This steered heavy rains and breezy conditions all the way northward into Indiana even though they made landfall about a thousand miles away. The good news is that Dolly's track moved much farther west around a high pressure over Texas and as a result all of its moisture is being pushed into the mountains of Mexico where it will die out. Instead of the remnants energizing our cold front moving our way this weekend it will help starve it of moisture keeping our weekend forecast mainly dry. So don't cancel those plans! There is the big 5K run in Frankfort going on at the Hot Dog fest and it looks like there will be some good running weather like we saw this past weekend in Lafayette. You will see a few clouds like the picture below, but it will be more bark than bite!

I wanted to make sure to take this time and thank everybody once again for making the Zoo Run Run at Columbian Park this weekend a big success. We set a record with 429 runners. You see our News Channel 18 folks that finished the 3.11 miles. From left to right you have Brent (Nicole's husband), Nathan Caldwell (videographer), Laura Kirtley (our weekend anchor and reporter), Nicole Caan (our new main anchor), and Ted Hovermale (sales guy extraordinaire)! They all had a blast and that is what matters most. Great job! Over 4,000 dollars was raised for new zoo exhibits at Columbian Park. The Friends of Columbian Park Zoo thank you very much! Join me tonight once again from the Fair and I will get you ready for the big night. I can tell you the rib-eye sandwhiches hit the spot yesterday and it was nice walking around with my wife on our date. Oh don't forget to check out the cheesecake on a stick which is dipped in chocolate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cotton Candy Clouds & Great Fair Weather Today!

North winds in July? This is the total opposite of what we normally see this time of year and is the big reason we will not have any heat or humidity to worry about today! Missy Marquess sent in those awesome pictures of the wind mills near Earl Park. Since our weather story is all about refreshing breezes this really works and it is good to see us producing new energy resources here at home. This picture above is a sign of hope that the days of being at the mercy of gas prices are coming to an end. It may take awhile, but you have to start somewhere. The ship is now sailing in the right direction. There are many good ideas out there and I think we should use as many new energy resources as possible until we get it right. It is something we can control and we do have the people and technology to get it done. Nature is a different story. We will always be at its mercy. Notice the incredible pictures below sent in by Mary Sheiko near Beck Lane and 9th Street!




A lot of folks were talking about lightning strikes down in Indianapolis but we had our own issues here at home. You are looking at a tree that exploded and was also stripped of its bark. We also had reports of at least 2 lightning strikes in Clinton County striking powerlines a telephone pole. This caused plenty of power outages. At one point there were 20,000 lightning bolts across Illinois and Indiana on Monday night which is the highest total I have seen in a long time. This picture sent in really shows nature's fury!
Attached is a photo I took late Monday night (7/21/08) on the east side of Lafayette. The building in the foreground is the new Clarian Arnett Hospital with the lighting in the distance. -Dennis Strohmeyer

We did not have any weather warnings, but the lightning was so vivid and prolific it would have warrented at least a lightning warning. Like the wind mills hopefully this is in the future of weather warnings. A lot of folks were caught off-guard and it would have certainly kept people from going out on their porches to watch the storms. Remember all storms are dangerous even when there are no warnings. When the thunder roars head indoors, you are in danger of being struck by lightning.



Today those cumulonimbus clouds that brought that incredible light show have been replace by fair weather cumulus or "cotton candy" clouds. This means today we can stay outdoors when the ferris wheel roars and do not forget all the good food! I am live at the fair tonight and we will show some horses, swine, and have a few surprises for you. Don't worry I have also been busy working on your weekend forecast and if anything it looks even better! Tune in to find out why and I will blog with you this evening and update everything, including the latest on Dolly. Do you remember the crazy fair weather back in 2005? We will have more on this here on the blog tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Fair Week Thunderstorms Rattle the Area


Pat Jarboe sent in this picture of the goat show. It is the one week out of the year when your meteorologist can go from hero to goat in less than 5 minutes. Although the good news is the worst of the weather did miss us and hold off until after folks had already left the fairgrounds for the night. Mark Kirby, our Tippecanoe Emergency Management Agency director did a good job of making sure to send those storm spotters out just in case the storms came a little earlier. We kept in touch throughout the evening and the timing worked out perfectly for everybody involved. We were both relieved that those 60 mph wind gusts missed the Tippecanoe Fair grounds by a good 40 miles to the south.



1:18 a.m. Time to get some rest as all of our severe thunderstorm watches in our viewing area will be canceled!

Alright, I just confirmed this with the National Weather Service at Indianapolis. The worst is over and no severe weather is expected. Our best chance of severe weather was with that cell that just missed Montgomery County. It will be a long night down in Indianapolis, but here in Lafayette we should be able to salvage a little bit of shut eye! There are a few isolated storms up near Chicago and more popping out in Iowa but the atmosphere has stabilized and I do not expect any more weather watches. We could see one more round of showers on Tuesday about midday, but we should dry out for the evening and we have one of our nicest fair weather forecasts on record coming your way! Make sure to watch Kelly this morning for the latest and I will check back with you later this evening. Thanks for blogging. You all are just GREAT! Have a good night.

1:05 a.m. The worst is over as warning just misses Montgomery County

It was a close call but that one dangerous cell has moved just south of Montgomery County and a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Putnam County. I am still concerned about some localized rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches before the rain tapers off around 3 a.m. Please be careful out there if you are driving. It is tough to see flooded out roadways.

12:51 a.m. Lightning is finally showing signs of letting up for most of us! One more strong thunderstorm cell is moving toward southern Montgomery County.

We have one more vivid lightning producing cell than may nip extreme southern Montgomery County. This storm could still put out a brief warning for damaging isolated wind gusts of 60 mph and large hail. So right now if you are south of Crawfordsville in Montgomery County batten down the hatches. The worst part of that cell will be just south of you, but better safe than sorry. We are not out of the woods yet. I will check back!


12:20 a.m. Update: Lightning Strikes Telephone Pole on North Side of Frankfort (Power Outages)

We may not have any warnings but we still have some vicious lightning and I just got a call from Chris in Frankfort and he has confirmed some small pea size hail. More importantly he told me of an incredible lightning strike with a huge blue flash as it hit a telephone pole. Some folks apparently were out on their porches when this happened. Thank goodness they are all now inside and safe. I am glad lightning did not strike anybody. Small pea size hail was also reported. This activity will be exiting Clinton County by 1 a.m. Another target area of concern is Montgomery County between now and 1 a.m. for vivid lightning, small hail, and wind gusts of 45 mph.

I just called home and the dog and my wife are wide awake with the loud crashes of thunder around the area. It is a good thing my kids are sleeping soundly in Wisconsin at Grandma's and Aunt Shelli's house. My daughter Abbey would certainly be awake and on my case! Our bed would certainly be full of kids and our dog! I think the worst of these thunderstorm's bite will be between now and 1 a.m. Then the worst should be over. I will be here at work until I can give the all clear. So for now the big thing I want to pass along is that I think we will be okay tonight as long as you do not go out on your porch. Also remember if you have to be traveling or driving around the area over the next couple of hours a quick one to two inches of rain has fallen in spots with another inch of rain possible. Be careful of lowland flooding and ponding of water on the roadways.


12:14 a.m. Update:

THUNDERSTORMS WITH WIND GUSTS OF 45 MPH AND SMALL HAIL ARE POSSIBLE IN SOUTHERN CLINTON COUNTY. ANOTHER STRONG THUNDERSTORM CELL IS NEAR VEEDERSBURG AND WILL BE NEAR CRAWFORDSVILLE BY 12:45 A.M. THE MAIN THREATS WILL BE VIVID LIGHTNING, SMALL HAIL, AND WIND GUSTS TO 45 MPH.


12:00 A.M.
A WEATHER TEAM 18 ALERT: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN INDIANAPOLIS HAS ISSUED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 A.M. FOR BENTON, WARREN, FOUNTAIN, TIPPECANOE, MONTGOMERY, CARROLL, CLINTON, AND HOWARD COUNTIES. THUNDERSTORMS WITH WIND GUSTS OF 45 MPH AND SMALL HAIL ARE POSSIBLE IN SOUTHERN TIPPECANOE COUNTY. THESE STORMS ARE MOVING TOWARD FRANKFORT. ANOTHER STRONG THUNDERSTORM CELL IS EXPECTED IN FOUNTAIN AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Stormy Start to Fair Week As 60 mph Gusts Barrel Through the Area


You see the popular orange and lemon shake-ups at the fair. Nature gave us its own version of shaking things up. Luckily for us the worst of the wind missed the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. But the fairs going on up in White County and Jasper County were not so lucky.
It was quite a start to fair week here and it lived up to its stormy reputation. Wind gusts up to 60 mph hit the area with reports of tree limbs and trees down from near Morocco to Medaryville, Royal Center, and near Nead in Miami County. Wind speeds were closer to 40 mph here in Tippecanoe County at the Fairgrounds. Now the next big question is if we will have any more severe weather. Well, we are still in a slight risk through this evening. While our atmosphere has stabilized quite a bit the sunshine is popping back out and this could spark a few more thunderstorms. I think the biggest threats will once again be lightning, brief heavy downpours, and isolated damaging wind gusts. Our weather team will keep you updated on this and the good news is that any more severe weather that does pop should be much more isolated than we saw this morning.


Also, thanks for your patience on Live Doppler 18. As you know we have done a complete overhaul on it and in this transition we have run into a few problems matching the base maps and the radar echoes up. This problem will be resolved ASAP and we are working on it as I type this. The good news is we have not one but two back-up systems to keep you and your families safe which includes Precision 18. Have a great evening and thanks for all those that came out to the Zoo Run Run this weekend and it was also great meeting a lot of folks out at the High School Musical. The play certainly lived up to all the hype! Speaking of good news you will want to tune in tonight for the latest on when real relief arrives in your forecast! Nature's free air conditioning is on the way!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Its Time for the Zoo Run Run & Live Doppler 18 Fun Fun

Today is a big day. We have installation of our new Live Doppler 18 basemaps. This will allow us to zoom into every street corner and with the touch of the mouse highlight roads impacted by severe weather! We also have some incredible resolution views of areas like Ross-Ade Stadium and the Tippecanoe County fairgrounds. It certainly is our biggest day for our Live Doppler 18 since we got it in 2000. Hopefully tonight I can show off a little of what it can do to give you an exciting glimpse into the future. We will certainly need it by the second part of the weekend.



This weekend is also huge with Dancing in the Streets and the ZOO RUN RUN! It is hard to believe I helped to start the Zoo Run Run 5K family fun run and walk 6 years ago. It was an exciting idea brought up at our Zoo Board meeting and we made our dream a reality! This year we are expecting our biggest turnout ever and it includes a new and improved race route. It is a course that is much more walker and runner friendly with plenty of straightaways and most importantly it is 3.11 miles. It is Mike Prangley designed, tested, and approved. I have run it at least 6 times! If you are not in the mood to run, don't worry there will be plenty of walkers. It is more about families getting out there and having fun! But if you are a serious runner, it is an official course and it will be a great route. The T-Shirts look great and the free breakfast afterwards thanks to Bison food is one of a kind. You will also get free pool passes and the kids will be able to interact with the animals. I look forward to seeing you out there on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the race start. I put the little ad in above to help get fired up. Notice the goats out-ran me! They were actually running back to Mommy in the Arnett Clinic Petting Zoo.

Come join us for Lafayette's biggest 5K summer race! All proceeds go to the Columbian Park Zoo to help bring in new animals and exhibits and of course for the wonderful educational and outreach programs for kids. The talk of bringing penguins to the zoo are true. If you haven't been there in awhile you would be proud of how much it has grown and you need to meet Benny, the Zoo's new Wallaby. After the race you can go swimming and then come back to the Zoo and celebrate its 100 year anniversary. Columbian Park Zoo director Claudine Laufmann will have plenty of great activities for you and your family.


Other stories I am working on for today and tonight here on the blog and on the tube!

James Britton shows us the great shot of the moon off 350 South last night. It still had a yellow tinge to it even 2 hours after moonrise. It was an unusual tangerine color when it rose at 8:11 p.m. What do you think is causing this? Your hint is below!



The cicadas are singing and their song may be some good news for those that like colder weather. You can thank Diana Marion from Monticello for sending this picture in to try to keep everybody cool! Keep those cool thoughts! It will feel like close to 100 today with the humidity in the shade! OUCH.

Thunderstorms will erupt in our area for the first time in about a week this weekend after our 2ND DRY FRIDAY IN THE LAST 14 WEEKS! WOW! I am still not guaranteeing this....We have about a 5% chance of a pop up storm today. :)


Developing...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Blue Skies Turn Gray & The Birds Take Over Live Doppler 18


It is great to check in with you on this Thursday. Last night a lot of folks commented on how beautiful and bright the full moon is. You can see how it looked over the beautiful Tippecanoe County Courthouse. It is hard to believe that Mark Twain was here for its opening ceremony back in the 19th century. It is such a historic and beautiful venue and the moon added to this nostalgic scene. Better yet, the full moon is not full until tonight. Moorise is officially at 8:11 p.m. Get some pictures so we can share them here on the blog. The other striking feature in the sky last night was how red the moon was during our moonrise. This time of year the haze particles really build up. They are made of water particles, dust, smoke, and other pollutants. The reason our blue skies turn gray is exactly because of these particles scattering light in the atmosphere. They are actually larger than the dominant air molecules of nitrogen and oxygen so this is the reason it happens. What causes the build-up of these particles. Look no further than the graphic below.




You need a high pressure system in place which causes sinking air. It also traps the particulates and allows them to grow larger. It can also cause Air Quality alerts like we have seen this week. These stable air masses created by high pressures really allows us to dry out. We have certainly seen that this week with our driest week since late October and early November. It is our driest week of the year! Richard Beedle has taken this opportunity in a nice tranquil weather pattern to take his boat out on the Wabash River. Not only did he enjoy the beautiful blue skies but he captured a picture of these beautiful cedar waxwing birds. I have never seen these birds before but apparently they do make their homes in Indiana.




Speaking of birds, do you realize we have picked up signatures of birds on our Live Doppler 18 this week. Things are always exciting here in Indiana even in quiet weather patterns. Now I did not capture what they looked like on our Doppler but did find a picture for you from the Chicago National Weather Service you see below.



The circled area shows you where the birds are located. Remember doppler radar can pick up not just raindrops but wind currents, objects like trees and buildings, birds, and even insects. The doppler radar scans the skies and picks up the birds because they are made of mostly water like humans and the radar beam is reflected off them just like it would when it hits oversized raindrops and it comes back to our Live Doppler 18 as a circle. The farther away they fly from their nesting ground the less intense the bird radar ring becomes. In the Autumn and Spring these birds play havoc with meteorologists because our wind estimates from doppler radar sometimes factor in the forward speed of birds that it picks up. The problem is many times it is hard to tell if the birds were factored in and it throws off all of our wind speeds and forecasts. This is just another reason why being a meteorologist is humbling.

Speaking of humbling, I have signed up for my 6th marathon. I will be running my 26.2 miles at the Walt Disney World Marathon. I will be earning the Mickey medal. I like challenges and I am sure that Florida heat and humidity will be waiting for me even in January. I will never forget living in Florida and waiting in line for ice cream to try to cool down in the middle of the winter. The good news is the race starts at 6 a.m. which means I will be running in much more runner friendly temperatures. If you are into running make sure to come on out this weekend to the Zoo Run Run at Columbian Park. It starts at 8:30 a.m. I will have much more on this here on the blog tomorrow, including when the heat will break!

Last but not least I am ecstatic to have joined SUNNY 107.7 FM or WMRS radio in Monticello to Delphi and Lafayette! It will be the perfect complement to my television weathercasts and webcasts. Make sure to listen for frequent weather updates on the radio from yours truly. WMRS also broadcasts our news on a daily basis. I cannot thank WMRS enough for this opportunity. We will expand the weather coverage of course during big or severe weather events. So if you lose power during storms tuning to WMRS is another great way to get the latest weather information to keep you and your family safe! One of these days I will have to do a weather watcher and blogger type radio weather show. With all the great weather bloggers on here the show would take off immediately! I am sure Mary Anne, Justing, and Teri would be big hits! Have a great day and thanks for all your support.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weather Warnings Replaced by Sunscreen & Air Quality Alerts!

We all know that it is July and it gets hot. But do not think for one moment that you can let your guard down. Heat this time of year sneaks up on you and since we have not had consecutive 90 degree days in our viewing area since last September it can take a toll on you in a hurry. Whenever the heat index reaches 94 or above watch out! Remember when our weather team forecasts a high of 90 it is a shade temperature located about 6 feet off the ground. If you factor in the humidity and sunshine you add at least another 20 degrees. If you are running or playing tennis you want to add 25 or more degrees. So be careful. You see some tips above to keep you sun smart! We have the highest temperatures and UV Index of the year. The UV index is a fancy term for the ultraviolet index or the sun's rays that are harmful to your skin.

High pressure in control will bring heat wave conditions and a UV index near 10 for the next several days. This is in the very high range and you can get a sunburn during the middle of the day in as little as 20 minutes. Have fun in the sun but be careful. Also if you have any respiratory ailments you have to be careful not to be outdoors for long periods of time. There is an Air Quality Alert in effect for Newton, Jasper, and Benton Counties. The general population is not effect but sensitive groups need to exercise caution.
This build-up in pollutants is caused by our high pressure system bringing this heat wave. Remember the higher the temperatures the more smog nature produces as it literally "cooks up" the pollutants in the atmosphere creating the unhealthy type of ozone. There are some steps above you can take to help reduce the smog.


The big news is what a flip-flop in the pattern! Speaking of big you can see this fabulous fungus spotted in Brookston. Marsha Moore was walking her dog and spotted this Behemoth. It was a sure sign of what we have been through. Do you realize it has rained 32 of the last 57 days. That is about 5 out of every 7 days. This week we are expecting the mushrooms to dry up with only slight chances of rain and our driest week of the year! Join me tonight on the news and we will talk more about this new pattern!
We will also have a cicada update here on the blog this week! Hint: It may help to keep you cool!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Dogs Hit the Pool & Our Heat Wave Builds In!

Hey Mike this is not a storm picture but a great picture of my sister's Chihuahua Willie having a great time in the pool. We thought we would enjoy this warm weather by hanging out by the pool and we could not keep the dog's out LOL :) In this picture you will see a little bit of my sister's hand holding him just to be safe!!! Always remember the pool safety rules...

Justin New AKA Justin in Lafayette.

We have come a long way on this blog. We have shown storm after storm here but Justin sent in just the perfect picture to sum up our new weather pattern taking hold this week. Do you realize last week alone during our "year of the storm" seven people were killed by lightning including one person here in the Midwest. Enough is enough. Now we still need to use common sense this week with the hot weather since we are not used to it. Willie looks like a great swimmer but this is a good reminder to keep your pets cool by making sure their water bowls are filled to the top and they have a cool shaded spot to rest in. Last summer unfortunately I did hear of a very sad story here in Lafayette of a dog that dehydrated and later died because he had no water. It can happen easier than you think. You also want to make sure to never take your dogs or pets on errands. Even with the windows rolled down your car's inside temperature will exceed 100 degrees and your dog can have irreversible damage in some cases in less than 10 minutes. We have already had horror stories come in this year from California of pets being left in cars and not making it out alive. Please remember your pets.

This week will be our hottest week since the first week of September. That was also the last time we had an official heat wave here in Lafayette. A heat wave is defined here in the Midwest as having 3 or more days of 90 degrees or above. So far this year we have had none, with only 1 day of 90 degrees way back on June 8th. It looks like we will at least triple and maybe quadruple our 90 degree days this week with a heat wave looking more likely since I am forecasting 3 consecutive 90 degree days this week as you see below.


Did you see those cool altocumulus clouds in the background. These were hovering over the southside of Lafayette yesterday morning and they are usually a sign of a building high pressure ridge and warmer weather on the way. So it gave me a little more confidence than usual on forecasting so many 90 degree days despite it being so cool so far this summer. We will see how it will work out. One thing is for sure and that is you need to make sure you remember your heat safety rules. The hot weather affects the youngest and the elderly the most. Speaking of babies I wanted to congratulate my friend and co-worker Seth Conley and his wife on their new baby Ethan James Conley who weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Here is the picture of the cute little guy who hopefully will have Daddy's charm and Mommy's looks! Like Kelly Greene our morning meteorologist said she doesn't even look like she gave birth.

Congratulations Seth. Hopefully Ethan is a better fantasy football player than you are. Kelly Greene sure whipped you and a few times and I will never forget beating you in the championship last year with a running back from Cincinnati named Kenny Watson. But what matters most is Seth is a great guy and is an even better Dad. Have a great day and I will be back to tell you more about our building heat ridge and a Hoosier Proverb dealing with locusts. Apparently, they are back and really noisy. In the meantime, check our your blog song of the day.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Hottest & Driest Week of the Year on the Way!

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend. It is so quiet out there today I am getting ready to go on an extended run. Before I head out the door here are some of the big weather stories I am working on for 5,6, and 11 p.m.

1) Our driest week in months and perhaps the entire year is on the way.

2) As we dry out we will also heat up with our first heat wave of the year expected.

3) Today is a huge anniversary in Indiana weather history. Do you know what it is?

I will let you think about number 3. The reason for some of our big changes here in the Midwest. Look no further than Bertha. For every big storm that takes place, nature certainly has a reaction force and in this case a building high pressure over the Midwest that will finally end our stormy madness. This big low pressure off in the Atlantic helps to build these tranquil weather makers to help keep equilibrium in the atmosphere. This will help us finally dry out! It also means we are finally going to have some real summer heat! More details on the way tonight. Have a great day! Now off to run!! Remember the Zoo Run Run at Columbian Park Zoo is this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. I cannot wait to see you out there. It should be a whole lot of fun.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Early Wake-Up Call With Flooding Rain & Damaging Wind Gusts Possible

It is good to check in with you. We had some incredible cumulonimbus clouds and rainbows at 6 a.m. Our weather team is here and ready. They have given way to some localized flooding in Tippecanoe and Montgomery County. They will be moving into Carroll, Clinton, and Howard Counties. The main threats will continue to be lightning and flooding. After 7 a.m. stronger storms from our north and west that have produced warnings in the Chicago area will move our way. The main threats will be flooding, damaging wind gusts, and lightning. Stay safe and I will get on more crawls for television.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Burst of Summer Today But Still No Heat Waves in Sight

We have only had one day of 90 degrees or above here in Lafayette. We should have had 7 times that many by now as you see on the graphic above. Casper, Wyoming has already had 6 days of 90 or above and here we sit at one. Portions of British Columbia, Sasketchewan, and Alberta have had more days reach the big 90. It is embarrassing for all the real summer weather lovers. But today we do have a shot of at least reaching 90 degrees for the first time since June 8th! Remember in July of 2006 we had 10 days of 90 or above and last year we had 3 days eclipse 90. This year it still looks like our downward spiral continues with a persistent trough in the Midwest and the big heat ridge continuing to stay out West and well to our South.

But for one day summer will shine. We have great bearded dragon and ice cream weather! Breana Blackburn sent this great picture of her pet in and Buddy loves the hot weather. Today should be a lizard delight but I think Buddy may complain a little about the relative humidity. He is used to it close to 10% and today it will be closer to 50%. But today you can certainly let the lizards out to play!

The transition into our lizard weather or some good old-fashioned summertime fun did not come without some excitement last night. We are still on the edge of cooler air and a vigorous jet stream to our north. Disturbances in the flow moved along the warm front well up into Wisconsin and then nose-dived our way in the west-northwest flow last night. The storm reports of damage luckily stayed to our North and West as you can see. The blue circles are wind damage, the yellow circles large hail, and the red circles tornadoes. We did have a couple of pea-size hail reports near Rensselaer and near Monticello. The good news is that some areas that have recently missed out on some rainfall got some free lawn-waterings. The areas in green show you who had a quarter to half inch of rain.


Some of the newer model data is showing more widespread heavy amounts of rain for all of us with an average of .50" to 1" of rain this weekend with locally higher amounts possible.
Now the big question is when because I know we all have those big plans. It still looks like Saturday will be the day and the Storm Prediction Center has already outlined us in a severe weather risk with possible watches and weather warnings. Tune in tonight to find out when these storms will hit and what they will bring. We will also talk about some relief from today's heat and humidity. I will see you soon and have a great day! Today instead of a weather blog song I have a funny video of a little guy that is shocked I am calling for NO RAIN ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON OR EVENING.



Now I am not guaranteeing this. I am too smart for that. But I do like our chances of a dry Friday afternoon and evening. This is actually a little like how I looked after going through the dozens of models and none of them showing rain over this afternoon. We have had rain on something crazy like 11 of the last 12 Fridays. Technically it already has rained on our Friday today since we had some rumbles of thunder just after midnight last night. This makes our streak now up to 12 out of the last 13 Fridays with rain! The good part is this has brought all of us weather bloggers closer together like a family just the way I like it! Today you will be able to blog away but get out and enjoy a real TGIF in its fullest. It will live up to its name.

Tonight is also a huge night at the Tippecanoe Ampitheater. You can go see the High School Musical at 8 p.m. It is also playing Saturday at 8 p.m. and once again next Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. All my girls are going tonight and having a "girls night out". It will be an outstanding show and is a must-see for everybody of all ages. The High School Musical is starring TV-18's very own producer Lisa Stanforth as Sharpay. She has already gotten rave reviews and if you met her in person the funny part is she is the total opposite and one of the nicest people you would ever meet. Things also get interesting thanks to Weather Team 18's Steve Scherer as the basketball coach. This man not only can track tornadoes but can act up a storm! It is certainly one of many fun things you can do this weekend in Lafayette!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

3 H's Replaced by the 3 C's in the Year of the Storms


Usually we talk about the 3 H's this time of year which means it will be hazy, hot, and humid. The sky is usually murky and visibility is reduced. But on Wednesday evening you could see we were talking about the 3 C's since it was mainly clear, crisp, and cool! Justin New sent in a nice sunset picture with wispy pink cirrus clouds and no signs of the usual haze and thunderheads. Today it will still feel more like Spring than summer with only a slight chance of a pop up storm late in the day for Newton and Jasper Counties. This is a welcome break from the thunderstorms that have pounded our area over the last few weeks.



In fact this stormy pattern has been with us throughout the year. Check out our yearly precipitation surplus which comes out close to an astonishing 10 inches above average. We should have only had 19 inches of rain, snow, and sleet when it is all melted down. But we have already had just under 29 inches of precipitation. We only average just over 36 inches for the entire year and we are almost there and it is only July! The number of 10 inches above average does not do this stat justice. You could fill a neighborhood full of not kiddy pools but hundreds of olympic size pools, because we are running a surreal 3.5 billion gallons of water above average in Lafayette. No wonder the Wabash was above flood stage for not days but weeks for much of the winter and early Spring. Now it all makes since. All that water has to go somewhere. How did I arrive at this number. First I found out that Lafayette is 20 square miles. Since I know that one inch of rain over one acre is equal to 27,154 gallons I did the math and came up with our billion gallon plus surplus.


The unsually strong jet stream that has been suppressed much farther south than normal continues and it is delivering cold fronts once every 4 days. In the past we have seen Julys with not one cold front. July of 1936 had 10 consecutive days of 100 degrees or above and that was without air conditioning. In all 14 days produced 100 degree weather. We certainly do not have to worry about this. All the sultry weather is out West and that sprawling heat dome you see above continues to dislodge some cooler air from northern Canada that reaches us as cold fronts. This is keeping us in the same pattern of heating up, bracing for storms, and then cooling down.

It is like the movie Ground Hog Day where the same day is played over and over. We are all wondering when nature will get it right. Well it looks like not anytime soon, so we have to go through the same scenes once again. We have more rain showers and thunderstorms back in the forecast. At this point I would take the blizzard that pops up in the movie. We could see isolated activity on Friday and a better chance of rain on Saturday but it will not be a washout. Join me tonight and I will help pinpoint it for you and make sure to enjoy another fine day today!



Our weather song of the day of course is I've Got You Babe! This was song played over and over in Ground Hog Day when Bill Murray woke up only to live that same day over and over again. Like the movie I really do think we will also have a happy ending and nature will finally get out of this funk but it may take a couple more weeks. I think we could make our own movie with all the strange weather we have had this year.Enjoy the song and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sultry & Soggy to Splendid & Sunsational Today

We made out okay here in Lafayette last night. But nature did make things interesting for us as it always does. We had some thunderstorm tops just over 40,000 feet and a brief severe thunderstorm warning for southern Fountain County. The good news is that I received no storm reports. Teri Trent shows us those impressive towering cumulus clouds that built into thunderheads. The high temperature reached 88 degrees but we had a heat index of 94 which made it a bit stifling. It was the kind of weather that made your shirt stick to your back. This fueled our storms as they had plenty of moisture to work with.


You can see the bumpy clouds showing those high cloud tops on our satellite and radar composite. The big thing that saved us from seeing the worst of the storm was that the main cold front was still well back in Wisconsin during the late afternoon and also a pre-frontal wave came through the area in the afternoon with a few storms north and east of us. As it moved south and east during the eveing it was the main focus for thunderstorms. Some storms turned violent in Indiana with almost a dozen wind damage reports including wind gusts to 64 mph in Dale and 60 mph wind gusts in Marion and Morgan Counties with reports of trees and powerlines down. There was a sighting of a possible brief tornado just across the border in Illinois in Edgar County which is only 39 miles from our viewing area in Fountain County. There were no reports of damage with that possible twister. This was a little too close for comfort.

The biggest impact the storms had on our area was flooding in southwestern Fountain County and in Clinton County in Frankfort. Randy Rogers reported about an inch of rain in 25 minutes. Now that is a gully washer! Even though it seemed like some kind of record, it fell short of the world record for one minute rainfall set in Unionville, Maryland back on April 7, 1956. That is when a mind-numbing 1.23 inches of rain fell in just 1 minute. Here are some other rainfall totals that were reported across the area.


Today nature will bring us a July delight with not only increasing sunshine, but nice and comfortable humidity. Nature is spoiling us rotten once again. You can thank high pressure building in today. But notice it is anything but permanent and it will move east of us by Thursday afternoon as you see above. This means our "don't blink or you will miss it" weather pattern continues. Whenever we get hot it only lasts a day or two before the storms move in and then we cool down again. Then it heats back up, we brace for storms, and then it gets comfortable again. I see this pattern continuing to repeat at least one more time as we head into the weekend with our next chance of thunderstorms on Saturday. So if you don't like the weather wait a few minutes will be our weather words of the day. I will explain more about this unusual pattern we have been in tonight on the news and I will tell you if and when any heat waves could move our way.


Get out and enjoy today and make sure to remember the sunscreen. Don't let those cool breezes fool you! You may not know this but your chances of getting a bad sunburn are exactly the same at 81 degrees as they are at 88 degrees like we saw yesterday. Sunburns are not temperature dependent but sun angle dependent and that July sun angle is plenty strong. The Ultraviolet Index today is in the very high range. This means a hat and sunscreen are recommended with a SPF of at least 30 or above. Make sure to re-apply the sunscreen every couple hours, especially if you are boating or at the pool where bright surfaces can double your exposure to those UV rays. So remember for it to really be a splendid and sunsational day today make sure to wear the suncreen! Enjoy today's weather blog song of the day above and Sheryl Crow reminds us to get our 45 on so we can rock on!




Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Heavy Rain & Lightning the Main Threats over the Next Couple Hours

Everything is still on track with lightning and heavy rain the main threats. We did have one warning for southern Fountain County, but I have received no storm reports. I do not see training thunderstorms which is certainly a relief. Just be careful of ponding of water on the roadways as some areas could pick up a quick inch of rain with locally higher amounts close to 2 inches. Be safe and thanks for blogging and checking in with me. I wish I had more time to check in with you more often. But you are in good hands with Justin and Mary Anne while I am running the hallways here at WLFI, checking in with emergency management, and busy looking at Live Doppler 18 and Precision 18 storm scans. A special thanks to my weather intern Kevin Burris for helping to make sure Live Doppler 18 was updating on the web! Take care and thanks again.

Staying Alert & Watching Things Carefully

The Storm Prediction Center has indicated they are not anticipating extending a weather watch into our area. The main cold front which is not very strong to begin with is still located hundreds of miles from home. There is not much wind shear to work with and the low-level wind speeds are still fairly light which would limit any widespread severe weather. With that said we could still see an isolated wind gust of 60 mph, but the main threats still appear to be lightning and pockets of localized flooding. The areas I am watching most closely right now are south of Interstate 74 which includes Fountain and Montgomery Counties. But even Warren, Tippecanoe, and Clinton Counties will still have to watch things carefully. The strongest storms should pop between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. tonight before another line of weaker thunderstorms moves through late tonight witht the main cold front.

Live Doppler 18 Is On Alert for Wind & Flooding

Hello! I hope you are having a great day. Get to the pool while you can. I am still thinking thunderstorms will start firing up after 3 p.m. Our main severe weather threat for wind damage will be between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and then training thunderstorms which could cause localized flooding will be our main threat after 7 p.m. tonight.

Remember your lightning safety rules and do not let your guard down when it comes to flooding. Most folks do not understand the power of water. Only one to two feet of water can sweep a vehicle away and every one foot rise in a water level exerts an additional 500 pounds of force on your car, which in essence makes your car 500 pounds lighter in a flooded roadway. Just think of how much easier it is to pick up somebody in a pool than outside it. This is the same concept. Unfortunately in this case it will be your car being picked up.

Straight-line winds also need to be taken seriously. New statistics in from NOAA confirm that twice as many people are hurt or injured with straight-line winds as EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes. Incredible but true! Stay alert this evening and if at all possible limit your time outside or driving around in your car. If you can do this your chances of staying safe are much greater. I will keep you updated on the tube throughout the evening. Now it is off to work I go. Bloggers do your thing and I will check back with you if needed.

Nature Lets Out the Dogs, Dewpoints, and Downdrafts



This is vintage dog day weather. Notice Tiger on the right is licking his chops and BJ on the left looks like he is ready to pounce on the treats I was holding up. Who let the dogs out? Nature! You can walk to your mailbox out there this morning and get a good workout in. What happened to our comfortable weekend? The dewpoints are what happened. This is the true measure of humidity. When your dewpoints jump from the 50s to the 70s the atmosphere can hold twice as much water vapor. Notice the dewpoints above will be an unbearable 72 today after only being close to 56 on Saturday. The more water vapor in the air, the more uncomfortable it is, especially as temperatures climb into the 80s. Anytime your dewpoint reaches near 70 or above that is considered oppressive.

Why does it feel more like Florida, Mississippi, or Lousiana out there? You can blame this Bermuda high pressure off the East Coast you see below. When you walk outside it does feel like you are wrestling an alligator down in Bayou country.The clock-wise flow around this high pressure brings plenty of moisture or maritime tropical air our way. It is our heat pump this time of year and we really feel it as it expands and grows stronger in July and August. So remember to blame the Bermuda high and not me.


I am an avid runner and I do tell runners to run mainly before 9 a.m. in this weather and after 8 p.m. at night. The heat really takes a toll on your body and it really is not worth taking a chance in that steambath outside. Your body simply cannot effectively cool itself down and if you push yourself too hard it can be really serious. You have to be weatherwise this time of year. Remember the most weather-related fatalities every year comes from not flooding or tornadoes, but hot weather.

Here is what you need to know.When you combine the heat and humidity there is what is called the heat index. When the heat index temperature is 94 or above like we will see today that when you have to exercise caution. Keep in mind this is a shade temperature. To find your runner's or workout temperature this time of year, take the actual temperature and add at least 15 degrees. Now if it becomes humid or If the dewpoints are 70 or above add 25 degrees. If it is a cloudy day in the summer with lower humidity you still add 10 degrees. So for instance today's forecast high is 87.When you use my formula and add 25 degrees with 70+ dewpoints it comes out to 112 degrees. This is your runner's temperature today at 4 p.m. Even this morning by 10 a.m. with temperatures near 80 the runner's temperature would still be 100 to 105. So remember the early bird gets the worm. Overdoing it in this weather is just not smart, even if you are Hercules. I do practice what I preach and over the weekend even with the comfortable humidity I did my 11.1 mile long run on the treadmill inside at the gym. The runner's temperature on Sunday afternoon when I was ready to conquer the 231 hill was in the middle to upper 90s so I took my workout inside. It was tougher than running outside, but well worth it.


Now you are not totally covered just yet in being weatherwise today. When you combine this heat and humidity with a cold front this time of year it can get even more interesting. Your typical late day storms will have a little more lift thanks to the cold front and you can get some pretty vicious wind gusts in a hurry. Today the Storm Prediction Center has us in a slight risk for severe weather. You can see our area outlined in yellow above. Last night there were several reports of 60 to 70 mph wind gusts in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This same set-up is in place here at home today and tonight. Even though we have light lower level and upper level winds you can still get some severe weather because some of these thunderstorms can build up to over 10 miles high in the sky. Here is a picture below for you to visualize this.


For every updraft that builds into a thunderstorm in as little as 20 minutes, you have a downdraft that develops when raindrops become heavy enough to fall to the ground. This downdraft can pick up quite a bit of momentum when it starts several miles high in the sky. Some cloud tops grow to well over 50,000 feet or more than 10 miles high in the sky. What a drop! Imagine what happens when a thunderstorm collapses. You can get what is called a microburst or straightline winds that can cause damage in a hurry. So today we will keep our guard up for not only lightning and heavy rain like we saw on Monday morning but some possible damaging wind gusts with those towering cumulonimbus clouds.
I will check back with you during the day as things get more interesting. For now though our weather blog song of the day none other than....I will let you guess before you click on it below. Bermuda high....Baha.....