Sep 052017
 

Infrared (IR) Image of Irma From Late Sunday

Hurricane Irma is monster and it doesn’t look like much or any loss of strength as it heads WNW.

As with all hurricanes, the forecast track is what everybody is watching closely.  And with all longer-range forecasts, confidence is high in the beginning with uncertainty increasing with time.

It is pretty clear the Irma will continue moving WNW for the next 3 days or so. Nearly ideal conditions at the ocean surface and in the upper level wind structure will keep this storm at either a category 4 or 5 during this time.

The real trick with Irma is how it will interact with an upper-level weather system moving into the eastern U.S. by late week.  Many times, such features will start turning tropical weather systems north or northeast. With Irma, this may happen but there is enough uncertainty in the forecast to consider many possibilities by late in the week.

Forecast Wind Flow Aloft For Friday Afternoon

Irma is a large and dangerous storm!  Coastal areas of Florida should be preparing (as always) for its arrival by late week. It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Irma could end up in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Feb 212013
 

Snapshot Around 11:30 a.m.

Areas east of Springfield still have some shots of sleet and ice accumulation possible, a back edge to the worst of it is in sight!

The Storm So Far

We have had reports of up to .25″ of ice (not sleet) on some surfaces.  But a lot of what fell changed into sleet.  The reason for this had to do with the unstable air existing over the cold air at the surface. This lead to more convection (hence the lightning and thunder) which features rapidly rising air. This air cools as it rises, it converts a freezing rain layer into a sleet layer. This cut down on a lot of potential ice accumulation!

Small Hail in Willard (Austin Houp)

To complicate matters, some small hail was also included in some of the thunderstorms!  I enclosed a picture from Willard today of some pea-sized hail.

Hail looks smoother while sleet is more grainy.

Another tenth of on inch of ice accumulation is possible with the band of showers east of Springfield over the next few hours. Sleet will be mixed with much of this.

As for Springfield, stick a fork in it, we’re essentially done with the heavy stuff!

Feb 212013
 

Radar/Temperatures at 7 a.m.

Overnight, a wave of lighter snow and sleet moved north over the Ozarks.

At this hour, convective bands (with some lightning and thunder) are organizing over northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. This represents heavier precipitation rates and with temperatures in the upper twenties, freezing rain and ice accumulation will continue for a few hours.

There might be sleet in the core of some of the heavier bands, reducing ice accumulations somewhat but overall, expect conditions to worsen through mid-morning, especially north and east of Springfield.

The real question for the day is: how much warming will occur at the surface and where?  My belief is that Springfield will see a recovery to near 32 degrees, still icy but more manageable.

Winter Advisories

The concern all along has been the persistent below freezing situation which will set up for areas of northern Arkansas and perhaps south-central Missouri later this morning and afternoon.  An ice storm warning is still in affect for a portion of that area.

Icy Table/Deck in Lakeview, AR (Erica Schultz)

Feb 202013
 

Possible Precipitation Type at 9 a.m. Thursday

Everything is progressing at about the same pace as this morning’s forecast.

One exception is the development of a light snow band out ahead of the main band expected later this evening.  This has produced some minor accumulations in portions of Barry, McDonald and Stone Counties in Missouri and Boone County in Arkansas.  It will remain light and weaken as it moves northeast.

The main show is still tonight and Thursday. Remember that many, including folks in Springfield, will go through a progression of precipitation types. It will start as snow later this evening, change over to sleet late tonight and then go to freezing rain by Thursday morning.

So waking up in Springfield, there will be several inches of snow/sleet on the ground with a glaze of ice on top of that.  Some icing of trees and wires will occur in Springfield however I don’t believe we will see the worst of it.

The heaviest icing should occur over areas of north-central Arkansas and south-central Missouri. I still feel as if coatings of near .40″ of an inch of ice are possible in these areas by tomorrow afternoon.

Pure snow accumulations will be reserved for areas about an hour north drive from Springfield during this storm.

I will have more updates later today.  This will include my video blog and a live web show at 6 p.m.

 

Feb 202013
 

Main Precipitation Threat Tonight/Thursday

All of the Ozarks are under some short of winter storm warning this morning for later tonight and Thursday. Ice accumulation is still a concern.

A huge amount of humidity is being lifted over a dome of cold air which will result in lots of rain aloft, which will transition to a mess in the Ozarks on the ground in the form of sleet and freezing rain.

Layout of Precipitation

There is an expected transition of precipitation type for many in the Ozarks. When the initial wave comes in tonight, it’s expected to be snow and some sleet.  This will probably stay snow in areas from let’s say Lamar to Camdenton northward.

As for Springfield, snow will give way to sleet and eventually freezing rain (ice) by dawn on Thursday.

Freezing Rain vs. Sleet: What’s the Difference?

 

Areas of northern Arkansas and south-central Missouri will hold on to freezing rain the longest and have the biggest threat of significant ice accumulations.

Totals

I expect Springfield will see several inches of snow/sleet overnight tonight with a glaze of ice on top of that starting sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday.

The snow up north could amount to 1-3″.  This of course will become a major snowstorm north and northwest of the Ozarks.

Ice accumulations will be between .10 and .40″ I think with the higher amounts in the area specified on the graphic.

Information Today/Tonight

I will post a winter storm update after the morning computer model runs come out, right around noon.

I will post a video review/blog by late afternoon.

Also, look for a live web show tonight to discuss the situation. Details coming up later today!

Feb 192013
 

Winter Precipitation Depends on Temperatures Above

When I use the phrase “winter mix”, it refers to some combination of snow, sleet or freezing rain (ice).

The term is used whenever any of these are possible over a certain time frame.

Both sleet and freezing rain require a layer of above freezing air aloft.  The difference is in the depth of the sub-freezing layer touching the ground (lower blue areas on diagram)

While the “general” layout is for snow to occur closest to the colder air with sleet, freezing rain and rain occurring in bands toward the warmer air (usually in a southerly direction), there are exceptions.

One is terrain. An increase in elevation means colder temperatures which can change the precipitation type.  Or the opposite, occasionally cold air becomes trapped in valleys and alters precipitation type.

Also, convective (rain/thunder) bands tend to cool a column of air near the ground and turning what might be a freezing rain situation into sleet.

Here are the definitions:

Sleet

This is liquid (rain) aloft which falls into subfreezing air near the surface deep enough to freeze the drops into ice balls.  Sleet “tings” when it strikes windows.  Sleet accumulates like snow but because it is essentially little ice pellets, it doesn’t accumulate nearly as fast. It actually offers some increased traction on roads when compared to snow.

Freezing Rain (Ice)

Nearly the same as sleet except that the drops stay liquid falling into a much shallower subfreezing layer at the ground. These “super-cooled” rain drops will then freeze on contact with surface objects, especially those off the ground such as trees and wires.  Freezing rain producing ice accumulations over a half inch can cause branches and wires to snap from the weight. An ice storm is born!

 

Feb 072013
 

I think this is going to be a lot of fun!  I was invited to speak at an event called PechaKucha this Sunday evening.

Here’s how it works.  Presenters are given a topic.  They then come up with an interpretation of the topic in the form of a slide presentation.

But the twist is this: each slide can only be up for 20 seconds and there is a limit of twenty slides. So, each presenter has 400 seconds or 3 minutes and 40 seconds to speak.  Also, the slides must be pictures only!

The topic this Sunday is Climate Change.  I have a few things I can address on this subject!  Hopefully, I can make folks think about things they hadn’t before.

The PechaKucha is being held at the Moxie with donations going to help the theater acquire a new digital projector.   It is this Sunday, February, 10 starting at 6 pm. The Moxie is located at 431 S. Jefferson, #108.

You can learn more about PechaKucha at this website.

My thanks to Russ Rubert, a fellow Rotarian, for seeking me out to be a part of this event!

 

 

 

Feb 052013
 

As of  Thursday, the last day of January 2013, I am no longer employed at KOLR/KOZL-TV.  I am leaving on good terms.

Because it’s matter of personal integrity, it’s important for me to state that my diminished presence on the air over the last year and four months was not my idea.   I am not someone who chooses to give up or fade away. Quite the opposite actually, I am always looking for new ideas and challenges in my life.

Being on television for the past nearly twenty seven years has been an amazing experience!  I have met so many people, experienced many new things and made some great friends.  The people of the Ozarks are fantastic! Nearly everywhere I go, people say “hey, your the weatherman!”.  It’s a warm and good feeling for a somewhat reserved, only child from Chicago!

It’s been an honor to be at the helm during times of severe weather in the Ozarks and we have had our share of storms over the decades!  From the day after Thanksgiving tornado of 1991 to the significant tornado outbreaks of 2003, 2006 and 2008 and of course the notorious Joplin tornado, I have tracked and provided live coverage for them all.  And let’s not forget the crippling ice storms and blizzards!

As for the future or “what are you going to do?”,  well, first let me say that I have been forecasting and following the weather in the Ozarks since 1986 and I have no intention of stopping!  As many of you know, I have a large presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Linked In.  If you are reading this then you already know I have a personal web site on which I blog about weather on a daily basis.  Look to these internet and social media outlets for my continuing coverage of our crazy weather in the Ozarks!

I have been an instructor of Weather and Climate at Missouri State University (MSU) nearly all of the 27 years I have lived in the Ozarks and that role continues.  I have also had the privilege of guiding two classes of students into the Great Plains in search of severe storms and tornadoes. These academic versions of a storm chase tour were a huge personal achievement for me and were very exciting!  While these classes were only available to students at MSU, I have some exciting news for those of you who wish to join me on a personal guided storm chase tour this spring!

For those of you in the legal profession, I provide expert legal testimony in cases involving weather.  My list of cases to date can be found here.  If I can be of any assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If anyone is wondering if I am seeking a full-time job in something other than weather, my answer is that I am open to anything at this point. It’s all on the table!

I have family in the Ozarks and I have no plans on leaving.  This has been my home for over a quarter of a century and I look forward to new adventures and experiences!

A big thanks to all of you who have watched me over the years.  Stay in touch and you’ll be seeing me around!

Ted Keller

 

Feb 012013
 

Two EF1 Tornadoes Tuesday Morning

The day will be best remembered for the extremely generous rainfall which was so desperately needed in the area!  We also had two confirmed tornadoes and several tornado warnings along with some wind damage in the Ozarks.

The two EF1 tornado reports north of Springfield are connected to a rapidly-moving bowing thunderstorm segment which traveled from southeast Kansas to Morgan County during the morning hours.  The first EF1 tornado occurred around 11 am just N of Cedar Springs in Cedar County. A second EF1 tornado happened about 20 minutes later in St. Clair County about 4 miles NE of Gerster.

Path pf Northern Bowing Segment

The bowing segment also produced wind damage at various points along the path.

Another bowing line segment came out of northwestern Arkansas late in the afternoon.  The rotating portion of this segment passed through extreme southeastern Stone County and southwestern Taney County.  It was responsible for a tornado warning for those areas during the 4 o’clock hour.  Several areas of rotation occurred with this line segment and wind damage was reported but thus far no tornadoes have been identified with this system.

The rain was the other big story.  I included the latest drought summary for the Ozarks which doesn’t include the rain of Tuesday.  The drought is considered moderate over much of Missouri and more critical over portions of northwest Arkansas.  By the time the report comes out next Thursday, the generous rains of Tuesday will be included and it will be interesting to compare.

Nearly all areas of the Ozarks received at least one inch of rain.  Many got more than two inches or even three inch plus totals.

Radar Rain Estimate from Late Tuesday Night

Drought Index 1/31/13

Bowing Line Segment With Rotation Indicators in Taney County

Jan 292013
 

Severe Threat Today

Here’s the latest on the severe weather potential today.

This morning, some storms can be seen firing over western Missouri.  These are not the main event but could pose a slight risk of some damaging winds and hail over the next few hours.

Later today, a fast-moving squall line should move in from Oklahoma and Kansas.  I would put the main line of storms in Springfield around 1 p.m. and it will be organizing as it moves through.

It’s a typical winter severe situation for the Ozarks in that the instability will be on the weak side while the overall jet stream wind shear is off the charts.  This will support a squall line capable of straight-line wind damage. This threat will be enhanced in surging/bowing segments of the line of storms.  These are also areas which will need to be watched for isolated tornado potential.

Tornado Probability within 25 Miles of a Point

I don’t see a strong signal for isolated storm development ahead of the main line but these types of storms need to be watched for as they have a higher severe weather incidence connected to them.

The line of storms will progress eastward quickly, entering areas of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas by around dinner-time.

The cold front itself will keep scattered showers and storms in play behind the line but I don’t think these pose a large severe threat at this time.