Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Now that I've played the snow down, we'll see what really happens. :-)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Lastly, I want to wish you and yours a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for all of you who choose to read this blog and use MemphisWeather.net on a routine basis!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Looking ahead, the best rain chances in a while will move in Sunday night as a cold front tracks through the Mid-South. The air behind this front is not nearly as cold, so temps will remain in the 50s to near 60 for highs through much of next week. Right now, another front and associated precipitation move towards the area by week's end. I expect that the rain will likely hold off until at least Thanksgiving night, so while Black Friday may be wet, Thanksgiving should be pleasant.
Todays topic is winter weather safety rules for your home.
The best way to survive a winter storm is to plan and prepare for the hazards of winter weather. Although some winter storms develop quickly and with short notice...most events can be planned for.
At home...the primary concerns are for the potential loss of power...heat and telephone service. Food supplies may also run low if conditions persist for several days. Some items that should be readily available around the home prior to the onset of winter weather include...
-extra food and water...especially canned goods
-a flashlight with extra batteries
-first-aid supplies and extra medicine
-extra baby items
-extra wood for emergency heating
-a battery powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio
If power is lost...never use a gasoline or diesel-powered generator inside the house...in the garage...or any other enclosed space. Generators can cause carbon monoxide to build up to deadly levels in enclosed spaces. Operate such generators outdoors only.
Another winter threat is house fires. December...January...and February are the leading months for house fires in this country. More than one-third of fire deaths occur during the winter months.
Here are some precautions you can take...
-central heating systems should be kept in proper working order. This includes regular inspections.
-Space heaters need to be at least 36 inches away from any flammable materials. The heaters should not be left on when no one is present or when people are asleep. The heaters should have automatic shut-off switches that turn the unit off if it tips over.
-Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. The fireplaces should have a sturdy screen... and only wood should be burned.
-Wood stoves should be installed...used...and maintained in accordance with instructions from the manufacturer. Use of a stove board will protect the floor. Only wood should be burned in the stove.
-Kitchen ranges and ovens...charcoal grills...and hibachis should never be used for heating.
-Carbon monoxide is another hazard. It is a colorless... odorless gas and is produced by gas-fired appliances... charcoal grills... and wood-burning furnaces and fireplaces. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed to provide an early warning when the gas begins to build up.
This concludes this week's series on winter weather, brought to you by MemphisWeather.net and the Memphis office of the National Weather Service.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The coldest night of the fall is on tap for Friday night! Temps in the "urban heat island" will fall into the mid 20s, while a few spots in rural areas outside the city could see a low in the upper teens Saturday morning! South wind Saturday will help warm it back into the lower 50s by mid-afternoon. The next rain chance doesn't come until early next week, but temps are not forecast to be nearly as cold behind the front early in the week as the past two have been. Normal highs this time of year are near 60 while lows are typically in the lower 40s. Below normal temperatures will thus continue into next week.
Today's topic is winter precipitation types.
Snow -- snow forms in the clouds and remains as snow all the way to the ground. It most commonly takes the form of snowflakes...which are the familiar six-sided ice crystals. It may also fall in the form of snow pellets or snow grains.
Snow flurries are most commonly seen as a few snowflakes falling...although visibilities can be reduced at times. In the Mid-South...the term snow flurries is used to indicate that no accumulation is expected.
Snow showers is a term not often used in the Mid-South. In this type of precipitation...the snow falls at varying intensities over brief periods of time. Accumulation may occur...especially during moderate to heavy snow showers. Blowing snow most commonly refers to snow that is already on the ground and is lifted into the air by the wind.
In the Mid-South...heavier snows most commonly occur when cold air is already in place over the region and a strong upper level low pressure system moves out of the southwestern United States. The low serves to pull moist air northward into the cold air. Light snow or snow flurries can also occur in the cold air that follows the passage of an Arctic cold front.
Sleet - sleet consists of pellets of ice. In fact...for people who have trouble with the difference between sleet and freezing rain...it may be easier to associate sleet with its technical name...which is ice pellets. For sleet to form...snow begins falling from the clouds but then goes through a layer of above-freezing air thousands of feet above the ground. This causes the snow to change to rain. Then...the rain goes through a layer of below-freezing air...usually at least two to three thousand feet thick...and the precipitation turns into pellets of ice.
Sleet typically occurs in a fairly narrow band. This band usually moves...but at times may remain nearly stationary...resulting in accumulations of sleet. In the Mid-South...sleet most commonly occurs in a narrow band between an area of rain to the south and an area of snow to the north.
Freezing rain -- this weather phenomenon is sometimes called glaze...because of the glaze of ice it puts on surfaces at the ground. Freezing rain most commonly occurs when precipitation falls from the clouds as snow...then goes through an above-freezing layer...which turns the precipitation to rain. Then...the rain reaches the ground where temperatures are below freezing. The rain then freezes as it hits exposed objects. In the worst cases...everything becomes coated with a layer of ice.
In the Mid-South...freezing rain commonly occurs as an Arctic high pressure system begins to move away from the state. In this situation...cold air is still lingering at the ground...but warmer southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico begin bringing moisture back over the top of the cold air. Since the air at the ground has not warmed above freezing...the rain that falls freezes on the ground and other objects. Freezing rain...and its cousin freezing drizzle...often develop during the late night hours...creating icy conditions for morning rush hour.
Freezing fog -- while this is not precipitation falling from the clouds...it is another winter weather hazard. Freezing fog typically develops on clear...calm nights when temperatures are below freezing. Fog forms and freezes...usually on bridges...overpasses...and other elevated roadways. It can create quite a surprise for motorists...due to the presence of clear skies overhead.
Frost -- frost describes the formation of thin ice crystals on the ground or other surfaces in the form of scales...needles...feathers...or fans. Frost forms when water vapor in the air turns directly to ice crystals on an object. The temperature of the object must be below freezing for frost to occur. However...frost is sometimes seen on the ground when official temperatures are reported to be above freezing. This is because the official temperature is taken about five feet above the ground...where the air can be a few degrees warmer than the temperature at ground level.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today we will focus on winter weather travel tips and safety rules.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and other holiday travel is coming soon. Now is a good time to focus on winter travel. About 70 percent of deaths linked to wintry weather happen in automobiles. Here are some tips to help from being part of that woeful statistic...
Make checking the latest weather reports part of your travel plans so you can avoid storms. Carry a NOAA Weather Radio along to tune into local weather information 24 hours a day. Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins.
Carry a winter storm survival kit in your car. The kit should include ...
1. Blankets or sleeping bags
2. A flashlight with extra batteries
3. A first aid kit
4. A knife
5. Some high-calorie, non-perishable food
6. Extra clothing to keep dry
7. A large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
8. A smaller can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water
9. A sack of sand or Cat litter for traction
10. A shovel
11. A windshield scraper and brush
12. A tool kit for emergency repairs
13. A Tow rope
14. Battery booster cables
15. A clean water container
16. A Compass and Road maps.
Keep your Gas Tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Try not to travel alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.
A last reminder...a Winter Storm Watch means that winter weather is possible...a Winter Storm Warning is when winter weather has begun or is about to begin. Start your preparations now for the safest winter season possible and stay tuned to the forecast.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Todays topic is frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite causes numbness and white or blue-tinted skin and occurs most commonly in the fingers...toes...ears...and nose.
Hypothermia...an abnormally low body core temperature...is caused by prolonged exposure to cold. Hypothermia can occur indoors as well as outside. Body functions slow to a dangerously low level. Symptoms include slurred speech...incoherence...drowsiness...poor coordination...a slow heart beat...uncontrollable shivering or no shivering at all.
To avoid hypothermia...keep your clothes dry. Wet clothing loses all insulating value and should be changed as quickly as possible.
Mittens and a warm hat are necessities. The body loses about 50 percent of its heat through the head...so whether you are outdoors or inside an unheated home...day or night...a hat will go a long way in helping you stay warm.
Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases...heat is carried away from the body...driving down the body temperature. Remember that animals are affected by wind chill as well.
Avoid overexertion...such as shoveling heavy snow or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and hard labor may cause a heart attack. Wear loose...light-weight...warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air is an insulator. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be water repellent and hooded. Always cover your head...as you can lose half of your body heat through an uncovered head. Be prepared for the storm by listening to NOAA Weather Radio...commercial radio or television for the latest winter storm advisories.
Monday, November 17, 2008
NOVEMBER 17TH THROUGH 21ST IS WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN THE MID SOUTH. PEOPLE ARE ASKED TO TAKE SOME TIME AND PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER SEASON.
OVER THIS WEEK WE WILL BRING UP A FEW WINTER WEATHER ISSUES AND WAYS TO AVOID DANGEROUS SITUATIONS. DURING EACH WEEKDAY...A DIFFERENT WINTER WEATHER TOPIC WILL BE COVERED...
TODAY...WINTER WEATHER WATCHES...AND WARNINGS
WEDNESDAY...WINTER WEATHER TRAVEL TIPS AND SAFETY RULES
THURSDAY...WINTER PRECIPITATION TYPES
FRIDAY...WINTER SAFETY FOR YOUR HOME
HERE ARE A FEW TERMS THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE USES WITH WINTERWEATHER.
WINTER STORM WATCH...A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THAT DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER IS POSSIBLE AND YOU NEED TO BE ALERT TO CHANGING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.
WINTER STORM WARNING...A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER HAS BEGUN OR IS ABOUT TO BEGIN IN YOUR AREA. STAY INDOORS DURING THE STORM. IF YOU MUST GO OUTDOORS...SEVERAL LAYERS OF LIGHTWEIGHT CLOTHING WILL KEEP YOU WARMER THAN A SINGLE HEAVY COAT. WEARING GLOVES AND A HAT WILL PREVENT LOSS OF BODY HEAT. COVER YOUR MOUTH TO PROTECT YOUR LUNGS. UNDERSTAND THE HAZARDS OF WINDCHILL. WALK CAREFULLY ON SNOWY...ICY SIDEWALKS.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE REMINDS YOU TO BE PREPARED BEFORE WINTER STORMS STRIKE. HAVE EXTRA BATTERIES FOR FLASHLIGHTS...FOOD AND WATER...EXTRA MEDICATION...FIRST-AID SUPPLIES...AND BLANKETS FOR ADDITIONAL WARMTH AVAILABLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES. BE READY FOR WINTER STORMS BY LISTENING TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL NEWS STATION.
DURING WINTER STORM EMERGENCIES...STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR INFORMATION AND EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS. POST EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS BY THE PHONE AND KEEP ENOUGH SUPPLIES IN YOUR HOME TO MEET YOUR NEEDS FOR AT LEAST THREE DAYS. PREPARE FOR WINTER WEATHER BEFORE IT ARRIVES.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
As a side note, if you operate a small or medium-sized business in the Memphis area and want to have your banner ad on both StormView pages, you can sponsor MWN StormView Radar. Send me an email or click the banner on the StormView page.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It's right around the corner! Coming in a matter of days...
The next big addition to MWN will be a Flash-based interactive radar - where YOU have control over what you see. Zoom in to your area, add storm tracks and severe weather warnings, overlay radar-based severe weather indicators, see how much rain has fallen across the area, even see where winter precip is falling!
"All the Weather You Need for Memphis and the Mid-South"
-- MemphisWeather.net, soon with MWN StormView Radar --
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
For next week, another pattern change is coming as we start seeing Gulf moisture flow back into the region and with a very slow moving front and low pressure systems riding up along the front, we will be set up for perhaps more than one bout of moderate to heavy rain. The first comes Monday night and early Tuesday with cloudy skies and slight chances of rain lingering until another possible round on Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully by Friday, the front will have moved through and cleard everything out in time for the weekend! Next week's rainfall totals could easily surpass 2" in many locations.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Temperatures at Memphis International Airport were slightly below normal for October with an average high of 73.8 and an average low of 53.2. Precipitation was above normal by just over an inch. The airport received 4.34" during what is climatologically the driest month of the year.
As for WXLIVE! in Bartlett, the average temperature was 59.7, which is almost 4 degrees cooler than the airport, thanks in large part to much cooler morning lows that we experience out in the suburbs. Precipitation was almost identical to the airport at 4.32", though my CoCoRaHS "official" rain gauge pulled in an impressive 5.78." It is located right next to the WXLIVE! station. Overall, October really was a great weather month. The pleasant days and cool nights are just what I like!
The week ahead...
The very mild weather of the past several days will continue for a few more as high climb well into the 70s. Low temperatures the past couple of morning have been lower than I expected, even dropping back into the 30s this morning in Bartlett. This is thanks to the very dry air in place and no wind or clouds overnight. As the next storm system draws closer, moisture will increase and a wind of a couple miles per hour will be steady through the night, which should help to keep those lows up a little higher than in recent mornings. Bottom line... great weather is on tap for Election Day 2008 on Tuesday, so make sure you exercise your right to vote, despite the expected crowds. Every vote counts!
The next cold front is due to arrive late Thursday evening. This front will likely bring a round of showers and thunderstorms to the region Thursday afternoon or evening, followed by much cooler temperatures. Highs behind the front will once again be back into the low to mid 60s as we head into next weekend.