All Weather News

Solar Eclipse This Weekend And A Quick Peak At Memorial Weekend

19 May 2012, 7:26 am
Saturday Severe Risk. A few severe storms are possible from Oklahoma City and Wichita north to Omaha and Albert Lea, Minnesota later today – people living near the “slight risk” area should stay alert for possible watches and warnings. Map courtesy of NOAA’s SPC.

Shifting Gears (Noisily). The transition from spring to a more summerlike pattern sparked another rash of severe storms; 775 separate reports of severe weather (tornadoes, straight-line winds, hail and flooding) since May 12. Data from NOAA, an interactive map from Ham Weather is here.

A Week’s Worth of Records. Over 1,000 daily records were set last week; extreme heat out west, record 24 hour rainfall amounts (green dots) for much of the east. Click here to see an interactive map from Ham Weather.

Solar Eclipse This Weekend. No, the full eclipse will not be visible in Minnesota or anywhere in the Upper Midwest. has more details; here’s an excerpt: “…An animated eclipse map prepared by Larry Koehn of shows the best times to look. In the United States, the eclipse begins at 5:30 pm PDT and lasts for two hours. Around 6:30 pm PDT, the afternoon sun will become a luminous ring in places such as Medford, Oregon; Chico, California; Reno, Nevada; St. George, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Lubbock, Texas. Outside the narrow center line, the eclipse will be partial. Observers almost everywhere west of the Mississippi will see a crescent-shaped sun as the Moon passes by off-center.”

Ground Zero Of A Tornado Strike. Click here to see some amazing footage from St. John’s Hospital, taken at the height of the EF-5 tornado that leveled much of Joplin on May 22, 2011: “Security camera footage of the emergency waiting room inside of St. John’s Mercy Hospital on May 22, 2011. Footage courtesy of Mercy Hospital Joplin.”

Top 10 Deadliest Texas Tornadoes. Data courtesy of the Amarillo, Texas office of The National Weather Service.

Wireless Emergency Alerts On Your Wireless Device. Shortly, you’ll be able to sign up for (free) alerts on your cell phone, courtesy of NOAA. More details: “The wireless industry, the FCC, and FEMA will roll out the WEA’s (Weather Emergency Alerts) system nationwide this year. The NWS will start utilizing this by pushing extreme weather warnings over the system in June 2012. Tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and several other high-end warnings will go directly to wireless users in an affected county automatically if their device is compatible.”

* More information from CTIA:

“Mobile users will not be charged for receiving these text-like alerts and are automatically enrolled to receive them.  

There are three different kinds of alerts:

  1. Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President or a designee;
  2. Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc., where an imminent threat to life or property exists; and
  3. AMBER Alerts – Alerts that meet the U.S. Department of Justice’s criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.

While these alerts will appear on a person’s mobile device similar to a text message, Wireless Emergency Alerts are not text messages. Instead, Wireless Emergency Alerts use a different kind of technology to ensure they are delivered immediately and are not subjected to potential congestion (or delays) on wireless networks.”

Wireless Emergency Alerts Information

WEA Main Page

Sprint Nextel Corporation:
Wireless Emergency Alerts Information

T-Mobile USA:
Wireless Emergency Alerts Information

U.S. Cellular:
Wireless Emergency Alerts | U.S. Cellular

Verizon Wireless:
Wireless Emergency Alerts Information

Western Wildfires: Colorado Declares Emergency In Hewlett Blaze. Fire season is starting early this year, an unusual number of large blazes for May. At this rate it’s going to be a long, hot, fiery summer for much of the western half of the USA. The L.A. Times has a harrowing story; here’s an excerpt: “The Hewlett fire in Colorado has grown to 7,673 acres, prompting officials Friday to declare an emergency. In an executive order, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper declared the emergency because of the fire in Larimer County. The move makes $3 million in state emergency funds available for firefighting. “The Hewlett Fire’s proximity to numerous homes and property poses an imminent danger to life and property and, therefore, constitutes a disaster for the purposes of the act,” according to the executive order.”

Photo credit: “The Hewlett fire burns to the edge of Seaman Reservoir in Poudre Canyon near Ft. Collins, Colo., on Thursday. Hundreds of firefighters worked to combat the growing blaze. (R.J. Sangosti / The Denver Post / May 18, 2012).”

“Gladiator Blaze” Update. This is one of the larger, more stubborn wildfires being reported in Arizona. Details from “The Gladiator Fire was reported on Sunday, May 13, at 11:00 am near community of Crown King. The human caused fire which originated from a structure fire on private property has now moved onto the Prescott National Forest. Joe Reinarz’s Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed management of the Gladiator Fire on the evening of Monday, May 14, 2012.”

Memorial Weekend Preview. If you believe the European ECMWF model, much of the Upper Midwest may be experiencing 90s next weekend – a taste of mid-summer. I wouldn’t bet the farm on that extended outlook just yet, but maybe we’ll make up for this weekend’s puddles (and Sunday jackets). Maps above for the Memorial Weekend Temperatures and Precipitation courtesy of Planalytics.

Very Extended Outlook. It looks like a very long, hot summer for the southern half of the USA, a strong bias toward (much) warmer than normal temperatures from June through August for much of the Southwest. Map courtesy of NOAA’s CPC (Climate Prediction Center) and Ham Weather.

Pennsylvania Passes Flooding Law. I found this interesting: “Pennsylvania passed a law that if someone drives around a flood barricade, the fine is $250. If the driver’s car stalls and emergency responders are needed, the fine is no more than $500 and the driver’s license will be suspended for no more than 90 days. The law passed with an unanimous vote of 197- 0. The bill can be seen in the link below.”



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Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. Twitter @pdouglasweather

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