Except for a few bumps in the road, its been pretty quiet around here so far for this severe weather season. The broad, or long wave, pattern has been oriented such that conditions for really nasty weather have not been over the Ohio Valley. Now, tornado alley has certainly been living up to its name and that is what has some of you worried. Here’s an example:
“Do you see it being a big time severe weather outbreak? Will it be ANYTHING like what they saw last week out in the plains with the tornadoes, winds and flooding? “
Well, if you note above, the folks at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) have us barely in a “slight risk” for severe weather. Tornado Alley had a persistent strong jet stream coming up from the southwest. Below that, there was also a warm, moist southerly flow from the Gulf of Mexico destabalizing the atmosphere. We will not have those same conditions. For much of the day, we will have a fair amount of energy available but nothing to really kick it into gear. There is a “cap” on the atmosphere that will be generally sufficient enough to overcome any afternoon heating. Think of it as a pile of wood. That is potential energy, but you still need a match to ignite it…otherwise, its just a pile of wood. The only ignition source we will really have is a cold front coming down. By the time it does come down, much of the energy will be gone as we head into the cool of evening. Nighttime does not always reduce the amount of energy available but in this case it will. So, its like when someone does bring a match, much of the wood has been taken away.
So, here’s the bottom line: the best chance for severe weather will be well to our northwest late this afternoon. Ahead of the front this evening, our rain chances will increase. Strong storms will be possible but not necessarily probable. The biggest threat would be for high winds or hail associated with embedded small bow echoes. My suspicion is that any bow echoes would be those that had already formed and moved into our region, plausibly on the down cycle of its life. But, as they say in sports, a team may be one way on paper, but you don’t know until they play the game.
While we aren’t talking about twisters too much, yesterday in the plains, there were 10 tornado warnings…and there were 9 tornado reports. NWS did pretty good.
On This Date In History In 1896, a tornado, similar to the recent one in Kansas, wiped out the town of Sherman, Texas. The lid of a trunk in Sherman was found 35 miles away. Like the Kansas storm, it was considered to be an F-5 (now EF-5) tornado based on the total destruction. Unlike the Kansas tornado, 73 people died. The folks in Greensburg, KS had about 20 minutes warning; the people in Sherman probably had none. While tornado deaths are up this year and have been rising for the past 10 years or so, overall they have decreased since the advent of radar systems.
In 1756, the French and Indian War began. That’s what we call it. In Europe its called the Seven Year War. The English declared war on the French on this date but there had been skirmishes between the two sides in North America for years. Remember, the colonists were on the side of the crown at this point. It wasnt until after the French and Indian War that we started getting independent fever, in part because the crown had to find ways to pay for the war and for future colonial protection. So, George Washington at this time was an officer in the British army and an aid to a General Braddock. On July 9, 1755….a year before the declaration of war…an army of 1459 British were ambushed. Washington had been very sick in June but insisted on joining the battle. The English got their clocks cleaned at the battle of the Monongahela with 1000 of their ranks killed, including General Braddock. That left Washington as a target of the enemy. Washington’s account in letters of the time was that he had two horses shot from under him and found four bullet holes through his coat. I had read of another account from the enemy sharpshooter that said he had George in his sights and his gun misfired. This is one of many instances in the public life of George Washington which many people use as evidence of Divine Intervention of Divine Providence in the life of the father of our country.
Regardless of what you may think, you do have to consider if we all may be British Subjects if the French and Indians were better shots or had guns that worked.
_uacct = “UA-1763609-1″;