Posts Tagged ‘National Weather Service’

An Interesting RADAR Artifact

31 March 2013

I was looking at the wx on Channel 9 this evening. I noticed a small echo in north Oklahoma that didn’t seem to be a storm. I looked at the NWS site for OKC, didn’t see it, but switched to the Vance AFB site, and there it was. This is a screen capture:

Echo_near_Enid

I checked the Google map and satellite image of the area, there doesn’t seem to be a lot there. I wonder if it is smoke from a grass fire. It changes geometry, but the east and west ranges don’t move. Smoke usually has a fixed point on the upstream end, and then widens and lengthens with time.

I’ll check the news tomorrow and see if anything is mentioned.

31 March update:

I sent an email to the NWS office in Norman, and got a very nice reply back in just a couple hours (that’s a professional!). The echo is from a wind farm that was built in the last half of 2012. The wind farm is marked on aviation maps already, but it doesn’t show up in Google Earth images yet. Very cool.

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Kudos to the NWS and the OKC TV Stations

25 May 2011

We had quite the round of severe weather this evening. At least seven tornadoes, including some significant ones that caused a lot of damage.

The National Weather Service, and the agencies the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the local Norman Weather Service Forecast Office (WSFO), were talking about the potential for severe weather about three days ago, in very strident terms. As the days rolled on, they kept ratcheting up the commentary. In the end, they were right on the money. The SPC issued a High Risk this morning around 0500, after first mentioning it explicitly yesterday evening.

This morning around 0715, I made a tour of the three network stations here, and none of them reflected the High Risk that had been issued a couple hours previously. The mets did all talk about the potential for a big event, but the graphics were not reflective (they all showed a Moderate Risk, and there were two different interpretations, curiously enough).

The stations made up for all that this evening, going wall-to-wall with chasers, helicopters, and video from all over central Oklahoma. They kept people up to date as to where the storms were and what direction they were heading.

So the NWS and SPC and Norman WSFO deserve high praise for their great predictive work today. While their warnings can’t help people completely avoid the storms, those warnings help people be aware enough to be able to take some actions to protect themselves.

NWS Norman and the Weather Briefing

8 February 2010

During the last couple significant weather events, the NWS Norman Weather Service Forecast Office (NWSFO) has been putting together “Weather Briefings” and posting them on the Enhanced Page.

Now, I don’t just read the forecast that is displayed. I like to read the Forecast Discussion, and for rain and snow events, I read the model outputs and compare them to try and get a little more granularity in the timing or severity of an event.

The Weather Briefings that are posted at a good summary of the thinking behind that kind of timing and severity data. I have found every single one of them that I have read to be useful. They bridge the gap between the “what’s going to happen tomorrow” to “it looks to be happening starting at 1600”.

So kudos to the NWSFO Norman for the Weather Briefings, and to any other NWSFO office that is using them. This is truly our tax dollars at work for us.