What was the biggest weather event in our area during 2011?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tropical Troubles?

We are monitoring the Caribbean for possible tropical development over the next several days.  Thunderstorms continue to fire over the very warm waters, and are showing signs of of a mid-level circulation.  Right now, the shear is pretty strong over this area, but we need to keep a close eye on this system for potential development.  This could become Invest 95L.  Gulf States, watch out....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alligators In Local Lakes?

This picture of an alligator, posted on Facebook yesterday, caused concern and left many asking, "how safe are our local lakes?"  It's not unknown, in Texoma, that alligators have been found in the area and will continue to be found.  The picture above was reportedly taken near Washita Point in Kingston, Oklahoma; which is near Lake Texoma.  This comes in just days after an 11 foot alligator was found, dead, in the Trinity River! 

Over the past decade, dozens of alligators have been found in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.  There have even been several recent reports of alligator sightings near Cumberland Cove; some reports say gators have been up to 13 feet long!  

There's no need to panic, but there are a few safety measure that can be taken to protect your family and yourself.  So what can you do to protect your family this summer and over the upcoming holiday weekend?

-Never feed alligators.
-Avoid swimming and other water activities in areas with large alligators, or where large gators have been seen.
-Swim only during daylight.
-Do not throw fish scraps in the water.
-Closely supervise small children in and around water.
-Do not allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in waters where alligators may be found.
-If you hear an alligator hiss, move away. You are too close.

**To report an alligator that threatens people, call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's district office weekdays at 817-831-3128 or after hours and weekends at 800-792-4263.
**To report an alligator that threatens people, call the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Here's a link to the entire Oklahoma Game Warden directory: http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/laws_regs/lawstatemap.htm

(It is currently alligator hunting season in Texas, but state regulations say that alligators may only be hunted by means of firearms on private property and cannot be hunted from, on, in, across or over public water.)

Courtesy, (Star-Telegram) http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/05/15/3962452/authorities-investigate-death.html
(KTEN) http://www.kten.com/story/18610516/alligators-reported
Picture, courtesy KTEN.com and Kris Hair

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

The 2012 hurricane season will be near average, to slightly above average; hurricane season for the Atlantic is from June 1st through November 30th.  First, here are our thoughts in terms of numbers:

2012 Tropical Storms: 13-14      NOAA Average: 12
2012 Hurricanes: 6-7                   NOAA Average: 6
2012 Major Hurricanes: 3           NOAA Average: 2

The hurricane season could get off to an early start, with possible development in the western Caribbean next week.  It appears a low pressure will develop over the western Caribbean and meander over the very warm waters.  The steering currents in the area will be very minimal at this time which could allow the low to slowly organize.  Even if this doesn’t materialize, conditions will be conducive for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean over the next three weeks.

This season will likely feature a lot of “home-grown” storms; storms that develop in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.  The possibility of these “home-grown” storms means locations from Brownsville, Texas to New York City, New York need to be on high alert, especially the Gulf States.  Don’t let your guard down due to the near average season expectancy.

The two main reasons as to why I believe hurricane development will be hard to come by in the eastern Atlantic are: relative cooling of the eastern Atlantic waters and the possible development of El Nino this summer.  In order for tropical development to occur, systems need very warm surface water, which has a lot of energy, for storms to thrive.  El Nino also does its harm by typically causing a lot of wind shear which isn’t favorable for tropical systems, unlike thunderstorms in the Plains.

Those are our forecast thoughts for the upcoming hurricane season.  We may need to slightly adjust these numbers as we head into the season.  There are still some questions regarding El Nino which could force us to change the numbers as we get later into the year.  With that said, don’t focus solely on the numbers; all hurricane forecasts are an educated guess!  What you need to focus on are the possibility of “home-grown” storms!  If you live along the coast, from Brownsville, Texas to New York City, New York, be on high alert this season; especially along the Gulf Coast.  It only takes on major storm to impact the coast for the season to be considered “bad!”
 (Here are the areas that I'm concerned about for the 2012 hurricane season.  The red shaded region has the greatest impact threat from tropical systems.)

**This forecast is not official and is the opinion of forecasters at Texoma Weather, primoweather.com.  For official information please refer to www.nws.noaa.gov!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Severe Weather Comeback

(Thunderstorm Outlook per SPC, Saturday Afternoon)

May has been relatively quiet in terms of severe weather for the Southern Plains, but that will change soon.  Starting Saturday afternoon, thunderstorms will develop along a cold-front/dryline in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and northwest Texas.

Instability, shear, and moderate moisture will allow thunderstorms to become severe.  Hodographs in Oklahoma/southern Kansas will support supercells; likely high-based, though.  The main threat will be very large hail Saturday afternoon.

Thunderstorm chances will slowly spread southeast Sunday into Monday.  This event is still a couple days out, so a lot can change.  We will continue to keep you all updated on the latest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Severe Thunderstorm Chances On The Increase

Thunderstorm chances are on the increase, starting Saturday afternoon; eastern Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle, and western Oklahoma will have a chance to see isolated severe storms Saturday.  Moisture will be on the increase as a strong shortwave moves across the Southern Plains producing isolated severe thunderstorms along the dryline.  Parameters (moisture, shear, instability) are coming together to support supercell thunderstorms.  Right now, it appears there will be a chance for all modes of severe weather Saturday afternoon.

(Saturday's severe weather probabilities per SPC. This will be updated daily, and I believe a slight risk will be included.  Severe thunderstorm chances will likely be expanded eastward too.)
Thunderstorm chances will continue into Sunday and Monday.  Each day the thunderstorm threat will shift further east-southeast.  A cold front will push into Oklahoma, likely stalling, igniting thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.  Heavy rainfall will also be a concern in southern Oklahoma and north Texas.  This is needed due to our recent dry-spell across Texoma.

In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the delightful weather.  Temperatures will push into upper 80's, some locations will break the 90 degree mark.  Relative humidity will be on the increase each day making the afternoon hours uncomfortable for some. Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen!

This event is still a few days out, so a lot can change.  We will continue to have updates on this evolving situation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sherman, Texas Tornado (May 15th, 1896)

On May 15th, 1896, an F5 tornado traveled from northeastern Denton County through the west side of Sherman.  This supercell killed 73 people and injured over 200 others.  Most of the deaths occurred in the town of Sherman, which is located in Grayson County; 60 people lost their lives in Sherman while 12 people died in the community of Howe.  Bodies and victims were taken to the Grayson County Courthouse, while others were taken to vacant buildings in downtown Sherman.

Close to 50 homes were destroyed in Sherman.  The Houston Street Bridge, constructed of iron, was demolished by the tornado too.  This is where most of the deaths occurred.
(Photo of the Houston Street Bridge, courtesy www.yesteryearsnews.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/shermans-black-friday-texas-tornado-1896)
The tornado tracked for 28 miles to the northeast and at its largest was near 400 yards wide.  This deadly tornado was part of a larger outbreak of tornadoes that affected much of the central and southern United States.

The May 1896 tornado outbreak produced a series of violent and deadly tornadoes.  This series of tornadoes occurred from May 15th through May 27th.  As many as three F5 tornadoes were recorded in what was one of the worst tornado outbreak sequences on record.

484 people lost their lives during this tornado sequence outbreak.  Texas (Sherman Tornado), Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, and Michigan were all impacted by these deadly tornadoes. 

Information courtesy: