Joe’s Weather Blog: It’s time to talk about severe weather (Mon. -2/15)

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Good morning…there is a small disturbance, almost something that you would see during the summer months (from a dying thunderstorm complex) skirting mostly south of the KC area early this morning. Temperatures are around 32° and there is room for whatever falls to lower the temperature another degree or two through 10AM or so. IF you are impacted by this, and I’ll post radar on it shortly…watch the roads because they may tend to slick up just a little.

Meanwhile while we’re still in the winter mode (but this week though we may be more in the spring mode) I wanted to touch on some severe weather education opportunities for you to learn more about severe weather.

1st things first though…

Forecast:

Today: Clouds (and whatever that little disturbance can generate) giving way to sunshine later this morning. Mild in the afternoon with highs 50-55°

Tonight: There may be a small area of showers (more favorable across N MO) that zip through the KC region. Temperatures tonight should hold up a little with lows in the 35° range.

Tuesday: Not too bad…just a little cooler with highs in the 45-50° range.

Discussion:

1st a quick check of radar…

By now you’re familiar with the various sessions that are put on by the NWS service teaching folks who want to be storm spotters the ins and outs of that and the whys as well. There a great resource and are totally free to do. The NWS goes to many of the counties through the region to conduct these classes each year. They’ve already completed some but this week they will be conducting classes in the following areas…

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More specific information is here… http://www.weather.gov/eax/2016skywarn

 

Meanwhile farther west on the KS side…here are the upcoming counties that will be getting one of these sessions…

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More information about these classes is located here http://www.weather.gov/top/spottertalks

You can bring kids as well to these sessions if they’re interested in severe storms.

One note as well…I will receive several emails from parents who tell me their child is overly concerned about severe storms and tornadoes and wonder if there is anything that can be done to ease their concerns a bit. I always say that in my opinion “knowledge is power”. If they learn about these things in many cases that fear turns into curiosity and they want to learn more about storms in general whether through your knowledge, my knowledge or what they can learn about storms on the internet which is just about everything! So the bottom line is that your child may come away from these sessions with a healthy respect and “want to learn” attitude about what may frighten them now. It’s a win win!

There are other ways to learn about severe storms. One of the storm chasers/spotters in our community, Justin Gann and his “crew” will be teaching a 2 hour course about severe storms and spotting this coming Saturday in Jackson Co, MO. This session is free as well and starts at 10AM. You will learn the ins and outs of spotting and what goes on when “chasing” storms. It should be an interesting time and another way you can get your “weather geek” out!

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This session is free!

Now suppose you participate in the session above or one of the various NWS sessions through the late winter. Now you want to learn more…how about taking a second, somewhat more in-depth session. That one is put on by the folks at the Douglas County Emergency Management. It’s coming up on 3/5 (a Saturday) and will be a bit more lengthy…running roughly from 8:15 through 4PM or so. I try and get out there each year, because it’s a great time to meet fellow storm enthusiasts. There is a small fee ($15 includes a lunch credit) for this session.

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More information about this “next step” session is here https://www.douglascountyks.org/severe-weather-symposium/join-us

So there are lots of ways you can learn more about severe weather and have conversations with others about this topic. You’d be surprised at the number of folks who are interested in this. If you have a fascination with weather and storms, I highly recommend taking one of these classes!

When looking back at last year…while the year overall was close to average at the end. Locally we did have quite a few tornado warnings and thankfully mostly brief touchdowns.

The following graphics are via the Storm Prediction Center (SPC)

 

In KS there were over 175 reports of tornadoes and on the MO side around 50

So severe weather season is right around the corner…

Have a great week…with the nice weather and no chance of any snow coming down the pike…I may not blog again till later in the week.

Joe

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