Joe’s Weather Blog: Special weather stories next week (FRI-3/2)

Good morning…another nice day on tap for the area as the east coast will get slammed today by a significant nor’easter. Winds…rain..snow…power outages…flight cancellations…all happening today in the northeast part of the country. The western US has been hammered with snow and rain…leading to mudslides. Here in KC…after a nice but breezy Thursday the winds will start picking up later today and a windy weekend is on tap for the area.


Saturday: A mix of clouds and sunshine. IF we have too many clouds we may be overshooting the highs…let’s keep low 60s for now. Windy with south winds of 20-35 MPH

Sunday: Mostly cloudy and windy with highs in the 60-65° range. Could be cooler with too many clouds though. There may be some light showers/sprinkle/drizzle at night into Monday AM.


I wrote extensively about the east coast storm and the west coast storm in yesterday’s blog…so no need to re-hash that information.

Today I wanted to tell you about a couple of severe weather training sessions that will be happening on Saturday. One will be in Lee’s Summit, MO starting at 9AM This will be roughly a 90 minute class in spotting severe thunderstorms and how to relay that information to the NWS and eventually how that information gets to us in the world if TV. It’s geared for somewhat older children through adults. IF you have an interest in this…go to for more information. The class is free and IF you have interest in storms and spotting…it’s a great 1st step or refresher.

The other event happening tomorrow is in Lawrence. It’s the Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium. This would be considered more of a step up from a typical spotter class. In reality however the spotter class IS NOT a prerequisite. This will be more of an all day thing and there are several speakers as I’ll show you in the agenda. This is a great environment to learn about weather and other things including photography. I make sure I attend each year and once again this year will be doing a presentation on some of the web-sites I use to create a forecast. The data is all out there…you just need to go.

There is a $10 charge for this and the preference is for you to pre-register. IF you don’t though you can still attend. It will be at the Doubletree Lawrence.

Here is the agenda…

Tentative Schedule
7:30 a.m.: Registration Begins (Refreshments will be available)

8:15 a.m.: Welcome and Announcements

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.: Jeremy Bower, JRBStorm Photography: Photographing the Atmosphere and Beyond

9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.: Dr. Ariel Cohen, NWS Topeka: SSCRAM! The Statistical Severe Convective Risk Assessment Model

10:35 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.: Jenni Laflin, NWS Kansas City/Pleasant Hill: The March 6, 2017 Tornado Outbreak

11:25 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.: Lunch

12:20 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.: Will Akin, Clay County Emergency Management: The Next Think I Knew…

1:20 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.: Joe Lauria, Fox 4: Digging Through the Web for Information

2:20 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.: Makenzie Krocak, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS): A Sub-Daily Tornado Climatology and its Implications for Forecasting

3:15 p.m.: Panel Discussion (Includes our speakers and local Integrated Warning Team Members)

IF you want more information here is the web page with additional details…

Now onto next week…

On Monday FOX 4 will be starting Wicked Weather Week timed out for Severe Weather Week from the NWS in Topeka and Pleasant Hill. We have 5 stories slated for the week…which actually is timed for the 1 year anniversary of this.

Graphic via the NWS in Pleasant Hill

That was a big day for severe weather in the area…and I’ll write more about this next week. The lineup for the week goes like this…

Monday: Dave D’Marko’s “Are You Ready?”.  Dave revisits the Oak Grove tornado from March 6th, 2017 where 500 homes were hit.  He talks to one family who literally just made it to safety before their house was blown off it’s foundation.  They now think differently about having a safety plan in place

Tuesday: Tornado Drill Day! Karli Ritter will share the difference between the weather phenomena of tornados and straight line winds – how can you tell the difference?

Wednesday: Michelle will be talking about all things hail. Hail is a VERY damaging phenomena in the Plains. It can wipe a farmers crop out in a matter of minutes and cost the insurance companies billions of dollars…and cost you a lot of money as well in deductibles. She’ll talk about how hail forms and what makes the stones so large!

Thursday: Lightning Day. I’m going to share with you some amazing stats concerning lightning. Who get’s struck more…men or women. Is this more of a Kansas phenomena or a Missouri phenomena. I talked to a Dr about being struck and what happens afterwards. It’s not necessarily a death sentence. Most actually live! Also there is a lot of safety tips as well in the story.

Friday: Mike will tackle the advances in the science of severe weather forecasting. So much has changed over the last 20-30 years. So he’s going to catch you up on the advances and talk about how our main job is to try to keep you safe from these storms without scaring the heck out of you.

Remember there is a state(s)wide tornado drill on Tuesday. So for many, perhaps not all though, you should hear the sirens…as long as the weather cooperates.

So a busy week for FOX 4 and a good time to remember that severe weather season is around the corner. Also to remember that we can get bad storms at any time of the year..a.s last years Oak Grove tornado proved.

Our feature photo comes from ‎Kevin Prewitt


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