A nice stretch of weather is underway! We’ve got nothing but sunshine mixed with a few clouds for the next several days. The rain chances will hold off until Saturday. We have a dry cold front coming through today, but it will only bring a bit cooler air for tonight. Last night’s low was 34 here in town, so I think we’ll go down to 30 tonight, with a very heavy frost. The winds will turn to the south on Wednesday, and that will set the stage for a nice warming trend (I’m ready for it!). Another strong cold front moves in here on Saturday with showers and storms, followed by much cooler weather for Sunday and Monday. Next Sunday could be very similar to this past Saturday, though maybe a bit warmer. I’ll keep you posted. I do want to mention that the risk for severe weather with this front looks low at this point. I’ll keep an eye on that too.
If any of you all were looking for a good week to get your ground ready for gardening this might be it. If you plant anything don’t plant anything that’s sensitive to frost, extended outlooks continue to look cool for us, but potatoes and things like that could certainly be planted. It doesn’t take long for the ground to dry out when we have sun, warmer temps, and a bit of a breeze like we will this week. Things will really dry out by Friday and that might be the perfect day to plant potatoes. Unfortunately, the “signs” don’t favor planting on Friday, if you go by those…. (https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening/)
The severe weather associated with this next cold front is expected to stay to our west. Right now, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area well to our west for severe storms on Saturday. The storms are expected to be weaker when they reach us.
Also, the extended outlooks look chilly for us. This is the temperature outlook for next week. I’m just the messenger! (ha) Like I said, don’t even think about putting out any plants that are sensitive to frost….
Yesterday, I mentioned that 65 years ago last night an echo appeared on the radar screen at the Willard Airport near Champaign, Illinois. Normally, precipitation on the radar back then looked like various blobs on the screen. However, this particular “blob” looked like a fish hook. The radar technician thought it looked peculiar and took out his camera and snapped several pictures of it. Little did he know he was seeing a hook echo of a supercell thunderstorm that was producing a tornado.
Interestingly, the radar was supposed to have been turned off for maintenance. However, it had been left on and when the radar technician saw the unusual echo on the screen, he took a picture of it. Also, this was one of the only radars in the country that was a research-grade level radar. It was being used to verify precipitation amounts in rain gauges within the radar-covered area. The research hoped to show that radar could be used to estimate the amount of precipitation falling from the sky. Who would have thought we’d discover that you can “see” tornadoes on radar? Thankfully, the radar was south of the storm, meaning that the hook showed up really well and wasn’t hidden by precipitation falling from the storm. It was also a bit coincidental that this storm was strong enough to produce such a pronounced hook signature.
A report written up about this discovery stated, “It may be possible to establish radar storm warning systems in tornado areas to reduce loss of lives.” I’d say that’s for sure! This discovery helped pave the way for a nationwide coverage of radars that has saved countless lives over the decades.
Can you imagine how bad the science of meteorology would be without radar and satellite? And we’ve only had them for about 60 years. We’re definitely taking leaps and bounds with technology now, so there’s no telling what we’ll be seeing in the next 60 years!
Below is that first “hook echo” seen on the radar.
And someone managed to get a picture of the tornado associated with that radar image! That was quiet rare back in these days!
I’d say we’ve come a long way. This is what a similar image would look like today.
You all have a great day! Tomorrow I have a funny weather story for you all. Be sure and stay tuned for that!