Archive for April, 2011

Ask Anthony… Cloud Seeding
April 28, 2011

This is an e-mail I received from Ray:

With the drought in Texas being so severe and watching all the moisture laden clouds being drawn to the storms north of this area…  I keep wondering why the government doesn’t consider seeding those clouds.  Seems to me that it would be cheaper than fighting the wild fires and could also reduce the intensity of the storms further north.  If technology can make cloud seeding work now it would truly be a win-win.

Hi Ray,

Good question.  The problem is it wouldn’t be cheaper.  Cloud seeding takes fuel, chemicals and, of course, an airplane.  None of these are cheap on the scale we are talking about.  One plane won’t do the trick, and are we going to ask the government in these cash-strapped times to send out hundreds of planes making hundreds of trips to cover a relatively small area?  Our state is huge — what counties are left out?  Who gets the seeding?  West Texas, where the fires have been the worst, is a dry climate. Seeding may work for a short time, but lower humidity would erase all moisture picked up by the vegetation.  There are also the political impacts.  What if Montgomery County is sprayed and fires break out in in Liberty, Waller and Walker counties? People would start asking if rain was “taken” away from their cities because someone in the government felt Montgomery County was more worthy.  Lastly, there is still some debate out there about if weather cloud seeding really works.  Southeast Texas is a good example of how seeding the clouds may not help.  Our problem isn’t a lack of moisture, it’s the strong inversion over our area.  More moisture won’t break the cap on our atmosphere.  We need low pressure, the jet stream or some other strong lifting mechanism to break the cap. Once that happens, we’ll get rain.

To sum it up, it would cost too much, help too little and there is no guarantee it would bring about the results needed in the areas sprayed. 

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Most Tornadoes in April
April 26, 2011

 This record was set in 1974.

This month alone tornadoes have killed 44 people, and we are mostly likely on the way to setting a new record for the amount of tornadoes in the month of April.  I say “most likely” because the 574 reported tornadoes are sightings, not confirmed tornadoes.  Oftentimes multiple sightings of the same tornado are reported.  It will take some time until all of the data is sorted through and the number of confirmed tornadoes is determined.  The 574 tornadoes will probably end up being quite a bit smaller, but still likely to be the record for the most active April on record. 

Typically, May and June are more active tornado months but that may not be the case this year.  With all of the energy being spent most likely we’ll see the tornado threat move farther north and east with the numbers going down.  Looking at history, an active April leads to quieter May and June.   

To view past weather quiz answers click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers

100% of Texas is in A Drought
April 22, 2011

 

Click image to view Friday’s webcast.

Why We’ve Been Dry (Part 3) & The Tropics
April 21, 2011

On this webcast I show the weather patterns the last six months and explain why the fires have been so severe in Texas.  And the tropics coming alive in April?  It’s happened before.  Click image to view Thursday’s webcsat.

Drought Worsening
April 18, 2011

 

Click image to view Monday’s webcast.

BP MS 150 Forecast
April 15, 2011

I know you are looking forward to the chilly mornings with mostly tail winds throughout your ride.  Click image to watch your BP MS 150 forecast:

Why We’ve Been So Dry (Part 2)
April 14, 2011

Yesterday on this blog I shared how a strong upper level flow is moving storms in and out of Texas so fast that we can’t receive more than just a passing shower.  Today I discuss how a strong inversion is preventing storms from forming.  This inversion has been in place since October, and we need a strong low pressure area or dry line to break it.  Click image to view Thursday’s webcast: