Archive for November 2006

Coldest Air of the Season!

Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 4:19 pm
By: Administrator
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As I write this blog entry, the wind is already increasing across western KELOLAND.  That’s the one part of our climate I could do without…but it defines our area and it’s what we expect.  The wind chill will be the big story and could be very cold for many areas.  Here are the forecast windchills tomorrow at noon.It gets even worse by Thursday morning!With weather like this…please remember your winter survival kit.
The following items should be included in your winter weather survival kit:

Shovel
First aid kit
Non-perishable food, such as granola bars and peanuts.
Flashlight with extra batteries
Candles and matches
Extra clothing, sleeping bags or blankets for everyone
Tire Chains
Battery-operated radio with batteries
Empty coffee can to be used to burn the candles or to melt snow for water.
Booster cables
Cell phone with fully charged batteries

Stay Warm!!

Americans refuse to participate

Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 9:52 pm
By: Administrator
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The World Meteorological Organization reports that the temperature of the earth last month goes into the books as the 4th warmest October since records began in 1880. That does not surprise me, since I have been receiving a lot of email from my colleagues around the world relating report after report about their weather being exceptionally hot. I sent emails back to several of my friends with the tongue-in-cheek subject line, "Americans Refuse to Participate in Global Warming." While Europe and the rest of the world have been warmer than normal the past two months, here in the U.S. we have actually had below-average temperatures in September and October. Despite the fact that large sections of our country are still suffering from drought, October was also precipitation-filled, the 12th wettest October on record.Scientifically-speaking, weather in the U.S. only represents a small fraction of what is going on around the globe, so one cannot infer that conditions in our country are typical of what is going on elsewhere. Global weather is a chaotic system that is always trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to balance itself. So it is perfectly reasonable that we can be wet and cool while the rest of the globe bakes.

Winter Outlook

Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 12:00 am
By: Administrator
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I unveiled the winter forecast during the KELOLAND Live Doppler Winter Special on Monday night.  For those of you who may have missed it, here it is…
 
This is my forth winter prediction, and so far I’m one for three.  My first prediction was for 50-60", we ended up with 56.6" that year…not bad for a rookie.  The second year, I didn’t do so well.  I called for 35-45" and we ended up with 27.4", way off.  But that includes the inch of rain that fell in February.  If that rain were snow, I may have been in range.  Last year’s called for 40-50" and we ended with 35.1", but again, a half-inch of rain fell in January.  This year, October has already brought in the cold and snow, but it may not last for the winter, here’s a look at what to expect.  We already have it in the books that the coming year will be an El Nino type year.  Current forecasts show that el nino is not only expected to continue, but gain strength.  Just because it’s el nino, doesn’t mean we can’t get snow storms early in the year.  Two of the top five heaviest autumn snow storms in Sioux Falls fell during an el nino year.  One snow storm gave us 13.4" on November 10 in 1998 and the other is the infamous Halloween Blizzard of 1991 with a storm total of 12.1".  Both those years we ended up with above average snowfall.  In 1991 we finished with 47.9" and in 1998 we had 55.2".  Well aside from seeing maybe one good snow storm, I don’t expect to see much snowfall through December, but do expect January through March to carry the load of the snow this year.  And it makes sense.  If we expect above average temperatures, it should be easier to see the best chances at getting snow during the coldest months of the year, January and February.  While that may sound good in theory, those are the months that blew my prior forecasts because of rain.  So here it is, I believe El Nino will influence us with above average temperatures, especially during the second half of winter when our average highs are in the low to mid 20s and average lows near zero.  I also believe this will be below average for snowfall.  Our typical winter brings about 40" of snow to Sioux Falls, I think we’ll be below again this year.  I’m shooting for a range of 28-38" with an exact number of 33.4".  If this holds true, it will mark the third consecutive below average snow total for Sioux Falls.  That hasn’t happened since the 70s. 

Snowfall Returns to KELOLAND

Posted: Friday, November 10, 2006 at 12:00 am
By: Administrator
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A little snow greeted most of KELOLAND this morning…more in some areas and less in others.  Here are some of the snowfall reports.ABERDEEN WFO        T    INCHES.BROOKINGS           T    INCHES.CHAMBERLAIN        0.1   INCHES.HURON AIRPORT      0.1   INCHES.MITCHELL            T    INCHES.RAPID CITY WFO     7.5   INCHES.RAPID CITY AIR     6.5   INCHES.SIOUX FALLS AIR    0.8   INCHES.WINNER              T    INCHES. YANKTON            1.0   INCHES.JACKSON            3.0   INCHES. PICKSTOWN           T    INCHES.YANKTON            1.0   INCHES.ROSCOE             0.1   INCHES.9 SW HILL CITY    7.0   INCHES.13 N VALENTINE     1.5   INCHES. 2 SSW KEYAPAHA    2.0   INCHES. WOOD               3.0   INCHES.MARTIN             3.0   INCHES.  KADOKA             3.0   INCHES.   1 S PHILIP        4.0   INCHES.SHADEHILL          1.0   INCHES. ELM SPRINGS        2.2   INCHES.BISON              2.0   INCHES.HOWES              7.0   INCHES.10 WSW RED ELM     3.0   INCHES. 9 SW LADNER       2.0   INCHES.  BUFFALO            3.0   INCHES.   COLONY             2.0   INCHES. 4 N SILVER CITY   8.0   INCHES. HERMOSA            5.0   INCHES.  NEWELL             3.0   INCHES.3 E STURGIS       7.0   INCHES.BLACKHAWK          8.0   INCHES.PACTOLA RESERVOIR  8.0   INCHES.   SUNDANCE           8.0   INCHES.FOUR CORNERS      10.0   INCHES.16 SW LEAD        10.0   INCHES.DEADWOOD           8.0   INCHES.13 SE DEADWOOD    12.0   INCHES.2 ESE COTTONWOOD  3.0   INCHES.TERRY PEAK         8.5   INCHES. SPEARFISH          3.0   INCHES.2 E YANKTON       1.0   INCHES. PICKSTOWN           T    INCHES.2 ESE SIOUX FALLS 1.0   INCHES.  WHITE LAKE          T    INCHES.WALL LAKE          0.8   INCHES.0635 AM     SNOW             PIPESTONE               44.00N 96.31W   11/10/2006  E0.3 INCH        PIPESTONE          MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0640 AM     SNOW             WINDOM                  43.87N 95.12W   11/10/2006  E2.0 INCH        COTTONWOOD         MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0648 AM     SNOW             WORTHINGTON             43.63N 95.60W   11/10/2006  M3.5 INCH        NOBLES             MN   BROADCAST MEDIA    0655 AM     SNOW             ORANGE CITY             43.00N 96.06W   11/10/2006  E1.0 INCH        SIOUX              IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0655 AM     SNOW             SPENCER                 43.15N 95.15W   11/10/2006  M6.0 INCH        CLAY               IA   BROADCAST MEDIA    0658 AM     SNOW             SHELDON                 43.18N 95.84W   11/10/2006  M1.0 INCH        O’BRIEN            IA   BROADCAST MEDIA    0700 AM     SNOW             SIOUX CENTER            43.08N 96.17W   11/10/2006  M1.0 INCH        SIOUX              IA   BROADCAST MEDIA    0700 AM     SNOW             GALVA                   42.51N 95.42W   11/10/2006  E4.0 INCH        IDA                IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.78 INCHES LIQUID AS COMBINATION OF RAIN AND SNOW   0700 AM     SNOW             2 NNE WORTHINGTON       43.65N 95.58W   11/10/2006  M4.5 INCH        NOBLES             MN   CO-OP OBSERVER     0700 AM     SNOW             2 NE LAKEFIELD          43.70N 95.14W   11/10/2006  M3.0 INCH        JACKSON            MN   CO-OP OBSERVER     0721 AM     SNOW             PICKSTOWN               43.07N 98.53W   11/10/2006  E0.0 INCH        CHARLES MIX        SD   CO-OP OBSERVER                 MEASURED TRACE OF SNOW.   0735 AM     SNOW             OCHEYEDAN               43.42N 95.54W   11/10/2006  M3.0 INCH        OSCEOLA            IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.38 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT.   0748 AM     SNOW             SIOUX RAPIDS            42.89N 95.15W   11/10/2006  M6.0 INCH        BUENA VISTA        IA   CO-OP OBSERVER     0800 AM     SNOW             2 ESE SIOUX FALLS       43.53N 96.69W   11/10/2006  M1.0 INCH        MINNEHAHA          SD   CO-OP OBSERVER                 MEASURED IN EASTERN SIOUX FALLS. INCLUDED 0.13 INCHES               LIQUID WITH MIX OF RAIN…SNOW…AND SLEET.   0800 AM     SNOW             WHITE LAKE              43.73N 98.71W   11/10/2006  M0.0 INCH        AURORA             SD   CO-OP OBSERVER                 TRACE OF SNOW MEASURED.   0800 AM     SNOW             BROOKINGS               44.31N 96.79W   11/10/2006  M0.0 INCH        BROOKINGS          SD   CO-OP OBSERVER                 TRACE OF SNOW MEASURED.   0804 AM     SNOW             EVERLY                  43.16N 95.32W   11/10/2006  M4.0 INCH        CLAY               IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.44 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT   0813 AM     SNOW             ROCK VALLEY             43.20N 96.30W   11/10/2006  M1.0 INCH        SIOUX              IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.25 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT FROM COMBINATION OF RAIN               AND SNOW   0815 AM     SNOW             WALL LAKE               43.53N 96.96W   11/10/2006  M0.8 INCH        MINNEHAHA          SD   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.09 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT   0820 AM     SNOW             4 N HORNICK             42.29N 96.10W   11/10/2006  M0.0 INCH        WOODBURY           IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.48 INCHES RAINFALL WITH JUST A TRACE OF SNOW FROM               OBSERVER 1NW OF HOLLY SPRINGS.   0825 AM     SNOW             HOLSTEIN                42.49N 95.54W   11/10/2006  M2.0 INCH        IDA                IA   CO-OP OBSERVER                 0.40 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT FROM COMBINATION OF RAIN               AND SNOW   0900 AM     SNOW             STORM LAKE              42.65N 95.20W   11/10/2006  E4.0 INCH        BUENA VISTA        IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             IDA GROVE               42.34N 95.47W   11/10/2006  E6.0 INCH        IDA                IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             JACKSON                 43.62N 94.99W   11/10/2006  E5.0 INCH        JACKSON            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT                SHERIFF DEPARTMENT ESTIMATED 4-6 INCHES.   0900 AM     SNOW             ROCK RAPIDS             43.43N 96.17W   11/10/2006  E2.0 INCH        LYON               IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             LUVERNE                 43.65N 96.21W   11/10/2006  E1.0 INCH        ROCK               MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             SPIRIT LAKE             43.42N 95.11W   11/10/2006  E5.0 INCH        DICKINSON          IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT                SHERIFF DEPARTMENT ESTIMATED 4-6 INCHES.   0900 AM     SNOW             1 SW CORRECTIONVILLE    42.47N 95.80W   11/10/2006  E3.0 INCH        WOODBURY           IA   TRAINED SPOTTER    0900 AM     SNOW             CHEROKEE                42.75N 95.55W   11/10/2006  E4.0 INCH        CHEROKEE           IA   TRAINED SPOTTER    0900 AM     SNOW             AKRON                   42.83N 96.56W   11/10/2006  M1.5 INCH        PLYMOUTH           IA   CO-OP OBSERVER     0900 AM     SNOW             HAWARDEN                43.00N 96.48W   11/10/2006  M0.8 INCH        SIOUX              IA   CO-OP OBSERVER     0900 AM     SNOW             PRIMGHAR                43.09N 95.63W   11/10/2006  E4.0 INCH        O’BRIEN            IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             SIBLEY                  43.40N 95.74W   11/10/2006  E1.0 INCH        OSCEOLA            IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             5 NW IDA GROVE          42.40N 95.54W   11/10/2006  E2.0 INCH        IDA                IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT    0900 AM     SNOW             SIOUX FALLS             43.54N 96.73W   11/10/2006  M0.8 INCH        MINNEHAHA          SD   OFFICIAL NWS OBS               0.09 LIQUID EQUIVALENT MEASURED AT JOE FOSS FIELD   0900 AM     SNOW             HURON                   44.36N 98.22W   11/10/2006  M0.1 INCH        BEADLE             SD   OFFICIAL NWS OBS               0.01 LIQUID EQUIVALENT   0930 AM     SNOW             4 W SPIRIT LAKE         43.42N 95.19W   11/10/2006  M3.7 INCH        DICKINSON          IA   CO-OP OBSERVER     0930 AM     SNOW             SIOUX CITY              42.50N 96.39W   11/10/2006  M0.5 INCH        WOODBURY           IA   OFFICIAL NWS OBS               0.30 INCHES LIQUID EQUIVALENT AS COMBINATION OF RAIN AND               SNOW.   1000 AM     SNOW             LAKE PARK               43.45N 95.32W   11/10/2006  E3.0 INCH        DICKINSON          IA   TRAINED SPOTTER   

Science, politics, and food on the table

Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 11:12 am
By: Administrator
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The career scientist faced an overwhelming dilemma: recant his life’s work and deny his long-held beliefs – or face the wrath of his church.
 
Galileo was on trial for heresy, because he publicly opposed the existing belief that the sun revolved around the earth. Under pressure, Galileo changed his position, stating “I must altogether abandon the false opinion… that the earth is not the center of the world.” In exchange for his confession, Galileo received house arrest.
 
Today, climatologists and a few meteorologists face a similarly important career choice. The issue is not their positions regarding astronomical objects, but whether man and machine have combined to raise our planet’s temperature. Global warming theories do not put scientists in prison, but research money connected with those theories does put food on their table. Being on the wrong side of the issue, whatever that is, can ruin a career.
 
Billions of dollars is spent on global warming research in the United States alone. Most of the grant money has been doled out to scientists whose studies conclude that human activities have caused the earth to warm, it will continue, and the result will be disastrous. That represents the consensus of the scientific community, and that view is considered mainstream. Detractors call scientists who hold that belief alarmists or environmental activists.
 
A smaller group of scientists, some of whom also hold impressive resumes, possess a different view. They downplay the temperature trends, computer models, and predicted environmental disasters. Like the other side, they also earn their salaries and funding from grants. For the rest of their careers, they will be known as skeptics, or more derogatory terms like “energy industry lackeys”. They have become banished from the mainstream.
 
Scientists, who used to be viewed as impartial voices of reason, are now looked upon as pawns of their paymasters. Interestingly, their work produces long-range forecasts that will not be verified in our lifetimes. Like Galileo, we will not know who is correct until long after most of us are dead.

The Fall Harvest

Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 4:18 pm
By: Administrator
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Fall is my favorite time of the year…mostly because of the fond memories I have growing up on the farm and the harvest.  I recently visited the farm and will make another trip with my family soon.  The methods of farming have changed a lot over the years and the weather-stress these crops can take is amazing.  My folks live near Atlantic, Iowa…a town of about 7,500 between Omaha and Des Moines.  As long as there’s enough moisture, the gently rolling hills of that region will produce a good crop.  I took this picture of dad’s combine with my camera phone.  As you can see, the bean crop looks pretty good.  That part of Iowa received just enough rain to keep the crops healthy, but never enough to replenish the subsoil moisture.  The wells have been in poor shape for about a year, but have recently improved after some heavy rain late this summer.  We still use these red wagons to haul in beans.  We have bigger equipment too, but I remember these the best.  They’ve been around ever since I was a kid!  The field in the picture above looks pretty good this year…but that hasn’t always been the case.  The extreme weather of the 1990′s flooded most of the foreground many times when I was growing up.  It proved to me just how variable the weather could be from year to year.  Let’s pray South Dakota farmers get a break in 2007 and see some good crops like the folks in Iowa have had this year.