Archive for November 2007

Storm Warning…

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2007 at 3:56 pm
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

MANY PARTS OF THE AREA ARE UNDER A STORM WARNINGLow pressure will continue to move out of Colorado this evening and move through eastern Nebraska by tomorrow morning. Here’s the infrared satellite loop from the College of DuPage. As the storm system continues to move into Nebraska, abundant amounts of moisture will spread into KELOLAND. Some areas in south central & southeast South Dakota along with northwest Iowa will have snow by sunrise. You can track the progress of the rain/sleet/snow using KELOLAND Live Doppler Radar and other weather graphics from the Storm Center here. As the storm continues to drag in more moisture, periods of heavy snow will be possible with rates of 1-2" per hour during the late morning in southeast KELOLAND. Snow amounts through noon will approach 4" in some areas.
As warm air moves into the upper layers of the storm, snow will start to mix with sleet and may completely change over to all sleet by noon for areas along and south of Interstate 90. As the warmer air moves in, it will push the areas of heavy snow to the north. We’ve been trying to hit Watertown, Brookings, and Marshall with heaviest snow; 5-10". As the heavier snow bands move north, sleet will become a problem in the southeast. With enough warm air aloft and cold air at the surface seeing an inch or two of sleet is not out of the question. BUT, is the cold layer near the surface deep enough to support sleet during the afternoon or will freezing rain (ice) start to become a problem? This is the million dollar question! Below is the map of what we are thinking for snowfall amounts…
We think there will be significant ice accumulation (.25" or more) in northwest Iowa, with some of the freezing rain possibly making it to Interstate 90 in southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. The timing on the freezing rain will be after 12 noon.
This is a FAST moving system. Many locations will be done with the precip Saturday night. Any lingering precipitation will fall in the form of light snow Sunday morning.

Winter Storm Update-Friday AM

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2007 at 8:57 am
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

After a light coating of snow last night, the real deal will arrive tomorrow.  As of Friday morning, winter storm watches have been issued for much of southern and eastern KELOLAND…including Sioux Falls.Right now it appears this storm will start as snow overnight tonight, with a transition of sleet and freezing rain during the day south of that blue line…roughly from Wagner to near Sioux Falls…extending east on I-90 in Minnesota.  Don’t be surprised if the southern counties in that watch even go over to pure rain sometime late Saturday afternoon as warmer is drawn north into the storm system.  Many of these watches will be upgraded to warnings later today.You can already see the moisture coming our way from Texas and Oklahoma.  Strong south winds will transport that moisture our way starting late tonight.  It was also bring a quick shot of warmer air a few thousand feet above the surface…and that’s the reason we are forecasting a mix of precipitation with this system.By Saturday noon, the warm front at the surface should be in Nebraska.  However, there will be sleet and ice as far north as Sioux Falls the way it appears.  That surface low will track across Nebraska through the day, putting most of eastern KELOLAND in the path for significant precipitation.  Winds through the day will be from the southeast at 15-30 mph.Our current forecast calls for the heaviest snowfall accumulation from near Winner to Brookings and most of southwest Minnesota.  Aberdeen should be in a solid 3-6" band…with lesser amounts amounts near Pierre.  Rapid City should see the least amount with around 1-2" of snow.  The tricky part is south of Sioux Falls.  Areas of freezing rain and sleet have the potential to limit snowfall accumulation.  Having said that, we are forecasting around 3-6" of snow, with a trend toward more ice and less snow based on the new morning weather data.  We could easily see a 1/4" to 1/2" of ice in parts of northwest Iowa.  I expect further refinement of this forecast later today on KELOLAND news to reflect these trends.Brian Karstens

Weekend Snow/Ice

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 4:13 pm
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

A quick hit of flurries and light snow this evening with heavier snow, sleet, and freezing rain on the way for Saturday…
Tonight:  Expect scattered areas of flurries and light snow in southeast KELOLAND.  The areas with the best chance at the light snow and flurries will be east of Chamberlain to southwest Minnesota.  There’s a band of light snow developing on radar mainly north on Interstate 90, but areas about 30 miles south of the Interstate will also have a chance at light snow.  With a very dry atmosphere in place, the snow is having a hard time hitting the ground with many locations remaining dry.
Tomorrow:   Not much excitement with mostly sunny skies and cold temperatures.  Highs on Friday will stay in the 20s with west winds of 10-15 mph.
Saturday:   A lot going on as we fine tune the forecast.  First of, the storm system will be in eastern Nebraska to allow a quick surge of warmer air just above the surface.  This will supply southeast KELOLAND with plenty of moisture; the only problem will be in what form the precipitation falls.  As of now, we are looking at the heaviest snow to fall from Chamberlain to Huron then east to Brookings and Marshall.  This is an area that can see snow amounts of 6 inches or more.  South of that area, we expect to see the precip start as snow then switch to sleet and freezing rain as warmer air surges into the system.  While this area will have less than 6 inches of snow, we’ll have to watch for the potential for significant ice accumulation.  The best locations for the ice will be along and south of Interstate 90.  
WINTER STORM WATCH in effect for SaturdaySaturday Night/Sunday:   The storm system will move out of the area with any lingering precipitation falling in the form of snow.

Weekend Winter Storm

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 7:55 am
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Well, it’s about time we start talking about more active weather around here.  After all, we’ve only had a trace of precipitation the entire month in most areas!  So what can we expect this weekend?  Right now, we are watching a surge of some upper level support in the jet stream developing in the Pacific northwest.  An area of low pressure will likely develop near Denver by Friday night…which usually means stormy weather for KELOLAND isn’t too far away.  That appears to be the case this weekend.I’ve highlighted a possible strom track indicated by the red line.  Although important, the track of the storm is only one variable to follow.  The other is temperature.  Warmer air will quickly surge north Saturday morning.  That means moisture will rapidily increase along with the temperature a few thousand feet about the surface.  That being said, precip type becomes an issue for us in NW Iowa and adjacent areas of SE South Dakota and NE Nebraska.This map is still a "rough draft", but you can see the low near Denver and warm front over northern Kansas.  The warmer air will ride up and over that warm front, so a band of mixed precipitation should occur in part of southeast KELOLAND.  The exact placement of that band is still not know, so expect this to shift somewhat as new data arrives.There is enough confidence to indicate a "plowable" snowfall across most of southeast KELOLAND…perhaps extending to Aberdeen and also back to Pierre.  Snowfall amounts in Rapid City appear to be lighter at this time.  I would say 4+ inches is certainly possible in the heaviest band across eastern KELOLAND.  One of our computer models is forecasting up to 10" in some area of SE South Dakota and parts of southwest MN.  At any rate, if you haven’t packed your winter survival kit yet this season, this system should serve as a good reminder that "real" winter will soon be here.  Stay tuned…more on the storm to come.Brian Karstens 

Armistice Day Blizzard

Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 9:32 pm
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Here is some information on the Armistice Day Blizzard which occurred on November 10-12, 1940.  The blizzard laid a glancing blow on KELOLAND, with Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa getting hit the hardest.  This excerpt is from Minnesota Public Radio:It had been drizzling on the 10th with some fog and moderate temperaturesin the 40s F. The low pressure system moving toward Wisconsin from the southwest (Texas panhandle and Oklahoma) intensified and winds strengthened. New barometric low pressure records were later established at La Crosse (28.72 inches) at Duluth(28.66 inches), and at the downtown Minneapolis Weather Bureau Office a near-record low pressure of 28.93 inches was reported. Contrast this with a cold high pressure system to the northwest in Canada where the barometric reading was 30.7 inches and it is easy to see why the Armistice Day Blizzard is famous for having such strongwinds, wind which averaged over 25 mph for a 24 hour period, and gusted to over 60 mph.Rain turned to sleet and snow in the late morning on the 11th and worsened to blizzard conditions very rapidly, as snowfall rates approached 3 to 4 inches per hour. The air temperature fell by as much as 40 degrees F over 24 hoursand ice as thick as an inch coated poles and phone lines, breaking many of them. Forty-nine Minnesotans perished, including many duck hunters. Thousands of game birds and a great deal of livestock and poultry were killed as well. Losses to the turkey industry alone exceeded 1/2 million dollars. Snow removal and clean up to clear state highways, as well as county and township roads was estimated to exceed 1/2 million dollars as well. Total snowfall at Collegeville was 26.6 inches and snow drifts over 20 feet were reported in the Willmar area.Here are a few other interesting links: had a hard time locating any information on how the blizzard affected KELOLAND, if you experienced the blizzard or know stories from people who did; let us know what it was like in our Comments section below.

What is it… Explained???

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Administrator
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

We’ve received some interesting insight on the object we caught in the sky a few weeks ago.  It now sounds like the object was most likely an airplane.  However, the sky conditions and circumstances led to the very strange view of the plane.  Here is an excerpt of an email we got from George Stone at Ellsworth Air Force Base: "This is not the first contrail that has caused a stir and probably not the last. Unlike most reports this one has video. But even better, this one has fairly good quality video.
The combination of the rising sun illuminating the contrail, the heavy smoke/haze for a little color, and the high winds/turbulence at altitude made your video unique. While the aircraft was clear of the haze, the zoom-in detail from the camera showed the effect of the upper level winds and turbulence (there is no wind in space, so the space junk idea didn’t hold). The footage of the aircraft behind the haze/smoke layer didn’t show much detail as the smoke distorted the image, but it was way too bright to be completely blocked, the effect was COOL! The flashing and shape changing was interesting as it shined between layers of the smoke.
I did a little research while I was waiting to see the video and determined that a single aircraft, flying at standard airliner altitude (coast to coast, say 43,000′), would be visible across the entire state of SD, and remain visible for quite some time.
We had another of these recently, at sunset vs. sunrise, but the quality of the video was poor."While this explanation may be a bit disappointing to many of you conspiracy theorists; it is the theory that makes the most sense.  We are going to send some of the raw footage over to Ellsworth Air Force Base, and possibly they can identify exactly what it was.  We’ll keep you up to date if we get in any more information.