Why This Picture Is Funny, Sad And True All At The Same Time

10/01/15

Hurricane Track

I have a cousin that lives in Florida who shared this meme with me today as Hurricane Joaquin makes headlines all across the country. While my initial reaction was to laugh at both at the picture itself and the obvious misspelling, it really got me thinking about how I communicate the weather.

The above picture, while clearly exaggerated, highlights that uncertainty that meteorologists see every single day when they look at forecast models. Here is a perfect example of that uncertainty with Wednesday’s forecast models showing their projected Joaquin track.

Tropical Spaghetti Models

And now today’s (Thursday’s) models showing the projected Joaquin track.

Tropical Spaghetti Models 2

In just 24 hours there is a BIG difference in the two pictures with the latter showing a much greater potential for a track out to sea and hopefully away from the United States. The forecast will continue to become more accurate in the days to come as the storm moves further north and closer to the U.S.

Now back to my original picture.

Hurricane Track

I want to share a couple of thoughts that go through my head every day and especially when there is the potential for something to have a big impact like a winter storm, severe weather outbreak or even in this case a hurricane.

1) Before social media I’m willing to bet the majority of the public didn’t know plots like this even existed. Social media makes it SO easy to share information and I think that’s a great thing. But how much information can we really digest in any given day? I can’t help but think that your average Joe is perusing through his or her Facebook feed thinking this. “Oh, that’s a cute (insert animal here), looks like so and so had a great vacation! I can’t believe how big their kid is getting! Oh my goodness, what the heck is this?”

Tropical Spaghetti Models 2

“Don’t those meteorologists have ANY idea on where that dang hurricane is headed, how dumb can they be?”

I LOVE sharing information on how the weather process works, how it develops and how it is forecasted. But I think it’s an honest question to ask when I say “Is this information overload on a platform like Facebook or Twitter? Or is this something that people genuinely want to see and learn more about?”

2) Are meteorologists shooting themselves in the foot when they share images like this? I have been a meteorologist for nearly 10 years professionally. I have seen the climate both before and AFTER the social media boom. There is immense pressure to be the first to post, the first to give a forecast even when it’s 7 or 8 days out and the overall expectation to make sure whatever it is you post on social media gets attention, likes and shares. This inherently creates a “what if” climate in the weather world (which I myself am guilty of too!) What essentially is happening is that meteorologists are taking the uncertainty in forecasts that has ALWAYS existed and sharing it publicly exposing that uncertainty to the public. A running joke that I always hear time and time again is, “I wish I had your job, I wish I could be right half the time and still keep my job!” I know that 95% of the people who tell me this are joking, but there is truth to a joke sometimes. The fact of the matter is that most meteorologists are right the vast majority of the time, unfortunately it’s just human nature to remember the few busted forecasts rather than the successes. I constantly wonder if we are only perpetuating that notion by sharing these “what if” scenarios even if we make it abundantly clear that they are not forecasts.

I’ve seen meteorologists in the camp that says limit your sharing to social media and I have seen meteorologists who share everything they can. Who am I to say what’s right? All I know is that I’m pretty lucky to be in such a changing industry, and it’s a challenge everyday to try to figure out the best ways to communicate across all these new and exciting platforms.

-Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

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Blood Moon/Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse, Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

9/24/15

West Central Ohio is in for quite the celestial treat late Sunday evening if we can manage to keep the skies clear! The fourth total lunar eclipse in 2 years will be seen around much of the world as the moon is expected to pass completely into the earth’s shadow!

No doubt you have probably heard the terms “Blood Moon” and “Super Moon ” being thrown around with this upcoming eclipse, these terms both sound pretty intimidating until you look at what they actually mean and what we can expect when viewing this event.

Blood Moon: As far as I know and understand, every TOTAL lunar eclipse can be considered a blood moon. Think of when the sun sets and changes color. As the light from the sun is blocked by the earth’s horizon and is refracted, the light begins to be filtered leaving mostly orangeish/reddish colors remaining. The same process takes place during a total lunar eclipse when the sun’s light is blocked and refracted around the earth as moon moves into the earth’s shadow.

Eclipse Graphic

Super Moon: The “Super Moon” term refers to the full moon where the moon is closest to the earth during its monthly cycle, or otherwise known as its “perigee”. The perigee this month happens to both fall on the full moon AND the day of the eclipse (Sunday Night). At this time the moon will be roughly 220,000 miles from earth making it appear slightly bigger.  According to NASA, this won’t happen again until 2033.

So when can we expect to see this phenomenon?

The eclipse will technically begin just after 8 PM Sunday evening but probably won’t be visible to the naked eye until 9:07 PM when the moon begins to pass into the earth’s umbral shadow.

Eclipse 1

The total eclipse will begin shortly after 10 PM.

Eclipse 2

The total eclipse will be visible for over 1 hour and come to an end at 11:23 PM.

Eclipse 3

Then onto another partial eclipse with the event nearing its end by 12:27 AM Monday morning.

Eclipse 4

As of now the forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies on Sunday, this definitely isn’t ideal for watching the eclipse, but I’m still confident that because of the length of this event we should be able to see parts of it! I’ll keep you updated!

-Kyle

 

My Top 5 Weather Related Movies Of All Time!

Here it is, My personal top five list of weather related movies! The only real criteria to be part of this list was that some aspect of the weather or a weather person play some sort of central role in the plot of the movie. I’m also interested in what movies you think I may have left off this list. So without further ado here is this weatherman’s list of his favorite weather related movies!

5) The Weatherman

Weatherman

Nick Cage plays a successful Chicago weatherman who’s personal and family life is falling apart before his eyes. He gets very little respect out on the streets with fans regularly throwing food and shouting all kinds of obscenities at him. He is torn between staying in the Midwest and moving to NYC where he would be a part of a national news broadcast. Overall, this movie paints a pretty dark picture of my profession that I’m thankful to say is not true (at least from my experience). It’s definitely a dark comedy that is worth a watch, especially if you’re a Nicholas Cage fan.

4) LA Story

LA Story

Steve Martin plays a wacky Los Angeles weatherman who has very little weather to forecast other than 72 degrees and sunshine. Martin’s character, Harris Telemacher, grows bored of his path in life and embarks on a journey to find some meaning sparked by a broken down car and a malfunctioning traffic sign along the highway. This movie is in no way nearly as funny as some of Martin’s other hits like “The Jerk” but if you’re a Steve Martin fan as I am, you always get a good laugh from his over the top style of comedy.

3) Twister

Twister

I don’t think I know a meteorologist who doesn’t love this movie. It’s not the case for me, but I would argue that this movie is singlehandedly responsible for more people deciding to be meteorologists than any other flick. This is the movie that made weather interesting to the masses, and to use a popular cliché, it was a “game changer” in the world of weather.

2) Wizard Of Oz

Wizard

A Kansas tornado that magically changes a dull, black and white world into one of magic and colors! Who doesn’t love this classic movie? This was one of the first movies I can ever remember seeing, and I’m sure that’s the case too for many reading this as well 🙂

1) Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Ironically, I could watch this movie over and over and over! This is a clear cut #1 for me. This movie is not only at the top of my list of best weather related movies but also favorite movies of all time. If you have never seen this movie, rent it or look it up on Netflix NOW!

I also asked our other two meteorologists here at the station about their top five list.

Elise’s List

5) Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

4) Into The Storm

3) Twister

2) Waterworld

1) Wizard Of Oz

Allison’s List

5) Twister

4) Perfect Storm

3) Day After Tomorrow

2) Wizard Of Oz

1) Titanic

 

 

CCCC 2015 Forecast

I’m excited to be traveling to Florida this week for CCCC 2015, where I will be co-presenting on how to build credibility in social media spaces. This is something that has been of great interest to me for nearly a decade as a Professional Television Broadcast Meteorologist. I’m also looking forward to meeting and speaking with educators and communications professionals from around the country. And if you’re like me you’re looking forward to higher temps and sunny skies. Here’s my personal forecast to help you C’s folks know what to expect over the next coming days.

Coming off of a BITTER cold February here in Ohio, it’s hard to imagine what 80 degrees feels like at this point. Just yesterday we were able to warm into the mid 60’s for the first time since November of 2014, and let me tell you, it felt absolutely amazing! So you can probably imagine my excitement when looking at the forecast for this years convention and seeing temperatures well into the 80’s.

I am expecting a good deal of sunshine on Wednesday across much of Florida. With this sun, high temperatures should easily warm into the mid 80’s. Here is a look at the projected temps around 4 PM Wednesday.

Wednesday 4 PM Temps

A very weak cold front will SLOWLY drop south toward the Tampa area during the day as well. This front could spark off a few light rain showers late afternoon and evening, but it’s honestly looking like most of the day will be dry thanks to a strong area of high pressure sitting over the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday

As this front slowly sags south on Thursday we’ll see a better chance for pop up type rain showers. The cold front will slowly settle across Central Florida by Thursday afternoon, all the while the aforementioned area of high pressure weakens a bit over the Gulf. This will be a little more conducive for scattered showers Thursday afternoon and evening. Here is a look at Thursday morning around 10 AM.

Thursday AM

And here is a look by Thursday afternoon with showers developing along the cold front.

Thursday PM

Again, these showers will be widely scattered on Thursday and by no means do I think it will be anywhere near a wash out. Even with a few more clouds and the possibility of showers I still think temperatures by Thursday afternoon should easily make it into the 80’s.

Thursday 2 Temps

It’s looking like more of the same into Friday and Saturday with that weakening cold front still possibly being the focus for light showers. Temperatures should hold into the low 80’s too well into the weekend!

Check out my presentation, “Examining Ethos in Social Media Spaces” session I-23 from 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Friday. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

 

The Cold Continues!

2/16/15

Who’s ready for more cold? OK, don’t everyone raise your hands at once! 😉 But seriously, there won’t be much of a break from these recent bitter cold temperatures all week-long here in West Central Ohio. As a matter of fact, it looks like we have at least another 2 nights with BELOW zero temperatures expected. On Tuesday, we’ll be lucky to warm into the 20’s (I know, balmy, right?) Before yet another shot of arctic cold moves in Tuesday night and Wednesday thanks to a cold front moving through.

Kyle RPM 12KM Futurecast

With this front will come light snow showers Tuesday afternoon and evening through Wednesday. Thankfully, it’s not looking as if it will be much snow though, maybe a half of an inch to an inch for the period Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening.

RPM Future Snow

Once the cold front passes through Tuesday evening, the cold will cover a big chunk of the United States through the remainder of the week.

JETSTREAM

Wednesday and Thursday are looking to be the coldest days of the week. Projected lows from both the GFS and European model are below zero for Wednesday night. Not to mention wind chills that will likely once again be in the 10 to 20 below zero range!

GFS Temps

Euro Temps

It looks as if this will be the pattern for the rest of the month of February. The 6 to 10 day temperature outlook from NOAA doesn’t give us much hope.

610temp_new

And again you can always keep up on the latest radar, temperatures and advisories using our weather app!

New FB App

Stay warm!

-Kyle

 

 

West Central Ohio Weekend Snow Chance

The past couple of days you might have heard me talk about the potential for accumulating snow over the weekend, I wanted to give a quick update now that some of the latest data has come in.

We’ll have two chances for accumulating snow this upcoming weekend, the first chance Saturday night and the second, Sunday night. Of the two, it looks as if the better shot at accumulating snow will be on Sunday night. Here is a look at some of the graphics.

First off, almost all of the forecast models have now backed off on the idea that we could see an inch or two of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning. A cold front will be moving in out of the west, and out ahead of it, light snow will develop and spread through the great lakes.

Future Sat Night

As this area of light snow moves in through Sunday morning, it looks as if the potential for accumulating snow will be focused more north of West Central Ohio. As I mentioned earlier, most of the forecast models agree. Here is a look at a few of them showing snowfall through Sunday morning.

Here is the RPM

RPM Future Snow

The EURO

EURO Future Snow

And the GFS

GFS Future Snow

It looks like a dusting to MAYBE a half inch of snow for most Saturday night into Sunday morning.

So now onto Sunday night…..

As of now, most of the day Sunday looks snow free with the exception of a few light flurries. But by Sunday night the aforementioned cold front will move into Western Ohio and begin to pull up some more moisture out of the south.

Future Wide

This will bring a better chance at snow to the region simply because the front will have more moisture to work with Sunday night. Here is a closer look at where models project that snow to be around midnight Sunday.

Depending on how fast this front moves through will determine how much, if any snow we get. If the front stays on its current pace it looks as if we could easily get an inch, maybe 2 inches into Monday morning. If the front slows down, we could possibly see an inch more, and if it speeds up we could maybe just see a dusting. It’s all about timing! For now, here is a look at the chance parts of West Central Ohio could see an inch or snow or more from Sunday evening through Monday afternoon. Notice the better chances are generally south and east of Lima.

Sunday Night Snowfall

The bottom line is that I believe the better chance to see an inch or so of accumulating snow will be on Sunday night, NOT Saturday night. We’ll be sure to keep you updated through the weekend! And REMEMBER, you can track snow on our weather app 🙂

APP PIC

 

 

Partial Solar Eclipse Thursday!

A partial solar eclipse will be seen on Thursday for much of the United States, including West Central Ohio. The eclipse will begin around 5:45 in the evening and will actually be in progress while the sun sets.

Solar Eclipse Graphic

It’s important to remember to NEVER look directly at the sun. Fortunately there are other ways to see this phenomena and not risk damaging your eyes by staring directly at our nearest star. Here is a good link from NASA on how to view the eclipse.

Here is another good link to the Slooh Community Observatory. They will be live broadcasting the eclipse tomorrow evening!

-Kyle

 

 

Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday Morning!

The sun and the moon will literally do battle tomorrow morning during the morning hours with a total lunar eclipse set to dazzle eyes all across the country. This is the second full lunar eclipse that we will see this year, two more are expected next year as well with one in April and September of 2015

The partial eclipse will begin shortly after 5 AM Wednesday morning with the total eclipse beginning around 6:25 AM. This will take place with the moon setting in the western horizon and should make for quite the spectacle since the moon will appear bigger being so close to  the horizon.Here is a video with more details!

And it looks as if mother nature will cooperate with clearing skies expected overnight here in West Central Ohio! Here is a look at two short-term models showing clear skies around 7 AM Wednesday morning!

HRRR Cloud Cover RPM Satellite

Again, the partial eclipse will begin around 5:15 AM with the total eclipse starting at 6:25 AM. Happy viewing!

-Kyle

Welcome To October’s Temperature Roller Coaster!

Are you ready? It’s that time of year! The time of the year when mother nature will REALLY begin to have a hard time making up her mind on whether or not she wants to hang on to summer, or dive in head first into Fall.

The ride begins on Thursday with West Central Ohio expected to warm into the low 80’s in what will very much feel like a Summer day. But the warmth will be very short-lived thanks to a strong cold front slated to move through on Friday. The front will begin to move in from the West on Thursday night bringing scattered showers to the region into the pre-dawn hours on Friday with the front expected to move through sometime early afternoon during the day.

Kyle RPM 12KM Futurecast

As of now the chance for severe weather with this front is very low. Nonetheless, I’ll still be watching Friday early afternoon as the front passes through for the small chance one or two storms along it become severe.

DAY 2 OUTLOOK

As of now the big reason why I’m not very concerned with severe weather is due to the fact that there won’t be much CAPE in the region as the front moves through early Friday afternoon. Again, CAPE is the atmospheres potential to rapidly produce storms with strong updrafts to fuel them. Almost no sunshine is forecasted for Friday, that allows ample cloud cover to help keep the atmosphere stable. ALSO, the area of low pressure seen in the above picture will be pulling pretty far north and occluding from the main cold front. This process helps to cut off low-level moisture (higher dew points) from making it this far north. At best, dew points on Friday will make it into the low 60’s, that’s not all that impressive for severe weather.

There will be high amounts of wind shear present over the region as the cold front moves through though.

NAM SHEAR

This wind shear along the front will help to initiate widespread rain through the Great Lakes most of the day Friday. Wind shear (a change in wind direction or speed in the atmosphere) is a lifting process. This lift along the cold front will no doubt trigger rain, but without that extra ummph from instability and higher CAPE, I would be surprised if we just saw nothing more than regular showers and thunderstorms with occasional higher wind gusts during the day. And if you’re thinking about heading to a game Friday night. The showers should be beginning to taper off by kick off but be sure to dress warm and bring the umbrella just in case!

Here’s the biggest news! It’s looking like temperatures on Saturday will STRUGGLE to break 50 degrees behind this strong cold front. My forecast right now has us at 52 for the high, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t even make it out of the 40’s! You can see the COOL air in this model, the time shown is Saturday afternoon.

NAM Temps

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not that concerned about Friday. But you know I’ll have my eye on it regardless! And if you haven’t yet, please check out our FREE weather app! You can always keep an eye on storms with our interactive radar along with receive automatic updates on watches and warnings!

APP PIC

-Kyle

Beach Trip With A Baby!

This past week my wife and I took a trip to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with our 7 month old little girl. First off, if you’re wondering where Ocean Isle Beach is, it’s about 30 miles or so to the north of Myrtle Beach just over the border into North Carolina.

OIB

Of course we were a little bit nervous, but our little girl, August was a champ on the trip down! Packing a beach trip for a baby adds all kinds of new elements to think about when getting ready. But out of all the things we brought, this baby beach tent may have been the most clutch. It worked out perfectly to help shade her from the sun and get her out of the sand when she was tired 🙂

Beach tent

 

The weather was kind of what you might expect for late September, there were a few days of sun and 80 degree weather followed by a few days of showers and temperatures in the upper 60’s. But that didn’t stop us from getting out to the beach on most days to enjoy some nice time as a family. As you can see in the picture below, someone was pretty pumped to be at the beach.

August

It’s always great to get away for a bit, but we’re glad to be back. Here are a few more shots from our trip.

meg feeds august

Beach

-Kyle