Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No matter what, it only gets brighter from here.

Happy Winter Solstice everyone.
Stonehenge, more reliable than the Mayan Calendar with no pesky 2012 updates.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Eclipse - The fourth sign

 Earthquakes, and sun spots, and eclipses oh my.  Taken from Northern Sedgwick Co. the morning of Saturday, December 10, 2011.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The tree's are bare in the back yard, yet today was in the mid-60's and beautiful.  Found a nice leaf photo from our October Blaze Maple just as the leave started to turn and the photo of someone who thought their Karate was stronger than mine.  Mostly taken with a macro lens.

All's Quiet

Down time.

The Sedgwick Co Zoo is one of the nation's top 10 zoos.  When the weather is nice, I like to take my kids and camera.  Here are some of my favorite photos, and no, the animals don't pose for you.

The elusive King Cobra

New baby Chimp with dead bird toy

Koi, Carp, and the occasional brave duck.

People tell me I'm crazy and sick, when I tell them to dress your kids in pinks, reds, and orange.  It will attract the predators.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Nothing much forecast severe for the rest of the year.   We had decent rain, and I saw the first flakes of snow fall this year.   I thinking of settling down for a long winter nap.  Will post if anything comes about.

Another sign


In the Midwest.

Our strange year continues. . .

A moderate earthquake struck near OKC last week sending tremors as far north as Kansas City.  I didn't feel the actual quake, but those who did said:

I thought the dog was hitting the bed.
It felt like an animal was stuck in the chair trying to get out.
I didn't realize what it was until I heard the glass clinking.
It made me feel ill.

There is a little debate at the time on whether some of the new fracking (yes, I am a BSG fan, but this has to do with releasing high pressure water to fracture oil and gas from shale) may be at cause in Oklahoma and Kansas.

From the US Geological Service:

Monday, as I was half falling asleep, the chair began to move.  I thought our large dog hit it, wanting petted.  Then I heard a large glass wine decanter on our china hutch clink.  This was an aftershock to Saturday night's quake, but the first time I've experienced it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween is in the air

A little bit of cloud action, but the Harvest moon looks like a big monster's eye.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First . . . a sign

Per A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field around noon Universal Time on Sept. 26th. The impact set the stage for a night to remember. As soon as darkness fell over Scandinavia, auroras filled the sky with such intensity that they were visible through rain clouds. Fredrik Broms photographed the scene from Kvaløya, Norway:
Maybe if you squint hard enough, the violent space weather will be visible in the upper Midwest.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Slightest Chance

Second season?  Storm chances today, area of interest west of Wichita.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Texas fires

Photo floating around Facebook today.  Can't imagine the feeling.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Don't let it fool you . . .

I was a slooooooooooooow year in South central Kansas.  I find it amazing to look at the tornados in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Dakota this year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

I'm setting here with the windows open.  With 40 days over 100 streak this has been a pleasure with 60 degree temperatures outside.  A handful of weak cold fronts came through in the last week, one causing the storms I posted last week.  This one set up a slight squall line that gave the dramatic orange atmosphere that always makes one think of bad weather.

This was a two part line, the first one missed Wichita from the west with the second only barely touching the eastern corner of Sedgwick Co.

 Wind hit about 30MPH but it barely rained and the lightning moved off to the east.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Warning August 9, 2011

A large group of storms invaded Kansas and brought some much needed rain.  They also brought damaging winds that caused damage in Burton and Hutchinson.  They also flipped a semi on K-96.  I watched the storms moving in from Great Bend which also caused a brief tornado warning in Ellis country around 9:00.  As the storms neared Hutchinson I grabbed my gear and went out.

When I got a little bit out of the city, I kept looking to the northwest wondering what exactly I was looking at.  There is always a few moment after leaving the house and looking at RADAR you're left with that feeling of the unknown.

Lightning illuminated the smooth sides of the rotating storm.  The storm itself, when at it's most powerful looked like three plates staked upon each other.

Winds were very steady at 30mph.  There was a slight gust that almost took the camera and tripod but luckily the remote sensor was connected and I used it like keeping a dog at bay.

lighting up the shelf as it almost passed overhead.

Sorry, shameless self promotion

 The storm moved near and I went a little further north to look at some of the scary looking clouds (SCUD) hanging from the bottom.  As I went to the clearing most of the clouds had died off and the storm lost its structure.  Lightning struck overhead and just to the north.  I decided it was time to go home.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning August 9, 2011

This Storm Tracker is going to bed, pics tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have a great network of family and friends.

When napping they are some of the first to shake me and ask what do I think I'm doing.  I hate to say it, sometimes I get caught unaware.  Last night, I was with a group of people unaware of what the atmosphere was doing, when I got a couple texts.  Severe thunderstorm warning in Kingman Co (county to the west), and are you out taking pictures.  The last one woke me up.  A quick look at the radar and I realized we were in for a good storm.

After discussing it, one of my friends looked at me and said "I just checked Facebook for your storm update and realized you're right there."

I made it about half way home when it hit.  70ish MPH winds and rain bad enough that it went to zero visibility.    Cloud to ground and cloud to cloud lightning was almost like a strobe light.

The car slightly hydroplaned and I felt myself drifting on the street with the wind.  I moved into a large parking lot and pointed my car into it (Rule: ever stuck in high wind? Your front and rear windshields are stronger than your sides, steer into the wind).  I sat in the parking lot watching power flashes all over making sure I was away from the light poles.  Luckily, I knew this wasn't a tornadic storm or that would have inspired some panic.

By the end of it, 10,000 were without power and a lot of drought plagued trees gave up the ghost.  We've had 39 days in Wichita, Kansas at or above 100 degrees and really lack rain.  Last nights 2.5 inches that fell in an hour helped some, but with the speed of rain and the dry crust of earth, more ran off than was absorbed.

There was a lot of street flooding on the way home.  A couple places the water reached to the curbs and across the road.

That's the lovely Chevy POS in the background.
Then when I got home I saw the last Bradford Pear in the front yard gave up the ghost.  This morning, I saw the crack went down to ground and the tree had to be removed.  Now, a naked front yard.  We lost the other Bradford Pear over three years ago after an ice storm.  The tree hit the Chevy POS, but at this point anything to it isn't damage, it's character.

Uprooted tree at work.
Sad thing is, a combination of this years drought and occasional strong pop up storms have made trees very fragile.
storm reports courtesy of NOAA.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I'm a cold weather guy, Spring, Fall, Winter are my best months.  This summer has been torture.  We started hitting 100 degree days in May and looking at the forecast, it's not letting up.

Currently in the Midwest we have a moderate to extreme drought.  I think were somewhere between a 6-7 inch rain deficit for the year.   

Rain has been on the horizon but seems to stand in place and dissipate rapidly.  The popcorn storms form quick, drop lots of rain over a small area, then produce strong wind as they fall apart causing brief thunderstorm warnings.

This was taken looking west toward one of the warned areas.  The corn has mostly withered.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

too hot

The tally of days over one hundred degrees melted yesterday and my hopes for rain were completely dashed.  The forecast for next week looks like a bad Tonight Show joke for weather in Hell.  Although it does appear the weatherman changed tomorrows forecast to 99 to stave off villagers with pitchforks.

We had rain to the west and south of us today, even felt a couple drops while out shopping today, but the rain eluded us.  Dissipated before it crossed over.

There's a line of showers to the northwest trying to kick up, we will have to hope and see.

Monday, July 4, 2011

07/02/11 Hesston, KS

I can't claim this one although I ran that way after hearing of the tornado warning.  Special thanks to Aimee, who was already at the location and grabbed video of a brief tornado.  There was so much rain, I didn't get a thing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

06/20/11 Squall

The dry line lazily rolled closer to Wichita with a whimper of threat.  Storms were firing in Salina, but down here, wind.  Nothing seemed to be happening so I went a little north to watch the storms. 

 To the south, a single cumulus tower began to rise and soon all hell broke loose.  Before the storm even seemed to mature the National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the area.

Clouds began stacking up on the dryline and  we had a squall line.

Hail, high wind, and lots of rain.

The line took over an hour to move thorough town.  There was wind related damage (trees, a couple roofs, and power lines), but no significant hail.


Afterwards mammatus clouds were very visible on the tail end of the front showing lots of turbulence up above.  The temp dropped about 25 degrees and we finally lost the blast furnace wind that hit most of the day.