What a difference a mere couple weeks can make. While many areas are just now enjoying snow free yards a large portion of the Midwest and Southeast are preparing for severe weather today. The Storm Prediction Center shows many states with up to a 15% of tornadoes today (see map above).
It's days like today that Weather Defender can really pay for itself. In addition to being able to watch the radar for approaching storms, there's a long list of other layers that can be added that help prepare you for what could be coming. Some of these are:
- Storm reports (review reports from spotters as the storm approaches)
- Storm tracks (see where a certain cell is going and how fast it's getting there)
- Lightning Strikes - Premium addition (allows you to see how much lightning is involved with a storm)
- MESO (shows where possible mesocyclones, storms with rotation as indicated by radar, are)
- Storm Attributes (helps pinpoint where hail could occur and how large it could be)
- Watches/warnings (see up-to-date watches and warnings posted on your map as they are issued)
As always, make sure you have multiple sources of information for severe weather including Weather Defender, other internet sources, weather radio and television.
Expanding on our previous posting concerning High Resolution Screen Captures, Weather Defender has a feature that allows you to capture screenshots at prescribed intervals. These can be saved to a folder on your hard drive for future viewing, archiving, or even to combine into a custom animation as shown here to watch major weather events as they unfold.
The animation shown here was captured during the major winter storm that affected 30 states at the beginning of this month.
The steps to setup timed captures are very simple:
1. Open the map you wish to view
2. Go to Map at the top
3. Go to Screenshot and hit the down arrow
4. Select Capture Settings
5. You can now set things like:
- How often to capture
- Where to store the images
- Resolution of the images
6. Once you've selected your settings, select OK
7. Under Map and Screencapture again, select Start Timed Captures
You're now off and running. The files will be stored to the directory of your choice as can be seen here:
The last couple days have seen numerous records fall, yet again, in the nation's mid-section. Snowfall amounts of 20+ inches were seen in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Places like Jay, OK (25"), Siloam Springs, AR (24.5") and Hutchinson, KS (17") are digging out from heavy snow. The cleanup is further compounded by the blast of arctic cold that came in behind the system.
Lows Thursday morning broke records in states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. Bartlesville, OK set a new all-time low for the state of Oklahoma with -28°F! Other locations setting records were:
- Wichita, KS (-17°F) - beat old record for this date by 5°F
- Springfield, MO (-10°F)
- Amarillo, TX (-6°F)
The good news for everyone is that there's a February thaw heading their way. Places like Bartlesville, after setting a record low this morning, will be looking to rebound to the mid 50s by Sunday afternoon. Amarillo is looking for the mid 60s by Sunday as well. The thaw looks to continue into at least the middle of next week. Some forecasters are even saying that some areas could see as much a 100° jump from the frigid temperatures of this morning with temperatures in the next week pushing the 70s in some locations!!!
As the Midwest finally sees some thawing, the Northeast will remained locked into a cold and wintry pattern with another round of snow coming this weekend. A dip in the jet stream over the Northeast will help keep cold temps in place while allowing the "big melt" in the middle of the country.
While winter is far from over (we just passed the mid point of winter recently), this warm up will do a lot to help areas thaw out after a brutal first half of winter.