Famine to Feast: Texas and Oklahoma Are Now Virtually Drought-Free

Dennis Mersereau · 05/28/15 03:53PM

The recent rains over the southern Plains have been nothing less than spectacular, spawning a constant stream of severe thunderstorms that dumped inches of rain in short time, flooding areas that haven’t seen this much in years. The influx of water finally paid off: only a few small parts of Texas and Oklahoma are still in drought.

President Obama Helped Issue a Hurricane Forecast This Morning

Dennis Mersereau · 05/28/15 12:57PM

President Obama paid a visit to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, this morning, to observe how the agency works and to speak with officials in the days leading up to the beginning of Atlantic hurricane season on June 1. While there, he helped the agency issue a forecast for Tropical Storm Andres.

Severe Storms Threatening Northeast, May Hit Philly & NYC Near Rush Hour

Dennis Mersereau · 05/27/15 01:50PM

A line of thunderstorms rolling into the Northeast has the potential to produce wind gusts to 70 MPH and hail to the size of ping pong balls as they move through. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect ahead of the storms, which could impact the heavily-populated I-95 corridor around rush hour.

After Deadly Flash Floods, Texas Should Start to Dry Out This Week

Dennis Mersereau · 05/26/15 03:38PM

It’s been a crazy month for severe weather on the southern Plains, with Texas and Oklahoma making a spectacular recovery from drought by drowning under more rain than they’ve seen in years. Leaving behind hundreds of victims and millions (if not billions) of dollars in damage, the rain will finally start to subside this week.

Nerdin' It Up: How to Find Instability by Hand on a SKEW-T Chart

Dennis Mersereau · 05/22/15 04:56PM

Today’s the Friday before a three-day weekend, and just about everyone is checked-out until the day after Memorial Day. Since it’s just you and me around these parts, how about we get our nerd on while nobody’s looking? By popular request, here’s an explainer on how to analyze instability a SKEW-T chart by hand.

Happy Summer! Early Heat Wave to Bake Eastern U.S. Next Week

Dennis Mersereau · 05/21/15 03:38PM

Hey, remember when we all complained that it was freezing just a couple of months ago? Think some of those cool, cool thoughts while we roast in the heat and humidity next week. Temperatures could climb into the 90s as far north as New Jersey, with muggy 80s stretching into New England.

Explaining Anvils, the Incredible Cloud Formations That Engulf the Sky

Dennis Mersereau · 05/20/15 03:58PM

We’ve all gawked at beautiful clouds before, but we never really think about how those clouds formed. One of the most beautiful sights in nature is a huge thunderstorm bubbling up on the horizon, smacking the top of the atmosphere and spreading out like a giant umbrella. Here’s a look at how these anvils form.

There's a Meaning to the Horrible Noise the Emergency Alert System Makes

Dennis Mersereau · 05/18/15 01:58PM

Anyone who’s listened to television or radio over the past five decades is intimately familiar with that horrible, chill-inducing noise of the Emergency Alert System. Aside from catching your attention, that nails-on-a-chalkboard screeching serves a useful purpose that calls back to the days of dial-up internet.

Guam Lashed by 100+ MPH Winds as Typhoon Dolphin Skirts Island

Dennis Mersereau · 05/15/15 04:05PM

Typhoon Dolphin lashed the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific last night as a strong category two. The storm was initially expected to clear Guam with mild impacts, but a last minute shift in the storm’s track left Andersen Air Force Base with winds gusting over 100 MPH.

NWS Warns of "Devastating Damage" as Typhoon Churns Towards Guam

Dennis Mersereau · 05/14/15 03:30PM

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands—both territories of the United States—are bracing for a punch from a strengthening typhoon in the western Pacific. The National Weather Service issued a sobering statement that “devastating damage is likely” as the typhoon passes very close to the islands on Friday.

Texas' Decade-Long Megadrought Put on Hold While Texas Floods

Dennis Mersereau · 05/13/15 05:15PM

Remember a couple of years ago when Texas was in such a deep, seemingly-irreversible drought that experts trumpeted it as the next great megadrought, the likes of which would cause Texas to poof into a pile of dust by the end of the decade? The people currently wading through their living rooms remember.

Networks Are Obligated to Preempt Your TV Shows During a Tornado

Dennis Mersereau · 05/12/15 03:26PM

The yearly ritual of the whiny television viewer is in full swing as severe weather season roars with a vengeance. When tornadoes touch down, local news stations have to preempt programming to warn people so they don’t die, but that interferes with Very Important Programs like Days or football. Many viewers argue that their neighbors have no right to receive warnings if it means cutting-in during a crucial episode of The Big Bang Theory. They are wrong.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/10/15 11:41PM

The New York Times wrote a great profile on the National Weather Service hydrologist who was accused by the government of spying for China and stealing classified documents, only to have the charges against her abruptly dropped in March when the evidence didn’t support accusations of wrongdoing.

Subtropical Storm Ana, a Sad Lump of Clouds, Swirling Towards Carolinas

Dennis Mersereau · 05/08/15 02:15PM

A pathetic clump of swirling clouds and weak thunderstorms shamefully churning off the coast of South Carolina became Subtropical Storm Ana last night. The storm is the first tropical cyclone we’ve seen in May since Alberto in 2012, and the earliest in the year since Ana (no relation) in 2003.

After Supercells and Tigers, Tornado Outbreaks Possible Friday & Sat.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/07/15 03:58PM

Fresh off of Wednesday’s calamity in Oklahoma City involving supercells and tigers, the region is preparing for another two full days under the threat of a significant, multi-day tornado outbreak. Some of the tornadoes that form on Friday and Saturday could be intense and long-lived, accompanied by hail larger than baseballs and destructive wind gusts.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/06/15 10:41PM

In the span of just six hours on Wednesday evening, the Oklahoma City metro area saw numerous damaging tornadoes, large hail, destructive wind gusts, enough rain to trigger a rare “flash flood emergency,” tigers getting loose, and a 2.9 earthquake. Tonight was not a good night on the plains.

CBS News Just Can't Figure Out How to Report on Tornadoes

Dennis Mersereau · 05/06/15 04:18PM

CBS News continued its tortured and factually-adjacent track record of reporting on tornadoes today, tweeting out a picture of an ominous lowering in an Oklahoma thunderstorm with the overblown caption “massive tornado takes form.” They soon corrected the tweet with one just as dubious.