Stanstamper’s Blog

July 21, 2009

Weather Science Improving

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 1:04 pm
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Gathering weather information continues to get more and more sophisticated giving meteorologists more tools for predicting weather.
Most citizens aren’t aware that many modern jet airliners are equipped with sophisticated equipment that sends upper level air pressure and temperature to ground-based computers that have been programmed to plot the values.
This gives meteorologists an enormous amount of information and despite the fact that the weather man is frequently chided for bad predictions, today’s weather forecasts are in this writer’s opinion—phenomenal.
I remember as a kid you would know a “blue northern” was coming when you would see the dark blue clouds forming on the horizon.
Now, we often know a week in advance what the weather is going to be.
For the aviation community an extensive amount of current weather information is available via telephone or internet.
Virtually every airport in the U.S. of any size, has a weather station either on site or a few miles away that provides current temperature, wind speed, cloud heights and barometric pressure.
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey presently maintains vigil on all of the state’s weather reporting systems.
They offered some interesting information about recent weather trends.
The Top 10 hottest temperatures for Oklahoma City on record are:

KCB109 – July 10, 2009 – 107.8°F (42.1°C)
KCB107 – July 13, 2009 – 107.1°F (41.7°C)
KCB107 – July 10, 2009 – 106.7°F (41.5°C)
KCB105 – July 10, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB108 – July 10, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB107 – July 15, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB107-August 1, 2008 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KNW202 -July 10, 2009 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KCB107 – July 11, 2009 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KCB101 – July 10, 2009 – 106.2°F (41.2°C).

Meteorologists point out that the higher heat index values exist at the beginning of a heat wave because the humidity is highest at this time. As the heat wave continues, the humidity deminishes and the heat index drops.
RECORDS
July 19 in Oklahoma History:
Record Maximum 120° F at ALTUS (1936)
Record Minimum 49° F at GOODWELL RESEARCH (1912)
Record Precip 6.15” at ARDMORE (1919)
July 19 in Mesonet History*:
Record Maximum 109° F at CHER in 2006
Record Minimum 57° F at ANTL in 2004
Record Rainfall 3.82” at BREC in 1997
* – Mesonet History = since 1994

So if you are inclined to think global warming has our temperatures increased at present, imagine how they felt at Altus in 1936 when it was 120 degrees, or how they enjoyed the cool 57 degree low in Antlers in 2004!

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