Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Weather Wrap Up

The record books are closed for 2010. There were a few notable weather events for Kokomo, Howard & surrounding counties. Let's recap a few...


We missed out on all the big snows in 2010. Last winter was a blockbuster for places like Iowa and the middle Atlantic States and New England; don't even get me started. Those places saw back to back to back record snows and as recently as Christmas 2101, have a big snow.

We say a 5" and a 5.5" snow in January and February respectively. December was a snowy month with 11.8" locally but no snow over 3". (There were six instances where we recorded an inch of snow in December.

Most notable was no snow in March. Usually there is some snow but not even a trace.  November just recorded a trace on the very last day. 

Severe Weather

Amazingly, there was only one tornado in the entire US in February.  It was a weak EF-0 which was briefly on the ground in California of all places.  It caused no damage.

The city of Yazoo, Mississippi had the worst luck for tornadoes in 2010.  They were hit on April 24, November 29, and rang in 2011 with another tornado warning.

Locally we had quiet months in March and April.  The few severe weather threats never materialized.  That set us up for a bust of epic proportions on Friday May 7th.  It started on Wednesday of that week when we had a slight risk for severe weather.  Surprisingly a couple of storm chase tour vans were just a few miles from my home.  Nothing materialized but I did highlight what potentially could be a huge day for Friday.

There was talk about Indiana being under a high risk for severe weather but we never made it past moderate risk.  Chasers from all over the Midwest ad Ohio Valley converged on Northern Indiana.  Reed Timmer and Discovery Storm Chasers even came for the potential outbreak.

I had plans to bail on work that day but decided I could work in the morning and still be fine.  I ended staying all day waiting for that first sign of storm initiation. 

In the end, everyone busted pretty hard on the forecast.  There were a few late tornadoes and some hail and wind damage in a small corridor from Ft Wayne east into Ohio but nothing like was everyone thought. 

There were two or three more severe weather forecasts for Kokomo in May and those also busted.  At least they only had weak potential so nobody was surprised when nothing materialized.

Another moderate risk for Indiana was on Saturday June 5th.  For me personally, I was required to be at a wedding in Bloomington that day.  It made nowcasting difficult. The good news is things were slow to develop and the tornado watch was not issued until 10:13 PM.  I was on my way back home then. 

I chatted on the phone with another local storm spotter and when I finally arrived at home just around midnight, we both concluded the storms were weakening as they approached the IN/IL border and we both called it a night.  That was a bad call since storms came back to life just after 1 AM.

Initially there was some storm damage to NOAA weather alert transmitter in Monticello.  It remained functional but on very low power and the severe weather alert tones were not received by my radio in Kokomo.  I slept right through tornadoes which hit Carrol, Cass, & Miami Counties.  Some property damage but no life was lost and there were no injuries reported.  In the end however the storm reports from IL, IN, and OH tallied up to make the day worthy of a high risk. 

Friday June 18th was another night of severe weather frustration.  Another slight risk day for Indiana and surrounding states.  A massive squall line was moving quickly into the area on what looked like a beautiful day.  There was first problem, it looked like a beautiful day so many people were not thinking about severe weather.

The system moving our way had already caused problems in Illinois and even did damage to the Sears Tower in Chicago.  For some unknown reason, the NWS issued a warning for the system at least 45 minutes ahead of the storm's arrival.  While that might seem that the advanced warning time was a good idea, it seemed to be out of context to the current beautiful weather everyone was experiencing.

With that said, local Skywarn/NWS trained storm spotters went into action.  One long time and well respected spotter went to an outdoor event at Kokomo High School.  It was the Relay for Life.  The advanced warnings were not heeded and in fact were dismissed by organizers.

Even when local reports of 45-50 MPH winds were reported on the western side of Howard County, no action was taken.  In the end, some damage to tents were reported.  Later I believe I heard someone might had had a minor injury trying to hold down a canopy. 

I cannot stress the importance of severe weather safety and organizers of (outdoor) events need to take it seriously.  I too often see action taken too late at many sporting events.

We finally got a high risk for Indiana on Tuesday October 26.  It was for a wind driven event with a deep low pressure moving west of the state into Canada.  While the severe weather ingredients, sometimes one thing can make a storm system produce.  We ended up with a tornado that day in Howard County.  It was very brief and just an EF-0.  It did some damage to homes but no injuries were reported.  I did a damage survey for EMA and was rather impressed with the straight line winds but not so much the tornado.

Besides some more events which never produced, that was about it.  A pretty busy season overall. 

Heat & Drought

It was a warm spring and summer.  We had 17 days above 90 degrees in May-August.  There was just one day below zero all year and that came in December. December overall was rather cold. 

We were also dry like much of the state but in the end we were not as bad as many places since we received a lot of rain in June and were not completely shut out of precipitation in July like so many. 

In end, we still maintained above normal precipitation and above normal temperatures. 

Weather & Social Media

The landscape changed over the past year with more blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts dedicated to weather.  The avenue for weather enthusiasts and professionals to get their forecasts and thoughts out has never been easier.  In many ways that has been good but as always, there are a few forecasters who turn it into a contest to see who has the most followers or fans.

Kokomo-Weather doesn't do that and has worked to earn every blog reader, Twitter follower, and Facebook fan we have.  In the near future, I will go detail this every changing landscape and help you get more out of your forecast. 

Thank You

For those of you who follow Kokomo-Weather, I say thank you.  We are still your best source for weather in Kokomo and Howard County.


Chris in Tipton said...

Excellent job! Bring on the next BIG SNOW!

Jayson said...

And thank you for all that you do!