Saturday, November 22, 2014

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor vs. Lightning


Weather was a factor in several NCAA games today and WDT was right there in the mix providing forecasts and real-time guidance.

Baylor hosted Oklahoma State in Waco, TX this evening for a 6:30 CT kickoff, however discussion was had earlier in the day about possibly moving the contest because the forecast called for flooding rainfall during game time. It's football though and football should be played in all weather - all weather except severe weather or lightning, right?


While it was a wet game, stronger cores remained south of Waco throughout the first thru third quarters. During the fourth, WDT meteorologists in Norman, OK notified Fox Sports Operations that lightning had entered their previously defined 8 mile radius threshold (NCAA is 6 miles for outdoor events). Due to the threshold being exceeded, cameras were fixed at pre-arranged angles to best cover the game without being manned. Cameras remained fixed for the rest of the game and Fox personnel were moved to safe areas.

The image top right shows Baylor's McLane Stadium in green just south of downtown Waco.
47,179 fans were in attendance for this game, the second largest attendance for that stadium (it's new). You will notice a couple strikes within about 5 miles on the map and it was these that caused alert for the Fox crew. More lightning entered the area following the game so this was a good call by our staff and Fox Sports Operations.

To the left is a wider view with past and present lightning strikes overlaid. Clearly the intensity of these cells were on the decrease as evidenced by many more strikes that are red/purple than newer yellow and orange strikes.

These maps are the same as WDT clients see and are cram packed with cool proprietary goodies.
Feel free to contact me should you have questions or would like more information about large event venue protection.

Event-specific Forecasting Works

Message that was posted by the University of Oklahoma this morning on social media 
This morning WDT meteorologists determined that at the time of kickoff, lightning will likely be in the Norman area.  Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium is a venue capable of holding over 82,000 fans and another 2,000 ancillary staff. Per NCAA standards, lightning within 6 miles of a sanctioned outdoor event requires postponement or cancellation of said event. Only recently has the "potential" of lightning being in an area of an NCAA sanctioned event that will occur in the future been recognized.

WDT Meteorologist JR Hehnly briefing various decision makers 
Officials representing University of Oklahoma Emergency Preparedness, NCAA, and Fox Sports gathered around the radar as WDT meteorologist JR Henhly analyzed and and communicated with meteorologists back in the office.

1:13p UPDATE: The game kicked off at 12:30 as recommended and is currently underway without threat. There is lightning within about 28 miles as I write but it looks to remain north of the stadium. Any other lightning potential will occur in about an hour.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Back To Where It All Began

Here I am writing again about how I'm switching from one blogging platform to another. Innovation is key and it seems about every two years I change because the offering elsewhere has surpassed that of what I'm currently using. The key to the tech I'm interested in is simplicity. I want to make the most presentable articles possible with as little effort as possible.

Some might ask why I don't use WordPress. Well, I do at the office. A lot. It's a powerful platform that is becoming more so as the years go by. Still though, it's a pain in the ass to go and write a simple post and make it look nice. A lot of my posts originate on my phone or iPad as well and most WP apps are clunky messes that someone built then abandoned.

I have been using Tumblr and still really like it's interface, design customization and mobile app. I do not like the fact that it times out too regularly while I'm writing posts and does not have the option for me to fancily write around images like I am the Tumblr logo right now. Most of all though, There is no way to export my work and that is quite simply unacceptable.

So WordPress is a pain, Tumblr is holding my words hostage, and so here I am back to Blogger where it all started.

I'd guess I've written around 6.000 posts since I began in 2001 and as of right now, I'm starting over. That is, unless I manage to get Blogger to finally decide to decipher one very large .XML file that it seems to be throwing up all over as I write this. Another 500 posts are hanging out at Tumblr. Not sure what I'm going to do about that. Maybe just link to them here in case someone really cares what I said a year ago yesterday.

UPDATE: Came across this EXTREMELY useful blog (here on Blogger, no less) about how to export your Tumblr blog. The system Marco outlines is foolproof and works perfectly. You will need to go and resize some images as they are imported in their native size where Tumblr truncates. Enjoy.

Enjoy the blog and contribute where you see fit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014





Gonna be a little wet this weekend, especially in eastern OK. Rain should begin late Friday and stick around through Saturday in the east. West of OKC; not a lot of potential for accumulation at this point. Models can change though.

Buffalo Lake Effect Snow

Link: Buffalo Lake Effect Snow

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Upstate New York lake-effect snow






















Lake-Effect Snow Of Doom!

Link: Lake-Effect Snow Of Doom!


A little article I put together for WDT today.