Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The snow forecast for February 25-26, 2013

[ DISCLAIMER: the purpose of me writing this comes from my heart as I love my job. I'm hoping you find this info educational and informative. :)  ]

7-year old Ryan found enough snow for a snowman! This pic was taken in Bartlesville where 4" of snow was reported. Only 1-2" was left by sunrise.

I was really, really surprised when I heard so many jokes and criticism about the weather forecast-- (I'll make jokes too about forecasters! ) But I honestly thought Channel 2 did really well forecasting the February 25-26, 2013 snow event.

A few thoughts on the snow:
- Most folks slept during the snow. Snow was officially observed in Tulsa for 7 hours from 10pm to 5am. The snow was heavy at times, but it melted away by sunrise.

- I forecast snow totals of 1-4" thinking 1" totals if the snow melts quickly and the 4" if the temperature dropped a couple of degrees.

- A few viewers in Broken Arrow reported about 2" of snow before it melted by sunrise.

- I tried explaining to our viewers that snow has difficulty accumulating if the ground is wet from previous rain. The snow began melting on contact.

- I also showed a graphic of forecast rainfall, and I explained this included melting snow.

- The snow forecast for the OKC area was a bust.

- Tulsa county was only under a Winter Weather Advisory for light snow and slush accumulations.

- The Bartlesville area was placed under a Blizzard Warnings (this surprised me, and this was likely a cautionary reaction due to the monster snow and blizzard in western Oklahoma). While the visibility in Bartlesville reduced to 0.75 miles and 30+ mph wind gusts were observed, the blizzard didn't meet the full definition. 

Many folks, myself included, were hoping that the snow around Tulsa would stick longer-- my snow sled I bought two years ago remains wrapped up in plastic!

Below are graphics broadcast on KJRH, and pictures of what actually happened. Thanks for reading. George

I showed this graphic on the Monday morning news, and updated it on the 11am Midday news. Snow was officially reported in Tulsa from 10pm to 5am. As expected the heavy snow avoided Tulsa.

I showed this on TV.  Despite the seven hours of snow in Tulsa, the warm and wet ground melted it quickly. 2" was reported around Grand Lake. 2-3" was measured in the Stillwater area,  7"in Ponca City and 19" in Alva. OKC missed the heavy snow.

Actual snowfall totals.
I showed this graphic explaining the melting snow and beneficial rain totals would result.  
The actual rainfall totals.

My commute to work Tuesday at 12:30am. Notice the snow accumulating in the grass-- it melted by sunrise.

KJRH viewer Debbie Cunningham's yard turned white along Osage/Washington county line. As expected, most of the snow stayed W, NW and N of Tulsa.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winning $1,000 for the Tulsa Humane Society: Let's Ask America

If you missed it, I represented Tulsa as a contestant on "Let's Ask America" (LAA), a nationally televised game show. Four meteorologists played for charity in a "meteorologists only" episode.

How did I get to be on the game show?

The LAA producers put out a casting call for meteorologists, and someone within my company submitted my name. I knew nothing about it and was quite shocked to get a phone call from California asking me to try out, a welcome surprise!

LAA recorded me playing a practice show via Skype, and within a week I received a call telling me that I made the cut. Yay! I got most of the questions correct too, so I was feeling confident.

Setting up for the game show was easy: The Channel 2 staff set up a laptop computer with Skype in the TV studio and connected it to the Internet. The game show was then recorded, editted and broadcast nationally on January 31, 2012. All contestants play from home or work.

How did I do on the show?

Hurricanes or politicians: Which did people in Florida say is more likely to make a mess of their state?

Florida, politicians and elections: wow, that's too easy! I remembered seeing silly questions before on the show and thought this might be the trick question. I answered hurricanes, thinking too of Hurricane Andrew from 1994. I missed it!
Answer: Politicians

Boyfriend or dog: Who did female dog owners say they keep on a shorter leash?

Hmmm. Do they want a silly answer or a serious answer? Based on the previous question, I didn't think they would have two silly answers in a row; therefore, I answered dog. I missed it!

Black or white: Which automobile color did car enthusiasts say is the hardest to keep clean?

Oh good, an easy one! Oklahoma's red dirt can cover a dark colored car in a hurry: black. I missed it! (I guess they didn't ask car enthusiasts from Oklahoma!)

The third wrong guess eliminated me from the show, despite my lucky sunshine tie!

Amber, the Phoenix meteorologist correctly answered "white." She won a total of $47,000 for her charity! The Humane Society of Tulsa did win $1,000 for my appearance.

Bottom line: I really, really had fun for this unique game show opportunity. Thank you Let's Ask America for the fun! I would certainly do it again.

Hopefully I'm better at guessing the weather forecast than my game show results. Thanks for reading.