Sunday, April 30, 2006

Let's Talk Percentages....

A good part of Region 8 saw lots of sunshine today, much like the image you see above that was taken from Indian Stadium at about 6:00pm. However, not everyone had a great day in the world of weather in Region 8. In fact, at the same time this picture was taken from Indian Stadium, the below image of Storm Vision radar was also snapped. It shows warnings in a few of our Missouri Counties in Region 8. When this image was taken, there was golfball size hail falling in in Campbell, MO and the winds were blowing over 60 mph! It was nice and sunny in Jonesboro! This wasn't just something that popped up late in the day either... Earlier in the afternoon we had a lot of hail falling in and around Doniphan community. Here are some pictures from a couple of our viewers.

The reason I am posting all of the evidence of bad weather today is to show everyone that when we say that there is a 50% chance of thunderstorms that there will be many locations that will NOT see rain. In fact, they may see sunshine all day long.... especially on a day like today. We have a cold pool of air aloft and we actually NEED the sunshine to help the rain develop. It's what some of us call "Self-Destructing Sunshine". The sun comes out... it warms the lower layer of the atmosphere... the unstable air rise... thunderstorms form... sun goes bye-bye.

When we say that there is a 50% chance of storms... it means that there is a 50% chance that it will rain at any given location within the area. It does NOT necessarily mean that 50% of the day it will rain. I does NOT necessarily mean that 50% of the area will see rain. It means that you have a 50% chance of seeing rain on your head given the atmospheric conditions that are present.

I know some of you smart ellic people are saying, "Isn't there always a 50/50 shot at rain?".... All I can say is ...NO. If we have a big high pressure center parked over us... rain chances will be MUCH lower. Here's a cool link from meteorologist Jeff Haby about using percentages... click here.

Here's some "behind the scenes" info for you blog readers.... I decided to write about this after my GM sent me an email wondering why he did not have rain today at his house....HaHa!

Anywho, take care and email anytime!


UPDATE: Tornado reported on the ground in New Madrid County... More details at 10:00.

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