Thursday, June 11, 2015

Farewell to Patrick Hammer

One of our favorite forecasters is leaving for greener... err uh, whiter pastures. We've known Patrick Hammer as a true stand-up guy who isn't afraid to take a strong position in forecasts. He's also been a frequent video contributor to The Minnesota Forecaster, helping to provide colorful commentary on Twin Cities weather events.

Patrick is leaving for Buffalo. You can find the details in the Buffalo press as well as in the Star Tribune. We wish him well!

77 comments:

  1. Here's a comment from Randy in Champlain from the previous thread:

    As C.J. has reported over at the Star Tribune, Patrick Hammer has accepted a position out in Buffalo NY with a weather station there. While C.J. didn't mention the call letters of the station Patrick said, and I quote, “Kevin O’Connell is retiring, and I’ll take his position whenever he decides to retire.” So that lead me to a goggle search of Kevin O'Connell in Buffalo. The results show that Mr O'Connell is the chief weather anchor at station WGRZ, meaning that Patrick will become the Chief Meteorologist at that station.

    Congrats to Patrick. Personally I thought he was one of the better forecaster's in the Twin Cities market and was excited to see him in his temporary position at KARE 11. I just wished he could have gotten a full time gig with KARE and eventually moved the Chief Meteorologist spot when Belinda retired.

    Alas we lose another talent here in the metro.

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    1. We will certainly all miss Patrick Hammer.
      Still cannot really figure out how you would prefer Ken Barlow or Jonathan Yuhas to him...

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  2. Patrick we will miss you!

    On another note horrible, horrible forecast for today, even those who said a southern shift had totals of near a inch. Everybody was off on this one!

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  3. If it was a winter storm it would have been a mega-bust.
    We would have heard totals in excess of 15"...
    Nothing changes, whether it's winter or summer.
    Big storms always find a way to miss the inner Metro core

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  4. I'll miss Patrick. One of the best weather guys in in the cities, for sure.

    Re: this "storm"... .30'' at MSP? Wow. Forecasting fail.

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    1. Another hyper-hyped event that turned into another megabust.
      Paraphrasing the great Cicero:
      Until when dear forecasters will you continue to blindly follow the weather models instead of leaning on your experience?

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  5. Incredibly boring summer so far.

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  6. Impressive MCS/derecho setup tonight. Develops near Rapid City and blasts towards Wisconsin in 12 hours.

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  7. Talk about eye catching headline......NWS puts out a headline this morning saying "severe storms with damaging hurricance force winds". Interesting

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  8. Yikes, Patrick would like this set up coming up on Sunday evening into Monday morning. This is about as strong of cold front that I have seen in the warm season since 2013. It should approach the metro overnight so I think severe weather here in the metro is questionable. Look for very heavy rains near the metro over the weekend as the front will be hard pressed drop much to our se. I would expect some 3-5" rains very close to the metro.

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  9. Well, randy was right. No severe for MSP. Man this has been a boring summer. Huttner this morning used the dreaded G-word ("glorious") to describe the next couple days. Dammit, we've had enough glorious days this summer.

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    1. whats wrong with you? No tornadoes to potentially kill people or severe winds to knock trees on cars or houses. We had plenty of hail last week, was that not enough for you?

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    2. No, Jack, I'm hoping for a blizzard that sends hundreds of cars off the road, with people careening into each other and dying. Winter weather kills a hell of a lot more people in Minnesota than summer weather ever will.

      p.s. I got no hail at my house last week.

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    3. I don't want blizzards either, and yes they cause deaths and damage to property. Weather will happen, anytime any place, some more extreme and severe then others. But I don't root for it like your seemingly doing when you say the weather has been boring and your upset with GLORIOUS weather! You should take a vacation and go storm chasing to get your fix, then at least your guarnteed to see something.

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    4. Yeah hopefully a tornado is coming right at him and he has no place to hide, then lets see how bored he really is when he has to clean the streaks in his underpants.

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  10. Well, they're talking about 'active weather' again this weekend. And once again, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Meteorologists have said that it's hard to predict summer storms. They're right about that.

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  11. The thought of wind driven baseball sized hail is not a good one. Gonna be a busy evening and night.

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  12. 83 degrees and cloudy right now in Mpls, at 2pm. Quite comfortable actually. Humid yes, but not even close to the warmth that was forecasted. We'll see how the storms pan out, but I'm skeptical.

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    1. Not so fast on that. The clouds that came over the metro earlier were generated from an outflow boundary resulting from the storms to our north. That should allow for a bit more shear than what most models are showing. Currently here we move to filtered sun and back to full sun. We are getting more and more unstable as the afternoon goes on. All modes of severe are possible.

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    2. As a matter of fact the HRRR is now coming into nice agreement with this mornings run of the NAM and 4km Nam (higher resolution with the later, and even higher resolution with the HRR). Looks like we stay highly unstable all the way up to about 9pm, the scary part is that longer the storms take to get here, the better the shear gets.

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    3. Starting to pop around Fargo. Any predictions for the Twin Cities time for this Randy?

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    4. Best guess at this time from current trends would be after 6pm

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  13. Can someone please comment as to why there would be a severe weather threat when it is so warm out. Obviously I enjoy weather and watch a lot but am not a professional. but I always hear about a cap occurring in the atmosphere when it is this warm. Why would that not be the case today? Currently it is 87 degrees with a dew point of 74 here in Northfield. Full Sun has broke out

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    1. In this case there will be a trough working into the area from the NW, this trough extends from the surface up to the upper levels, This will be the trigger that breaks the cap as it will cause lift. At the upper levels there will be some strong divergence taking place where the winds will separate, mother nature always wants to bring the atmosphere into balance and will want to replace the air separated by the divergence with air from below. This will cause venting and allow for strong updrafts.

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    2. Thanks I have a lot to learn!

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  14. !st watch of the day will soon be issued, I believe it will be a sever thunderstorm watch. The only question is will it be a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) watch.

    I believe later this afternoon there may be a tornado watch issued closer to the metro, changes of the happening I would put at 60%.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/2015/md1378.html

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  15. Heat advisory was unwarranted.

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    1. HA! Currently 87 in Carver County with an index of 96. And it's not yet 4:00. Hottest two hours of the day still to come.

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  16. New watch will be issued soon for SW MN, not sure what the dark purple outline means, wording however would suggest a tornado watch.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/2015/md1379.html

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    1. Three tornado warnings have popped up in NW MN/eastern ND very very quickly. Should they have perhaps gone with tornado watch there too?

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    2. Possibly, but to be honest shear vectors didn't look all that great, but the insane about of cape up there looks to have overcome that. Just enough shear to produce rotating updrafts.

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  17. Cap appears to be holding in southern MN. Wonder if the worst will stay north?

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    1. So my cap theory from earlier today has some validity? What a shot in the dark!

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  18. Huge tornado watch has just been posted for the southern 2/3rds of Minnesota.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/watch/ww0406.html

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  19. Cap is breaking as we speak over Lac qui Parle and Lincoln counties, towers are rapidly growing to through 45k ft. Wouldn't surprised to see a rapid expansion of the sw side of the current complex within the next hour.

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  20. This thing is weakening and it's gotta be encountering the urban heat island. I'm smelling bust for the metro.

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  21. Also tornado watch cancelled, replaced by a severe thunderstorm watch. Weakening as we speak.

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  22. Redeveloping on the back side was expected by some models as previous storms didn't consume all the energy, the new development now has much better shear values to work with, say between 45-50 knots

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  23. Haha! They just dropped the severe t-storm warnings for the metro. What a shitshow this was. Better luck next time, NWS/SPC!

    Good night all.

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    1. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

      * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...

      HENNEPIN COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...

      SOUTHEASTERN WRIGHT COUNTY IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA...

      NORTHEASTERN CARVER COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...


      * UNTIL 1130 PM CDT

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    2. This one 70 mph winds 800ft off the deck areas impacted will be Independence Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina

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    3. Perhaps their definition of "severe" has changed. I'm seeing no wind, no hail, and very little lightning. A decent rain is falling.

      This storm is not severe.

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    4. MPX continues Severe Thunderstorm Warning [wind: 70 MPH, hail: 0.88 IN] for Carver, Hennepin [MN] till 11:30 PM CDT

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  24. A Flash Flood watch may be needed shortly for almost all of Hennepin county.

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  25. I'm in Roseville. We're getting moderately heavy rain, constant lightning, very little wind, no hail.

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  26. I was surprised how docile that storm was after all. Lots of lightning and some moderate rainfall, but hardly any loud thunder. Not as windy as I was expecting either. At least we got some rain for the grass!

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  27. Confirmed tornado touchdown near Watertown around midnight. Crazy winds coming into the Metro

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    1. Watched it all looking NW from my second story. Thought it was a shelf cloud, not wall. Wind damage reported in Waconia according to Kare 11.

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  28. Unbelievable lightening show here in south Mpls, not far from airport. Like one giant light bulb flickering and not moving. Enough light to turn off the street light sensors, so completely dark in between.Thunder literally makes the walls vibrate. MM

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  29. The next period that looks interesting could impact the area on Friday evening. It's way to early to say, but some severe weather is likely in Minnesota.

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  30. Can we actually have less 90's then last year? So far only one, last year was two! #summerstrendingnotsohot

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  31. Regarding Monday night into Tuesday. By Monday evening at 7pm it's very likely that severe storms will be approaching the Minnesota North Dakota border, there is a chance that these storms could be tornadic as surface based cape values should be around the 3000 to 4000 indicating a very unstable surface parcel, however the best shear may remain over central North Dakota. If these storms are tornadic approaching the ND/MN border they will likely stay that way until the sun sets, at which time the surface instability should wane. While mid level cape values will continue to increase across MN.

    This is where things get interesting for the rest of MN and why this forecast gets exceedingly difficult. As night fall approaches the low level nocturnal jet should get cranking. Normally found around 5000ft above the ground or near 850mb, this jet is programed to increase to around 50knts by 7am Tuesday, and be located just west of the metro. This feature will be responsible for providing the lift that will be necessary for strong to severe storms just west of the metro. The greatest risk with these storms will be large hail, damaging winds, and especially flash flooding, although as normal a tornado is always possible.

    These storms should wane as the low level nocturnal jet dissipates, with the cold front still well west of the metro around the MN/Dakotas border.

    This is where things get critical for MSP. After 7am the temps at around 12000ft or so (very close to the 700mb layer) should spike to as much a +14° C, at this time of the year it is said that temps at 12° C or higher should evoke a strong cap that will be very hard to break unless there is a very strong forcing mechanism causing lift to break through that warm layer, and quite frankly that mechanism should reside well to the NW of us. The other thing to watch carefully is will the metro get a period of sun between 10am and 1pm to recharge the parcel. As one might guess, my current thinking is the metro will be spared by the severe weather on Tuesday afternoon. This depends on sunshine and that warm layer.

    So the question remains, where at this time do I expect severe weather to break out in MN on Tuesday afternoon. While the metro may capped when the cold front passes through between 2pm and 5pm, that will not be the case in SE MN as 700mb temps should remain below 12° C. Surface cape should be around 3000-4000 units by that time. However the 0-6km shear values of 35-40 knots should still reside NW of that area (that's the value that most think will be necessary for supercell development.) However it will be close at about 31knts. Taking into account another parameter that helps to determine tornadic storms called the Energy Helicity Index that measures the amount of turning of the winds in the lower to mid levels overlaid with the surface cape, those values are diffidently high enough to produce rotating supercells,and that 31knt 0-6km shear would be sufficient . Therefore it's my opinion that the greatest threat for severe weather on Tuesday is in the triangle formed from by Albert Lea to Owatonna to Rochester and Austin and points SE from there, and that includes tornadic activity. Timing at this time looks to be around 4pm to 8pm.

    This is a amateur's thoughts, please refer to your favorite local pro forecaster like Novak Weather or any other media outlet, or your favorite app on your smart phones. This should include links to the Storm Prediction Center, and your local National Weather Service office.

    After throwing out this forecast with all the technical terms, I will try to update with much shorter updates tomorrow. However I work on Tuesday afternoon and will not be able to post updates






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    1. Update: It appears that all model guidance have slowed down the approach of the cold front, it may not pass through the metro until about 6pm. What is more concerning is that more than one model including the European are now strongly hinting at severe weather for the metro between 7am and 1pm.

      Models have also increased the amount of 0-6 km shear available just west of the metro by 7am with a good chance of low and mid level energy helicity indexes high enough to easily support rotating updrafts.

      The European model also shows the low level jet cranking at 50 knots over the western metro by 7am.

      At this point in time I honestly can't rule out a early morning tornado just west of the metro, and possibly for the metro by mid to late morning.

      This system is looking stronger and stronger with each model run. Stay safe every one.

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    2. Swing and a miss......

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    3. I won't deny it. This was for sure a busted forecast, no doubt about it. I debated about posting this for about a hour, but several models were indeed strongly hinting at this. It is somewhat rare that the MSP area could see severe weather during the morning hours, but it has happened before. Therefore I went with it, including the chance for tornadoes. As for the previous post, the area that I highlighted in Southeast MN also turned out to be strongly caped. I took a quick look about 730pm at the mesoanalysis page form the Storm Prediction Center and saw they were estimating a 700mb temp of 14° C and new that area was done as well. As far as the Metro was concerned for Tuesday afternoon, I really didn't buy into the severe threat, although I did personally ramp up the threat to about 40%, but that was not enough to pull back my original thoughts.

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  32. Excellent commentary as usual, Randy. Thanks!

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  33. Mid-level/Upper level dry tongue entering a low level high CAPE area over southeastern MN/WI. If/when T'Storms pop this PM, they will quickly explode & become severe.

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  34. Severe BUST!
    you guys just can't seem to get one right this year, be it winter or summer.
    A bust after another.
    It is a problem because then people stop paying heed to warnings, etc as so many times they were issued and nothing happened.
    Until the time where they should, and tragedy happens.
    It is a big problem

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  35. I video that many might find interesting, it looks like a former local has made the move.

    http://www.wgrz.com/story/weather/2015/07/27/8-months-after-it-was-piled-there-snow-from-monster-storm-can-still-be-found-near-central-terminal/30741259/

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  36. Just a quick post about the upcoming winter. While a strong El Nino, or even a Super El Nino is likely to evolve, I'm not buying into a warm winter with below normal snowfall just yet. Since early 2014 through today we have had to deal with very warm waters over the Gulf of Alaska, which has prompted a consistent ridging affect over western Canada and said area of the GOA. This has been the culprit for the lack of 90° temps over the last two summers. Time will tell if that will break down, but if it's still there by the end of Oct, I may have to go with near normal snowfall and temps. By the way, that ridge has gotten a nickname. The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge or RRR for short. Just a hint.

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    1. Good stuff Randy! We hear about the RRR a lot here in California.

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    2. Lets look at this year vs what everyone is comparing this to, The winter of 1997/1998.

      July 1997....

      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/1997/anomnight.7.29.1997.gif

      July 2015.....

      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2015/anomnight.7.27.2015.gif

      Notice how much warmer the Gulf of Alaska is this compared to then. There are some areas of blue showing up, but that could be just short term cooling areas that we have seen before. Those very cold anomalies in the NW Pacific need to be watch, for if they intrude into the Gulf of Alaska than a warmer than normal temps could be seen for this winter.

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  37. @ Bill, as well as you should. That nasty ridge has to break down to alleviate the drought in CA. What worries me is that when it does break down following all the fires the last few years we may well have a huge problem with mud slides, boulder slides or anything else that you want to call it. I hope you in a area of relatively flat terrain.

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  38. Looks like the summer weather gods have gone back to sleep. They may not awaken this time.

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  39. What I thought was going to be a pleasant weekend has changed. It now looks like Saturday and for sure Sunday will present us with dew points approaching 65-70°. One more muggy hot weekend before we get cooled off starting early next week. Is severe weather possible before we cool down? The answer is yes, but it's to early to know for sure, and if it does occur where is the most likely area? Way to early to know.

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  40. Another month gone....welcome to August, a month where temperatures can still soar well into the 90's....but the forecast has beautiful 70's all week. Looks like two summers in a row where the heat stayed at bay, which is fine with me.
    For us snowlovers, snow season is a mere 55 days away.....earliest snow ever to hit MSP was September 26,1942!

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  41. Enjoy what I feel will be the best days of summer through Wednesday, looks like a lot of warm sun with highs in the upper 70's to low 80's and dews in the 50's, warm in the sun cooling nicely at night.

    After Wednesday things change as Thursday through Saturday look wet based on the 08/02 model runs of the Gem, GFS and European. Some area of Minnesota could well see as much as 3" of rain.

    Models are in decent agreement through next Sunday Aug 12th, than they diverge after that. All three show a building 500mb ridge coming towards us just after this time. with a deep trough off the NW US/Canada shore, with a second one close on its heels approaching the Gulf of Alaska. Here is where it gets interesting. Both the GFS and Gem slow down the second trough, allowing the the first one to move to the east just north of the border, a pattern we have seen often as of late, which will flatten the northern extant of the ridge. However the European model drops the first trough south over the Western US coast by Wednesday Aug 12th, which is the end of the model Run. I believe the European may have the right idea, as the second trough acts as a kicker to drive the first trough to the south.

    Both the GFS and European models show the PNA going negative at this time and would support the Euro idea, While the GFS 500mb chart is really not in agreement with own idea of that -PNA. If I'm right, the week of August 16th through the 22nd could be well above average, and this does have support from the Climate Forecast System (CFS). Confidence with the heat is average at best.

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    1. Sorry for the typo, Sun Aug 12th should read Sun Aug 9th. By the way, the Gem is spot on with my thoughts by Sunday the 9th, with a deep trough just off the Washington/British Columbia border, and another over the NE US presenting us with the classic Omega block. By Thursday this model gets us very warm and continues that through the following Monday. The problem with it ending that Tuesday, is that most models are notorious for breaking down omega blocks to fast. Lets see this plays out.

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    2. Randy it doesnt appear it will be any warmer then the warmth we have experienced all summer, we have been in the high 80's to 90 many times. We have already seen the warmest weather this summer has to offer, it all goes downhill from here.

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  42. how long before NWS cancels its completely unnecessary t-storm watch for MSP?

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  43. Any chance on a new thread Bill? We need a refresh, maybe something on the horizon, its been over two months!

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    1. Yea, I know it's stale. It's just less hard to center on an event like it is in winter. Any ideas? :-)

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    2. We have an "event" starting right now: huge August storm.

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  44. At long last, I've added a new thread.

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