Cool kite video from radio-controlled helicopter

One of my other hobbies is kite flying, especially dual-line and quad-line sport kites, which allow the flier to control the direction of the kite’s flight. Some of my friends in the kite world recently made a really cool video, with the help of a video camera mounted on a radio-controlled quad-rotor helicopter. What you’ll see are members of a kite performance team, flying quad-line sport kites (two lines controlled by each hand with the aid of a handle). Enjoy!

SPC watching storm trends, damaging winds possible

Map showing outline of mesoscale discussion
Area to right of red line being monitored for thunderstorm intensification and potentially damaging wind gusts. Source: SPC MDC 1901.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center expected a gradual intensification and eastward development of thunderstorm activity in extreme northeastern Indiana and in northwestern Ohio through the remainder of this afternoon, according to a mesoscale discussion they issued at 3:47 p.m. They did not expect that conditions would warrant a severe weather watch but the risk of potentially damaging wind gusts was not out of the question. The SPC indicated it would continue to monitor weather trends in the area.

Slight severe weather risk for today no longer includes Indiana

Wind probability map from convective outlook
Probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or higher within 25 miles of a point.

The risk of severe weather in Indiana today and tonight is less than slight, according to the Day 1 Convective Outlook that the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued at 8:47 a.m. EDT. The outlook covers the period from 9 a.m. EDT today to 8 a.m. EDT tomorrow.

The outlook indicates that most of Indiana has a five percent probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 58 mph or higher within 25 miles of a point. But five percent is not enough to warrant use of the slight risk category. In most of eastern Michigan and a very small part of northwestern Ohio, however, the probability of those severe thunderstorm winds is 15 percent, so the SPC considers those areas to have a slight risk of severe weather.

Yesterday, you might have heard that some of northeastern Indiana would be at slight risk today, but by early this morning, it became clear to SPC meteorologists that severe weather is much less likely in Indiana than previously forecast.

That said, do not rule out the possibility of an isolated severe thunderstorm this afternoon and/or evening. And even if no storms become strong enough to rank as severe, locally heavy rainfall could cause flooding, especially in areas that received rain yesterday, according to the Hazardous Weather Outlook that the northern Indiana NWS office issued at 4:49 a.m. EDT.

Slight risk of severe weather tomorrow (Sep. 20)

Convective outlook map
Yellow area: Slight risk of severe weather between 8 a.m. Friday, Sep. 20 and 8 a.m. Saturday, Sep. 21. Source: SPC Day 2 Convective Outlook issued at 1 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sep. 19.

Northwestern Ohio and a small part of northeastern Indiana have a slight risk of severe weather between 8 a.m. EDT tomorrow, Friday, Sep. 20 and 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, according to the Day 2 Convective Outlook that the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center issued at 2 a.m. today. As you can see in the map above, the slight risk area includes the eastern half of Allen County, Indiana, most of Wells County and all of Adams, Blackford and Jay Counties. It also includes all Ohio Counties served by the northern Indiana NWS office (i.e. all Ohio Counties of IMO SKYWARN quadrants one and two).

According to the convective outlook, forecasters expect atmospheric conditions tomorrow to be far from what’s normally needed for widespread severe weather. There a chance, however, that some marginally severe storms could develop tomorrow afternoon and/or tomorrow evening. If they do, the main risk is from isolated damaging thunderstorm winds and possibly some hail.

We’ll have a much better look at the situation tomorrow morning, after the SPC issues its Day 1 Convective Outlook for tomorrow.

Meeting to help Fort Wayne-area Christians prepare for disasters

Associated Churches Active in Disaster (ACAD), a ministry of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, plans an informational meeting to help local congregations and their members learn ways they can prepare for and participate in disaster response:

Wednesday, Sep. 25, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
300 West Wayne Street
Fort Wayne

ACAD logo

At the meeting, people can learn about ACAD and its plans to provide ways for congregations and individuals to engage in first-hand assistance to the victims of future disasters that are within reasonable travel distance of Fort Wayne. Past events that are good examples of the kinds of situations in which ACAD could be involved include:

  • The 2013 flash flood in eastern Fort Wayne.
  • The 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
  • The 2012 derecho thunderstorm in Fort Wayne.
  • The 2012 tornado in Henryville, Ind.
  • The 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo.

“Christians are usually among the first to arrive at a disaster scene and the last to leave,” said Roger Reece, Executive Pastor of Associated Churches. Disaster response is a special form of Christian ministry that serves people who find themselves in great need, suddenly. Some congregations already have disaster ministry teams, with which ACAD hopes to partner. Other congregations might be too small to field teams of their own. For their members, ACAD plans to create its own, multi-congregation teams.

ACAD hopes representatives of many congregations, including those that already have disaster ministries, will attend the Sep. 25 meeting. The ministry is lead by Associated Churches staff members, representatives of local government, including the Allen County Department of Homeland Security and members of member congregations who have experience and/or interest in disaster response.

For more information, see a news release issued by Associated Churches.

Slight risk of severe weather this afternoon and evening

Map showing boundaries of slight risk area
Yellow area: Slight risk of severe weather between 2:30 p.m. EDT today and 8 a.m. EDT tomorrow.

There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms in much of northeastern Indiana and northwestern Ohio this afternoon and evening, according to the Day 1 Convective Outlook that the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued at 1:58 p.m. EDT. The slight risk area includes Allen County Indiana and almost all of IMO SKYWARN quadrant two. Parts of Blackford and Jay Counties are not included.

Atmospheric instability will support organized multi-cell thunderstorm clusters and line segments. Damaging winds will be the primary severe weather hazard. In quadrant two, there’s a 15 percent probability of damaging winds of 58 mph or greater within 25 miles of any point.

SKYWARN spotter activation might be needed late this afternoon through the evening hours, according to a Hazardous Weather Outlook from the northern Indiana NWS office.