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K-State Research and Extension News

Weather Wonders

Kansas State climatologist Mary Knapp offers this weekly series of short programs on weather phenomena and recent meteorological events in Kansas.  Each segment is approximately 1-minute in length.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

Program Date

Segment Title and Description

Listen and Download

07-21-17CRANKING UP THE HEAT– Hot temperatures were the rule last week, but those readings were nowhere near the hottest days recorded in Kansas history.WW1 07-21
07-21-17HURRICANES IN KANSAS?– Whenever hurricanes land in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s always the chance that Kansas could feel the effects. WW2 07-21
07-21-17RELATIVE HUMIDITYK-State climatologist Mary Knapp explains relative humidity, and how it affects our comfort level.WW3 07-21
07-14-17NONE HOTTERIf you think last week was hot, consider the hottest week in America’s history. WW1 07-14
07-14-17HEAT INDEXThe heat index is a scientific attempt to indicate how our bodies perceive the outdoor environmentWW2 07-14
07-14-17FLOODING IN WESTERN KANSASWhile the flooding of 1993 may have been concentrated in the eastern half of Kansas, other parts of the state were also affectedWW3 07-14
07-07-17HUMIDITY AND PRECIPITATION– K-State climatologist Mary Knapp explains why high humidity doesn’t always lead to rainfall.WW1 07-07
07-07-17JULY FLOODING– K-State climatologist Mary Knapp looks at the largest flooding event in Kansas – and it may not be the one you’re thinking of.WW2 07-07
07-07-17THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER– Where do the “dog days of summer” come from? K-State climatologist Mary Knapp has the story behind that well-known phrase.WW3 07-07
06-30-17HEAT WAVE Sure, a heat wave needs to be hot, but how hot, exactly? K-State climatologist Mary Knapp tells us what researchers look for.WW1 06-30
06-30-17MIRAGE– It’s there, then it isn’t, then it comes back. But just how does a mirage happen?WW2 06-30
06-30-17FOG, MIST, HAZE– Something grey and misty is obscuring your vision, but is it fog, mist or haze?WW3 06-30
06-23-17LIGHTNING SAFETYA look at what makes lightning so dangerous, and how to lower our risk of being struck by lightning.  WW1 06-23
06-23-17DRY LIGHTNING– Have you ever seen lighting and heard thunder, but there was little or no rain? It was probably dry lightning.WW2 06-23
06-23-17TORRENTIAL RAINS– Summer thunderstorms can produce immense amounts of rain. K-State climatologist Mary Knapp looks at a notable storm that dumped 12 inches of rain in Kansas.WW3 06-23
06-16-17MAJOR HAIL STORMSIn 1992, a particularly destructive hail storm caused more than 500 million dollars in damage.WW1 06-16
06-16-17SUMMER SOLSTICE– Today, provided the skies are clear, you can enjoy more daylight than any other day this year.WW2 06-16 
06-16-1750 YEARS AGO TODAYIn 1967, residents of Garden City experienced a major tornado outbreak. WW3 06-16 
06-09-17HURRICANES– K-State climatologist Mary Knapp explains common hurricane terminology, and explains how the naming system has changed over the years.WW1 06-09
06-09-17POPCORN CONVECTION– Thunderstorms can sometimes develop very quickly, with little or no warning at all. K-State climatologist Mary Knapp tells us how and why this happens.WW2 06-09 
06-09-17MUGGY – K-State climatologist Mary Knapp explains the origin of the term.WW3 06-09
06-02-17EDDIESJust as water flows around rocks in a stream, air flows around objects as well. K-State climatologist Mary Knapp tells us about eddies.WW1 06-02
06-02-17ST. ELMO’S FIREMany people remember St. Elmo’s Fire as a popular movie from the 1980s. But there really was a St. Elmo, and there really is an atmospheric disturbance that honors him.WW2 06-02
06-02-17MONSOONSWhile the word “monsoon” might bring to mind intense thunderstorms with heavy rainfall, it actually describes another component of our weather and atmosphere.WW3 06-02
05-26-17SMALL AMOUNT, BIG IMPACT– How much rain is required to create a flash flood? a lot less than you might think!WW1 05-26
05-26-17ROLL CLOUD K-State climatologist Mary Knapp introduces us to one of the more unusual cloud types: the roll cloud.WW2 05-26
05-26-17AN HOUR OF HAIL!– Snow and rain aren’t the only types of precipitation measured in inches. A weather event in Kansas resulted in a record-sized hailstone.WW3 05-26
05-19-17HEAT LIGHTNINGAn explanation of how this weather phenomenon can erupt out of a clear blue sky.WW1 05-19
05-19-17BOW ECHO– “Bow echo” is a term that is often used by meteorologists during severe weather events. But what does it mean?WW2 05-19
05-19-17MISSING STORMS? – Sometimes the sky gives the appearance of forthcoming severe storms — but then nothing happens. A “capped inversion” is often the culprit.WW3 05-19
05-12-17WHEN TORNADOES ATTACK A look back to a day when a single Kansas city was surrounded by tornadoes.WW1 05-12
05-12-17BOLT FROM THE BLUE– Can a bolt of lightning come out of a clear blue sky? WW2 05-12
05-12-17RUSKIN HEIGHTS TORNADOA look back at the single most destructive weather event in Kansas City history.WW3 05-12
05-05-17SNOW, ICE PELLETS, HAIL - The National Weather Service has standards for the reporting of frozen precipitation. WW1 05-05
05-05-17LIGHTNING WITHOUT THUNDER– Where is the thunder? A listener has a question about silent lightning.WW2-05-05
05-05-17SUMMER BEGINS…When does summer begin? The answer depends on who you ask.WW3 05-05
04-28-17LATE SPRING COLD SNAPS - It’s uncommon to see sub-freezing temperatures during the month of May, but it has happened.WW1-04-28 
04-28-17FROST PLACEMENT - K-State climatologist Mary Knapp answers a question about frost.WW2-04-28 
04-28-17HAIL OR SLEET? – When it comes to pieces of ice falling from the sky, is it hail or sleet? It takes more than size to make that determination. WW3-04-28
04-21-17HIGHEST APRIL TEMPERATURES - April is typically thought of as a rainy month, not a hot month. However, it can get pretty warm.WW1-04-21
04-21-17UNDERSTANDING THE DEW POINT - Compared to relative humidity, dew point is frequently cited as a more accurate way of measuring the humidity and comfort of air.WW2-04-21
04-21-17KANSAS COULD STILL SEE A FREEZE - The last day for a freeze varies across Kansas. However, according to historical data, the state could still see a freeze over the next 45 days.WW3-04-21
04-14-17WATER QUALITY - Kansans have long seen the value of protecting the state’s water supply. WW1 04-14
04-14-17WEATHER SATELLITE DATA - The technology that provides weather data and forecasting is now more sophisticated than ever before. WW2 04-14
04-14-17THE MILLION DOLLAR TORNADO OF 1889 - A look back at one of the first severe storms in Kansas to do major financial damage. WW3 04-14
04-07-17TYPES OF FLOODING - Some types of flooding are directly associated with winter weather.WW1 04-07
04-07-17FLASH FLOODING - If proper precautions aren't taken, this type of flooding could prove deadly.WW2 04-07
04-07-17VIRGA - This type of precipitation is often seen but not felt.WW3 04-07