Hi everyone! I hope your week has been going great. Leo and I just managed to get over a nasty stomach bug that started on Sunday. I was glad I got over it before today because I was looking forward to attending the KOAM & FOX 14 SkyWatch Weather Tour. If you’re a long time reader of my blog you know my passion for weather. You might also know I got into a fight with an EF5 tornado and won but that’s an entirely different story.
The SkyWatch Weather Tour returned last year after the May 22, 2011 tornado. It’s a great way to learn a bit about severe weather, check out some vendors, and win some door prizes. If you live in the four state area (Kansas-Oklahoma-Arkansas-Missouri) you know how exciting our weather can be. We have it all from tornadoes to snow storms. It’s just how this area of the United States is. I am an avid believer in severe weather safety. I even wrote an article How to Prepare for Severe Weather. Going to weather tours like this is definitely something anyone interested in weather should check out. Last year they focused on tornado safety and the Joplin tornado. This year was a little different. The focus was on past severe weather events and what Meteorologist Doug Heady’s thoughts were for the upcoming spring weather.
It was a very cold evening. We were supposed to have ended up with sleet and snow today. Luckily that’s melted off.
There were quite a few vendors who set up giving away goody bags and had registration for door prizes. The crowd turn out was ok. Not as many people as I remembered last year, but I figured the weather would keep people from coming. In case there was anyone missing the event I decided to live tweet the SkyWatch Weather Tour using hashtag #skywatchwxtour.
Dowe Quick, KOAM News Anchor introduced Meteolorgist Doug Heady. I didn’t know this fact: KOAM is celebrating 60 years. Dowe Quick has been there for almost half of it. Doug Heady has been with KOAM for almost 12 years now. Here’s a quick fun fact about me: Doug Heady was my local meteorologist when I was in 8th grade. He’s been my local meteorologist since then, and now I’m 26. I don’t know if that makes me feel really young or really old. Haha.
Doug Heady covered past weather events in the area such as the 2008 Derecho, the 2007 flood, the tornado outbreak in 2008, and the Joplin tornado. He also covered some basic severe weather facts. Did you know lightning causes the most fatalities out of all weather related casualties? That’s fascinating to me. I never would have imagined that.
Ready.Gov had a neat activity for kids on how to be prepared and what to bring in case of an emergency. All of the kids did a wonderful job.
After a brief commercial break for Ready.gov, Doug Heady gave his insights for Spring 2013 and beyond. Doug has a pattern he developed in the 90s which has been pretty accurate. He can determine various weather events based on his pattern. He talks about his weather pattern all the time on his month long blog. Here’s are his thoughts for the 4 state area:
- We had a colder than average winter
- We will have a slightly above average spring
- 8 to 10 severe weather events
- Summer wont as hot as last year
- Next year will be wetter
This is great news because we are still pretty drought stricken. I don’t know if I am ready for another hot summer.
Before the Weather Tour ended there was a brief Q&A and then it was off to the lobby to get a picture with Doug Heady. I knew I had to get a picture with Doug so I waited in line. I had it in my head how I was going to explain I was blogging the Weather Tour for my blog. If only my conversation went a little bit better! I sometimes get really nervous talking to people face to face and I couldn’t get the words “I live tweeted this event on Twitter, check out my blog” to come out of my mouth right. Well, I guess they will know after they read this blog. I’ll have a picture of Doug Heady and I on here as soon as I get it from KOAM.
One thing that really impresses me is Doug Heady still remembers me and Leo. He asked me how Leo was doing. I didn’t take Leo because he is still getting over being sick. Doug Heady is seen by a lot of people in the area as sort of a celebrity because he’s the local meteorologist but he’s really laid back and nice. He’s always answered any weather questions I have had. Then again if you ever visit his Facebook page you will see he answers everyone’s questions. It’s funny I mention that because during the presentation Doug referred to himself as a Multi Meteorologist instead of a Local Meteorologist because he gives everyone updates via social media and on TV. I kind of like that term. Maybe I’ll start referring to myself as Multi Mom. Then again what mom ISN’T a Multi Mom?
Overall the SkyWatch Weather Tour was a really good event. I wish they would hold more of these during the year because being prepared for severe weather is key for survival. Like I said earlier once I get that picture of Doug Heady and I from KOAM I will post it here. Overall the crowd was great but not as full as last year due to the weather. Maybe there will be more people in attendance next year.
Follow KOAM TV & FOX 14 on Facebook on the latest breaking news in the Four State Area. Keep up to date with the weather at the Sky Watch Weather Center. Likewise you can follow Meteorologist Doug Heady and Meteorologist Nick Kelly on Facebook. If you live in this area I recommend following both of them.