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IQ Weather Blog

IQ Weather Blog: Feast or Famine!

In the world of weather, it is often feast or famine! In today’s IQ Weather blog, we can see both at work at the same time!

Those of you have taken our course understand the huge influence that the oceans play in setting up weather patterns. Our current La Nina ocean pattern is weakening, but is still helping to lock a drought into place over the southwestern United States.  The U.S. Drought Monitor keeps track of long-term drought severity, and here is a look at the latest areas of drought in the U.S.

Once this ocean pattern shifts a bit, and continues to weaken, hopefully we’ll see some rain returning to this parched area of the country.  The satellite picture shows this area of drought, and since it is so dry, there is very little moisture to turn into clouds. Once a drought gets going, it can take a long time to reverse the trends.

Since January the area of drought has slipped a bit farther to the west.  Here is how the situation looked early this...

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IQ Weather Remembers the Andover Tornado

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Andover, Kansas tornado. On April 26, 1991 there was an outbreak of severe storms that produced this famous F-5 tornado. At the time the Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF scale had not been developed so it was not rated an EF-5.

This tornado was part of a TORNADO WATCH that was only the second in the United states to use “strong language” to described the potential for sever weather, including tornadoes. Now, in 2021, that is a common practice whenever a particularly dangerous weather situation is expected to develop.

Mike Smith is a meteorologist who was working that storm on television that day. Here is a link to his blog about the event.

The Andover tornado demolished parts of the small town of Andover, located east of Wichita, Kansas. The tornado was quite easy to spot, as this area is out in the plains near the Flint Hills of Kansas where there are not a lot of trees, or large building to block the view. 


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