Do You Own A Weather Radio?

April 30, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In recent weeks, we have had a number of severe storms roll through north Texas during the middle of the night. When people are asleep, they obviously aren’t watching TV, listening to the radio, or checking the web for the latest radar images. And Emergency Sirens aren’t always audible indoors, even when they are being sounded. So a lot of people are shocked when their home is hit by hail, damaging wind gusts, or even a tornado.When you are asleep, the single best way to keep your family safe from severe storms is to own a NOAA Weather Radio. I own one, and every home, school and business in north Texas should have one too.

That’s why NBC5 has partnered with Midland Radio Corporation and local Walgreen’s stores to bring you a special deal. A state of the art emergency alert radio at the special discounted price of $29.99.

These radios have proved so popular that in some Walgreen’s stores, the shelves have been emptied. But more deliveries are expected in the coming days, and they should soon be back in stock. Be sure to call ahead to your local Walgreen’s to be sure they have the radios on hand.

Once you have your radio, you need to program it to sound alerts for your particular county. Then it should sound an audible alarm, and turn on automatically, whenever a warning is issued or when a test alarm is given. Here is the statement from the National Weather Service on their usual test procedures:            

WRSAME Alert Tests are normally conducted each Wednesday between 10 and Noon (typically around 11 am) and again between 6 pm and 8 pm (typically around 7 pm). Should there be a threat of or existing severe weather, the test will be postponed until the next available good weather day.
Of course, you don’t want to be awakened in the middle of the night for a storm 100 miles away that will have no impact on your community.  That’s why these radios come with SAME technology (Specific Area Message Encoders).  You can program it to sound alarms only for one or two counties, so it will only wake you up if you are likely to be affected by the storm.
And here is a link to a map of north Texas with the proper frequencies for each county, and also the local County FIPS Codes for programming your radio:

Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock  










After The Race

April 29, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last Saturday morning I participated in the Tarrant County Race for the Cure, along with about 19,000 of my new friends.  The 5K (3 mile) race itself was delightful.  Some walked.  Some ran.  And many of us did some of each.  The weather was great: sunny, with light winds and temperatures in the 60’s.  And of course, together, we raised a lot of money to help find a cure for breast cancer.

But as nice as the race was, the “after party” was even better.  Sure, there were some nice refreshments, with local companies contributing food and drink to the cause.   NBC5 had a big contingent there.  Deborah Ferguson was the emcee for the event.  Meredith Land did some stories for the evening news.  And several other reporters were there as well, to do live shots, or to just run with the rest of us.  Here I am with some of my co-workers, Kristi Nelson, Susy Solis and Melissa Newton:

 Part of the NBC5 team

I also had great opportunities for some one-on-one discussions with a number of cancer survivors, and their family and friends.  I was amazed to find out just how many women have contracted breast cancer in their 30’s.  I thought Jennifer’s case was really unusual.  But I discovered that cancer among younger women is much more common than I had realized.  But some of the women I talked to had been cancer survivors for 30 years and more:

Men and a cancer survivor

I was able to spend “quality time” with a lot of enthusiasts about finding a cure for breast cancer.  This group was great fun!  

 Me and the Pink Ladies


 I made a lot of new friends at the Race for the Cure Saturday.  And you can see why I will be looking forward to participating again next year!  Let’s find a cure.

Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock

A Chilly Monday Morning in North TX

April 28, 2008 at 5:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

To get the coolest temperatures in North Texas, we need three key factors:
1.  Clear Skies (allows maximum heat to escape)
2.  Calm wind (keeps slightly warmer temps aloft from mixing down, delaying cooling)
3.  Low Humidity (dry air changes temp faster than moist air)

Parts of North TX managed to slide into the 30s this morning, and the DFW record low is 42!  Officially, we missed a record by 1 degree, our low was 43, but here are some of the colder low temps this morning:
  Burleson/Crowley:  36
  Lancaster:   37
  Mineral Wells:  38
  Bridgeport:  37
  Graham:  34
  Denton:  37
  Terrell:  39
  McKinney:  37
  Granbury:  39
  Keller/Alliance:  39
  Waxahachie/Midlothian:  39
  Stephenville:  39

10 Tornadoes In 24 Days!

April 27, 2008 at 12:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s not even May, but North Texas has already seen ten tornadoes between March 31st and April 23rd.

Monday, March 31st: EF0 (80-85mph) near Godley, Johnson County.

Wednesday, April 9th: EF0 (80-85mph) and EF1 (Up To 100mph) in Stephen County; EF1(85-90mph) Near Oran in Palo Pinto County.

Thursday, April 10th: EF1 (90-95mph) North of Alvarado near Happy Hill to Pleasant Point, Johnson County; EF1 (95mph) in Desoto, Dallas County; EF1 (90-95mph) Collin County.

Wednesday, April 23rd: EFO (60-65mph) in Far North Central Erath County; EF0 (80-85mph) in Southeastern Palo Pinto County; EF2 (110-115mph) in Crowley, Southern Tarrrant County.

Steve Mac

Race For The Cure

April 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments

This isn’t my typical weather blog. Instead it’s a personal story about my family.

You may have seen our story at 10pm Thursday about my daughter’s battle with breast cancer. That’s a sentence I never expected to be writing six months ago.

In a recent NBC5 Race for the Cure promo, I announced that my 34-year-old daughter Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer last November. She had a double mastectomy on December 19. The surgery went very well. There was no sign of cancer in the lymph nodes or surrounding tissues, so the prognosis is very good from here on out.

Jennifer was home from the hospital after just 48 hours. She recuperated rapidly, and said that she was bored at home! That’s a good sign that’s she’s really recovering.

Our daughters’ news was really a shock when we received it. Especially because Jennifer had no known risk factors at all. Most women don’t have their first mammogram until age 35 or 40. At age 34, breast cancer was the last thing from Jennifer’s mind. She is young and healthy, worked out regularly, maintained a good diet and is fit and trim. She had two children in her 20’s, and breast-fed them both. She had done everything right. And there was no history of cancer on either side of her family.

Even so, she got breast cancer. But through self-examination, she caught it early, had surgery within weeks, and the cancer doesn’t seem to have spread, so the long term prognosis is very good. She just has a lot to go through.

For the past three months, Jennifer has undergone chemotherapy treatments. The nausea wasn’t as bad as she had feared, but she said that everything tasted terrible, and she has had trouble eating. She’s lost 20 pounds this year. And after the first month, she began to lose her hair. So her husband Steve shaved her head last month. My son Ryan has always been on the slender side, and generally shaves his head in the summer, then lets it grow out for the winter. That first night after shaving Jennifer’s head, Steve joked that he thought he was going to bed with Jennifer’s brother! It’s good to know that he and Jennifer have been able to maintain their sense of humor throughout this ordeal.

Jennifer remains in great spirits. It’s amazing how strong she is. But I guess with 4 and 6 year old daughters at home, she doesn’t have much choice but to be strong. Her strength is what has made it possible for the rest of the family to be strong as well. Cancer is definitely a family affair. Her last chemotherapy treatment was yesterday. And Jennifer sent out this celebratory email to family and friends:

“Hip Hip Hooray! Jennifer finished her last chemo today!!!

I just had to share the wonderful news! I was actually looking forward to this treatment for once. Thank you all for all of the support and prayers. I could not have gotten through this with out God giving me strength, your prayers and support and my wonderful husband, Steve, taking great care of the girls and me while working full time, my family, Steve’s family and lots of friends. I made a major milestone today. I still have to have radiation in June and herceptin until February, but the herceptin doesn’t have the nasty side-effects like chemo.

I felt so happy and good that I walked 3 miles when I got home from chemo today.

Just in case you don’t know David will be interviewed by Jane McGarry about the Komen Race For the Cure that will happen in Ft. Worth on Saturday. The segment will air on the 10:00pm news. My oncologist Dr. Gumpta was interviewed by Meredith Land and it aired at 6:00. He is a wonderful doctor. I told him about David and that is when he told me he will be on NBC too. Neat coincidence.

Thank you,


Jennifer still faces radiation for several months, and then reconstruction surgery.  But she is ready to get on with her life. She also sent out another email, informing us of her plans for next November:

I have taken on an incredible challenge. On November 7-9, I’ll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days, camping out at night with thousands of other women and men taking this journey with me. My team is called the Cancer Fairies.

It’s for an event called the Breast Cancer 3-Day, which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Every advancement in breast cancer research, treatment, education and prevention in the last 25 years has been touched by a Komen for the Cure grant. They are working hard to build a future without breast cancer, and I plan on raising $2200 to help bring us closer to that goal.

In November 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It was a complete surprise to me because I didn’t have any of the risk factors, there is no family history of breast cancer and I was only 34 years old. I will be walking one year from my diagnosis. I am committed to raising money to help find a cure. I also want to prove to myself and other women going through cancer treatment that you can overcome this and come through strong and healthy.

Without a cure, one in eight women in the U.S. will continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s why I’m walking in the 3-Day. Because everyone deserves a lifetime.

Just follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising webpage and make a donation. If you don’t want to donate online, please download and print a donation form and mail it to the address on the form. Or you can call 800.996.3DAY to donate over the phone. I would like to reach my fundraising goal by September, so don’t delay!

Thank you for taking the time to read this email, and thank you for your support.

Jennifer Perry

P.S. Don’t wait – donate today!

Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Click here to view the team page for Cancer Fairies
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

For more information about the Breast Cancer 3-Day, Susan G. Komen for the Cure or the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, visit or call 800.996.3DAY.

I am sure that Jennifer would appreciate any support that you, my viewers and readers, might be able to provide.  After her chemotherapy treatments, she doesn’t think she will have the energy to take part in the Race for the Cure in Fort Worth this Saturday.  But I will certainly be there, and I hope to see many of you there as well.  Let’s find a cure!

Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock

Severe Weather Threat returns to North TX

April 23, 2008 at 8:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Risk Area:
Most of North TX, west of a line from Paris to Corsicana.  (see attachment)
Risk Time:
from 4pm to 3am
Main Threats:
-hail to baseball size
-wind gusts to 80mph
-small scale flooding
A upper level low now moving into North TX is already spreading instability toward Abilene.  Some showers and storms are already developing in the Permian Basin.  Instability will continue to increase through the day, and we’ll likely start seeing storms reach severe levels by mid to late afternoon west of a Wichita Falls to Abilene line.
These storms will move east, and as the upper level low catches up to the storms during the late afternoon and evening, the upper level wind field will become much more favorable for supercells containing tornadoes, very large hail and damaging wind.
Storms should clear North TX by early morning.
watch/warning risk table:
severe t-storm or tornado watch:
DMA:  85%
Metro: 70%
severe t-storm warning:
DMA:  75%
Metro:  55%
tornado warning:
DMA:  50%
Metro:  25%


Live Stormtrack 5 radar and tornado spotters

April 22, 2008 at 6:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NBC-5’s commitment to having the best weather coverage is legendary.  Part of that is the million watt Stormtrack radar.

Stormtrack radar gives us LIVE second by second precision looks at severe weather in North TX.  We use Nexrad radar, like other tv stations, but Stormtrack radar is better for a lot of reasons:
   1.  Its LIVE.  Nexrad radar is not, sometimes up to five minutes old.  When a tornado is moving at 40mph, it can move a long way in five minutes.
   2.  We control it.  We can point the antenna right at what is important, and provide constant updates if necessary.  Nexrad radar spins in a complete circle, and often is scanning in upper parts of storms.

We also rely on our spotter network.  Sometimes, a storm looks like it could produce a tornado, but it doesn’t.  That’s why we deploy the best spotter network in North TX.  They are our eyes beneath the storm.

Here are some radar pictures showing strong tornado indications from our storms on March 31st.

The first picture shows the storm and its “hook echo” just after producing a tornado near Godley, in Johnson County.



Going Green for Earth Day

April 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tuesday April 22nd is Earth Day.  All across the country Americans will be celebrating the environment, and participating in projects to protect it.

Here in our area, NBC5, Telemundo39 and GE are joining hands to take part in a green beautification project near Fair Park in Dallas.  We will be planting 3000 shrubs and plants along a median parallel to Interstate 30.  We are partnering with Groundwork Dallas, Jubilee Park Center, the City of Dallas and US Lawns to make this project a success.  Here are some more details: 

*    PARTNER – GROUNDWORK DALLAS – our non-profit partner
         * NBC 5/Telemundo 39 and GE Volunteers are partnering with Groundwork Dallas – local non-profit agency –
         * Groundwork Dallas actually applied for the grant from the City of Dallas to do this program.
         * I’m expecting info from Casie Pierce on Groundwork Dallas to pass on to you today. 
         * City of Dallas provided funding assistance to Groundwork Dallas through the Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) —  Neighborhood Enhancement Program which was approved by Dallas City Council inFebruary ’08
*     BENEFICIARY – JUBILEE PARK NEIGHBORHOOD – beneficiary of our effort
    * The Jubilee Park Neighborhood is a 62 block area that’s bordered by I-30, Grand Avenue and Fair Park.
    * 10 years ago there was nothing there – absolutely nothing – in that neighborhood. A church, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church was looking for a neighborhood to help revitalize as part of their 50th anniversary. They discovered this area and raised the money to build the Jubilee Park Center. The community center is a free standing non-profit 501(c)3 organization, but they still get funding from the church and their volunteers still help out.
* The Jubilee Park Center is the driving force for revitalization. They focus on programs to reduce crime, beautification projects like the one we’re doing on Earth Day, clean up programs regularly of the entire neighborhood, housing programs like Habitat for Humanity have helped them tear down crack houses and abandoned houses and build homes.
   The center has after school programs, GED program.
   The center installed surveillance cameras to reduce crime.
   The center started a business association because the businesses in the area didn’t know each other.
   The center started a neighborhood association.
   The center has programs to help people fix up their homes. — The volunteers for these program are people who actually live in the neighborhood.
* Boone Pickens donated $6 million to the Jubilee Park Center in 2007and the Center is actually building a police storefront for the neighborhood as part of their crime reduction program. The police agreed to staff it, if they built it and they are doing that.
Tuesday at 4pm, 5 pm and 6pm, I will be doing live shots in our newscasts from the site of the event.  But before that, I will spend the day getting my hands dirty, planting.  That’s the kind of public service work I enjoy!
Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock

Good Timing-Great Weekends, unsettled work weeks

April 20, 2008 at 7:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is the third weekend in a row with beautiful conditions.  Its certainly been stormy during the last three weeks.

We’re up to 7 tornadoes this month, and all between Monday and Friday of each week:
-Thursday, 4-17, 6 miles north of Aledo (brief touchdown)
-Thursday, 4-10, Allen to McKinney
-Thursday, 4-10, DeSoto
-Thursday, 4-10, N of Alvarado
-Wednesday, 4-9, near Oran (Palo Pinto County)
-Wednesday, 4-9, Breckenridge
-Wednesday, 4-9, near Eolian (Stephens County)

It looks like our thunderstorm chances will again flare up toward the end of the week, with more severe weather possible by Friday.  Stay tuned!

More Storms Coming

April 16, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

It looks like we will see another round of thunderstorms Thursday evening.  A cold front now entering the Texas Panhandle will move eastward overnight, and by morning will begin to generate storms in Oklahoma.  Those storms will move south through the day, and by evening should be affecting our portion of north Texas.

In the meantime, a strong south wind will continue to pump warm, humid air into our area.  This provides good fuel for thunderstorm development.  But there is one ingredient that is different from what we saw last week.  The upper level low, with its attendant energy and cold air aloft will pass north of Texas this time, through the central plains.  As a result the atmosphere won’t be as unstable as it would if the low tracked farther south and across Texas.

We will still see storms, and a few of them could produce hail and strong gusty winds.  But I don’t anticipate the same kind of severe weather outbreak as we saw last week.

By the way, we will be airing our severe weather special, Tracking Texas Weather again this weekend.    It will be airing in its entirety at 6:30 pm Saturday.   This is the first weather special we have ever broadcast in HD.  You can see great video of severe storms, and also learn all about how you can use our latest interactive tools for radar.  You can even get radar on your cell phone!  I hope you will be watching.

Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock

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