Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you most of the time? Why aren’t you writing about Wednesday’s storms?
Ask and ye shall receive. Quite a few questions I’ve been asked, so will address a few here. Last one first. Not super impressed with the quality of moisture for tomorrow’s setup. It is all going to be about the timing (as it often is in early season storms). The sun is still setting mighty early still and peak heating is often insufficient to break the cap. As I look at things, I have a feeling the timing of the front and the upper level support will point to things going up around or after sunset and will be more of a nocturnal, low-level-jet based event. That said, the first or second storm of the day may produce a brief tornado, but the mode will likely be squally with marginally severe hail. If I had unlimited time and gas money would I chase tomorrow? You bet. I would head to Salina to be there about 4 in the afternoon (location and timing subject to change based on tomorrow morning’s maps), but I don’t have either (time or money), so will save my limited resources for later in the season when things look more impressive.
I am a meteorologist with a Bachelor of Arts in Atmospheric Science from the University of Kansas and was on local TV for close to 23 years. It was a career that I hoped would take me to retirement, but 99.9% of people in TV end up having to have a “second career,” so I launched mine at 45 years old. It was scary but exiting. No longer under “no moonlighting” and “intellectual property rights” clauses in a broadcasting contract, I wrote a book, “A Year of Kansas Weather” (available here), started teaching the Introduction to Meteorology course at Butler Community College and started my new career as a Hearing Instrument Specialist for Beltone, the Hearing Aid people, managing the west Wichita, Hutchinson and Newton locations. Since then, I have started doing the “Mid-day Meteorology with Mark Bogner” report on KFRM (listen to the latest here) and am the Monday through Friday Meteorologist for Q92 in Wichita. Busy? You bet! Loving it? Absolutely!
I am now honored and amazed to be asked to do this blog by a group of people I have a lot of respect for. At some point, you would think that working five different “weather jobs” would create a conflict of interest, but so far, so good. My book doesn’t compete with this blog, my KFRM reports for farmers don’t compete with the “urban adult contemporary” listeners of the Q, and my teaching at Butler only enhances it all and keeps me sharp. Best of all, Beltone is a small, locally owned, Christian, family company that encourages its eleven employees to branch out and be creative, using the skills that God has blessed us each with. For example, the manager of our east Wichita, Andover and Derby locations happens to be my best friend that just happened to marry my baby sister, and they perform music and publish CDs (listen here!).
I swear this blog is not going to be a “sea of me” and I will try to keep it more topical, but I would be remiss in telling my story if I didn’t mention that I have a beautiful wife of nearly 22 years and three, wonderful children in their teens and 20s. I grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in western Kingman County and the view out my bedroom window was an un-blocked view of the southwestern sky where I could watch approaching storms coming across the Kansas plains. It is here that I developed both a love and a fear of storms, and I hope you enjoy my occasional ramblings and can feel the enthusiasm I still have for a good storm!