Sunday, September 23, 2018

SPECIAL: Kentucky's Wettest September?

It's been a very wet month for much of Kentucky. Right now, I am following a long-duration event of rounds or episodes of heavy rain to impact most of Kentucky with 5-day totals approaching 3-6" in many locations.

I will be updating totals here for the rest of this event.

Since Friday the 21st, unless otherwise noted....

My house in Valley Station (12:00 p.m. 09/26)...5.45"  09/26
Louisville International (12:00 p.m.)....................6.08" 09/26
Lexington NWS (12:00 p.m.).............................. 4.02"  09/26
Frankfort NWS (12:00 p.m.)................................5.39"  09/26

Cumberland County Mesonet (Midnight).............5.40" 09/26
Franklin County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.71" 09/26
Hart County Mesonet (Midnight)..........................7.74" 09/26
Hopkins County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.64" 09/26
Marshall County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.01" 09/26
Muhlenberg County Mesonet (Midnight).............5.19"  09/26
Nicholas County Mesonet (Midnight)  .................6.23" 09/26
Shelby County Mesonet (Midnight),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,....4.96" 09/26
Trigg County Mesonet (Midnight)........................5.16" 09/26

Some of these amounts may still need to be updated as a cold front is expected to stall in the eastern part of the state.

I am now at 11.22" for the month of September. It has been a very efficient rain-producing month here. I have had 10 days of measurable rain producing the 11.22" for a 1.12" per day of rainfall.


Monday, September 10, 2018

MikJournal Monday 09/10/2018...Rain, Rain

Good Monday to you. Hopefully, it's better than the weekend deluge many Kentucky and Southern Indiana residents experienced when over 6" fell at several locations, creating dangerous flash flooding conditions.

I received a storm total of 5.37". My weather station recorded a total of nearly 5.9". But, I blame the sensitive 'tipper' for the inflated amount. My monthly rain total already stands at 5.78".

The high temperature at my house yesterday was only 66 degrees. Couple that with a low of 62 just before midnight gave me an average temperature of 64, one heating degree day. I have not had heating degree days since April. Officially, at the airport, 10 miles northeast of my position, the average temperature was 65 (67/62), right at the average base of 65 for determining a heating or cooling degree day.

Back to the rainfall, in Jefferson County, here are some numbers...

In Valley Station (about 4 miles west-southwest of my location), there was a reading of 7.15" storm total. Now, I believe that there was some sort of malfunction which possibly occurred during the heaviest part of the storm. Then again, it was a deluge of rainfall. Something must have happened during a 5-minute interval when the totals were updated.

However, other locations saw over 6" like Shively (6.46") and near Prospect (6.76"). Therefore, it is possible that the 7+" at this one location in Valley Station actually happened. I can vouch for that scenario also since earlier in the day, like a couple of hours after midnight Saturday morning, my location in Valley Station received nearly 3" while everyone else, including this water treatment plant where the 7" total was located, saw 2" at the most during that early part of the morning.

Several water rescues and one fatality occurred throughout the storm's most intense moments. Even some wind damage occurred. I had several small limbs littering my backyard. A large tree was felled by winds in PRP that topped close to 50 mph in a driving rain.

Elsewhere, there have been 2 confirmed EF-0 tornadoes reported by Louisville's NWS office. One in Lewisport, KY and the other across the river in Tell City, IN.

NWS offices and Kentucky Mesonet totals >3" Saturday through Sunday night (all totals through midnight)....

Kentucky Mesonet sites

Shelby County....3.08"
Rowan County....5.29"
Owen County.....4.03"
Oldham County..4.15"
Nicholas County 3.57"
Mercer County....4.38"
Mason County.....6.66"
Madison County..3.19"
Lewis County......4.51"
Harrison County..3.11"
Fayette County....5.13"
Clark County.......4.24"
Carroll County.....3.99"
Campbell County 4.97"
Boone County......5.28"
Bath County.........6.74" (including 6.48" just yesterday)

NWS sites


I will be updating statistics on the side of my blog soon to reflect the heavy rainfall that has fallen over the weekend. I will say that Bath County Mesonet site has already received 9.81" for the month of September.

Lexington's 48.13" year-to-date total is already nearly 3" above its 1981-2010 annual average. Similarly, Louisville's 49.09" is over 4" above its annual average ending December 31. In fact, Louisville is on track to record its wettest year since 2015 when 62.41" was collected.

More tropical action may be impacting the East coast later this week. Other systems are being monitored behind Florence. We'll see how it all plays out in the next couple of weeks.

Have a nice week and hopefully a little bit of dry time.


Monday, August 20, 2018

MikJournal Monday 8/20/2018 Very Wet Last Week

Good Monday to everyone. Well, for some of us, it was a very wet week since my last post. Here in Louisville, just a few days ago, 3-5" fell during a 24-hour period, more like 10 hours. At my house, in Valley Station, I recorded a total of 4.14" for the week ending yesterday.

Some parts of Jefferson County in the Louisville area realized some hefty totals too. For example, thanks to a lone storm in central and eastern Jefferson County yesterday, one of the MSD Pumping Station rain gauges just northeast of Louisville Int'l Airport recorded nearly 4". In addition to the 4" or so a few days ago, this location received just over 8" since August 13 last Monday.

Frankfort had a wet week too. A string of 3 consecutive days of rainfall exceeding 1" ended yesterday. Last week, they tallied 4.45". For the month, Frankfort has already recorded its 7th wettest August on record and 8th wettest Summer on record with more rainfall in the forecast.

The Kentucky Mesonet site at Lincoln County is approaching 20" for the Summer and has joined the top 3 wettest locations in the state for the year at 47.33".

After this next bout of locally heavy rainfall, we may be moving into a period of drier weather for the rest of the month. In addition, temperatures are really going to be pleasant for this time of year.

But, watch out. Summer is not over yet. The CPC is forecasting above normal temperatures heading into the Labor Day weekend. We'll see how that works out.

In closing, temperatures for the month may actually come in at below normal for the month. However, the summer of 2018 will go down in the books as an above normal summer for many, if not all of us. Precipitation will be top ten material for some while unusually dry for a few.

Have a good week and stay safe out there on the roads. Be weather aware.


Monday, August 13, 2018

MikJournal Monday 08/13/2018 Another Above Normal Summer?

Good Monday everyone. For Jefferson County residents, school will begin in earnest for many students this week. During the Dog Days of August, named after the dog star Sirius in our nighttime sky, temperatures are usually rather, well, summerlike. Therefore, despite rain chances increasing later this week, there will still be a summertime feel in the air.

This will cool you off. Today is the last day in which the highest average temperature of the summer will be recorded. Currently and over the past couple of weeks at least, the 30-year average temperature has been about 79.1 degrees here in Louisville. Starting tomorrow, the 14th, the same measurement standard will drop to 79.0 degrees. And from there, it's all downhill as we cascade into Autumn and Winter.

Despite a pattern change that began about the middle of July, temperatures have not shown a significant deviation from what is considered normal around here. Louisville has experienced the most 'significant' drop in temperatures, averaging about 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit below normal since July 15. However, the monthly average temperatures from June 1 to August 31 is likely to come in at above normal for the summer.

Lexington should finish with an above normal summer as well. Interestingly, Lexington has recorded a below normal summer for 4 of the last 5 years (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017).  But, despite the recent pattern change, it should not skew the entire summer to below normal.

I've updated some statistics on the blog. Feel free to check those out as well. At least 16 Kentucky Mesonet sites have now recorded over 40" of precipitation for the year. That's quite a bit, and we haven't reached the middle of August yet. Lexington NWS is now over 40" too. Normal precipitation for the year is 45.17". Wow!

The Harlan county Mesonet site atop Black Mountain in far eastern Kentucky is over 56" now for the year.

Severe weather summary from the Storm Prediction Center has been updated. Although Kentucky was leading the way in wind damage reports and even tornadoes for a while, other states have now surpassed the region. Fine by me.

However, flooding has been an issue this year, even in this state. Personally, I consider flooding to be a severe weather event, since it causes impacts to personal property and life. Storms that put out a lot of lightning, like cloud to ground strikes, should also qualify as a severe weather event, again since property and life are involved. I don't know how these events could be quantified, but their impacts can be more devastating than the other severe weather parameters we typically follow (tornadoes, hail, wind damage).

It's just my opinion. I'm sure there is information and statistics out there, probably from insurance companies, highlighting these events. But, for now, have a great week and stay safe out there.


Monday, August 6, 2018

MikJournal Monday 08/06/2018 Fun Facts

Good Monday to you. Not a lot of weather to talk about around here at the old homestead. It gives me a chance to catch up on some statistics, many quite fascinating.

Hawaii is often thought of as a veritable paradise, tropical trade winds and awesome beaches, not including the waves.

Often, the mountains play a key role in how weather affects the island. On Kaua'i, Mount Waialeale has been described as the second wettest place on the planet, averaging well over a conservative 450" per year.

Hilo recorded an all-time annual rainfall record of 211.22" in 1990. It rains often here as well. In 1952, there was measurable rain on 309 days. To put that into perspective, one of the wettest places I like to follow in the United States is Forks, Washington, which averages about 120" per year (1981-2010 average). It rained here on 259 days in 1964.

But, in Hilo, last year was the least amount of days of measurable rainfall on record with 'only' 241 days, amounting to a paltry 105.57".

Here in Louisville and Lexington, here are a couple of fun facts....

In Lexington, record annual rainfall is 66.35" in 2011. In that same year, Louisville recorded 68.02".

Let's look at a few more fun facts about our precipitation....

In Lexington, most days of measurable rainfall in a month is 23 days in March 1951. Most days of measurable rainfall in a year is 159 days in 1972.

In Louisville, most days of measurable rainfall in a month is 21 days in June 1893 and July 1927. Most days of measurable rainfall in a year is 150 in 2003.

Interestingly, Lexington has recorded 94 days of measurable precipitation, on track for its wettest year since 2011 when 145 days of measurable precipitation accompanied that record annual rainfall of over 66". Presently, Lexington has recorded 39.08", nearly 10" above normal.

Guess what? More rainfall is in the forecast. For some, it's been a wet Spring and Summer. Surprisingly, for some, conditions are becoming abnormally dry. But, the wet trend should alleviate those concerns over the next few weeks.

Have a good week.


Monday, July 23, 2018

MikJournal Monday 07/23/2018...Giveth and Taketh Away

Good Monday to you. Hey, did you get a chance to see the highlights of an adult Cubs fan basically steal a baseball intended for a kid nearby? Man, what an idiot! Don't worry, though. The Chicago Cubs came to the rescue and offered the kid, not only a game ball, but a separate baseball signed by slugger Javy Baez.

That reminds me of a recent climatic adjustment for the state of Texas' 24-hour snowfall record. Nine years to the day in 2009, a memorandum from the National Climatic Data Center concluded that based on a unanimous decision from the State Climate Extremes Committee, a new 24-hour snowfall record from the March 27-28, 2009 time period of 25" was accepted at Follett, Texas.

The estimated amount was quite a conservative one based on the snow to water equivalent. In addition, the under catch of a standard rain gauge and high winds lend likely support that the estimated snowfall total should have been higher. I say estimated because the smallest depth was 14" and the largest depth was 36" and the average of the two readings were made.

That was the kid who was supposed to get the baseball initially....

Uh oh. The ball was bobbled. Someone else reaches for the ball as it hits the bleachers and grabs it.

Now, enter another memorandum, this one dated December 8, 2017. Over two years earlier in August 2015, the SCEC met to discuss a finding from the WFO out of Fort Worth/Dallas about a 26" snowfall amount reported in Hillsboro on December 20-21, 1929, Yes, that's right, about 86 years prior to that meeting in 2015.

I think "somebody dropped the ball" on this one. Had this record been established first, like it should have been in 1929, then the 2009 claim could have been estimated higher than the 1929 total. Likely, the 2009 snowfall was higher, perhaps in a range of at least 27-30", based on the equipment used.

Understandably, estimates should not be considered validation for a new record. But, it is one of those things that should have an asterisk beside the, now current, record from 1929. In fact, there is a brief explanation from a footnote that compares the two amounts:

Texas All-Time Maximum 24-Hour Snowfall
Historical value was examined retroactively and found to be valid and exceeded prior stated record (view report). The previously recognized record of 25", observed in March 2009 at Follett (GHCN-D identifier USC00413225) is documented (here).

It's just one of those things that makes me scratch my head.

I often think about those few days in July 2013 when temperatures breached 130 degrees in Death Valley, California. A national record of 134 degrees was set on July 10. One has to wonder about the quality control of instruments at that time. Today, one would think that instrumentation today should be far superior than what was used in 1913. Of course, that can be hotly debated as well. But, there has not been another recordable instance of temperatures breaching 130 degrees in this country since those few days in 1913.

Make it a good week everyone. Hopefully, power is restored to your residences and cleanup is nearing completion.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Severe Weather Potential 07/20/2018

Tornado or tornadoes on the ground near Corydon IN and golf ball size hail now being reported.

Tornado Watch is in effect for much of central Kentucky until near sunset.

Moderate probability (60%) for at least 2 tornadoes
High probability (90%) for at least 10 wind events
High probability (80%) for at least 10 severe hail events
High probability (80%) for at least 1 hailstone >2"

CIPS Top 15 analog - Regional Severe Weather Likely

SPC continues to put our region in a MODERATE risk for severe weather

At 1:37pm, the SPC put out a Tornado Watch for much of our region till 9:00 p.m. this Friday evening.

Warnings are already in progress...Crawford county in Indiana near Fredonia has already reported 2" hail. That's impressive. This could be a hail fest for many. Hopefully not. Many gardens, homes, and vehicles will be damaged today if hailstones reach at least golf ball size (1.75" dm).

Stay tuned to your favorite media sources for the very latest, and keep those weather radios in the alert mode.

Be safe everyone.


SPECIAL: Kentucky's Wettest September?

It's been a very wet month for much of Kentucky. Right now, I am following a long-duration event of rounds or episodes of heavy rain to ...