Monday, April 2, 2018

MikJournal Monday 04/02/2018...Snow in June?


Good Monday everyone. We are in for a rollercoaster week, so buckle up. Severe weather chances and snow chances in the same week. Sounds typical for a battle zone between two seasons.

Severe weather is in the borderline 'likely' category for our region in Kentucky. SPC has a nice chunk of real estate in the Enhanced category (3/5). My analog analyses at two days out already has our region in a borderline likely category at 7.2. Here is my chart....

Score of 3.0 - 4.9 = widespread severe weather likely
Score of 5.0 - 6.9 = regional severe weather likely
Score of 7.0 - 7.9 = scattered severe weather reports
Score of 8.0 - 8.9 = isolated severe weather reports
Score of 9.0 - 9.9 = marginal risk for severe weather

Although my score does not represent fair justice to the storm system that will affect our region, it is 2 days out. The trend has been intensifying the chances for severe weather regionally. I say keep an eye to the sky and an ear to your favorite media source for further updates on this impending/imminent/potential severe weather outbreak.

So far, I think we are up to 13 confirmed tornadoes in Kentucky. That may increase after tomorrow night. We'll see.

Speaking of tornadoes, on this date in 2006 from the NWS Paducah...

View image on Twitter


March came in at below normal for the month in Louisville. In fact, several locations in the state had a warmer February than March. There were a total of 54 out of 70 Mesonet sites with a warmer February versus March in addition to the ones I listed in my previous post.

Black Mountain in Harlan county is our precipitation leader for the year at 25.42" while McCreary and Muhlenberg counties come in at 22.11" and 20.30" respectively.

I am going to continue to beat this drum that Black Mountain needs some sort of snow sensor to 'measure' new snowfall and snow depth. I honestly believe Kentucky can break the all-time snow depth record of 31" set in LaGrange (Oldham county). If there would have been a sensor atop Black Mountain back in 1977/1978 when LaGrange registered the state record, I can assure you LaGrange would not be the record holder.

Speaking of snowfall and snow depth, did you know it is still possible to register snowfall in the summer months?

Yes, hail reports are lumped in with any frozen precipitation like snow and ice pellets. Look at these examples...

June 5 and 10, 1951 - hail accumulation of 1" each date at Lubbock TX; 2" of the 7.4" seasonal snowfall was hail accumulation.

June 3, 1959 - hail accumulation of up to 18" occurred in Seldon KS; the small hail pounded the area for 85 minutes; the damage would be the result of not the size but the weight of hail that collapsed several flat-roof structures.

This April 16 will mark the 20th anniversary of Bowling Green's hail storm that devastated the area with baseball-size hail. The regional airport which suffered damage to at least 11 planes recorded a trace of snowfall for that date because the hail accumulation briefly and nearly covered the ground.

Keep safe everyone and have a good week.

MS

Sunday, April 1, 2018

March Colder Than February?

A special post today. Only for unusual activity will I post other than Monday. And, well, today I noticed something unusual.

Reviewing the month of March, which was not a top ten coldest month, Louisville still finished below normal for the 3rd time in 4 months. But, that's not what I thought was unusual.

Typically, the month of February is cooler than March in any given year. However, since we in Lexington had its 2nd warmest February, the ho-hum month of March that finished 2.5 degrees below normal was not enough to beat February's average temperature of 44.9 degrees. In fact, March came in at 43.0 degrees, so it was not really close at all.

Louisville eeked out a March just slightly warmer than February, and I do mean slightly. The 0.3 degree difference (45.3 to 45.0) was the closest February has come to tying or beating March's average temperature since 1960, when February was actually warmer than March that year. Nearby Bowman Field had a closer difference of 0.1 degree warmer March than February.

Bowling Green, Frankfort, Jackson (Feb +3.5 degrees warmer than March), London, and Covington all finished with a warmer February over March this year.

MS

Monday, March 26, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/26/2018...News and Stats

Good Monday to you. Today's post is all about numbers and interesting briefs. So, let's get to it.

According to the CPC, the 10-day period from March 31 - April 9 is expected to be below normal for temperatures and above normal for precipitation in Kentucky.

Islip on Long Island in New York has already recorded 31.9" of snowfall this month, its snowiest March ever and its 2nd snowiest month on record behind the 34.4" that fell in January 2011. The climate record goes back to the mid 1960's.

While we're in New York, the Tug Hill region, notorious for lake-effect snow amounts is at it again. If you look at the blog, the Lake Effect Snow Machine is dominated by several locations in the Tug Hill area, including Hooker's 264.8" seasonal total.

Despite the impressive amount of Nor'easters in a short period of time, much of New England has not recorded too many all-time seasonal totals. Rowe, MA has received over 122" for the snow season going back to July 1, an all-time record, but their reporting time only goes back a few years.

Farther south, in Glenmoore PA, 21" has been recorded this month, making it the snowiest March since records were kept beginning in 1960.

Accumulated snowfall over time generally produces snow depth. As long as temperatures remain cold enough to prevent minimal melting, additional snowfall can produce greater snow depths. Looking at some state records, Colorado recorded its greatest snow depth of 251" in March. Tennessee recorded 63" at Mt. Leconte again during March. Snowshoe in West Virginia recorded 62" during March. Now, these were all mountain locations.

Time to rant. If you read my blog long enough, you already know I will get in one of these moods.
Do you know what the state record for snow depth in Kentucky is? It's 31", set in 1978 at LaGrange, a town just northeast of the Heat Island Capital of the United States here in Louisville. No mountains, just a few knobs.

The other day, I was using some data from the Jackson NWS office and saw a whopping 79" snow depth near Booneville KY. What?! How is this not a record? It was from the year 2000. Now, I am going to post a partial copy of this climate data chart from February 2000 for Booneville.

Climatological Data for BOONEVILLE 12SW, KY - February 2000
2000-02-23
58 38 48 9.7 17 0 0 M M
2000-02-24
72 38 55 17 10 0 0 M M
2000-02-25 73 42 58 19 7 0 0 M M
2000-02-26 78 42 60 21 5 0 0 M M
2000-02-27 79 46 63 23 2 0 0.2 M M
2000-02-28 M M M M M M 0.1 27 79
2000-02-29 59 24 42 1.9 23 0 0 M M

Now, I know the chart may be a little cramped. The 'M' just stands for missing data. But, I want you to study the line for February 28, preferably the last two columns that read '27' and '79'. Those 2 columns represent 'New Snow' and 'Snow Depth' respectively. In other words, it snowed 27" that day, and we had a snow depth of 79" by the end of that day.

Something is not right about this. First, it would be a new 24-hour snowfall record that would replace the 26" that fell at Simers in March of 1942. And the 79" snow depth should replace the 31" snow depth at LaGrange from 1978.

Something else seems a bit quirky about the 79" snow depth. Look at the high temperatures for the previous 4 days. All of them in the 70's. One would question how much snow depth was there prior to the 28th. All we see is an 'M'. I do see, however, a possible explanation for the erroneous data.

Take a look at the line above the 28th, yes February 27. Look at the high temperature for the day of 79 degrees the next column over. Somehow, someway, is it possible that data input went into the wrong columns like the New Snow and Snow Depth columns below?

Based on data from surrounding regions, there were other locations that reported similar high temperatures for the dates listed, but for the 28th, no snowfall was recorded. Look at nearby Jackson in Breathitt county...

2000-02-23
70 51 61 20 4 0 0 0 0
2000-02-24
71 48 60 18 5 0 0.1 0 0
2000-02-25 76 58 67 26 0 2 0 0 0
2000-02-26 78 56 67 25 0 2 0 0 0
2000-02-27 64 42 53 11 12 0 0.3 0 0
2000-02-28 57 35 46 3.7 19 0 0 0 0
2000-02-29 69 38 54 11 11 0 0 0 0

Even Beattyville in nearby Lee county recorded no snowfall.

Speaking of Beattyville, I found a similar issue. You should have a right to the snow depth record as well. In October 2001, out of the wild blue on the 9th, you recorded a 39" snow depth WITHOUT receiving any new snow for the entire month. In addition, you had a high temperature of 0 degrees and a low temperature of 67 degrees??? Sigh.

However, I do believe the 31" snow depth record for Kentucky can be broken, if it already has not been done. The mountains of Eastern Kentucky would be an excellent place. Did you know that the Kentucky Mesonet has instruments for measuring wind speed, temperature, precipitation, and solar energy atop Black Mountain at an elevation of just over 4,000 feet? Would it not seem reasonable to place a snow sensor of some sort like ones used in other mountainous locations for recording snowfall and depth?

Something to think about. But, being a user of climate data, one would expect the data to be verified for accuracy before putting it to use. The NWS Jackson has additional issues which they are aware of when it comes to climate data. They have assured me that some sort of software problem will be resolved soon. Well, it has not happened yet, and it has been a couple of months. Come on guys, let's get it done. Rant over.

Make it a great week everyone. It might be a little wet, but at least it will be a bit milder.

MS

Monday, March 19, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/19/2018...More Snow?

Good Monday to you this morning. This is the last Monday of Winter. The vernal equinox signifying the first day of Spring will be upon us tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. While spring showers will be evident this week, Old Man Winter is still giving out parting gifts before he goes on his journey to South America. How generous!

Yes, we have more snowfall in the forecast for the upcoming week. For the month of March, some locations in Kentucky are up 50% to 130% above the December through February snow totals. Absolutely amazing!

This time of year, the teleconnections like the Arctic Oscillation (AO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and a couple of others are having less of a correlation with typical winter patterns. However, I still notice the winter patterns with these teleconnections presently. I do expect some snowfall. Will it be like last week's beatdown. It's hard to say. I would guess probably not. But, it will be another wet snow. If you get at least 4" of that, evergreens and even deciduous trees will suffer from the weight of the snow on the branches, again leading to possible power outages.

I am still updating totals for the snow season that runs from July 1 through June 30. Snowshoe WV is just shy of 100" to date, still a bit below normal. Their average is 158" per year. Other locations in Kentucky are still below normal for the snow season, but some are actually above normal including Paducah and Lexington.

In Kentucky, I saw some locations that have recorded 18" for the season. Perhaps, some will get a nice thumping this week to add to their totals.

Speaking of Lexington, thanks to the 9+" of the white stuff last week, they are already at #9 on the Snowiest Spring ever list.

Looking ahead to this week, the WPC is not on board yet to include Kentucky in any significant snowfall in excess of 4". But, we'll see. It seems with systems like the one coming, it's difficult to see how much dynamic cooling will play a role in these events. So, again, stay tuned.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to move on to Spring. I'm getting in the mood to plant peppers and tomatoes and squash. Hopefully, the warmer weather will finally settle in here for April.

Have a good week. Stay safe.

MS

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Heavy Snow Potential


Yes. A rare post on a Sunday. The WPC is on board also saying that a decent potential exists for some locations to receive at least 4" of a heavy wet snow that will cause travel issues as well as possible damage to some trees and perhaps power lines.

Stay tuned to your favorite media source(s) for further updates.

MS

Monday, March 5, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/05/2018...March Madness (Weather Style)

Good Monday to ya! It's that time of year. College basketball and March Madness. But, the weather will be displaying its own version of March Madness. In fact, the weather already has shown a great deal of madness recently.

Through March 1, Kentucky is the leader in preliminary, and mostly confirmed, tornadoes in the United States. At 14, the closest second place is Alabama with 8.

Late last week and over the weekend, a monster storm ravaged the East coast with high winds, flooding, and heavy snow. Power is still out for many residents this morning.

While many of us here in Kentucky dealt with record-setting rainfall for February, other locations have seen some of their driest winters ever. For example, Wichita in Kansas saw their 3rd driest winter on record, their driest since 1922/23. And that 1" of snow they saw, some 0.7" of that was sleet.

As the ongoing dry spell continues, places like Colorado are experiencing early season wildfires that are destroying people's homes and barns. As I write this, in Elbert county southeast of Denver, at least 5 homes and 4 barns were either heavily damaged or destroyed by a rapidly spreading wildfire yesterday morning.

In addition, wild temperature swings are occurring with all of the dry air in place and windy conditions. Here are a few examples from Sunday for the high and low temperatures...

Lamar, CO  high of 80; low of 24
Limon, CO high of 71; low of 16
Pueblo, CO high of 75; low of 25

Blizzard conditions are expected across parts of South Dakota along with wind gusts perhaps exceeding 60 mph at times.

One of my favorite windiest places that I follow is in Glasgow, Montana. Their average wind speed for the month so far is 17.5 mph. Here in central Kentucky, our average wind speed for the month ranges between 9 and 10 mph so far. But, it is the snowfall that has been the big story for the residents in Glasgow. A daily record of 13.3 inches fell yesterday, just missing their record 24-hour snowfall of 14.1" set on April 2, 1940. A total of over 52" has been recorded so far for the season, which is well above normal.

Our weather looks to skew to the wintry side of things. However, teleconnection patterns do not suggest any major event. Even if we did get a heavy snow accumulation, which can and has happened in March, I do not foresee anything that will stick around for a while. The pattern just does not support an Arctic outbreak like we saw in late December and January. In fact, I think Spring will become more noticeable as we enter the second half of the month.

Just remember, this does not mean Old Man Winter won't get lost. He'll manage to find his way back. March and April usually have many up and down periods. So, be ready.

Have a good week everyone.

MS

Thursday, March 1, 2018

MikJournal Midweek Post 03/01/2018...Record February!

Stats at a glance....

For Louisville:
February 2018 - Wettest February all-time
10.54" - Wettest month since April 2015 (10.84")
45.0 degrees - 6th warmest February all-time
12 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February
2.98" on February 24 - 3rd wettest day since April 3, 2015

For Lexington:
February 2018 - Wettest February all-time
10.13" - Wettest month since April 2015 (11.41")
44.9 degrees - 2nd warmest February (behind 2017)
7 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February

For Bowling Green:
8.59" - 4th wettest February ever
47.8 degrees - 5th warmest February all-time
15 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February

Also, Paducah had their 4th wettest February on record; Nashville TN had its 3rd wettest February and wettest since 1890; Memphis TN shatters all-time wettest February with 13.43", nearly 2.3" above previous record.

MS

MikJournal Monday 04/02/2018...Snow in June?

 Good Monday everyone. We are in for a rollercoaster week, so buckle up. Severe weather chances and snow chances in the same week. Sounds...