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.


Monday, July 16, 2018

MikJournal Monday 07/16/2018 Seasonal Update

Good morning. Yes, I'm still here. It's been a while since my last post. Gardening, chores, vacation, and other outdoor activities have kept me pretty busy. I finally updated some statistics on the side of my blog (been almost a month). Feel free to check those out.

One of the things you have probably noticed this summer is the heat. It's been rather hot around here. The urban island effect, which I live nearby, has seen temperatures as hot as 98 degrees, without the heat index. Include that calculation, some here in Jefferson county have experienced the 'feel like' temperature of near 110 degrees.

Most areas of Kentucky have seen above normal precipitation for the year. Ironically, Bowling Green is just below normal. Before yesterday's beneficial rainfall, they had only recorded 0.04" for the month of July. Some areas of western Kentucky are not benefiting from much rainfall for the month either. Throw in the heat, and all of what moisture was in the soil is now being quickly evaporated, leading to the top 2" of the soil becoming quite hard. No, it's not a drought. However, if conditions persist for the rest of the month, which it does not appear will be the case, abnormally dry patches may show up on the upcoming drought monitors.

Severe weather has been pretty active this year in Kentucky. Thankfully, I haven't seen much here. The most damage I've seen this year in my neighborhood was from gradient winds in the early Spring that produced a series of 50 mph wind gusts lasting nearly 20 minutes (and that was at night). Yet, in several Kentucky communities, tornado sirens have been a common occurrence, and several tornadoes have been confirmed, even here in Jefferson county.

With a possible weak el nino developing, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a dominant atmospheric driver leading into winter. Since it is expected to be a weak el nino, I'm not expecting a significant correlation to our upcoming winter season but may impact the hurricane season.

The last el nino we had was in 2015. That one was pretty strong and was a dominant driver extending well into winter. However, its impacts were variable here in Kentucky. Snow was above normal for most locations. Here in Louisville and Lexington, we had nearly 15" (this past winter, though not an el nino, we saw between 19-21"). But, temperatures were the big thing. Record warmth in December and impressive warmth in the following February of 2016 produced a well above average winter.

I believe the Sea Surface Temperatures in the far north, between Siberia and Alaska, will continue to impact the warmer than normal climate there, even without the influence of an el nino. In winter, waves of cold shots will penetrate the U.S. mainland. However, the cold shots are likely to be brief. If we do get a prolonged stretch of cold weather, it will likely be offset by a warmer pattern that will cancel things out anyway.

Remember the winter of 2017/18? December and January saw below normal temperatures. Louisville even recorded 6 consecutive days of single-digit low temperatures in one January stretch. Only to have February's impressive warmth skew the entire winter to an above normal temperature season. Crazy stuff!

Enjoy the rest of your week. I'll check in from time to time.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today's Featured Analog...June 20, 2015

In the grips of a typical June heat wave, a pattern change looks to bring a period of wet weather to our gardens. In fact, it's possible that the rest of the month will feature above normal precipitation.

One of the top 15 analogs features one from June 20, 2015. Looking back at past storm reports and rainfall data, tropical moisture from the remnants of Bill resided over our region for a few days producing copious amounts of rainfall. Even severe weather was reported.

Over 4" rainfall accumulated over 7 consecutive days. Prior to this, the first half of June was typically dry, with less than 0.50" at Louisville. However, the second half of the month dealt a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and high winds at times. In addition to the 7-day stretch, there was also a 3-day period later in the month with over 2" reported at Louisville.

Therefore, over 6" fell during the second half of the month, falling just outside of Louisville's top ten wettest June's.

Remember, analogs only show a similar weather pattern that resembles the air mass and expected conditions presently. It does not mean we will see that exact type of weather. However, heavy rainfall over the next two weeks is very possible. Louisville has already recorded nearly 3" for the month. To achieve a top ten wettest June status, the monthly minimum amount needed is 7.01".

Although the WPC keeps the heaviest rainfall just north of the area, I would not be surprised to see some higher localized amounts across parts of our region due to the possible 'training' and slow movement of any storms.

We will see. Meanwhile, enjoy the respite from the heat especially tomorrow and Friday. Turn around and don't drown.


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"...