Monday, October 16, 2017

MikJournal Monday 10/16/2017...Mid Month Report and Looking Ahead

Ahh. What a breath of fresh air. Good Monday morning to you. Today is starting out much cooler and drier than we've been in a while. I'm registering 50 degrees here at my house at 6:30 this morning, but the dry air makes it feel much cooler. Also, patchy cloud cover is probably keeping my temperature from falling into the 40's. But, several locations are already well into the 40's that surround the city of Louisville.

In addition, I do think some areas could see patchy or even a light frost by tomorrow morning in our region. At just after 6:30 this morning, the lowest temperatures I could find include a 38 degree reading in Harlan county, but that is at 4000 feet, and a 42 degree reading at Mayfield in western Kentucky. Good morning Cynthiana. You were at 43. With another hour before sunrise, temperatures could fall a little bit more where clearing has taken place.

Well, this morning I have prepared a mid-month report about our temperatures for parts of our region.

First, I want to take you back to October 2016. That month was very warm. It was the 7th warmest on record for Lexington, 5th warmest at Frankfort, and 3rd warmest for Bowling Green.

In fact, at Louisville, it was the warmest October on record. Typically, we think of October as a transition month from very warm to very cool. So far, this October and last October have not fit that description.

Using the base or average temperature of 65 degrees, last October through the 15th had already registered just 6 days below the average of 65 for a total of 18 degrees. Normally, we should see 74 total degrees below that average for the first 15 days. Guess how many days have been registered this month below that 65 degree average...just 1 day for a total of 2 degrees. Not much transition so far.

Now last year, it actually was warmer during the second half of October than the first. Again, where's the transition? Not here.

Ok, you might need to hold your head in place with both hands for this one. The second half of October last year was just as warm, even a tad warmer, than the first 15 days of this month. And this month is well along to being a top ten warmest October contender, perhaps a top 3.

However, a transition is still possible for the second half of this month. It looks like we may not see this blistering pace continue much longer. I still believe we will see more days above normal than below normal. But, the colder shots are going to be more noticeable, cutting into those lofty averages.

I am trying to put more faith in the GFS signal that colder air, below normal type of air, will infiltrate our region before month's end. But, the Euro continues to paint normal to above normal temperatures through the rest of this week and slightly beyond. By this time next Monday, the Euro should have a reasonable guesstimate as to the depth of any cold air that could invade our region by the end of the month. But make no mistake about it. Cold air is building in Canada. And it's just a matter of time before chunks of that air mass slide this way.

In conclusion, Ophelia in the east Atlantic looks to hit Ireland with hurricane gusts today. Extreme weather on display.

Here is a look at past extreme weather for the dates of October 16-22....

October 20...

2004 - Mt. Charleston F.S., NV 7.78" (state 24-hr precip record)

October 20-21...

1996 - Portland Jetport, ME 13.32" (state 24-hr precip record)
1996 - Mount Washington, NH 11.07" (state 24-hr precip record)

Make it a good week


Monday, October 2, 2017

MikJournal Monday 10/02/2017...Welcome To October!

Good Monday morning. October, one of my favorite months of the year has arrived. And, we have pretty nice weather days ahead. Louisville's average high and low temperatures start out at 75/54 and ends the month with an average high/low of 65/45. Daylight hours continue to dwindle, starting out the month at 7:39 am sunrise and 7:25 pm sunset (11 hours and 46 minutes) on the 1st and ends the month at 8:08 am sunrise and 6:44 pm sunset (10 hours and 36 minutes), a loss for the month of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Don't worry. Daylight savings time does not end until the first weekend in November. The last day will be Saturday, November 4th. Then, turn your clocks back that night for the hour of sleep you lost during the Spring. Already feeling better, aren't you?


I have been following this story for well over a month now. But, it looks like Houston may make another run at its all-time precipitation record as early as this week. I am glad to see the NWS Houston/Galveston put out a graphic showing the wettest years ever at its official site (which has changed locations throughout the years).

After recording only 1.23" for the month of September (a welcome reprieve indeed), rain chances are on the increase through midweek, and this includes the Houston area. So far, it appears the heaviest rainfall should materialize along the coastal areas. By the way, the official location at IAH (Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston) is located about 20 miles north of the downtown area. Lesser rain amounts? We'll see.

Not much worry here for heavy rainfall, at least according to the Climate Prediction Center. As of September 30, they issued their final October outlook and say that the month should be warmer than average and drier than average for Kentucky.

Perhaps with several clear nights ahead, take advantage of the often crisp air, making for excellent stargazing conditions. In fact, a series of meteor showers will be on display over the next few months. Here is a calendar of the more popular ones for viewing....

October 7-8...Draconids
October 21...Orionids
November 4-5...South Taurids (bright moon may impact viewing)
November 11-12...North Taurids
November 17-18...Leonids
December 13-14...Geminids

I have personally enjoyed the Orionids, Leonids, and the Geminids in years past.

Recently, I reviewed some statistics for the past month and found something I never really took notice of before, average wind speed at select locations here in Kentucky.

Here are a couple of examples. Paintsville and Jackson in eastern Kentucky barely averaged about 1 mph last month. I thought this was a fluke; therefore, I checked other months during the year. Generally, average wind speeds stayed below 6 mph, even during the windier months of January, March, and April.

Even in Harlan County, at a Kentucky Mesoset site with an elevation of 4,031 feet, the average wind speed last month was around 5.4 mph.

Louisville actually recorded an average wind speed of 10.3 mph for the month of March 2017. That was probably a little too windy for kite flying. Of course, there is not any mountainous terrain to help cut down on the flow of wind such as in the eastern part of the state.

Finally, no doubt our hearts continue to go out to our friends in Puerto Rico, as the aftermath of Hurricane Maria continues to unfold. Communications and transportation infrastructure or lack thereof has really hampered efforts to get the needed supplies to where they need to go.

Of course, Puerto Rico is no stranger to tropical systems. Perhaps some residents will remember a tropical storm called Isabel in 1985 that affected the island during early October. In fact, on the 7th, a 24-hour precipitation record of 23.75" was observed near the Tora Negro Forest. Much of Puerto Rico was affected by Isabel, and the resulting flash floods and mud slides contributed to the deaths of some 180 persons.

I will be paying attention to the tropics during the upcoming week. I have a camping trip to Myrtle Beach planned later this weekend. And it's not looking good....

Enjoy your week. I'll catch up to you later.



Friday, September 29, 2017

Midweek Post 09/28/2017...September Projection

What a comeback! After nearly 2 weeks of Fall-like temperatures earlier this month, the longest stretch of 90 degree heat ends today in Louisville. Eight consecutive days in the 90's beat out the previous streak of 7 in July. In addition, the entire state's average temperatures increased. What was once expected to be an impressive below normal month now shows several reporting stations (at least NWS offices) going to be near normal or even above normal.

Here is a look at the NWS offices in Kentucky and their temperature departure from average as of this morning, the 28th...

Bowling Green...-0.5

However, we have transitioned again to our Fall-like pattern, but maybe only for a few days. Yet, it may be enough to help offset these averages just a bit for the rest of this month.

So, what did I come up?

Projection time....

My information is taken from the F-6 form at, a preliminary form of the monthly climatic data. If you look just below the last calendar day entry, on the left hand side, you will note a sum (SM) with a couple sets of 4 digit numbers like this...

SM 2216  1646

This represents the sum of the high temperatures from the one column and the sum of the low temperatures from the next column.

I total these together.

Next, find the average temperature for the month then multiply by 30 days and multiply again by 2 for another total sum.

Now, compare the total sum for 'average' with the current total sum in the sample above.

Subtract the current sum from the monthly 'average' sum.

Look at the area forecast for the rest of the month and add the forecast high and low temperatures through midnight of the last day of the month.

How does this compare with the 'average'? Is it higher? Lower?

Sounds complicated, but not really.

Let me walk you through Louisville's F-6 sheet...

SM  2211  1669......Current Sum = 3880
Average temperature for September is 71.0 degrees (found on another page)
Multiply 71.0 by 30 days = 2130
Multiply by 2 (for combining high and low)
Average September Total Sum = 4260
Subtract Current Sum from 'Average' Sum = 380
Expected Forecast temperatures total...
   low temp from this morning = est. 60
   high temp 28th = 75
   low temp 29th = 53
   high temp 29th = 76
   low temp 30th = 51
   high temp 30th = 71

Add those numbers to get 386
This number is greater than the 380 just to reach normal
Therefore, the forecast or projection is for a total of 3880+386=4266
Divide 4266/30 days to get combined high/low 142.2
Divide by 2 to get overall average of 71.1
71.1 is greater than the 'average' for September of 71.0
Therefore, projection is Louisville to finish the month 0.1 degrees above normal

Lexington should finish at normal or 0.1 degrees above normal depending on how they round the numbers.

Jackson looks to finish right at normal, even slightly above but not enough for rounding up.

Frankfort and Paducah should finish above normal.

Bowling Green and London should finish the month below normal

There you go. Only 2 out of the 7 forecast centers that I follow are projected to be below normal. Oh, by the way, the Louisville Bowman Field area, the WFO, the one with less concrete than the official site, may actually finish at least 0.3 degrees above normal, kind of surprising compared to the official site.


Monday, September 25, 2017

MikJournal Monday 09/25/2017...Review of Summer

I hope your Monday is off to a good start. Before I get into some of the details of this summer past, how about this stretch of summer? Here in Louisville, we have recorded 5 consecutive days in the 90's. That has now raised our September average temperature to a modest 1.3 degrees below normal. Lexington is only 1.2 degrees below normal. And we still have at least 3 more days of above normal readings to go before we begin transitioning to more seasonal levels.

Dare I say I might be making projections for the temperatures of September? This should have been a slam dunk for below normal temperatures this month, after the 2 weeks of 'ahhh' weather we enjoyed earlier this month. But now...?

It's going to be that close. Quite likely, I will be making a midweek post with projections about whether we will be below, at, or above normal for the month.

Just a preliminary look, and again, this is not my official projection yet, but this could be how it plays out for the rest of the month...

Remember, all of this could change, because there is a cold core of air that will be positioned just to our west, but it seems that the NWS Louisville is not taking this into consideration yet.

Looking at a normal month in Louisville of 71.0 degrees for the entire month of September, we would need a total (high and low combined) of 4,260 degrees. Right now, we have achieved a total of 3,404 degrees, leaving us with a total combined high and low temperature of 856 degrees to go for the rest of the month just to achieve normalcy.

The official forecast for Standiford Field is for a total of 858 degrees, which by definition would make it an above normal month. However, once all of the averages are taken into consideration and subsequent rounding, it may just become a normal month.

Following the same pattern but for Lexington, I achieved a similar result, an above normal month by definition, but after averaging and rounding, just a normal month.

So, that will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Now, a review of this past summer. Regionally, I already kind of hashed the numbers out in an earlier post. But, most of the region saw a below normal summer for June-August. Nationally, how did we do?

While Kentucky was accompanied by several states of the mid and deep south for a below normal summer, Nevada and California saw their warmest summer on record. Oregon almost achieved their warmest summer.

Montana had its 2nd driest summer on record and is in the grips of an impressive drought. Mississippi had its wettest summer ever, while Florida and Louisiana had their 2nd wettest summer on record.

In fact, Naples in Florida has already seen its wettest year on record, and that is with incomplete data from earlier this month.

Globally, could the string of year after year warmest land and sea temperatures be coming to an end? It's possible. Projections (not mine this time) are for 2017 to be the 3rd warmest on record when combining the land and ocean surface temperatures.

So, keep an eye for that midweek post. Hopefully, I'll have updated information whether there will be a more pronounced cooling trend coming up or not.

Otherwise, make it a good week.


Monday, September 18, 2017

MikJournal Monday 09/18/2017...Remembering Hurricane Hugo and Maria Looming

Welcome to another installment of MikJournal Monday. It looks like a pretty quiet week in terms of weather. Yes, there will be a few showers out there from time to time, not a complete washout. Temperatures are going to be warm, very warm as the averages try to come up from several days of below average readings this month.

In fact, 13 of the first 14 days of the month saw below normal temperatures here in Louisville. However, it appears we will have several days this week of temperatures near or above normal, depending on cloud coverage. Then later this week, possibly later in the weekend, we will begin transitioning to more fall-like temperatures.

So, with our weather nice and warm, I wanted to talk hurricanes for this segment. On this day in 1989, Puerto Rico was ravaged by Hurricane Hugo as landfall occurred near the town of Fajardo on the main island. The San Juan airport registered wind gusts of over 90 mph and the old Roosevelt Roads Naval Station had a 120 mph gust.

Of course later on, Hugo would make its trek through the Bahamas and set its sights along the Southeast coast, eventually making a significant, impactful landfall near Charleston, SC at Sullivan's Island as a Cat 4 hurricane.

As a side note, the Hurricane Hunters had what was called the 'Hairy Hop' as the initial plane, nicknamed 'Kermit', went to fly into the eyewall at about 1,500 feet, and got a little more than they were expecting.  Normally, they would fly at an altitude of 5,000 to 10,000 feet but were anticipating a weak hurricane.

Well, the hairy hop occurred when they encountered severe turbulence that put the mission, and for that matter, the lives of the 16 aboard, in jeopardy. Ironically, prior to takeoff, one of the reporters had asked, "Where are the parachutes?", the response was that parachutes would be of no value where they were going.

Severe turbulence? You be the judge. An updraft/downdraft/updraft triplet of 20 mph, 22 mph, and 45 mph respectively and horizontal winds of 185 mph violently shook the plane, causing even secured items to become loose in the cabin such as a 200-pound life raft, and caused a fire in one of the four engines. Worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster film, the pilots have to take measures to erase a 620 foot plunge of a few seconds that keeps them some 880 feet above the ocean waters. Crippled, the plane still has to be navigated to find a way out...

More information, including a story from the lead flight commander, can be obtained from sites below...

the hairy hop

Hunting told by Dr. Jeff Masters

I like a good cliff-hanger, or in this case, a hurricane hanger.

I mention Hugo, because another hurricane is about to hit the island of Puerto Rico. Meet Maria. If that happens, where will it go afterward? Could it take a similar trek as Hugo and head for the east coast?

A fairly reliable forecast model has the trek staying out to sea once it emerges from near the Bahamas. In fact, it may even stay a bit more east of Jose's track. But, remember, Irma's direction could not be accurately predicted until just hours before landfall. The models just could not figure out the periphery of the sub-tropical ridge.

The strength or weakness of that ridge will play a huge role in where Maria will go, and determine how close any impacts will be realized along the east coast. At the very least, waves and rip currents will continue to be a problem for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Make it a great week.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

MikJournal Midweek Post 09/14/2017...Rainfall Amounts and Geography Trivia

As promised, I am posting a midweek update for rainfall totals and some geography trivia that might ruffle some feathers. So, please provide any other suggestions I can use to help answer the trivia question. More on that in a moment.

In Jefferson County, I have seen rainfall amounts range from 0.38" to 1.10" since September 11, or this past Monday. Here at my house, I saw 0.56", bringing my monthly rainfall total to 5.22". The airport at Louisville International has also recorded 0.56" through noon today.

However, since the state continues to see showers today, I will not be updating the totals on the side of the blog until the weekend.

Next up is Jose. The Euro has Jose weakening but tracking farther westward than some residents' comfort level allows. Although no landfall is forecast for the U.S., the center may approach close enough to throw some wind and rain toward Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island. However, wave action will be quite noticeable. Rip currents are expected to be a problem. It will be a storm system that the Northeast residents will want to watch pending any additional westward shift.

Now, for your geography trivia, which might prove controversial...

Image result

A two-part trivia question for you. Based on the map, what is the westernmost point of the Eastern Time Zone in Kentucky? What is the easternmost point of the Central Time Zone?

I invite your input. I have looked at my Kentucky map and found Meade County to be the westernmost point of the Eastern Time Zone and Russell County as the easternmost point of the Central Time Zone.

But, this is where it could become quite controversial. Now, when I ask where, hopefully you understand I am not looking for a physical location, like a boat dock ramp or a highway mile marker or even a county line sign. I am not even asking for someone's property like Old Man Williams' scarecrow in the back of his cornfield (name is fictitious, if name is Williams, sorry about that). I am talking about a community or town which has a legitimate, verifiable post office and zip code.

I came up with Concordia in western Meade County though there are a couple of others that could be acceptable. Then, I came up with Vinnie near the Russell/Pulaski county line.

I find time zones and daylight/standard time interesting. Did you know our Eastern Daylight Time is the same as Atlantic Standard Time? A few northeastern states have been mulling over whether to switch to Atlantic Standard Time instead of fooling with the switch twice a year. I guess some people don't like to lose that extra hour of sleep during the initial Spring switch or show up one hour late to Church during the initial Fall switch.

We'll talk again...


Monday, September 11, 2017

MikJournal Monday 09/11/2017...Irma's Fury and Regional Impact

Good Monday to ya! Clouds are beginning to stream into our region from Irma, now blasting southern Georgia after pummeling the state of Florida.

The hurricane may not have been as intense as expected, but its widespread effects were felt statewide across Florida, and its effects will be felt throughout most of Georgia into Alabama and Tennessee.

And yes, we will feel the effects here, but it should not be as bad as Harvey's remnants. A general 1-1.50"(WPC) could be realized throughout the week along with some gusty winds and cool temperatures, at least through midweek.

Irma's fury was realized across Florida yesterday. Some notable highlights were a 142 mph wind gust at Naples, an apparent vortex or spin-up in the background as Mike Bettis of The Weather Channel was reporting live footage about the hurricane, the millions of residents who have no power statewide, and now that daylight has arrived, the damage left behind.

We are still awaiting word on how our relatives and friends have fared during this frightful ordeal.

Some of the local storm reports coming out of central Florida this morning were water rescues in West Orange county, hurricane wind gusts of 75-80 mph at Orlando, significant flooding along Beach Rd in Daytona, additional wind gusts of 65-70 mph just north of Orlando in Leesburg and Sanford.

I have been following live coverage on WESH 2 about the severe flooding in Orlo Vista.

Also, the relentless rainfall was noted in this climatological report for Sunday...

Daytona Beach: 4.10 inches; Daily record
Fort Pierce: 13.08 inches; Daily and ALL TIME record (since 1901)
Melbourne: 10.23 in; Daily and ALL TIME record (since 1937)
Orlando: 6.61 in; Daily record
Sanford: 9.24 in; Daily and ALL TIME record (since 1948)

Across South Florida, several of the weather offices have missing data for yesterday, such as precipitation amounts and highest wind speeds. Hopefully, all of the data will eventually be made available soon. But, video footage shows much tree damage and other property damage.

I am checking in on live coverage on NBC 6 out of Miami, listening to the damage assessments coming in, watching drone footage of the damage in Naples, wind and flooding. Even saw a video of Kristen Bell, voice of Princess Anna in the movie 'Frozen', paying a surprise visit to a shelter at a middle school, helping comfort the little ones there.

Even before Irma's visit, Naples recorded its wettest summer of all time, records dating back to 1942, with 41.42". That would compare to a little over 20" maximum amounts here in Kentucky.

Speaking of Kentucky, heavy rainfall from the 2nd tropical system this month is poised to move into the region, possibly soaking areas that received over a half foot of rain earlier this month. However, it has been emphasized that the rainfall from Irma does not appear it will match the amounts we saw from Harvey.

I will have a midweek post that will include any rainfall amounts locally and any wind gusts associated with the remnants of Irma. Also, you know that Kentucky has two time zones in the state, central and eastern. But do you know the westernmost point of the eastern time zone in the state? How about the easternmost point of the central time zone? Check back with suggested answers in your geography trivia for the week.

Have a good one.


MikJournal Monday 10/16/2017...Mid Month Report and Looking Ahead

Ahh. What a breath of fresh air. Good Monday morning to you. Today is starting out much cooler and drier than we've been in a while. I&#...