Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Low Strikes Back

***FINAL UPDATE***5:30am est
Thankfully, did not have to report anything from my location in Valley Station (SW Jefferson county). Winds I would estimate at about 50mph. After the winds calmed significantly and the rains began to pick up, power lines began arcing in the distance, actually just around the corner where I live. Power blinked twice while the lines were touching, probably from a small limb dangling on a power line. However, some apparently have lost power. My area was actually hightlighted on the LGE/KU energy outage map, showing 58 customers without power, as of this update. Just about an inch has now been collected in my faithful rain gauge and still raining lightly right now.

***UPDATE***4:15am est
Storms are moving into the area. Hopefully, I'll be able to post after the brunt of this passes thru. I'm going into Storm Spotter mode. My first report will be to the NWS if needed. Later...
***UPDATE***3:55am est
Storm reports coming out of Gibson county in SW Indiana. Reports of damage in Owensville and southern Princeton. Several homes damaged. Gas company has been requested to check for gas leaks.
Also in Gibson county: roof blown off brick building taking down power lines.
Dubois county in SW Indiana: trained spotter estimates winds at 65mph during last hour.
***UPDATE***3:00am est
I've been studying the RADAR loop coming into SW Indiana. Quite an impressive bow echo with this. Winds could easily be hitting 70mph and the bowing segment is moving east at 60mph! IF this particular cell can maintain itself, I would not be surprised if Louisville or areas just north of the river become impacted by 5-5:30am. So far, it appears power outages will be likely with this cell. For those of you who have LG&E and KU energy, here is a power outage update.

***UPDATE***2:35am est
Several Tornado Watch  products in effect to my west and north. I have really been impressed by the winds this morning. Did anyone issue a wind advisory or even high wind watch for the area? Hmm, may want to think about that (lmk NWS)! I don't see it posted anywhere for the local area. Surprisingly, too, is the line that's been coming out of central Missouri into Illinois. Winds of 70mph quite common with this line causing much damage in and around St Louis.

OK. This just in. TORNADO WATCH now in effect for western KY and central KY to Frankfort.until 9am cst or 10am est. Things are really getting active. I hope people have their weather radios handy.

***Brief Update***11:00pm est
Looks like storms are holding together fairly well along a dry line about to exit Oklahoma. Severe weather chances will rapidly increase once cap is completely eroded across Arkansas. Due to the timing of this, it appears onset of severe weather may be delayed at least a couple of hours than my previous thoughts. Therefore, expect western KY to see storms by 3-4am, central by 7-8am. All for now.

More action than George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. Yes, another round of severe weather returns to the region and looks to give those who missed out on the severe weather last time a shot from the 'dark side'. In fact, as I was preparing this post, an alert came across that a Tornado Watch was being issued for parts of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. I decided to follow the action. Wow! Already? I wasn't expecting the severe weather outbreak to begin so far east. Well, it really hasn't and I don't expect it to before midnight. The main action will be after midnight beginning in the western part of Kentucky.

I've been going over some of the most recent data. Let me present some of the most recent maps and then offer my thoughts.

First, one of those ingredients I talked about yesterday is dewpoint. Here is the latest map on that:
As I have mentioned before, I like readings to be above 55 degrees (severe weather can occur with readings below 50, just not very often).

This next map is a recent analysis of the wind shear vector from the surface to 1 km high. Anything above 20 can favor supercell development.

The same scenario applies to the 0-1km Helicity value that I pointed out yesterday. Again, these values have been off the chart! As you recall, the Little Rock AR NWS posted info about values above 300 help favor tornadic development.

And one more as I don't really want to overburden you with all these maps. This one's pretty neat as it shows how winds are turning with height from the 850mb level to the 500mb level and the Most Unstable Lift Index. We look for LI values to be quite negative (at least -4). The greater the negative value the more unstable thus able to support severe weather.

My thoughts are as follows. As I post this, it appears that the cap is eroding across Arkansas at this hour (8:30pm est). Look for rapid development of thunderstorms. I'm surprised the SPC has not already issued a WATCH for parts of Arkansas yet and areas downstream to western TN and southeast MO.  With that said, expect a squall line to eventually develop and race across the Mississippi river on the heels of a strong 60-70 kt jet. That could translate to about 50-65 mph winds at the surface for some locations along the line. Therefore, it will be difficult to time this thing. Current thinking is western KY 2am and central KY 5-6am. This is a very rough estimate. Better timing once storms really begin to fire.

More later.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ahh! Pizza Night...

Well, I've finished a few of my 'Honey-Do' chores and just treated myself to a robust and spicy homemade pizza. Must say it was delish! Nothing like a good basketball game (Florida/UK) and homemade pizza followed by a grand finale of Dutch apple pie w/ vanilla ice cream.

I love making pizza. It's always different each time. I like to combine different ingredients for a favorable and memorable effect. Yes, it's important for all of the ingredients to come together to produce that 'perfect' pizza.

Hmm, you know, I could be talking weather here. Think about it. I mean the pizza can represent a storm system. Seems like it's always different each time. And it takes a special combination of ingredients to produce a 'perfect' scenario for severe weather. But ALL those ingredients must come together for that desired effect.

Well, there's a lot of ingredients. First, let me share with you a little snippit from Little Rock AR NWS home page. Just a bit ago, they highlighted an ingredient that's very important in severe storm development.

Although damaging wind will be the primary severe weather component, they are expecting a lot of low level wind shear as depicted by this 0-1km Helicity Potential map. Values over 300 represent a significant risk for tornadoes. Therefore, while instability is typically lower at night, the high levels of expected wind shear will produce a chance for isolated tornadoes.

What does this mean for our region? Obviously, the western part of Kentucky will be closest to the action and stand the best chance for isolated tornadoes. Since this will be occurring at night, this becomes especially dangerous. However, as the night progresses, decreased instability and perhaps lower helicity values should minimize tornadic cells by dawn on Monday. Nevertheless, wind damage will be possible for central parts of the state as an impressive squall line will produce winds in excess of 50mph in places.

Several ingredients will be coming together for this expected widespread severe weather event. As they always say, timing is everything. If this system should SPEED up (which is not likely), an increased tornado threat could be realized as far east as the central part of Kentucky. On the other hand, if the system SLOWS down, severe weather could still be realized in the western part of the state but could be minimized in the central and east.

What are my thoughts? I've always had a problem with severe storms occurring in the morning. Lack of instability is a primary component why I tend to discount severe weather. However, after reviewing this fine explanation from the Little Rock NWS, there will be quite a bit of spin in the atmosphere. In addition, high dewpoints along with the low-level jet (perhaps weakening by then) will still be capable of supporting a squall line. If you don't see the squall by 11am Monday, then I do think severe criteria will become a lesser factor while heavy rain should exascerbate already water-logged soils.

For further info about nighttime tornadoes, see this write-up from the Paducah NWS:

I'll post further thoughts on this tomorrow. Check in with our local weather heroes for their latest input on this potentially widespread event.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Calm before (another) storm

A raw day out there. At my location, we had 2.90" of rain. I was expecting at least 3", so that was pretty close. I thought the severe weather forecast I made was pretty accurate, keeping it confined for the most part to the south and southwest part of the state. According to the map below, my expected heavy rain band did not quite materialize across Hardin county as it was just south of that. fact, I was thinking there was a slight chance for 5-6" amounts IF t'storms repeatedly 'trained' over the same area. Otherwise, I offered 3-4", which turned out pretty close.

Here are some additional reports from our CoCoRaHS volunteers across the rest of the state:

and Graves county where a tragic flash flooding event occured
I'll be offering my tboughts on the next storm system soon. For now, I'm going to rest up a bit and take care of some chores. I'm a little bit behind. Ha ha.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flooding is Likely...

***445pm est***
If they can have success before dark, check out the LIVE storm chase coverage
***415pm est***
Tornado WARNING for Jackson TN
***3:15pm est***

This is the latest DEWPOINT readings. As a rule of thumb, I  look for dewpoints in excess of 55 degrees to help support severe weather chances. Of course, wind fields above the surface are playing an important role in this one. That's why I think places that receive sunshine better look out later!
Here's the latest visible satellite image (images after dark won't show up)

***UPDATE*** 2:20pm est
Rainfall totals thru 1:00pm est
Ft Campbell 1.43"
Owensboro 0.40"

Rainfall totals thru 12:00pm est
Louisville 0.14"
Bowling Green 1.29"
Lexington 0.41"
***MIKS PIKS UPDATE***12:00pm est
I've been adding some relevant web cams for today's expected severe weather show plus additional sites for heavy rain/storm reports.
***UPDATE***11:00am est
As you can tell, the heaviest rain totals are to the south. In fact, at my location in Valley Station (SW Jefferson county), I've recorded only 0.20". Nowcast mode has revealed some interesting developments. So far, the heaviest precip totals have been across NW Tennessee this morning with Doppler estimates of 3-5" already. That's a little farther south than my forecast thinking. I would have expected about an inch of rain here in Louisville by now. That could be good news. Perhaps lesser amounts anticipated here. Severe chances going up though for western KY. That could be bad news. Damaging wind will be the main threat but tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

Good Thursday...well, a wet Thursday.
Flooding is already taking a toll in NW Tennessee. At 3:04 am cst, Doppler estimates of 2-4" within a 3-hour window has occurred and an additional 1-3" is expected over the next 3 areas like Martin (see my SPECIAL piks list on the right), Paris, and Union City. In addition, these same areas are under a moderate risk for severe weather today and tonight.

Keep an eye on the totals for our region. Any storm reports as well.
Severe threat still exists downstate.
I'll be adding to this post throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Early Bird update

***Another Quick Update***3:30pm est
18ZNAM continues to show abundant moisture placement over the region. It looks to me that the NAM wants to take this storm system a tad north. Therefore, becoming more apparent to me that Louisville and adjacent areas could receive the heaviest axis of rain. In addition, severe chances could be going up for those areas I mentioned yesterday i.e. Hopkinsville and perhaps Bowling Green. Of course, it depends on the timing of any t'storm passage. The 5-6" amounts I mentioned earlier is NOT a sure bet as instability related to t'storm development may not materialize. But, I still cannot rule it out at this time. Otherwise 3-4".
***Quick Update***12:00pm est
Latest 12zNAM still putting out close to 3" for Louisville. I still think these amounts are not enough!
Due to the expected slow movement of the warm front, expect some isolated areas of 5-6", especially where t'storms develop and keep 'training' over the same area. I'm expecting this to occur somewhere between Louisville and Munfordville as the north/south line.
Good early Wednesday. Just wanted to mention a couple of things before I head for the hay.
SPC has upgraded many locations to our southwest to a MODERATE RISK for severe weather with possible strong tornadoes.

During the day, I will be posting some SPECIAL sites to the blog. Just check on the right hand side under MIKS PIKS and follow the action!

By the way, it's been fairly quiet so far this year, in terms of severe weather.
As you can tell, not too many reports of severe weather. Only 156 total reports so far since Jan 1, including 8 preliminary reports of tornadoes. The total number of reports will likely double in a couple of days.

However, for many in our region, the potential for flooding rains will be our primary concern.
Here's the latest from the HPC:
These number are quite impressive. Flash flood watches will likely go in effect today.
My current thinking on precip totals is still in the developing stage but do believe where I live here in Louisville will get AT LEAST 3".

More later. Keep checking back in for those SPECIAL sites I'll be posting today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UPDATE Severe Weather Chances

***UPDATE on the update***5:30pm est
The latest GEM and 18zNAM really putting out a lot of rain potential for the area. I still think a severe threat exists for some downstate, but I'm focusing more on the potential for flooding rains at this time especially along and just north of the warm front, which now looks to include areas near Louisville. I do expect Bowling Green to be in the warm sector with rising severe chances for them. Keep checking back.
A rainy week ahead is almost a sure lock. However, despite the potential for heavy rain from this system that's sure to cause river levels to rise, more and more attention is being given to the threat of severe weather somewhere in our region (southern Indiana and all of Kentucky).

Keep your eyes open for any NEW UPDATE due out from the SPC for our severe weather chances:
At present, we have a slight risk for severe weather here in the region.

Heavy rain update from the HPC:
I'll check back in just a bit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rainy Week Ahead....

Our weather is finally looking active again. A combination of spring and winter events will keep us busy with planning our wardrobe this week. Oh, and don't forget the umbrella!

I like the current model placement of moisture for the region. I thought the GEM handled this one more consistently than the NAM and GFS the past couple of days. A heavier axis of precip presently set up along and north of the Ohio River will continue to bring beneficial rains for them. As for the rest of us, a general half-inch or less should suffice.

I'm now directing my attention toward the weather system for later this week. Depending on the timing of things, some areas in our region could see some severe weather. First, I would like to mention that the SPC has something to say about storms later this week:

Here's their latest thinking...
We'll see how this develops. According to the models presently, if any severe weather does break out, far southern and western parts of the state could be impacted. But as we all know too often, models change. So, we'll just have to wait and watch.

Regardless, without severe weather, heavy rain is expected regionwide, especially across parts of Kentucky. 1-3" of rain can be expected. As the GEM performed the best on this past system, I'm introducing a couple  of the 12z runs:


And don't forget what's been happening elsewhere. Minneapolis St Paul received a foot of snow from their blizzard and it's heading toward the Northeast U.S.  Here are some additional snow and ice reports from the region.

Watch the cold air filter in later tonight...
Could be a few flakes flying around.
Have a good one.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Planning For a Busy Week

Even at 1:00 pm, my temperature was still locked in the low to mid 40's. But, the warmer air is not too far away. During the last hour, the temp is approaching 50, while Bowling Green is up to 71. Fantastic!

Here are some national readings as well

Quite a battleground north of us. Check out some of these impressive storm reports for snow and ice across parts of the northern plains. Last I checked, some locations were reporting 14" in NW South Dakota and SE Montana.

Now on to the models. So far, I'm not impressed by the 12z runs of both the GFS and NAM. As I compared their runs during the 1:00pm est time frame, both still paint quite a bit of moisture around our region. Even the GEM has moisture around here by 7:00 pm this evening.

I believe the rest of the daylight hours will be dry. Now, the GFS and NAM are showing lighter amounts for the short term (tonight thru Mon night), generally under a half-inch. However, the GEM continues to want to develop an area of heavier rain along and north of the Ohio River. If this should materialize, look for precip amounts in the half to one inch range with possible thunder.
I believe most have given up on the idea of anything wintry on the backside of this thing, as expected, but the cold will be noticeable and could be a few flurries/snow showers.

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, I've already stated my concerns for the end of the week with possible severe weather. Again, something to keep an eye on. I'll be posting further thoughts on this after the current system pushes through.

In the meantime, if you're in the warm sector, enjoy while the rest of us wait.
Have a good day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tracking the Upcoming System

Follow all the action here!

First, how about those winds in the northeast U.S.? Here is a snapshot of Atlantic City wind gusts during the last 24 hours.

Atlantic City is just a sample of some locations dealing with a vigorous wind system rolling through. Reports of power outages and property damage quite common throughout the region.

Next, still tracking the temps:
And how are the models performing today? Any trends?
Let's see.
Here is the GFS 12z:

Compared to yesterday, the GFS paints a less wet solution compared to yesterday. Also, the model is still not favoring anything wintry, of significance, on the backside of this thing.

What about the GEM 12z?

As you can see, the GEM wants to paint a pretty heavy band of precip along and north of the Ohio River. We'll follow how this materializes as this could be a significant rain maker for some.

For you who follow the NAM religiously, it's also painting a wetter solution compared to yesterday.
NAM 12z says....

Therefore, my thoughts remain the same as yesterday. Looks like potential for some beneficial rainfall without the bru-ha-ha of a backside snow event. Maybe next time?
Remember, it could be a tease performance by old man winter this time around. But, a little later down the road, we could see the real thing.
Perhaps, ahead of the cold, there's a small chance for some severe weather in the region. Let's see how that plays out over the next several days.

All for now. Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time To Look at the Models....

***UPDATE*** 3pm temperature roundup
I forgot to mention this a bit ago, but take a look at the dewpoint readings. At Louisville it's 19 degrees while at Bowling Green 56 degrees. At Covington near I-75, dewpoint  is 23 while further down along I-75 at London, dewpoint is 54. Drier air is poised to move in rapidly behind the front while temps are expected to drop off sharply after sunset.
It's been so tranquil lately, as I expected, that I haven't been giving much attention to the models. However, now is a good time to start checking on trends as there is talk about winter returning to the 'neighborhood'.
It appears our weather pattern will becoming a bit more unstable as early as late Sunday afternoon. The heaviest axis of precipitation, according to the latest models, should occur between Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Since we'll be on the 'warm' side of things, expect primarily rain with amounts approaching 1" in some locations. As the precip winds down, residual moisture in the form of drizzle or rain/snow mix may occur. However, I wouldn't expect a big deal as ground temps will be too warm to support anything 'sticking' around.

Of course, many of us will be keeping our eyes glued to the models because the colder air will not be too far away from our region. But, right now, it looks to be a liquid event for most of us. Now's a good time to start looking for additional trends.

Here's a look at some models:
12z GEM for Monday afternoon

Now, a look at the GFS 12z:
Also for Monday afternoon

And the NAM is just getting in on the action (12z)
The latest HPC 5-day QPF forecast

And of course, keeping an eye on the cold air....

This is all for now. Have a nice day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Looking For Cold....

If we're going to get in on any of the really cold air, it will be coming from these areas. Take a look:

Pay attention to these areas. Any southern advance could spell COLD for our area in the next couple of weeks.

Hmm, as I'm posting this, the NAO Ensembles forecast went 'flatlined' on me. I guess the cold air 'killed' the computerized algorithms:
I'm sure this will be fixed momentarily. Here's another forecast chart, though.

Keep your eye on this one as the GFS forecast shows a little dip in the 7-day outlook. Could be a brief shot of colder air. We'll see. However, the overall pattern seems to be changing for the better (if you like less wintry conditions).

Also, keeping an eye on severe weather chances. Right now, the only severe weather threat appears to be, of all places, in the Bay area around San Francisco. A slight chance for tornadoes. Go figure.

I think severe weather chances will be going up within the next 7 days for some. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, enjoy your TGIF eve!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tools of the Trade

Remember in yesterday's post about the extreme weather conditions in North and South Korea during January? Well, winter is still alive and still kicking over there! Here's a nice satellite shot of the area. And no, those aren't just clouds that appear white, that's SNOW!

 Here's the site from where this satellite image is taken and a brief synopsis of the heavy snow and associated impacts:

Now, back to our neck of the woods. Oh, man! Spring has sprung here at the ole homestead. Just reminds me though that severe weather season is just around the corner. Are you ready? In this post, I wanted to make sure you guys are prepared for the 'not-so-gentle' side of this thing we call weather. I will be updating a severe weather 'toolbox' so keep checking back in often.

First, we should have a plan in place before severe weather strikes. Know what to do and where to go. Our family rehearses a severe weather drill so we do not needlessly waste time during the storm getting to our 'safe place' along with the necessary items we need after the storm.

Speaking of the necessary items, I've prepared a checklist of some essentials we should have as part of our 'toolbox'. We call this a basic emergency kit. Here are the essentials:

  • Your basic emergency kit should be stored in a waterproof container
  • Flashlights for each person in your family and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio with weather band and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit and manual along with prescription meds
  • Work gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Sleep gear including pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, air mattress, etc...
  • Basic hand tools such as hammer, nails, screwdriver, wrench, ratchet and socket set
  • Important papers like driver's license, special medical info, insurance policies, SS cards
  • List of phone numbers and addresses for emergency services, shelters, doctors, and friends
  • Water stored in sealed, unbreakable containers (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable, packaged, or canned food and a manual can opener
  • Extra clothing like rain gear and sturdy shoes/boots
  • Special items for infants, the elderly, and disabled
  • Soap and hand sanitizer
  • Cash/Credit cards
The above are just a few suggestions. If you want more info on a basic emergency kit, consult these sites:

Again, I'll be posting more updates on preparations for severe weather season. The goal for all of us is to start getting ready NOW.

Also, in a future post, for you weather nuts like me, I'll be providing some 'tools' that we can use to track and predict severe weather. For storm spotters and chasers alike.

We'll talk again. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What's Happening? Journal entry

Here's a nice read about the extreme temperatures during January for North and South Korea.
A prolonged cold snap across the Korean peninsula the second half of January impacted energy prices and food production across North and South Korea. A news report out of North Korea stated the isolated nation was suffering its harshest winter in decades. A Japanese media outlet reported that temperatures across North Korea were below freezing for 40 consecutive days, marking the longest cold snap since 1945. In South Korea, fears of an increased energy demand prompted government officials to ask residents to wear long johns to work to allow thermostats to be set lower. The South Korean government also put in place energy saving plans that included banning decorative lighting and limiting elevator use in public buildings.
In addition, related to extreme weather, did you hear or read about the recent 'frost quakes' in the midwest last week? Apparently, several media outlets near the events wrote about the quakes. Here's one that I chose:,0,5406473.story

One more from the extreme weather archives for January:

The map above represents what took place during the week of January 24-30. At least 30" rain fell in some parts of the region, obviously causing some widespread flooding that displaced tens of thousands of people.
Thanks to one of my favorite Web sites for the image, Earth Observatory, as they show us how NASA participates in the evaluation of global weather.

Ok. One more extreme weather location. Here's another favorite of mine:
Here's a sample screen shot from today. Wow! Over 100 mph winds and dangerous wind chills:

I'll be posting some more extreme weather events that have taken place since December 2010. Keep checking back in because some of these events include record-setters here in the United States.

In the meantime, enjoy the nice warmup for this week. I'll be posting additional thoughts about our change in weather for next week, soon. Have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Considering the Long-Range Outlook

Remember the CPC's outlook for February. In case you forgot, here are the maps showing what to expect.

Temperature Map:                                                     Precipitation Map


Here are some random cities that I pulled so that I could give a fair assessment of the CPC's performance to date. Keep in mind, we are only halfway through the forecast period.
I'll be using these same cities and assigning a grade for the CPC February forecast period during the first week in March. Check back in and see how well they did.

Dallas TX
13.3 degrees BELOW normal
0.22" BELOW normal

Albuquerque NM
12.9 degrees BELOW normal
0.10" BELOW normal

Orlando FL
1.2 degrees ABOVE normal
0.77" BELOW normal

Charlotte NC
4.1 degrees BELOW normal
0.83" ABOVE normal

New Orleans LA
10.4 degrees BELOW normal
1.14" BELOW normal

Phoenix AZ
6.3 degrees BELOW normal
0.32" BELOW normal

San Francisco CA
2.8 degrees ABOVE normal
1.95" BELOW normal

Portland OR
0.5 degrees ABOVE normal
1.13" BELOW normal

Seattle WA
0.1 degree ABOVE normal
0.94" BELOW normal

Great Falls MT
1.9 degrees BELOW normal
0.44" ABOVE normal

Duluth MN
1.4 degrees BELOW normal
0.20" BELOW normal

Detroit MI
6.2 degrees BELOW normal
0.45" ABOVE normal

Caribou ME
0.2 degrees ABOVE normal
0.28" ABOVE normal

Philadelphia PA
1.2 degrees BELOW normal
0.27" BELOW normal

Richmond VA
1.2 degrees ABOVE normal
0.71" BELOW normal

Atlanta GA
4.6 degrees BELOW normal
0.83" ABOVE normal

Little Rock AR
10.0 degrees BELOW normal
1.51" ABOVE normal

St Louis MO
8.4 degrees BELOW normal
0.22" ABOVE normal

Louisville KY
2.8 degrees BELOW normal
0.02" BELOW normal

Kansas City MO
12.1 degrees BELOW normal
0.21" ABOVE normal

For your enjoyment, you can analyze the CPC map and compare how well the forecast is performing with what has been recorded so far this month.
Hasta la vista.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring Fever...

Louisville could make a run at 60 degrees if the clouds can stay at bay. NWS had said high of 56. But warm air advection and a rising February sun along with dry air can really go a long way to warming beyond initial forecast.

Look for even warmer readings later this week. You know, I kinda like this. Why do I believe that we're in for a milder scenario? First, let me emphasize that winter is not over yet. But, looking at a familiar teleconnector, the PNA (Pacific-North American pattern), it is taking the plunge below the zero line. That's good news for our region. A negative PNA brings troughy weather to the west while ridging occurs over our area, bringing an extended milder weather pattern. Here's a look at a forecast for the PNA:

And here's a nice explanation of a negative PNA in map format:

Of course, this can only be possible if that NAO index behaves itself. It's been responsible for a very cold winter around these parts. And the good news is that the NAO index is forecast to be neutral to positive during this negative PNA phase. I think the next 7-10 days will be milder than normal for the most part.

Well, gotta go and enjoy some more of this fine weather.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Looking Back at January 2011

Good Saturday to all and welcome to the MikJournal. I'm still poring over data from last month and finding relevant information that pertains to our neck of the woods. It's been so busy around here lately. Now, with such tranquil weather conditions, I finally found time to do this. So here we go.

Here is an interesting statement from the National Climatic Data Center:
"In Kentucky, snowfall was well above normal for the second consecutive month with more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) of snow falling in the Bluegrass Region and eastern Kentucky. The back to back snowy winters of 2010 and 2011 are the snowiest in Kentucky since the snowy winters of 1977-1979."
That's quite a comparison!

Now, take a look at the overall departure from normal temperatures for the U.S. by clicking on the map below.

This next map really highlights the massive blocking patterns that provided the setup for our weather, locking us in with constant cold and snow.

The orange/red shaded areas represents ridging, which produced relatively warmer air for those nearby locations. But, the overall wind pattern around these ridges kept us in a cold fetch of air from Canada and points north, keeping us in a 'troughy' pattern as denoted by the blue shading.

Finally, despite the snowy pattern that set in for most of us, January proved to be a very dry month for many. See how we compared with others with these next two maps.

This map shows that some recorded their driest January on record while others were not too far behind.
I still have yet more data to gather. But you know what? I'm going outside to enjoy today's weather. Hope you get a chance to do the same. Have a good day and thanks for visiting the MikJournal.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Now?

During the last 30 days, temperatures have been a bit below normal statewide, as the map shows.

Finally, the weather pattern appears to to be relaxing. A nice bout of spring fever is poised to spread across Kentucky. It will be nice to get outside and get some stuff done around the house or just simply relieve ourselves of that cabin fever. Of course, winter is not over yet. But the next main weather system that will affect our region should bring rain to areas that really could use it.

Although we are in the midst of a la nina winter, things have not really gone according to plan, thanks in great part to the unusually strong blocking patterns that had set up over the far northeast. Now that the blocking pattern has temporarily relaxed, look for more affects from a la nina weather pattern.

Speaking of la nina, I found this article from the archives. Take a look and compare what has actually happened with what has been forecast for this winter.
This is from WSAZ 3's Josh Fitzpatrick on October 22, 2010.

What do you think will happen for the rest of this thing we call winter? Looks interesting to me....

More later. Have a nice sunny day.

MikJournal Monday 02/25/2019...Drying Out

What a wet pattern we have been enduring. Will we finally dry out? Welcome to another installment of MikJournal Monday, the 25th of February...