Thursday, March 31, 2011

***Severe Weather in Florida***

At the moment, I'm following severe weather in Central Florida...I'll be posting a few updates for the next couple of hours. For you with spring break interests, keep checking back for the latest...

***RECAP 4:00pm edt***
Severe storms are finally exiting and hopefully things will start to calm down. Although now, heavy rain will be the primary threat. Here is a brief summary of storm reports and any injuries:
According to WFTV channel 9, seven people were injured in a tent collapse at the Lakeland Linder airport, where an aviation festival was in session. An  earlier report was that a hangar collapse had occurred.
Over 6" rain has fallen across The Villages, a large retirement community south of Ocala.
Even hail reports in parts of central Florida, suggesting how high the cloud tops must've reached during the peak of the storm.
Near Clearwater, reports of roof and structure damage along with a 300-ft tower collapse.
Overturned vehicles near Brandon in Hillsborough county.
------------------------------------

*** UPDATE 1:35pm edt***
Good news! NO COLLAPSED building in Lakeland
No people trapped. There was damage at the airport.
See what happens when severe weather wreaks havoc???

***UPDATE 1:25pm edt***
Line of storms pushing through at 70 mph.
LIVE video feed is about to end
Tampa has wind damage; trying to confirm up to 70 people trapped in hangar collapse in Lakeland
--------------------------
For the second consecutive day, severe weather has erupted over parts of central Florida. During the last hour,  reports of damage have been streaming in, especially across Lakeland. Apparently, damage has been fairly widespread. At the airport, a hangar collapse with possible injuries is being reported. I just read that possibly up to 70 people are trapped. Other strong storms located just south of Poinciana, near Kissimmee.

More updates coming...
MS

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do You Remember...?

On this day in 1987, one of my favorite snow events occurred. Louisville received 9" of a wet snow. However, it didn't stick around long. It was all melted within a couple of days.
I remember the snow of that year quite vividly, thinking that spring was about ready to kick in high gear. I recall wishing for just one more 'big snow'. Then, BAM!!

If only wishes could come true in 2011...

More later.
MS

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Ahead to April...

Here is the CPC's monthly temperature outlook for April 2011:

...and the Precipitation outlook:


I did assign a grade for the CPC forecast for February
Temp Probs : C
Precip Probs : B
Overall Grade : C+

Not too bad....We'll see how the month of April goes.
Notice that our region is in the above average shaded area for precipitation.

Also, you will notice a new link in the Miks Piks section of the blog.
In view of the recent radiation concerns, even here in the United States, I've posted a link that shows the most current radiation readings across the country. Keep in mind that most readings are considered normal levels since there are many types of radiation that are measured.

Back to the weather, I am optimistic about a warming trend perhaps by Thursday of next week with sporadic readings at or above normal till then. Sure, there will be the usual cool-downs but not like what we've been experiencing lately. I'm using data from teleconnection indices related to the NAO and the PNA.
Again, there may be days that will be below normal, but the overall trend will be toward warmer readings.

With precip values expected to be above normal for April and a battle between the air masses continuing, expect severe weather chances to be on the rise.

As I've mentioned before in the past, we could use more storm spotters in the field.

Write this down on your calendar...
April 8 2011  7pm  Louisville, KY
Amateur Radio Transmitting Society
McMahan Fire Dept
4318 Taylorsville Rd
1st floor classroom

Heck, I may even attend since it's been a while since I've gone to one of these classes.
That's all for now. We'll talk later.
MS


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Did You Know???

At times, I like to share a few snippits of information that perhaps we don't normally give that much attention to. Here is just a small sample of what I'm talking about...

Did you know
  • Kentucky ranks 2nd for most storm reports (184) during 2011
  • There have been 2 deaths attributed to tornadoes this year; 1 in TN(2/28) and 1 in LA(3/5)
  • Louisville Int'l has received 9.22" precipitation since Feb 24
  • The annual 'guess Phoenix's 1st 100-degree day' contest entries must be submitted by 4/15
  • Colusa county, north of Sacramento CA, had not recorded a tornado from 1950-2010. They have had 3 so far this year.
Here's a BONUS point:
Remember the Mars' rover Spirit? This marks the 7th year on Mars. Unfortunately, communication has been lost for about a year. With increasing sunlight reaching Spirit's solar panels, scientists are hoping to 'hear' from the stuck rover. After this month, though, chances of hearing from Spirit begin to dwindle and may signal the end of its historic mission.

The other rover, Opportunity, continues to chug along sending back useful, scientific information about the red planet and its wet environments of a long time ago.

By the way, for more info about the first 100-degree day contest for Phoenix, here's the link:
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/03/27/20110327clay0327-100-degree-day-contest.html
MLB Arizona Diamondbacks tickets awarded to the winner

Have a good night.
MS

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nowcast Early Spring Snow

Well, we're in nowcast mode. For the rest of the day and tonight, keep checking back in for the latest updates.

Update7 - 9:55pm edt
Snow grains/flurries picking up at my location. Temp is now at 33. In fact, some metallic surfaces are showing signs of freezing already. Steadier precip lay just north according to latest RADAR imagery.
Looks like decent banding taking place just across the Ohio river.

Also, here is a slideshow of large hail and damage from storms in Georgia:
http://www.wsbtv.com/slideshow/news/27332524/detail.html
--------------------------------------------
Update6 - 7:35pm edt
Severe weather update in Georgia:
1 tornado reported by law enforcement along AL/GA border near Georgetown
Reports of hail up to 4.25" in diameter at Coweta county in Georgia. Also windshields being shattered by golf-ball size hail (1.75") in the same county.

Storm reports (as of 6:00pm cdt)
St Charles MO  4.6"
Glen Carbon IL  3.0"
Hillsboro MO  4.5"
Sullivan MO  4.0"
Gray Summit MO  6.5"
---------------------------------------
Update5 - 7:05pm edt
A bit of a dry slot moving into Louisville.
At my location, some drizzle with temp at 36 degrees.
Way to go Butler Bulldogs, the new Indiana basketball powerhouse.
---------------------------------------
Update4 - 5:55pm edt
Storm reports (as of 4:30 cdt)
Dutzow MO  4.5"
De Soto MO  3.5" sleet and snow
Oakville MO  3.5" still snowing
Rosebud MO  6.5" so far
Washington MO 5.0"

Half-dollar size snowflakes falling in Valley Station. Awesome.
---------------------------------------
Update3 - 5:30pm edt
Snow is mixing in with sleet and rain in Valley Station
Dynamic cooling really showing up now; temp has dropped to 38 degrees
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Update2 - 4:55pm edt
Tornado warning for Macon GA
NWS Louisville will not go with a Winter Weather Advisory...yet.
---------------------------------------
Update1 - 4:20pm edt
In Valley Station, rain and sleet are falling now; temp at 44 degrees.
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At 3pm, Paducah reports a t'storm and 41 degrees
Still snowing in parts of Missouri...
Here's a look at St Louis web cam
http://www.earthcam.com/usa/missouri/stlouis/kiener/

Storm reports (as of 2:15pm cdt)
Hecker IL  2.5"
Lyon MO  4.0" with hvy snow
Arnold MO  3.5"
Rosebud MO  4.0" with hvy snow
Owensville MO  4.0" with hvy snow

My current temp at 3:30pm is 45 degrees and cloudy in Valley Station.

Will The Snow Be a Big Deal???

You know, when it's springtime, snow just does not fit the scene or at least it shouldn't. Forecasts are calling for snow for at least the northern half of our region. In fact, the favored NAM has taken the Low a little farther south than yesterday. Therefore, this means that those areas north of us that were expecting 1-2", those possible accumulations have now shifted into the Louisville area and across the Bluegrass region.

I'm still awaiting some data that should have already been released by now. If there's any significant change in that data, I'll quickly report back. But, for now, here it is:

I do like the NAM's presentation of the storm system. However, either I'm having problems decoding the temps aloft and at the surface for this event or else the professionals have it wrong. OK, let's go with the pros. Here is a partial statement from the NWS here in Louisville:
MOISTURE DOES NOT ARRIVE UNTIL AFTER 18Z ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY. WIDESPREAD RAIN SHOWERS WILL THEN OVERSPREAD THE ENTIRE AREA DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...WITH MOSTLY RAIN EXPECTED BEFORE 8 PM EDT...
EXPECT A RAIN SNOW MIX TO QUICKLY CHANGE TO MOSTLY SNOW BETWEEN 8 PM AND 11 PM EDT ACROSS EXTREME NORHTERN KENTUCKY AND SOUTHERN INDIANA TONIGHT. THE RAIN/SNOW LINE WILL GRADUALLY SINK SOUTH OVERNIGHT...MAKING IT AS FAR SOUTH AS THE CUMBERLAND PARKWAY BY DAWN. SOUTH OF THIS LINE...
EXPECT ALL RAIN.
 
HOWEVER...WITH GROUND AND ROAD TEMPERATURES RUNNING WELL ABOVE FREEZING DO NOT EXPECT MUCH IN THE WAY OF ACCUMULATION ON ROADWAYS. FEEL A SOLID 1 TO 2 INCHES COULD ACCUMULATE ACROSS EXTREME NORTHERN KENTUCKY AND SOUTHERN INDIANA...MAINLY ON GRASSY AND ELEVATED SURFACES. THAT BEING SAID...HAVE BEEN TRACKING THE POTENTIAL FOR BANDING OF PRECIPITAITON WITH 850-700 MB DEFORMATION. THIS FEATURE HAD BEEN IN SOUTHERN INDIANA YESTERDAY...HOWEVER IS NOW ALONG THE OHIO RIVER AS TRACK OF SYSTEM HAS TRENDED SOUTH. AM CONCERNED ABOUT BANDING OF
PRECIPITATION JUST SOUTH OF THE OHIO RIVER WITH THIS FEATURE...WHICH
COULD YIELD ENOUGH OF A SNOWFALL RATE TO ACCUMULATE ON ROADWAYS.

Ok, with that said, their thinking is for a general 1-2" wet snow with some possible banding, which could end up putting down an additional 1-2" for storm totals of 1-4". Again, primarily on grassy surfaces.

What are my thoughts???
I'm no pro, but I will call it as I see it. The data that I'm awaiting will help me determine forecast temps at the 850mb level and near the surface. Here's a dilemma that I'm having. Rain should move into the area later today. Yes, it will be a cold rain with a raw northeast wind component. Sometime during the night, light to occasionally moderate snow will develop as the changeover occurs. What happens to the snow when it lands on the surface? It's already a wet surface and temps will quite likely still be at or above freezing. Unless the snow falls heavily for a period of time, even on the grass, significant melting will be occurring. Therefore, it will be difficult to ascertain how much snow accumulation we will have. I don't think we get much below freezing before the bulk of the precipitation moves out either.

During the heaviest parts of the storm, a quick inch or maybe two could occur. However, as soon as the precip lightens a bit, melting will already be affecting the snow pack. As I say, don't get too excited about this. The snow will likely not stick around long enough for us to enjoy it.

More updates later...
MS

Friday, March 25, 2011

Old Man Winter's Last Stand???

We'll see. I've been reading a bunch of hype about possible big snows for parts of our region (southern Indiana and Kentucky). I know anything is possible. In addition, I must admit that I'm a winter aficionado right there with the best of 'em.

But somebody better show me more than a bunch of hype! The same data that I've used all winter long, and that has produced fairly accurate forecasts given the complicated systems we've seen this winter, does not show me anything worth getting too excited about. Sure, we may see some snow, more rain/snow mix than anything, but I think the best we'll see is a brief, and I do mean brief, coating of snow here in Louisville. Even places to our north like Covington and Columbus IN may see up to an inch or two, but that should primarily be confined to grassy surfaces. Although I wouldn't be surprised by a WWA for those locations late Sat thru parts of early Sunday.

The HPC is forecasting up to a quarter of an inch of liquid equivalent precip for most of us. Some areas to our south could get closer to a half-inch, but that should be mostly rain. Of course, I'll be interested in the trend for this, as my basement still can't take on any extra heavy rainfall.

The model of choice for this upcoming wintry mix is the NAM. A lot of rain/snow mix for the Louisville area with more rain than snow. The farther north becomes more snow than rain with a better likelihood of a changeover to all snow before ending. However, temps will be marginable for supporting anything 'sticking' to the ground. Also, the ground is already 'warm' for anything to last very long. If the precip hangs around during the nighttime hours, though, some slushy areas and those elevated slick spots could temporarily develop for areas generally north of I-64. But, again, I don't believe it's anything worth getting too excited about.

Sorry snow lovers....Hopefully, additional data trends will help me adjust my thinking. But for now, that's my story and I'm 'stickin' to it.

MS

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Could Be a 'Hail' of a Day...

***UPDATE 5:00PM EDT***
After seeing nothing for most of this event, a small cell just west of my location did produce pea-size hail along with winds gusting between 40-45 mph. Some lightning also noted but only 0.05" rain.
Temp has dropped to 61 degrees now.
---------------------------------
***UPDATE 2:55PM EDT***
Clouds are increasing. Radar returns are beginning to fill in. Most of the severe weather has been north of the river. Will the line that is filling in to our west reach severe limits? Possibly. So far, most hail reports have been under an inch or severe criteria. Nevertheless, the line will continue to fluctuate with energy pulses increasing along the line thus larger hail sizes. Look for these to occur along and east of I-65.
Temp at my location is 77 degrees with dewpoint at 52.
-------------------------------------------
***UPDATE 11:00AM EDT***
Full sun at my location right now. Look for instability levels to be affected by the noon hour. Primary storm development appears to be trying to develop across west/central Indiana and points further southwest. At this time, all severe parameters are in check. However, LI's are beginning to fall in west and central Indiana. This trend will continue. I'm still thinking after 2pm for possible storms here in Louisville. Dewpoints in the mid 50's will still support severe weather, especially since the threat is large hail (>=1").

-------------------------------
Good morning. Looks like storms will be on the increase today with hail being the main threat. Could be a widespread hail event across central and east Kentucky with isolated tornadoes possible mainly north of the Ohio river. Stay tuned and have those weather radios ready.

Afterward, colder air will penetrate the commonwealth state as highs will struggle to reach 45 degrees by Thursday.

Have a good day and stay safe. I'll do what I can and post pics of any large hail or any other severe weather.
MS

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Remembering the BLT...

Good afternoon all. As usual, I'm thinking about food. Ah, the Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich. What a treat! I recall when McDonald's sold their McDLT in the 80's. Remember the slogan for that sandwich? Something like 'keeping the hot hot, and the cool cool?'



Well, from a weather standpoint, it may not be hot, but it's been warm. Soon, we'll begin to feel what it's like to be a McDLT, hot (or warm in this case) on the one side and cool on the other side. After flirting with 80 degrees in many locations for the last two days, we'll be struggling to get out of the 40's for highs during the next few days. Yes, after being some 20 degrees above normal, we'll be looking at readings some 10-15 degrees below normal for many of us.

Before we experience the abrupt change in our nice weather, an increased risk for severe weather is beginning to loom large for some locations currently to our west. After considering some data recently, severe storms with large hail and isolated tornadoes will be possible across parts of Missouri and Iowa for the rest of today and tonight.

As for our weather regionwide? Well, it is about a matter of timing. I'm still awaitng additional data that shows a consistent time for storms affecting our region tomorrow. If blow-off from tonight's storms out west move into the area tomorrow morning, severe chances will become certainly lessened. I still think the best chance for severe weather at this time exists from a Lexington line east where instability should increase. My thinking is that large hail will be the main threat, although with some spin in the atmosphere, an isolated tornado could be possible though that chance seems to be diminishing as well.

As usual, updates will be available as further data becomes available.
For now, enjoy the warmth while you can. Your McDLT days are coming soon.
MS

Monday, March 21, 2011

Forecast Highs With a Taste of Spring

Welcome to the first full day of spring. The vernal, or spring, equinox actually occurred at 7:21pm last evening. For some interesting myths and facts about the spring equinox, check out the site below:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/100320/vernal-equinox-2011-first-day-spring-science/

Some that I found interesting was that night and day are not truly equal and this is the first of two days that the sun rises due east and sets due west. Of course, the other day will be on the autumnal equinox. Also, this marks the first day of uninterrupted daylight for 6 months at the North Pole and 6 months of darkness at the South Pole.

Well, our weather will make a nice impression for the first day of Spring. Although our 'official' weather warriors are calling for temps near 80 degrees today at Louisville Int'l, I seem to doubt that will happen. Looking at recent satellite footage this morning, some low clouds are streaming in from the west and may be with us for awhile. I'm still looking for temps to reach the 77-79 degree range with some sun possible. Regardless, my spring attire has sprung from its winter storage place...for now.

Yes, it does appear that winter is not quite done with our region just yet. I haven't had an opportunity to analyze the details for my personal opinions about the upcoming cool-down, but have read that a significant change in the weather pattern is likely for the middle and end of this week.

In the meantime, enjoy the weather for today and tomorrow. Looks nice.
MS

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FUN POLL II results are in....

The rain event of March 4-6 at the Jackson KY NWS office and Charleston WV NWS office totaled 2.53".
There were 15 that participated. Congrats to the 3 that guessed the correct range.

I will be posting other fun polls in the future. Hopefully, I'll select a topic that won't offend others. After all, there's nothing 'fun' about predicting how many tornadoes will hit Kentucky if your town becomes affected. However, I admit that I have an enthusiastic craving toward severe weather and all that comes with it. At times, I may post fun polls that have nothing to do with weather. Just stay tuned.

Good night.
MS

I'm Back....

***UPDATE***9:30pm edt
Made a correction to my calculations below. Originally, I said the energy equivalent of 2,400 Hiroshima atomic bombs. I meant 24,000.
--------------------------------------------------------
After a nice break from our recent weather pattern, I'm back from the Sunshine state of Florida. Yeah, well, can't say it's great to be back. Thanks to all of the rain that fell last week, my basement finally reached a tipping point. Been cleaning up that mess for a couple of days now. So, I'm still not back to a regular routine yet, but I will be posting and updating my blog as I have time available.

I would like to make a comment on last week's earthquake in Japan. Today, I read that the USGS has updated the magnitude from 8.9 to 9.0.

This may sound confusing but I'm going to try and put that in perspective. Remember the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010. Magnitude was registered at 7.0. How does the earthquake in Japan compare to that in Haiti. It's really somewhat simple to plug the numbers in and make a comparison. The magnitude of an earthquake is based on a logarithmic formula. In order to compare the two earthquakes, use this formula:

3(Magnitude)/2

Therefore, Haiti's magnitude 7.0 can be plugged in to the formula 3*7.0 = 21. Now, divide by 2 and we get 10.5.

Japan's magnitude 9.0 can also be plugged in now: 3*9.0 = 27. Divide that by 2 and we get 13.5.

Here is where logarithms can be used. Just take the difference between the two results: (13.5 - 10.5 = 3.0).
The base-10 logarithm can now be applied. Take the number 10 and raise it to the 3.0 power or exponent. The answer is 1000. That means the magnitude 9.0 Japan earthquake was 1000 times stronger than the magnitude 7.0 Haiti earthquake.

If we used the original 8.9 magnitude earthquake for Japan, then the answer to the strength comparison would have been about 795 times stronger. Quite a difference in strength by adjusting the magnitude numbers from 8.9 to the most recent 9.0.

In terms of seismic energy, the amount of energy released from the Haiti earthquake amounts comparatively to about 477,000 tons of TNT or approximately 24 Hiroshima atomic bombs.
However, the Japan earthquake released the equivalent of nearly 477,000,000 tons of TNT or approximately 24,000 Hiroshima bombs from just underneath the sea.

There, that was easy, wasn't it???
Well, at least the weather forecast sounds easy for the rest of today and tomorrow. Can you say NICE?
Yeah, I thought so.

By the way, I'm going to finally update the last FUN POLL and grade the Climate Prediction Center for last month and post their thoughts for the rest of the month.

Have a good evening,
MS

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun Poll II - Rain Potential

Although I'm not expecting any severe weather, thunder should accompany some of the heavier bands of rain this weekend across the state. The models are coming into better agreement with a heavy rain event particularly for the central and eastern part of the state.

I noticed on Bailey's weather blog that the Jackson and Charleston NWS offices balked at putting up flood watches for their respective CWA's. They have since upgraded their regions to a flood watch.

I thought it would be fun to see just how much rain these 2 weather offices will receive this weekend.

Therefore, Fun Poll II will ask for your input into how much rain both weather offices combined will receive this weekend ending Sunday night at 11:59:59. Since no measureable precipitation has occurred just yet, we will open the poll immediately. Voting ends by noon on Saturday March 5. The rainfall totals will include anything that falls for the rest of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ending at midnight.

Again, I will use the 'official' NWS offices for the Jackson and Charleston sites for rainfall totals.

Remember, just have fun. Hopefully, no serious flooding issues will be reported this weekend. But the threat is there. Be careful out there. "Turn around, don't drown."
MS

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring(ing) A Leak

Our springlike pattern continues, hopefully this time with no severe weather. I'll post more on that later.
First, another heavy rain threat is encroaching upon the area.
The HPC (1-3 day forecast) is putting out between 1.75" and 2.00" for Louisville.
My special blend analysis paints an average 1.66" for Louisville.

Some parts of the state have received 9-10" of precipitation this year. Pretty outstanding. However, it really does not compare to what they've experienced out west. One of my favorite 'rainy' places is Forks WA and they have received over 33" year-to-date. And don't forget about some of the extreme flooding in California recently with some locations recording over a foot of rain during a relatively short period of time.

I don't know if we'll catch them, but we will be putting up some impressive numbers over the next week or so. Stay tuned.
MS

Does Size Really Matter???

Early Monday morning, some 3 miles east of Eminence KY in Henry county, an EF-3 tornado destroyed a couple of homes, knocking over at least 15 power poles, and causing some minor injuries. I have posted a sample photo highlighting the destructive power of nature's fury.

As you consider the link below about the NWS survey of this storm, notice the path width of the tornado: 150 yds.
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/?n=feb28_2011_tornadoes#henry
True, it's larger than one and a half football fields but smaller than what some imagine an EF-3 tornado as being, somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-mile or so in width.

It always tickles me when I hear storm chasers or other spotters describe a tornado on the ground as being a certain EF number, basing much of their guess on the size of the tornado. However, one should remember that the EF number is NOT measured by a tornado's width or length on the ground but the damage caused to specific structures and other objects.

Also, the EF number only provides an estimate of the wind speed based on a series of timed  gusts near the damage point. Below I have provided a link that provides a very detailed description of the Enhanced Fujita Scale. It certainly is a reference worth saving.
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/ef-scale.html

That is all for now. Have a good day.
MS

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Enjoying the time off....

Guess what? No models, no data. This is our Family Week and I'm forecasting a 100% chance for spoiling my little girl and a slight chance of not being in debt after it's all over. I'll be posting some thoughts about weather sporadically but nothing in depth. Well, time to get back to this thing they call 'relaxing'. Hmm, wish I could do this more often!

Take care.
MS

MikJournal Monday 12/10/2018...Reflection Time

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