Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rainy Days...Sample Cities With Number of Days It Rains

Being in the midst of perhaps our wettest year ever, I wondered how many days has it actually rained, or how many days have we had measurable precipitation of at least 0.01"?

Here's a list up to today, though not including today's totals...

This is day 333 by the way.

Lexington - 135 days
Louisville WFO - 129
Paris - 127
Louisville (Official) - 122

Interestingly, several locations in eastern Kentucky reporting at least 140 days of precipitation exceeding 0.01" include:

Farmers - 162
Beattyville - 156
Inez - 151
W Liberty - 150
Skyline - 147
Flemingsburg - 144
Pikeville - 143
Paintsville - 141

As far as 2011 rainfall totals go, here is an unofficial list to date:

Louisville WFO 67"
Williamsburg 64"
Stearns 63"
Baxter 62"
Louisville (Official)  62"
Morehead 61"
Lexington 61"

Finally, for comparison purposes, here's a look at some U.S. cities with number of days of measurable precipitation of at least 0.01" and their annual total so far...

Seattle, right? Well, yes, but...
Seattle 154 days and only 34"

Hilo, HI 264 days - 77"
Cold Bay AK 232 days but only 33"
Raymond WA 229 days - 76"
Tolt South Fork WA 227 days - 115"
Annette AK 220 days - 102"
Forks WA 219 days - 111"

MS

There Is Snow Nearby...

Yes, it's been snowing nicely in areas south and west of Kentucky, primarily. Accumulations of up to 5" has been reported in parts of Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas.

However, even within our region, snow is falling. Evansville and Vincennes among them.

I'm still expecting some snow showers later this evening in Louisville. Not much accumulation is expected. Still, would be a nice scene, though.

Looking at trends several days out, models are trying to 'warm' the next system. The one after that may offer a chance. However, the NAO and the AO ensembles are forecasting positive values and a progressively negative PNA.

That means colder readings out west, milder air comes into the midwest, and the storm track goes west and north of Kentucky toward the Great Lakes. That generally translates to rain instead of snow for us. Hopefully, the models and teleconnection signals will 'cool' off over the next few days.

MS

Monday, November 28, 2011

UPDATE November and Annual Rainfall Totals

For Louisville, here's the latest thru 10:00 a.m.

November - 6.38" (9th wettest November all-time)
2011 Total - 61.57" (3rd wettest year all-time)
Wettest Annual record - 64.60"
---------------------------

For Lexington...thru 10:00 a.m.

November - 6.65" (5th wettest November all-time)
2011 Total - 60.89" (4th wettest year all-time)
Wettest Annual record - 65.76"
---------------------------

Most areas could see another inch before tapering off.

MS

Sunday, November 27, 2011

California Has Just Gotten Smaller

I found this news article from November 21 on NBC. An impressive video account of a nice chunk of real estate sliding into the Pacific ocean near Los Angeles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45383284/ns/weather/

MS

Analog Time

This storm system has been a warm breaker, is currently a big rain maker, and will become a cold shaker (on a non-weather related note, metal shakers are better than plastic shakers...). Ok, I digress...back to the weather.

I was trying to find any weather patterns from the past that match up to this storm system's characteristics. Unfortunately, not too many that stand out as this is a slow mover. Plus, it is a GFS analog that I'm using, which did not want to slow this thing down, initially.

However, November 11, 2006 will do. Wasn't a huge rainmaker, but did produce over an inch and a quarter over a couple of days. However, of interest to me, the temperatures went downhill during the next few days. From the mid 50's to low 40's for highs. Even a trace of snow was reported in Louisville during this stretch.

I do anticipate a similar set of temperatures with possible snowshowers during the next few days.

Looking further down the road, I'm still looking at December 2 and 6-7 for possibly a measurable snowfall here in Louisville.

Updates later.

MS

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another Winter Forecast for Kentucky

Here's another winter forecast for the 2011/2012 season. He really believes that this will be a snowy and cold winter.

Chris Bailey is a down-to-earth weather 'dude'. He tells it like it is and is usually right.

Click HERE for his thoughts.

In the meantime, here is a summary of what he expects...





MS

Friday, November 25, 2011

True Confessions of a Snow Addict

Hi, I'm Mike S and I'm a snow addict. They tell me that I've taken the first step, good for me. They understand what I'm going through because they've been there.

But you know what? It's so hard to present the weather in winter without some biased intent or obsessive infatuation with the 'white stuff'. I must say that I've been looking forward to getting plowed by a good ole fashioned snow storm for the past few years.

The last good one I enjoyed was in March 2008, when a surprising 14" collected on my patio tables and chairs here in Valley Station. My little girl was only 6 weeks old; therefore, she doesn't have a clue what a real snow storm is since she slept the entire time I had her in my snow castle.

I do ask for your complete understanding when I start ranting about the 'big one'. I hope to be talking quite a bit about big snows this upcoming winter, but I'll try and tone it down a little at times.

Briefly, it does appear that Louisville could see its first real flakes of the season in a few days. However, I'm looking further down the road at December 2 and 6. We could see our first measurable snowfall during one or both of those time periods. Of course, these dates are approximate but does lend weight to the thought that December will indeed start out nice and wintry.

The models I've been looking at paint below to well below readings for the next 10 days at least, starting this Sunday. In the meantime, enjoy Friday and Saturday if you like pleasant weather. After that, winter's fixins will be on the top of my menu and I can't wait to get a taste of it.

Hey, what can I say? I'm a snow addict and proud of it.

MS

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nova Scotia Dealing With 1st Major Winter Storm of Season

The first major snow event in Nova Scotia is causing lots of headaches for drivers, including emergency personnel and salt crews. There are numerous accidents, mostly with minor injuries, but hampering efforts to help clear roadways and getting through to other accident victims.

I'm even hearing reports of a vehicle vs. school bus. Apparently, most students had the day off or were closed for the day due to weather. However, some schools that were open for the day have decided to dismiss early. Hmm, I suppose school districts in Kentucky are not the only ones who make apparent lapses in judgement when it comes to wintry weather.

Parts of Nova Scotia may get up to a foot of snow by tomorrow morning.

Listen in on some of the action HERE

Read about it here

MS

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Warm Front Pushes Through Louisville...Severe Chances???

During the 11:00am hourly report, the temperature at Louisville International has jumped from the 10:00am observation of 56 to a current reading of 64 degrees. Expect winds to increase steadily throughout the early afternoon hours. Already reports of 35mph gusts at Bowling Green.

Still, quite a few clouds. How will this interfere with severe chances for the region? Currently, low pressure in southern Illinois is racing northeast.

Here's the latest severe outlook from the SPC...


Impressive Storm Relative Helicity values approaching Bowling Green. Based on these values, best chances for severe weather still look to reside south of E'town to Bowling Green and points south from there. Also, east of these locations could see helicity values increasing this afternoon.

Dewpoints in the upper 50's to mid 60's also being reported in parts of west and central Kentucky, supportive of a possible severe setup.

Shear of 40-50kts could possibly aid in a damaging wind potential for parts of the state. I still would not exclude Louisville from the possibility of 45mph winds with an expected squall line that appears to be trying to develop just west of Paducah.

Instability is not impressive; however, the helicity values are still a concern. Could a WATCH be issued? I would say best chances would be south near Bowling Green east to Somerset. E'town east to Richmond. Right now, things just don't look promising, YET. Will be looking for catalysts over the next couple of hours.

MS

Just Another Day in Paradise (Mt Rainier)

Here are some webcam shots at and near the Paradise Jackson visitor center

Looking west at the road to Paradise from the Jackson Visitor Center.

A view of the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise.

Snow amounts are really going to add up this week. Continue to check back for more updates on their winter Paradise.

MS

Monday, November 21, 2011

***SPECIAL*** Comparing The Winter Forecasts 2011/2012

There's not much time for your predictions about this winter. The beginning of meteorological winter begins December 1 and will end February 29 (leap day). Since this will be a leap year coming forth, I wonder how many professionals factored that extra day into their summaries? Hmm.

For those who are curious about the type of weather one can expect on leap day, here's a couple of locations to think about...

Louisville KY:
Snowiest 2.2" 1912
Deepest Snow Cover 6" 1984
Wettest 0.31" 1952
Warmest Temperature 77 degrees 1972
Coldest Temperature 9 degrees 1884

Lexington KY:
Snowiest 0.5" 1996, 1968
Deepest Snow Cover 3" 1984, 1960
Wettest 0.38" 1908
Warmest Temperature 75 degrees 1972
Coldest Temperature 13 degrees 1960

Statistically, the above figures don't amount to very much. However, we have been in the grips of unusual and extreme weather patterns. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of the above records for leap day be, well, leapt.

Now, let's talk about the various predictions out there. And believe me, there are a lot of `em,

First, the primary source of our forecasts, which comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Weather Service. Here's what the NOAA page said last month...





Although, have you seen the latest 3-month forecast from the Climate Prediction Center (Dec-Feb)? Might want to check this out by clicking below...

Here are additional comments from the NOAA discussion...
Another part of the country that typically experiences wetter than average conditions during La Nina winters is the Ohio Valley. As you can see by the outlook map above, this winter is forecast to see above-average precipitation....While La Nina is not a major influence on weather in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the Arctic Oscillation can be a big player. If the combination of enough cold air and moisture come together this winter, we could see above-average snowfall.

Next, one that some people skeptically look at, Farmers' Almanac. However, I think their forecast has a nice ring to it...



Now, let's take a look at another one, who has altered its forecast 3 times now. At least one of them is bound to be right, right? This is from The Weather Centre...





Here's an interesting one from Snow Day...with multiple revisions as well.






Their commentary is as follows...

The second area of much above snowfall will exist from the Ohio Valley through the Great Lakes states and onward through the northeastern United States...I classify above average snowfall at least 5-10" above average and MUCH above average snowfall 10+" above average.

Due to the expected track of the storm systems this year, and the NAO for not being as negative as we head into the winter time as well as the AO being more neutral these storms will have a harder time to go as far south as last winter did, thus warm air will mix with the cold air creating the potential for significant ice storms across much of central and eastern Kansas through all of Missouri, northern Arkansas as well as all of Illinois western Kentucky and western and central Tennessee. This is when the storm system will track through Kansas and Missouri. The second storm track when the storms track through the Ohio Valley, typically this is ideal for a warm front to set up across the Carolinas and the Middle Atlantic States with ice storm risk before the warm front moves north changing everything to rain. This winter will be the winter of the Ice Storm over a good deal of the eastern/central United States.

Yet, another one from someone who I've seen on a few blog sites before, Mitch Gaines and his blog site http://mitchg.wordpress.com/

Temperatures



Precipitation



Snowfall



Well, in addition to the ones I've presented here, we in the community have our local weather heroes, who perform an outstanding service for our areas. They have even offered their insights into the winter of 2011/2012. Check them out at their respective blogs and facebook sites.

Also, don't forget to check out my official winter weather forecast by looking at the right hand side of my blog entitled MY 2011/2012 WINTER FORECAST

MS






 










Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Winter Paradise

In Washington state, not too far from the summit of Mt Rainier, at an elevation of nearly 5,500 feet is an area called Paradise. At the Ranger Station in Paradise, some of the heaviest snow amounts are recorded here on an annual basis, over 600" worth.

The snow season (for everybody) begins July 1 and ends June 30 each year. So far, since July, the Ranger Station has recorded 'just' 76.1". Of that total, 72" has occurred this month.

However, last year, snow amounts were more robust. In October 2010, 60.2" was recorded and 175" in November. In fact, last season's annual snow amounts from July 1 2010 to June 30 2011 amounted to a whopping 921"! A winter lover's paradise indeed.

Ironically, Paradise was not named for its winter pleasure but its beautiful views of Mt Rainier and the meadows of wildflowers.

Here's a quote from the National Park Service..."Paradise is famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows. When James Longmire's daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed, "Oh, what a paradise!"

A wildflower meadow at Paradise busy purple and red blooms and mountains  sits before a jagged mountain peak.

A storm system along the west coast is expected to stall and produce copious amounts of precipitation, especially in Washington. Snow, very heavy at times, is expected above the 5,000 foot level, including the Ranger Station at Paradise.

Here's a breakdown of the current forecast this week...

Tonight: Snow, mainly after 4am. Low around 19. West wind between 5 and 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Monday: Snow showers. High near 27. West wind between 5 and 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Monday Night: Snow. Low around 25. West southwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches possible.

Tuesday: Rain. Snow level 5300 feet. High near 33. Southwest wind between 8 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Tuesday Night: Snow. Low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

In addition, snow is expected every day through Saturday. This should help out the snow 'deficit' that's been ongoing for the past couple of months.

MS

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Earliest Sunsets in the Eastern Time Zone

In July of this year, I did a segment about the latest sunsets in the eastern time zone. This corresponded nicely with the summer solstice and the days that followed shortly afterward. Within the contigious United States, some locations in Michigan saw sunset times around 10:00 pm.

Well, it's that time of the year when the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Yes, the winter solstice is quickly approaching. Although December 22 will mark the shortest day of the year, it's noteworthy that sunset times are not always the earliest on this day.

First, here's the time zones of the United States...


Within the eastern time zone, Maine is the place to look at for the earliest sunsets.

Just as the sunset times may actually be later after the summer solstice, the earliest sunset times may actually occur well before the winter solstice, depending on where you are.

For example, Caribou's earliest sunset will occur on December 9 at 3:43pm. The sun will set at this time through December 14.

One of the earliest sunset times I could find in Maine occurs in Van Buren at 3:42pm, starting on December 7 through the 16th. I provided a partial listing of their sunset times during December below...

 
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Sunrise: 7:00am
Sunrise: 7:01am
Sunrise: 7:02am
Sunrise: 7:03am
Sunrise: 7:04am
Sunrise: 7:05am
Sunrise: 7:06am
Sunset: 3:43pm
Sunset: 3:43pm
Sunset: 3:43pm
Sunset: 3:42pm
Sunset: 3:42pm
Sunset: 3:42pm
Sunset: 3:42pm

I found some honorable mentions in the Pacific Time Zone. Moyle Springs and Copeland ID share the earliest sunset time of 3:48pm right around December 12.

 MS

Friday, November 18, 2011

On This Day...Standard Time Zone System Adopted by U.S. and Canada

November 18, 1883. Not too many people think about this significant date in American history. However, this was the day that the U.S. and Canada adopted a system of time zones, primarily for railroad interests. It took quite a while for the general public to warm up to the idea, though.

I found this interesting read about the historical origins of standard time zones, and how Daylight Savings Time came to become so important.

Click HERE for the article.

MS

National Adoption Day November 19 2011

Kudos to WDRB for bringing this annual event to our attention: National Adoption Day.
In harmony with National Adoption Awareness Month, this special day was created to facilitate the finalization process for thousands of children awaiting adoption by self-sacrificing families and to raise awareness of the tens of thousands of children still awaiting to be included in a loving, permanent family arrangement.

This day is normally observed on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and is probably one of the most special days of the calendar year.

Here is the article from WDRB.com...
Save the Date: National Adoption Day Set for November 19

MS

You Know Winter Is Near...

Looking at the database of high temperatures for the U.S. yesterday, I could not find a location that exceeded 90 degrees.

The highest temperature I found was 88 at the North Perry Airport ASOS in Florida. California's highest temperature among reporting stations was 80 and Arizona's highest was 81. Hawaii's highest reported temperature was 85.

Yesterday's  lowest temperatures were found in Alaska again at -43 in Eielson AFB. In fact, 6 of the 54 reporting stations had low temps of -40 or lower. Fort Yukon was dethroned as the coldest but still reported -42.

On a different note, I really like paying attention to the daily temperature spread between highs and lows. It seems Alliance NE is a common location with the highest spread. Yesterday was no different. Alliance reported a high temperature of 60 degrees after an overnight low of just 6. In fact, Alliance almost reported the highest and lowest temperatures of reporting stations in the state of Nebraska. Chadron reported a high of 62, though, after an overnight low of 9.

Look at the reporting stations here in Nebraska

High

Low

Spread

State

Reporting Station

55

14

41

NE

AINSWORTH/MUNI

60

6

54

NE

ALLIANCE/MUNI

51

13

38

NE

AURORA

48

19

29

NE

BEATRICE_MUNICIPAL

52

19

33

NE

BREWSTER_FIELD_ARPT

51

10

41

NE

BROKEN_BOW_MUNI

62

9

53

NE

CHADRON/MUNI

55

12

43

NE

COLUMBUS_MUNI(AWOS)

52

8

44

NE

EVELYN SHARP FIELD

50

19

31

NE

FALLS CITY/BRENNER

50

21

29

NE

FREMONT_MUNI_ARPT

52

16

36

NE

GRAND ISLAND/HALL CO

52

17

35

NE

HASTINGS/MUNI

56

16

40

NE

IMPERIAL/MUNI

52

14

38

NE

KEARNEY_MUNI_(AWOS)

52

10

42

NE

LEXINGTON

50

15

35

NE

LINCOLN/MUNI

53

10

43

NE

MCCOOK/MUNI

50

14

36

NE

NORFOLK/STEFAN FLD

53

10

43

NE

NORTH PLATTE/LEE BIRD

57

10

47

NE

OGALALLA

49

21

28

NE

OMAHA/EPPLEY

49

20

29

NE

OMAHA/OFFUTT AFB

50

14

36

NE

O'NEILL/BAKER_FIELD

61

14

47

NE

SCOTTSBLUFF/CO

60

18

42

NE

SIDNEY/MUNI

50

15

35

NE

TEKAMAH (ASOS)

58

6

52

NE

VALENTINE/MILLER FLD


Alliance NE hourly readings...

17

16:53

Fair

CLR

51

60

50

17

14:53

Fair and Breezy

CLR

59

17

13:53

Fair and Breezy

CLR

60

17

12:53

Fair

CLR

57

17

11:53

Fair

CLR

53

17

10:53

Fair

CLR

50

50

6

17

9:53

Fair

CLR

45

17

8:53

Fair

CLR

38

17

7:53

Fair

CLR

28

17

6:53

Fair

CLR

16

17

5:53

Fair

CLR

14

17

4:53

Fair

CLR

10

13

7

17

3:53

Fair

CLR

11

17

2:53

Fair

CLR

10

17

1:53

Fair

CLR

9

17

0:53

Fair

CLR

9

16

23:53

Fair

CLR

9


Temperatures actually began rising during the overnight hours on the heels of warming south to southwest winds, even becoming quite gusty during the afternoon hours yesterday.

Something to keep in mind is that Alliance's reporting station is not an official reporting station but is often used in hourly weather observations regardless.

We have similar reporting stations like that here in Kentucky, such as Owensboro, Fort Knox, London. Do you know the official reporting stations in Kentucky?

MS

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Mid-Month Report and Look Ahead

Through the middle of the month, Louisville has enjoyed above average temperatures and below normal rainfall. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temps and precip for the rest of the month. In fact, here's a sneak peek at the preliminary outlook for the month of December...

I think many of us are expecting December to make that transition to winter. However, the CPC must see things a little differently. Now, there's still time for the CPC to update this before the end of the month.

I do know one thing in their favor. The models are withholding the colder air from infiltrating our region. Still locked up in Alaska, it's only a matter of time before chunks of that colder air begin dumping into our part of the world. Something to keep an eye on.

Again, something else to keep an eye on is the possibility of more heavy rain moving back into the area. Here is a look at the Sun-Mon time frame...

It appears at least 0.50" is expected for Louisville while heavier amounts could be realized downstate. However, during the holiday week, at least another 2 inches is expected to fall on top of that. If the predicted rain amounts are realized, some minor flooding issues could arise. As always, things change. So, we'll just have to wait and see how the models fine tune the week ahead.

Don't forget to check out my winter weather forecast for 2011/2012. You can find it in the Miks Piks section of my blog.

MS

Just Chillin'

Fairly brisk conditions out there today, adds a bit of a chill that overcomes the warmth of the sun.
Yesterday, Fort Yukon AK recorded a high of -33 and a low of -44. Ouch! In the Antarctic, Vostok recorded a low of -50, actually pretty 'mild' for them.

Last hour, Fairbanks AK is sitting at -40. However, on a 'warmer' note, temperatures in parts of Siberia are being impacted by milder air off the ocean, above zero in several locations. The coldest temperature in Siberia and Eastern Russia I've found during the past hour is -34 at Yakutsk.

I'm always interested in seeing how the weather is in parts of Alaska and Siberia this part of the year, as our weather here could be impacted down the road.

Finally, in the contigious United States, temps are struggling to get out of the teens in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota at this hour.

MS

Great American Smokeout Day

GASO Image
Today is Great American Smokeout Day, encouraging smokers to start now and kick the habit. The University of Kentucky is celebrating its 2nd annual observance of going smoke-free at its campus. Join the millions nationwide who will be participating this day.

More information about the history of the Great American Smokeout Day, click HERE.

And important information from the American Cancer Society available here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

EF-1 Tornado Paoli IN

Good morning...last night's storms were quite strong in places, even producing a tornado in Paoli IN, according to preliminary indications from the NWS survey team. Here is their summation so far...

EF1 Tornado in Paoli

A National Weather Service Storm Survey Team has determined that an EF1 tornado struck downtown Paoli on Monday evening.  The team is still evaluating the damage, but preliminary indications are that the tornado had a path length of roughly two miles, and a width of about 100 yards (with straight-line wind damage for about a mile either side of the tornado track).  Wind speeds were probably around 95 mph.

No strong storms anticipated in the region today; however, widespread rains will produce another inch or two across the Louisville area. Then, a decent shot of cold air will infiltrate the area but only for a short time.

MS

Friday, November 4, 2011

MikJournal's OFFICIAL WINTER WEATHER FORECAST 2011/2012

After a few weeks of guiding you through my thoughts about the upcoming winter, it's time to finalize the forecast. The data is in....and here are the results.

I've looked at other years' analogs but still believe that the winter 2000/2001 will match this winter's forecast, despite the increasing possibility that the follow-up La Nina to 2010's could be stronger.

A stronger La Nina just means more extreme events. One thing about the upcoming 2011/2012 winter is the delayed onset of La Nina conditions initially here in our region.

I believe that a good chunk of the month of November will see above average temperatures. I'm not talking balmy, Florida-like conditions but no serious cold outbreaks here. That should lurk just north and northwest of our region. Some indications are showing that the colder air may arrive before Thanksgiving, though.

December will see the transition to a colder pattern, more indicative of winter. Now, there will be some less cold days than other days. However, remember how I mentioned those extreme events? We will begin to see the effects of those. I think it would be quite neat to see some of those direct hits here, but we'll just have to wait and see.

However, don't fret if we miss out on part of the fun, initially. As the month of December progresses, strong low-pressure systems will continue to funnel increasingly colder air into the region.

The cold air invasion should correspond with a strengthening La Nina toward the end of the year and will carry over into the first part of January. I still feel that the main action will occur north of the region; however, dips in the jet stream will allow us a taste of winter's fun.

Then, an Arctic blast will put an end to the 'fun' pattern. The rest of January could prove to be one of the top ten coldest on record for parts of Kentucky and Indiana as wave after wave of Arctic chill grips the area. Along with the bitter cold readings will be shots of clipper-like systems that could deposit an inch or two here or there in our region.

February will start out very cold but modifying with each Pacific coast storm that moves toward the area. Warmer readings will battle the cold lurking to the north. The battle line appears to be drawn across the north and northeast parts of the United States.

Again, our region will be very close to the action. I cannot emphasize enough the 'bust' potential of this forecast. It always seems that Kentucky is right in the middle of the battleground between the winter's fun and winter's done scenario.

--------------------------------------

Here's some things to think about....

If this La Nina proves to be stronger than last year's, expect stronger Low pressure systems. Although these should drag down colder air behind it, keep in mind that ahead of these systems, more warm air will be pumped into the system.

What we need for a mega snowstorm is a strong Low racing northward into Canada, stalling its associated front in the Appalachians with a secondary Low riding up the front thus depositing some healthy snow amounts for some in the region, primarily east. A cutoff Low would be an ideal candidate in a situation like this. The chances for this look more promising in late December and early January though.

If the colder air can become firmly entrenched here in January, I do not foresee any ice storms for the month. However, as February progresses, cold air at the surface may become an issue as 'warmer' storm systems impede the region.

Also, I'll be monitoring the snowpack that will continue to develop across the Canadian regions, as this may impact the amount of cold air we receive.

Regarding the storm systems, from December through February, I'm expecting at least one storm per week. That's at least 12 chances for us getting in on at least some of the 'fun'. This does not include any upper air disturbances that typically rotate around Low pressure systems that can bring generally light precipitation.

-----------------------------------

Finally, let's break it down into information you guys really care about. I have applied what I call a MrHP(Mid-range Highest Probability) analysis. This is not just a national scenario, but global probabilities how this winter should affect parts of the United States.



While this is just an average of the two main storm tracks for this winter, expect fluctuations that could possibly allow for phasing of the storm tracks, which always makes for interesting weather around here. I still believe that east and northeast Kentucky, central and east Indiana, and southern Ohio stand the highest probabilities for much above normal snow chances in our region.

Despite the low probabilities of forecasting actual snow amounts for the winter (Dec-Feb), I'll try and provide snow amounts for selected areas in our region in a future post, based on normal averages for those locations.

Other than that, here's to another winter of possible extremes.

MS

Space Weather - X Class Flares Possible

I don't get much of a chance to talk about space weather. But, we are in an active period when sunspots are the order of the day. And often, from those sunspots, coronal mass ejections of plasma gas protrude and blitz across the heavens at, well, astronomical speeds.

One of the largest sunspots in years is now within our view. At any moment, an eruption of those hot gases could spew out and actually reach earth's atmosphere in as little as 15 minutes.



According to the Space Weather Prediction Center:

2011-11-04 01:39   The First of a String?
NOAA 1339 produced an impulsive R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout at 2027 UTC (4:27 pm EDT) on November 3. If a CME occurred, chances are it is not earth-directed given the far eastern  eruption site on the solar disk. Stay tuned on that bit. The large, bright active region remains potent. Odds are good there's more to come.

X Class flares could result from some of those eruptions.

Here is a nice description of the three primary flares...

Scientists classify solar flares according to their x-ray brightness in the wavelength range 1 to 8 Angstroms. There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.

Here is a chart of any flare activities and its strength.

latest solar x-ray graph

It appears one has already achieved X Class status, causing a strong radio blackout as described above.

MS

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

Good Monday to you. The latest winter storm has finally exited our region. Some, obviously not all, received a significant amount of freezin...