Monday, December 31, 2012

Wintry Mix 12/31/12

Looking at radar returns this morning, I'm forecasting 2-3" of virga for many locations in our region. That's the only thing guaranteed.

Once the column saturates, precipitation will finally reach the ground. Could start as early as 10:00am in Louisville, most likely by 12:00pm. However, what type of precipitation falls is still 'up in the air'.

Therefore, a bag of wintry goodies will be doled out just in time for party festivities.

I'd like to take a look at the 12z NAM coming out by 9:30 this morning. I'll be more interested in looking at those levels in the atmosphere where the 'goodies' will be coming from.

However, the latest HRRR run shows 12pm 925 mb temps of 1-3 degrees C, should support a cold rain. 850mb levels at 12pm shows the freezing line right through Louisville (-2 to 2 degrees C), supporting snow, rain, and sleet.

This is not an efficient precipitation producer. QPF amounts fairly light. However, anytime a mixed bag that includes a chance of ice is included, travelers will be and should be wary.

More later...


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weather Summary and Forecast 12/30/12

First, the most recent snowfall has been tallied and graded....

The official amounts are listed below for 12/28 and 12/29.

Louisville  2.7"
Evansville 3.0"
Paducah   1.1"
Cincinnati 3.6"
Lexington 3.0"

Final Call for Snowfall amounts listed and graded.

NWS said...

Louisville   2-4"    100
Evansville  2-4"    100
Paducah   1-3"     100
Cincinnati 3-5"     100
Lexington 1-3"     100
GRADE    100     A+

MrHP said...

Louisville   2-4"    100
Evansville  3-5"    100
Paducah    2-4"      85
Cincinnati  3-5"    100
Lexington  1-3"    100
GRADE     97     A

MikeS said...

Louisville   2-4"    100
Evansville  3-5"    100
Paducah   2-4"       85
Cincinnati 3-6"     100
Lexington 1-3"     100
GRADE     97     A

For the most part, this was an easy forecast because snow was the predominant precipitation. Lexington almost surprised everybody because of it's transition to snow sooner along with bands of snow pushing through.

The next storm system is already poised to affect the region. The NAM has trended somewhat cooler during its few runs today. However, it keeps this as a mixed bag of precipitation for Louisville. Some minor icing is possible. Snow could accumulate generally north of the River, from Cincinnati to Seymour IN. Generally south of that should be a mix of all kinds of stuff. Hopefully, future model runs will help determine precip types for these locations, as this will be a busy period for party animals.

MikeS 66 Index  30.7 (12/29/12)
3.4 degrees below normal

Climate Regions:
High Plains:        8.3 degrees below normal
Midwest:            1.6 degrees below normal
Northeast:          0.1 degrees below normal
Southeast:          1.1 degrees above normal
Southern:           7.9 degrees below normal
West:                  3.7 degrees below normal

I'll be posting a monthly report during the first part of the year. The above data was just for one day. As cold as it has been recently, the month of December's temperatures has proven to be above normal for most, if not all of the climate regions, excluding Hawaii and Alaska.

Speaking of temperatures, as of 12/29, Louisville was on pace to record a top ten warmest winter (like 6th). However, today's temperatures and tomorrow's temperatures may knock them out of the top ten list.

Two locations in my MikeS 66 Index have posted impressive snow totals for the month.
Sault St Marie Michigan   27.9"
Burlington Vermont  24.3"

Again, speaking of snow, Mt Rainier's Paradise Ranger station in Washington state has recorded 246.5" for the season, starting July 1, 2012. Normal for this date should be 259".

More on our next wintry weather event coming soon...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

'Overachiever' 12/29/12

Generally, this storm put out more than expected, what we like to call an overachiever, a surprising surprise.

So far, the highest amounts I found in the region include 8" at French Lick IN and 7" in Paoli, both in Orange County.

In Louisville, amounts varied as expected, due to its proximity to the rain/snow line and the infamous dry slot that nosed its way into the area. I recorded 1.5" in Valley Station in southwest Jefferson County (more possibly fell, since temperatures remained at or just above freezing the entire event; therefore, settling occurred during the dry slot because I was not able to measure at that point). However, up to 4" fell in the Lyndon area in eastern Jefferson County. The NWS at the Airport, which is the official site for precipitation measurement, has been 2.7" as of 7:00am.

Lexington proved to be the biggest winner, relatively speaking. Already near 3" as of 7:00am this morning, additional snow showers this afternoon may produce another inch or so for them. In Anderson county at Lawrenceburg, had a report of 3.5".

In Evansville, which is Paducah's coverage area, I saw a daily climate report listing 10 inches as the new snow amount for December 28 as well as the Preliminary Montly Climate Data.. That would have given Evansville over 17" this month. I thought that seemed overdone. After investigating various storm reports around the area, I saw a report of 4.5" of new snow for a total of 10 inches on the ground (what we know as snow depth). At 5:00am, I informed the Paducah NWS office about the error and it has since been corrected. By the way, as of midnight, Evansville had recorded 2" for a monthly total of 9.7". Still, varied reports of 3-4.5" were reported throughout Vanderburgh County for the entire event thus far. So, Evansville now enjoys double-digit snowfall for the month.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Lightning With Our Snow??? 12/28/12

Just experimenting with the HRRR model, 2-4" snow expected across Jefferson County KY. Of interest was the lightning threat. Some of the heavier bands of snow may contain lightning from Louisville west back toward Evansville and western KY.

This may enhance snow rates for a time over 2" per hour.

It's been a while since Louisville has had thundersnow.


Final Call For Snowfall 12/28/12

Earlier, I posted amounts for 5 locations for snow. I will use the NWS official amounts. The forecast covers the entire storm event through Saturday evening. Therefore, I will be adding up the totals from Friday and Saturday, posting results by Sunday.

MrHP says...

Louisville    2-4"
Evansville   3-5"
Paducah     2-4"
Cincinnati   3-5"
Lexington   1-3"

MikeS says...

Louisville    2-4"
Evansville   3-5"
Paducah     2-4"
Cincinnati   3-6"
Lexington   1-3"

NWS says... (as of 4pm est)

Louisville    2-4"
Evansville   2-4"
Paducah     1-3"
Cincinnati   3-5"
Lexington   1-3"

I might add, keep an eye on the HRRR model. It updates hourly and extends out 15 hours. For example, the 18z run that projects out 15 hours (or about 5am) shows Louisville in a 2-3" range.


Midday Update 12/28/12

At 12:50pm, a few peeks of sunshine here at my location. In addition, NAM 12z simulated radar shows bulk of snow will reside just north of Louisville. Up to 5" for some of us. However, heavy snow is possible locally. Also, during the day, snow showers will develop that may contribute 0.2" - 1.5" additional accumulations across the state. Hard to say where those snow showers will develop. It's not unlikely that isolated areas could record a total in excess of 6" for the entire event through Saturday evening.

Could be adjusting totals in my Final Call for Snowfall coming soon....


First Call for Snowfall 12/28/12

This looks like a slam dunk...Sorry, had to use such terminology since this is a big basketball weekend for the state of Kentucky.

Widespread snow is anticipated with a rather over-achieving southwest system. Models keep increasing QPF totals, mostly snow.

The last run that I saw from the NAM puts an axis of heavy snow along the Ohio River from Owensboro to Cincinnati.

The rain/snow line is critical as it runs through the state, as usual. Just north of the rain/snow line should realize the heaviest snow amounts, in my opinion.

Therefore, this latest run from the NAM looks good. However, they have consistently kept surface temperatures above 32 degrees throughout the event. Accumulations would be confined mostly to grassy surfaces while roadways could become partially snow-covered to slushy depending on how heavy the snow falls.

I've chosen 5 'official' weather locations for this forecast...

Paducah 2-4"
Evansville 2-5"
Louisville 2-5"
Cincinnati 2-5"
Lexington 1-3"

I will issue my Final Call for Snowfall sometime this afternoon, after 3:30pm


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grading MrHP, NWS, and Myself for Winter Storm I

Here are the 'official' snow amounts at the various locations I chose. These amounts will be compared with the forecast solutions presented at least 12 hours in advance for most locations. Then a grade is assigned.

Louisville:    0.0"
Indianapolis: 7.5"
Cincinnati: 2.9"
Evansville: 7.7"
Paducah: 4.6"

Compare these totals to the Final Call for Snowfall forecast made before 4:30pm 12/25/2012

Louisville <=1"      100
Indianapolis 8-14"   90
Cincinnati 1-2"        90
Evansville 8-14"      90
Paducah 7-11"        85
GRADE                91    A-

Louisville 1-3"         50
Indianapolis 6-10" 100
Cincinnati 4-6"        80
Evansville 7-9"      100
Paducah 6-9"          85
GRADE                83    B-

Louisville 1-3"         50
Indianapolis 7-11" 100
Cincinnati 2-4"      100
Evansville 6-9"      100
Paducah 5-9"          95
GRADE                89     B+

Next storm system is looming. May need to put out amounts for this one as well. Not expected to be as significant, though. However, NWS Louisville AFD (KLMK271113) says, "a system worth watching and has potential to surprise with snowfall, especially very early Saturday morning across the north."

Time to look at the trends...


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Snow For Lexington Than Louisville?

An interesting radar summary, showing a band of moderate to heavy snow rotating along Oldham/Trimble counties pushing east eventually. Could affect Frankfort and portions of Lexington Metro. Reports of 2" out of Trimble county. This band missed Louisville. However, some returns are being picked up just west of Louisville. I can't see more than an inch total now for Louisville. Lexington could get 1-2". We'll see.


Banding of Snow Still Possible

At 1:10pm est, a band of moderate snow rotating through Oldham county; could put down a quick inch in places. Other bands west of Louisville yet to push through. The overall trend though is tapering off the snowshowers. Not expecting too many travel problems locally; however, if snowshowers continue beyond sunset, slick spots will become an issue.

Snow amounts are adding up...
Reports of 10.5" near Evansville, at least 12" in and around Bloomington; 7.2" at Indy airport and still snowing.

More updates forthcoming....


Winter Weather Advisory NOW Louisville

It was supposed to go into effect at 2pm, however, a quicker changeover to snow and sleet is anticipated. I can already see it on the RADAR just across the river literally from Louisville.

One can already see the massive deformation zone to our west. This is where the serious snows are really going to pile up and quick.

Louisville may get in on part of that wide deformation zone. It will be close. Expect more than originally thought if so.


Winter Weather Advisory Includes Louisville and Others

Looks like changeover to snow will occur with minor accumulations, generally 1-3" for Louisville. Therefore, weather offices have combined forces and agree to issue a Winter Weather Advisory for not only Louisville but other locations as well. They include Lexington, Frankfort, Jackson, Pikeville, and West Liberty. Does not include London or Somerset at this time.

Advisories go into effect as early as 2pm near Louisville and 6pm in the eastern part of the state.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MrHP Final Call for Snowfall 12/25/2012

This is such a complicated forecast. I've used my blended MrHP forecast, a Mid-range Highest Probability forecast tool. Unfortunately, it relies primarily on model runs, which are having a hard time with this storm.

In addition, I'm presenting other factors that the models may not be looking at, such as dynamic cooling, dry slotting, and additional thermal profiles besides the proverbial '540' or freezing line.

NWS offices to the north and west are quite robust in snow totals. Totals over 12" are expected in some areas.

NWS office Louisville not expecting much snow at all for Louisville, generally an inch or less.

How to forecast totals with such large spreads over a short distance? They have the tools. Often, though, it takes skill. The NWS has been known to make skilled decisions in their forecasts. They just don't look at the models. They use blends often, but sometimes it just comes down to one's forecasting skill.

Here are a few selected cities...1) NWS says, 2)MrHP says, 3) Mike S says
Evansville IN : 8-14", 7-9", 6-9"
Paducah KY : 7-11", 6-9", 5-9"
Indianapolis IN: 8-14", 6-10", 7-11"
Cincinnati OH : 1-2", 4-6", 2-4"
Louisville KY : <=1", 1-3", 1-3"

* NWS forecasts as of 4:30pm est.


Winter Weather Advisory West of Louisville

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for counties just north and west of Jefferson county.

Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties included in Indiana.
Hancock, Breckinridge, Meade, and Trimble counties in Kentucky.

1-4" expected according to NWS

NWS Louisville admits forecast confidence is not great because Euro model wants to trend colder. Stay tuned to upcoming model runs from the NAM and GFS. More warnings and advisories may be for Jefferson county KY?

MrHP Final Call for Snowfall coming up by 4:00 pm


Blizzard Warnings Extended

An unprecedented extension of the blizzard warning now includes most of Indianapolis responsibility. Seymour, Bloomington, Vincennes included. This is in addition to blizzard warnings for west KY and west IN issued from Paducah's responsibility.

Louisville NWS due out with possible advisories or warnings soon...


NAM Having Issues

Despite a prevalent eastward shift, the NAM is not painting a 'colder' solution as should be the case. In fact, according to my ground zero points in my last post, the heaviest snow line appears to have shifted north and west based on the NAM's 12z run and its 850mb forecast. Sounds like the NAM is just as confused as the rest of us.

That's why we can't go by one model run and make a forecast. However, it is about high time for these models, especially the reliable NAM, to start making sense of this storm. We're getting within that 24 hour window, where advisories and warnings should be coming out. This one will give forecasters a fit, for sure.

More later.


Intermediate Post For Heavy Snow Threat

I'll be posting about data from the models a bit later. I wanted to touch base on what I'm looking for today.

Besides the ice threat, which hopefully will not reach critical levels, I wanted to share my thoughts about the heavy snow threat.

I'm looking for the Low to pass just northeast of Cookeville TN near Jamestown to just east of Corbin KY. That is my ground zero points. If the forecast for the low deviates from these points, I know to adjust my snowfall amounts and shift the heaviest snows in the general direction of the deviation.

I do expect sleet and freezing rain to impact some areas, which will cut down on totals. It is the areas just north of the following locations where the most significant snows will occur.

As it stands, here are the areas I'm most concerned with regarding heavy snow potential. Again, this is based on a track of the ground zero points above.

The Harrison/Washington county lines in Indiana - Salem - you're included
Jefferson county Indiana - just north of and including Madison
Boone and Kenton counties KY - just north and including Covington/Cincinnati metro

These are the southernmost extents of the heavy snow threat at this time. Areas just north of those locations mentioned could see almost all snow from this system. Interestingly, a shift of just 25 miles south would bring the heaviest snow into Louisville, based on the track I've set up. Something to think about.

I'll see what the latest runs are showing in a bit.


MrHP Final Call For Snowfall Delayed

Due to the nature of this complex, still developing winter/spring storm system, I've delayed my final call for snowfall till 1pm today at the earliest.

If this was a typical winter storm with just snow and rain, I would have put out a forecast by now. However, several dynamics are at work this morning and will continue throughout the day.

Heavy snow, even crippling amounts, are still in play. In addition, freezing rain, sleet, heavy rain, severe thunderstorms with tornadoes, all of these are part of the same system.

Other factors include energy transfer from one low to another, moisture blocking that could inhibit precip amounts in our region, variable temperature profiles at the surface, 2500ft, 5000ft, and 10000ft above the surface that will determine precip types and duration of precip types

Louisville is right on the edge of this mess. NWS Louisville is doing an excellent job keeping it as simple as possible for its CWA. But the above factors will challenge the skill of our forecasters, with some missing the mark entirely. I don't expect anyone to nail it completely, especially for the Louisville area.

At this point, it could be all rain to 5" snow for the area.

I'll be posting my next update this afternoon.


Monday, December 24, 2012

00z NAM 12/24/2012 Time To Put Out Additional Watches

I think the NAM's last 3 runs have proven that additional WSWatches need to be extended east and south. In addition to a heavy snow threat is an increasing risk of freezing rain and sleet. All precipitation types are highly dependent on temperature profiles at the surface as well as the 925mb, 850mb, and 700mb levels. Warmer air will be drawn into the system, producing warmer readings above while colder air exists at the surface for a time. Sleet could mix in at times if the shallow warm air can be offset by the colder air beneath it before reaching the surface.

If any other precipitation types are realized for an extended period of time, this will adversely affect snow totals. This will be an efficient QPF producer. For all snow, expect up to a foot. for others, expect some type of mix for a time. Dynamic cooling in association with the low can be expected as well. This will produce intense snowfall rates, especially on the backside of the low. It's still hard to tell where all of this will set up.

Stay tuned as this complicated storm structure develops...


The 18z NAM is in (12/24/2012)

The tension is building...I'm on Frame 8 of 15...C'mon already...load. Shows the low along the KY/TN border south of Bowling Green. Whoa! A serious east shift. I'm on Frame 12. If this pans out, many of us are looking at a serious thumping of snow. In fact, crippling might describe the situation for western IN, parts of central and southern IN where up to 12" could occur in places.. Even Louisville may be back in the 2-4" range after all. Places like Lexington could see 1"or 2" as well??

Okay, let's slow the eastward progression already. Quite a dramatic east shift today. WSWatches will likely be covering more real estate. Louisville could be right on the fringe of the Watch. Just across the River, Watches will go into effect where 4-6" at least could occur, based on the recent 2 runs of the NAM.

Still plenty of time to fine-tune the storm system, though.

Final Call for Snowfall tomorrow morning. At this rate, many areas will at least double my initial MrHP forecast. Nice....

Stay safe out there everybody.


The 12z NAM Is In (12/24/2012)

Hoping for that westward shift to end, the NAM finally came through on this run.

In fact, a much snowier solution for those areas north of the Ohio River. A slight shift east with this track now has put Indy in a sweet spot for lots of snow, over 6". Louisville could get in on at least 1-2". I'll have to digest the data first and update snow totals in my Final Call for Snowfall tomorrow morning.

Things are looking better...


MrHP and Model Time

After being teased by a couple of analogs, I say it's time to look at the models. Top 15 analogs were showing a decent stripe of snow setting up north and northwest of Louisville. Heavy snow for Indy to Louisville, anywhere from 2-8" in that region  (less south and more north)

The latest NAM model is in...
It's warmed over the previous runs, showing a low traveling through central KY, keeping the warmest readings just to the east and south of low pressure. Another low forms in the Carolinas. It looks like a transfer of energy from KY low to Carolinas. Generally, that means lighter snows for most of us. Mostly a rain maker. Wow, a lot of rain. The NAM at times has been too wet with QPF in the past.

According to the 00z GEM...
Shows a similar track displayed by the latest NAM. Total precipitation from Louisville to Indy about 1.10-1.18". Most of that will be rain for Kentucky and parts of southern Indiana. Even Indy will see some rain or a rain/snow mix from this for a while. However, potential snow amounts may be robust toward Indy by the time the storm moves on.

MrHP is back. It's my Mid-range Highest Probability forecast. Admittedly this one will be a tough one to call. Generally, within 24 hours of a snow event is my most accurate forecast. We're still not there yet. But I like to put out at least 2 of these MrHP forecasts and compare them.

So, don't put too much into the first forecast. The next one will be my final call.

Although this is a wet system, I'm looking for where accumulating snow will occur. Here's how I see it for some locations on this first call for snowfall.

MrHP First Call for Snowfall says....

Indy 3-5"
Louisville 1"
Vincennes 2-4"
Evansville 1-3"
Cincinnati 1-3"
Lexington <1"

Again, the trend has been to warm up this system. We'll see how the next few model runs pan out.

MrHP Final Call for Snowfall out first thing tomorrow.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Analog Time Sunday Edition

Yesterday, I featured a 2006 analog that showed heavy snow lining up along the Ohio River from Louisville to Cincinnati, at least 2-3" for Louisville because rain was the dominant precipitation.

I mentioned the possibility for at least 5" for Louisville if the air mass is colder than the one in 2006.

Today's featured analog is from December 16, 2007. Shows mostly a rain event for most of Kentucky with total precipitation nearing 0.75". Less than 0.50" of additional precipitation is expected with temperatures going below freezing. That could mean 1-4" for Louisville.

However, the top 15 analogs suggest an interesting solution. Snowfall 2-4" for Louisville. Just north of Louisville across southern Indiana 4-6". Near Indianapolis at least 6"

Rain will be a feature of this storm system. When will the changeover begin? If that changeover is sooner then more snow for Louisville. So far, looking at yesterday's analogs along with today's, the best scenario at this time would be 2-4". However, any shift in the storm track will be critical as to storm amounts.

This is for the time frame just after Christmas. So, it's still looking like no White Christmas for 2012.


How To Measure Snow

It's that time of year, finally.

'The flakes have floated,
The ground is coated,
But the snow amounts
Are often bloated.'

Ok, I'm not much of a poet, but it is that time of year when we'll put our yardsticks to good use and attempt to measure the snow that is falling or has fallen.

Over the years, I've seen winter storms come and go. Yet, weather enthusiasts still don't know how to measure the snow properly and report amounts accurately.

I harp on this subject because such information is vital for the professionals to get a handle on how their forecast is performing and whether adjustments need to be made for others who are about to receive impacts from the snow.

I praise the NWS office for helping us prepare for the upcoming winter weather season. During their Winter Weather Awareness Campaign, the good folks there have provided a basic tutorial for how to measure snow, where to measure snow, and when to measure snow.

I've provided a couple of lists below that you will find 'enwhitening', as Elmer Fudd would say.

Snowfall Measuring Procedures

"In Depth" Snow Measuring

More to come on our possible winter storm for the day after Christmas.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Analog Time

At times, I look at past analogs for help in determining a possible solution for upcoming weather scenarios. I've used it for severe weather, such as the tornado outbreak in March 2012 for our region.

This time, I'm looking at an analog for help in figuring out a possible winter storm for the Louisville area and other parts of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

I've chosen the year 2006. The month is February. A low pressure tracks up the Carolinas with a secondary low traveling up east TN and east KY.

Rain overspreads the commonwealth. Snow filters in behind the front, providing accumulations for southern IN. Low pressure transfer from parent low along the Carolinas to secondary low in east TN and KY enhances precipitation in the region.

As secondary low moves east, colder air pours in changing rain to snow, heavy at times. Heaviest snowfall occurs across northern and north-central KY. Total precipitation amounts exceed 0.50". Snowfall amounts 2-3" near Louisville, 1-4" across southern IN.

If the air mass becomes colder as our upcoming storm affects us, expect more snow, with accumulations exceeding 5" in places, especially near Louisville to Cincinnati. I feel this is where the best chance for deformation may take place.

One of the current model runs suggests the aforementioned track. Continue to monitor the latest. I'm sure other analogs will become available by tomorrow. But, right now, the 2006 analog is the one I'm looking at.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Wintry Pattern Ahead

After basking in above normal temperatures for much of December, the end of the year right on into the first of the new year will feature below normal temperatures and the potential for significant snowfall across our region.

The GFS ensembles are showing a prolonged cold spell with some temperatures deviating some 20-25 degrees below normal across Kentucky during the first part of the new year.

There is the potential for a system to affect the area shortly after Christmas with up to 2" for some of us. Of course, things will change as the upper air data becomes refined. Watch us get nothing at all. Ha ha.

However, the pattern continues to turn colder from there. Every now and then, the GFS sniffs out a possible 'biggie' in terms of snowstorms  for the Louisville area. One of its runs shows over 6" around the Jan 1-3 time frame.

Now, the weather professionals will tell us that it's way too early to forecast amounts this far in advance. The storm has not reached the U.S. yet. We still don't know how strong the storm system will become as it develops.

Typically, a strengthening and progressive storm system draws up much warmer air for our area as the track of the system takes it north of the area, giving us rain.

However, there's already going to be cold air in place. Any warming will be offset by the cold airmass in place at the time. Therefore, snowfall looks increasingly likely or the threat of freezing rain is there also.

More cold air will follow as the snowpack will limit much surface warming. An active weather pattern should bring additional snowfall to the area.

So, things are shaping up for a cold and snowy period for us here in Kentucky.

If you're a fan of winter and snow, have fun.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

KY and Southern IN rain, snow, wind, power outage reports

As of 12:00pm est
Last hour, 475 residents with no power in Jefferson county KY. That number is now down to 133.
1,110 LGE customers statewide with largest outages in Ballard and Fayette counties.

Rain totals generally between 0.5 and 0.75". Rain is ending west of I-65

Winds are increasing across western KY:
Paducah 45 mph gusts
Hopkinsvile 47 mph gusts

Expect increasing gusts here in Louisville by 2pm as peeks of sunshine are possible (which will help transport those winds to the surface)

Pressure reading at my house in Valley Station is 29.43"

Will be updating this page today....


Monday, December 17, 2012

Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Louisville 12/17/12

2:30pm est UPDATE
reports of hail between pea and nickel size across the region, still below severe criteria (>=1")
Some drifts of hail reported in Oldham county.
Strongest storms pushing along I65 corridor. Weaker storms to the west, Watch remains in place.

Just issued...
Severe Thunderstorm Watch for most of Louisville CWA till 8pm local time

Pressure readings continue to fall; sunshine is peeking more often; instability should rise.

Large hail remains primary threat.

Updated map in a little bit..


1:15pm est UPDATE
Here's the map...

SPC feels pretty confident about a widespread hail event (10 or more severe hail events >95%)
Moderate risk for wind damage (40%)

A Severe T'Storm WARNING now in effect for N Meade and S Harrison counties
Pea-size hail in Lewisburg


Weather and Forecast Summary Louisville 121712

MikeS 66 Index (12/16/2012 data)

High Plains  +3.4
Midwest  +15.4
Northeast  +8.9
Southeast  +10.6
Southern  +13.0
West   +2.7

12 Days of Christmas - % For White Christmas in Louisville 2012
Dec 14   5%
Dec 15  <5%
Dec 16  <5%
Dec 17  <5%

Other news...
SPC includes Louisville in 15% chance for severe weather (slight risk). Main risk - large hail

Arctic air in Alaska - Yesterday's low temperature at Tanana was -56; high temperature was -47

Buffalo NY's Lake Effect Snow Machine for December so far... 0.3"

International Falls MN High 33; Low 19. An average of 17 degrees above normal (Should be 19 for high and 0 for low)

Forks WA Annual Rainfall to date  121.35"
It has rained 222 days this year
It has rained every day this month
Guess what? Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week.

Kahului HI Annual Rainfall to date  5.09" (over 11" below normal)
Phoenix AZ Annual Rainfall to date 4.19"
Both are expecting rain this week.

Death Valley CA has recorded at least 100 degrees for 158 days this year
In July, Death Valley recorded its 3rd highest daily minimum temperature of all time at 107 degrees.
By the way, their record low was 15, in 1913, the same year as their record high 134


Sunday, December 16, 2012

White Christmas Percentage Remains the Same

During the 12 days of Christmas, I've been highlighting the percentages of a White Christmas here in Louisville for this year.

Dec 14 :  5%
Dec 15 : <5%
Dec 16 : <5%

I've been watching the GFS ensembles. One persistent feature is a huge block just west of Greenland. Major ridging to take place there. Above normal temperatures expected there.

However, another feature I see on the long-term maps is chunks of cold air dropping into the northwest during the Dec 28-30 time period. How far south can this air mass penetrate? High temperatures in Louisville are expected to dip into the 30's for a time. Even as early as this upcoming Friday or so, temps are expected to turn quite cold before a quick warm up.

If enough blocking can take place over an extended period of time, expect colder air to pour into the U.S. But, we need the PNA to be negative for this to happen.


Severe Weather Possible Monday for Louisville

At 12:30pm today, the SPC came out with their Day 2 Outlook and includes much of the Ohio Valley in a Slight Risk category for severe weather. Despite a 15% probability assigned to the region, which is not a significant risk probability, any low-topped thunderstorms could become robust enough to put out gusty winds and hail. Updates will be forthcoming, but not looking at widespread severe weather.

It's warm enough to support severe weather. Temperatures well into the 60's today with sporadic peeks of sunshine; however, clouds should hang tough for most of us.

While we're talking about severe weather, I've looked at the Tornado reports page from the SPC. Much quieter this year than last year, to say the least. Here's a brief summary for 2012...

Updated December 13...
839 actual tornadoes confirmed this year through September. Now, October through December has seen only 66 preliminary reports of tornadoes; however, even if most of these are confirmed, we're still looking at about 900 or so actual tornadoes. It looks like we're on track to record below 1,000 for the year, much below the 1,691 confirmed last year and the 3-year average of 1,382.

Tornado deaths are much lower this year, thankfully. After last year's record 553 deaths, 68 has been recorded this year, still too much. Unfortunately, 10 killer tornadoes occurred in March taking 41 lives. Most of those deaths occurred in Indiana and some in Kentucky.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Expecting Another Warm Day

Despite a high temperature of only 39 degrees on the 11th of the month, Louisville is still averaging nearly 10 degrees above normal for the month. In fact, only 2 of the 14 days have registered below normal readings.

Tomorrow's temperatures could be nearly 20 degrees above normal for December 16.

We are looking for a cold snap near the end of the month. Our best chances for measurable snow exist by this time as well.

That means the chances for a White Christmas continue to trend negative as of now. My 12 days of Christmas percentage for a White Christmas as of today now stands at less than 5%. Yesterday's reading was at 5%.


Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - % of White Christmas Louisville KY (12/14/12)

Starting today, I help try to unravel the percentage for a 2012 White Christmas here in Louisville.

Things are still pretty far away. So don't fret when you see these percentages. They will likely change each day based on the latest data suite from the models. Unfortunately, we still have to rely on the GFS this far out.

Right now, based on the data from the CPC, GFS forecast models, and teleconnection indices (AO and NAO primarily), several mixed signals coming in already. However, one thing they all agree on: limited chance for a White Christmas.

At this point, I'm assigning a 5% chance for a White Christmas in Louisville. Again, don't fret. As long as the GFS is in control, expect changes from run to run. In a few days, I'll tap into the data from the Canadian GEM also and eventually the NAM.

There was a better chance for a pattern change by the end of the year (time period of Dec 27-29). But, GFS ensembles were hinting at much above average temperatures by then. And the AO and NAO are forecast to be near neutral.

I'll update the chances tomorrow.

Have a good evening,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

America at Night

A neat picture of the United States at night. Interestingly, some of what you see may not be city lights. The satellite detects light from other sources too such as wildfires, volcanoes, and gas flares. Check out the Gulf of Mexico, for example.

Look at other locations around the globe by clicking on the link below....

Night Lights Around the World
(courtesy of Earth Observatory)


Saturday, December 8, 2012

UPDATE Rain Totals MSD rain gauges

Since midnight December 4, here are selected rain totals across the county based on rain gauges from MSD, also since midnight December 7...Totals ending December 8 at 10:00 am.

Valley Station just south of Gene Snyder - 3.61"; 3.01"
Fairdale at High School - 3.63"; 2.87"
Okolona just north of Jefferson Mall - 3.65"; 2.73"

Jeffersontown at water quality treatment center - 3.54"; 2.57"
Floyds Fork at water quality treatment center - 3.05"; 2.26"
Cedar Creek wqtc - 2.55"; 1.84"
Fern Creek at Fire Station Three - 2.40"; 1.54"

Louisville Int'l - 3.01"; 2.55"

The front has passed through the county. Steady rains are over for now. Clouds, drizzle, very light rain should be expected throughout the day. I did see a glimpse of sunshine here at my house in Valley Station about an hour ago!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Rain Totals This Week (12/4 - 12/7)

Since midnight, 12/4, here are some rain totals based on MSD rain gauges around the area, ending at 3pm today (12/7):

TR01 D. R. Guthrie WQTC   2.52

TR15 Jeffersontown WQTC   2.64 


Fairdale High School  2.76
Rainfall should taper later, with drizzle and fog dominating. Hopefully, we'll get in on a dry slot for part of the weekend. However, don't make picnic plans just yet.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

MikeS 66 Index 120512

Wow. Looking at yesterday's data shows that the above normal temperatures are not just a regional thing. It's national.

All 6 climate centers represented by locations in my index experienced above normal temperatures. Some were very impressive.

Selected cities include Miles City in Montana at 22 degrees above normal; Denver at 23 degrees above normal; Laramie WY at 24 degrees above normal.

Again, here is how it breaks down for the 6 climate regions...

High Plains      43.0
                       16.0 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

Midwest         33.7
                        3.5 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

Northeast       42.9
                        6.6 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

Southeast       62.3
                        9.4 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

Southern         55.1
                        8.6 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

West               51.0
                       10.2 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

The MikeS 66 Index for the U.S. is...

What does this number mean? Simple math, averaging the 6 climate regions' average temperature (high + low temps and divide by 2 for each climate region)

Departure from normal....9.05 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

...One other factoid. Looking at snow cover across the U.S., we are at 6.0% nationwide. Last year on this date, 38.6% of the nation had some measure of snow cover.


Monday, December 3, 2012

MikeS 66 Index Monthly Report

Here is a breakdown of November's temperatures and precipitation by climate divisions...

High Plains
     39.6 degrees
      3.5 degrees ABOVE
     40.2% of normal precipitation

     39.4 degrees
      0.1 degrees ABOVE
     37.6% of normal precipitation

     41.0 degrees
      2.8 degrees BELOW
     28.4% of normal precipitation

     55.2 degrees
      3.4 degrees BELOW
     33.8% of normal precipitation

     54.7 degrees
      0.6 degrees ABOVE
     26.3% of normal precipitation

     50.7 degrees
      3.4 degrees ABOVE
     95.9% of normal precipitation

Although 4 of the 6 climate divisions in the U.S. reported above normal temperatures, the U.S. average was pretty close to normal, according to the MikeS 66 Index.

One outstanding feature in this report is the precipitation deficit across the U.S. The composite index shows that the U.S. received only 43% of its normal precipitation for November.

The driest climate regions belonged to the Southern, Northeast, and Southeast respectively. These areas reported about a third or less of their normal November precipitation.

The West was unusually wet, offset by the southwestern areas where some locations reported less than 10% of their normal precipitation.

United States
     46.9 degrees
      0.4 degrees ABOVE
     43.5% of normal precipitation


Monday, November 26, 2012

UPDATE Snow For Louisville?

Yesterday's post dealt with the chances for measurable snow here in Louisville. I was not very impressed by the NAM and GFS 850mb forecast temperatures. Readings between 0 and -2 degrees Celsius may denote a mix at best but not good enough for a complete changeover.

Today, my thinking remains mostly in line with yesterday's thinking. However, the NAM has trended slightly cooler with 850mb readings between -1 and -3 degrees Celsius. Also, the freezing line (the 540 line) looks to be just along the river, perhaps just north as the main precipitation shield plans to exit the area here in Louisville.

If the precip can hang around long enough, as colder air filters into the region, rain could mix and change completely to snow later. However, accumulations continue to look negligible as surface temperatures will be  too warm.

Look for mostly rain, with snow mixing in at times. I still don't forecast a complete changeover.]


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snow For Louisville?

The 12z NAM is in...This will be the one that I go by.

Moisture placement is right over Louisville by 1:00am Tue. Expect up to 0.25" liquid equivalent.

How much will fall as snow? NAM 850 mb forecast keeps temps in the 0 to -2 Celsius range, not really good enough for all snow. However, it appears that some snow will mix in with the rain.

Some locations could see some whitening on the grassy surfaces. Right now, snow accumulations look negligible.

More updates later.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MikeS 66 Index 112112

My biweekly index for today (actually yesterday's data) was an impressive 51.5 degrees. That's an average of the high and low temperatures from 66 locations across the U.S.

All 6 climate divisions of the U.S. experienced above normal temperatures.

Here's a breakdown of those climate divisions...

High Plains 13.1 degrees ABOVE NORMAL
Midwest 9.7 degrees ABOVE NORMAL
Northeast 0.4 degrees ABOVE NORMAL
Southeast 0.4 degrees ABOVE NORMAL
Southern 6.6 degrees ABOVE NORMAL
West 10.3 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

66 Index 51.5 degrees
6.8 degrees ABOVE NORMAL

However, look for a cool down across the north and northeast. We'll see colder readings here in Louisville by the weekend. Enjoy it for now.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Flood Advisory Grand Canyon?

I'm looking at the RADAR and can't find a single drop within a few hundred miles of the Grand Canyon. Yet, there is a flood advisory???

Well, on Sunday, a High-Flow Experimental (HFE) release of nearly 42,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) was being conducted for 24 hours from the Glen Canyon Dam.

Typical releases from the Glen Canyon Dam range from 8,000 to 25,000 cfs. This has been a normal event since 1996 and is part of a mandate called the Grand Canyon Protection Act. However, the increase in flow to 42,000 cfs should help move sand from the river channel and deposit it to rebuild sandbars and beaches at the National Park.

Still, those along the Colorado river should exercise caution when conducting recreational activities for the next several hours.

More information found at the link below...


Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Ok, not much rain around here in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. In fact, our weather looks outstanding for most of the holiday week.

For a moment, let's turn our attention to the northwest. Rain is in the forecast for the next several days.

One of the wettest locations in the U.S. is a place called Forks WA. As of early this morning, precipitation has finally surpassed the 100" mark. To date, there has been measurable precipitation of at least 0.01" for 197 days this year. Last year, Forks received a little over 120". They recorded precipitation 237 days last year.

Measurable precipitation of at least 0.01" in Seattle has occurred 143 days this year. However, only 35.86" has been measured.

In contrast, here in Louisville, we have had measurable precipitation 102 days this year. Precipitation amounts have totaled 38.46".

On the snow side of things, mountain passes near Mt Baker and Paradise near Rainier could see 1-3 feet of snow this week. Locally heavier amounts may occur if temperatures remain cold enough.

I'll be posting rain and snow amounts for Washington later this week.


Climate Prediction Center - Preliminary Winter Outlook

On November 15, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) put out a preliminary winter outlook for the three-month period of December through February.

Since the final map may be different than the preliminary, I'll give you the link but discuss the outlook here.

Temperatures are expected to be warmer than average across much of the western U.S., from Louisiana to Kansas to parts of Oregon and southern Montana.

Below normal temperatures are expected in southern Alaska, the northern plains including the U.P. of Michigan, and a large part of Florida.

As far as precipitation probabilities, above normal chances exist across parts of the south, the lower Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley. Some states include Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Below normal precipitation chances exist in southern Alaska and California, generally north of Los Angeles and into parts of Nevada.

CPC Preliminary 3-Month Winter Outlook Dec-Feb


Sunday, November 18, 2012

MikeS 66 Index 111812

66 Index (Temperature)  for Saturday 11/17/12
Above Average

The 6 climate divisions of the U.S.
West   6.1 above
Southern 1.5 below
Southeast 3.6 below
Northeast 2.3 below
Midwest 3.2 above
High Plains 10.9 above

Last Reading 11/13/12
Much Below Average


Saturday, November 17, 2012

'Cool' High

For the 50 states, the highest temperature was 83 degrees yesterday in San Nicolas CA and Barbers Point NAS in Oahu. In fact, only 16 reporting stations had temperatures of at least 80 degrees.

The coldest temperature was at Fort Yukon AK at -35. They're already in a streak of several days below zero. The forecast through next Friday keeps temperatures below zero. Brrrr.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

OFFICIAL 2012/2013 Winter Forecast

Although I'm offering my thoughts for Kentucky and Southern Indiana, I do provide a summary of how this winter will affect the various climate sections of the United States. Therefore, those who live outside of the Kentucky/Southern Indiana region can figure out how their winter may unfold based on the data I selected.

The first thing you will notice is that there is no map. I have the paper and the technology. So, let me explain  why I chose not to use a map.

I shared some research data the other day in a post while working on the winter forecast. Reviewing the information, expect more extreme weather for the upcoming year based on startling data from the Arctic region.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent reached an all-time low in September. Here is a term you're going to love, Arctic Amplification. Enhanced warming of the Arctic slows the west-east jet stream there and promotes more of a north-south flow. Pinpointing when and where that north-south flow (amplification) will be is still quite difficult. However, one thing is for sure. As more solar energy penetrates the Arctic Ocean where ice used to be, expect more extreme weather here in the States and Western Europe.

That's why I chose not to use a map. One just cannot predict where the extreme weather will set up. The intensity will vary as well.

Next, I don't promote global warming. However, one cannot escape the data that supports it.

For example, the October CO2 data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii continues to show an uptrend. The data from last October was 388.92 ppm. This October, the reading was 391.01 ppm.

Apparently, rising CO2 emissions continue contributing to extreme weather events.

Pay attention to the Sea-Surface temperatures. El Nino and La Nina do not appear to be factors this upcoming winter. However, there's been a cool fetch from Hawaii to Southern California. We'll see how this affects moisture transport.

Pacific North American pattern (PNA) values registered negative during October. As we approach the colder months, if the PNA remains negative, expect more split flows in the jet stream. That makes life exciting around here in Kentucky. However, there are indications that the PNA will turn positive again in December, thus shutting off the split flows.

Snowpack in North America and the Northern Hemisphere is more widespread than last year at this time. That could bode well for snow lovers.

The main event could be related to the Arctic Oscillation. Negative values in October mean average to above average snowfall for Louisville Kentucky. While professionals focus more on the NAO, both of these teleconnectors are short term prognosticators, unreliable for anything outside of two weeks.

However, look to the Arctic regions for our upcoming winter weather. The amplification could rear its head here. Pay close attention to the AO in the upcoming weeks. Negative values will support colder transport of air. Any strong systems from the Alaskan/Northwest regions along with colder values may set the stage for tremendous snowfall amounts for some.


Wet/Snowy Northwest
Drier than normal southern California and southwest U.S.
Cold Midwest and average snowfall
Average to above average snowfall in CO, OK, MO, KY, VA, and WV.
Average snowfall in the mid-Atlantic
Cold and Average to Above average snowfall in the Northeast
Wetter than normal in southern Florida
Drier than normal in northern FL and GA


Louisville KY (Dec-Feb) 12-19"
Lexington KY                  13-20"
Bowling Green KY           9-16"
Paducah KY                    10-17"
Jackson KY                     14-22"
Indianapolis IN                 14-21"
Cincinnati OH                   14-21"

Remember, these values are based on my traditional 60-30 percent forecast. There is an increased chance for extreme winter weather for our part of the world that is not factored into the above numbers.

I will post this to the blog for easy access.


MikeS 66 Index UPDATE

Yesterday, I introduced an index designed to take the 'temperature' of the U.S. I gathered data from 66 locations around the United States. Typically, I will just show the one number and provide a brief explanation of average, above average, below average, much above average, or much below average.

I will be featuring the index twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. As I continue working on the database, I'll be dividing the U.S. into its climate sections and offer an opinion for each section based on the '66' locations I've chosen.

You can use this data to compare how well the NAO, AO, PNA, and other data from the Climate Prediction Center is faring.

As described on Wednesday, I'll use the high and low temperatures from these locations and take the average, thus giving the number for the index.

November 14's index number was based on November 13's data. Therefore, here was the final tally given on Wednesday, November 14

MikeS 66 Index - 42.9
Much Below Average

My official 2012/2013 winter forecast is coming very soon. Be looking for it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

MikeS 66 Index

I'm introducing an index for measuring temperature data across the United States. It takes into account 66 representative locations and their high and low temperatures averaged out.

For example, November 13's data showed these numbers...

Average High

Average Low

Index = (AH + AL)/2 = 42.86
MikeS 66 Index = 42.9 degrees (rounded)

I'm still working on how the number will represent departures from normal.

Stay tuned....


Winter Weather Forecast 2012/2013 - Research Data

I'm still working on it. I should have my data ready to go in about a week or so.

However, as I perform numerous amounts of data research in preparation for the upcoming winter forecast, I can't help but share some interesting news stories and links along the way.

On September 16 2012, the Arctic Sea Ice Extent reached a lowest daily extent of 1.32 million square miles. The average extent of 1.39 million square miles for the month of September was an all-time minimum extent since records started being kept in 1979.

The total melt of 4.57 million square miles during the season amounts to the size of the United States and Mexico combined.

Below, I'm also providing a press release from NOAA about the possible connection between the Arctic region and extreme weather events here in the U.S. and Europe.

NOAA Press Release

On the other hand, Antarctic Sea Ice reached an all-time highest daily extent on record with a maximum of 7.51 million square miles on September 26. This record was set despite the continued warming over the past several decades.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winter Coming Early???

Here we go again. It's about time for all of the prognosticators or wannabes to throw their darts at the elusive winter weather bull's eye.

Last year, I believe my dart landed somewhere on the other side of the room.

What about this year? Surely, I'll do better than last year.

Already, a historic beginning to the winter 2012/2013 season. Superstorm Sandy produced all-time record snows for the month of October in locations like Beckley, Charleston, and Elkins WV.

The Weather Channel just named its first winter storm, Athena. The Nor'easter will impact several locations that Sandy affected just over a week ago. Philly expects 3-5" of snow. However, more coastal problems are expected and additional power outages could occur.

Locally, Louisville averages between 12-14" snow each season. One parameter that I did not factor into my equation for last year is what's called the Arctic Oscillation (AO).

I strongly believe that the month of October can have an effect on the future winter weather season of Dec-Feb. 

I found this interesting tidbit for you snow lovers.

Historically, here in Louisville, looking at the past five years, look what I've discovered...

AO positive for October, snow below average for Louisville
AO negative for October, snow above average for Louisville

The latest AO index for October: NEGATIVE
This should mean that Louisville will see more than 12-14" this winter.

And I'm just getting warmed up...uh, no pun intended.
More updates later this month.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rain Totals Sept 25-27 2012

Here's a brief list of rain totals around the region...starting Sept 25 at midnight ending Sept 27 at noon.

Fairdale HS - 2.14" (MSD gauge)

Louisville Int'l - 1.55"

Hite Creek Water Quality Treatment Ctr - 3.11"

Valley Station (my house) - 2.24"


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Death Valley CA Hottest Place On Earth

After several decades of its controversial claim as the hottest place on Earth, El Azizia in Libya is no longer number one. The World Meteorological Organization along with its international panel of climate experts concluded their investigation and has decided the 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius) is invalid.

See a list of principal concerns for their decision below.

Therefore, the temperature record of 56.7 degrees Celsius or 134 degrees Fahrenheit at Death Valley (Greenland Ranch) in California is the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet.

WMO Decision El Azizia Invalid World Heat Record


Friday, September 7, 2012

Nowcast Mode 090712

2:05pm edt
Hail reports are in from central IN, from pea size to penny size. Some wind damage and flooding reports as well near Kokomo IN.
1:35pm edt
Severe T'Storm Watch for parts of central Indiana at this time. This is not associated with the powerful front poised to push through here later this evening and tonight.

Here is a simulated storm report page for the upcoming storms...

Simulated Storm Report Page


Severe Thunderstorm Potential 090812 w/updates

Local media and the NWS Louisville office are already gearing the public for a possible widespread outbreak of severe weather, mainly damaging wind.

As of this writing at 10:30am edt, the SPC still has our region in a slight risk shading. An update will be provided by the SPC by 12:30 to 1:00pm edt.

In addition, to make things more interesting, I'll be posting another look at the potential for severe weather, based on a NAM and GFS perspective, listing a simulated storm reports page. I'll update that as it becomes available early this afternoon.

Check back soon...we'll be going into 'nowcast' mode after 1:00 pm today.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Severe T'Storm Watch Louisville 9/5/12

A resilient MCS continues to cause impact along its path, now into parts of southwest and southern Indiana. As of 3pm edt, warning products are in effect for several counties in southern Indiana and north-central KY.

Listening to scanners, no damage being reported yet in Perry and Spencer counties of Indiana. However winds have been quite gusty along this line, at least 40-50 mph.

I'll pass any damage reports as they become available.

The T'Storm Watch expires at 11pm edt or when severe weather is no longer possible.


Monday, September 3, 2012

September 2012 - First 2 Weeks BELOW NORMAL Temps???

When you get a moment, review the temperature and precipitation outlook for the region below from the Climate Prediction Center. The one thing that stands out to me is the period from September 8-16 as temperatures are expected to be below normal.

You know, it's been awhile since Louisville's monthly mean temperature has averaged below normal. Although August 2012's temperatures came out about normal, I had to go back to October 2011 to find a month that recorded below normal temperatures. That's 11 consecutive months of normal to above normal temperatures!

I'm looking forward to a respite from the heat of our past summer. Football season and cooler temperatures are a perfect combination. Bring it on!!

Climate Prediction Center Outlook


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rain Totals Through 9pm 9/2/12 *Isaac's Remnants*

Although the areal coverage of the greatest precipitation is waning, I just received the heaviest period of rain since the precip's beginning yesterday. Within the past hour, here in Valley Station, I've just added over an inch of rain to yesterday's 1" plus amounts.

While I'm still awaiting for the rain to subside, a nearby pumping station in Valley Station is not recording any more rainfall at the moment. They have recorded 1.22" today in addition to yesterday's 1.13" for a 2-day total of 2.35".

Okay, the rain is fairly insignificant right now at my place. I have recorded 1.65" today (1.15" in the past hour). That gives me a 2-day running total of 2.81".

Fairdale High School is just 10 minutes away from my location and has recorded over 2.5" for the past two days and is still raining hard.

I'm also seeing Mesonet sites in the viewing area that are recording between 1.7 and 1.85" since midnight just south and southeast of Louisville.

NWS radar estimates are also verifying these heavy rain amounts for the southern and southwestern parts of Jefferson county.

More updates possibly later.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Heavy Rains From Isaac w/Updates

11:30pm Update
Rain totals since midnight....

Jefferson county KY
Valley Station (my house) - 1.16"
Valley Station (MSD gauge) - 1.13"
Fairdale High School (MSD gauge) - 1.47"
Louisville Int'l - 0.99"

Other locations....
Paducah KY - 1.84" (rain still falling)

8pm Update
My rainfall total today has been 1.16" here in Valley Station....Look below for additional totals (some will be since midnight).

In Valley Station, just southwest of Louisville Int'l, we have already picked up about 1". I'll be providing some updates from Mesonet sites as well as Louisville MSD rain gauges.

Or you can check them out yourself by clicking below:

Lousville MSD rain gauges

KY Mesonet Precip since midnight


Isaac's Remnants to Affect Our Area Soon

1:00pm UPDATE
In Valley Station, just received my first downpour associated with the remnants of Isaac. Only lasted a couple of minutes and deposited 0.10"

Rainfall amounts up to 0.50" were reported just west of Louisville between Grayson county KY and Crawford county IN. Look for these scattered bands to shift eastward today.

Taking a look at the morning clouds, I've noticed the traditional harbinger for the likelihood of rain today. 'If you see numerous cumulus clouds in the morning and winds are from the south (SE or SW included), expect rain in your area.'

In addition to the low-level stratocumulus, I've noticed an increase in higher cumulus clouds. Some of these may actually dissipate by early afternoon, but the moisture in definitely in place. Strong heating should lead to likely development of storms this afternoon.

Rainfall amounts may actually be heavier today than yesterday's scattered coverage nearby. I think isolated areas could see 1-2" in 'training bands' just today.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Isaac On the Move

The title that I've chosen for this post sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Nevertheless, Isaac is still moving albeit slowly. In time, the remnants will make greater forward progress as the closed low opens up and gets caught up in the westerlies.

Until then, plenty of time to fine tune potential rain amounts for our region. I still believe the HPC is being quite aggressive as far as predicted rainfall totals.

This Thursday morning, I've noticed the axis of forecast heavier rain amounts shifting east. In fact, Louisville is included in a swath of 5-6" potential totals while parts of southern Indiana are in a zone of 6-8".

Remember, though, the QPF map shows the potential for these shaded areas to receive the forecast amounts. Not everyone will realize such totals. In fact, I think for most of Kentucky, the rainfall will be more scattered, not an all-day, all-weekend thing. However, the potential for 'training' bands will enhance rainfall totals in a hurry.

These amounts could prove beneficial as far as drought relief goes but a bummer concerning the holiday weekend plans and some potential flooding issues.

Keep abreast of the latest forecasts below:

Isaac QPF 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Isaac's Impacts For Kentuckiana

Have you seen the latest QPF map for the next few days? I downloaded a map at 8pm edt on Wednesday evening August 29, showing potential impacts for the region....

Hopefully, these numbers will not materialize for everyone. While the map showed widespread amounts of 7-10", don't expect ALL of these locations to receive these amounts.

I think the potential for heavy rains exist along the track; however, I also believe that Isaac will continue to be deprived of some of its moisture feed. Yes, the air will be tropical-like and any rains will be quite heavy at times. Based on past tropical systems, however, the main area of concentrated rains will be right around the center of the system. Scattered downpours will exist away from the center that may provide copious amounts of rain during 'training' episodes.

In other words, I think the map may be a bit aggressive in rainfall totals. However, some locations could realize some of these totals.

Also, look for a eastward shift in the heavy rain shield. I think Kentucky's amounts of 1-3" look good. 4-5" looks possible from Evansville IN to just north of Louisville KY, though. I think 6" is possible, but should be rare in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

More fine-tuning of Isaac's track will help determine who is going to get the brunt of the rainfall. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taking A Trip...Along Interstate 5 (8/14/12)

When I'm not engrossed in weather, I enjoy taking a 'virtual' tour of areas that I find interesting. During my 'downtime', if that's what it should be called, I've been studying numerous towns and cities along our country's intricate web of interstates.

I chose to begin this adventure along the west coast of the United States, along the Interstate 5 at the northern terminus in Blaine, WA.

Blaine is located in Whatcom county and nicknamed 'The Peace Arch City'. Its motto is "Blaine is Where America Begins".

There are a number of interesting items and tidbits about Blaine. Here are just a few that I found noteworthy.

First, I found this fascinating historical tidbit. The town of Blaine was named after a U.S. senator from the state of Maine, James G. Blaine. Historically, he served twice as Secretary of State, was the 31st Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and nominated President in 1884.

Interestingly, it was another Blaine that benefited the town more. During the period shortly after WWI, the National Prohibition Act (18th Amendment) was ratified, banning all sale and importation of intoxicating liquors. Therefore, smuggling of alcohol was rampant along the U.S/Canadian border. However, a Wisconsin senator (R) named John J Blaine wrote the 21st Amendment, which would later repeal Prohibition.

Next, I was intrigued by the Peace Arch nickname and what that was all about. From what I understand, reference is made to the International Peace Arch that was dedicated to the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 (see Treaty of Ghent). It was dedicated in 1921.

Today, the Peace Arch represents the tri-lateral friendship between Britain, the United States, and Canada. Standing some 67 feet tall, it represents the longest, undefended boundary in the world, nearly 3000 miles long. One foot in American soil and one foot in Canadian soil, the Peace Arch is a must-see for any tourist/visitor. For more historical information, please click here.

Finally, a geographical point of interest that I have yet to come across. Have you ever heard of a spit? Well,, Blaine has one of those called the Semiahmoo Spit. I provided a Google Satellite map of the area here. Hotels and a park can be found along this attraction

According to a popular reference, a spit is a type of deposition landform also called a sandspit. It is caused by a process called longshore drift that transports sediments along a coast at an angle to the shoreline, dependent on additional factors such as backwash and wind direction.

Other spits include the Provincetown Spit on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the Dungeness Spit that we'll cover in a future series, as it is located in Washington state.

Access more info below....
Spit caused by longshore drift
What is a spit?

Please continue to follow my journey along the I-5 in a soon-to-be-released segment....


Friday, July 27, 2012

More Severe Weather Chances

4:55pm edt Update
Bloomington IN - some trees down, including blocking roadways. Also power lines down in some areas as well.

K-index vals a bit higher toward the Ohio river just north of Louisville. If line of storms can make it this far, the strongest storms look to stay just north of Louisville. That's a big 'if'. Instability looks to be waning across the region with LI's around -4 to -5, up from -7 to -9. CAPE vals also are becoming more stable. If storms don't make it to the river by 7pm, we'll probably stay dry for the rest of the night.
A severe thunderstorm watch is currently in effect for just a few counties of north-central KY while most of southern IN is included in the box.

Keep up with the warnings below...

Damaging wind is the primary threat and large hail a secondary threat.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Severe Weather Under Way....w/Updates

In Jefferson county Pennsylvania near Dubois, hard hit by severe weather. " disaster, trees and poles down everywhere."

This is just a sample of what several locations may be dealing with this afternoon and evening. We are in Nowcast mode. Reports of severe weather will be coming...

Jefferson county PA radio here.

Widespread Severe Weather Potential(UPDATE)

3:15pm UPDATE
Watch box is extension to first watch. The newer box goes all the way back into Missouri. Scattered cells are developing in a very warm and moist environment. Currently no warnings. However, these cells are rapidly developing. DCAPES are increasing. The newer watch holds out moderate risks for high winds and hail whereas the first watch has high risks for these. At this time, convective debris in the form of cirrus clouds and cumulus may try and inhibit rapid intensification of storms near Louisville initially. However, am expecting a line to form and push through the area between 7 and 9 pm edt. These could become severe.
2:55pm UPDATE
In addition to Watches for Ohio and northern KY, a new Watch has just been posted that includes the Louisville area till 10pm edt. So far, no warnings with this new Watch yet. I'll post probabilities from the SPC watch box shortly....
The most recent update from the SPC is as follows:

* Heating already in place
* Moisture readily available
* Boundaries from prior convection will aid in future development
* Winds aloft will enhance storm initiation and subsequent bowing segments

The main areas that could see widespread wind damage remain the same as previous forecast, from Cincinnati to the New England states. These areas are under a MODERATE risk for severe weather.

High-end slight risk still resides close to Louisville area and the northern quarter of Kentucky east of I-65.

Things to look out for:
)Severe Thunderstorm Watches will be forthcoming soon for several locations from northwest to southeast. Look for Watches to come out for the New England states and areas of Indiana and Ohio. Later, expect Watches for parts of Kentucky.

)Strength of winds aloft

)Where leftover boundaries interact, in order to determine possible storm development and progression

)Hard to imagine, but convective debris and miscellaneous precipitation could diminish severe potential. Right now, that looks like a small chance

)Winds in excess of 55 mph possible near Louisville while winds in excess of 70 mph near Cincinnati and northeastward.

I'm sure more updates will be forthcoming throughout the day.
Stay tuned....


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Major Wind Damage Event Increasingly Likely(UPDATE)

2:00pm edt UPDATE
As expected, a MODERATE risk for severe thunderstorms now exists across parts of the Ohio Valley to parts of the northeast for Thursday. Also, a high end slight risk now exists for areas along the Ohio river. Main threat will be a possible derecho with widespread wind damage and power outages.
A large swath of US real estate could be in line for severe thunderstorms on Thursday. The most recent SPC update shows the greatest concern from southern Ohio to western/northern PA into central NY. In fact, the widespread severe potential may lead to a moderate risk assessment for these areas.

The next update will be between 12:30 and 1:30 pm edt (1630z and 1730z).

I'm also looking at a SWd extension of high end slight risk for areas along the Ohio river, including the Louisville Metro.

Follow the latest SPC updates here.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seismic Snooze: The Search For 6.0 (UPDATE)

7/20/12 164000UTC
Quick update on the tremors in the Kuril islands. Adjustments have been made and include lowering the magnitude of both tremors. Still, one was listed at 6.0, good enough to break the drought.
7/20/2012 UPDATE
It's official. The 6.0 drought is over. The Kuril islands recorded a couple of tremors exceeding or matching 6.0. early this morning on the 20th. One was listed at 6.3.

The Kuril islands are located just off the coast of Russia near the Kamchatka peninsula and stretches all the way down to near Hokkaido in Japan. The region is very active seismically speaking.
Well, it's been since July 8 that the world has registered a 6.0 or higher magnitude earthquake. A 5.9 was recorded on the 18th.

There have been a couple of instances this year that saw prolonged periods when strong seismic activity was lacking. From the middle of February to near the end of the month (12 days) and more recently, from May 1 to May 14, or 13 days. Today will marked the 11th day.

The search for 6.0 continues....


Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Rains

This morning, I've noticed several cumulus clouds. When a very warm and humid air mass are in place along with morning cumulus clouds, this is generally a good indication of rain/storms for that day.

These clouds are showing more vertical development as of 11:15am. That's pretty early for the summer. But guess what? According to latest radar, scattered downpours are developing around the region. NWS Louisville says this is in reference to a shortwave moving through.

I would bump probabilities up to at least 40 percent. This may even be conservative. May need to bump probs to the high end of scattered range for much of CWA.

Hoping for most us getting some rain today. Just beware, once the rain clears out, it will really feel like a steambath out there.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Large Earthquake Looming

For the period of July 8-14, I did not find any earthquakes that registered over 6.0 on the Richter scale anywhere in the world. Initially, there was a 6.0 recorded on July 8 but was later adjusted at 5.8 in the Kuril Islands region.

There was also a period in June (10-17) when no earthquakes registered over 6.0. Since June 1, the highest magnitude found was 6.3.

It's been a seismic snoozer for the past couple of months. Makes you wonder where the next big one (>6.5) will occur. Statistically, we're overdue.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finally Some Rain...

The much advertised heavy rain event finally materialized for my location in Valley Station of Jefferson county KY. After a couple of days of mostly misses, I received nearly 1.10" early this afternoon.

Some locations have received 2-3" over the past few days. As of 6pm this evening, the Louisville Int'l airport had picked up 1.13", first time Louisville has picked up over an inch of rain in 24 hours since May 31.

Currently, rain is on the wane. However, a moist air mass will remain in place for the next several days. Therefore, expect more in the way of some storm activity each day for the rest of the week.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beneficial Rains For the Next Few Days

The HPC continues to paint a swath of possible 2-3" rainfall amounts for a good chunk of Kentucky over the next few days.  This may not put a huge dent in the drought department but will help.

Personally, I have a small garden and despite the lack of rainfall and blazing heat, it's held up pretty well. During the planting season in May, I collected rainfall during the month (Louisville received almost 8" for the month) and stored this for a future need. Recently, I exhausted nearly all of the stored rainwater. As of today, I'm at about 18 percent full, thanks in large part to a freak middle-of-the-night storm. If we get at least 2" over the next few days, this will increase my capacity to over 60 percent, enough to sustain me through another dry, hot stretch like what we experienced recently.

Hopefully, the western part of the state will receive a nice soaking too. Several counties are still in an extreme drought.

Keep up with the forecast rain amounts from the HPC here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Louisville All-Time Record High In Jeopardy

Louisville's highest temperature ever recorded has been 107 degrees, actually reached a few times during its record-keeping years.

At noon, the temperature at Louisville Int'l is already at 100 degrees. We are on pace to reach 107, if the haze, high clouds, and cumulus field do not impede the upward progression.

The hottest temperature ever for the state of Kentucky is 114 degrees at Greensburg in 1936. Bowling Green actually made a nice run at the record last month with a reading of 110 .

Keep cool...


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Severe Thunderstorm Complex Eastern KY

An impressive complex of thunderstorms has erupted along the periphery of our persistent heat ridge. I'll be checking back in with updates and damage reports as these become available. Let's just say that several counties just east of Lexington to Pikeville are getting the brunt of these storms.

Pike and Mingo counties - trees and power lines blocking some roadways (police dispatch)
Montgomery county (Mt Sterling area) - 1300+ KU customers out of power


Monday, July 2, 2012

Bowling Green and Surrounding Area Getting Slammed

After a hot and dry month in June, Bowling Green and its surrounding area is getting absolutely pummeled.
Here are some of the issues emergency personnel are dealing with:

) Large field fire near Porter Pike east of town
) Flash flooding south of town 
) Trees down in many parts of the area
) Partial roof collapse at a K-mart in Scottsville
) Water rescues in progress


Kentucky Drought 2012

As of the last report (Jun 28 2012), nearly all of Kentucky fell into some sort of drought classification. Only parts of 6 counties were reporting no drought as of last week's date...

Western KY was reporting extreme drought. Paducah has only received 1.85" since April 1 2012. Yes, parts of 21 counties of western Kentucky were undergoing extreme drought.

After last week's heat ridge moved in, it will be interesting to find out how much of the state is responding to the worsening drought.

The next drought report will be due out this Thursday.,MW


More Records...Update

It seems every weather location is breaking or tying (T) some type of record. Here's a few more...

Colorado Springs CO - 101 degrees All-time high temperature record for any month (set June 26 2012)
Salt Lake City UT - trace - Driest June on record (T)
Santa Maria Apt CA - trace - Record daily maximum rainfall record (T) set June 30 2012
Louisville KY - 3 days - Most 100 degree days for the month of June (T)
Jackson KY - 104 degrees - All-time record high temperature for any month set June 29 2012
London KY - 105 degrees - All-time record high temperature for any month set June 29 2012
London (London/Corbin Apt) KY - 0.37" - Driest June on record (3rd driest month ever)
Atlanta GA - 106 degrees All-time high temperature record for any month (set June 30 2012)
Macon GA - 108 degrees All-time high temperature record for any month (T) set June 30 2012
Juneau Int'l Apt AK - 6.69" - Wettest June on record (only 2 days without measurable rainfall)

I'm sure that I'll be adding to these records for a large part of the summer.


Kentucky Power Outage UPDATE 9:00am 7/2/12

After last evening's boisterous thunderstorms, numerous power outages are still left in its wake. Here's a rundown of some of the power companies and their customers.

Jefferson county - 710 (LGE)
Fayette county - 935 (KU)
Jessamine county - 228 (KU)
Woodford county - 1409 (KU)
Floyd county KY - 787 (Big Sandy RECC) 6am report

Hopefully, most power will be restored before the heat starts becoming a problem for our residents.


Friday, June 29, 2012

All-Time Record High for June

Unofficially, Louisville has reached 105 degrees and Bowling Green 110 degrees. Both are all-time record high temperatures for the month of June.


Heat-Busting T'storms Northern Indiana

5:30pm Update
Storm update:
70-90 mph winds reported with this line
Power out to entire towns in Ohio and eastern IN
Dayton and Columbus also reporting damage
Damage reports include:
Full barn collapse with 30' x 40' roof's sections in the nearby trees
Severe roof damage in Delaware county
Large tree blocking roadway; motorists using sidewalk to drive around this thing
4:10pm Update
Major MCS moving thru eastern IN into Ohio. Dayton looks to be next in line. 91 mph wind gust measured at Ft Wayne IN. Too many reports of damage along its path to include in this post. Marion IN, Ft Wayne IN are just a few of the larger cities being impacted. Trees and wires down. Additional reports of 70-90mph winds along this line.
In northern Indiana around Marshall county, just south of South Bend near Plymouth, trees and lines down. Report of tree on a house; tree on a trailer home. Medic and Fire being dispatched. Live wire burning at another location.

'Very high winds' according to local law enforcement.

SR 210 east of Pine, motorcycle down without driver. Could be weather-related.

I may provide updates for the area as warranted; otherwise, I'll follow the storm's progression as it moves east and southeast.


Still Below Normal???

At Louisville, the temperature reached an all-time record high for the month of June with 103 degrees on Thursday. We could likely reach that today or exceed it by a degree if any developing storms stay away from the area.

We have had 11 days with temperatures at or above 90 degrees this month. However, according to the NWS Louisville office, our AVERAGE temperature, which takes into account high and low temperatures, is 75.2 degrees or 0.2 degrees BELOW normal for the month. Amazing!

How can this be? First, we had a cool start to the month. Next, with all of the dry air in place and a worsening drought, temperatures soar in the afternoon and fall off quickly after sunset. Yesterday, we had a 36 degree spread between the high (103) and the low (67).

By the end of the month, though, the average temperature will most likely come out slightly above normal.

I'm curious whether we'll see any of those storms firing close to our area. I sure could use some rain.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Records Breaking...

9:45pm UPDATE
Louisville KY 103 degrees set Thursday June 28 breaks all-time record high for the month of June.

Dodge City KS set an all-time record high temperature of 111 degrees yesterday.
Hill City KS set a record at 115 degrees.

Gainesville FL 16.34" All-time record June rainfall

Paducah KY 54 degrees was a record low for the date on Wednesday. During the afternoon, the temperature soared to 98 degrees, marking the 14th consecutive day of 90 or higher. Paducah has only received 1.85" since April 1. This compares to 1.42" at Albuquerque NM, although they have only received 2.28" for the year so far. Paducah has received about 11.59" for the year.

Temperatures are expected to break the century mark in many locations over the next few days. Records are going to fall.

Dry conditions will lead to fire issues across the state. Those handling fireworks should be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to any potential areas where fires could ignite accidentally; otherwise, we call that 'negligence'.

Be careful out there...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Packing Some High Heat

A huge bubble of hot air is moving into the region. With it comes the hottest air of the young summer season along with a drying ground that will easily push temperatures near and above the century mark.

In fact, the next 3 days (28-30), temperatures are expected to reach at least 100 degrees. If this does occur, Louisville will at least tie a rare June record of '3 days at or above 100 degrees for the month'. The only other time Louisville has reached 100 degrees 3 times during the month of June was in the year 1914.

In addition to the heat, Louisville has only recorded 0.79" for the month of June while Bowling Green has recorded a meager 0.65". Putting that into perspective, for Louisville, IF no rain occurs for the rest of the month, this month will go down as the 5th driest June on record. Similarly, for Bowling Green, it would be their 3rd driest month on record.

Across the Corn Belt, for parts of Illinois and Indiana, corn is showing signs of summer stress already. For the foreseeable future, warmer and drier than normal readings are expected.

For additional agricultural interests, click here.

Use common sense while exposed to the heat. You know the usual...take plenty of breaks, loose, light-colored clothing, no alcohol, keep an eye on young children and check on the elderly, and don't forget about your pets.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Florida In the News

Tropical moisture from Debby is impacting the Florida coastline. Tornado warnings are in effect near Sebring. Meanwhile, Tampa has recorded over 5.5" of rain today including 2" just during the past hour (2-3pm).

Pensacola is going to be right on the edge of intense rain bands. Future forecasts may bring those heavier bands westward toward the area. Remember, Pensacola has already received nearly 18" for the month. They only need some 6" or so to break their all-time wettest month set back in April 2005.

Sure would be nice to see some of that rain here. Looks like it won't happen according to current forecasts. However, minor rain chances do exist for the next 24 hours that will introduce somewhat cooler temperatures for a couple of days.

Don't get used to that though. Hot temperatures are expected by the end of the week as a hot ridge builds in from the west, producing readings that will approach the 100 degree mark.

Stay cool out there....


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...