Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Minimum EF-2 Tornado Damage in Elizabethtown NWS Says

At least an EF-2 tornado tore through parts of Elizabethtown today. LaRue county will be the next county to be assessed. Remember, significant damage was done there. Wouldn't be surprised if EF-3 damage will be assessed.


Following Severe Storms 2/29/12 with Updates

Gotta take a break...
I'm going to watch the news now
My computer needs to cool off...

Back online...looks like at least EF-3 damage out of Larue county
Tornado reportedly passed over high school just a moment ago from this second cell. This looks to be south of the first damage path near New Haven

Scanner out of area has taken on a power failure...trying to reconnect...

Storm is bearing down on similar areas
Count of damaged buildings coming soon....

A lot of damage in the Wildwood area, more help needed to clear debris
Command post at Dow Corning parking lot

Propane leak on Wildwood drive...Larue county
Awaitng latest about mobile home park
Dow Corning site will be a med site
Incident Command being relocated to Pritchard center due to incoming weather
Hodgenville rd is now passable; access to mobile home park is improving]
No reports of injuries still, but extensive damage exists
5-6 structures completely add insult, more tornadic cells moving back into the area.
Trees blocking several access points to mobile home park
Still, no injuries confirmed...but not everyone has been accounted for yet.
Mobile home completely destroyed...still trying to account for people.
another update
Mobile home park hit hard in damaged path area
Propane leak also in damaged area
Incident Command in place

building has been destroyed...possible trapped individuals. This is in Larue county. No confirmed reports of injuries yet
Tornado on the ground near Hodgenville rd (KSP)
Shifting gears, new Tornado warning for parts of western KY near Murray, Calloway county.
Listening to spotter network.
Sounds like scud being mistaken for funnel.
Scud does not rotate...
Tornadic cell near Summit...Warning now for southern Hardin county...Glendale, Tonieville, southern parts of E'town.
Dime size to nickel size hail being reported
Leitchfield area...close to hospital, I suppose Twin Lakes Regional Medical Ctr.
Unconfirmed brief tornado Grayson county. Still listening for location.
This thing is moving fast...Leitchfield, Clarkson, White Mills, Summit...your next.
Another report of a Funnel cloud reported near Caneyville family practice.
Another update...
Windy Ridge is south of US62 Beaver Dam Road. It is SR736. So far, no touchdown, but it is rapidly approaching Caneyville.
9:10am est Update
Severe weather summary...reports from Meade county and Oldham county
Funnel cloud near Windy Ridge...
I was hoping Leap day would live up to its expectations at my location, so far so good. No severe weather has occurred at my location here in Valley Station. The storm has leapt across my area with little incident.

Following a strong cell approaching parts of Grayson county from Butler and Ohio counties. So far, scanner is quiet.

More updates as needed...

Severe Weather Breaking Out To Our West

Did I say it was my final update. Ok, this time I promise. A Tornado WATCH is now in effect for much of the Louisville coverage area till 1pm.
By the way, the damage is extensive in those areas I highlighted below.
It's beginning to sound like a tornado has struck an area between Oak Ridge and Pocahontas Missouri near I-55 and U.S. 61. This is north and northwest of Cape Girardeau. Damage assessment will commence at daybreak.
Sounds like at least one injury related to the storm so far. I'm sure more reports will be forthcoming. Got to get some rest. Looks like a busy day.

5:25 am Update
Cell is beginning to weaken a little bit now, but it sounds like the damage has been done. It sounds like a residential area was hit hard by a possible tornado near U.S. 61 west of Pocahontas and also near Oak Ridge MO. Not getting reports of injuries yet.
5:20am est
Possible tornado touchdown has occurred. Between Oak Ridge and Pocahontas near U.S 61, several buildings damaged.

5:10am est
Residential damage near U.S. 61North
Windows blown out..this is just west of Pocahontas.
Garage in the middle of the roadway. Sounds like tornado damage to me.

5:00am Update
Storm cell near Pocahontas, has not weakened; if not anything, it is strengthening.
Insulation and trees crossing roadway near Hwy E.
Barn down...

4:55am Update
Church damaged and trees down in Oak Ridge MO
This cell is crossing I55 closing in on Pocahontas

Another Update...
Millersville to Daisy north of Cape Girardeau...cell is intensifying, strong rotation radar indicated.

4:33am est
2.50" hail now being reported in Bollinger county.

Quick Update - 4:28am est.
Tornado warning for Northern Cape Girardeau and northern Bollinger county. Reports of golf ball size hail coming out of Bollinger county. This will move into western parts of Kentucky soon.
Currently, tornado warnings are in effect in parts of Missouri. Reports of widespread tree damage along CR 2070 out of Dent county or Howell county. Both counties were near the tornado warning in effect for Shannon and Oregon counties, which police scanners are offline at present.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March 2012 Is Severe Weather Awareness Month

Of course, as we Kentuckians are well aware, severe weather can strike at any time of the year. However, preparedness can go a long ways to help deal with the now and the later, should severe weather strike our locations.

Therefore, Kentucky Emergency Management (KyEM) has 'prepared' for us a checklist of helpful suggestions and practical planning techniques that can be practiced or applied so that we are not left distraught and confused as to the best course of action during an emergency situation, in this case, severe weather.

Please consult the following page below for preparing yourselves for any type of severe weather.
Preparedness (KyEM)

Also, do not forget that March 2012 has been proclaimed Severe Storms Awareness Month by the governor himself.
Governor Beshear's Proclamation


Monday, February 27, 2012

My Monday Thoughts

Good Monday everyone. Wow, what a delightful day. Got a chance to get out and clean up the yard some, picking up all of those twigs and sticks that have fallen during the windy winter we've had.

January's average wind speed at Louisville Int'l (official) was 9.3 mph. So far this month, we've averaged nearly 7 mph, seems like more though.

Last February, winds averaged 8.8 mph while January 2011 averaged 7.6 mph. So, when you crunch the numbers, this January and February is much like last January and February. I know, except for the snow amounts. Hey, last February saw only 1.1", while this February's total has been 1.7". A minor victory there.

Speaking of snow, blizzard warnings are up for parts of the upper midwest.  A place called Sisseton, South Dakota, near Interstate 29, is expecting over a foot of snow with strong, gusty winds to help blow all of that snow around. Looks like some of those areas may be shut down.

On the spring side of things, severe thunderstorms may be possible this week for parts of our region. West KY is looking at a pretty slim chance in the SPC's 2-day outlook. Day 3 outlook has much of our region in a 30% risk for severe storms, including Louisville and points east into central KY especially. That's a pretty impressive percentage for a day 3 outlook. We'll have to keep an eye on that one.

A nice sky show we had during the past weekend as Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon played a little dance in the sky for our enjoyment.

And don't forget, daylight savings time kicks in March 11 at 2:00am this year. I'm already looking forward to that.

Enjoy your week and keep safe out there.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Severe Thunderstorms With Isolated Tornadoes Possible

3:30pm UPDATE
Nothing out there yet...Pressure is falling rapidly. Dewpoints are still pretty low except in west Ky. Cloud cover increasing in west Ky. Best chance for storm initiation is within a couple of hours there. Afterward, storms could still fire up but will they be able to overcome loss of daytime heating? Perhaps...

SPC has put out a mesoscale discussion for parts of our region, particularly areas of west Ky and west IN and along the Ohio river. Tornado watch MIGHT be issued depending on how things unfold.

Looks like it could be an active day for us spotters. Barometric pressure readings are falling off of a cliff, indicative of a rapidly intensifying storm system. In just 3 hours, barometric pressure has dropped nearly 0.15" Hg or roughly 5 mb. That's significant. My pressure reading as of 12:45pm is 29.44". It has dropped 0.02" Hg in just the past 10 minutes!

What does this mean for Louisville and the rest of our region? Look for the potential for severe thunderstorms this afternoon. NWS office in Louisville thinks severe activity should be scattered. Since the atmosphere is generating much twist in the upper levels, the dynamics are in place to support tornadic cells. Let's hope not. Damaging wind looks to be the main concern.

Keep your weather radios in alert mode. If you haven't purchased one yet, get one at your nearest home improvement center or any retail/grocery outlet, preferably one with S.A.M.E code technology. Easy to program the codes that you need to alert your area or any areas near your location.

Here are the codes below...

S.A.M.E. codes for Kentucky
S.A.M.E. codes for Indiana

Stay safe out there...


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eastern/Southeast Kentucky Getting Their Snow

During the past couple of hours, snow has begun to fall and steadily at that. Snow accumulations are beginning to be realized. Remember, the heavier the snow rate, the better odds that this will overcome the warmer ground and stick.

Pikeville Web Cam


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Well, sorry guys how things worked out for many of us. Several variables are coming together to prevent many of us from getting perhaps our last best chance for decent accumulating snow.

The delayed onset of precipitation, convective activity to our south, daytime heating (insolation), and the eventual track of the storm has really changed things from this time 24 hours ago.

Hopefully, these totals are conservative for many of us. But, this is how I see it now...

Louisville (< 0.5")
Lexington (1-2")
E'town (<= 1")
Bowling Green (1-3")
Jackson (3-5")
Pikeville (3-5")

Any positive developments forthcoming, I'll be sure to update these things as quickly as I can.


Adjusting Totals?

Well, the timing of this storm system is really frustrating. Can't get it here soon enough. I still would like to review at least one more run of the NAM due out in a little bit. I have a feeling the NAM may shift a little south on the next run (hoping I'm wrong).

Regardless of any small deviation, the daylight transition to snow is just about enough for me to make some adjustments in my snow totals. It should still be a healthy snow for many except where I live.

Updates coming soon. Advisories to our south look likely while Warnings for extreme SE part of Louisville CWA possible. Lexington may go Advisory or Warning even. It's that close. We'll just have to wait and see.


Louisville NWS Upgrading Watches/Advisories Soon

This just in a few minutes ago from the NWS office in Louisville. Totals may be lessened for parts of the area. Also, warnings and advisories are expected to be updated by its 3:30pm forecast package.

"The latest 12z models continue with previous runs showing the
southeastern third of our forecast area as the focus for potentially
significant precipitation. A quick look suggests good fronto-
genetical forcing will be available. The latest predicted storm
track suggests that the northwestern edge of the winter storm watch
may see lower snow totals, and will assess this more early this
afternoon. After a more in-depth assessment, will be issuing warning
and advisory products with next scheduled update around 330 pm EST."


Friday, February 17, 2012


I'm no artist but here goes...



Using a blend of models and QPF potential, I came up with a range of possible totals. I call this my Mid-range Highest Probability blend. Usually in storms like this, had a 80% effective rate last year. This is a tough storm but have found that at about 36 hours out, this blend usually performs most accurately than one 24 hours out.

I will have a map posted later...

Louisville 1-2", closer to 1" further north toward the river
E'town 2-3"
Bowling Green 2-4"
Lexington 3-5"
Jackson 6-8"
Pikeville 6-10"

Much of this snow may be impacted by surface temperatures, daylight, and temperatures. The heavier the snow, the better it can overcome these obstacles.

Also, there could be an area where a prolonged episode of heavy snow will occur. This could lead to dramatic accumulations of a foot or so. Stay tuned as pinpointing this possibility won't occur until Nowcast mode.

Locations east of Lexington should expect difficult travel, possible power outages, and some roof collapses due to the weight of snow on power lines, tree limbs, and flat rooftops.

This may not happen but always best to err on the side of caution. I wouldn't expect any roof collapses unless accumulations exceeded 9". Roof collapses would be confined to car ports, that kind of thing. If accumulations should exceed 12", roof collapses to hardware stores or other retail stores could be possible.


Winter Storm Watch Louisville KY NWS

Earlier today, I suggested a possible Watch for the northern boundary to include E'town to Georgetown but not Bowling Green...Well, NWS office decided to post Watch just south of E'town and just south of Georgetown and included Bowling Green. Therefore, it appears the models are taking a bit of a southerly jog over the past couple of runs.

I'm reviewing the recent runs and will have an 'official' First Call for Snowfall map in just a bit...


Winter Storm Watch (Jackson KY NWS)

307 PM EST FRI FEB 17 2012


Looks like 4-8" with heavier amounts possible in the Watch area. More updates later...


Coming Soon - First Call For Snowfall

Briefly, I'm still awaiting on 2 pieces of model data and a quick overview of that data soon to be coming out. By this evening, we'll be in that 36-hour window for a best guess call for, what could be, the biggest snowfall of the season for many.

Doing a preliminary assessment, amounts could reach Winter Storm Watch/Warning criteria for parts of the Bluegrass and southeast and east KY. If I had to draw the line right now, and it's subject to change until I review the next pieces of data, the northern line of a Watch area would include E'town to Georgetown. Locations south and southeast of this line would be included but did not put Bowling Green in it yet.

Again, I'll be posting my 'official' first call after 4pm today. Be looking for it. Hoping for a big one for many, but just be safe out there.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter Storm THREAT - Hoping For a Westward Shift

Many of the models are advertising a winter storm for parts of the region for the latter part of the weekend. Unfortunately, most of the precipitation will be falling in the form of plain liquid. However, as colder air infiltrates the region, look for a possibility of heavy, wet snow to fall.

I'm still not ready to post totals yet, but this has the signature of a 'whopper' type system. This is the kind of system I've been wanting to see all winter long. Currently, I like the looks of this one but am still cautiously optimistic at best.

I'll be relying on the NAM model at about 36 hours out as I feel that this will be the prime time to begin hashing out totals if this storm continues to shape per expectations.

AT THIS TIME, obviously subject to change, surface temperatures will be above freezing throughout much of the event. East to SE Kentucky stand the best chance for accumulating snow, probably in excess of 4". This would be a wet snow and could cause outages if enough accumulates.

Personally, in a setup like this, I would love to see the storm shift a little bit westward. This would really help produce a good snowfall for many in the region.

Besides the NAM model, here are some additional sites to look at...

HPC 4" Snow Probability Map
NAM 850mb Temperature Profile and Moisture Placement
NAM Meteogram for Jackson KY
NAM Meteogram Lexington KY
NAM Meteogram Louisville KY
NAM Meteogram Bowling Green KY


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Snow Report and Summary

At my location here in Valley Station, I recorded just under an inch (0.8"). However, at the airport. the official total was 1.3".

During the course of the event, most of the snow was melting as temperatures were near or just above freezing. But, for a while, the flakes were coming down fast and furious. It caused a bit of a slushy mess on some main roads. Interstates were mostly wet.

About 4:15am, the snow began to mix with and quickly change to rain. From my observations, if there was any sleet, it was very brief.

Since the temperatures never reached critical levels for a Winter Weather Advisory condition, I still think that there were impacts, but just minimal. Slushy roadways can still become slick to unprepared drivers. Ironically, the airport received over an inch but no serious issues. Yet, in the suburbs, where I live, I get under an inch and the secondary roads are slick with slush. So, more snow does not always mean more problems, but less snow does not always mean less problems either.

NWS Louisville made a gutsy call and got it right. Gotta give'em credit, they are one of the best weather offices around. And it was really was a decision based on collaboration with other NWS offices. Good teamwork by all involved. I was glad they didn't drop the ball. Although I would have erred on the side of caution and issued a WWAdvisory, these types of winter scenarios are fickle and don't always go according to plan. But, the NWS office stuck to their guns and closely monitored the situation.

I'm just glad there were no major issues. By the way, if you got a chance to see it, those were some of the biggest flakes I've seen in quite a long time. Obviously, some flakes combined and clung to one another, producing flakes nearly half-dollar size and some even larger.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Winter Weather Advisory???

3:45pm UPDATE
While I will not say that the NWS office in Louisville is 'dropping the ball', I will publicly decry their inaction for not extending the WWA 'slightly east'. They are the professionals and I'm not, but considering potential impacts to rush hour tomorrow morning, it may not be wise to forgo some of the areas I mentioned earlier today like Louisville, Frankfort, and maybe even Lexington. Too many chances for error including wet-bulbing, changeover, surface temperatures, and so forth. True, I believe main roads should be okay, but travel to and from the main roads could be impacted. What about those school kids? Rush hour traffic? I don't know but I wouldn't risk it by not extending the Advisory.
12:15pm UPDATE
I just retrieved the data from the GFS 850mb sounding forecast. Looks warmer than the NAM's. That leads me to think more sleet will be mixing in with this thing by morning rush hour here in Louisville. Yes, we should see a light accumulation of snow at first. Precipitation should transition to a mix of snow/sleet then mostly sleet by tomorrow's rush. Treated roadways should be fine, but don't let your guard down. I still think an ADVISORY will be posted due to the timing and impact with this mixed bag of precipitation. This is just a preliminary assessment, as I haven't looked at how the situation will unfold downstate. Rain could be falling south of E'town but haven't considered surface temperatures that may impact falling precipitation.

So far, the Winter Weather Advisory currently in effect DOES NOT include Louisville but counties west of I-65. Current thinking is that a storm system coming from the west and southwest will continue to weaken; however, widespread light precipitation is expected to overspread the region with a potpourri of precipitation during the next 24 hours.

Here is my current thinking. While I'm still awaiting the preferable GFS data from the 850 mb sounding forecast, the recent NAM 850 mb sounding forecast shows temperatures remaining below freezing in the 5,000 foot range. This will keep most of the precipitation in the form of snow with sleet mixing in later through tomorrow morning's rush  hour here in Louisville.

Based on this assessment only, and not considering the GFS yet, I would expect the Winter Weather Advisory to shift eastward and include the Louisville area due in part to the timing and impact of the mixed precipitation that will affect the area.

Not a big storm by any means. But this type of setup always leads to travel problems. Even if an Advisory is not put in place, take care out there on area roadways and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Expect main roadways to be treated but don't let your guard down. Slow down! Be courteous of other drivers. You're not the only one trying to make it to your destination.


Friday, February 10, 2012

NOWCAST Snow Event Feb 10-11 2012

6:30pm UPDATE
Impressive snow shield moving back in for round 2...Temperatures are expected to fall steadily throughout early evening before dropping off rapidly after midnight. Depending on moisture placement, travel conditions will deteriorate. Since temperatures are expected to stay above freezing for a while, I'm not going to increase my expected totals for Louisville. Still going with less than an inch. But some areas in the area could get over an inch because there will be convective bands similar to what we saw earlier this winter.

3:30pm UPDATE
The snow has been a non-event here (in Louisville) as expected. Also, radar returns are showing a diminishing trend just north of us. This may still fill in as the cold front approaches our region. If this should occur, roadways may be subjected to freezing, especially after dark. But, for right now, temperature here in Valley Station is at 37 with overcast conditions.

Most of the precipitation shield lies across areas south of Louisville and east as well. Again, temperatures are helping limit any accumulations so far.

I live in Valley Station, just south and southwest of Louisville International.
At 12:15pm, light snow has begun to fall...My temperature is 36; therefore, not expecting any problems with the batch that is currently moving through.
The latest short range models still indicate greatest concentration of accumulation (1-2") well east of Louisville through tomorrow morning.
In my location, may see up to 0.7" or so. I will take measurements as snow begins to stick on my snowboard.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Snow In the Forecast

2:15pm update...
I'm curious how the NWS dayshift crew will handle the upcoming forecast package for tonight and into tomorrow morning, especially.

Both the NAM and GFS are advertising greatest concentration of precipitation by rush hour tomorrow morning. By then, most of the precipitation should be in the form of snow. The NAM, though, is hinting at very light precip or no precip at all until the A.M. rush hour. The GFS is still showing some light precipitation, perhaps a mix of rain/snow till changover to snow by rush hour.

While the '540' (freezing line) will be well established over much of the region overnight, 850mb sounding seems to indicate a rain/snow mix, if the precip can break through the dry air mass overnight.

However, by rush hour tomorrow morning, 850mb soundings should favor snow, especially from Louisville northward. But, air temperatures are expected to remain above freezing as well as surface and roadway temperatures. Therefore, any accumulation should be confined to grassy areas and should be limited at best as the UV radiation of the daytime eventually wins out and melts any leftover snow on those grassy surfaces.

Later in the forecast period, say from February 15-17, GFS is advertising an interesting wintry scenario, worth watching of course. As always, don't put too much stock into the time horizon as things will likely change as upper air data become more readily available.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Drought Eases In Texas

While the map below looks dire, and it still is, notice the improvement here in Texas. At one time, the entire state was suffering from some type of drought.


Who Says February Isn't the Coldest Winter Month???

Perhaps we often think of January as being the coldest winter month in this part of the world; however, on this date in 1947, a little place in Yukon called Snag, recorded North America's coldest temperature ever at -81.4 degrees.

Interestingly, the U.S. record coldest temperature ever appeared to be in jeopardy the other day in Alaska.  But, Prospect Creek still holds the record at -79.8 degrees. By the way, here's the article about that 'almost record breaker'...Click here to find out what happened.

The coldest temperature ever recorded on the earth occurred at the Russian Vostok station in Antarctica. The temperature was -128.6 degrees set on July 21, 1983.


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...