Monday, November 25, 2013

Try This - mPING

The National Weather Service is calling for a mixed bag of precipitation for our region. Doesn't that always seem to be the case for our region?

Anyway, one of the forecasters made a reference to a site that some of you may be interested in checking out. The name of it is called mPING, or Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground.

It is a project specifically designed for identification of precipitation types and involves your input. I have not used it yet but will be checking into it more today.

I've been reading the Frequently Asked Questions section and the different types of precipitation to be reported along with a brief description of each one.

It's been designed for mobile applications and is downloadable at the App Store and Google Play.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

What Causes Beautiful Sunsets and Sunrises???

I'm sure that I am not the only one who has noticed a barrage of beautiful sunsets lately. My local news station often shares pictures from its viewers. Recently, some of the most numerous photos have been of sunsets and sunrises, and indeed, they have been truly beautiful.

There's just something about a splendid sunset (or sunrise). The arrangement of colors, the position of clouds reflecting those colors, yes, the sheer awe of its lustrous beauty, is better than whatever history's best painters could ever create. The effect, mood, euphoria, whatever you want to call it, is at the very least, therapeutic. It's often been said that being stranded in rush hour traffic is very frustrating. However, a beautiful sunset makes that frustration melt away. In fact, it's the best show rush hour traffic could ever offer, leaving its gawkers wanting just a few minutes longer, please.

My father-in-law and his wife along with a group of their friends traveled by motorcycle from the central part of Florida to the southern tip in Key West to watch a sunset that would not happen until the next evening.

What makes these sunsets so mesmerizing? Where are the best places to view sunsets? What role does air pollution have on sunsets?

Here are a couple of good reads I invite you to peruse....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Alaska's Cold Building Up

Zone Forecast: Yukon Flats and Surrounding Uplands Mobile Weather Information
Last Update: 330 PM AKST SUN NOV 17 2013

Detailed text forecast
Tonight: Increasing clouds. Isolated snow showers. . Lows 12 to 22 below. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.

Monday: Cloudy with scattered snow showers. Highs 1 to 10 below. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.

Monday Night: Cloudy with a chance of snow. Lows 22 to 28 below. Northeast winds to 10 mph.

Tuesday: Cloudy with a isolated snow showers. Highs 9 to 17 below. North winds to 10 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Lows around 25 below. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs around 20 below.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Lows around 30 below.

Thursday Through Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs around 15 below. Lows 25 to 30 below.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 20 below.

Saturday Through Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs around 10 below. Lows 15 to 20 below.

Chunks of cold air just waiting to drop south. So far, the Aleutian Low has been manifesting itself nicely. Now, it's just up to those steering winds in our part of the world to determine if we see any of that cold stuff later. Along with progressive weather systems, you never know, we may be up for an early significant snowfall of greater than 3 or 4" within the next few weeks.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tornado Watch for Louisville 11/17/13 w/Updates

It took a while, but Norman OK Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch for central KY, including Louisville, Bowling Green, and Frankfort until 10pm EST.

Probabilities include a 40 percent chance of 2 or more tornadoes within the Watch area, some possibly strong.

This is not a PDS Watch. However, the threat for isolated tornadoes does exist for the area.

The primary action continues to unfold to our northwest and will eventually affect a chunk of central and northern Indiana.

Major damage east of Peoria IL, resembling EF-3 to EF-4 damage. Unbelievable.

More updates later...

Wind damage in Ballard County KY - Barn destroyed; sightings of funnel clouds as well.

Mt Carmel IL - tornado damage

Vincennes IN under tornado warning at this time...tornado on the ground!


Tornado on ground in Paducah
More damage reports coming in from Illinois
Line is racing quickly to the east.

No severe weather here in Valley Station
Ominous clouds and surface winds running contrary to winds just above the ground.
Eerie rotation...25-30 mph winds and very little rain (0.03" with this line but 2.36" for the day).
Lots of storm reports coming in from Indy NWS office and Paducah's NWS office
I'll post some of these in a bit.

Tornado Outbreak Likely Today (11/17/13)

SPC issues a HIGH RISK for severe weather for much of Indiana.

Perhaps this could be the most prolific November tornado outbreak since 2005 for our region.

It's difficult to compare weather systems, but this storm system appears to have the potential to exceed the 2005 outbreak (at least 40 confirmed tornadoes).

If the ingredients remain in place, tornadoes will be likely especially across Indiana.

In my opinion, here is a breakdown of cities and nearby locations with the highest chances for tornadoes...

Indianapolis >50%
Lafayette >50%
Kokomo >50%
Terre Haute >50%
Bloomington >40%
Seymour 20-30%
Vincennes 20-30%
Austin 10-20%
Evansville 10-20%
Charlestown near 10%
Madison near 10%
Carrollton KY near 10%
Louisville KY near 10%
Owensboro KY near 10%

The most likely scenario for strong long-track tornadoes exist in an area roughly from south to north, Bloomington to Lafayette and locations within that parameter, including Indianapolis.

Look for activity to break out across NE Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois by early afternoon.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Severe Potential November 17

Still awaiting updated run of Top 15 analog guidance.

Latest Analog shows isolated areas north of the Ohio River that could merit 'Moderate Risk' status. That means high winds and isolated tornadoes are possible.

If I could draw a bullseye for the region based on this data (from NAM), Madison IN and Carrollton KY would be it. Areas surrounding that would include Austin IN, LaGrange KY, Sparta KY.

NAM simulated radar shows low-topped storms plowing through the region late in the afternoon on Sunday.

Gusty winds should accompany this line, perhaps widespread 40-50 mph winds. At this time, I see only sporadic reports of severe wind gusts greater than 58 mph. Nevertheless, tree damage and power outages should be expected anywhere along the line.
Greatest risk appears north of Louisville.

Expect data to change as this is just a preliminary outlook. Too many variables again have to come together for a widespread event. However, this system appears just as potent as the recent Halloween system.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Snow in Hawaii?

When the winter season begins taking its toll, our minds generally drift to where the climate is less harsh. The first thing that comes to my mind is a nice tropical setting like Hawaii.

Ahh. The beautiful sandy beaches and fresh ocean breezes are indeed a nice change of pace. However, in winter (Northern Hemisphere), the rainy season is well underway in Hawaii and affects several locations.

And yes, during these months of the rainy season, at the highest elevations, snow falls on the summit of Mauna Kea. Interestingly, its name means 'White Mountain' in Hawaiian.

A light dusting of snow atop Mauna Kea
 (Photo courtesy of Andrew Cooper)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Prologue to Winter Weather Forecast 2013/2014 REVISED

The last two winter seasons have been less than satisfactory for snow lovers here in Louisville and most of central Kentucky. Downright abysmal actually. However, change could be coming for the upcoming winter.

Persistent atmospheric patterns kept moisture to a minimum for the area during the 2012/2013 winter. Prior to last year, persistent atmospheric patterns kept temperatures warmer than average during that winter.

Will this winter be dominated by persistent atmospheric patterns? Most likely not. Let me explain.

I believe drought played a major role in the nation's weather patterns during the past two winters. Some areas of the country received substantial snow totals while others received little accumulations.

Severe droughts are a result of climatic patterns that often can influence or dictate weather patterns. They create subtle boundaries that may affect upper level winds. For example, storm systems driven by the upper level winds either go around these semi-permanent anticyclonic features that are a result of drought or its associated moisture may be sapped by the surrounding relatively drier air.

This year's drought situation has improved significantly over the South and Midwest sections of the U.S., an area where our weather systems tend to develop and attract our attention. Perhaps, this is an indication that the climate pattern has begun a transformation. That should increase variability in weather patterns across the country, especially for our region. Does that mean we here in Louisville will get more snow?

Increased variability will lead to weather systems behaving more normally this winter. In other words, expect a nice blend of cold spells and periodic warm events that could spawn severe weather. Look for a few systems to come out of the Rockies and find their way into the Ohio Valley.

As is usually the case in these parts, a battle ground for precipitation type will affect who gets what and how much. I believe it will be a more exciting winter than the previous ones. That's all I can really say about that.


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...