Thursday, December 4, 2014

Perfect Timing?

Looking at the title of my post, you may be thinking about the cold rain and sleet moving in this Thursday morning. It's even raining here at my house in Valley Station and the battery for my digital rain gauge is no longer transmitting data. Or perhaps the current Orion rocket launch delay due to wind violation just above the launch pad despite seemingly perfect visibilities and dry conditions at the site. Sam Champion from the Weather Channel morning show still cannot believe that computers have come this far that they can now override the countdown to launch.

Nevertheless, the 'perfect timing' issue I'm thinking of this morning is related to something that might occur within the next couple of weeks, maybe less. Here, let me explain.

Another super typhoon is trekking across the western Pacific, like toward the Philippines. Curvature toward Japan may result in yet another instance when a tropical system affecting Japan might make our weather here in the United States much colder than normal.

Combine this with a weak El Nino and seasonal rainy pattern in California, can you see it? Cold air invasion from the north and an active Pacific stream coming in across California is going to make for interesting weather down the road.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Clipper Time

One of several clippers I am predicting for this upcoming winter season will embark upon the region later today into the overnight.

As with most clipper type systems, abundant moisture is generally not present. However, at times, these systems have and often overachieved on many occasions.

Since the NAM has had a decent handle of the east coast storm, which did not bring much to the eastern part of Kentucky, as it showed, I'm looking at a weakening consensus of snow totals for the region.

I've looked at the 0z and now the 12z runs of the NAM. Best moisture placement continues to look to be along the Parkways. This has been a consistent signal; however, QPF amounts seem to be declining.

Nevertheless, from Madisonville and Owensboro in the west to Campbellsville and Corbin toward the east look to receive some accumulations, anywhere from a dusting to as much as 3" in isolated areas.

Again, these systems are difficult to forecast. Sometimes, they overachieve. But, the look so far appears that much of those areas may see an inch or less.

It's still possible that some WWA's may be issued for some of those counties in the zone for the best moisture placement.


Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Windy Out There

Over the past 2 hours, winds have peaked between 49 and 53 miles per hour at Louisville, resulting in tree damage and power outages, not only across Jefferson County, but now encompassing a large part of our region.

As I write this post at 8:30am, Jefferson County LGE customers have reported outages now affecting 661. Fayette County's KU/ODP customer outage is up to 163.

Rain is now moving in here at my location in Valley Station. Winds have gusted to near 50 mph with some small limbs littering my yard.

More updates soon on the 'big blow'.


9:20am UPDATE
About 10 minutes ago, winds gusted to at least 50 mph here in Valley Station. At one point I will say it was between 50 and 55 mph for about 20 seconds, resulting in additional small limb damage in my yard.

Outages in Jefferson County have ramped up just within the past several minutes. Now up over 3,000 with half of those in the Strathmoor Village area.


Monday, November 17, 2014

After the Storm

I don't know. Overall, I thought the storm played out as expected. Yes, there was the heavy band of snow on the table and its exact placement remained in question until it finally happened. However, as I write this post, I am not aware of any 6" amounts except for an isolated area up towards Covington/Cincinnati.

I received 2.1" in Valley Station. Surrounding areas received 2-4". I expected 1-3" on average with higher amounts anticipated. Therefore, my final call for 1-4" was in line.

Earlier last week, I highlighted an analog from 1995 Dec 08/09. It was the number 1 ranked analog that showed a band of 2-4" accumulations along the Ohio River for that event followed by some incredibly cold air. Lows in the single digits and highs struggling to get out of the teens. I really did not think that would be possible with this storm system. But, that storm system actually lined up pretty well with this one and that was at 5 days out while models were waffling.

On this day in 1958, Louisville set an all-time high temperature of 84 degrees. That'll warm you up.

On the flip side, 50.4% of the U.S. has snow on the ground. Those lake-effect snow bands are unbelievable, even by standards of those that experience them often. Some areas could see up to 3 feet before the 'machine' shuts off.

I'm still going over the data from the rest of the state.

That's all for now.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

NOWCAST Sunday PM - Monday PM

Final Update 10:15am 11/17
Total snow in Valley Station  2.1"

Check Updates below...3:15am Mon 11/17 at bottom of the page

Winter Weather Advisories are out for a large part of Kentucky and Indiana, including Winter Storm Warnings for northern KY bordering Ohio.

I do expect an extension of the Winter Storm Warnings for areas along the Ohio River down to and including Jefferson County Indiana near Madison and Carroll County near Carrollton.

Short term models are beginning to hone in on possible locations of the heaviest snow amounts.

As I write this post, the NAM short term model is showing 6" amounts forecast for a narrow area along either side of the Ohio River from Madison IN to Covington KY.

Amounts drop off drastically to near 2" for Louisville. Now, this is just one short term model.

I'm still looking at the RAP model. It only goes out 18 hours during each hourly run. The 17z run goes out to about 7am tomorrow, showing a moderate band of snow progressing across the Louisville area. It looks like at least 4-5 hours of steady snow that looks like it could put down about 2" by 7am with minor amounts possible after that.

I'll be updating this page throughout the day, but right now, I would expect 1-3" for Louisville on average. Of course, there could be some higher amounts.

Here's the thing. The transition line is literally right along the River. How many times have we who live in Louisville seen that before?

Some areas just across the River from Louisville could be looking at 4 and 5" amounts.

Come back later as I will continue to monitor the NAM and RAP short term models...

Updates posted here...

Okay, first update. That didn't take long. Remember that extension of the Winter Storm Warnings? Apparently while I was typing this up, a slew of Winter Storm Warnings just went into effect for areas along the Ohio River from Western KY through Madison and Carrollton like I wrote a few minutes ago and then on up to Cincinnati. Right now, Louisville is not in the Warning area.


4:45pm UPDATE
Nothing new on my end. Still watching RAP model Snow from 3-8am in Louisville, still looks like 1-3" on average.
However, I do have a whiteboard malfunction. I've used this thing for the past couple of winters and served me well. Unfortunately, my little girl 'borrowed' it for her sand buckets and successfully grew weeds in the buckets and now I have caked-on mud and an inch of algae on the board. Cleaned it off some, but still residual algae may 'inflate' snow totals. Don't worry. I normally take several different measurements from adjacent areas in relation to my snowboard and then average them.

9:25pm UPDATE
I may still post one more time this evening. Here's what I am looking at. The short term NAM keeps the bulk of 4-5" amounts north of the Ohio River. Also, the RAP shows snow ending in Louisville by noon tomorrow. I'm telling you Louisville has the potential to receive 3+"; however, sleet appears to mix in for a while thereby cutting down on snow totals. 1-3" still looks more likely here. But it's going to be really close. If Louisville gets less sleet, 2-4" looks like a good bet, still below warning criteria, unless the NWS Louisville decides to issue one for impact purposes since it will be during the rush hour that snow will still be accumulating.

3:15am UPDATE
Even here in Valley Station, we have finally transitioned to all snow. Getting reports of 2" to my west in Palmyra IN.

Rapid Refresh Model seems to have a pretty good handle on this so far. Transition to all snow by 3am, including my

Interesting note...slug of heaviest snowfall may occur just prior to ending here in Louisville or my part of southwest Jefferson county by 10am. Could be a stretch of 2-3 hours of moderate to heavy snow according to the 07z run of the RAP. Will be interesting to see if that trend can verify.

5:00am UPDATE
Snow total in Valley Station at 1.3"


8:00am UPDATE
Snow total in Valley Station at 1.9"
Seeing the back end of accumulating snows on radar. If this band holds together, minor accumulations are expected that should put me over the 2" mark


8:55am UPDATE
A band of moderate snow racing towards Louisville. Unfortunately, it's moving so fast, I expect less than a half inch for most locations.

Regardless of what the total at Louisville Int'l, a new snowfall record for this date was set. Especially since the old record for this date was 0.1".

Here's your 'Hot Chocolate Moment' of the day...On this day in 1958, Louisville recorded its warmest November temperature of 84 degrees.

One more final post after this band pushes through....Nevertheless, snow showers may kick in later today into the evening and overnight. But those will be finer snow grains than the nice fluffy ones we have been seeing. So don't expect much accumulation.

My 'Almost' Final Call for Snowfall...Sunday PM/Monday PM

If you read my First Call, I'm not going to change much on that. However, downstate, it does look more and more like a wet event. Still, as the colder air rushes in, minor accumulations should still occur. Additional snow showers through Tuesday morning may provide further minor accumulations. So, I still think everyone will get in on the white stuff.

There is still the potential for a narrow band of heavy snow as the transition from rain to all snow occurs when the cold air rushes in. That still looks like it will happen along the Ohio River from Southern Indiana to Cincinnati and points just south of that.

Therefore, I'll be making judicious use of the Rapid Refresh model today and try to see if it can sniff out any of those heavier bands that may try and develop during the overnight.

Louisville and Southern Indiana:  1-4"
Cincinnati to Owenton: 1-4"
Georgetown and Lexington: 1-3"
E'town to Bardstown: up to 1" not counting minor accumulations overnight Monday.
Bowling Green to Morehead: Trace to 2"
Somerset to Middlesboro: minor accumulations counting snow showers overnight Monday.
Pikeville: Trace to 2" with any heavier snow showers on the cold side overnight Monday.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

MikJournal First Call for Snowfall Sunday PM-Monday PM

After reviewing the 12z run of the NAM and comparing it with the other models, I've decided to put out a first call for snowfall  but will likely make changes with my final call later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Here's my thoughts....

The most recent run of the NAM continues to 'warm' this system. With that said, initially the upper levels may not support much snow but rain or a rain/snow mix by Sunday evening across southern and southeast Kentucky.

In fact all the way to the Ohio River, conditions will not support all snow yet. But the main precipitation will not move in to those areas until later in the evening into the overnight.

By then, at least a light rain/snow mix will be in progress along the Ohio River after midnight while rainy conditions should exist along a line from Richmond southward.

Precip does transition to all snow by rush hour Monday morning possibly impacting travel for many residents in north-central Kentucky and possibly as far east as Lexington.

During the day Monday, colder air really begins to filter in on the heels of brisk north and northwest winds, blowing snow around with additional snow showers expected overnight Monday into Tuesday morning.

The entire state will see snow. It's just that some locations will see more. Here are my first call numbers...I'm not even going to try and put this into graphical format as I know these values may change later.

Louisville and Southern Indiana -   1-4"
Cincinnati to Lexington -    1-4"
Bowling Green to Morehead-   0.5 - 2.5"
Somerset to Middlesboro- Trace to 2"
Pikeville to Ashland-   1-2"

There are hints from additional models that a stripe of heavy snow may occur. At this time, it is still too early to see where that may set up. In fact, may have to leave that to the dreaded nowcast mode when using the RAP or Rapid Refresh Model.

Final Call late tonight or tomorrow morning....


Thursday, November 13, 2014

The NAM Sniffs Out a Winter Storm

Briefly, the latest runs of the NAM are picking up on what forecasters have been talking about for the Sunday into Monday time frame and the potential for accumulating snow in the region.

At the moment, it's still indeterminable how the NAM will progress with each run. The latest run is the 18z, which I do not like to follow. For some reason and that's just the way I am, I prefer either the 00z or 12z runs.

Within the next 12-24 hours, we may begin to 'see' how this storm system will develop and compare this model (which I consider superior to the other models in this close) with the other running models.

At this moment, the NAM shows 850mb readings that support snow for the Sunday night into Monday morning time frame. However, far southeast KY looks to be too warm at that level.

Don't fret. It is the 18z run and it's just coming into view on the NAM's 'radar scope'. Plenty of time for adjustments. The most accurate time frame for the NAM is generally the 24-36 hour estimated time of arrival window using either the 00z or the 12z runs.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Look At Analogs

Whenever the models are having issues, I try and look at past weather systems and see how these 'make sense' regarding the setup for this weekend's potential winter weather.

Yesterday, I commented on a GFS analog from December 08-09, 1995. Today, it still shows itself as the number 1 ranked analog for this storm system. But, does it make sense?

After putting down up to 2" across western KY primarily and causing numerous accidents, a blast of extremely cold air followed. Temperatures were widespread in the single digits for lows and highs struggling into the mid teens.

So, leave that track on the table. A stripe of snow along the Ohio River.

However, the analog that is catching my attention today is the number 7 ranked analog, also from 1995. It lines up very well in many categories and makes a little more sense than the above analog.

Some models now are showing a storm system riding up the Appalachians spreading snows on the northwest side of this thing, putting areas of central and eastern KY in a sweet spot for decent accumulations.

This November 29, 1995 analog is showing something similar. From Ashland to London/Corbin, a swath of generally 2-4" came out of that system.

Remember this though. The stronger the system, the warmer the air. Ideally, one would want to see this storm system strengthen as it passes just east of the region, putting the northwest side in line for heavy accumulations.

If the upcoming system strengthens too early, snow chances go down except on the backside when a decent accumulation can still take place around a deformation zone.

In other words, I would expect to see the wintry scenario affecting areas from Bowling Green to Ashland. Significant snowfall amounts may occur anywhere along that line.

Personally, I want to look at the NAM as this storm system will be falling within its 84-hour window soon. That's my thoughts for now. More later.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snow Chances Still Muddy

Make no mistake about. The cold air that will be in place shortly will offer opportunities for some wintry weather. However, one cannot look at any model right now and expect a solution.

So, try looking at analogs instead. That's what I do.

This is a GFS analog. So, take it for what it's worth.

The number 1 ranked analog which showed up in our region as well as the region encompassing eastern Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is from December 08-09, 1995.

This is from 5 days out. A lot can happen between now and then. A preliminary look at this analog shows a stripe of 2" snowfall amounts along the Ohio River, primarily across western KY.

The number 3 ranked analog in terms of snowfall placement has a system going to the south of Louisville, affecting communities like Bowling Green, London, Somerset with wintry precipitation, possibly accumulating a couple of inches in those areas.

So, the GFS seems pretty pumped about snow chances somewhere in the region.

Conferring with the actual weather events for the number 1 ranked analog, there were some similarities.

Louisville warmed to 60 degrees a few days before the 'snow' event. That same night temperatures dropped to 27 degrees. Then it warmed up to near 40 degrees the next two days with lows in the 20's, corresponding with the 7th and 8th.

A storm system developed across the panhandle of Oklahoma and scooted east during the 8th and 9th. Our weather was impacted shortly afterward. Slushy accumulations of up to 2" caused numerous accidents in western KY and down near Marion, a fatality occurred along U.S. Hwy 60.

Behind that front, temperatures really tanked, and I do mean tanked. Overnight lows in the single digits and highs only in the mid teens for Louisville and other locations in western KY.

As far as I know, we're not forecasting temperatures here approaching those levels yet. But, an additional shot of colder air is expected by later this weekend and may push overnight lows easily into the teens for many of us.

That's all for now. More updates later.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Polar Plump

Good Monday morning. It's cold at my place right now. 32 degrees, but at least doubling that by this afternoon. Therefore, I'll be outside cutting back some plants and taking advantage of this brief window of opportunity before some serious changes go into effect later in the week.

We have a blast of truly Arctic air poised to plunge into the heartland of the U.S. In fact as I write this post, snow is breaking out across the northern parts of the Plains and Midwest in advance of this Polar air mass. Minneapolis is expecting up to a foot of snow from this system.

By the way, the Weather Channel has named the system Astro...yes, the dog from 'The Jetsons'. I don't know why. Whatever.


Nevertheless, by the middle of the week, our temperatures here will have transitioned and will not bottom out until sometime Friday morning. I'm expecting low temperatures for several locations in the 14-19 degree range, if we have enough clearing and calmer conditions. And I still think there is a chance that some areas may not get above 32 degrees on Thursday for high temperatures.

Some may have forgotten that last November we had a stretch of very cold readings here in Kentucky. Louisville made it to 32 degrees on November 24 followed by a couple more days in the 30's. Lexington only made it to 30 degrees that November 24 and had a 1" snow depth on the 27th.

I want to show you something....Take a look at the graphic below. This is from the middle of the month last year and what the Climate Prediction Center was expecting for the following several days. You may not understand all of the lines and numbers but the northwest and northeast show some serious blocking (note the red lines).

11/13/2013 500-millibar anomaly map

That blocking allowed cold air to funnel into our area and produce the very cold readings. However, the west coast basked in relative warmth.

Now, let's take a look at our current graphic....

11/09/2014 500-millibar anomaly map

A similar pattern. However, the above normal anomalies across the Arctic allow cold air to drop south because the polar jet stream winds are more relaxed and buckle thereby providing a viable highway, destination all the way to the Gulf Coast.

In other words, this cold spell will be much stronger and more broad than last year's outbreak. In addition, it may last longer. Until the blocking pattern eases, expect more cold air intrusions on into the holiday week. That's at least 2 weeks!

This could be a record-setting month for cold. Now, if we can only get some snow into the forecast...hmmm, more on that at another time.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Below Normal Temperatures Likely For the Next Two Weeks

I have never seen this before...


 Enlarge the map and you will notice risk areas for Much Above or Much Below Normal Temperatures for the next 1-2 weeks from the Climate Prediction Center.

Please note the date for next Wednesday, November 12. A huge outbreak of much below normal temperatures is expected to consume a vast swath of U.S. real estate.

I'm not talking about a brief cold snap either. This could be a prolonged spell of much below normal readings for our part of the world.

How cold am I talking? High temperatures may not even reach the freezing mark by sometime next week for some locations here in Kentucky. Ouch.

Keep a close eye on the forecast as the bulk of the coldest air may reside just north and east of our area. Regardless, with a massive cold air mass of near 1040 millibars (an air mass that typically comes from the Arctic region), expect very cold readings here, definitely much below normal.

I know what the next question would be. With all of that cold air, any chance of seeing snow here in Kentucky? I'm still poring over that data. However, I would not rule it out completely.

By the way, the European model does support at least 3 days of the much below normal temperature thinking well into the next week time frame, but the GFS is not showing any real precipitation threats during that time either while also supporting the very cold pattern.


Friday, October 31, 2014

First Measurable Snow Possible...Find Out Where

It's only October. Okay, it's the end of October, but we are already talking winter time. Unfortunately, for those who want October Snowfall records to fall by the wayside may be disappointed as the bulk of any accumulation would not happen till after midnight, which takes us into November 1.

Nevertheless, snowfall accumulations do look possible, especially in the favored higher locations of eastern Kentucky.

What makes this system so interesting is that the track of this low and the cold air associated around it could produce a quick burst of heavy snow to the tune of at least 2". And if this energy happens over the mountains, one could be looking at more than that.

Dynamic cooling...what a fancy term. This storm system will be generating its own precipitation via upsloping and cooling of the air column at the same time so that snow will begin breaking out seemingly prematurely. But, surface temperatures will quickly follow suit and fall rapidly.

While ground temperatures are still too warm to support significant snow accumulations, enough heavy snow bursts will allow for some accumulations.

Right now, I'm looking at 2-4" for the eastern parts of Kentucky and the higher elevations, especially above 2,000 feet. But, don't be too disappointed if it does not stick around very long.

For the rest of us, especially from I-65 eastward, heavier snow showers may actually whiten the ground for a time before surrendering to the warmer ground.


Friday, October 17, 2014

*SPECIAL* - A Look at the Discrepancies Between the NWS Official Reporting Sites and Nearby Mesonet Sites

Subjects: Kentucky NWS Official Reporting Sites
                Adjacent Kentucky Mesonet Sites
Time Period: June - September 2014
Topic: Number of 90 degree days

First, let me throw several sets of numbers at you. The data you are about to see is a sampling of the number of this year's 90 degree days for adjacent or nearby Mesonet sites compared to that of the 'official' National Weather Service sites.

Ky Mesonet Caldwell County 12 days
Ky Mesonet Graves County 19 days
Ky Mesonet Marshall County 19 days
NWS Paducah   43 days

Ky Mesonet Oldham County 4 days
Ky Mesonet Shelby County 1 day
NWS Louisville  35 days

Ky Mesonet McCreary County 1 day
Ky Mesonet Casey County 2 days
NWS London  17 days

Ky Mesonet Fayette County 1 day
Ky Mesonet Madison County 1 day
Ky Mesonet Clark County 6 days
Ky Mesonet Nicholas County 12 days
Ky Mesonet Lincoln County 10
NWS Lexington  21 days

Ky Mesonet Barren County 16 days
Ky Mesonet Warren County(1) 27 days
Ky Mesonet Warren County(2) 36 days
NWS Bowling Green  41 days

Ky Mesonet Owsley County 5 days
Ky Mesonet Knott County 4 days
Ky Mesonet Breathitt County 7 days
NWS Jackson  7 days

Ky Mesonet Franklin County 4 days
NWS Frankfort  13 days

Remember, these numbers are for adjacent counties, sometimes within the same county, and nearest Mesonet sites in relation to the 'official' NWS sites. Except for the NWS at Jackson, all of the other 'official' NWS sites show large variations in the number of 90 degree days compared to other reporting stations of the Kentucky Mesonet.

I think you would agree that we need good continuity of data to provide fair representation for the state of Kentucky's climatological record. Of course, this does not have to pertain to the number of 90 degree days only.

Most, if not all, of Kentucky's NWS official reporting stations are located at airports. Now, each site must follow stringent guidelines about siting and exposure of equipment.

For example, the siting of temperature sensors should include locating them at least 100 feet from any extensive concrete or paved areas, or 500 feet from any building or area that might influence readings. Avoid swampy locations where water collects or artificial irrigation areas. Keep grass or vegetation within 100 feet of the site cut to less than 10" in height and provide unobstructed flow of air.

Special attention is to be given to any changes made in the station sensor that could affect data and necessitate the requirement for a temperature comparison routine.

Recently, complaints about the Lexington temperature sensor had technicians busy. I corresponded with one of the engineers and he told me they had conducted numerous tests and that the sensor met quality standards. Local media were invited to have their cameras rolling as to demonstrate the calibration process and show that the equipment was within appropriate quality assurance standards.

Yet, Lexington's sensor has altered things a little bit. But not as much as one thinks. Comparing data from this year to the same time last year (when the old sensor was still in play) Lexington NWS 2014 average high temperatures were 3.05 degrees higher than the nearby Mesonet site versus 2.65 degrees higher last year under the old sensor. But, this is compared to the Mesonet site a few miles away. Keep in mind,  the Lexington NWS recorded 21 days in the 90's. The Mesonet site recorded just 1 during the year 2014. Last year, Lexington NWS saw 17 days in the 90's. The Mesonet site again only recorded 1 day.

As a side thought, I do not understand why 'official' records should be kept at an airport, as this is not climatologically indicative or reflective of the surrounding area, which includes much more grass, trees, and a lot less concrete (attention NWS Louisville @ the Airport).

Well, what about the Mesonet sites? By analyzing the data above, it seems apparent that their data and means of collecting that data follow a different set of standards or guidelines. But, do they?

At least three times a year, technicians visit and perform required tasks to make sure the equipment still meets manufacturer's specifications. Any faulty sensor or equipment is sent back to the laboratory to be either recalibrated or decommissioned.

I wonder about the sites themselves, though. Why is there so much of a temperature variation from site to site, especially those in close proximity to one another?

For example, in Warren County, one site registered 36 days of at least 90 degrees. A few miles away, another site registered 27 days. For me, that's significant. One has to wonder if the site is not right for the equipment or the methods being followed for the equipment's data monitoring is substandard.

If the equipment's sensors fall within the range of quality standards, then there has to be either a site issue or a methodology issue when it comes to the various Mesonet sites across the commonwealth.

I do not know what it's going to take to get someone's attention to make sure that the data collected is fairly representative and contributes to the overall homogeneity reflecting the current affairs of our climate. But when one sees the wide discrepancy between each of the sites I presented to you, would you accept these numbers as legitimate?

And this is just one aspect that I'm looking at, the number of 90 degree days. What about the other measurements that are taken? Wind, precipitation, dewpoint readings? Are these fairly representative when we compare the official data versus the Mesonet sites. Well, I may investigate those as well. But, I think this will do for now.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Following Severe Storm Reports...and a Blizzard?

8:30pm Update
Extensive line of thunderstorm warnings west of Louisville. At this time, the supercell with a history of funnel and touchdowns is showing signs of dissipating. This was the same cell that started pretty far south and tracked through Clarksville TN into southwest KY and produced amazing tornado signatures. Latest radar image shows no signature. I would not let my guard down if I were you.

Damage reports are coming in from western KY. Paducah is reporting a roof off of a building.
In addition, other communities such as La Center in Ballard County have downed trees and lines.
Check out the following storm report below....

Wickliffe actually reported thunderstorm damage with fallen trees, even some blocking roadways. That was a separate report. No reports of tornadoes yet. However, Watch boxes are lined up all the way to the I-65 corridor.

More updates later..



327 PM CDT MON OCT 13 2014


..TIME......EVENT...  ...CITY LOCATION...  ...LAT.LON...

..DATE.......MAG....   ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST....SOURCE....



0325 PM     BLIZZARD     4 E WICKLIFFE      36.97N 89.01W

10/13/2014               BALLARD       KY   TRAINED SPOTTER



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Updated Severe Weather Forecast

Both the GFS and the NAM are displaying severe weather breaking out along a squall impacting Arkansas, southeast Missouri, western Tennessee, western Mississippi, and possibly far western Kentucky tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Widespread destructive winds exceeding 70mph at times along with possible brief spin-ups are expected anywhere along this line.

It is still indeterminable if central and eastern parts of Kentucky will be affected by the strength of this line, as it appears it will lose some of its high energy punch after 10pm eastern daylight time as the entire line becomes more of a flooding threat with 2" amounts common in several locations. Amounts of up to 4" are possible and may give way to high water issues along creeks and streams.

Still, I cannot rule out isolated wind damage/brief tornadoes along this line for central and eastern Kentucky. The longer we get into the night, though, the lesser the danger of destructive winds and tornadoes.

This is just a preliminary outlook based on my opinion and does not reflect the views of the National Weather Service or other AMS Meteorologist.

Updates likely tomorrow....


Storm Weary Residents Brace For More Possible Severe Weather Monday-Tuesday

The current, prolonged active weather pattern is about to come to a climactic conclusion. Following a week of quick-hitting tornadoes and damaging microburst winds along with very heavy rainfall, a vigorous storm system appears to be taking shape and aiming for us in the Ohio Valley.

What does that mean for many of us? At least another round of possible severe weather. Indications are pointing to a widespread severe weather event at least for western KY. At this time, there has been no official mention of a widespread event for central and eastern parts yet, but a real possibility exists. You know the song and dance. We will have to wait for computer models to chew on the data and spit out some possibilities.

In a situation like this, I like to look at analogs, or past similar weather patterns/systems that align with the current thinking of the approaching storm system.

The NAM analogs for the period showed a few solutions.

One was confining the widespread severe weather south of the region, say, from Tennessee into Alabama and Mississippi.

Another showed the bulk of the severe weather hitting parts of southern Indiana.

Then, there was a particular troubling analog that showed central Kentucky getting hammered with widespread wind damage. This analog was November 9-10, 2000. Numerous reports of winds exceeding 70 mph and isolated tornadoes occurred along the main squall as it raced across Kentucky.

Let's see how the models digest the data. But be prepared for another round of severe weather. This has the look of a potentially widespread event that, in my opinion, combines all three solutions above, from Indiana through Kentucky and into the south. Timing, instability, upper level winds need to be fine-tuned yet.

Here's one look of the NAM model currently...


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wet Consecutive Days Coming For Louisville KY

Didn't it seem like last month we were talking about the driest stretch of days in a very long time for Louisville? I think we ended up with at least 20 consecutive days without measurable precipitation.

Now, all of the forecasters are talking about a stretch of days where we could see several inches before all is said and done.

I do not know what the record for most consecutive days of measurable precipitation is, at least here in Louisville. I would have to dig and do a bit more research. However, just looking back a few years yielded at least one impressive result.

A stretch of 7 consecutive days in April 2011, from the 22nd through the 28th, produced over 7.73".

The current forecast calls for a likely chance of rain for the next 6 days with expected rainfall amounts of 4-6" during that time period.


Monday, October 6, 2014

News About Space Weather and Upcoming Eclipses

Get those cameras ready. Charge the batteries the night before. Weather permitting, a total lunar eclipse will commence early Wednesday morning, October 8.

Along with a low moon in the sky will come a variety of color shades that should prove spectacular for videos and snapshots, especially as twilight emerges from the east and interacts with a lightening western sky.

In addition, a very rare event with this upcoming lunar eclipse will occur. Some locations might have a chance to view the shadow of the earth across the western-setting moon while simultaneously catching a glimpse of the first slither of the sunrise in the east.

I do not expect this to happen here in Louisville. Sunrise will be at 7:45am while moonset will be at 7:52. Nevertheless, a good show is expected. Again, hopefully skies will clear.

The coppery-red color and totality will occur around 6:30am. Get out there and enjoy!


Don't worry if you miss this event. Later this month, a partial solar eclipse will happen on the 23rd of this month. For Louisville, that show will begin near 6pm with the maximum eclipse occurring just before sunset.
Next, as far as space weather is concerned, sunspot activity has been rather low lately. On July 17, 2014, the sun's face was spot free. Why was that significant? It marked the first time since August 14, 2011 - that's nearly 3 years - that at least one sunspot had not been observed on the face of the sun.
Since January 1, 2011 until now, there have only been 3 days when no sunspots have been observed.
Therefore, while sunspot activity has been slowing down, we still have observable sunspots almost on a daily basis.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Carbon Dioxide Levels Atop Mauna Loa Hawaii

Did you know on May 9, 2013 the Mauna Loa CO2 level breached 400 parts per million for the first time?

The CO2 level has been rising continuously on a year over year basis for several decades now.

Typically, the levels reach a maximum during the late Spring season and begin to decrease as vegetation absorbs the carbon dioxide.

Then, by September and October, levels begin increasing again as deciduous trees and other vegetation lose their foliage.

Carbon dioxide has long been looked at as the primary greenhouse gas contributing to the global warming episode during these past decades.

Below is a snapshot of the most recent year over year chart of the daily and weekly average CO2 values.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Models Differ From Oct 2-9

Okay. My last forecast based on the GFS and ECMWF was a bust. But, even the NWS office in Louisville could not get those high temperatures right for the week either. The dry ground made it difficult even one day in advance much less several days out.

Now, for the upcoming forecast period. Instead of the GFS and the ECMWF agreeing like this past week, there are significant differences by the time we get into the beginning of the work week.

Both models agree that after a balmy Thursday, temperatures will be quite cool come Friday night through Sunday morning. The GFS is actually colder for its highs on Saturday than the ECMWF.

Granted, cold air advection can make a mess of a computer model's idea of what surface temperatures will be like. Cyclonic flow will advect colder air into the region on the heels of stiff northwest winds by Friday night as temperatures will fall throughout the day on Friday.

Saturday looks very cool, cold compared to the 80's. GFS shows 52 degrees for Louisville while the ECMWF shows 56. I think those numbers sound reasonable as we will not be under the influence of high pressure but continued cyclonic flow around low pressure. That means more clouds than sun during the heat of the afternoon, putting a lid on rising temperatures.

Saturday night into Sunday morning raises a question mark. Will the winds relax enough and skies clear enough for patchy frost formation?

Generally, under cyclonic flow, there is normally a measure of some wind and some clouds. However, I have seen when winds relax and skies clear a couple of hours before sunrise. And I think that will happen in this instance for many locations.

Look for several areas with readings in the mid and upper 30's. With calm conditions, expect patchy frost confined mainly to rooftops, windshields, and iron rails. Some tender vegetation may be impacted, but this should not be a killing frost ending the growing season for many of us. But, I would not be surprised in valley areas or higher elevations of the Bluegrass and eastern KY that widespread frost may potentially damage plants.

If clearing should occur, expect the NWS offices to put out Frost advisories for areas generally east of I-65 for the Sunday morning time frame.

By the beginning of next week, the models differ on how things will progress for the rest of the time period through Thursday.

The Euro shows a reinforcing shot of cooler air arriving by early next week while the GFS maintains that temperatures will be steady and slowly rise throughout the forecast period.

According to the Euro, Louisville's temperatures would slowly recover from highs in the lower 60's on Monday to possibly mid 70's by next Thursday while the GFS has upper 60's rising to the mid 70's during the same time. I am siding with the ECMWF.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Louisville and Lexington's Last Top Ten Snowiest Month

It's Fall and you know what that means? Beautiful colors, right? Uh, raking leaves? Um, cooler temperatures? No, just winter. Who cares about Fall? Nothing to see here, move along.

I sometimes think people believe that Fall is an appetizer, something that whets the appetite for the main course, which, in our case here in the Ohio Valley, means winter.

In fact, I have read many comments about how neat it would be to have snow in October. In other words, just skip the appetizer. Bring on the meat!

Well, since it is not October yet, I am going to dole out a spoonful of winter to you, you know, just to whet your appetite.

The 2013-2014 winter season was productive in terms of snowfall for both Louisville and Lexington. But, looking at each month and its contribution to the 'white quilt patchwork', there were absolutely no months that achieved a top ten snowiest month status.

Louisville and Lexington's last top ten snowiest month came in the year 2010. February was a snowy month for both cities at 13.9" and 12.1" respectively. However, Lexington achieved another top ten snowiest month later that year in December with 12.4".

Here is a breakdown of the MINIMUM amount of snow needed to achieve top ten snowiest month status for each month....

October - 1.2"
November - 2.0"
December - 7.7"
January - 11.8"
February - 10.9"
March - 9.4"
April - 0.4"

October - 0.1"
November - 2.9"
December - 9.0"
January - 15.6"
February - 10.7"
March - 8.6"
April - 1.0"

Some of these numbers are certainly achievable especially if we have an unusual cold snap early in the Fall and early in Spring. If the same old pattern continues, I would not be surprised if a cold snap involves a little bit of the white stuff.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Changes Coming to SPC's Day 1-3 Convective Outlook

The experimental 1-3 day convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) will soon become operational beginning October 22. What is this all about?

Remember how convective outlooks would be issued displaying slight, moderate, and high risk areas with their appropriate colored shadings?

Well, the upcoming changes will add to the levels of risk as depicted below....

1. See Text
2. Slight (SLGT)
3. Moderate (MDT)
4. High (HIGH)
1. Marginal (MRGL) - replaces the current SEE TEXT and now is described with Categorical line on the SPC Outlook.
2. Slight (SLGT)
3. Enhanced (ENH) - will replace upper-end SLGT risk probabilities, but is not a MDT risk
4. Moderate (MDT)
5. High (HIGH)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Experimental Forecast II - ECMWF vs GFS (Sep 25 - Oct 02 2014)

ECMWF won the first one by a landslide in predicting high temperatures. This next round might be closer as both models are very even in their forecast highs during this time.

25th - GFS  79
          Euro  78

26th - GFS  79
          Euro  79

27th - GFS  80
          Euro  79

28th - GFS  80
          Euro  80

29th - GFS  79
          Euro  80

30th - GFS  78
          Euro  78

01 - GFS  81
       Euro  81

02 - GFS  81
       Euro  83


Looking Two Weeks Down the Road Sep 24 - Oct 8 2014

It's always fun trying to figure out what could happen several days down the road. Unfortunately, accuracy of available information is still in its developing stages. So, think of it as 'for intelligent entertainment purposes only'.

Now, I will say that some computer models are really doing a better job forecasting out some 10 days in advance. I just completed the results of one study comparing the 850 hPa of the ECMWF and GFS and performing my interpretation of the high temperatures expected during a 9-day stretch.

The ECMWF performed very well over that period. The GFS, well, it is the GFS. Hopefully in the coming years, more money can become available to enhance our medium-range computer models. A high resolution type like the ECMWF can be very useful, not just for temperatures, but the whole range of weather.

Therefore, I relied quite a bit on the 'Euro' forecast model for this two week period.

First, very nice, tranquil weather will continue on into this weekend. Even the GFS has no problem with that.

Next week, still does not look that bad. According to a recent run of the Euro, a storm system does appear that it will affect the region early on. However, the bulk of the precipitation may not affect the entire state of Kentucky. Perhaps more southern and eastern Kentucky counties will see the most rainfall.

Then, that's outta here.

Well, after that, it starts getting interesting. A storm system with cold Canadian origins will make its trek sliding down the jet stream toward the U.S. A rush of warm air advection ahead of the front could push high temperatures into the 80's for the first part of October. Not bad.

However, the cold air will begin spilling into the area by the first weekend of October. At this time, temperatures appear to be similar to the air mass we've been experiencing, maybe a tad cooler.

Finally, a potent low pressure system will be following on the heels of the prior system. Temperatures will be hard pressed to recover during this time. Therefore, I'm expecting high temperatures not making it out of the 50's perhaps even here in Louisville toward the beginning of the first full week of October, say the 5th or 6th, and possible frost in here by the 6th.

At this time, it is hard to say whether October will be a cold month overall, like 1987 (an analog I'm using). Nevertheless, I'll be cleaning out my garden by the first few days of October, harvesting whatever is left before the possible first frost a few days afterward.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Crunching Numbers...Statistics for Louisville 2013

The other day I was wondering what was the most common daily temperature reported for all of last year at the airport here in Louisville. Now, this would be defined by both the daily high and low temperatures for any given day totaling 365 days, or 730 entries.

After performing a histogram on the data, here's what it revealed...

Louisville International's most common daily temperature was...(drum roll please)...64 degrees.

Here is a list of the top 5:

64 degrees       21x
68 degrees       19x
34 degrees       18x
70 degrees       17x
73 degrees       17x

The mean or average temperature for 2013 was 57.5 degrees and a standard deviation of 20.4 degrees.

The maximum temperature was 96 and the minimum was 9.

Below is a summary of the statistical data...notice the 'Mode' shows 64, which is the most common temperature reported for last year. - MS

Mean 57.53836
Standard Error 0.755293
Median 59
Mode 64
Standard Deviation 20.40688
Sample Variance 416.4409
Kurtosis -1.01645
Skewness -0.14554
Range 87
Minimum 9
Maximum 96
Sum 42003
Count 730

Thursday, September 18, 2014

9-Day Forecast Sept 19-27

Beautiful weather. It has been a while since I've enjoyed this kind of weather. And you know what? We're going to have some more.

Temperatures will return briefly to the 80's and then cool back down for the rest of next week.
Except for a shower chance later this weekend, the remainder of next week appears dry and tranquil...and pleasant.

Expect some pretty cool readings for Tuesday morning. Some locations could be flirting with 40 degree low temperatures.

Enjoy the week ahead.

Friday 19th  78
Saturday 20th  64/83
Sunday 21st   66/79  Shower chance
Monday 22nd  60/68
Tuesday 23rd  49/70
Wednesday 24th  51/73
Thursday 25th  54/76
Friday 26th  55/78
Saturday 27th 55/79


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cold Blast At the Start of October???

I remember the first few days of October 1987. Man, it got cold. Especially since earlier during that week temperatures were well into the 80's but dropped into the upper 50's for highs toward the end of the week.

However, it was the nighttime temperatures that got me. Where I was camping, somewhere along the Green river in a cornfield near Beaver Dam, we had lows in the 33-34 degree range. My buddy and I still laugh about the moment that when the fire died down, I decided to shed my sleeping bag and walked toward his tent and demanded "Let me in...C'mon, let me in.

For Louisville, October 1987 finished as the 6th coldest October on record. The following year, October 1988 would become the 4th coldest October on record.

Now, I am not going to go all out and say October will be one of the coldest that we've had in years, but there are signs that the first week of October could start out very cool, if not downright cold.

I do not see any model showing how cold it will be yet. However, there is a storm system that is forecast to ride up the west coast over a High pressure ridge, tap into cold Canadian air that is building at present, and should be poised to follow a similar track that we have seen for many months it seems.

Cold air will spill into the northern U.S. and begin overspreading more real estate. How far south will that cold air reach? Where will the core of the cold air set up? Will it be of any consequence anyway?

Well, if parts of Kentucky do not get in on some frost by next week, heading toward the latter part of this month and into the first part of October looks like some locations could be staring at their first frost.

That's when I'll be getting out the big stainless steel pot for some chili and home-grown habaneros. Yee-hah!


Monday, September 15, 2014

9-Day Forecast for Louisville KY Sep 16-24

Benign weather will rule most of the week. Rain chances increase by the end of the weekend ahead of the next cold front. Pleasant temperatures in the 70's for the rest of the work week. Look for 80's as we head into the weekend. The start of next week appears to cool off, although models vary on how much cooling takes place. I will side with the ECMWF for now. We will have to watch how a tropical system in the west will interact with the aforementioned front for the weekend and any development in the Atlantic / Caribbean.

Tue 70
Wed 51 / 72
Thr  52 / 73
Fri  53 / 77
Sat 57 / 82
Sun 63 / 81   PM Rain
Mon 64 / 75  AM Rain
Tue 54 / 71
Wed 50 / 73

Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day outlook for September 20-24 shows above normal temperatures for the western half of the state while equal chances for the rest of the state. However, if the ECMWF is correct, then the trend will be toward cooler than normal for this time period from Saturday through Wednesday (for Louisville).


Friday, September 12, 2014

Experimental Forecast Using ECMWF and GFS Temperatures September 13-21

09/15/14 UPDATE
Oops...I never mentioned the forecast below is for Louisville, KY. I'm betting people in Florida were probably upset with me about this forecast. Okay, probably not.

By the way, so far, the highs were 68 Saturday and 75 Sunday for Louisville. The models have done a pretty good job over the weekend as far as my interpretation of the 850mb forecast. One has to remember that 850mb forecasts can be misleading because warm air advection and cold air advection can skew results. -- MS

During the past week, I've been able to use the ECMWF or the European Medium-Range forecast model and have found it fairly accurate at forecasting temperatures some 5-7 days out.

I favor the European model instead of the American model (GFS) at this many days out. However, I do like the NAM model, but it only goes out a few days.

Temperatures for the upcoming week...Fri 12 Sep 00Z run

GFS near 70
NAM 69

GFS 75
NAM 74

GFS 79

GFS 75
ECMWF near 70

GFS 72

GFS 74

GFS 76

GFS 77

GFS 80

The models agree about another cool day for Saturday before moderating well into the 70's by Monday. Then another shot of cooler air arrives for Tuesday and Wednesday. The Euro and GFS differ on how cool by Tuesday but then show a gradual warming trend for Thursday thru Sunday. It looks like the best chance for widespread precipitation won't be until sometime next weekend. So, enjoy the upcoming weather and the nice temperatures.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

How Wet Was August 2014???

August was a record setting wet month for Bowling Green KY while Lexington and Louisville finished in the top ten wettest Augusts on record.

Here is a breakdown on how we did....

August 2014 precipitation

U.S. 11th wettest

Kentucky 13th wettest

Central Kentucky Division 7th wettest

As far as the United States, several states of the Great Plains and part of the Great Basin experienced near all-time wettest Augusts ever. Montana actually had its wettest August ever...

Map of United States Statewide Precipitation Rank


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Replacing Human with Computerized Voices in Alaska

In June 2014, it was announced that the weather offices using live human voices for the All-Hazards Weather Radio in Nome and Kodiak will be switching to the computerized generation of voices dubbed as "Tom", "Donna", "Paul", and "Javier".

I must have been sleeping under a rock when the announcement was made. But, if you would like to read more, here's the link below...


Monday, September 8, 2014

My Thoughts for the Next Two Weeks (Sept 8 - 22 2014)

Fall is in the air. Love it.

At times, I like to gather whatever resources I have at my disposal and make a prognostication about what will happen over the next two weeks.

From the CPC, below normal temperatures are a sure bet over the next several days. In fact the 6-10 day outlook places Kentucky within a 70-80 percent probability for below normal temps.

Next, precipitation outlook finally levels off. It appears we will finally normalize or even be slightly below normal during this period.

Medium-range models like the ECMWF show two shots of cooler air invading the region, not counting the one we have currently.

The first one has been well-advertised on this blog and continues to show a chunk of very cool air carving out a large piece of atmospheric real estate that will include us here in Kentucky.

High temperatures look to be somewhere in the 60's to near 70 with lows from 40-50 degrees by Saturday and Sunday morning.

PNA teleconnection suggests a  positive reading for the west coast. That may not sound familiar, but this should. Ridge west, trough east.

With cold air building in Canada, storm tracks will go up and over the western ridge, tap into the Canadian Cooler, and dive south into our part of the world. That's what happens with this first setup.

The next setup is intriguing. Model indications favor a system with tropical characteristics moving up the Atlantic coast in about a week. Deepening low pressure within the Gulf Stream current will cause the counter-clockwise flow around low pressure to reach into the Canadian provinces as it intensifies thereby bringing additional cool air into our region, though perhaps not as cool as the first one.

Of course, we'll have to wait and see how that works out. In between the cool shots, we will have some warmth, though the summer-like heat may just about be over.


ECMWF Model Modifies the Impending Cool Air

A couple of days ago, the medium-range model was spitting out very impressive numbers regarding a Hudson Bay Low sending a chunk of cold air into the nation's northern sections spreading well into the Midwest by next weekend.

Well, the air still looks very cool for this early part of Meteorological Fall but has modified somewhat. Nevertheless, daytime temperatures still look to be in the 60's for many locations in Kentucky with overnight lows ranging from 40-50 degrees during the coolest feature of this air mass.

A projected 1030-1036 mb air mass that should settle into the nation's Heartland is the type that is straight out of Canada. Right now, current forecasts have the core of the coolest air just west and north of our region.

Places like Kansas City may only see temperatures in the low to mid 60's by Friday. I like to use KC as a barometer as to how our weather will behave in a pattern like this. Typically, Louisville's daytime temperatures will run about 2-5 degrees warmer. Therefore, 65-70 looks good for Saturday with lows between 48 and 53 in the city with low and mid 40's in the rural areas.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Still Seeing Cold By Next Saturday

There's nothing like crisp, fall weather and football. Well, you might want to put those chili ingredients on your grocery list because by next Saturday, we could be looking at high temperatures struggling to reach 60 degrees for some areas along and north of I-64.

If the ECMWF's forecast model holds true to form, overnight low temperatures could very well dip into the upper 30's and low 40's for many locations by next Sunday morning if we have a clear sky and calm wind.

Before that happens, look for seasonal temperatures in the 80's through at least midweek before cooling to the 70's before week's end and then ranging from 60-65 for next Saturday's high temperatures.

I'll be posting further updates regularly about this fall-like shift for the next few days.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Coldest Air of the Season On the Horizon

UPDATE 09/06/14
Updated dates below to reflect model runs of the Euro Model. 7-10 days out does not go beyond the 16th. I had posted dates beyond that for some reason.

Here we go of another Polar Vortex coming soon to the United States? I hope the media and some meteorological sources do not hype this thing up again like previous instances.

However, admittedly, when I looked at a recent run of the ECMWF, which is the model of choice for me at 7-10 days out, the depiction of a deep trough spinning above the Hudson Bay with spokes of cold air funneling toward the U.S. border tells me that the growing season may be coming to an end soon for some residents of Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan.

Now, I am not talking this weekend but maybe next weekend. But, a consistent signal is showing up that by the September 13-15 time frame, a nice blast of very cool air may be invading initially the northern portions of the upper Midwest then surging southward toward our region of Kentucky.

The 00z run for Sunday evening of September 14 shows some serious cold near the Hudson Bay. The question is how much modification of that cold air will take place as it surges southward toward the northern U.S.?

Looking down the road, I would not be surprised to see overnight low readings here in Louisville drop to the mid 40's with upper 30's to low 40's in the outlying areas by the 14th. And that may be conservative. Depending on cloud cover, some areas may struggle with getting out of the 50's for highs!

This is just a preliminary look at what could happen. There's a lot of uncertainty concerning the details but does show our first blast of autumn air poised to infiltrate the region within the next two weeks.

Stay tuned...


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bowling Green Sets Mark

Within the past hour, Bowling Green at the Warren County Regional airport has set an all-time wettest record for the month of August. In fact 0.77" fell during the past hour; therefore, Bowling Green's rainfall total has now surpassed the 10" mark, easily eclipsing the 9.34" set in 1926.

As I write this post, a slug of moisture with moderate to heavy rainfall is moving toward the Lexington area. I think Lexington will close in on the 10" mark tonight. The all-time wettest August record, though, stands at 11.18". Therefore, 2" is needed to break the all-time mark.

Updates later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Who Will Take the Official Wettest Reporting Station This Month?

08/30/14 UPDATE
Below, I made reference to Lexington setting 'their greatest 24-hour rain total ever'. Well, I was alluding to the 5.38" that fell during August 9-10. But, that 24-hour total is not the greatest amount recorded, rather it was the 4th wettest day on record for Lexington.  --  MS

It has been a very wet August for much of Kentucky. Since reporting their greatest 24-hour rain total ever, I have been advertising Lexington's total August rainfall anticipating a wettest August on record event.

However, Bowling Green has sneaked into the record books, well, almost. Their 9.26" heading into a potentially stormy weekend has them on the cusp of an all-time wettest August on record. They only need to record 0.09" to set the mark.

In addition, Bowling Green's official reporting station, Warren County Regional Airport, has surpassed Lexington's Bluegrass Airport by about 0.10".

Louisville has cracked the top ten list at #8 with 6.32" heading into the weekend.

Unofficially, according to Kentucky Mesonet site...
Greenville 9.04"
Hardinsburg 8.63"
Paintsville 8.58"
Hindman 8.57"
Burkesville 7.92"
West Liberty 7.51"
Munfordville 6.53"
Edmonton 6.51"
Booneville 6.37"
McKee 6.33"
Pikeville 6.20"


Saturday, August 23, 2014

All Aboard!

The Train is entering the station, Valley Station that is, and the Louisville Metro area in general. A long line of storms stretches north and northwest all the way to Illinois. Movement of these storms is generally southeast.

More than likely, the atmosphere should get worked over enough that storms will either fade away soon or combine with additional unused boundaries and wreak havoc along that path.

These storms are once again putting out lots of lightning and heavy rain. If training does develop, flooding concerns will become an issue.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Storms Still Possible, Heat Likely

Lexington getting pounded with heavy rain and lots of lightning. Fayette county outages increasing. Oldham county just north of Prospect with intense storm knocking out power to 3,200 customers.

Franklin county power outage up to 371...Fayette county next.
Storm appeared to be bowing out, but could also be a sign of weakening, hopefully. This thing was a monster.

Power outages are now increasing in parts of Franklin and Owen counties. Could be from wind but most likely the lightning. See LGE/KU power outage map in the Miks Piks section of the blog.

The small cell is producing lightning strokes of nearly 30 per minute nearing Frankfort and Georgetown. It is slowly moving and is producing flooding rains.

Speaking of Frankfort, strong storm just north...lightning strikes really ramping up now. Wouldn't be surprised by power outages due from lightning strikes. This storm is really putting out the lightning.

Lightning tracker shows lightning count within 180 miles of Frankfort ticking down for the moment. As of this writing, the 3:30 lightning strokes per minute stood at 30.9. Overnight, it peaked around 200 strokes per minute. The nice thing about this feature is one can adjust the distance from, in this case it's Frankfort, within a few miles. Most of the current lightning strikes is occurring in West Virginia.

Within 120 miles of Frankfort...

Watch the lightning count ramp up this evening....

03:20pm UPDATE
Dry conditions continue to exist. Mesoscale analysis shows rampant instability across the region. The only thing keeping a lid on things is the weak cap that should break down later this afternoon. Looking at vis sat, partial clearing may help focus potential development of storms along a line from Cincinnati to Terre Haute and drop southeast. Storms may form a broken line, so not everyone will get wet. Gusty winds and very heavy rainfall can be expected with the more rambunctious cells.

PWat or Precipitable Water values are running at 1.8 to 1.9 across north-central Kentucky and southern Indiana at 11:00am this morning.

Dewpoint readings are in the upper 60's and low to mid 70's.

Weak capping is in place across parts of the region. Convection is dying off to the north and northwest of the area. Cloud debris though has streamed into the area limiting instability at this time.

Therefore, I'm expecting dry conditions for several hours today. But convection is sure to fire up and break through the weak cap and produce heavy rainfall for many of us today. Even gusty winds along with dangerous lightning (uh oh Friday Night Football attenders) are possible. Actual pinpointing of that is difficult to do. However, I would place it at greater than the 20 percent coverage area by the NWS.

Heat is building into the area. NWS is expecting heat indices to approach and exceed 100 degrees at times this weekend.

I'll follow the action this afternoon but expect convection to really get going after 3pm.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Follow the Storms Here

Real time lightning very well, helps me determine whether storms are firing up, increasing in intensity, or weakening. Cloud to ground strikes.

Watch satellite trends using infrared loops...warming clouds mean weakening convection, darker colors increasing mean increasing convection.

SPC Upper Air - 700mb analysis...checks temperatures at that height...>=10 degrees means less favorable conditions for thunderstorm development, known as 'capping' (too warm at that level to generate upscale cumulus formation).

1:00pm synopsis...
Satellite trends continue to show weakening of main convective cluster in Illinois. However, active convection is still ongoing within this cluster albeit quite limited by now. Now, new convection is firing up to the south of that complex.

As this whole complex encounters a juiced up air mass, expect scattered chances for precipitation along the Ohio River from Evansville to Covington through late afternoon.

Capping does appear to be a limiting factor in parts of western KY despite very high instability values. If cloud debris does not contaminate instability upstream, storms should refire with significant intensity along the Ohio River and push into central and east KY later this evening into the first part of the overnight at the very least.

Possible updates later if storms get cranky.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

On the Edge of High Heat and High Water

Computer models are spitting out the potential for flooding issues somewhere across the Commonwealth. However, a heat ridge is poised just to the west and southwest of that and could lead to temperatures soaring well into the 90's for mainly western Kentucky.

It is a tricky setup and one that forecasters will watch closely as to how this pattern continues to develop.

Last week, I began noticing the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms to occur within the next two weeks for our region. Will still have to monitor that potential. But right now, that particular threat could be transitioning to a heavy rain threat as we are under the influence of northwesterly flow while a strong heat ridge and its associated outer periphery are bound to collide.

Typically, strong storms in the form of an MCS develop along these boundaries and can unleash a tremendous amount of rain and wind (given enough instability). They tend to follow the moisture of high dewpoint readings.

The month of August has already set rainfall records for many residents east of the Mississippi River, especially the Northeast. Even here in Kentucky, drought conditions are beginning to ease for some while Lexington may just add to its top ten wettest August statistic.

Wherever the rain falls, it will be a lot. Wherever the heat is, it will be a lot.

Right now, the WPC, formerly known as the HPC, is forecasting 2-4" this upcoming week for eastern Kentucky from I-75 eastward. Lexington is already sporting a 4th wettest day (any given day, not just August) on record back on August 10th. If the higher end of the forecast is realized, Lexington could be looking at its wettest August on record. The heat ridge could nose in along the I-65 corridor and westward. More on this threat later.


Friday, August 8, 2014

When It Rains, It Pours

Yesterday's sprinkles were quite a nuisance. A whole lot of nothing, at least in the rain gauge department. It reminded me of the recent drought I had before we received downpours totaling up to 2" rain nearly two weeks ago. The only other rainfall activity we had prior to that was sprinkles or drizzle, definitely not beneficial for anything practical.

This morning's  deluge of rain totaled 1.80" at my house in Valley Station. Louisville International has picked up close to 2". So, the recent trend at my house has been sprinkles or frog-stranglers. Either way too little or too much. Although in my case, 'too much' is still soaking into the ground.

Here are a few more locations around the Metro area and the state so far...because we do have more rain in the forecast.

Valley Station (Metropolitan Sewer District rain gauge at Lower River Rd) - 1.84"
PRP Fire Station - 1.73"
Shively - 1.63"
Fairdale - 1.55"

Bowling Green - 0.93"
Paducah - 0.95"

All totals thru 10:00am edt.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moderate Drought in Western Kentucky

Drought conditions continue to worsen across the western part of Kentucky.  Moderate drought now encompasses nearly 20 percent of the state and includes about 20 counties. Hopkinsville and Bowling Green are a few locations within the moderate drought shading.

Conditions around Louisville have eased a little bit. In my part of southwest Jefferson County in Valley Station, I can testify that the rains we received almost 2 weeks ago put a huge dent in the dry ground. Despite the current 'No Drought' designation for my area, the ground is still quite dry. However, my yard could use the services of my lawn mower.

Also, I achieved over-capacity with regards to my rainfall collection for the garden. I'm good for the rest of the month, even if it does not rain.

Let's hope the current outlook for beneficial rains hold true for western Kentucky.

Drought Update


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...