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


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