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.


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...