Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nowcast Severe Weather Vigilance

10:30pm...Final update...Primarily a large hail event. Reports of 2.50-3.00" size hail in Boyle county near Danville. Several rotating clusters but not many tornado reports.

4:10pm...Filtered sunshine at my house and temperature is responding. Still in the low to mid 60's.
2:00pm...My temperature is at 59...Pressure at 29.55"...Wind from NE.
New storms are beginning to break out in the warm sector near St Louis. These will be worth watching as this could mark the beginning of the severe outbreak. Temps across west KY into the 70's and dew point in the 60's. No change in my thinking for possible severe weather placement.
12:20pm...Valley Station temperature at 54...Pressure at 29.63" and wind is from the NE.
Good afternoon. The waiting game has begun. Location of the low is still well WNW of the region. The warm front is making some headway northeast. My calculations have low pressure tracking right along or just north of the Ohio River at Louisville. Up to 50 miles south of this feature along with its accompanying warm front will become a focal point for severe weather. This would be slightly north of my initial crosshairs. I'm still including the same areas of Campbellsville, E'town, and Columbia, but will include Rineyville, Radcliff, and Bardstown.

The 12z run of the NAM appears to have the low placed a little farther south of my thoughts but severe placement looks good.

I will be reporting in a few times today, mainly updating where greatest data for severe weather resides. I may even get the chance to go and report from a location other than my home base in Valley Station.

At this time, my travels may take me to the Bernheim Forest, Clermont, Bardstown exit at I-65.

I will know something by later this morning or this afternoon.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Severe Storms Looking More Likely

Severe Update
Still want to look at the next main run of the models compared with past systems.
Right now I have E'town, Campbellsville, Columbia, Upton, in the crosshairs. But, Bowling Green and points south into Tennessee could be hit particularly hard. Although some models are showing wobbling, the Ohio River could be the dividing line.

Run to run of the NAM is consistent 00z to 12z), even though I would like to entertain the 00z run later this evening.

The NAM is leading the way suggesting a widespread severe weather event across Kentucky, Tennessee, northern MS and northern AL.

A recent NAM analog points to a March 28 1997 severe weather outbreak that killed at least 2 and injured 14 in Kentucky.

Of course, that does not mean it will happen again in the exact same fashion as that particular storm system then. After all, the 1997 weather map showed a Low pressure system several hundred miles north of where the upcoming low is forecast to trek. Nevertheless, most of the severe weather occurred along the warm front draped across Kentucky. And that is what is expected to happen in this instance.

In fact this scenario (the current one) has the potential to be more explosive than the 1997 storm system since the proximity of the low and thus the added spin in the atmosphere will be closer to Kentucky.

Severe storms are expected to develop in the vicinity of the warm front while the low pressure treks along its path. Dangerous setup indeed.

However, it is possible that the bulk of the severe weather, tornadoes, will be confined to southern KY, Tennessee, northern MS, and northern AL with the highest chance across Tennessee.

This storm system is still developing. I would not be surprised if Louisville gets in on at least a large hail threat. More updates later as more information becomes available.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mounting Mudslides

As record amounts of rain continue to inundate a large percentage of Kentucky, flooding concerns remain a high priority.

True, while areal flooding affects more people and property, flash floods may only impact a rather small area with a smaller number of residents. Nevertheless, the flood products issued by the NWS office in Jackson, Kentucky address both scenarios with their appropriate warnings when there is an imminent need to do so.

But, what about mudslides?

Mudslides are a byproduct of excessive rainfall, either during a short or a prolonged period of time.

Just as important as floodwaters covering area roadways, mudslides can also negatively impact travel and catch unsuspecting drivers off guard, during and including areal or flash flooding scenarios.

I want to see the NWS office in Jackson include the threat for mudslides in their flood products, especially the Watch products.

I am singling out Jackson because it's residents live in more elevated or higher-terrain areas, easily subjected to the threat of mudslides resulting from a heavy rain event.

In addition, the USGS has maps that can verify such locations in Kentucky are at a higher risk for landslide/mudslide issues.

In conclusion, the safety of travelers and property owners are of paramount importance. The National Weather Service's mission says in part to "protect life and property". Mudslides are dangerous and should become more prioritized in future endeavors of the NWS  at Jackson.


Mid-Spring Frost/Freeze???

An impressive mass of cold air will spill into the region and camp out for a couple of days. Although temperatures are forecast to bottom out in the low 30's for several locations, the NWS office in Louisville in conjunction with neighboring offices have decided to withhold any official advisories, watches, and warnings for the time being.

While tonight's readings will be cold enough to support frost, winds should keep the atmosphere mixed, not allowing frost development.

However, in sheltered areas, winds may decouple just enough for the formation of patchy frost.

Tomorrow night, winds should relax enough for more widespread frost, especially across the bluegrass, along the Cumberland River, and the usual cold spots in Breckinridge and Meade counties just southwest of Louisville.

Although the NWS Louisville is not putting out any official products other than a HWO or SPS, I think frost/freeze products will go up for areas, primarily south and east of Louisville for Friday morning.

Hang in there you green thumb enthusiasts. Your garden-planting days are coming. My ground is still way too wet to till anyway.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Record April Showers to Bring Record May Flowers?

As much rain as we have had this month, we better see something worthwhile from it. Many locations either have or are approaching 10" for the month.

The ground is so sloppy, as I dug out my evergreen bush, water from the sump pump discharge pipe had left quite a bit of water under the ground ( now I know why there's water trying to get into my basement).

I have to reconstruct another plan, but the rain is starting to fall again. The mud in the hole is like quicksand. Eventually, I will put gravel into a deeper hole and fill with dirt then place landscape rock on top.

Main reason for this extra work is mosquitoes are attracted to the damp ground. I can't open my backdoor without one wanting to sneak inside.

Hoping for a good garden though in May. But, more on that later.

Here are some April numbers.

Louisville NWS 9.64"
Lexington 10.09"
Frankfort 10.01"
Valley Station 10.13" (my home)


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Any Severe Weather???

I saw a storm come out of Knox county east of Vincennes IN with radar-indicated strong winds. It appeared there was some rotation in  Dubois county east of Jasper but has since disappeared. Nevertheless, Orange and Crawford counties be on the lookout. These storms are packing hail from 0.5" to 2.5" in Indiana from Vincennes to Bloomington. In addition, a structure fire likely a shed according to one report that was struck by lightning.

Looking for any development south of the Ohio River.


Thunderstorms Straight Out of Summer

The current SPC Lifted Indices or LI's are at -9 right now across parts of western and central Kentucky with a couple of -10's showing up in far western KY. That, my friends, is some seriously unstable air.

Often in the summer, the air mass may be extremely juiced up, rich with a lot of moisture up above and at the surface. However, the dreaded capping inversion normally does not allow for storm development. But, according to how I'm reading the charts, the cap in not in place.

And it feels like summer out there. Mid 60's dewpoints are making matters uncomfortable at least for me. PWATS, or precipitable water, a measure of how much moisture is in the troposphere, can be labeled efficient rain producers when pwats are above 1.5.

Also, high CAPE values and high PWATS generally are a good sign of intense lightning producing storms.

Therefore, with grounds not able to absorb any more water, expect flash flooding to occur with only 1" amounts with the heavier storms. Also, expect more issues with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes that may affect homes and businesses and the threat of fires.

Finally, if the air column to the troposphere from the surface is saturated, wind gusts would not be an issue. But, mid-level lapse rates look rather impressive which tells me that some dry air may be just the impetus for some isolated strong winds to mix down to the surface with the heavier rains, generally 30-50 mph. But some winds may take on the microburst feature which can spread winds out and gust over 50 mph in some instances.


Analogs Say Widespread Severe Weather Thursday/Friday

Of course, we have to get through today's action first. But, the top 2 analogs are hinting at widespread wind damage across the region (Kentucky and Indiana) for Thursday afternoon and into the overnight hours Friday morning. I'll check the update later and see about the run to run consistency.

Already, the SPC has placed parts of western MO, Kansas, and Oklahoma in a Moderate risk for severe weather.

A deepening low will rapidly intensify and sprint north-northeast towards the Lakes while an impressive squall line out ahead of a cold front will race eastward. At this time, widespread wind damage looks to be the primary threat; however, initially, tornadoes may be the focal point, primarily west of Kentucky. Then, as the cells merge into a QLCS, bowing segments and isolated spin-ups will dominate the rest of the feature.

Since we're already getting used to preparing for severe weather with all of the action that has taken place lately, it would be wise to think about your safety plan in the event of severe weather that may cause power outages, property damage, and flash flooding. Check those emergency kits and make sure all batteries are powered up and keep those weather radios on standby.


Rain Totals for the Month

A wet month already, and we are only a fourth of the way through it. Here's a few totals for April so far....

Louisville International airport - 8.03" official
Valley Station (my home) - 8.21"
Frankfort (KyMesonet) - 8.02"
Fern Creek Fire Station #3 - 8.46" (Louisville MSD)


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wind Damaging Storm Approaching Louisville Metro

Evansville has received significant wind damage. Investigators will probably check out if any of the damage was related to a tornado. At present, severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for counties west of Louisville. In Spencer County, Indiana, trees are down across Hwy 62. This thing is moving quickly to the east.

Winds are weakening some according to radar returns. This could be due to storms in the area that have stabilized the atmosphere somewhat.

Nevertheless, strong to damaging winds will approach the area, with highest winds expected west of the area. However, southwest Jefferson County and southern Jefferson county stand the best chance of receiving any stronger winds as the line attempts to hold together.

More updates as the line approaches Louisville.


4:40pm Update
Harrison County and Crawford County IN

Rotation noted on RADAR near Carefree. If anything, winds are increasing again. Damaging straight-line winds are possible along this line with a possible spin-up anywhere within the warned area.


I may be going into storm-spotting mode shortly as it takes me a few minutes to get to my location here in Valley Station.


4:50pm UPDATE

Radar indicates strong winds from 50-60mph exiting Meade County into Harrison County IN. Are these winds mixing down? Not much damage reports coming in yet.


6-7 trees down across hwy 66. May take 2 hours to clear in and near Tell City IN



Approaching my storm spotting location...updates later.


Lightning strikes and heavy rain in Valley Station. Winds well below severe criteria, up to 30 mph. Rainfall totals coming next.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Major Flooding in Louisville

Heaviest rainfall for a 24-hour period in a few years for Louisville.

Nearly 5.75" has fallen since 10:00am yesterday. This has produced several high water issues across Jefferson County, including water rescues and road closures along with accidents, possibly due to ponding and hydroplaning.

In a separate issue, a large employer's building was burning out of control this morning. General Electric's Building 6 will be a total loss.


4:45pm Update

Since yesterday, 5-8" has fallen across Louisville Metro. Some locations have seen almost 7" just today, since Midnight.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Louisville Hail and Lightning

Big time boomers blasting Louisville at the moment. Lots of lightning strikes occurring between St Matthews and Prospect. Looking for hail reports out of this one. Just getting moderate rain here in Valley Station.

More updates soon....


4:15pm UPDATE

1.25 to 1.75" hail in Louisville area, mainly around St Matthews.


4:35pm Update

Rainfall since this morning...

In Louisville, some reporting gauges around town include Floyd's fork at 1.75" and heavy rain still falling. St Matthews has 1.48" and Jeffersontown  with 1.46". Valley Station has 0.65" for the day.



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