Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chili Weather

Now, this is what I am talking about! Very cool and almost raw conditions are shaping my weekend menu that now includes a pot of chili, with habanero peppers, of course. First chili of the young fall season promises to offset the expected brrr.

Impressive rainfall totals coming in over the last two days, including Bowling Green's now-over-3" drought-busting rain total, most of that falling overnight.

As usual, it seems my location gets undercut again. Rain totals at my house in Valley Station have amounted to 1.13" since late Monday. Parts of the county have recorded up to 2.80". Still, cannot complain though.

What's going to happen next? Something is supposed to happen along the east coast, but nobody knows what or how.

I always favor the European model in this situation. Though not perfect, this was the only model that predicted the track of hurricane-turned extra-tropical Sandy well in advance.

What does it say? Well, while other models are forecasting major impacts along the east coast, the European is the only model that  keeps the hurricane out to sea far enough so as to have minimal affects, I say that relatively, of course. Wind and moisture may still impact parts of the Atlantic seaboard, but not as much as a direct hit.

Nevertheless, there is still a high degree of uncertainty with this forecast package. Has the Euro met its match? We'll see if it sings another tune in the next forecast installments. For now, listen to it.

MS

Monday, September 28, 2015

MikJournal Monday 09/28/15

It did not look like the eclipse was going to be a good show for me last night. However, between the clouds were opportunities for clicking a few shots of the earth's shadow crossing in front of the moon and then a period when I was able to catch the eclipse in totality. It was not the best of pictures but still was able to salvage what looked like was going to be a non-event. Take a look at a couple of camera shots on the side of my blog.

Rain. Well, some locations in central and eastern Kentucky reported amounts of over an inch or so during the last few days. Good for them. I only got 0.14". Just enough to make my grass spike higher and mosquitoes come back to life.

Latest run from the Weather Prediction Center keeps the heaviest rain shunted east of my location, confining it to the eastern parts of the state again. Last time the WPC had 1" rains for far eastern KY but other locations in central KY got to see some of that too. So, there is a chance that the heaviest rain bands this time may need to be adjusted west some as there is some uncertainty in the track of the main low pressure system. Between 1-2" is likely for eastern KY. However, 0.50 -  1.50" for central Kentucky is looking more promising. I'm pulling for you Bowling Green. Hopefully, I can get in on some rain too, but I'm just about done with my garden for the season. Still have to dig up my sweet potatoes and finish collecting whatever peppers are still holding on. By the way, my jalapeno peppers were unusually hot this year. Yummy!

I'm still working on a project related to Lexington's temperature readings. One of my posts highlights how the Bluegrass airport's sensor did show signs of faulty readings as early as 2013. However, replacement of the sensor has only provided a marginally better outcome as I believe that readings there are still a tad too high and just barely within a maximum allowable tolerance (at least according to the way I would expect...don't know what the official allowable levels actually are).

Lately, I have been deriding the sensor at Lexington's Mesonet site too for what I call 'off-ful' performance. I mean it has been way off, like 3 degrees too warm at night compared to nearby reporting stations and 3 degrees too cool during the daytime. However, since we have had a stretch of cloudy days, some precipitation, minimal clearing, the readings compared to its surrounding region has been more uniform. Even the Bluegrass airport sensor behaved itself. But, I'll be testing those values again when we get additional clear days and nights, which looks like it may be a while.

Heavy snow in parts of northern Alaska is expected to accumulate at least 6". Ah, it's getting to be that time of year. I am still awaiting additional data as we approach the upcoming winter season, but I am still holding to a drier and milder winter overall for Louisville and parts of central Kentucky. Yes, we will see occasional cold bursts but also believe that these will be more short-lived.

MS

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse 2015

Besides the much anticipated total eclipse of the moon tonight is what's called a satellite flare, occurring at 08:26:14 in Louisville. It will only last a couple of seconds at the most and will resemble a shooting star in slow motion. But cloud cover looks to obscure my view here at the house. Nevertheless, look to the north at a 45 degrees above the horizon.

It is 8:37 and cloud cover is causing a fuzzy outline of the moon at my house. Technically, the eclipse is underway in the US just not at my house, but looking at my Distant Suns app, the moon still looks full anyway.

At 9:30-9:40, a nice clear shot of the moon, took a couple of pictures, hoping to upload it by tomorrow. By the way my app still shows moon full despite nearly half of the moon now shaded. I didn't  think it would do that. Solar eclipse shows sun being blocked by the moon, thought it would work for lunar eclipse. Oops.

The moon began to emerge from the earth's shadow a few minutes ago. The skies cleared enough for additional camera shots, including one where the outer edge of the moon began to illuminate. Cool. Signing off at 11:30.

Hopefully, I can get these uploaded by tomorrow...

Good night.

MS






Thursday, September 24, 2015

Moderate Drought Status for Parts of Kentucky

As I expected, the intensity of the dryness for parts of Kentucky has led to the designation shading that depicts these areas in a moderate drought.




The only surprise was how far north into central Kentucky the moderate drought shading was depicted.

Any rainfall will help, but a good couple of inches over a period of several hours would be most beneficial, especially for areas surrounding the Bowling Green area.

MS

Monday, September 21, 2015

MikJournal Monday 09/21/15

Good Monday afternoon...I have already posted something today. If you have a few minutes, look at the segment about Lexington's abysmal temperature readings for the past few years in comparison to other observation sites nearby. I am still poring over data for the last five years, not just for the month of August of those years. In fact, a future post will likely show more surprises with Lexington's temperature readings.

Meanwhile, what beautiful weather. Unfortunately, it has been a little too dry around here at my house. I have recorded just over an inch over the past 30 days or so. Not much rain in sight, either.

Some tropical moisture is going to impact the deserts in the southwest United States. Flash flood products are already out for those areas.

Tropic talk around these parts I see. Models apparently are jumping up and down about something developing in the Gulf. Right now, I am not a big fan of any models or the National Hurricane Center, as neither have had much success in forecasting anything close to the United States recently. But, I will look into it a little bit more.

Mark your calendar. The super moon and total lunar eclipse will occur on the same day, first time in some 30 years I read. Sunday evening, September 27.

MS

Lexington's Weather Observations Part One

I have heard about Lexington's Bluegrass Airport (an official reporting station) temperature readings and how the sensor has been blamed for inflated temperatures for some time now.

Well, I decided to test data values over a 5-year period and found some rather interesting revelations.

Participating subjects include:
Lexington Bluegrass Airport - official
Frankfort Capital City Airport - official
Lexington Mesonet site
Harrodsburg Mesonet site
Frankfort Mesonet site

Since the primary blame for Lexington BG temperatures was an inflationary issue related to a faulty sensor, I chose to collect data that reflected the month of August, typically a hot month, and used values for incoming solar radiation that was among the highest of the month with zero or near-zero precipitation, then compared the different reporting stations. I was looking for any unusual spikes in temperatures coming from the Lexington BG airport compared to nearby surrounding observation sites.

Although I have yet to test the overnight low temperatures nor have I tested values during overcast and rainy conditions, I was able to reach some partial conclusions about the months of August 2011-2015. I am looking forward to seeing how additional data may support or negate the observations and conclusions so far.

For the months of August 2011-2015, Lexington BG vs Frankfort CC...
1 92
2 92
11 80
12 84
23 85
29 83
30 86
4 88
LEX0811 86.3


1 93
2 92
11 81
12 83
23 85
29 84
30 85
4 89
FFT0811 86.5
------------------------


2 93
7 89
8 91
19 83
20 81
22 83
23 86
24 90
25 93
26 90
29 87
30 91
LEX0812 88.1

2 92
7 90
8 92
19 83
20 81
22 85
23 89
24 93
25 92
26 91
29 87
30 92
FFT0812 88.9
------------------------

Considering August 2011 and 2012, I noticed a rather dramatic shift in the Lexington NWS readings. Believe it or not, the data showed Lexington's temperatures actually 'cooled' against the other reporting stations that are limited to this study.

The August years of 2011 and 2012 showed Frankfort to be warmer or at least equal to Lexington in terms of daytime high temperatures, which should be a loss for Lexington since the overall August months of 2011-2015 were in favor of Lexington...except 2012.

Was this 'cooling effect' supported by the Lexington and Harrodsburg Mesonet sites for August 2012?

In August 2011, using the same format as above, the mostly clear day with little or no precipitation, Harrodsburg Mesonet averaged -0.4 degrees difference compared to the official reporting site at Lexington BG airport. For 2012, the Mesonet averaged 1.4 degrees warmer than the official site.

Similarly, Lexington Mesonet averaged nearly 2 degrees cooler than the official site in 2011 while only reporting a 1 degree cooler difference in 2012.

Also, I included the Frankfort Mesonet site as a participant in this section,which a similar pattern showed a 2011 average reading of  -0.8 degrees against Lexington BG while 2012 showed 0.15 warmer.

Something had to happen to the sensor in 2012. But, the following years of 2013 and 2014 would provide ever more mysteries between the official site versus the surrounding locations. A dramatic reversal began to take place....

Against the Frankfort NWS, the Lexington NWS at BG airport reasserted itself as the warmer location in 2013 for August.

2 83
15 76
16 80
24 88
25 87
26 88
30 90
LEX0813 84.6

2 82
15 76
16 80
24 87
25 87
26 88
30 90
FFT0813 84.3

-------------------------------

Then, in 2014, we reached a crescendo in the readings that brought about numerous complaints from within the weather circle and caused a media buzz. Consider the data below....

1 86
3 84
7 86
15 82
25 91
26 89
29 92
LEX0814 87.1

1 86
3 85
7 84
15 81
25 90
26 90
29 90
FFT0814 86.6

----------------------

Harrodsburg Mesonet in 2013...showed a dramatic shift, now about 2 degrees cooler than Lexington BG airport. However, August 2014, the results worsened, at 2.85 degrees cooler.

Frankfort Mesonet in 2013 also showed a huge shift from 1.37 degrees cooler to 2.71 degrees cooler in 2014.

But, the Lexington Mesonet showed the greatest shift. In 2013, the Mesonet reading for this stretch of August showed 2.87 degrees cooler then climaxing at just over 4 degrees cooler in 2014!

During 2014, the sensor at Lexington BG airport had been replaced. Yet, many were still doubtful about the readings obtained as we headed into the 2015 season. Would there be enough improvement?

For the dataset below, the gap between Lexington and Frankfort continued to widen in August 2015, again using the same format as above, hoping to determine if the sensor is 'too sensitive' to a sunny August sky with little or no precipitation....

1 86
2 87
8 84
12 81
13 82
14 85
15 88
16 90
21 81
22 85
24 79
28 84
31 88
LEX0815 84.6

1 85
2 87
8 84
12 81
13 82
14 84
15 87
16 89
21 79
22 83
24 78
28 83
31 87
FFT0815 83.8

------------------------

Although the gap continues to widen, the overall average discrepancy between the two official reporting sites for a sunny sky in August still remains tolerable.

Also, the nearby Mesonet sites showed some improvement against the Lexington BG sensor, which should have led me to expect the same at the Frankfort official site. For example, Harrodsburg Mesonet showed about a 1 degree improvement while Lexington Mesonet reported about a 1.3 degree improvement. Then, Frankfort's Mesonet reading showed a 1.5 degree improvement.

Therefore, the sensor issue at Lexington Bluegrass airport, the official NWS site, has performed better than the prior years, at least for August and a sunny sky. Still, I do not believe that the sensor issue is fully resolved. However, for now, if the sensor can maintain these current levels, the temperature contrasts between the surrounding observation sites can be considered at the extreme range of tolerance.

But, this was just one month selected from each of the years 2011-2015 for only one or two parameters, a sunny sky and zero to near-zero precipitation.

In another post coming soon, I will choose another dataset that will look at overnight low temperatures between these observation sites. The results may surprise you when you find out what I have discovered.

MS


























Monday, September 14, 2015

***SPECIAL*** 2015 Summer Numbers are Coming In...and It's Warm Again

The Hot Side...

Seattle, Washington: Average high temperature for June 1 - August 31, 2015 was 80.2 degrees. This marks the first time ever that the average high temperature was above 80. The record was actually shattered since the second place average high temperature was 77.6, a nearly 2.5 degrees departure from a record set in 1961 and 1958.

In addition, August 2015 marked the 19th consecutive month of above average temperatures and a third consecutive year of a top 5 warmest August on record.

Long time residents who had been used to average high temperatures of around 73 degrees usually experience some warm readings especially in the dry months of June and July, but not on a scale of this magnitude. In fact, typical home owners do not even have central air conditioning because there are only two months out of the year when they would need it.. Only 1 in 6 homes have this luxury, and about the same figure exists for owners of window units, although sales have been increasing at a dramatic rate this summer.

However, newer residents and even long-time residents are in the midst of a third consecutive year of really warm summers. Newer home construction with central air conditioning are becoming popular requests.

Seattle is just one example of a city that experienced record warmth for this summer of 2015. But they are not the only city. Recently, in parts of the Middle East like Iraq and Iran, towns and villages there reported heat indices approaching 160 degrees!

Globally, this July was the warmest on record. In fact the calendar year 2015 is on pace to become the hottest year on record, eclipsing the distinction held last year.

According to climatecentral.org, the ten warmest years on record globally have all occurred since 1998.

However, does this mean that everyone is getting warmer?

The Cold Side...

In South America, they are just finishing the winter season. In some areas, the winter was particularly harsh, brutal. For example, in Peru, the southern Andean region of Puno suffered through their coldest temperatures in a decade.

The alpacas of Peru, which comprises nearly 90 percent of the world's alpaca population, were seriously affected this winter. Looking like a llama in appearance but much smaller, estimates of 250,000 perished, primarily because the ground was frozen. Therefore, many starved to death.

Other notable events in South America include one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama Desert. It may have not been much, but the heaviest snowfall in 30 years occurred there. Also, heavy snow in parts of Brazil and Bolivia brought about temperatures that averaged nearly 14-16 degrees below average at times.

The winter of 2015 in South America was not just a fluke. Other recent winters have been abnormally harsh. 2013 saw an Antarctic front advance as far north as southeast Columbia and northwest Brazil, Amazon forest territory. According to the source, this has happened less than a dozen times in the past 100 years.

Why, even in the United States, the latest winter of 2014/15 resulted in another year of unusually heavy snowfall and brutal cold, especially along the East coast. Boston's record shattering 110.6" resulted in repeated cleanups leading to a 75-foot high 'snow farm' along the Seaport district. The last vestiges of this mountain of snow finally melted July 14!

So, the claim about this year possibly being the warmest on record and among the ten warmest years that have all occurred since 1998, is this 'just a bunch of hot air'? What analyses have been done to substantiate the claim? What are my thoughts?

Climate Change vs. Global Warming

Pundits who want to persuade their side of the argument for or against the warming of our planet have much to say about the matter.

Proponents who support the warming argument have been advocating their stance since at least the mid-1970's. 'Global Warming' was the term coined in 1975.

Global warming is defined as "an increase in the average global surface temperature resulting from human emissions of greenhouse gases." (Italics mine)

Before that term, 'inadvertent climate modification' was used. However, there was not enough information understood to determine what type of change in climate would result from human activities, whether it be cooling or warming.

Nevertheless, global climate change is the term most accepted in scientific circles. Global warming is just one aspect of global climate change, because other aspects like precipitation patterns and sea levels are also involved along with other natural variability.

Then, there is the official definition of climate change, which is worded differently, from place to place.

""Climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods." - United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

"Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity." - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 Methods/Measurements

This will be a more interesting section, I promise. An examination of the different methods scientists use to measure the earth's temperature is in no way an exhaustive and comprehensive list that I post here. I'll never finish writing this article if I had to include every method. The listed methods are just the ones I selected that I thought were noteworthy and do not suggest the only methods that should be used to obtain the needed data.

First, land thermometers have been in place for years. As for the oceans, data was collected from ships that would be in the area. Although there were numerous shipping routes, the ships were never in the same area at the same time. Therefore, we pretty much had an incomplete picture of how warm the oceans were over a period of time.

Well, as early as the 1960's, satellites became a means of disseminating useful information. The introduction of microwave sounding units, or MSU's, which are used to derive the intensity of upwelling microwave radiation from atmospheric oxygen was used in conjunction with weather balloons and radiosondes to measure the temperature of the lower troposphere.

Also, today, we have satellites that measure sea surface temperatures that use thermal infrared readings and microwave measurements.

Despite these seeming advances, every method has its drawbacks or weaknesses. At one time during the late 90's, it was noted that there was a discrepancy in the data from satellites that suggested an overall trend of warming versus the actual reading of the lower tropospheric data that suggested cooling. This was a result of the satellite 'drifting' from its orbit. Eventually, adjustments were made and streaming of useful data was being obtained once again.

However, faulty sensors have been suggested for other discrepancies from satellites. So, this highlights an obvious and glaring problem. Everything we make, it will eventually break down. The data we need will become useless unless we can benefit from additional methods.

That leads us to the next method of collecting data, especially from the oceans. As useful as satellites have proven, some weaknesses may also include cloud cover, resulting in inaccurate readings, or poor resolution of accurate data to determine where said data is being measured on the globe. Why not therefore have an array of sensors on the water for collecting data? Not just buoys here and there, but a global arrangement of sensors.

Wow, that sounds formidable. There's no way to cover every inch of the ocean. Well, that may be true. But, do not tell Argo there's no way. Argo? Who's Argo?

It is not a 'who', but a what. I invite you to consider the home page of Argo here.
Briefly, it is a global array of floats used to measure temperature and salinity of the oceans down to a depth of 2000 meters. At last count, as I write this post, there are 3,881 of these floats. Consider a video at the link below. It is presented in a kid-friendly format, but I learned a lot about it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGbanFvBX38

The key objective of Argo is to observe ocean signals related to climate change. At present Argo admits, "The global Argo dataset is not yet long enough to observe global change signals. Seasonal and interannual variability dominate the present 10-year globally-averaged time series." Nevertheless, as more of these floats are implemented, we are going to get a better picture how the oceans are handling climate change and any contributions that the oceans may be contributing to climate change.

Also, there is bound to be updated modeling data that will become synchronous with satellites and the four or five different datasets collected to help issue the overall global temperature now and into the future.

An additional key measure for tracking climate change includes measuring carbon dioxide readings, one of those greenhouse gases. One of my favorite sites is the one at Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The overall trend shows a gradual increase in CO2 readings each year. During the year, levels increase through May and decrease through September. Primarily, decay in plants and dead leaves contribute more carbon to the atmosphere thus an increase in levels from October to May. However, the steady rise over the past several decades also suggests human emissions of CO2 as well. You can check the latest readings here.

Also, I find the sea ice extent in the polar regions to be of some value. Over the past several years, the Arctic sea ice has been diminishing during its minimum and the Antarctic sea ice has been increasing at its maximum. You can look for reports for the Arctic at this site. Presently, it is near the 4th lowest extent on record as we near the mid to late September minimum. As the August report cited, the sea ice extent toward the end of the month picked up a bit after slowing down initially.

Conclusion

During this research, I found it difficult to find unbiased, factual information. I wanted to present the debate whether the earth is really deserving of the claim that the ten warmest years have occurred since 1998 from a  neutral stance so that the reader can arrive at his own conclusion based on the provided information. And hopefully, the information is from credible sources of high reputation and integrity.

My thoughts are:
I do believe the earth's climate is changing. We are seeing climatic anomalies all over the globe. Is the earth really deserving of these record warmth claims? I am not ready to jump on that bandwagon yet as more data is still yet to be studied. I think the service and deployment of the Argo floats will help scientists and climatologists to get a better handle on the state of our planet's climate in the future. For now, we will have to put up with doomsday declarations from both sides (the hot and cold), actually, until then.

(Sources:)
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/as-seattle-sweats-few-air-conditioners-cool-us-down/

http://www.komonews.com/weather/blogs/scott/Its-officially-Seattles-hottest-summer-on-record-averaging-80-degrees--323557951.html

https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/SSHA_10day.png

https://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/OceanEvents/2015_09_03_ElNinoWatch

http://argo3000.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-much-have-ocean-temperatures.html

http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

http://floats.pmel.noaa.gov/dataselect/

http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/global_change_analysis.html

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/annexessglossary-a-d.html

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/2015-hottest-year-to-date-18895

http://www.peruviantimes.com/28/peru-declares-state-of-emergency-in-puno-as-temperatures-drop/20080/

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/3729/20130829/snow-blanketing-south-america-kills-250-000-alpacas-5-people.htm

http://www.cdapress.com/columns/cliff_harris/article_9e9a296f-d417-5a71-9af3-64eec8e2264a.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/15/us/boston-snow-pile-finally-melts/

http://pmm.nasa.gov/education/articles/whats-name-global-warming-vs-climate-change

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/explainer-how-do-scientists-measure-global-temperature/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements

https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/global-temperature-data-sets-overview-comparison-table






Friday, September 11, 2015

Isolated Severe Possible Today

Although I am not expecting widespread severe storms today, I have detected signals that place Kentucky in line for at least isolated reports. High winds and hail could reach severe criteria.

Analog signal of 6-7 tells me that severe weather is possible. Typically, a reading of 7 or less is an indicator for me, let's me know ahead of time that severe weather could occur today.

Keep an eye to the sky.

MS

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Streaks Come to an End

The streak is over. Louisville International finally recorded measurable precipitation this morning, coming in at 0.23" as of 10:00 a.m.

Despite a few days of trace amounts, the last measurable precipitation event at the official reporting station was August 20, a span of nearly19 days. According to the NWS Louisville, this marks the longest rain-free streak, or at least measurable, since 2008 when there was also a stretch of 19 days.

One other streak looks to be in jeopardy today. The 8-day streak of temperatures in the 90's appears to be over as clouds and rain will keep the highs suppressed for most of the day. The eight days represent the longest September 90 degree streak since 2002 (09/02 - 09/10).

I'm just about finishing up my special report about the hot summer numbers and how this could become the hottest year on record...for the second year in a row. In fact, according to some well-known sites, the claim is made that the top ten hottest years globally have all occurred since 1998. Are these claims just 'a bunch of hot air' or is this a definitive, verifiable claim?

Ironically, I'll be posting the report this weekend when our weather will have high temperatures struggling through the 60's.

MS

Monday, September 7, 2015

MikJournal Monday 09/07/15

Monday, again. Well, at least for some, you do not have to work today. Rub it in, you know you want to. But for the rest of us, back to work, except I get paid holiday pay plus double time....I'll take it.

If you have noticed the U.S. Temperature section of the 1,420+ locations I follow (which is not a complete list of every weather station), earlier this week, the number of 100 degree locations dropped to 11. But, as you see from Sunday's reports, summer is not over yet. At least 56 locations topped the century mark despite the highest readings not exceeding 105.

Actually, according to the Weather Prediction Center, the national high and low for yesterday was 108 at Death Valley CA and 17 at Bodie State Park CA, which is about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe near the CA/NV border.

The remnants of Ignacio is expected to impact the west coast of far southern Alaska later this week. That is pretty amazing for a tropical system to survive this far north. Technically, it is not a tropical system anymore but is extratropical. Still high winds and waves are expected to pound the coastline.

Afterward, it traverses through Canada as just another low pressure system. It may not have a direct bearing on our weather here but will steer winds so that a series of other storm systems may drop down this way from time to time. This will produce a period of unsettled weather along with cooler temperatures.

In fact, one of the models that I am looking at has some of the coldest readings of the season closing in on the U.S./Canadian border by the 16th of the month. How far south could it reach? I'll be looking at that this week to see if this model waffles like others have in the past. But, it looks like we could get a glancing blow at the very least. I'm talking about lows in the low to mid 40's for some of us before the first official day of Fall.

On a related note, the snowpack across North America is nearly zilch. Look for that to change over the next two weeks. Don't know if it will last, but signs are already showing up for a pattern change later this month toward cooler weather.

It's been dry around here. Louisville Int'l has now recorded 16 consecutive days with no measurable precipitation. I have had sprinkles at my house for 3 consecutive days but nothing measurable. My streak is at 13 now in Valley Station for no measurable precipitation.

The next drought monitor report comes out this Thursday. I expect a larger portion of Kentucky may be included in an 'abnormally dry' shading. It may not be a drought, certainly not like the long-term drought you see in California. But, it has been abnormally dry over the last two weeks for some of us.

I'm working on a little project for my next post. I'll be talking about the summer numbers that are coming in and how warm it is again. 2015 could go down as the hottest year on record globally, eclipsing last year's numbers. But, are all of these claims about the hottest year on record just a 'bunch of hot air'? Or is there statistical and verifiable proof that supports the claims that the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998?

MS

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Watching Ignacio....Why?

Remember the triumvirate of hurricanes in the central and west Pacific? Kilo, Jimena, and Ignacio? Well, they are planning to go their separate ways. Ah, man.

Ignacio must not like his comrades very much because his expected path takes him into the colder waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Believe it or not, Ignacio will maintain its intensity as far as wind speeds are concerned but not as a tropical storm. Huh?

Look at it as a sleight of hand regarding terminology. The National Hurricane Center defines a storm like Ignacio as extratropical once it loses the 'tropical' characteristics associated with its primary energy source from the release of latent heat of condensation, the warmer waters , and now converts to the typical process of temperature contrast between warm and cold air masses.

However, this 'typical' low pressure area will be anything but typical. As with many extratropical systems, they can still maintain tropical storm or hurricane force winds.

Remember Sandy? Superstorm Sandy? Not a hurricane Sandy?

Yes, Sandy who was a formidable Atlantic hurricane, made landfall on October 29, 2012 near Atlantic City, New Jersey, not as a hurricane but a powerful post tropical nor'easter. And we still remember the damage Sandy wreaked along that part of the eastern seaboard.

So do not let terminology fool you.

Now, back to Ignacio. If it survives into the Gulf of Alaska, the effects will be felt along the west coast of southern Alaska and Canada. Wind, waves, heavy rain. Where could it go from there?

It is nothing new that former tropical systems from the Pacific have been partly to blame for a cooler, wetter pattern for our region of Kentucky. It could happen that way again. I would say about the middle of the month, be looking for these changes. It very well could have Ignacio's name somewhere on it.

MS


MikJournal Midweek 11/16/2017... A Lot of Data

Good afternoon. My expected midweek post was a little bit delayed. I had an influx of data to pore over and did not have time to write ...