Thursday, March 31, 2016

Another Top Ten Finish...What Else Is New?

It has been a consistent theme for Louisville and surrounding locations; therefore, why break the pattern?

In a stream of top ten daily, monthly, and or seasonal records, the hits just keep on coming.

Louisville looks to crack the top ten for warmest March on record, joining 2012 and 2007 on that list.

While not as warm as those months, we will surpass 1976 which had a high of 84 degrees during the early part of the month and come close but not exceed 1907's March that had an all-time high of 88 and two days at 87.

2012 remains the warmest March on record.


Monday, March 14, 2016

MikJournal Monday 03/14/16

Still getting over the loss of that hour you lost Sunday morning? Well, up and at 'em. It's Monday. Thankfully, it's the only Monday of the week. It gets better from here on out.

Unless you hate cold weather this time of the year. Yeah, later on this week, you will notice a rather rude shock to the senses as colder air sets up shop in our part of the Ohio Valley at least for a few days.

A rare alignment of the teleconnection pattern is about to unfold. AO-, NAO-, EPO-, and PNA+ will work in conjunction to deliver an unseasonably cold air mass. It may not be January or early February type of cold, but it will feel wintry around here, especially after recent temperatures in the 70's and dew point readings near 60.

Nevertheless, the long range outlook still looks promising as I believe Spring will continue to battle and provide more above normal readings than below normal ones.

In fact, for some locations, this may be the warmest March since 2012. That remains to be seen for our region, since I do not know exactly how long or how cold the upcoming pattern will be.

But, once we emerge from this next cold spell, I'll be able to better determine if this March may challenge some of the previous warm March's on record.

Now, so far for this month, I have recorded 3.14" as of the end of March 13. I did find several Mesonet locations that are beating me this month, primarily in western Kentucky....

Murray (Calloway)  6.35"
Mayfield (Graves)  5.92"
Benton (Marshall)  5.84"
Cadiz (Trigg)  5.47"
Hopkinsville (Christian) 5.25"
Princeton (Caldwell) 4.72"

Also, keep in mind many of these locations saw rain after midnight, that I have not included with the totals above..

Have you seen California's rain totals for the month? Impressive....

Redding  8.73" (9 out of 10 days it has rained)
Red Bluff 4.67"
Sacramento Executive  4.97"
Stockton  3.48"
Modesto  3.40"
Marysville  7.26"
Vacaville  6.87"
San Francisco (downtown) 6.24"
Santa Rosa  9.12"
Mount Shasta 9.83"

And one of my favorite locations at Forks 15.41" for the month and over 53" for the year.

Unfortunately, historic or catastrophic flooding has been ongoing in the south. Several locations have picked up close to 24" of rain in the last several days. I have seen several amounts of 16-22" across much of western Louisiana. Sad.

Also, the NWS out of North Little Rock will be investigating several areas where tornadoes were either spotted on the ground or damage was reported.

Welcome to Spring, everyone. It looks like this could be a busy Spring for many of us.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Calculating Distance Between Two Coordinates

Here is a Microsoft Excel formula for calculating distance between 2 coordinates...Remember, storms do not always follow the road your GPS says to take thus varying in how many miles distant from your location. Storms have their own 'highway'.

Nevertheless, this is a simple yet powerful example of how to build a large database of locations if you know their coordinates (which can be easily obtained from the Internet or your GPS).

We start by converting the lat-long coordinates in degrees to radians. Simply multiply the degrees by pi then divide by 180. Then use the formula below to calculate the distance, which will be given in kilometers. Convert to miles if you wish, taking kilometers and divide by 1.609.

I have a large database of locations, yet I cannot cover every single point in the state. But, if you have a GPS and have access to a particular location's coordinates, where say a severe thunderstorm is located, you can now calculate how far away the storm is from your location, not in highway miles but 'as the crow flies' miles.

The distance formula below is taken from cell C6...and since Fort Knox is a military installation, the coordinates are approximated for obvious security reasons and the simple fact that Fort Knox covers a vast amount of real estate.


Also, see a sample screenshot of my StormChase Database in the next post, not the one below but a more comprehensive list. You may be surprised at how powerful your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet can really be.

     A               B                C              D                E
1                 STORMCHASE Database Screenshot
2 Lat Long La-Rads Lo-Rads
3  Fort Knox 37.91 -85.94 0.6617 -1.4999
4ValleyStation 38.11 -85.84 0.6651 -1.4982
6 Distance (FK to VS) 23.89 km
14.85 mi


Sample Screenshot From StormChase Database

Well, here it is. A sample screenshot, slightly modified to fit the screen, from my simple yet powerful Microsoft Excel program. This particular page shows a drop down bar which is blotted out in white and the StormChase print art title also blotted out in white. So, there is nothing wrong with your screen.

However, I took a location like Richmond, in Madison County, and then the database comes up with other nearby locations, providing distance and even directional parameters.

Another page highlights the entire database in reference to a selected location from the dropdown menu, providing a distance measurement.

Take a look below....

Eastern Kentucky Volume I
Select your town below
Location ID 131
County: Madison
From Richmond
Location ID City/Town County   Miles Direction Direction ID
162 Waco Madison   8.16   E -0.0147
113 Paint Lick Madison   10.69 SW   1.1658
10 Berea Madison   11.59   S -3356.0000
101 Mina Clark   14.80 NE   0.5205
83 Lancaster Garrard   17.89 SW   0.4412
74 Irvine Estill   18.15   ESE -0.1463
173 Winchester Clark   18.27 NNE   2.2852
108 Nicholasville Jessamine   18.31   NW -0.4822
22 Bryantsville Garrard   19.03 WSW   0.0992

(Km) From
(Miles) From
LocID City/Town Latitude
Richmond Richmond
1 Annville 37.3192 -83.96250 0.6513 -1.4654 34.53
2 Artemus 36.8334 -83.84160 0.6429 -1.4633 67.66
3 Auxier 37.7370 -82.75000 0.6586 -1.4443 84.31
4 Avawam 37.2383 -83.27520 0.6499 -1.4534 65.86
5 Barbourville 36.8611 -83.87940 0.6433 -1.4640 65.13
6 Baughman 36.8648 -83.80020 0.6434 -1.4626 66.54
7 Beattyville 37.5772 -83.70970 0.6558 -1.4610 33.96
8 Beaver 37.3700 -82.67000 0.6522 -1.4429 92.58
9 Belcher 37.3418 -82.37350 0.6517 -1.4377 108.76
10 Berea 37.5769 -84.29355 0.6558 -1.4712 11.59
11 Betsy Layne 37.5515 -82.63350 0.6554 -1.4422 91.75
12 Beverly 36.9304 -83.53270 0.6446 -1.4579 70.06
13 Big Creek 37.1623 -83.56880 0.6486 -1.4586 56.54
14 Big Laurel 36.9928 -83.19310 0.6456 -1.4520 79.66
15 Bimble 36.8751 -83.83050 0.6436 -1.4631 65.22
16 Blackey 37.1403 -82.97940 0.6482 -1.4483 83.28

Monday, March 7, 2016

MikJournal Monday 03/07/16

Good morning and welcome to another installment of MikJournal Monday. The first meteorological Spring edition, I may add.

Speaking of meteorological Spring, I will be changing the screen theme away from the winter page very soon. I have been under the weather primarily since Wednesday and just have been unable to do much of anything but rest.

I even missed out on the freak snow event some of you in eastern Kentucky were able to get in on. Where'd that come from?

Of course, when I saw a picture of someone measuring 9" my skeptical mind said, 'Fraud!' Nobody was calling for a winter storm to affect the region, just some wet snow that may briefly cause a slushy accumulation. But, it would look pretty for a moment.

In addition, I was nearly positive it was a picture from last March's early snowstorm that dumped a foot of snow at my house in Valley Station and pummeled other parts of the state. At that time, I was actually away in Orlando, Florida where the temperature was 85 degrees. Ahh, my mind takes me away.

Okay, where was I? Oh, so anyway, other reports of 6, 8, and 9" amounts started coming in on Twitter from a variety of locations. And then it began to register that this might actually be for real. Wow.

Enough about winter already. This week, Spring Fever is going to hit and stick.  Along with the rain chances gradually increasing, temperatures will elevate into the 70's for most locations in Kentucky with plenty of dry time in between. So, take advantage of it. Get out for a walk, clean up the yard (that would be me), get the lawn mower tuned up, head for the park, whatever. I know I'm looking forward to it, especially after being cooped up in the house sick as a dog, who by the way, is actually doing better than I am.

In case you hadn't heard, or read, this winter was marked by being a top ten warmest winter on record for locations such as Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green. As early as February 21, I wrote a post called Projection Sunday and made bold statements that this could indeed be a top ten earner. I rarely get a chance to toot my own horn, because I seem to be always on the other side of being right. Just ask my wife.

Getting back to the screen change, I will be updating to an appropriate one soon. But, the theme page will be marked by, well, springtime things.

Look for local numbers on precipitation and temperatures. Gardeners, be on the lookout for a special section for you. I am a Pepper gardener and have noticed over the years that weather and soil work together for a bigger, better pepper. But, you may be surprised by the criteria I use. Be looking for that.

Another stat I will be updating is the tornado deaths and preliminary and actual readings, as updated by the Storm Prediction Center. Of course, I will include Kentucky and any severe weather reports as compiled by the SPC, be it tornado, damaging winds, or large hail.

A case in point. For 2015, at least through much of December, there were ten states whose tornado counts exceeded its normal average. Did you know Hawaii actually recorded a tornado last year? Yes, indeed, a rare event for them....

Have a good week and try to enjoy the warmth you snow lovers.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Major Earthquake Near Indonesia

Although some 500 miles away from land, the estimated 7.9 quake that happened roughly an hour ago off the west coast of Indonesia could trigger a devastating tsunami.

If a tsunami should occur, speeds of up to 600 mph means that parts of that region could begin feeling effects between now and several minutes hereafter.

Updates later.


11:50 a.m.
Tsunami warnings damage reports of any significance nor loss of life. Just jitters but barely dodged this potential catastrophe. Sigh of relief.


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...