Thursday, June 29, 2017

Heat Cheat

As some of you may know, I performed some cursory projections about the month of June for temperatures at certain locations in the state. Well, it's almost the end of the month, and the projections for some are still too close to call.

Bowling Green is solidly below normal for the month and stands the best chance for having their first below normal June since 2006.

Other locations are not so clear cut. For example, Lexington came into this second to the last day of the month with a -0.1 degree departure from normal. Today and tomorrow should feature above normal readings. Will it be enough to go above normal for the month? Probably, but it will be very close.

Frankfort looks like they too will finish above normal, since they came into today with a 0.1 degree departure from normal. Again, pretty close.

Louisville. What can be said about the 'heat island capital of the country'? Numbers earlier this week were favoring a near normal June, perhaps even a tad below. But, it appears the heat island effect will preserve the string of above normal June's for an 8th consecutive year, again not by a large margin though.

Interestingly, Louisville's Bowman Field, just down the road but with much less concrete, came into this day with a -0.3 degree temperature departure from normal. They stand a chance to finish with a slightly below normal June for the first time since 2006.

Surprisingly, Bowman Field averaged above normal for June 2009, while its nearest neighbor, the official site at Louisville International, came in just a tad below normal. Over 9" fell at the official site for the month, perhaps offsetting the heat island effect just enough to dip into the below normal range.

I believe a much drier month, allowing for the heat island effect to hold sway, contributed to a warmer scenario, cheating if you will, for another above normal June. Bowman Field recorded just a little more rainfall (about a 0.25"), and their temperature may finish below normal. Obviously, the concrete is less at this location too. This may not be a valid conclusion, but I do know it's significant enough to warrant NWS Louisville to think about switching 'official' locations. Not just because this month is obvious. There has been numerous instances where the heat island effect has skewed the numbers (regarding temperatures especially) in the past.

Don't get me wrong. I still think having both reporting stations is a good thing. But, I also think the official location should represent the overall region better than the one at Louisville International.


Monday, June 26, 2017

MikJournal Monday 06/26/2017...Regional Storm Info

Good Monday. Let me be the first to say (ur, well I'm sure others have already thought it out loud) what a wonderful weekend of pleasant weather we enjoyed after such a drenching two-day period from mostly the remnants of Cindy.

However, for some, cleaning up was the story of their weekend. Rainfall became too excessive in some places of central Kentucky, leading to flash flooding. In addition, a couple of spin-up tornadoes damaged a few structures and trees between Hodgenville and Lebanon.

According to NWS Jackson, Morehead regional airport in Rowan county received 8.42" from June 18-24, a climatologically rare event for that location.

Looking ahead. Well, normally about this time, I like to focus on projections. After all, it's been a long time since Louisville has recorded a below normal June. If we go back to the rainy 2009 June, we recorded a -0.1 degree departure from normal. Despite over 9" that would definitely hinder opportunities for above average readings, we did have a couple of mornings with 52 degrees and a daytime high of 62 on the 4th.

Well, what can I say? Ummm, I have to say that it is still too close to call. It would come down to a coin flip if I had to decide today.

For example, my preliminary projection using the forecast as of today for the Louisville area shows that we will finish right at average for the month. Interestingly, based on the forecast numbers, we need a total of 734 degrees to finish right at average (that includes the high and low temperatures for the next 5 days). When I add up the forecast high and low temperatures for the next 5 days, I only reach 731 degrees. Technically, we would be below normal, if that should hold true; but, it would be such a miniscule number, that for all intents and purposes, an average month would likely be the declared result.

Now you know why it's still too close to call in order to make an official projection.

At this point, Bowling Green is the only official reporting station in the state that is below normal for the month. Everyone else is above normal. But. based on the projection above for Louisville, similar locations like Lexington and Frankfort could be right on the line between above and below normal.

Finally, this does not have to do with weather, but I subscribe to the USGS Earthquake Notification System that alerts me to any earthquake greater than a 6.0 on the Richter scale. Well, last week, I received a false alarm by email saying that Santa Barbara California was struck by a 6.8 earthquake, but for the year 2025. The explanation given sounds plausible, something about a software glitch that highlighted the same area that was struck with a similar earthquake in 1925, yes, 1925. It does make one wonder though, "Are they trying some kind of earthquake prediction thing?" Because 2025 is only 8 years away, and, well that part of California is due for another 'big one' soon. Hmm.

That is all. Have a nice week, everyone.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tornado Near Birmingham, Alabama

Watching TWC, cameras showed what radar indicated based on debris signature, a tornado traversing just west of Birmingham.

Scanner reports include a building collapse at a Honda dealership.

Trees down across Avenue W

City of Fairfield...requesting need for heavy duty rescue trucks; Fairfield just southwest of Birmingham.

Fairfield KFC structure collapse, tree on stucture

Numerous trees down near 28-29th streets near Birmingham

Again, all these are radio reports from Birmingham Fire departments/public safety. Some reports are preliminary, sketchy.

Updates forthcoming....I am now switching over to local area news for further information....

Final update...some minor injuries near Fairfield.


Monday, June 19, 2017

MikJournal Monday 06/19/2017...Tropics and Other Topics

Welcome to another installment of MM, where I try to jumpstart your work week with some thoughts about our regional weather, throw in some trivia or weather history, and other significant findings nationally that could be related to weather or not.

First, I want to mention our recent weekend of stormy weather for some of us.

In western Kentucky, near Draffenville in Marshall county, a microburst caused extensive damage to homes, trees, and other personal property with wind speed up to 85 mph. Also in western Kentucky, near Benton, trees were uprooted. The Mesonet site registered a 56 mph gust.

Frankfort had an official wind gust of 51 mph and recorded 1.77" rainfall for the day. Also, areas near Georgetown and the northern 'burbs of Lexington reported numerous trees blocking area roadways. Additional damage came in from nearby Madison.

Still, only scattered statewide damage reports upheld claims by analogs and the SPC that yesterday's storms were not going to be a widespread event.

Speaking of wind gusts and rainfall amounts, I wanted to know who lays claim to the highest wind gust this month and year, and who has seen the most and least amount of rainfall this month and year.

This list includes official NWS reporting stations and Mesonet sites statewide....

For the month of June so far...
Wettest....5.75" Bowling Green official
Driest...0.30" Henderson
Windiest...56 mph near Benton (not include NWS estimate of 85 mph also in Marshall county)

For the year....
Wettest...well, it's a toss up thus far, but 2 places in eastern Kentucky have recorded over 32" for the year: in Harlan and McCreary counties
Driest...16.73" Henderson
Windiest...79 mph Carrollton

The tropics are garnering attention recently. An area of disorganized storms affiliated with a broad area of low pressure is expected to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico in a couple of days or so. Gradual development continues to look likely.

Here is the thing. If it strengthens slowly, perhaps a depression or low end storm, movement would take it west northwest toward southern Texas or southeast Texas. But, if it should strengthen into a decent tropical storm, movement would be more northwest almost north northwest toward eastern Texas and Louisiana.

I say let's wait and see what it looks like once it is in the Gulf.

Nationally, the preliminary tornado count has surpassed 2016's actual number. Although we are still on track to record the 3rd most tornadoes for the 13-year run dating back to 2005, the trend has been decreasing.

Finally, I am not ready to make any determination whether this will be a below normal month for any of the official NWS reporting stations. But, it looks possible for some. Give me another week or so, and I'll start playing with the numbers to see if it's more likely or not.

Have a good week. I'm actually harvesting some firstfruits of my yellow squash and maybe zucchini this week. My tomatoes are still small, but I hope to pick some by the July 4 holiday, especially if they are just right for fried green tomatoes. Mmmmm.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Tropics Heating Up

No, really. Water temperatures are well into the 80's along the Gulf coast, easily able to support tropical disturbances.

Here is a link for current water temperatures...

Just copy and paste in your browser. I was too lazy to set up the link today.

Looking at information from the National Hurricane Center, there is some confidence in the development of an area of disturbed weather in the Yucatan, possibly entering the Gulf of Mexico over the next several days.

Regardless of its tropical characteristics, heavy rainfall will pummel the Yucatan region before making a move toward the Gulf.

Right now, there is medium confidence (or about 60%) of continued tropical formation over the next 5 days.

I'll monitor this information over the next few days.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Visible Satellite Shows Storm Potential

Visible Satellite at 1:20pm today shows an interesting feature. It could be a boundary, but a north-south stream of cumulus clouds from west central Indiana all the way down to western Tennessee is propagating eastward. I expect continued vertical development with these clouds as they move to the east.

That means a good chance for storms this afternoon, probably after 3:00pm edt. for areas near Louisville and Bowling Green.

Right now, the cumulus field locally is still benign, though some of the puffy clouds are trying to streak upward. The clouds are moving. Therefore, any storms that do develop, although they will contain torrential rain, should move along progressively.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Could This Be Louisville's First Below Normal June in Years?

Good morning. In this segment, I wanted to comment on the Climate Prediction Center's outlook for our region during this month of June, then show a list of years when June actually was below normal in the temperature department.

The outlook for June (released May 31) shows a good chance that many in our region could see below normal temperatures...

Do you remember when we had a below normal  June? It has been rare indeed, lately But, that has not always been the case.

Take a look...

Lexington Louisville
2000…..0.8 2000…..-1.6
2001…..-1.5 2001…..-3.5
2002…..2.0 2002…..-0.5
2003…..-3.7 2003…..-5.8
2004…..-1.3 2004…..-2.5
2005…..2.2 2005…..-0.5
2006…..-2.0 2006…..-1.9
2007…..1.6 2007…..1.6
2008…..1.1 2008…..2.9
2009…..0.9 2009…..-0.1
2010…..3.9 2010…..5.5
2011…..0.7 2011…..1.7
2012…..-0.3 2012…..0.6
2013…..1.0 2013…..0.3
2014…..2.2 2014…..2.2
2015…..1.0 2015…..1.8
2016…..2.5 2016…..2.6

As you can see in the chart above, Louisville has not really had a below normal June month since 2006. During 2009, over 9" rain quite possibly led to a very slightly below normal month.

Interestingly, check out the June 'mini-ice age' for Louisville during the years of 2000-2006. Although the chart does not show it, Louisville's string of below normal June's actually went back to 1995, a stretch of 12 consecutive years!

There's your little bit of climate trivia I bet you didn't know.

Have a cool day.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Florida's Drought Status

After spending over a week in the Sunshine State, not allowed to roast marshmallows over a campfire, the drought status is bound to improve, especially in the most affected areas of central Florida.

Here is last week's drought status...

The red shading indicates the extreme drought status that covers nearly 15% of the state, while over 71% is affected by some form of at least moderate drought status. The yellow shading indicates a pre-drought condition though not actually labeled drought, just 'abnormally dry'.

However, I personally witnessed some of the most intense rainfall I have ever seen in Florida during the past several days, and this includes Hurricane Charley.

Some areas near Walt Disney World saw amounts of over 6". It rained at our campsite 6 days in a row out of the 7 days we were there.

In addition, on our way back to Kentucky, we ran into more heavy rainfall near Gainesville. In fact, I just looked up the amount of rain that fell for the period of June 6-7 at Gainesville Regional Airport...6.55"!

The next drought status report is due some time this morning. Although some of the most drought-stricken areas will not be pronounced drought free, a large decrease in the overall severity can be expected.

Well, it's about time to go look for that report. If I have time, I'll post the most recent map; otherwise, here is the link...
Drought Report
Hopefully, the updated report will be from June and not late May.


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...