Monday, September 4, 2017

MikJournal Monday 09/04/2017...Summer Recap and Harvey_Irma

Welcome to the first Monday of Meteorological Autumn. Yep, it's hard to believe, but summer is officially over...well, after today according to some pundits.

Summer really fizzled out there at the end. Oh yeah, we had some hot summer days here at my place and in the 'heat island capital of the country' at Louisville International airport. But, August went down in the books as a below normal month for temperatures, first time having a below normal month since May 2016 according to the NWS Louisville.

In addition, most of the region had a below normal summer. Bowling Green, Lexington, Frankfort, and even Louisville, well, most of Louisville, ahem...sorry, I had to clear my throat. Although the NWS Louisville modestly calculated the official summer as normal (or 0 degrees average), my calculations say they barely eked out an above normal summer...


Boys and girls, that leaves us with a balance of +0.2. Now, divide that by the 3 months of summer and we get an average of +0.0666. Now, when I was in school, I was taught to round up if the number was a 5 or higher. Well, that 0 in the tenths place needs to be rounded up because the 6 in the hundredths place says so, according to the rules. Therefore, that gives us a total average of +0.1 degrees.

I rant about this, because it is what it is, another concrete-aided, above normal summer. Yet, you travel right down the road at Bowman Field, another airport with a lot less 'crete and more grass, and you have a below normal summer, rather decisively I might add. Personally, I believe the NWS office is trying to downplay the obvious or glaring difference that everyone else was below normal while officially Louisville was above normal. I've said it before, the official location is a poor representation from a climatological standpoint and needs to change.

Moving on finally. Regional rainfall totals are in from the leftovers of Harvey, and they are impressive. Nearly 9" fell during the 3-day period from August 31 through September 2 at the Mesonet site in Barren County not far from Glasgow. Why, even at my house 10 miles southwest of Louisville International airport, I collected 4.46".

Speaking of rainfall measurements, I have been collecting rainfall for both of my rain gauges. I have a 5" Acurite manual rain gauge and a homemade rain gauge that is comprised of a Barilla spaghetti jar and a funnel the exact size of the opening diameter. I have been complaining about the Acurite rain gauge being inaccurate for some time now. But, an interesting thing happened....

Well, both of the gauges were nearing full capacity, unchartered territory for both gauges. In fact, my homemade rain gauge's funnel had rainwater standing halfway up the funnel. I think I still had room for another half inch before overflow. So, I collected 4.46" in that gauge. Then, I measured the Acurite gauge, expecting overflow. Surprisingly, it was under 4.50". In fact, it registered a little bit less than my homemade rain gauge, at 4.40".

After this evidence, I am becoming more convinced that the Acurite rain gauge really can measure 5" of rainfall; however, the demarcation lines leading up to the 5" mark are not as accurate as they should be. At times, I believe that some measurements may be more than 0.25" off.

Now, looking ahead. I have looked at the latest GFS and Euro runs for Hurricane Irma. There is still uncertainty about where this beast is heading. At 7-8 days out, the Euro has Irma nearing the southern coast of Florida turning northerly parallel to the coast and making landfall in the Carolinas.

The GFS has a more southerly track with landfall in Florida and moving northward through Georgia.

I don't much stock into the GFS. But, it does warrant attention, since it has Irma paying a visit to Kentucky and parking it here with more insane tropical rainfall amounts for our region.

The Euro has Irma affecting parts of our region, though the low pressure center looks to stay east of the Appalachians. Still, it appears moisture will be driven westward, affecting primarily central and eastern parts of the state.

Again, it is a long ways out. But, I'm sure we will be glued to our Tv's, anticipating the next run from the models, perhaps even making Vegas-style wagers about where and if this thing will make landfall.

Just stay tuned. We are at least a week away from any effects that may impact the region.

Meanwhile, here is your state and territory weather extremes for the week....

September 4...
1979 - Annas Hope, Virgin Islands (U.S.)...20" (24-hr Precip Record)

September 4-5...
1970 - Workman Creek, AZ...11.4" (24-hr state precip. record)

September 6...
1925 - Centreville, AL...112 degrees (state high temp record)

Make it a great day and rest of the week.


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