Monday, October 22, 2018

MikJournal Monday 10/22/2018...Getting Caught Up

A rare Monday greeting, indeed. I have been very busy these past few months. It is another cold morning, between 32 and 33 degrees here at my house in Valley Station. A lot more frost than yesterday morning, which could be fatal to most of my plants this morning. The light freeze at my house yesterday at 30 degrees did not affect my plants substantially. But I do expect the combination of a moderate frost and light freeze this morning to effectively shut down any additional rose blooms and possibly end any more pepper seeding for the rest of the year. My rosemary plant in the garden will be the only thing actively growing.

October has featured a rather wide spread in temperatures. The first 10 days of the month in Louisville offered summer readings of high 80's and low 90's with minimum temperatures of 60's and 70's. Flip the switch, and we have had highs of 50's and 60's with minimum temperatures in the 30's and 40's.

Interesting stat #1: Louisville has not recorded a low temperature in the 50's yet this month.
Interesting stat #2: Even if Louisville continues to record  low temperatures in the 30's, 40's, and even 50's for the rest of the month, October 2018 will still go down with the 5th least amount of days of low temperatures < 60 degrees, tying 2016 and a host of other October's with 21 days.

Lexington will record the 3rd least amount of days of low temperatures < 60 degrees for any month of October with 21 days, something that has not happened since 1949.

Over the weekend, we had some wild winds blowing across the region. We were at a chili cookout in Fern Creek, and at one point, a gust of wind blew down all the chairs, scattering plastic bowls and plates across the field. I estimated the gust between 45 and 50 mph. In fact, Louisville and Lexington recorded maximum wind gusts of 50 and 52 mph respectively.

Even though precipitation has been much lighter for some of us in the region this month, Lexington was deluged with nearly 3.5" on the 4th of the month. For the year, Lexington stands at 58.81". They need only 0.31" for the year to break into the top ten wettest years on record. The wettest year on record is 2011 with 66.35".

Today looks like a really nice day. Scraping the frost will be a challenge this morning but will be a faded memory by this afternoon. Get out there and enjoy. The Fall colors are beginning to show in earnest for many of us and should quickly peak, most likely before the end of the month.

MS



Sunday, September 23, 2018

SPECIAL: Kentucky's Wettest September?

It's been a very wet month for much of Kentucky. Right now, I am following a long-duration event of rounds or episodes of heavy rain to impact most of Kentucky with 5-day totals approaching 3-6" in many locations.

I will be updating totals here for the rest of this event.

Since Friday the 21st, unless otherwise noted....

My house in Valley Station (12:00 p.m. 09/26)...5.45"  09/26
Louisville International (12:00 p.m.)....................6.08" 09/26
Lexington NWS (12:00 p.m.).............................. 4.02"  09/26
Frankfort NWS (12:00 p.m.)................................5.39"  09/26

Cumberland County Mesonet (Midnight).............5.40" 09/26
Franklin County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.71" 09/26
Hart County Mesonet (Midnight)..........................7.74" 09/26
Hopkins County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.64" 09/26
Marshall County Mesonet (Midnight)...................5.01" 09/26
Muhlenberg County Mesonet (Midnight).............5.19"  09/26
Nicholas County Mesonet (Midnight)  .................6.23" 09/26
Shelby County Mesonet (Midnight),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,....4.96" 09/26
Trigg County Mesonet (Midnight)........................5.16" 09/26

Some of these amounts may still need to be updated as a cold front is expected to stall in the eastern part of the state.

I am now at 11.22" for the month of September. It has been a very efficient rain-producing month here. I have had 10 days of measurable rain producing the 11.22" for a 1.12" per day of rainfall.

MS

Monday, September 10, 2018

MikJournal Monday 09/10/2018...Rain, Rain

Good Monday to you. Hopefully, it's better than the weekend deluge many Kentucky and Southern Indiana residents experienced when over 6" fell at several locations, creating dangerous flash flooding conditions.

I received a storm total of 5.37". My weather station recorded a total of nearly 5.9". But, I blame the sensitive 'tipper' for the inflated amount. My monthly rain total already stands at 5.78".

The high temperature at my house yesterday was only 66 degrees. Couple that with a low of 62 just before midnight gave me an average temperature of 64, one heating degree day. I have not had heating degree days since April. Officially, at the airport, 10 miles northeast of my position, the average temperature was 65 (67/62), right at the average base of 65 for determining a heating or cooling degree day.

Back to the rainfall, in Jefferson County, here are some numbers...

In Valley Station (about 4 miles west-southwest of my location), there was a reading of 7.15" storm total. Now, I believe that there was some sort of malfunction which possibly occurred during the heaviest part of the storm. Then again, it was a deluge of rainfall. Something must have happened during a 5-minute interval when the totals were updated.

However, other locations saw over 6" like Shively (6.46") and near Prospect (6.76"). Therefore, it is possible that the 7+" at this one location in Valley Station actually happened. I can vouch for that scenario also since earlier in the day, like a couple of hours after midnight Saturday morning, my location in Valley Station received nearly 3" while everyone else, including this water treatment plant where the 7" total was located, saw 2" at the most during that early part of the morning.

Several water rescues and one fatality occurred throughout the storm's most intense moments. Even some wind damage occurred. I had several small limbs littering my backyard. A large tree was felled by winds in PRP that topped close to 50 mph in a driving rain.

Elsewhere, there have been 2 confirmed EF-0 tornadoes reported by Louisville's NWS office. One in Lewisport, KY and the other across the river in Tell City, IN.

NWS offices and Kentucky Mesonet totals >3" Saturday through Sunday night (all totals through midnight)....

Kentucky Mesonet sites

Shelby County....3.08"
Rowan County....5.29"
Owen County.....4.03"
Oldham County..4.15"
Nicholas County 3.57"
Mercer County....4.38"
Mason County.....6.66"
Madison County..3.19"
Lewis County......4.51"
Harrison County..3.11"
Fayette County....5.13"
Clark County.......4.24"
Carroll County.....3.99"
Campbell County 4.97"
Boone County......5.28"
Bath County.........6.74" (including 6.48" just yesterday)
--------------------

NWS sites

Louisville....3.92"
Lexington....3.44"
Covington...4.69"

I will be updating statistics on the side of my blog soon to reflect the heavy rainfall that has fallen over the weekend. I will say that Bath County Mesonet site has already received 9.81" for the month of September.

Lexington's 48.13" year-to-date total is already nearly 3" above its 1981-2010 annual average. Similarly, Louisville's 49.09" is over 4" above its annual average ending December 31. In fact, Louisville is on track to record its wettest year since 2015 when 62.41" was collected.

More tropical action may be impacting the East coast later this week. Other systems are being monitored behind Florence. We'll see how it all plays out in the next couple of weeks.

Have a nice week and hopefully a little bit of dry time.

MS

Monday, August 20, 2018

MikJournal Monday 8/20/2018 Very Wet Last Week

Good Monday to everyone. Well, for some of us, it was a very wet week since my last post. Here in Louisville, just a few days ago, 3-5" fell during a 24-hour period, more like 10 hours. At my house, in Valley Station, I recorded a total of 4.14" for the week ending yesterday.

Some parts of Jefferson County in the Louisville area realized some hefty totals too. For example, thanks to a lone storm in central and eastern Jefferson County yesterday, one of the MSD Pumping Station rain gauges just northeast of Louisville Int'l Airport recorded nearly 4". In addition to the 4" or so a few days ago, this location received just over 8" since August 13 last Monday.

Frankfort had a wet week too. A string of 3 consecutive days of rainfall exceeding 1" ended yesterday. Last week, they tallied 4.45". For the month, Frankfort has already recorded its 7th wettest August on record and 8th wettest Summer on record with more rainfall in the forecast.

The Kentucky Mesonet site at Lincoln County is approaching 20" for the Summer and has joined the top 3 wettest locations in the state for the year at 47.33".

After this next bout of locally heavy rainfall, we may be moving into a period of drier weather for the rest of the month. In addition, temperatures are really going to be pleasant for this time of year.

But, watch out. Summer is not over yet. The CPC is forecasting above normal temperatures heading into the Labor Day weekend. We'll see how that works out.

In closing, temperatures for the month may actually come in at below normal for the month. However, the summer of 2018 will go down in the books as an above normal summer for many, if not all of us. Precipitation will be top ten material for some while unusually dry for a few.

Have a good week and stay safe out there on the roads. Be weather aware.

MS

Monday, August 13, 2018

MikJournal Monday 08/13/2018 Another Above Normal Summer?

Good Monday everyone. For Jefferson County residents, school will begin in earnest for many students this week. During the Dog Days of August, named after the dog star Sirius in our nighttime sky, temperatures are usually rather, well, summerlike. Therefore, despite rain chances increasing later this week, there will still be a summertime feel in the air.

This will cool you off. Today is the last day in which the highest average temperature of the summer will be recorded. Currently and over the past couple of weeks at least, the 30-year average temperature has been about 79.1 degrees here in Louisville. Starting tomorrow, the 14th, the same measurement standard will drop to 79.0 degrees. And from there, it's all downhill as we cascade into Autumn and Winter.

Despite a pattern change that began about the middle of July, temperatures have not shown a significant deviation from what is considered normal around here. Louisville has experienced the most 'significant' drop in temperatures, averaging about 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit below normal since July 15. However, the monthly average temperatures from June 1 to August 31 is likely to come in at above normal for the summer.

Lexington should finish with an above normal summer as well. Interestingly, Lexington has recorded a below normal summer for 4 of the last 5 years (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017).  But, despite the recent pattern change, it should not skew the entire summer to below normal.

I've updated some statistics on the blog. Feel free to check those out as well. At least 16 Kentucky Mesonet sites have now recorded over 40" of precipitation for the year. That's quite a bit, and we haven't reached the middle of August yet. Lexington NWS is now over 40" too. Normal precipitation for the year is 45.17". Wow!

The Harlan county Mesonet site atop Black Mountain in far eastern Kentucky is over 56" now for the year.

Severe weather summary from the Storm Prediction Center has been updated. Although Kentucky was leading the way in wind damage reports and even tornadoes for a while, other states have now surpassed the region. Fine by me.

However, flooding has been an issue this year, even in this state. Personally, I consider flooding to be a severe weather event, since it causes impacts to personal property and life. Storms that put out a lot of lightning, like cloud to ground strikes, should also qualify as a severe weather event, again since property and life are involved. I don't know how these events could be quantified, but their impacts can be more devastating than the other severe weather parameters we typically follow (tornadoes, hail, wind damage).

It's just my opinion. I'm sure there is information and statistics out there, probably from insurance companies, highlighting these events. But, for now, have a great week and stay safe out there.

MS


Monday, August 6, 2018

MikJournal Monday 08/06/2018 Fun Facts

Good Monday to you. Not a lot of weather to talk about around here at the old homestead. It gives me a chance to catch up on some statistics, many quite fascinating.

Hawaii is often thought of as a veritable paradise, tropical trade winds and awesome beaches, not including the waves.

Often, the mountains play a key role in how weather affects the island. On Kaua'i, Mount Waialeale has been described as the second wettest place on the planet, averaging well over a conservative 450" per year.

Hilo recorded an all-time annual rainfall record of 211.22" in 1990. It rains often here as well. In 1952, there was measurable rain on 309 days. To put that into perspective, one of the wettest places I like to follow in the United States is Forks, Washington, which averages about 120" per year (1981-2010 average). It rained here on 259 days in 1964.

But, in Hilo, last year was the least amount of days of measurable rainfall on record with 'only' 241 days, amounting to a paltry 105.57".

Here in Louisville and Lexington, here are a couple of fun facts....

In Lexington, record annual rainfall is 66.35" in 2011. In that same year, Louisville recorded 68.02".

Let's look at a few more fun facts about our precipitation....

In Lexington, most days of measurable rainfall in a month is 23 days in March 1951. Most days of measurable rainfall in a year is 159 days in 1972.

In Louisville, most days of measurable rainfall in a month is 21 days in June 1893 and July 1927. Most days of measurable rainfall in a year is 150 in 2003.

Interestingly, Lexington has recorded 94 days of measurable precipitation, on track for its wettest year since 2011 when 145 days of measurable precipitation accompanied that record annual rainfall of over 66". Presently, Lexington has recorded 39.08", nearly 10" above normal.

Guess what? More rainfall is in the forecast. For some, it's been a wet Spring and Summer. Surprisingly, for some, conditions are becoming abnormally dry. But, the wet trend should alleviate those concerns over the next few weeks.

Have a good week.

MS

Monday, July 23, 2018

MikJournal Monday 07/23/2018...Giveth and Taketh Away

Good Monday to you. Hey, did you get a chance to see the highlights of an adult Cubs fan basically steal a baseball intended for a kid nearby? Man, what an idiot! Don't worry, though. The Chicago Cubs came to the rescue and offered the kid, not only a game ball, but a separate baseball signed by slugger Javy Baez.

That reminds me of a recent climatic adjustment for the state of Texas' 24-hour snowfall record. Nine years to the day in 2009, a memorandum from the National Climatic Data Center concluded that based on a unanimous decision from the State Climate Extremes Committee, a new 24-hour snowfall record from the March 27-28, 2009 time period of 25" was accepted at Follett, Texas.

The estimated amount was quite a conservative one based on the snow to water equivalent. In addition, the under catch of a standard rain gauge and high winds lend likely support that the estimated snowfall total should have been higher. I say estimated because the smallest depth was 14" and the largest depth was 36" and the average of the two readings were made.

That was the kid who was supposed to get the baseball initially....

Uh oh. The ball was bobbled. Someone else reaches for the ball as it hits the bleachers and grabs it.

Now, enter another memorandum, this one dated December 8, 2017. Over two years earlier in August 2015, the SCEC met to discuss a finding from the WFO out of Fort Worth/Dallas about a 26" snowfall amount reported in Hillsboro on December 20-21, 1929, Yes, that's right, about 86 years prior to that meeting in 2015.

I think "somebody dropped the ball" on this one. Had this record been established first, like it should have been in 1929, then the 2009 claim could have been estimated higher than the 1929 total. Likely, the 2009 snowfall was higher, perhaps in a range of at least 27-30", based on the equipment used.

Understandably, estimates should not be considered validation for a new record. But, it is one of those things that should have an asterisk beside the, now current, record from 1929. In fact, there is a brief explanation from a footnote that compares the two amounts:

Texas All-Time Maximum 24-Hour Snowfall
Historical value was examined retroactively and found to be valid and exceeded prior stated record (view report). The previously recognized record of 25", observed in March 2009 at Follett (GHCN-D identifier USC00413225) is documented (here).

It's just one of those things that makes me scratch my head.

I often think about those few days in July 2013 when temperatures breached 130 degrees in Death Valley, California. A national record of 134 degrees was set on July 10. One has to wonder about the quality control of instruments at that time. Today, one would think that instrumentation today should be far superior than what was used in 1913. Of course, that can be hotly debated as well. But, there has not been another recordable instance of temperatures breaching 130 degrees in this country since those few days in 1913.

Make it a good week everyone. Hopefully, power is restored to your residences and cleanup is nearing completion.

MS

Friday, July 20, 2018

Severe Weather Potential 07/20/2018

Tornado or tornadoes on the ground near Corydon IN and golf ball size hail now being reported.
_____________________



Tornado Watch is in effect for much of central Kentucky until near sunset.

Moderate probability (60%) for at least 2 tornadoes
High probability (90%) for at least 10 wind events
High probability (80%) for at least 10 severe hail events
High probability (80%) for at least 1 hailstone >2"

CIPS Top 15 analog - Regional Severe Weather Likely

SPC continues to put our region in a MODERATE risk for severe weather

At 1:37pm, the SPC put out a Tornado Watch for much of our region till 9:00 p.m. this Friday evening.

Warnings are already in progress...Crawford county in Indiana near Fredonia has already reported 2" hail. That's impressive. This could be a hail fest for many. Hopefully not. Many gardens, homes, and vehicles will be damaged today if hailstones reach at least golf ball size (1.75" dm).

Stay tuned to your favorite media sources for the very latest, and keep those weather radios in the alert mode.

Be safe everyone.

MS

Monday, July 16, 2018

MikJournal Monday 07/16/2018 Seasonal Update

Good morning. Yes, I'm still here. It's been a while since my last post. Gardening, chores, vacation, and other outdoor activities have kept me pretty busy. I finally updated some statistics on the side of my blog (been almost a month). Feel free to check those out.

One of the things you have probably noticed this summer is the heat. It's been rather hot around here. The urban island effect, which I live nearby, has seen temperatures as hot as 98 degrees, without the heat index. Include that calculation, some here in Jefferson county have experienced the 'feel like' temperature of near 110 degrees.

Most areas of Kentucky have seen above normal precipitation for the year. Ironically, Bowling Green is just below normal. Before yesterday's beneficial rainfall, they had only recorded 0.04" for the month of July. Some areas of western Kentucky are not benefiting from much rainfall for the month either. Throw in the heat, and all of what moisture was in the soil is now being quickly evaporated, leading to the top 2" of the soil becoming quite hard. No, it's not a drought. However, if conditions persist for the rest of the month, which it does not appear will be the case, abnormally dry patches may show up on the upcoming drought monitors.

Severe weather has been pretty active this year in Kentucky. Thankfully, I haven't seen much here. The most damage I've seen this year in my neighborhood was from gradient winds in the early Spring that produced a series of 50 mph wind gusts lasting nearly 20 minutes (and that was at night). Yet, in several Kentucky communities, tornado sirens have been a common occurrence, and several tornadoes have been confirmed, even here in Jefferson county.

With a possible weak el nino developing, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a dominant atmospheric driver leading into winter. Since it is expected to be a weak el nino, I'm not expecting a significant correlation to our upcoming winter season but may impact the hurricane season.

The last el nino we had was in 2015. That one was pretty strong and was a dominant driver extending well into winter. However, its impacts were variable here in Kentucky. Snow was above normal for most locations. Here in Louisville and Lexington, we had nearly 15" (this past winter, though not an el nino, we saw between 19-21"). But, temperatures were the big thing. Record warmth in December and impressive warmth in the following February of 2016 produced a well above average winter.

I believe the Sea Surface Temperatures in the far north, between Siberia and Alaska, will continue to impact the warmer than normal climate there, even without the influence of an el nino. In winter, waves of cold shots will penetrate the U.S. mainland. However, the cold shots are likely to be brief. If we do get a prolonged stretch of cold weather, it will likely be offset by a warmer pattern that will cancel things out anyway.

Remember the winter of 2017/18? December and January saw below normal temperatures. Louisville even recorded 6 consecutive days of single-digit low temperatures in one January stretch. Only to have February's impressive warmth skew the entire winter to an above normal temperature season. Crazy stuff!

Enjoy the rest of your week. I'll check in from time to time.

MS

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today's Featured Analog...June 20, 2015

In the grips of a typical June heat wave, a pattern change looks to bring a period of wet weather to our gardens. In fact, it's possible that the rest of the month will feature above normal precipitation.

One of the top 15 analogs features one from June 20, 2015. Looking back at past storm reports and rainfall data, tropical moisture from the remnants of Bill resided over our region for a few days producing copious amounts of rainfall. Even severe weather was reported.

Over 4" rainfall accumulated over 7 consecutive days. Prior to this, the first half of June was typically dry, with less than 0.50" at Louisville. However, the second half of the month dealt a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and high winds at times. In addition to the 7-day stretch, there was also a 3-day period later in the month with over 2" reported at Louisville.

Therefore, over 6" fell during the second half of the month, falling just outside of Louisville's top ten wettest June's.

Remember, analogs only show a similar weather pattern that resembles the air mass and expected conditions presently. It does not mean we will see that exact type of weather. However, heavy rainfall over the next two weeks is very possible. Louisville has already recorded nearly 3" for the month. To achieve a top ten wettest June status, the monthly minimum amount needed is 7.01".

Although the WPC keeps the heaviest rainfall just north of the area, I would not be surprised to see some higher localized amounts across parts of our region due to the possible 'training' and slow movement of any storms.

We will see. Meanwhile, enjoy the respite from the heat especially tomorrow and Friday. Turn around and don't drown.

MS

Monday, May 28, 2018

MikJournal Monday 05/28/2018...Alberto

Good Monday to you. For many, it is a day off thanks to the Memorial Day holiday. Unfortunately for some residents in the U.S., this Memorial Day weekend will be remembered for years to come.

Extensive flash flooding occurred near Baltimore, Maryland in an area that saw the same kind of flash flooding in 2016. Nearly 10" rain fell in about a 4-hour period. You can blame it on topography, poor planning for helping divert flood waters, whatever, you're still going to have problems when that much rain falls in a short period of time. I don't care how good your infrastructure for handling heavy rainfall, someone is going to be negatively impacted by such an event.

Alberto, a hybrid tropical system, is poised to bring rain and wind to the panhandle of Florida and will eventually affect our weather here in Kentucky. A consistent theme shows the models bringing whatever is left of Alberto into Kentucky. That means heavy rainfall and some windy conditions, but of some concern too is the threat for brief tornadoes. Anywhere from 1 - 3.5" can be expected, with the heaviest rainfall totals west of I-75.

In other news, Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is being monitored for ashfall by means of radar data. Using this data in combination with prevailing winds can track where locations may be affected by the irritants associated with volcanic ash, such as burning of the eyes and respiratory issues.

It appears Mount Baker and Mount Rainier at Paradise in Washington state are having a friendly competition for the season's most snowfall. Although the season ends June 30, the window for accumulating snow is narrowing. Presently, Mount Baker has received 728" while Paradise has received just over 700" since the snow season began last July 1.

Also, it looks like Louisville and Lexington will easily break their all-time records for warmest May ever.  Paducah, Frankfort, Jackson, and London looks like they will too. Bowling Green is on track to record its warmest May ever but may be impacted by the rainfall coming in this week. Still, I think they can do it.

One final thing. This time of year, the official kick-off to summer is in full swing. But, tomorrow May 29 in the year 1982, a little place in Montana called Shonkin or nearby this location, recorded 48" snowfall in a 24-hour period. Simply amazing! According to NCDC's Storm Publication, from May 28-30, as much as 5 feet of snow fell across the north slopes of the Bears Paw, Little Belt, and Snowy Mountains and the east slopes of the Sweetgrass hills. Drifts of 10-15 feet deep closed roads, downed power lines, and buried sheep and cattle.

Whatever happened during that storm system may have contributed to severe weather here with large hail in central and north-central Kentucky and ushered in a period of cool weather for the month of June. In fact, it was the 4th coolest June on record in Louisville. Although July would mark a brief return of summer, August would end up being the 9th coolest August on record.

Have a good week everyone.

MS

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rainfall For My Garden...Finally

Except for a decent shower on the 16th of this month, which amounted to 0.39", my garden has not had much to be happy about since planting on the 15th. Very warm, if not hot, and dry conditions has affected the soil down about 2". That is not good for young pepper plants.

I was already a little late with planting the garden. The weather has been most disagreeable. Earlier this month, conditions were too cool and wet. Then, reverse...hot and dry. I had to wait until there was a good chance for rain before I could get my vegetables in the ground.

As of yesterday, the 26th, my garden is completely mulched; therefore, any rainfall will stick around longer in my soil. And guess what?

Yay! It rained. Although the thundershower was weakening some this morning, parts of Jefferson County picked up over 1" of rain. Here in Valley Station, about 10 miles southwest of Louisville International, I have not registered an official amount. It's still raining as I'm writing this post, but estimates are at least 0.50" has fallen (I have a homemade rain gauge that I actually have to measure the amount, not those Acurite rain gauges which are not as accurate as you think).

My rain barrel had been very busy lately, dispensing collected rainfall from earlier this month. Now, it's full again. The garden has been well-watered.

For my modest garden, here are the vegetables and herbs I have in the ground and in a potted container....

4 Sweet Bell Pepper
2 Big Bertha bell pepper
1 Cayenne pepper
1 Habanero pepper
2 Tomato (both Parks Whopper Hybrid)
2 Zucchini plants
2 Yellow Squash plants
1 Rosemary
1 Basil

For my potted container, 1 Oregano.

MS

Monday, April 2, 2018

MikJournal Monday 04/02/2018...Snow in June?


Good Monday everyone. We are in for a rollercoaster week, so buckle up. Severe weather chances and snow chances in the same week. Sounds typical for a battle zone between two seasons.

Severe weather is in the borderline 'likely' category for our region in Kentucky. SPC has a nice chunk of real estate in the Enhanced category (3/5). My analog analyses at two days out already has our region in a borderline likely category at 7.2. Here is my chart....

Score of 3.0 - 4.9 = widespread severe weather likely
Score of 5.0 - 6.9 = regional severe weather likely
Score of 7.0 - 7.9 = scattered severe weather reports
Score of 8.0 - 8.9 = isolated severe weather reports
Score of 9.0 - 9.9 = marginal risk for severe weather

Although my score does not represent fair justice to the storm system that will affect our region, it is 2 days out. The trend has been intensifying the chances for severe weather regionally. I say keep an eye to the sky and an ear to your favorite media source for further updates on this impending/imminent/potential severe weather outbreak.

So far, I think we are up to 13 confirmed tornadoes in Kentucky. That may increase after tomorrow night. We'll see.

Speaking of tornadoes, on this date in 2006 from the NWS Paducah...

View image on Twitter


March came in at below normal for the month in Louisville. In fact, several locations in the state had a warmer February than March. There were a total of 54 out of 70 Mesonet sites with a warmer February versus March in addition to the ones I listed in my previous post.

Black Mountain in Harlan county is our precipitation leader for the year at 25.42" while McCreary and Muhlenberg counties come in at 22.11" and 20.30" respectively.

I am going to continue to beat this drum that Black Mountain needs some sort of snow sensor to 'measure' new snowfall and snow depth. I honestly believe Kentucky can break the all-time snow depth record of 31" set in LaGrange (Oldham county). If there would have been a sensor atop Black Mountain back in 1977/1978 when LaGrange registered the state record, I can assure you LaGrange would not be the record holder.

Speaking of snowfall and snow depth, did you know it is still possible to register snowfall in the summer months?

Yes, hail reports are lumped in with any frozen precipitation like snow and ice pellets. Look at these examples...

June 5 and 10, 1951 - hail accumulation of 1" each date at Lubbock TX; 2" of the 7.4" seasonal snowfall was hail accumulation.

June 3, 1959 - hail accumulation of up to 18" occurred in Seldon KS; the small hail pounded the area for 85 minutes; the damage would be the result of not the size but the weight of hail that collapsed several flat-roof structures.

This April 16 will mark the 20th anniversary of Bowling Green's hail storm that devastated the area with baseball-size hail. The regional airport which suffered damage to at least 11 planes recorded a trace of snowfall for that date because the hail accumulation briefly and nearly covered the ground.

Keep safe everyone and have a good week.

MS

Sunday, April 1, 2018

March Colder Than February?

A special post today. Only for unusual activity will I post other than Monday. And, well, today I noticed something unusual.

Reviewing the month of March, which was not a top ten coldest month, Louisville still finished below normal for the 3rd time in 4 months. But, that's not what I thought was unusual.

Typically, the month of February is cooler than March in any given year. However, since we in Lexington had its 2nd warmest February, the ho-hum month of March that finished 2.5 degrees below normal was not enough to beat February's average temperature of 44.9 degrees. In fact, March came in at 43.0 degrees, so it was not really close at all.

Louisville eeked out a March just slightly warmer than February, and I do mean slightly. The 0.3 degree difference (45.3 to 45.0) was the closest February has come to tying or beating March's average temperature since 1960, when February was actually warmer than March that year. Nearby Bowman Field had a closer difference of 0.1 degree warmer March than February.

Bowling Green, Frankfort, Jackson (Feb +3.5 degrees warmer than March), London, and Covington all finished with a warmer February over March this year.

MS

Monday, March 26, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/26/2018...News and Stats

Good Monday to you. Today's post is all about numbers and interesting briefs. So, let's get to it.

According to the CPC, the 10-day period from March 31 - April 9 is expected to be below normal for temperatures and above normal for precipitation in Kentucky.

Islip on Long Island in New York has already recorded 31.9" of snowfall this month, its snowiest March ever and its 2nd snowiest month on record behind the 34.4" that fell in January 2011. The climate record goes back to the mid 1960's.

While we're in New York, the Tug Hill region, notorious for lake-effect snow amounts is at it again. If you look at the blog, the Lake Effect Snow Machine is dominated by several locations in the Tug Hill area, including Hooker's 264.8" seasonal total.

Despite the impressive amount of Nor'easters in a short period of time, much of New England has not recorded too many all-time seasonal totals. Rowe, MA has received over 122" for the snow season going back to July 1, an all-time record, but their reporting time only goes back a few years.

Farther south, in Glenmoore PA, 21" has been recorded this month, making it the snowiest March since records were kept beginning in 1960.

Accumulated snowfall over time generally produces snow depth. As long as temperatures remain cold enough to prevent minimal melting, additional snowfall can produce greater snow depths. Looking at some state records, Colorado recorded its greatest snow depth of 251" in March. Tennessee recorded 63" at Mt. Leconte again during March. Snowshoe in West Virginia recorded 62" during March. Now, these were all mountain locations.

Time to rant. If you read my blog long enough, you already know I will get in one of these moods.
Do you know what the state record for snow depth in Kentucky is? It's 31", set in 1978 at LaGrange, a town just northeast of the Heat Island Capital of the United States here in Louisville. No mountains, just a few knobs.

The other day, I was using some data from the Jackson NWS office and saw a whopping 79" snow depth near Booneville KY. What?! How is this not a record? It was from the year 2000. Now, I am going to post a partial copy of this climate data chart from February 2000 for Booneville.

Climatological Data for BOONEVILLE 12SW, KY - February 2000
2000-02-23
58 38 48 9.7 17 0 0 M M
2000-02-24
72 38 55 17 10 0 0 M M
2000-02-25 73 42 58 19 7 0 0 M M
2000-02-26 78 42 60 21 5 0 0 M M
2000-02-27 79 46 63 23 2 0 0.2 M M
2000-02-28 M M M M M M 0.1 27 79
2000-02-29 59 24 42 1.9 23 0 0 M M

Now, I know the chart may be a little cramped. The 'M' just stands for missing data. But, I want you to study the line for February 28, preferably the last two columns that read '27' and '79'. Those 2 columns represent 'New Snow' and 'Snow Depth' respectively. In other words, it snowed 27" that day, and we had a snow depth of 79" by the end of that day.

Something is not right about this. First, it would be a new 24-hour snowfall record that would replace the 26" that fell at Simers in March of 1942. And the 79" snow depth should replace the 31" snow depth at LaGrange from 1978.

Something else seems a bit quirky about the 79" snow depth. Look at the high temperatures for the previous 4 days. All of them in the 70's. One would question how much snow depth was there prior to the 28th. All we see is an 'M'. I do see, however, a possible explanation for the erroneous data.

Take a look at the line above the 28th, yes February 27. Look at the high temperature for the day of 79 degrees the next column over. Somehow, someway, is it possible that data input went into the wrong columns like the New Snow and Snow Depth columns below?

Based on data from surrounding regions, there were other locations that reported similar high temperatures for the dates listed, but for the 28th, no snowfall was recorded. Look at nearby Jackson in Breathitt county...

2000-02-23
70 51 61 20 4 0 0 0 0
2000-02-24
71 48 60 18 5 0 0.1 0 0
2000-02-25 76 58 67 26 0 2 0 0 0
2000-02-26 78 56 67 25 0 2 0 0 0
2000-02-27 64 42 53 11 12 0 0.3 0 0
2000-02-28 57 35 46 3.7 19 0 0 0 0
2000-02-29 69 38 54 11 11 0 0 0 0

Even Beattyville in nearby Lee county recorded no snowfall.

Speaking of Beattyville, I found a similar issue. You should have a right to the snow depth record as well. In October 2001, out of the wild blue on the 9th, you recorded a 39" snow depth WITHOUT receiving any new snow for the entire month. In addition, you had a high temperature of 0 degrees and a low temperature of 67 degrees??? Sigh.

However, I do believe the 31" snow depth record for Kentucky can be broken, if it already has not been done. The mountains of Eastern Kentucky would be an excellent place. Did you know that the Kentucky Mesonet has instruments for measuring wind speed, temperature, precipitation, and solar energy atop Black Mountain at an elevation of just over 4,000 feet? Would it not seem reasonable to place a snow sensor of some sort like ones used in other mountainous locations for recording snowfall and depth?

Something to think about. But, being a user of climate data, one would expect the data to be verified for accuracy before putting it to use. The NWS Jackson has additional issues which they are aware of when it comes to climate data. They have assured me that some sort of software problem will be resolved soon. Well, it has not happened yet, and it has been a couple of months. Come on guys, let's get it done. Rant over.

Make it a great week everyone. It might be a little wet, but at least it will be a bit milder.

MS

Monday, March 19, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/19/2018...More Snow?

Good Monday to you this morning. This is the last Monday of Winter. The vernal equinox signifying the first day of Spring will be upon us tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. While spring showers will be evident this week, Old Man Winter is still giving out parting gifts before he goes on his journey to South America. How generous!

Yes, we have more snowfall in the forecast for the upcoming week. For the month of March, some locations in Kentucky are up 50% to 130% above the December through February snow totals. Absolutely amazing!

This time of year, the teleconnections like the Arctic Oscillation (AO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and a couple of others are having less of a correlation with typical winter patterns. However, I still notice the winter patterns with these teleconnections presently. I do expect some snowfall. Will it be like last week's beatdown. It's hard to say. I would guess probably not. But, it will be another wet snow. If you get at least 4" of that, evergreens and even deciduous trees will suffer from the weight of the snow on the branches, again leading to possible power outages.

I am still updating totals for the snow season that runs from July 1 through June 30. Snowshoe WV is just shy of 100" to date, still a bit below normal. Their average is 158" per year. Other locations in Kentucky are still below normal for the snow season, but some are actually above normal including Paducah and Lexington.

In Kentucky, I saw some locations that have recorded 18" for the season. Perhaps, some will get a nice thumping this week to add to their totals.

Speaking of Lexington, thanks to the 9+" of the white stuff last week, they are already at #9 on the Snowiest Spring ever list.

Looking ahead to this week, the WPC is not on board yet to include Kentucky in any significant snowfall in excess of 4". But, we'll see. It seems with systems like the one coming, it's difficult to see how much dynamic cooling will play a role in these events. So, again, stay tuned.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to move on to Spring. I'm getting in the mood to plant peppers and tomatoes and squash. Hopefully, the warmer weather will finally settle in here for April.

Have a good week. Stay safe.

MS

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Heavy Snow Potential


Yes. A rare post on a Sunday. The WPC is on board also saying that a decent potential exists for some locations to receive at least 4" of a heavy wet snow that will cause travel issues as well as possible damage to some trees and perhaps power lines.

Stay tuned to your favorite media source(s) for further updates.

MS

Monday, March 5, 2018

MikJournal Monday 03/05/2018...March Madness (Weather Style)

Good Monday to ya! It's that time of year. College basketball and March Madness. But, the weather will be displaying its own version of March Madness. In fact, the weather already has shown a great deal of madness recently.

Through March 1, Kentucky is the leader in preliminary, and mostly confirmed, tornadoes in the United States. At 14, the closest second place is Alabama with 8.

Late last week and over the weekend, a monster storm ravaged the East coast with high winds, flooding, and heavy snow. Power is still out for many residents this morning.

While many of us here in Kentucky dealt with record-setting rainfall for February, other locations have seen some of their driest winters ever. For example, Wichita in Kansas saw their 3rd driest winter on record, their driest since 1922/23. And that 1" of snow they saw, some 0.7" of that was sleet.

As the ongoing dry spell continues, places like Colorado are experiencing early season wildfires that are destroying people's homes and barns. As I write this, in Elbert county southeast of Denver, at least 5 homes and 4 barns were either heavily damaged or destroyed by a rapidly spreading wildfire yesterday morning.

In addition, wild temperature swings are occurring with all of the dry air in place and windy conditions. Here are a few examples from Sunday for the high and low temperatures...

Lamar, CO  high of 80; low of 24
Limon, CO high of 71; low of 16
Pueblo, CO high of 75; low of 25

Blizzard conditions are expected across parts of South Dakota along with wind gusts perhaps exceeding 60 mph at times.

One of my favorite windiest places that I follow is in Glasgow, Montana. Their average wind speed for the month so far is 17.5 mph. Here in central Kentucky, our average wind speed for the month ranges between 9 and 10 mph so far. But, it is the snowfall that has been the big story for the residents in Glasgow. A daily record of 13.3 inches fell yesterday, just missing their record 24-hour snowfall of 14.1" set on April 2, 1940. A total of over 52" has been recorded so far for the season, which is well above normal.

Our weather looks to skew to the wintry side of things. However, teleconnection patterns do not suggest any major event. Even if we did get a heavy snow accumulation, which can and has happened in March, I do not foresee anything that will stick around for a while. The pattern just does not support an Arctic outbreak like we saw in late December and January. In fact, I think Spring will become more noticeable as we enter the second half of the month.

Just remember, this does not mean Old Man Winter won't get lost. He'll manage to find his way back. March and April usually have many up and down periods. So, be ready.

Have a good week everyone.

MS

Thursday, March 1, 2018

MikJournal Midweek Post 03/01/2018...Record February!

Stats at a glance....

For Louisville:
February 2018 - Wettest February all-time
10.54" - Wettest month since April 2015 (10.84")
45.0 degrees - 6th warmest February all-time
12 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February
2.98" on February 24 - 3rd wettest day since April 3, 2015

For Lexington:
February 2018 - Wettest February all-time
10.13" - Wettest month since April 2015 (11.41")
44.9 degrees - 2nd warmest February (behind 2017)
7 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February

For Bowling Green:
8.59" - 4th wettest February ever
47.8 degrees - 5th warmest February all-time
15 Cooling Degree Days (65 degrees base average) - Most ever in February

Also, Paducah had their 4th wettest February on record; Nashville TN had its 3rd wettest February and wettest since 1890; Memphis TN shatters all-time wettest February with 13.43", nearly 2.3" above previous record.

MS

Monday, February 26, 2018

MikJournal Monday 02/26/2018...Week in Review

Good Monday...My temperature is 32 degrees here at 7:30 this morning. The most important thing to me is it's clear, yes dry. Let me be the first to tell you, this guy is glad.

Louisville is on The Weather Channel this morning. Other national outlets have us on their cameras as well. For good reason, the Ohio River is cresting today with moderate flooding going on here in Louisville. I live about 4 miles away from the river. But, I do live near a creek that feeds the river. Since I live about a mile from there, I have not experienced any direct issues from the creek, which is still running high but is within its banks again. Yet, I had to battle a water table beneath the ground as saturated soils forced waters into a few of the small cracks in the foundation leading into my basement. Not much sleep, I can tell you that!

Here are some locations not too far from where I live here in Valley Station. These are totals since last Wednesday, February 21 through Sunday, February 25.

 Total For TR01 - D. R. Guthrie WQTC 6.24 inches.
  Total For TR02 - PRP Fire Station Training Facility 6.54 inches.
  Total For TR03 - Shively PS 6.51 inches.
  Total For TR11 - Northern Ditch PS 6.85 inches.
  Total For TR12 - Nightingale PS 6.83 inches.
  Total For TR14 - Lea Ann Way PS 6.75 inches.
 Total For TR19 - Fairdale High School 6.74 inches.
 Total For TR21 - Wheeler Basin 7.37 inches.

My 5-day total came to 6.77". The official site at Louisville's Standiford Field was 7.12".

For the month, Louisville has set an all-time wettest February record, and we're not done yet. At 10.47", more heavy rain may affect the region later this week. I haven't yet broke the 10" mark at my house but should likely gain ground by the last day of the month. If the rain is light as forecast for Wednesday, I will probably fall just short of that mark. Right now, I am at 9.52".

Here are those same areas above with their monthly totals....

 Total For TR01 - D. R. Guthrie WQTC 8.18 inches.
  Total For TR02 - PRP Fire Station Training Facility 9.83 inches.
  Total For TR03 - Shively PS 9.71 inches.
 Total For TR11 - Northern Ditch PS 10.12 inches.
  Total For TR12 - Nightingale PS 10.62 inches
Total For TR14 - Lea Ann Way PS 10.36 inches
 Total For TR19 - Fairdale High School 9.92 inches.
 Total For TR21 - Wheeler Basin 10.56 inches.

As far as the week ahead is concerned, rainfall estimates of 0.75 to 1.50" can be expected from now through Friday, with heaviest amounts expected for the southern part of the state.

From a temperature perspective, I am making an official projection that Louisville will also finish in the top ten warmest February of all time. It looks to be near the middle of the list, like 6th. But, the numbers are very close to each other near the bottom, so a slight deviation may make a big impact on where at on the list we finish.

If Louisville does finish with a 45 degree average for the month, that would be nearly 6 degrees above normal. Let's add the December and January averages of -0.9 and -2.2, and we actually would end up with a 1 degree above normal meteorological winter. That's right. An above normal winter after all of the harsh single digit and, in some cases, below zero readings.

I'm pretty sure the Heat Island capital is not the only one who will have such a reversal from bitter cold to unusual warmth leading to an above normal winter.

Lexington, by the way welcome to the 10" February Precipitation club (you only need 0.05" to break an all-time February precipitation record), is already averaging 7.8 degrees above normal for February. This looks to offset the December and January averages for an above normal winter.

Bowling Green, Jackson, and even London should all finish above normal for the winter as well.

The Winter season precipitation records look to stay safe, but Louisville and Lexington will be pretty close to obtaining top ten status.

In addition, Paducah looks to have an above normal winter for temperatures, a near-record entry into the top ten snowiest winters, and a near-record entry into the Wettest Winter Season's top ten.

Also making national news were the tornadoes that hit in southwest KY and northwest TN as well as at least 3 tornadoes that hit parts of south central KY. One fatality was associated with the EF-2 twister in Logan county in Adairville. In addition, Lewisburg in Logan county also had a confirmed tornado. Another tornado crossed between the Warren/Barren county lines near Smiths Grove. Hopkinsville, Murray, and Lone Oak also had confirmed tornadoes in the western part of the state. More surveys will be conducted today.

I hate to say this, but it looks like another active severe weather season is commencing, just in time for the upcoming Spring .

Hang in there guys. Have a good week everyone. Stay safe and out of flooded roadways.

MS

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Great Swell 2018...with Updated Rain Amounts

Scroll down for the latest information...

Good morning. It appears Round 1 is winding down. I took the liberty to jot down a few totals since yesterday. Starting with the most important place, at my house (hey, this is my blog), I collected 2.25" as of 10:30 this morning. The Louisville International airport, at Standiford Field, came in at 2.37". Around Jefferson County, I'm getting reports of many 2.00 - 2.50" amounts since yesterday.

Also, a cursory glance at the official site appears to have set a daily rainfall record for today the 22nd. It looks like the daily record was beaten by 0.06". But, we'll have to wait and see how the weather observation records and climate records work this one out.

Other noteworthy locations include near Munfordville in Hart County. Last I checked, they were coming in at a total of 3.46", as of 11:00 a.m and since yesterday.

As of 11:00 this morning, Lexington has recorded 2.46" since midnight, good enough for a daily rainfall record for today the 22nd. Storm totals since yesterday have closed in on the 3" mark.

Rivers continue to swell statewide. River forecasts continue to inch higher, with some areas along the Ohio possibly reaching moderate flood stage. If this occurs, it will have been since 2011 since river levels have been this high.


UPDATE 02/22 142800...Upper Gage at McAlpine now forecast to crest at 34.4 ft by Tuesday; many floodgates closed

UPDATE 02/22 145600...Lower Gage now forecast crest of 65.9 ft; at 66 feet Riverport floodgate closes

Looking at crests on Ohio River McAlpine Upper

Historic Crests (1) 52.15 ft on 01/27/1937
(2) 42.10 ft on 03/08/1945
(3) 41.70 ft on 02/16/1884
(4) 41.20 ft on 03/12/1964
(5) 39.50 ft on 02/16/1883
(6) 39.40 ft on 04/02/1913
(7) 38.76 ft on 03/07/1997
(8) 36.40 ft on 01/22/1907
(9) 36.00 ft on 04/19/1948
(10) 34.10 ft on 03/23/1933
(11) 33.40 ft on 03/04/1962
(12) 33.00 ft on 05/10/1961
(13) 33.00 ft on 03/23/1943
(14) 32.40 ft on 02/22/1882
(15) 31.90 ft on 12/14/1978
(16) 31.80 ft on 03/10/1955
(17) 31.60 ft on 03/29/1936
(18) 31.50 ft on 03/13/1967
(19) 31.50 ft on 03/22/1963
(20) 31.40 ft on 02/07/1950
(21) 31.30 ft on 03/30/1898
(22) 31.13 ft on 04/27/2011
(23) 30.60 ft on 01/27/1927
(24) 30.40 ft on 03/28/1890
(25) 30.30 ft on 02/28/1897
(26) 30.10 ft on 02/09/1939
(27) 30.00 ft on 04/26/1940

UPDATE..02/23 105000.
Rainfall totals since last Wednesday as of approx. 10:30 a.m. est
Mayfield       6.36"
Hickman       5.79"
Madisonville 5.69"
Benton          5.36"
Greenville     5.01"
***Correction***...it appears some numbers above went back to last weekend, not Wednesday -MS

UPDATE...02/23 111500
I am still awaiting for the rain to exit, so I can take a measurement. It looks to be similar to nearby rain gauges in Jefferson County, between 3.50 and 4.00" since Wednesday. Louisville officially at 3.87" since Wednesday as of 10 a.m.

UPDATE...02/23 112500
Louisville is already at 8th wettest February on record
Lexington is now at #2 wettest February at 8.45" as of 11:00 a.m.

UPDATE...02/23 123000
As of 12:30 p.m., I have received 3.87" since Wednesday, including 1.62" since yesterday starting at 10:30 am.
Other areas surrounding me include PRP at 4.19"; Shively at 4.28"; Fairdale at 3.42"; Louisville International at 4.02" (12 noon reading)

UPDATE 02/23 130000
New river forecast crests for Louisville...McAlpine Upper 34.9; Lower 66.2 on Monday, both up slightly from previous forecast

UPDATE..02/24 094500
Total rainfall since Wednesday thru 9:00 am this morning
Paducah.........4.17"
Owensboro....4.12"
Louisville......4.12"
Including Mesonet sites, I've uncovered 14 additional locations exceeding 4" for the same time period...thru 10 am est.
Mayfield.......5.75"
Madisonville 5.74"
Hickman.......5.45"
Greenville.....5.35"
I will include an update on monthly totals later this morning/early afternoon, especially for candidates likely exceeding 10" for the month, which is a substantial list of at least 16 locations, three of which are already above 10".

UPDATE 02/24 135000
Ending at 12:30 pm est, I collected another 0.27" since yesterday, bringing my storm total to 4.14" in Valley Station at Prairie Village. Louisville is now up to 4.29" through 12 noon. Other locations surrounding me are PRP near Ohio River at 4.51" through 1:45 pm;  Shively at 4.55"; Fairdale at 3.63"; Valley Station near Ohio River at 4.19".

As promised, monthly totals for our region include 3 locations that have already recorded amounts greater than 10"; Knox County at Barbourville, McCreary County at Whitley City, and Harlan County atop Black Mountain. However, other locations have registered amounts greater than 8" and stand the best chance to record double digit monthly totals. Here are the most recent totals...
Greenville (2:20pm est)...9.04"
Lexington (2:00pm est)...8.98"
Mayfield (2:15pm est)...8.92"
Albany (2:30pm est)...8.85"
Madisonville (2:15pm est) ...8.81"
Lebanon (2:35pm est)...8.79"
Hodgenville (2:30pm est) 8.72"
Cadiz (2:20pm est)...8.70"
Murray (2:15pm est)...8.60"
Hardinsburg (2:25pm est) 8.57"
Shepherdsville (2;25pm est) 8.54"
Tomkinsville (2:40pm est) 8.42"
Brandenburg (2:35pm est) 8.34"
Also, chances are increasing for another significant rain event next week, which may include several other locations that may top the 10" monthly mark. This will quite likely be Kentucky's wettest February ever.

UPDATE 02/25 015000
Louisville sets another daily precipitation record and an all-time wettest February on record, now well over 10" for the month. I really think forecast river crests may rise a little more than expected, especially downstream from Louisville

UPDATE 02/25 050000
At my house in Valley Station, I recorded 2.63" since 12:30pm. That added to the 4.14" since Wednesday gives me 6.77".

I will post more rain totals on this page throughout the weekend.

Turn around. Don't drown.

MS

Monday, February 19, 2018

MikJournal Monday 02/19/2018...Extremes

Last evening, the temperature was about 48 degrees here at my house. I read the forecast for an overnight low of 47 and obviously had my doubts. Well, I awoke this morning to a temperature of 58 degrees. As I write this post, the temperature has actually risen to 59, and it's not even sunrise.

What a rollercoaster month! Starting out the month, temperatures were very cold. In Louisville, a high of 28 and a low of 14 gave us an average temperature of 21, nearly 15 degrees below normal. On the 15th of this month, a high of 74 and a low of 62 for an average of 68 degrees, some 29 degrees above normal. Then, over the weekend, a surprise snow for my area, almost a half inch, with temperatures above freezing the entire time. Now, forecasts are for more 70's this upcoming week. Breathe.

Unfortunately, heavy rains are poised to move back into our region. The Mesonet site in Harlan County, up near 4000 feet atop Black Mountain, has already received 11.71" for the month, part of an impressive flooding situation along the Cumberland river and other nearby tributaries.

Rainfall estimates for last week were for a general 1-3". In Louisville, 1.61" fell since last Monday. At my house, just 10 miles away, I collected 1.50". In the eastern part of the state 2-3" were quite common.

This week, the situation becomes dire, especially along the larger river systems, like the Kentucky and Ohio rivers. Thanks to the heavy rains from last week and swollen rivers upstream, these have flowed into the larger river systems, which has already prompted flood warnings for many along the Ohio. And the forecast for the week, well, you take a look...










For central and west Kentucky, rainfall projections of at least 5" for the week will likely lead to flash flooding and areal flooding for many. Residents of eastern Kentucky cannot let their guard down either. Another 2-3" is forecast for the upcoming week. A reminder to all of us. This forecast is not set in stone. Yes, a general 2-5" is expected for the week. But, the axis of the heaviest rainfall is still uncertain. Stay tuned to your favorite media source for the latest updates.

Talk about extremes. Just recently, I highlighted in one of my posts, that here in Louisville, we had 9 days in January when temperatures were in the single digits, placing us in a small number of years that event has occurred in Louisville's climatological history, including the first time in the 2000's.

Now, we're talking about the other extreme. There is a measure called the Cooling Degree Day, used for energy purposes. But, it is based on an average temperature of 65 degrees. So, if you have a high temperature of 75 and a low temperature of 55, the average temperature would be 65 degrees. Now, that sounds pretty good for Spring. But, for February, that's a pretty rare achievement.

As I noted earlier in this post, on the 15th, Louisville had a high of 74 and a low of 62 for an average of 68 degrees. That gave us 3 Cooling Degree Days or CDD's. That means our average temperature was 3 degrees above the 65 degree base. Anytime the average temperature is greater than 65 degrees for a particular day, that will be added to the 3 we already have at present.

Well, how rare is that for February? In the table below, I collected some CDD's from years past for Louisville. Here, take a look....

2017
5
1932 5
2000 4
1985 2
1954 2
1883 2

Remember, Louisville has already recorded 3 CDD's for this month. Therefore, we already are in 3rd or 4th place according to this table. With temperatures projected well into the 70's and lows in the 60's for at least a couple of days this week, we will likely see average temperatures greater than that 65 degree base. My current projection is that Louisville will set an all-time mark for most CDD's for the month of February, possibly between 6 and 8 total CDD's.

What will this unusual warmth do for our overall winter? December and January were below normal. February started out way below normal. But, now it appears that February will have a much above normal month for temperatures. Wouldn't it be crazy if our overall winter average came in above normal because one month, or should I say, a few days of the month, skewed the entire winter to above normal?

But, Old Man Winter may make another appearance around here soon enough. Does he have plans to wreck that possibility of a warmer than normal winter? Teleconnection signals are like security cameras and they already have him on the monitor. We'll just have to wait and see what he is up to.

For now, take care. Stay safe. Do not cross flooded roadways. It is not worth it. Even if the idiot ahead of you attempts it successfully does not guarantee that you will make it.

MS

Monday, February 12, 2018

MikJournal Monday 02/12/2018...Lake Effect Snows

Good Monday to you. Well, I awoke to a clear sky and a seemingly dry porch and a temperature of 24 degrees. Then, I checked my phone and saw a message from the school system that area schools were closed. I checked a news app and saw that several school districts were closed today. Still not quite understanding why, I checked out a local news media outlet and finally understood what the fuss was all about.

That seemingly dry porch of mine actually had patches of a thin layer of ice due to sleet and freezing drizzle last night. In fact, area roadways were impacted for this morning's rush hour, which was anything but rushing, more like crawling. Good. Motorists were actually trying to behave themselves for a change.

Looking ahead to the rest of this week, temperatures are going to warm up but at a price. The atmospheric setup is one that favors funneling an abundant supply of moisture into our region, which is not good for our friends in the southern and southeastern parts of the state.

The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting an additional 1-3" for the state, possibly exasperating already swollen river systems for residents in the eastern part of the state.



In an ironic twist, some areas of eastern KY have seen more rainfall this month already than a season's worth of snowfall. For example, Skyline in eastern Kentucky has received 5.32" of precipitation (mostly rain) this month while recording only 4.5" of snowfall since the snow season began July 1. That 4.5" of snowfall is about 8 inches below normal. With a couple of exceptions, many in the Bluegrass state are experiencing another below normal winter for snow lovers.


But, there are some places in the U.S. that are enjoying (or dreading) another banner year for snowfall. Last year, the state of Maine saw many locations exceed 100" for the snow season, well above normal. How about this year?

Several locations in Maine are already ahead of schedule for an above normal snowfall. In fact, some areas are on track to exceed the winter of 2007/2008 totals when places like Caribou saw nearly 198".
Actually, it appears some areas may approach last year's totals while others may not be as robust. Still, an above normal snow season nonetheless.

How about the Lake Effect Snow Machine? Erie, Pennsylvania has already set an all-time record snowfall for the season and will likely add to it over the next couple of months. Yet, Erie is not the only one having a blockbuster season. The usual locations I follow in New York are at it again. Near Hooker, snowfall totals for the season have already exceeded 183", beating out Erie by nearly 30". In fact, the snowiest season on record near Hooker was 466.9" during the winter of 1976/77 followed by another 418.4" the following winter of 1977/78. So, last year's total of 237" or so was a little bit below normal for the data obtained over the last 60+ years. Still, even they are on track to register a near normal snowfall of 246" for this winter.

You can follow the stats on the side of the blog for the next couple of months. Hopefully, I'll be able to update some mountain snowfall totals, especially out west.

Have a nice week everyone. Remember, do not cross flooded roadways, especially barricaded roads, since you have no idea whether the road underneath exists.

MS




Monday, February 5, 2018

MikJournal Monday 02/05/2018...Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster 2003 and February Outlook


Good Monday to you. I wanted to share a little bit of history with you. 15 years ago on February 1, the Space Shuttle Columbia was attempting to re-enter Earth's atmosphere but disintegrated. What does this have to with weather you may ask?

Look at this radar image, just moments after it was determined the shuttle and its crew did not make it safely through re-entry...






Friends, that's not rain nor is it rainfall anomalies. It is an image of the debris field left behind when the shuttle disintegrated. The distance spanned was enormous, from Tyler in Texas to western Louisiana. In fact, debris was still being obtained some 8 years after the disaster. However, only about 40 percent of the craft has been recovered. It is speculated that either the majority of the structure likely burned up during the re-entry process or there may be still smaller fragments out there in sparsely populated or unreachable regions. Thanks and credit Matt Lanza for posting the radar image on Twitter.

FEBRUARY OUTLOOK

As usual, I'm a little late with my outlook. One winter storm just fizzled out for us over the Super Bowl weekend, but not before producing over 2" of wet snow in some locations. The teleconnection signals gave mixed signals. The PNA and AO continue to give mixed signals and have both offered up potential for this upcoming week of February 5-11.

One is coming up late on the 6th into the 7th. The next one will be a few days after that one. It is possible some may get a decent snowfall out of this. But, indications are leaning toward a warmer solution which may involve ice or rain.

I think we will see above normal temperatures coming soon. However, that pattern may lead to a sudden flipping later this month, yes, more cold air poised to dive southward. Right now, I do not see any significant snowfall after the middle of the month. But, if cold air will be present later this month, clipper type systems could produce a varied amount of snowfall for our region. We will just have to wait and see how those events unfold.

La Nina conditions will likely be contributing to another active severe weather season. It's still too vague if we will see any severe weather here in our region this month. But, March may be a stormy month.

Have a good week everyone and congrats to the Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles.

MS

MikJournal Monday 10/22/2018...Getting Caught Up

A rare Monday greeting, indeed. I have been very busy these past few months. It is another cold morning, between 32 and 33 degrees here at m...