Monday, December 31, 2018

Severe Thunderstorm Watch New Year's Eve

A severe thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the Louisville Metro area. There may be enough instability to help fuel at least isolated severe thunderstorms across the area. Stay tuned to your favorite media sources for further updates.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Wettest Year Ever Watch - Louisville

***Louisville Sets Wettest Year Mark for 2nd Time This Decade***
As of 9:30 a.m. this New Year's Eve, Louisville breaks annual precipitation previously set in 2011.

As of this early Sunday morning, December 30, Louisville has an annual precipitation total of 67.35". The current all-time annual wettest mark is 68.02", set earlier this decade in 2011.

Rain is forecast to break out late Sunday night into Monday, New Year's Eve. Rain totals are expected to exceed the needed 0.68" to set the wettest year mark for the 2nd time this decade.

Therefore, the Wettest Year Ever Watch continues for Louisville. This page will update when Louisville sets the mark.


Monday, December 24, 2018

MikJournal SPECIAL Edition 12/24/2018...The Northeast 2017/2018 Snow Season

It was a long, arduous process. Since I finally had a day off from work, I decided to dig into the numbers and wound up digging out some impressive snow totals from the previous snow season that ran from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

The list may not be totally complete, since some locations had incomplete or missing data. Nevertheless, I discovered so many impressive snow amounts that I could only limit the list to those locations that reached at least 100". In fact one of the locations was one that I did not even follow and it ranked number 1.

Another location but was not included in the list for missing data was a place called Mount Mansfield in northern Vermont. A secondary resource, On the Snow (a ski report page), listed the Stowe location in its Historical Snowfall section and I calculated a total of 258" that fell during the snow season.

In addition, Mount Washington in New Hampshire, home of the world's worst weather as it is claimed, recorded 345.1", according to its F6 form listed on the Website below....

So, here's your list of the Northeast's 100" club....

        387.9 Redfield NY
        284.1 Hooker NY
        269.7 Perrysburg NY
        268.5 Osceola NY
        234.0 Springville NY
        217.8 Highmarket NY
        203.9 Colden NY
        192.5 Pinkham Notch NH
        192.5 Warsaw NY
        188.2 Wyoming  NY
        183.6 Attica NY
        173.6 Cattaraugus NY
        172.2 Palermo NY
        166.7 Fulton NY
        164.2 Lowville NY
        163.5 Pulaski NY
        163.5 Peru VT
        163.1 Oswego East NY
        159.7 Camden NY
        155.6 Laurel Summit PA
        153.6 Syracuse NY
        152.5 Gloversville NY
        151.5 Little Valley NY
        149.5 Boonville NY
        147.1 Terra Alta WV
        145.7 Sutton VT
        145.4 Glenfield NY
        141.0 Watertown NY
        140.9 Chandlers Valley PA
        137.2 Caribou ME
        134.5 Big Moose NY
        132.2 Auburn NY
        131.2 Rowe MA
        130.9 Wales NY
        130.0 Topsfield ME
        129.2 Jefferson NH
        126.4 Silver Springs NY
        126.1 Hartford ME
        126.0 First  Connecticut Lake NH
        126.0 East Hawley MA
        125.0 Franklinville NY
        124.2 E. Surry ME
        123.6 Jamestown NY
        123.5 Webster NY
        123.3 Fort Kent ME
        120.5 Rochester NY
        119.5 Snowshoe WV
        119.4 Eustis ME
        118.5 Rangeley 2 ME
Gouveneur NY
        117.9 Hollis ME
        117.8 Theresa NY
        117.7 Rangeley ME
        117.5 Walton NY
        117.3 Brassua Dam ME
        117.0 Malone NY
        116.4 Bayard WV
        116.3 Island Pond VT
        114.6 Corinth VT
        114.5 Fredonia NY
        114.5 Portland NY
        114.1 Rumford ME
        113.4 York Pond NH
        112.3 Buffalo NY
        111.9 Rushford NY
        111.3 Bangot ME
        111.1 Moosehead ME
        110.9 Harmony ME
        110.4 Livermore Falls ME 
        110.4 Newcastle ME
        109.3 Somerset PA
        107.9 Brockport NY
        107.5 Norfolk CT
        106.6 Indian Lake NY
        104.4 East Haven VT
        104.4 Dunkirk NY
        101.8 North Conway NH
        101.3 Poland ME
        101.2 Belfast ME
        101.2 Bridgton ME
        101.1 Durham ME
        100.8 West Hampstead NH
        100.7 Berlin NH
        100.1 Windham ME

Monday, December 10, 2018

MikJournal Monday 12/10/2018...Reflection Time

Good Monday to you. The latest winter storm has finally exited our region. Some, obviously not all, received a significant amount of freezing rain, sleet, and snow over the weekend. By and large, this was a difficult weather system to forecast. Let's take a moment to reflect on just what happened.

First, all computer models performed horribly. Some were better than others. The highest grade I would have given any model, well, perhaps a C+. Therefore, if you applied a curve like what we would have gotten on a college exam, well then, suddenly the grades don't look so bad, and the models did okay. Baloney!

And the forecasters who rely on these things? Well, let's just say they struggled. Admittedly, some tackled this thing head on, but, obviously, even they had no idea how it would all really work out in the end. Just spin the wheel and hope for the best.

However, one thing (of several things) that bothered me was a presentation of various computer forecast models. Pretty much by the time one showed all of the different solutions from all of the computer model runs, the entire state of Kentucky was going to be affected, which in the end was certainly not true. Therefore, if a forecaster presents all of these, even if the likelihood of it happening, was miniscule, the forecaster should be blamed for including this in any presentation for his forecast that causes ambiguity and confuses his audience .

It takes a certain skillset to present ONLY the models that make the most sense to the forecaster. No need to present 'outliers' unless the forecaster feels strongly that the outlier should be included based on a summarized, persuasive explanation supporting his argument(s). Otherwise, any inclusion of additional, possibly irrelevant data could cause confusion and actually show a lack of competence on the part of the forecaster. I have seen it happen when a forecaster puts out all of these computer models actually takes credit for including the one least likely to happen, even though it was not part of his/her original suite of forecast models supporting his ongoing forecast. Yep. Just trying to cover his/her you know what.

One other thing. When precipitation types are reported, especially by the public, I cringe seemingly every time I read these things.

Freezing rain is NOT something frozen that falls from the sky. It is the same liquid rain that you see in a summertime thunderstorm. The only difference is the liquid rain that falls from the sky becomes frozen on contact with any surface that is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius.

Examples of frozen precipitation that falls from the sky include graupel, or soft hail, that looks like foam balls quietly bouncing off the windshield; hail, which typically falls during a strong/severe thunderstorm and causes damage; sleet, or ice pellets, which we can easily hear bouncing off our windshields, windows, leaves in the yard, grill tops, roof tops, yeah you get it;  and good-old-fashioned snow, the most beautiful object falling from the sky.

Therefore, one cannot have freezing rain and 35 degrees. However, one can have sleet, or ice pellets, falling, and if it falls heavily, can leave a crunchy, or 'snow-cone' type of ice accumulation initially until the rate diminishes and the relatively warmer ground or object commences to melt the ice pellet.

Hopefully, for you ones who have been negatively impacted by the ice/snow accumulations, perhaps power outages, stuck at home because of blocked driveways or roadways, or even collapsed car ports, hang in there. Milder air will visit for a few days, but with additional rain chances later this week.

In conclusion, the Kentucky Mesonet site at Harlan county near the top of Black Mountain has now recorded 80.76" precipitation for 2018 as of last night.

Let's have a good week.


Monday, December 3, 2018

MikJournal December 2018 Outlook

As promised, I will not offer any Winter *forecast*, since it is for entertainment purposes only. Even if I was to offer a guess, believe me, it would be entertaining.

Despite the impractical side of forecasting a 3-4 month range of weather when no meteorologists can accurately forecast two weeks out, a monthly outlook can offer a more realistic and hopefully more accurate presentation despite its shortcomings or limitations.

Here's what we know. El Nino conditions are present. Often, this tropical feature found way out in the Pacific helps drive weather patterns, yes even here in the United States. But, we also have to remember that other atmospheric contributors can have more influence.

But, what we don't know is which atmospheric contributor(s) will weigh more heavily on our regional weather patterns?

I am going to post a teleconnections page here. Now, this will change nearly daily. But, pay special attention to the PNA, NAO, and the EPO....

I have heard it said that we need a PNA+, NAO-, EPO-, and an AO-, which I'll get to in just a moment, for a reasonable shot at a potent winter storm for our region.

Personally, in my observations, I prefer to see a PNA+ trending negative, NAO- trending positive, EPO- trending positive, and an AO- trending positive.

The chart above presents the mid-range players. They are still important. But, one of the main drivers of our winter patterns is the Arctic Oscillation. Here is a source that gives us an outlook for that one....

Enlarge the chart if necessary, but look at the top part of the chart, the red lines are the forecast. I like to see an AO-. Also, what I have noticed in recent years is a definitive V-shape becomes apparent that is a good indicator for winter storm/precipitation potential, one that is potentially more significant than a northwest flow of snow showers/flurries.

Look at the right side of the V. The AO should reach its most negative point (the bottom of the V), then trend toward neutral or positive. Allowing a few days or so, the cold air in place regionally should begin to have moisture entrained within the main flow, usually tapping into Pacific/Gulf of Mexico moisture. That is a good sign for a potential winter storm for our region.

However, I would still like to see the other players align a little better.  As I write this, the AO is on board for a significant winter storm, but there is still alignment issues with the NAO and the EPO. These are not major alignment issues. That tells me that a part of our region may still be affected by the upcoming weather system with wintry consequences. There is still time for these issues to work out.

Looking ahead, the weather should begin to normalize toward mid-month. However, as has been the case recently, a reloading of cold air will commence and likely plunge into the region sometime after this. During the holiday week, temperatures may try to recover again with precipitation chances being introduced. Could there be snow chances? It's looking like a possibility.

Normal to below normal temperatures to end the last week of the year looks like a possibility. More precipitation chances too. But, this time it looks like a wet solution than a white one. Let's see how it works out.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Lexington Sets Wettest Year Ever or Since 2011

Lexington has done it again. For the second time this decade, the area has set an all-time wettest year, breaking the previous record of 66.35" set in 2011. The final tally is yet to be determined, but 70" is a realistic possibility by December 31.


Monday, November 26, 2018

MikJournal Monday 11/26/2018...Terminology Explained

Good morning to you. Waking up this morning to a blustery start as temperatures have crashed overnight. My temperature at midnight was 51 degrees thus my high temperature for this day. However, presently at 10:15 a.m., I have a reading of 36 degrees, up one degree over the past few hours, and even experienced a few light snow showers.

Let me update you on Lexington's annual precipitation total. As I write this, a total of 65.57" has been tallied so far this year. The all-time record is 66.35" set in 2011. Therefore, a difference of just 0.78" is all that separates Lexington's all-time wettest year, or at least a tie.

A blast of cold air will reside in our region for a few days this week. In an earlier post, I mentioned about the Arctic Oscillation and its effects on our weather. Forecasts for a V-shaped signal caught my attention. Typically, I have noticed after the AO has taken a dive into negative territory, then quickly bounces back, rising toward the neutral line, an influx of milder air or return flow begins moderating our temperatures a bit. Often this introduces moisture into our region. Along with cold air trying to get out of the way, at times, the moisture overwhelms the cold air and we end up with a winter storm scenario.

But, this is normally seen during the winter months, at least this feature of the teleconnections. Of course, the other teleconnections like the NAO, PNA, and even the EPO have to be aligned as well. Since November has been behaving much like December and January at times, it seemed that this V-shaped signal would correlate better. However, all weather forecasts now are pointing toward a milder week after this cold snap. Any precipitation chances appear when the milder air is already in place thus just plain rain for our region.

Nevertheless, keep an eye on this exciting feature during the winter months as this is generally a precursor for wintry weather somewhere in our region. But, you know how Kentucky is, the battle lines between varying conditions of precipitation are always a source of contention and frustration for snow lovers and experienced forecasters alike.

One more thing. This is more about terminology than anything else. When you hear a meteorologist explain that the "strong winds are a result of low pressure with tightly packed isobars, or areas of equal pressure", that doesn't really spell it out for us very well, does it? It doesn't mean anything to me.

What is really happening? At the core of the low pressure, you have the lowest pressure reading. Surrounding that, perhaps only a few miles away, a different pressure reading is taken and shared by other locations surrounding low pressure. A few more miles away is a different pressure reading again shared by other locations surrounding the "low". Those are your isobars or areas of equal pressure. Behind the actual "low" is rising pressure. Ahead of the low is "falling pressure".

What causes the wind gradient? Well, simple physics tells us that pressure flows from high to low. It is either a steep rise or steep drop in pressure over a relatively short distance that produces the wind. The greater the difference between high and low pressure over a relatively small distance, the greater the force needed to equalize the pressure disparity. Eventually, winds will subside, because high pressure (also known as subsidence) will create more calm conditions in time.

Have a good week everyone. The busy season is upon us.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Winter Storm Watch (teleconnections) Before Month's End

You have heard it first. I am forecasting a Winter Storm Watch for the region. Of course, this is still experimental, but teleconnections from the AO is forecast to show a definitive V-shape signal leading up to the end of the month.

Look to the right side of the V, as the AO should be trending higher toward the neutral line. Winter storms affecting our region have happened when this particular feature presents itself. Cold air will be in place but access to the Gulf of Mexico will cause a collision of air masses that can produce winter precipitation.

Best estimate is between November 28 and November 30. Stay tuned.


Monday, November 19, 2018

MikJournal Monday 11/19/2018...More Below Normal Temperatures Coming

Another dreary Monday morning. Temperature at my place is 45 degrees at 7:00 a.m. Not looking like much rise in temperatures today with clouds and drizzle expected.

Lexington is closing in on its wettest year ever. As of last night, annual precipitation stands at 65.20". It is only the 3rd time on record that Lexington has surpassed the 65" mark. This is still the 3rd wettest year but closing in on 2nd with just a little over a half inch needed. Keep up with the total on the side of the blog as Lexington only needs 1.16" to set the all-time mark.

Louisville also is making puddles of its own. Of the 5 instances when the annual precipitation has exceeded 60" for any given year, 3 of those have now happened within the last 8 years (2011, 2015, 2018). The total of 62.32" is now the 5th wettest year. The all-time record may be hard to break though, since 68.02" is the mark to beat, nearly 5.70" away.

Snowfall for the month of November stands at 0.3" in Louisville. The last measurable November snowfall was in 2014/2015, a snow season that featured a still weak El Nino and a back-loaded winter (heaviest snow in February and March) that produced an impressive 27.6" for the snow year ending June 30. Again, most of that occurred in February and March 2015 when 22.8" was collected.

Just for fun, that would mean we would have to endure an uneventful December and January. While the first part of December looks cold, moderating temperatures seem poised to occur by the middle of the month. However, if it's just a brief speed bump, like what we have been seeing in recent months, the cold may become readily established once again with another shot of below normal temperatures by the holiday stretch. And you know what that could mean....

Presently, we are in a teleconnection pattern featuring a strengthening -AO, -NAO, and +PNA, a familiar and likely signal for below normal temperatures for the next several days after this week.

As we near the time when teleconnections mean something, I will be looking closely at the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index. What I have discovered over the last few years is when the AO is in a moderate to strong negative phase and forms a V-signature by quickly trending toward neutral. look for a snowstorm in our region as the AO is trending upward toward the neutral point. Typically, that means we already have cold air in place but warmer Gulf moisture is now available for something interesting.

That's all for now. Make it a good week. And don't overeat. I know, I know that's what everyone says.


Monday, November 12, 2018

MikJournal Monday 11/12/2018...Looking Ahead

It's Monday. It was a tough day for sinus sufferers yesterday, including yours truly. Let's see if we can look ahead to what kind of weather we could have for the rest of the month.

First, the month of November has been dishing out the same kind of weather we began experiencing during the last 2/3rds of the month of October. Presently, Lexington and Louisville are running about 4.3 to 4.7 degrees below normal respectively. Over the weekend, I had my first hard freeze with 22 degrees Saturday morning and 19 degrees Sunday morning.

The persistent pattern we have seen is a result of an impressive ridge out west, partially responsible for the ongoing deadly wildfires in California. This ridge has carved out an atmospheric slope for us, allowing cold air to travel in waves with multiple precipitation chances and reinforcing shots of cold air. So, we cannot blame it on any blocking pattern to our northeast, which is typical for allowing cold air to reside so long in our region.

With colder air, snow chances have been increasing. I had my first duster by Friday morning. This week looks unstable, and precipitation chances are already going up for the region. Cold air in place may make forecasting tricky for parts of the region. I will say the best chance for some snowfall this week will be around the Wed/Thu time period. Again, a tricky forecast but does offer a chance for wet snow accumulation for some, especially central and east, perhaps a couple of inches of grassy accumulations. Stay tuned for that one.

However, this is just my observation, looking at current trends and modeling maps, the ridge out west looks to break down enough heading into Turkey Week to allow hopefully some welcome relief to the West. Also, the pattern should benefit our region with milder readings, at least more normal for this time of year. I would not be surprised to see a stretch of above normal readings heading into the last part of the month.

Where do we go from there? Well, as has been my custom for the past couple of years, I will be offering a monthly outlook for each of the winter months, one month at a time. While this is still not as accurate as a short term forecast, I believe it is a more realistic presentation than the sensational winter season forecasts put out by others. I say sensational, because people have become 'entertained' by these forecasts over the years, forecasts that include how many inches of snow your area will receive for an entire winter. Come on! Most of your experienced forecasters cannot even predict how much snow we will see in the next 7 days. It's just a guess, and it's just for entertainment.

Once I get these leaves put away, I'll be flipping my switch to snow mode. I can't stand having my fresh powder contaminated by wet leaves. Anyway, make it a great week.


Monday, October 29, 2018

MikJournal Monday 10/29/2018...Rare October Statistic

Welcome to the last Monday in October. Wow, the leaves are really changing fast. Peak colors are likely this week here in Louisville. Get out there quick, because many of those leaves will be missing from the trees later this week thanks mainly to expected heavy rainfall along with high winds.

Projected rainfall totals this week look to average between 3 and 5" for a large chunk of central and western Kentucky, with locally higher amounts possible in convective training of stronger cells. This will likely push some areas like Louisville and Lexington further into the Top Ten Wettest Years all-time.

Lexington already stands at 59.44", good enough for #9. Louisville is at 57.03" for #10 wettest year ever.

Also, for the month of October, Lexington has had a record number of Cooling Degree Days (cumulative number of degrees above the average base temperature of 65) and an above normal number of Heating Degree Days (cumulative number of degrees below the average base temperature of 65).

Now, for my feature comment. Anyone who ever reads the blog knows I come up with some rather obscure statistics. I found another one. I have not completely verified this yet. Let's call it a preliminary finding.

First, October is known as a transition month linking late Summer/early Fall to late Fall/almost early Winter conditions. Quite often, especially early in the month, low temperatures in the 50's occur at both Louisville and Lexington. Based on the 1981-2010 average, in Louisville, October yields about 9 days with low temperatures in the 50's.

Did you know that Louisville and Lexington have yet to record a single day this month when the low temperature was between 50 and 59 degrees? We went straight from a low in the 60's/70's to the 30's/40's.

We still have a couple more days to go this month. But, to my knowledge, again a preliminary assessment, I do not believe this has ever happened at Louisville and Lexington when a low temperature in the 50's was never recorded during a month of October.

I think Louisville stands a better chance of recording zero days of low temperatures in the 50's than Lexington. It will be a close call for both locations. However, they will still enjoy rare company with the years of 1952 and 1987 when only 2 days occurred whereby a low temperatures in the 50's had happened.

Again, enjoy at least the first part of this week. Till next time, we'll talk again.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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
58 38 48 9.7 17 0 0 M M
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...

70 51 61 20 4 0 0 0 0
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.


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...