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.


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...