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.


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...