Monday, July 22, 2019

MikJournal Monday 07/22/2019...A Break in the Heat

Welcome to another edition of my Journal for this Monday morning July 22, 2019. Today is T-day. No, I don't mean thunderstorm day, but Transition day, a well-deserved respite from the heat AND humidity beginning later today and tonight that takes us through the rest of the week.

This morning is still quite muggy. Shower chances will be modest, and rainfall amounts will vary today. Afterward, a sharp contrast in air masses takes place. Much cooler and drier air takes over with oppressive dew point readings that were well into the 70's being replaced by readings in the 50's. Temperatures in the low to mid 90's knocked down to the low and mid 80's. That's right. Instead of "feel like" temperatures in the 100-105 degree range, it will feel 20-25 degrees cooler. Summer's version of a Polar Vortex. Well, relatively speaking.

Rainfall chances go down after today. So, if you needed the rain, today's the day. If you didn't need the rain, this is your week.

Checking the numbers for Louisville and Lexington, both 'official' locations are now running behind last year's record rainfall totals. It's amazing how some areas have received little rainfall this month contrasted with nearby areas.

For example, Lexington's Bluegrass airport has received 2.42" for the month of July. The Mesonet site about 6 miles away "as the crow flies" has tallied 4.69".

Here in Louisville, the official location has recorded just 0.98" for the month whereas a 21-mile "as the crow flies" trek along I-64 and US 60 to Simpsonville has totaled 4.62".

Putting aside the Geography bee for the week, I would like to take this opportunity to express my disappointment for some people who feel that we are "getting too soft" when it comes to the heat. Instead of relaying the basics of heat safety and all the practical precautions, why do such ones need to poke fun at why the NWS offices coordinated an Excessive Heat Warning for millions when most of us never exceeded those ranges?

Well, why you are at it, why not poke fun at residents living in Brooklyn, Long Island, and Queens NY where the heat has resulted in a strain on its power grid resulting in outages of greater than 24 hours? Do me a favor, turn your power off, no air-conditioning, no fans, in this kind of heat, and let me know how you feel later. Let's see how tough you are.

Better yet, give up your inside job for a day and come outside and work with me. Show me what you got.

Then, why not publicly voice your sentiments to the families who lost 6 loved ones to the heat this week and explain to them that their loved ones were just not tough enough...they were too soft.

No, we're not getting soft, we're getting smart.

I say kudos to the staff at Yankee stadium for setting up supplemental hydration stations on all 3 decks and the bleachers while making announcements over the Public Address system to the fans to keep drinking water. That's not being soft, that's being smart.

And as for those 'exaggerated' heat warnings issued by the NWS offices, I say "Thank you". And thanks for posting those necessary reminders for heat safety. Yes, thanks for being one of the smart ones around here.

Make it a great week, people. The weather is going to be great. Enjoy!


Monday, July 15, 2019

MikJournal Monday 07/15/2019...Mid-Month Update

Good Monday morning and welcome to this installment of my Journal. Over the past two weeks, I have certainly dried out here at my place in Valley Station, just outside of the great heat island called Louisville. Others, though, are still posting impressive rain totals, adding to yet another waterlogged year.

I have recorded only 0.02" for the month of July, and that was on the 3rd. No measurable rainfall since then. I'm not alone, though. Covington has only recorded 0.02" for the month so far and even matches my annual total of 35.63".

Here's another stat for the "Have Nots" club that I had to place on a separate line. The Boone county Mesonet has not recorded any measurable precipitation since June 24. That is nearly 3 weeks!

But, then, you have the other side, too much rain.

Jackson has already received nearly 4" for the month. In addition, Paducah has already picked up 3.39" to add to its incredible total of over 47" for the year so far. That is over 20" above their normal precipitation amount by now.

Recently, I reviewed the State of the Climate report and found more records were broken. The period from July 2018 through June 30 2019 was the wettest ever, not just statewide, but nationally.

Here's something that will cool you off. As of July 13, the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center's National Snow Analyses page now displays 0.0% of the area covered by snow. Sure, there is some snow on the higher summits somewhere nationally, but not enough for the percentages. This compares to July 3 of last year when the area covered by snow nationally was also 0.0%.

Yet, it appears that snowfall for many locations was down for the year.

I have nearly finished my annual report of the 10-foot snow club for the snow season ending June 30 for locations east of the Mississippi River. Some 70 locations registered totals of over 120" and includes cities like Marquette MI and Caribou ME.  Be looking for it by the end of the week here in another Journal entry.

Here is your geography bee for this Monday. The mighty Mississippi river. We all know where it ends. But, where does it begin? One would have to travel to Minnesota and visit the Itasca State Park, claimed to be the 2nd oldest state park in the United States behind Niagara Falls. There, you will find a small glacial lake called Lake Itasca. From its humble beginnings at nearly 18 feet wide, the headwaters of the Mississippi River begins its 2,500+ mile journey, eventually ending in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is your personal view of those headwaters....

Have a good week everyone.


Monday, July 1, 2019

MikJournal Monday 07/01/2019...Mid-Year Stats

Welcome to the mid-year edition of my Journal. Doesn't it seem like the first half of this year just picked up where last year left off? Wet. Quite likely, another new 12-month precipitation record, this time from July 2018 through June 2019, will be set for Kentucky, possibly replacing last month's all-time 12-month record.

London recorded 12.22" for the month of June, obliterating its previous wettest June on record.

London also recorded its wettest month on record for any month of the year, beating out the previous record of 12.16" set in December 1990.

Jackson 3rd wettest June

Covington/Cincinnati 4th wettest June

Louisville 6th wettest June

Bowling Green 9th wettest June

Lexington and Frankfort fell just outside of their top ten wettest June's on record.

After last evening's rainfall, my June total surpassed the 10" mark, coming in at 10.08". My annual total now stands at 35.61", well ahead of last year's mark at this time.

Oh, and by the way, you will be pleased to know that little sliver of west or south-central Kentucky that was in an "abnormally dry" shading was officially removed during the latest drought monitor report.

Surprisingly, most areas finished near to slightly below normal in the temperature department. This past week of drier and hotter weather really helped out.

I'm seeing signs of an overall national and global shift in temperatures. For the past few years, we have been experiencing much warmer than normal readings, top 5 rankings at least. Hopefully, the cooler pattern we are seeing now will continue and help temper the extreme weather events many locations have experienced over the last several years.

I talked to a farmer from Indiana yesterday, and he said his watermelon crop is a near-total loss. Some fields of central and southern Indiana still have water overlaying the land, prohibiting some from even planting their crops. He informed me that some farmers say this is the worst they've seen it in several decades.

I guess in some ways, too much water is worse than a drought.

Well, the end of the snow season occurred yesterday. You can check out the blog statistics and compare your location with several NWS sites. Some of my favorite tracking locations near the Tug Hill region of western New York saw much less snow this past year compared to previous years. I'm still working on finalizing that data.

Your geography bee of the week has to deal with another "Tug" in its name, the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy river. For years, I always thought the feud of the infamous Hatfield's and McCoy's were separated by a fence. Well, in this case, it's the liquid fence of the Tug Fork, separating Kentucky and West Virginia.

It's been a fascinating, albeit confusing read, these Hatfield's and McCoy's. There were so many of them. And despite the many bloody events, several Hatfield and McCoy members were married to each other, which made it even more difficult to keep track who was supporting what side, if any.

Anyway, it's a piece of Kentucky history. Go to Pikeville sometime or the eastern part of Pike county, where the McCoy's occupied much land. See the other side, where the Hatfield's lived, just across the river in West Virginia.

Image result for hatfields and mccoys tug river map

From a slide on a page of

Meanwhile, have a good week. Have a safe one too.


Monday, June 17, 2019

MikJournal Monday 06/17/2019...Precipathon II

Welcome to another Monday edition of my Journal. It's starting out on a soggy note. Then again, what else is new?

We are now in the midst of another long-duration rain event, affectionately I call Precipathon part 2, like a marathon rain event, similar to one we had earlier this month.

Locations like Louisville and Covington/Cincinnati could be looking at top ten June Precipitation records before this week is over.

I'll be doing my best to update annual totals on my blog. But, please understand, it's a very 'fluid' situation. Yeah, I know. Weather geeks like myself just can't resist.

Seriously, though, the rainfall totals in some areas are becoming dangerous. Reports of water rescues over the weekend and a report of a landslide in Powell county destroying a home are just a few of the issues confronting residents and drivers.

While it will not rain the entire time, our region is placed in the proverbial bull's eye for episodic bouts of heavy rain. The convective nature of the storms this week could dump a lot of rain over one location while another location not too far away sees very little.

NWS Louisville has already put out numbers of an additional 2 - 4" for the week ahead. Again, that's on top of the 1 to nearly 4" that has already fallen over the past couple of days.

Your geography bee of the week...

Although Interstate 90 is the longest interstate in the United States at just over 3,000 miles, the longest road in the United States is Route 20, at over 3,300 miles, the scenic route if you will, which runs roughly parallel to the I-90 and includes Boston MA at one end to Newport OR at the other.

Route 20
(photo HistoricUS20)

Have a nice week everyone. Stay safe.


Monday, June 10, 2019

MikJournal Monday 06/10/2019...Impressive Rain Totals

Good Monday to you. Hopefully, it's a bit drier where you are today. Impressive rain totals over the last 5 days or so.

I recorded 3.92" during this time. Thankfully, the lush green vegetation surrounding my house now helped to capture and absorb the liquid before anything could invade my basement.

Other locations saw over 6.5" for the same time period, such as Barren county Mesonet near  Glasgow. Casey county Mesonet also recorded over 6" for the event. Two to four inches were quite common across several areas of central and east Kentucky. At times, the rainfall was so intense, flash flooding occurred in not less than a few locations.

Hopefully, we can dry things out, get some much needed yard work done, and then do it all over again, this time not as much rainfall...hopefully.

Your geography bee for the week is...Sawyer KY in McCreary county, just north of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, and Sault Saint Marie MI share a very close approximation in terms of longitude coordinates (the west to east coordinates). Of course, the latitude coordinates, or north-south coordinates are much different, approximately 9.5 degrees difference. When I would chase storms, I often used the Great Circle Formula to determine how far away storms were versus how much time would be needed to drive and intercept (storms don't use the highway most of the time). Using the formula, one can calculate the distance between the two locations(as the crow flies, not actual driving miles)....

Converting the latitude and longitude coordinates from degrees to radians for the two locations(E2 and E5 radians) and (F2 and F5 radians) respectively and using this sample formula from my Excel spreadsheet, here is the distance...

Distance is 663 miles

from lat long lat(rad)e2 long(rad)f2
ssm 46.4977 -84.3476 0.811538 -1.4721433
to lat long lat(rad)e5 long(rad)f5
sawyer 36.9001 -84.3516 0.6440282 -1.4722131
662.8555 miles

Have a good week.

Monday, June 3, 2019

MikJournal Monday 06/03/2019...Wet Threat

Hey, hey! Welcome back to an overdue Monday edition of my journal. Wow, time flies. It's already meteorological summer. School is just about out for the kiddos here in Jefferson County. The garden is in full swing. Lots of pepper plants this year, including habanero and ghost pepper along with a chili pepper and a couple of Marconi pepper plants, a few sweet bell pepper and Big Bertha bell plants. And of course, tomato plants, including one I am experimenting with in a bale of straw. I have never tried it before and thought I'd give it a go. Looking forward to fried green tomatoes and some hot salsa later this summer.

In case you missed it, have a look at this....

That's right, pre-drought conditions. Who'd ever thought we would be talking about abnormally dry weather after such a wet winter? But, there you have it. Because by this time next week, that abnormally dry condition will be gone.
We have an abundance of moisture poised to invade our region. In fact, some locations could see rain totals exceeding 4" by this time next Monday. Stay tuned. In addition, convective activity looks to be strong to severe at times for many of us. We could even have multiple rounds of severe weather. Again, stay tuned to your favorite media source for the most up-to-date information.

I'm a big geography buff, so here is a couple of interesting statistics you might enjoy. The state of Delaware has just 3 counties, making this state the one with the least amount of counties, whereas Texas tops the list with an astounding 254 counties, equal to the combined counts of the commonwealths of Virginia(134) and Kentucky(120) who are ranked 3rd and 4th highest respectively.

Have a good week. And keep alert to those possible hazards this week.


Monday, February 25, 2019

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, when the average high temperature for this date in Louisville, Kentucky has historically averaged out to 48.2 degrees.

Yes, it has been a very wet month of February. I am still in the process of updating totals for the blog. However, one thing I haven't needed to update, at least locally, is the snowfall. And perhaps many of us would like to see some snow just as long as it is not rain, because we have had way too much of that.

Here is a profound statement. Many places in Kentucky have seen more than twice as many inches of rainfall than snowfall. Shouldn't that be the other way around for a normal Dec-Feb winter?

There have been no shortage of reports statewide regarding our flooded streets, yards, and rivers. Social media stepped up and provided invaluable imagery and descriptive accounts of what was happening in their own communities or nearby locations.

Nevertheless, please be careful. Don't sacrifice safety just to 'beef up' the number of hits for your social media account. It's just not worth it. Live to see another day. Right?

Now, what everyone wants to know is, "Are we ever going to get out of this wet pattern?"

Unfortunately, the teleconnection patterns I follow have changed very little and are forecast to show little change. However, there does appear to be a pattern shift. No, not a change, but a shift. What do I mean?

After a nice period of drying out this week, much cooler weather appears in the extended forecast. Hopefully, this means the main conveyor belt of moisture will now shift to the south of our region. Yes, the moisture will continue to be richly fed by Pacific air and the Gulf of Mexico. However, any storm systems might take a more southern route .

The Climate Prediction Center, in its 6-10 day outlook for the first week of March shows below normal temperatures and a chance for above normal precipitation for our region. We don't want to hear that part, above normal precipitation. However, the exciting part is that some of that precipitation might not fall as all rain.

Although the teleconnection patterns do not favor a significant winter event for Kentucky, the setup does favor overrunning moisture, which could lead to some wet snow or perhaps icing problems. Again, nothing significant...yet.

Overall, it does appear likely our region will see below normal temperatures, on average, for the first 10 days of March. We will see about that.. If the NAO continues its run of neutral/positive readings, we should see some milder days but offset by more cooler days. I'm not ready to say this will be a record cold March coming up. Any polar intrusions will be short-lived, because the dominant pattern will be Pacific air, at least through the early part of March.

That's all I have for today. Make it a good week. Remember, less than 4 weeks from now, Spring.


MikJournal Monday 07/22/2019...A Break in the Heat

Welcome to another edition of my Journal for this Monday morning July 22, 2019. Today is T-day. No, I don't mean thunderstorm day, but T...