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.


Monday, February 18, 2019

MikJournal Monday 02/18/2019...Memorable Storm System This Week

First, I would like to apologize for last Monday's post. As you saw, there was nothing updated. However, I can say that I was affected by last week's flooding. Thankfully, no damage, but very little sleep over a 36-hour period. In addition, I have my 'normal' work that I actually get paid for. Of course, it was a very busy week with the holiday and all.

Now for this week. Uh, deja vu? Whatever that means. But, we will have another significant weather system affecting our region. And yes, there is now a likely chance that more flooding will occur throughout the state.

I have to put this on a separate line, because you have to see what forecast amounts are expected...

3 - 8" through next Sunday

...of rainfall! Most people would be happy, if not a little hesitant though, if accumulations of 3 - 8" were all snow.

Teleconnections do not favor any kind of significant winter storm for our region. However, this storm system is going to have it all. Rain, Freezing Rain, Snow. And some of the winter aspect could impact our region for a time.

Also, this could become a crippling ice event for some near the Blue Ridge mountains and along either side of the VA/NC borders. Freezing rain will not be too far away from us here in Louisville. Areas just north of the Ohio river could see some impacts.

But, the big story for us will be the heavy rainfall expected this week.

Right now, a wave of rainfall along a frontal boundary will produce efficient soaking amounts of 1 - 3" just for the Tue/Wed time frame for much of central Kentucky. Afterward, the axis of additional heavy rainfall for later this week becomes a little murky, no pun intended.

But, locations of south-central to eastern Kentucky appear to be in the bullseye for the upper end of forecast amounts this week. This does not mean areas of Louisville and Lexington are out of the woods for the heaviest rainfall. Low confidence in the exact trajectory of the storm system is hampering the forecast. But, somebody is going to get a lot of rain.

My homemade rain gauge is going to get a workout this week.

I will 'try' to post amounts, perhaps in a separate blog post. But, if you don't hear from me, I am probably babysitting the basement.

Stay safe out there. Don't be that person who gets trapped by rising floodwaters while driving through it. Watch out for all of those potholes, too. Man, I got some that will swallow a car around here.


Monday, February 11, 2019

MikJournal Monday 02/11/2019...SPECIAL: Flooding and Rain Reports This Week

I will be updating this page at least through Tuesday evening. Then, with renewed chances for more rainfall later this week combined with rising river levels, I will revisit this page and update rain totals locally and statewide. Therefore, I will not be updating any snow totals such as Lake Effect Snow Machine and Miscellaneous Regional Snowfall so that the primary focus will be on this severe weather event.

Again, check back here for the latest....


Monday, February 4, 2019

MikJournal Monday 02/04/2019...February Outlook

Welcome to another installment of my MikJournal Monday, which includes your February Outlook. Even though I am a huge fan of snow, the weekend weather was just what I needed. And this touch of Spring will continue for the majority of the work week. But, it comes with a price. Rain, possibly lots of rain for our region.

The WPC for the next 7 days: 4 - 6" central and west Kentucky; 1.5 - 3.5" east of I-75.

The NWS office here in Louisville is advising residents to keep an eye on the latest forecasts as Flood Watch products may become necessary later this week.

Now, for your February Outlook....

I will bombard you with some of my reliable sources that could help us see how this month may unfold. If you like snow, you may have to wait until the second half of the month.

My favorite teleconnections: AO, NAO, PNA, EPO

The AO is forecast to go from negative to positive, then trend back toward neutral by the middle of the month.

The NAO has been a persistent roadblock to a regional (state of Kentucky) display of winter weather. It remains mostly positive, but some of the ensembles are pointing toward a more neutral/slightly negative pattern by mid-month.

The PNA has been very negative, which keeps our region, for the moment, supplied with rich Pacific air and mild temperatures. It, too, should begin to trend toward a more positive state by the middle of the month, suggesting cooler temperatures.

The EPO has been mostly negative, but the results of the other 3 teleconnections have virtually rendered the EPO null and void, for the time being.

So, just like last month, the first part of February looks quite mild and wet. That leads us to the second half of the month. I do not believe the second half of February will be as cold as the second half of January. Old Man Winter about pulled off a comeback but fell just short last month. But, February will need help from the NAO if any prolonged cold is to stick around. The higher sun angle, longer days, no cold air will want to hang around unless we have a good old fashioned block. Otherwise, this meteorological winter will be toast, well-done toast.

I've lowered my estimate from a 20-25% chance for a below normal winter temperature regime to about 15-20%.

Significant snowfall still looks possible. Regionally, still looks doubtful. Hopefully, I will be able to post a mid-month update and have a clearer picture of how the second half of February will fare.

Other miscellaneous sources ....
CPC...through the middle of February: Near normal to above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation

ENSO: currently, a weak El Nino in progress

CFS Outlook: near normal temperatures and near normal to above normal precipitation for February.

Have a good week, everyone.


Monday, January 21, 2019

MikJournal Monday 01/21/2019...Below Normal Temperatures and Snow?

Good cold, very cold Monday morning to you. As I write this post, my temperature has touched 5 degrees with about a 2" snowpack. I hope my rosemary plant survives. Last year, we had a multi-day stretch of single digit temperatures that was just too much for its survival. This time around, I tried to put some dried stalks left over from my garden in, on, and around the plant hoping that will stave off the plant's imminent demise.

Anyway, if it does survive, I'll probably harvest quite a bit of the rosemary and cut the rest down to the ground, then place some leaves and stalks around the plant to protect it for the rest of the winter. Because, we have additional shots of Arctic air coming this way with more single-digit temperatures possible.

Currently, there are a few locations that are below zero this morning. As I mentioned in my last installment of MikJournal Monday, there will be more cold air intrusions than warm episodes, and that will lead to an overall below average temperature pattern for, perhaps, the rest of the month. This does not mean we won't see temperatures warm up some, but the cold air will be more entrenched and inclined to stay longer. Well, welcome to winter.

Looking at the CPC's 8-14 day outlook, temperatures are expected to be below average, a 70-80% chance. That takes us through February 3. Precipitation is expected to come in near or even slightly below normal during this same time.

Interpreting that scenario, it appears that we will have less southern-fed systems and more of a NW flow that typically has a few clippers and other minor disturbances moving through the flow. Small accumulations of snowfall and other precipitation should be expected. However, over the next couple of weeks, there is always the chance for an 'overachiever' to help boost our snow totals.

Last weekend's snow event, along with winter storm warnings for a few locations, was not too impressive. Yes, I saw analogs and earlier models point to a 2-5" snowfall for areas near and just north of the Ohio River. Actually, that proved more true than some of the short range models that overplayed forecasted amounts of at least 4-6".

Louisville's Muhammad Ali International airport came in at 2.3", Lexington at 1.7", and Bowling Green had 2.5". At my location in Valley Station, just southwest of Louisville's MAI, I had 2.4". I'll be updating totals this morning on my blog. Except for the northern part of Kentucky, most areas are still below normal in the snowfall department this season.

This week's chances for snowfall are mixed. My favorite teleconnections are mostly on board for more winter weather precipitation. The NAO continues to remain rather stubborn though, flirting with neutral and slightly positive values. That's predominately why we will see it warm enough here for plain liquid precipitation with leftover chances for back side snows and generally minor accumulations. But, we'll keep an eye on that midweek scenario.

But, there should be plenty of chances to add to that, as long as the cold air stays with us for a while.

Make it a good week. I may chime in with more posts related to snow and cold for later this week. Till then, have a good one and stay safe.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mid-Month Update

January got off to a blistering start during its first several days of the month. Now, conditions have retreated some, but still Louisville and Lexington are averaging a little over 5 degrees above normal for the month of January, about what I was expecting by now.

It's going to take a lot of cold to offset the warm gains earlier this month. A promising look for the near term has Arctic air visiting us for almost a weekend stay, not what I would call a true vacation.

Recent trends now indicate some fluctuation in temperatures but with more cold air intrusion than warm air episodes. It may not be enough to offset these monthly gains, though. In addition, meteorological winter of December, January, and February may not finish below normal for temperatures as some have predicted. December's temperatures also  averaged at least 5 degrees above normal. If January finishes some 2-3 degrees above normal, which is what I am projecting at this time, the month of February will have to come in at least 8 degrees below normal to offset the previous months' warmth.

It could happen. But, I'm still keeping the percentage in a 20-25 percent range for a below normal temperature winter.

One other thing. All locations except the far northern areas of Kentucky are running below normal in the snowfall department. Projections are for some improvement. However, for most in the state, they will continue a snow deficit for much of this month. February looks promising still. Most of our snowfall should fall during this month of February and perhaps part of March, which is technically outside of 'meteorological winter'.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ugly Analog For Upcoming Storm

February 15, 2003. Part of a massive storm system that produced blizzard conditions for some in the U.S. For some of us, though, here in Kentucky, it was an ice storm that brought Lexington to its knees.

Could something like that happen? Hopefully not this time. But, I am more convinced that ice will be in some of our official forecasts.


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...