Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Call Your Relatives in Kansas City!!!

If you know anyone in the Kansas City area or in the KS to MO area, kindly give them a call and tell them to TURN THEIR WEATHER RADIOS ON!!! There is a huge hook-echo (with tornado reported on the ground) heading just south of KS City. There will be many more of these as the night progresses throughout the plains/midwest.

As for us, we're still in the cross hairs. We aren't in as good a chance for severe/tornadoes as MS, AL, or GA is. The fact of the matter still stands that there is a threat and still a pretty good chance of severe storms tomorrow. We are on the border of a Slight to Moderate risk area, but I'm willing to guess that we're almost just as susceptible to tornadoes and hail as the area just inside that moderate risk area.

Many meteorologists are calling for mass weather radio activations. Remember: a weather radio is just as important as a smoke detector!

I'll get into full severe weather mode tomorrow and make posts when possible. If super cells develop, I'll probably out there with my video camera. A super cell is cool because it is so small and compact that you can see it in the distance and see it coming towards you. They also breed tornadoes, just like the super cell SW of Kansas City that is currently producing one.

Get ready!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Get Your Weather Radios Ready!!!

Thursday afternoon looks scarier and scarier as consecutive instability/moisture models come out. There is massive instability working its way in here on Thursday on the CAPE model:

The energy is just impressive here, that's all I can say. The tornado models also have quite a risk in here too. What I'm REALLY concerned about (and excited to see) is the strong possibility for small isolated supercells. These supercells do breed tornadoes, but I'm still a little iffy on a strong tornado threat. There is a threat of tornadoes though, its just not clear how much these supercells have to work with in terms of tornadic elements.

YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR WEATHER RADIOS ON THURSDAY!!! These cells develop quickly and spin up tornadoes with very little warning. I would say we are at a pretty decent risk for some nasty supercells as I said above. If you don't believe me, look what the NWS has to say:

I'll update you tomorrow as this situation becomes more apparent.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Did I Speak Too Soon?


Yeah, I think I did speak too soon. Yesterday, we were seeing a southward movement of this low pressure. This would correspond with the severe threat moving south too. Today, there has been some northward movement of that low and the instability readings are coming in better for Thursday.

So yes, our severe threat has indeed gone up. I'm not sure as to the extent of the threat, but I'm sure we'll know on Wednesday.


Spotter activation is when citizen weather observers call in reports of hail, wind, or tornadoes. This statement was posted on the Hazardous Weather Outlook. Anytime this statement pops up on the HWO, I get a little nervous. This usually means the fine folks at the Louisville NWS have a gut feeling about a system. If they are a little iffy, it says something like "Spotters are encouraged to monitor the situation and further forecasts". But no, this is straight forward.

Also, the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) put out this interesting little bit too:


A little ominous, don't you think?
Looking at the GFS, there isn't a huge amount of moisture with this, but nevertheless there is some. Sometimes more moisture corresponds with a soaker instead of a rumbler, but that's just a hunch/hypothesis. Looking at the wind charts, there is some really strong winds with this. As with any severe weather outbreak, there are factors like sunlight and instability that will play a key role in severity.

As for that crazy thing that I talked about yesterday, it is still on there. Although we are now warmer with it so the snow would be much less. Just something fun to think about though...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

372 Hours Out? Yeah Right GFS.

I love how the GFS model teases us with these petty little storms so far out in the model timing. Look at this:

This is on March 12th really late at night. **IF** this were to occur, we could see more than a foot of snow. Here are three reasons why you shouldn't care:
  1. THIS IS 372 HOURS AWAY FROM NOW!!! The model has episodes this far out.
  2. The 540 line is right over us, which with our luck will probably go north of us
  3. The low could shift north or south with consecutive models
You should not worry about this. I will keep watch on this for the next 16 days. If this thing is consistent with the 540/moisture/timing by this time next week, then I will start really analyzing this thing. If the model resembles any thing close to this by 2 weeks from now (with moisture and 540 line in place, along with low pressure tracking south of us) I will start hyperventilating.

Aside from loony model runs and crazy long-range forecasting, today was again wet. We picked up .14" of rain since midnight at my house. There will be some rain on Thursday, but the storms will head south to about the same area that got tornadoes yesterday. We should be just soggy though...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rain, More Rain, and Then Some More.

No forecast video today. I can't escape this awful cold/virus thing that took my voice from me. Really, you don't want to hear my voice. It sounds like a duck whose voice cracks when it quacks.

We have had .58" of rain at my house today, most coming down in the afternoon hours. We're in this sort of soggy weather impasse as there is severe weather to our south and a snowstorm (...sniffle...) to our north.

It also looks like our Thursday rain event will be the same as today with storms to the south and snow to the north, while we sit here and drown. I need something, a snowstorm, a severe weather outbreak, or whatever. I need to appease my extreme weather drive thats been plaguing me since November. I just need something to get excited about weatherwise!

Oh, I'll pull myself together here and look forward. There's been four reports of tornadoes today in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. Sounds like Louisiana got a bad one, several homes were reportedly destroyed in the northeastern part of the state.

Not too much else to say here. There are sporadic chances for snow showers here late next week, but I have given up on snow. After so many missed chances for some record snow, we sit here and count flurries. Like I said before, Indianapolis is only a short distance from here, but they have gotten exponentially more snow than we have. As they say in French: Je veux beaucoup des orages!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Severe Weather Threat SW of Us

We were able to sneak out of the severe weather threat for Saturday, but those who have it are in for it. OK, TX, and KS could see a huge severe weather outbreak with a sizable amount of tornadoes. Gosh, I would just love to go storm chasing out there tomorrow. Anybody have a spare plane ticket to Tulsa or Oklahoma City that departs tonight?

Anyway, all will be rainy here tomorrow night and Sunday. But, that's it really.

Longer range, we're looking for some similar storm activity to happen late next week. Again, we'll have to see if there is any severe weather that accompanies this system. I'm having a tough time deciding what will happen next week because the GFS is really acting funny. Anything past Tuesday of next week is real sketchy at this point. Who knows, maybe this is an omen to a surprise frozen/severe system next week that we can't forecast.

There may not be a forecast video tomorrow. I have this awful viral/cold thing and my voice is just awful. Sorry!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Newest Models say...

Severe weather for Saturday is out. The instability won't be great enough and the timing is way too late in the evening for it to happen. It will storm, but nothing to go into your basement about:

Another storm next week could provide another chance for severe weather, but still too early too tell. I don't see any return to winter in the models though. So snow lovers, this looks like the end. Severe weather lovers, your number is coming up...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Severe Threat Still on the Books...

We still have a severe weather threat from Saturday evening into Sunday. Again, as I've harped on before, timing is crucial to the severity here. We could get just some rain, or maybe more.

Also, there are some puzzling model runs that have been occurring over the past couple days. Today's 6z and 12z GFS models can't agree on anything past this weekend. The most recent run has a (don't get excited yet) snow event on the tail end of a whopper cold front for late next week. A similar situation is on tap for the week after that too, according to the GFS. I just don't like how the GFS puts these storms in different positions on every model run. My confidence level is extremely low at this point on anything past Sunday.

One thing I can bet on is wild weather for March. Due to our new pattern, where we sit on the edge of cold and warm air masses, we can expect wild ups and downs for a few weeks. I've been seeing forecasts (and model runs to support this) that have us running into the 60's before plunging into the 30's after a major cold front on many occasions. This is kind of a spring weather pattern...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I woke up this morning and....

The minute I got on to the SPC (Storm Prediction Center, NWS) website, my head nearly hit the ceiling:

This is for TODAY.

Yesterday this severe risk area was over Arkansas and S. Tennessee. The front slowed way down overnight so our thunderstorms would occur in the afternoon, which makes them stronger due to heat convection from the sun. We're only under a slight risk for any severe storms, but at least we're getting some storms today. This was totally unexpected by any forecaster.

As for Saturday, the same map I showed yesterday still applies. Timing will be crucial for any severe weather in Louisville. If the squall line hits in the morning, we'll just have some thunder. If the squall line hits in the afternoon, we'll be in the basement.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keep Your Eyes on Saturday

My meteorological intuition is firing up on Saturday's storm. It makes me uneasy...

I'm seeing an overall agreement on not a lot of upper level convection and more of a lower level event. Also, we seem to be getting a strikingly similar situation to a Nov. 1998 event that I remember slightly because it happened the day before my birthday. I know it was bad due to the historical charts and reports, but I also seem to remember having to be in the basement. There were 22 tornadoes across this neck of the woods during that event.

Here's why I'm uneasy. This strong lower level convection likes to spin up tornadoes like nuts. Upper level convection interferes with tornado growth, but as I said, that won't be occurring. I'm seeing consensus among the TV and NWS stations that we will get a squall line on Saturday evening late. This squall line would be very low-topped (no upper level convection).

Look, we're going to hit near 70 on Saturday. Only a couple days after that we will be in the 50's and 40's, a big change. Like I said last night, a big temperature change doesn't come without something wild happening.

If this really does happen like the 1998 event, we are in for a treat (for storm lovers, like moi) or a problem (for everyone else). From a safety standpoint, make sure your flashlights have batteries and your weather radios are in good condition this week. The straight line winds will knock out power in many places on Saturday. I know I sound sadistic, but I kinda wanna see a funnel cloud this weekend. Of course I don't want one to touchdown for the sake of life and property, but I really haven't seen one before (and I want a video of it to put on YouTube).

SPC's on my bandwagon...(or vice versa)

Well, I talked about our severe weather threat for next weekend as sort of the odd man out on this forecast. This morning though, every weather agency has made some mention of it. Take a look at this new outlook from the SPC (Storm Prediction Center, NWS):

This potential area for severe weather has widened since yesterday's forecast. Also, here's an excerpt from a new "Hazardous Weather Outlook" from our hometown NWS office:
So now everyone is on the bandwagon for a severe event. I don't know about tornadoes though. I don' t think we'll have a big risk here of tornadoes, but south of the KY/TN border may have a greater threat as the intensity of these storms increase the further south you go. Be alert!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

From One Extreme to the Polar Opposite...

Today: 28 degrees and sunny. Next Weekend: 65 degrees with severe storms.

These two forecasts look like upstate NY and Pensacola Florida at this time of year. Oddly enough, this is Louisville's forecast.

Today's snow will melt in a flash tomorrow. Tuesday-Wednesday looks wet. That's only getting started though.

Next weekend a large low is forecasted to come over N. Indiana. What does that mean? Well, you've probably heard of the nasty tornadoes and severe storms rolling through Louisiana and Florida. Translate those storms 400 miles north and that's what is going to happen here (although not as bad due to lower temps than there).

Those severe storms have been produced by our recent low pressure systems barreling across southern IN. In the winter, you get heavy snow on the North side of these, and severe weather on the south. In the middle, where Louisville has been, you get little or nothing. So now we are on the south side.

I want to urge you to keep an eye on this system next weekend. Let me put it this way, Saturday may push 70 degrees. Sunday will be in the 30's. A temperature change like that never comes quietly. Do I want to pop in the "T" word for us? I do not know at the moment, I need more data on the convection and exact storm placement before I can even begin to talk about twisters. I've seen some meteorologists stop just short of saying that though today, although they really didn't say if the threat was going to go this far north.

Now, now, now, don't get into a crazed rampage because I said the word tornado. The last time we had a tornado in Louisville that actually did some damage was 1974. My theory is that our geography inhibits tornado formation.

Why? Look at Iroquois Park, it is the highest point in the city. Any storm system that would want to spin up a tornado has to pass over Iroquois Park. Due to its elevation, this would break up any cloud formation and disrupt convection. This theory checks out because places like OK, KS, and NB are notoriously flat, which breeds tornadoes.

Enough about theories.
How about that snow out there? I went sledding today for the first time in 2 years! It's a bummer that this is probably the last snow event for the season, although it was better than last year (a total of 0 "sleddable" snowstorms). I don't know, maybe March will surprise us with a major storm...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Final Total...

We got exactly 2" of snow, right around the area I had predicted. Jury is still out on my 3.2" at the NWS office. This is because some of the snow melted at 1pm-2pm, which could have been enough all together to have made 3.2". Look at this beautiful pic:

Snow Update...

Hey, hey, hey! I just measured 1" of snow on our sidewalk! This is so great to finally see some snow. At about 2:00pm it was snowing very hard and put down about 2/3 of an inch in just a few minutes. I guessed 3.2" for John Belski's guess the snow contest, but we'll see what happens...

New Forecast Video

I go over the snow totals in this new video...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Maybe the gazillionth time is a charm?

Yes, there will be 2-4" of snow tomorrow. I for one am very excited. This clipper went nuts at about 2:00pm this afternoon on the charts. If you don't believe me, take a look at the current radar:

I think this system has potential. There could be isolated amounts of 4" or more inches and we'll have blowing snow with 30mph winds tomorrow! I'm in full gear getting video stuff ready for tomorrow since this might be my only shot this year. Here it comes!
A Snow Advisory has been issued... More on this tonight.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Drama...

Here it is point blank: there is a clipper system coming on Saturday. Snows could be anywhere from nothing to 4 inches. What a range, isn't it?

Today's models are taking this thing south and are keeping it there. The GFS wants a Whopper snow (2-4"), whereas the NAM opts for a Junior Whopper with Cheese (1-2"). Our good Mountie weather model in Canada is leaning toward the GFS solution with the low pressure tracking south of Louisville (South of Louisville=Snow, North of Louisville=Little or no snow).

This is 48 hours away and there is no consensus. With 21st century innovations like the quad-core processor, iPhone and such, you would think we would have a good grip on the weather for 2 days out. Sadly, this is not the case.

Anyway, the NAM has been good on the last storms, but there are more and more models starting to side with the GFS on this one. The NAM may submit to the GFS-like situation tomorrow I think. Sadly, I think this is our very last chance for winter snow at the moment.

Why? Well, there is a huge warm up next week that will put us in the 50 degree range and maybe even 60 later on. I don't think we will pull out of this either. By the time this pattern breaks, it might be too late for snow (although there are signs it could break in early March). The only exception would be on the 26th possibly, with a hellacious trough coming through that could bring heavy rain. On the backside of this storm at night, it will be very cold and moisture will still be plentiful unlike the last storm. This is just so far out and so warm though, I don't think anything will happen snow wise unless the trough is really packin' a punch.

Keep watch on Saturday, I think this could be our singular snow event for the season.

Monday, February 12, 2007

That's it, I'm Moving to Indianapolis!

I am downright SICK of snowstorms, MAJOR SNOWSTORMS, missing Louisville by less than 100 miles. I can't begin to tell you how sickening it is to watch the GFS and NAM dance around teasing us with 10" of snow and then erasing our chance the night or two before. I'm not going to have a healthy heart by the time December 2007 rolls around to do this again!

There better be a payback for this somehow. Saturday looks to harbor another cold as heck clipper with big fluffy snow. It'll probably miss us with our luck (we're 0 in 4 folks).

My best morning ever was on Saturday. The GFS and NAM took this same system (which has put down .28" looking at my rain gauge), going south to us with over a foot of snow. And then by 12:00pm they came back to their senses and my depression went through the roof.

I don't know, if Tuesday and Saturday don't work out for snow, that will probably be it for this winter. I don't know what else to do!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


We had the potential for 10 inches or more of snow. Now we get snubbed by rain. It will take an utter miracle for this system to shift south (100-200 miles) and let the cap off of the cold air for us. There is NO HOPE for a snowstorm at this point.

This storm looks like some rain, a little sleet, and an inch or two of snow. $?#! (that really caps my emotion)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Things Look Rainy...

I'm running out of options here. There is just too much warm air being pulled north to get a snowstorm. I think we'll get mostly rain and maybe a light snow band on Monday/Tuesday. That's it.

The low pressure is tracking north to Philly on most models, bringing us warm air from the south. Our only hope at this time is that the low tracks out to NC/Virginia so that a narrow, but highly concentrated band of snow falls on us. At this point, I see that this probably won't happen...

Updated Forecast Video

Here's a new Saturday morning forecast update...

Friday, February 9, 2007

Anyone can take a crack at this one!

Here's your chance to do a little forecasting! Simply put on a blindfold, and say rain or snow for Monday.

That's how things are looking now. I mean there is a literal 50/50 chance for rain-snow or just all snow. What's the difference? A whole heck of a lot.

This storm on Monday has THE moisture we need. Period. Now we need temperatures and low placement to cooperate with this. This thing is supposed to track slightly north as it nears, bringing us rain for Monday afternoon after a period of snow in the morning. The minute it goes south on Monday night, we are 100% snow until early Wednesday morning. Here's my problem, the GFS forecasts the heaviest moisture to come in here on Monday afternoon. So in this current case, the storm would be rain/freezing rain with a moderate snowfall on the tail end due to a secondary moisture pocket.

I don't buy that.

This system is developing like our Christmas 2004 storm, almost deja vu like. There was rain forecasted until 2 days before the storm. Then the city was panicked because there was no preparation due to the forecasted warm temps. I remember this storm well. It dropped an inch of sleet (rain was forecasted) and then it changed over to all snow, 10" in fact.

What if it is all snow? Then what?

Over this 36 hour period, we are forecasted to get .86" of moisture according to my calculated interpretation of the 18z GFS. Since it'll be warm, there will only be a 10:1 conversion of thawed rain to snow. If you do the math, you will see that is 8.6 inches of snow. I've even heard of a 10" scenario too. THIS IS STRICTLY HYPOTHETICAL.

You want my take right now? Here's what I think is going to happen. We will get a layer of a couple inches of snow on Monday morning. After about 2pm, this will change to sleet. Once 5pm rolls around, we'll get another 24 straight hours of snow. The grand total: .25" sleet, 5-6 inches of snow.

There is a secondary theory that I have too that is just as likely if not more. We still get our couple Mon. AM inches, but then we get a 2-3 hour period of rain. After the rain, we get a 2-3 inch snow event. Grand total: 2-3 inches of snow.

Again, these are theories that WILL change by tomorrow morning, on Sunday, and on Monday possibly.

Off Topic: See the Grammy Awards on Sunday evening. The famed reunion of my favorite band The Police is going to take place on the very beginning of the show. To hear a snippet of their music, listen to my forecast video intro...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Keeping the fingers crossed

I'm worried.

There seems to be a general consensus that it will be warmer for the Monday/Tuesday gig. I've seen forecasts from 32 to 40 degrees for a high on Mon and Tues. I don't know what to say.

It could be all rain. Another more likely scenario: rain in daytime and moderate snow at night. Possible scenario: all snow.

We have the moisture. We have the placement. All we need now is the temperature to stay below 32 or have this thing occur after the temperature goes down for the evening. This could be heavy rain or heavy _______ (insert own precipitation type here).

More later...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Not Much Snow...

Most people I've talked to today think the snow season is over. I feel your pain. This is simply not the case.

The temperature will be warmer this week, but not by much. We'll hover just a couple degrees above freezing, still in the snow zone. There are more chances for snow en route. One is interesting.

There is a "short wave" coming to the area on Monday night/Tuesday A.M.. This will harbor some good moisture with it. Here is my problem: temperature.

The temperature has been dancing around on the models for this time. Some say right at or below freezing, others are near the 40's. The general consensus at this time is at or below though (keep fingers crossed). I'll stop there.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Not Again!!!

The storms go either north or south of us, always. We were nearly sure yesterday of 2-4". All we got was about an inch. Oh well, hopefully there will be more snow to come later.

Monday, February 5, 2007

This could be either nice or REALLY NICE!!!

Well, this little clipper thing has turned into a BIG clipper thing almost overnight. This morning, the NAM and GFS dropped it south, just as I thought it could. Folks, I won't kid you. We could see a potential 5-6" inches out of this IF it shifts a mere 25-50 miles south. I am estimating 2-4" inches though, out of a little skepticism and reality. This will occur at 2pm tomorrow and end at 8pm, prime for an early school cancellation. There are some models putting this thing through Louisville, including the famed GFS. I'll stick with the NAM though.

I want to urge you now (I hope I don't look like a doophus if this thing falls through), get needed supplies NOW. These systems are unpredictable on strength sometimes and like to pop out a really big storm. IF we end up with 5-6 inches of snow, this will certainly close school for a day or more and basically shut down the city for a couple days. This event won't be as bad as the Dec 2004 storm (10"), but nevertheless any snow in Louisville is a big deal.

I heard a report on WHAS 11 that JCPS people are working with meteorologists to determine an early dismissal tomorrow, which looks ominous at this time due to the 2pm beginning of the storm.

I will post later tonight and after school tomorrow as this develops. Hold in there, this could be big if things come together just right. I do want to urge that it won't be a record breaker, but it will surely be the biggest storm so far this season.

By the way, did you know that today is Weatherperson's day? I didn't know either until this morning...
Mobile update... There have been some changes to our Tues. clipper system, which are beneficial for snow here. More details in a couple hours...

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My Clipper Senses are Tingling...

The GFS has a nice clipper in here for Tuesday. The NAM has it going south of us. This has me concerned for 2 reasons...

  1. Clippers are some of the worst weather events to forecast in the world. They change course quickly and intensify with even the slightest bit of moisture flow interception. If there's a model putting this thing north of us when we've been seeing actual storm tracks south of the model estimates, we may indeed get this one.
  2. The temperature is going to be VERY cold Tuesday night, I'm talking single digits. You know that I've said that the colder it is the fluffier and bigger the snow flakes get. Even though the most this clipper can dump out is .2 inches of liquid precipitation, the snow conversion amounts will be way higher than 10:1 (25:1 maybe?).
You know the drill, I can't estimate accumulations until the GFS and NAM stop their domestic dispute. Once that occurs I can really hit the accumulations head on. I've heard estimates as to how much snow this thing can potentially produce, but no placement on that yet. At the moment, the GFS says it will be here. The NAM says it will go north to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus. Who shall we believe? I don't know yet, the NAM messed up our first snow storm and the GFS beefed it on the Thursday storm at this far out in the forecast. This is a very risky system; a good forecaster would leave the snow chance in his prediction and wait for a sure consensus on the models before saying, "Milk and Bread!!!!!" (Which could be possible if we play our cards right on Tuesday...).

I will laugh if our biggest storm of the year comes from a clipper system (not saying it will).

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Well, that was round one...

Last night's disappointing bout of snow was round one. Round two is tonight, with about the same effect as last, a half an inch. I was surprised that JCPS and others were running on a 2-hour delay. There wasn't that much snow. It would've been nice to close, but at least we got a 2-hour extension of sleep!