Thursday, May 31, 2007

5/31 - 11:30am - Rain is on Its Way!

First off, take a look at this HPC forecast for Saturday into Sunday:

That looks as good as the finest art piece at the Louvre Museum in Paris. This means that we will finally get some much needed rain around the area. I must say that now the HPC is on board with this weekend rain event, I feel more confident about it. The GFS is in good agreement with this outlook:

The NAM model is in fairly good agreement with the GFS. It shows the general shape of the storm to be a little different, but nevertheless it gives us about the same amount of rain. Imagine that, the GFS and NAM actually agreeing! If only we could get that kind of agreement during snow season...

So Saturday into Sunday look like our rain days from these models. Sure, there are chances for isolated rain showers/T-storms from tomorrow to Monday, but Sunday and Monday are the highest chances. I did see one model this morning that did not favor this scenario for rain though. The 12z Canadian model (eh?) seemed to drive this system a little south and lessen the rain amounts significantly. I'm not too worried though because I think that the HPC, NAM model, and GFS model are on common ground with this system. Those three factors outweigh the Canadian solution.

The NWS Louisville office is keeping our rain chances at 40 percent from Sunday to Monday night. I think this is a safe bet because there is still a chance that this could fizzle. I'm going to place my cards on a 60 percent chance though because I think that we have a better shot at rain than no rain. I'm sure that once we get closer to this event, the chances will go up at the NWS. That's if the models are consistent though. Remember, the NAM and GFS can wipe this whole rain event out in just one run of the model. But I think there's enough proof for this system to play out weekend.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5/30 - 8:15pm - Can We Get Some Rain Please?

The answer is...YES!!! After a terrible dry spell over the last couple of weeks, I think the light at the end of the tunnel is coming. This ridge we have over us has been eating storms for breakfast over the last few days. According to the GFS, a trough coming this way has enough power to displace this ridge this weekend.

Sunday and Monday look like our potential days for rain. This recent run of the GFS for Sunday night is a sight for sore eyes:

There is still a chance that this system may not be strong enough to get us rain, but I think it will. The NAM (even though it doesn't go far enough out yet) shows this system approaching on Sunday night. It shows it weakening, but it indicates that there will still be moisture left when it gets close.

So hopefully this trough will have the advertised power to overcome our dry, polluted, and hot ridge we have in place. Until this weekend, expect highs to be just below 90. After this system goes through, we should get some relief temperature wise. At least for a little while...

Monday, May 28, 2007

5/28 - 8:30pm - Hot, Muggy, and Dry

It rained north of I-64 yesterday evening, which I'm sure was welcomed by those living there. Since it was only a tenth of an inch or so, it all evaporated today. So don't feel bad if you didn't get rain (I didn't) because everyone is back at the same point.

I was out at the hardware store today and the plants there are starting to dry up. It seems as if they just can't hose them down fast enough to keep them hydrated! Now, granted that we have a little more humidity than we did last week, it is still very dry.

I said in my video forecast that Thursday was our best chance for rain. Well, now its been pushed back to late Saturday. It seems as if this ridge is just eating up all the moisture that wants to come in here. There is a light at the end of this tunnel though...

The GFS has a complete pattern change coming after this coming up weekend. It shows us getting slapped with storm after storm next week. I'm thinking that if this comes true, we should recover from our rain deficit...

On another note... There is a blue moon coming up! This just simply means that there are two full moons in a month. So on May 31st, nothing about the moon should look different. Of course dust storms and volcanic events can make the moon different, but we shouldn't have that.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

5/24 - 8:30pm - Some Clouds and Air Pollution

This weather lately is just getting worse and worse. First we start off with a nice dry and warm ridge sitting over the eastern half of the country. Then you add in some humidity and stagnant air. That's when things become nasty.

Our air pollution levels have been terrible the past couple of days because of this stagnant air. And now we're adding in humidity? What a mess.

Our more dire issue is the lack of rain, which isn't getting any better. The GFS has little chance for any scattered storms over the next few days. The only way I see any relief could be on Memorial Day, when a system could get us some rain. This is counting on the fact that a previous system weakens this ridge enough to get this next system in here.

I don't think we'll see much change in temperature in the next few days either, so mid to upper 80's will stick around for a while longer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

5/22 - 12pm - Where's the Rain?

Continuing my discussion from yesterday, I still think we're headed into a dry or possibly drought pattern. I've been looking at the GFS and it still shows a pesky ridge hanging around here for at least the next week or so. The boundary of this ridge seems to be hanging around the Evansville, IN area. From this point west, there is a plentiful amount of rain in the forecast. But due to the high pressure, this is where the rain stops. The ridge is acting like a deflector for the rain, and that's bad news for us.

This is not to say that we won't have a drop of rain for the next few days. There are still chances for scattered and isolated thunderstorms around the area for this week, maybe even some severe ones. Our problem is that as we dry out, these chances will become less and less as we get less moisture in the air to work with. So hopefully these scattered storms will be plentiful enough to hold us over until this ridge breaks.

Speaking of which, the SPC has us on the verge of a chance for severe weather around the 27th. I hope this area is expanded south so that we can have a chance for a soaking rain in some areas around here.

This week is going to be hot, but it won't feel like it. Our humidity levels will stay low this week because of this dry spell. Just remember that you can easily get dehydrated in this hot and dry weather. Drink lots of fluids!

Monday, May 21, 2007

5/21 - 5:45pm - Dustbowl Era?

Hmm... I've seen this pointed out by some other meteorologists in town and I am beginning to believe it. We haven't had much rain in the past few weeks. As of yesterday I thought this was a dry transition between a big ridge and some more unstable systems to follow.

This theory is true for locations north and west of us. But for us, we could be in trouble. I've been looking over the GFS with some utter amazement. We don't have a chance for any notable precipitation for the next couple weeks according to the current run of the GFS. Sure, we'll have scattered storms and little isolated systems, but not enough for the normal amount we usually get.

I don't know, maybe the GFS is just horsing around like it does sometimes (most times). If its true though, we could well have a drought on our hands in a few weeks. I'll give it a few days and then I'll report back on the issue. As for now, it's just plain hot! 82 degrees feels really good after a few days in the 60's though.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

5/20 - 3pm - Cloudless Sky...

I haven't seen a cloud in the sky in days. Oh sure, this makes for some nice sunny weather, but our nighttime temperatures take a hit. Since I live in a small valley where cold air sinks and collects at the bottom at night, we are especially cooler than the inner-city or most suburbs. Since it is cooler where I live, my house gets cold at night, especially clear nights.

So, I want some clouds to insulate the atmosphere so that its warmer at night. This loss of solar heating at night really bugs me, especially when I have to get up super early for school and brave this cold air. Some solid proof of this effect lies in the wintertime. When Louisville is on the verge of the freezing line and it rains downtown, we get snow.

So anyway, we won't see any clouds until we can push this ridge out of here. Not that I'm opposed to a nice ridge in the area, but it's time for some change.

We will be warming things us as the week progresses and will introduce some rain/storm chances by the end of the workweek. Still no sign of any severe weather in the area for the next few days. Even though there are some severe weather chances for early this week in the plains, it won't be as active as its been earlier in the season.

So what do I think? Well, I think we're in a period of transition. We've got a enormous ridge over the southeast thats being very stubborn in its movement. Once we can push this out, then I think severe weather will start popping up somewhere. The air around here is just too stable for anything to happen. If you're looking for severe weather, wait for a week or two and I think we'll start to rev something up around here. The severe weather season last year revved up in late May, so I think we are still waiting for our turn...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

5/18 - 4pm - Quiet here...

Wow, I must say that the weather has been tranquil today. 65 degrees and a few scattered clouds really gets the senses going.

This pattern of calm weather, with some pretty intense warming, should stick around until mid next week. By then we are just adding in some daily storm chances that are normal for this time of year.

Nationally, nothing severe is on the map for a few days. I am looking at the SPC 4-8 day outlook which has some areas in the plains outlined for some severe weather, but as of now it looks okay for us. It seems as though the storms on that front will collapse before they get here.

The only real moisture I'm seeing right now could be next weekend. The GFS has a low slamming into us with some pretty intense precipitation. Of course I am very skeptical of this after some of the "imaginary storms" that surface on the GFS and then disappear. I think we'll know if next weekend is a washout by the end of the current weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

5/16 - 6:45pm - Cool for Now, Hot for Later

It was noticeably colder today than in the previous two weeks. This cold front that went through did not come quietly or warmly. Luckily, after tomorrow we will warm through the 70's and be back in the mid 80's by mid next week.

There were many reports of wind damage outside of Jefferson County last night, but luckily Louisville was spared from such weather...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

5/15 - 9:50pm - ...then the lights flickered...

I expected the storms to roll through sometime near midnight. Then our power flickered at 9:45pm! Apparently a fast line of windy showers and thunderstorms formed ahead of the main cold front that I didn't expect. This line has some severe weather associated with it just north of Louisville. I don't expect any severe weather in Louisville, but keep your eyes peeled just in case anything flares up in the next half hour.

Just think, after this we will have some quiet weather to enjoy. Although the upper 60's for highs isn't my favorite temperature range...

5/15 - 4pm - Not much to worry about...

Based on the SPC's current outlook and the NAM, I think we will steer clear of any severe weather. Having said that, we will have strong storms tonight with some gusty winds. The timing issue that I mentioned yesterday has been hammered out and we should see these storms arrive just after midnight.

After this front goes through, we should see some cooler weather. It will take a few days to gradually build our heat back up and recover from this system...

Monday, May 14, 2007

5/14 - 6:30pm - Strong (Severe?) Storms for Tomorrow

I said in my forecast video on Sunday that there would be the potential for some storms on Tuesday. What I didn't have yet was an answer to the question: Will they be severe? Well the answer lies with timing and instability.

Let's look at issue one, which is timing. The NAM model sides with a forecast of these storms blasting through here just after midnight:

I won't even mention the GFS because I don't like the precipitation values that are being presented on it. Do I agree with this NAM model run? Yes and no. Yes, I think the issue of strength of these storms is accurately presented in the NAM. No, because the timing on the NAM has been jumpy with other systems and I think we can only get a better time on these storms by waiting for at least another model run. Remember: The earlier in the afternoon the storm occurs here, the greater chance we will see severe weather.

On to issue two, instability:

The Cape model is lit up like a Christmas tree, so no problem on getting instability in here for these storms. We just have to have the cold front come in just as we get into the peak of the heating in the afternoon. As the NAM has it, that won't happen.

So, my final prediction here is that we will see some late night storms tomorrow night with only a limited amount of severe weather present. I think wind will be the only thing we need to worry about. I think it was wise for the SPC to place us under a SLIGHT risk for severe weather until the timing issue can be hammered out.

If storms do reach severe limits in Louisville before 10pm tomorrow night, I will be on my live severe weather coverage box just to the right of the blog. I don't think I'll need to do any severe weather video tomorrow because this is a very small chance for severe weather, but check back tomorrow afternoon and I will update you on the status of these storms on my blog.

Monday, May 7, 2007

5/7 - 8:15pm - Not much 'round here lately...

Looks like some 70's and 80's, but not much moisture in the forecast.

Now, the Live Severe Weather Video Coverage feature (found on the right side of this blog in the "Ustream" box) is ready for action when we get severe weather. I should be in town for at least the start and middle of our tornado season. I will miss some of the end of it due to travel, but I'll try to get as much coverage in as possible. I think I may start an e-mail list to send out alert e-mails when I start broadcasting during a severe weather event. That's still in the works though.

I will only broadcast during severe weather (when there's a line of thunderstorms with either hail or tornadoes coming towards Louisville). But since I can see how many viewers I have at a particular time, I will only start broadcasting when I get a viewer or two. Until I get at least one viewer, I'll just stick a live radar image and some scrolling warning information.

Tell your friends about this service, let's make this the biggest deal we can! The more viewers I can get, the more coverage and more features I can put into this. Just remember that this is still just a large experiment and only your local news/NOAA weather radio can provide you with the best information. Remember, they have way better tools than I do and that factor can potentially save a life. I'll try to keep up with the local media and watch them while I'm broadcasting to fill in any holes I miss.

The service I use to get this video broadcast is called Ustream, and is available for free to anyone by logging onto There is a new version of this service coming out soon so you should see a better quality image and better audio video sync hopefully.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

5/5 - 10:50pm - New feature coming down the tubes...

Sorry for the forecast video problems (small video size), Google Video never acts quite right.

Anyway, the Derby was not a washout like some had feared (including myself), so the Queen of England had a nice visit to the Downs. I'm sure Street Sense liked it too. For the next few days we will be dry and warm, so nothing much to talk about locally.

In Kansas there was a town that was 95% destroyed by an EF-4 to EF-5 tornado today. That is just unbelievable. I don't think I've seen any damage that bad before. The town has 1,500 people and there are at least 8 fatalities. I just can't imagine a whole town being wiped off the map like that...

On a brighter note, I have a new feature I am implementing TODAY!!! If you look to the right of the blog here, you will see a "Ryan Weather LIVE Severe Weather Coverage" box with a Ustream player. This a new service that I am experimenting with that will allow me to broadcast live video from my computer and show radar images and such during a severe weather outbreak. Since this is just a practice/test feature, don't rely on it for official alerts. Also, I won't be home sometimes during events so I won't be able to cover every event. It's not quite ready for prime time yet, so its home will be on the blog for a while. Here's the logo for it:

5/5 - 1pm - New Forecast Video

Here's a new forecast video...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

5/3 - 8:30pm - It was almost cold today!

Take a step outside... It's 63 degrees! It really didn't get much higher than that today. To me, it was almost cold today because we've been spoiled by 80 degree weather.

Now we get to the sensitive information...
Derby looks OKAY as of now. I try to think that it will only be scattered showers (heavy ones due to heating in the afternoon), but the NAM-WRF keeps looking at me and laughs. I don't know how widespread it will be, but I hope its not too bad...

More later!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

5/1 - 7:30pm - Wet week shaping up

Well, we've got a cold front that just won't go away. Right now, its sitting over Indiana and is deciding whether or not it wants to move south. Indications now look as if Thursday is the day for it to make its move. If we can get this thing out of here on Friday, it'll be dry for Derby. Unfortunately I think we'll have to deal with some limited shower activity for Derby, but only a little.

After that, we dry out and warm back up into the 80's. In my opinion, I think we will shoot for 90 mid to late next week based on a nice ridge that will be fairly dry in the midweek and allow southwest winds and sunlight to really push in here. Interestingly, there is not a drop of severe weather in here for the forecast period. It just seems that we can't get any unstable/moist air masses to shift this way.

If you believe in the principle of elasticity (rubber band effect), then after our bout of dry and hot weather will be cool and unstable weather. Since I'm not entirely on that bandwagon, I'm just going to stick with the hot and dry forecast until the GFS shows me a credible pattern change.