Thursday, August 30, 2007

8/30 - 9pm - Tropical Depression Within 24 Hours

Well folks, it looks like we could be in for a round of drama in the tropics:

(This new experimental outlook from the NHC is really cool isn't it?)

My biggest concern is circle #1 on this map. It looks like its in the best position right now to pose a danger to the Caribbean and the US. This is the wave that could become a tropical depression tomorrow. The GFS has this wave doing nothing, but the GFS doesn't know up from down in the tropics right now. None of these tropical waves are showing great signs of development right now, but the fact that there are this many of them really ups the chances of one getting organized. So just keep watch on #1, because if it hits the warm Caribbean waters just right we may have a new storm on our hands.

How about that cooler weather here today? It was really nice not to be in the 90's for a day. Unfortunately we'll see 90's on Sunday, a little earlier than expected. **BUT** there will be no upper or mid 90's next week luckily.

This news article popped up today and I thought it was interesting:

WASHINGTON - As the world warms, the United States will face more severe thunderstorms with deadly lightning, damaging hail and the potential for tornadoes, a trailblazing study by NASA scientists suggests.

While other research has warned of broad weather changes on a large scale, like more extreme hurricanes and droughts, the new study predicts even smaller events like thunderstorms will be more dangerous because of global warming.

Full Story
If this is true, looks like my job will get harder as time goes on!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

8/29 - 7:30pm - GFS is a Mess

Whew! Disregard that GFS for the next few days if you're hurricane hunting. As usual its flaunting specific storms, moving their landfall positions around wildly, and then not showing the storm altogether. This all happened in the period of one day. Nevertheless, the tropical waves that we need to watch out for are still in existence. A notable non-tropical low that kinda perked up today was one located off the coast of North Carolina. This low could turn tropical as it heads south into the Florida area. Since the shear (high-speed winds aloft) is very low in this Florida corridor, development into a tropical depression or storm is possible.

Of course there is still the tropical wave halfway out in the Atlantic that could bring something to the US in a week or so. This one has some moderate development conditions to work with, but again we're not talking about a wave as strong as the one Dean formed from. Again, just keep an eye out over the next two or three weeks.

Today was the final day in the 90's for a little while. We'll be basking in mid to upper 80's for a week or more, but we'll be pretty dry though. The best rain chance is tomorrow, and that's 30% at best. Gosh, it may be winter before we make some progress on clearing out this drought.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/28 - 4pm - Parade of Hurricanes

I've been "out of the loop" for a few days to get some school stuff done. Just by lucky chance I decide to see the Atlantic GFS model this afternoon. HOLY COW!!!

Yeah, that's because we are going to see a massive increase in tropical activity. The current GFS has a hurricane hitting the Florida coast on September 13th, and many more storms in line behind it. The minute I saw the model I saw it proper to call this blog entry "Parade of Hurricanes". Here's what I mean:

If you look behind the Florida storm on the left, you'll see three purple blotches in the Atlantic. Those are Tropical Depressions/Storms that have potential to become hurricanes. The issue here is not whether we will see another hurricane. The issue is where the next one will landfall. It is too early to take this model without a grain of salt. Even though this model run shows four storms we may only get two or three and the timing could be off. I'm not yet predicting a Florida landfall because this model is 16 days out. I can't even tell you what I'm going to be doing in 16 days so I sure as heck can't tell you where a hurricane will go.

Do not be alarmed yet, I'm just issuing a tropical **watch** right now. That means to pay attention over the next two weeks because this tropical season could get real nasty, real quick. I wouldn't be surprised if we near some records this year for storm frequency and intensity, and based on this model I think we could easily do that.

On the home front, we're getting ready to cool off a bit. Tomorrow will be the last day in the 90's for at least a week. I think we can all collectively say "Hooray!" to that. We have a chance of storms on Thursday, but I'm hard pressed to see any significant rain anytime soon. Maybe one of these tropical systems gives us some rain soon!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

8/24 - 10:45pm - "Cool Down"

Notice the quotation marks. 90's are not a real cool down because this is Kentucky, not Arizona. We'll be wavering in the mid to lower 90's for the next week or so, which I guess you could consider a period of relief. I think we'll knock out the humidity by late next week with a storm system, but I'll get around to that tomorrow morning.

Sorry about the blog posts being a bit lax this week. Since school is in I'm just short of completely swamped right now. Luckily I still have time on the weekends to do my video forecast. Sometimes its hard to be a student and weather geek at the same time. That's why snow days are so great! (Only 3 months 'till I start talking about snow...)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

8/23 - 8:30PM - Yet Another 100+ Day

It's not funny anymore. The temperature and humidity were so high today that I broke a sweat just walking around outside for a minute. We hit a record of 99 today, just above the 98 degree record of 1959. Tomorrow will see highs in the 100's before we cool of (if you want to call it that) into the upper 90's for Saturday.

Another item of note today was the sighting of a funnel cloud in the western suburbs of Chicago. Some damage also occurred with the passing of that storm, like a roof blowing off a warehouse. Luckily (or not if you want rain) we won't see that kind of weather around here for a little while.

Finally, the tropics are staying quiet for now. There are a few little tropical wave, but nothing worth noting. I do think it was interesting to see how Dean started as a strong tropical wave off the coast of Africa and revved up to the huge cat. 5 monster it became. The GFS had the storm on the map even before the low left Africa. Sure, the GFS was grossly wrong on the placement of the storm that far out, but it at least accurately depicted it as developing into a major hurricane.

Monday, August 20, 2007

8/20 - 6pm - Some Changes...

Remnants of Tropical Depression Erin will come and soak us down tonight. This is great news because we are desperately in need of the rain. Since it was hard to see this system coming up here on Saturday's model runs, I didn't really put a good chance of rain in my forecast. That's change #1.

Change #2 is Thursday. No, it will not storm on Thursday like I said on Saturday forecast. Later runs of the GFS and NAM now totally erase this chance and instead put a decent chance of storms on Saturday.

Now that the changes are out of the way, lets move on to Dean. The hurricane is packing winds of 150mph right now, which still puts it a category 4. The storm will intensify to a category 5 with up to 160mph winds before making landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula. While this storm will cause mass destruction in Mexico, there is little threat to Texas right now. The only real risk Texas faces now is the possibility of heavy rain from either the remnants of Dean, or one of its outside rain bands.

Oh yeah, we're still making heat records! This is the 22nd day in a row in the 90's or above, an all time record

Sunday, August 19, 2007

8/19 - 7pm - Quick Sunday Update...

It looks like Hurricane Dean will present little impact on the US. The current outlook has the storm hitting the Yucatan then on to the mainland of Mexico. The bad part is that it will devastate the resort towns of the Yucatan Peninsula, like Cancun.

We are going to continue to notch up the heat here. We did break 90 today, so we have tied the all-time record streak of 21 days in the 90's or higher. We'll get some spotty storms this evening with a better coverage area for storms tomorrow. After that we look dry again.

Friday, August 17, 2007

8/17 - 9:25pm - Flippin' and Floppin' with Dean

Alright. This morning it was Mexico. This afternoon it was Houston. This evening its Mexico again. As you can tell, landfall estimates for hurricanes are very sticky this far out. The media seems to hate that too, as it seems that every news agency wants a definite landfall answer right this second. I really don't blame them, we need to get the alert out as fast as possible so we don't end up with another hurricane disaster. A top official in Houston has even put the city on notice with this storm. I'm glad nobody is messing around with this one.

The short answer for the landfall placement of Hurricane Dean is "I DON'T KNOW!!!" I was starting to go with the south Texas solution until this model Mickey Mouse occurred this evening. Now I don't know what to say. The GFDL seems to always be the outcast model on this particular system. When the other models trend one way, the GFDL looks the other way. It's really quite a neat model because it shows a 3D view of the forecasted path. Here's the current one:


It seems that the National Hurricane Center is going with the model trends. Due to the southward shift in models this evening, the NHC adjusted their forecast accordingly. So they really have as much of an idea about landfall as I do. So, if you know anyone in the South Texas Coast area you might want to let them know about this storm if they haven't already heard about it. Regardless of where it hits, I can make a good guess that it'll be a category 5 based on the water temperature.

Back here in town the weather has calmed down after that "shocker" of a storm. I must say that I was quite surprised by the development of that MCS. I saw the SPC's SLIGHT RISK yesterday but I never thought a line of storms like that would form. Did a number on our temperatures though! Low to mid 90's will dominate this week, which is a relief from our 105 (ouch) yesterday...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

8/16 - 7pm - .45" of Rain

Yes! We got .45" of rain at my house. Once the grass was wet you could clearly see how brown it had become over the last couple weeks. Again I apologize for not covering this line of storms. I simply couldn't keep the power from going on and off in my house for more than 5 minutes! So luckily not too much damage, but there were reports of trees and power lines down in several surrounding counties. But how about a temperature change too? From 105 to the upper 60's in Louisville over the course of just a few minutes. Quite a reprieve!

Now on to Hurricane Dean, which is now an actual full-blown hurricane. Here's the current track:

Here are my issues right now with it,
  1. The forecast track currently takes the hurricane into the Southern Gulf. This is not good. If the hurricane tracks just even slightly north of the Yucatan, which would differ from the current track forecast, we could have a huge problem. The hurricane could then turn due North and take aim at the Gulf Coast. If it tracks more southerly into the Yucatan, Southern Texas or Mexico would be affected. The affect to these areas would be less though because the Yucatan Peninsula would deflate the storm due to the passage over land. Although the Yucatan Peninsula would bear the brunt of a nasty cat 4 hurricane.
  2. My second problem is with the models. The GFS is now somewhat stable on an all Mexico landfall solution, and the NAM is hinting it wants to stay with the GFS on that. The Canadian model also agrees. But the GFDL, a more hurricane centric model, says it's going to hit the Gulf Coast and go North of the Yucatan. The National Hurricane Center seems to be going with a mixture of both, but keeping more with the GFDL in terms of long-range placement.
So really its anyone's guess where landfall will be. Most forecasters I've seen are saying its still too difficult to make heads and tails of models. It seems they are more consistent, but consistently changing their minds together. Does that make sense?


Sorry I'm not doing any video coverage of these storms, I just got home from school and these storms just popped up. We are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning right now. Clark County is experiencing up to golf ball size hail with heavy rain. The main line of storms won't be here for an hour or two. Since these little cells are exiting the county now, I'll wait to start broadcasting on my severe weather coverage channel until the main line comes through, but only if it's severe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8/15 - 8pm - Hurricane Dean.... Coming Soon.

Whoa! TS Dean really cranked up today. The NHC said this thing already has a partial eye wall. According to the NHC and Accuweather, this storm will be a category 1 hurricane tomorrow. That's right, not day 5 as I said yesterday, but tomorrow. As far as the track goes, it seems to be taking a more southward path just south of Cuba, but its not for sure. I'm still hearing the Gulf Coast landfall solution reverberating through the meteorology world. I still think this storm could clip Florida and bang up the Gulf Coast.

And how about Tropical Storm Erin? That storm strengthened pretty quick too, just right off the coast of Texas. This one could be the big surprise of the season. I've seen some suggest that there is a possibility that it could become a category 1 hurricane before it landfalls in Texas. While that is a possibility, I think that it won't be too bad. This area doesn't need the rain though, and this storm could bring a lot of it.

Locally, it was hot today! We broke a record with a high of 103 degrees today. That breaks our 102 record we set last week! I think we'll see one more day in the 100's before cooling off into the 80's for the weekend. We're under a SLIGHT risk for severe weather tomorrow. Maybe we'll get lucky with some rain!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Well it happened. Just like Accuweather, the NHC, and everyone else on the planet said would happen, TD 4 is now Tropical Storm Dean. Here's the interesting part:

The NHC says this thing will be a hurricane in 5 days.

Now there are two tracks that everyone seems to be advertising for this thing: a spinout into the Atlantic or a Gulf Coast hurricane. The NHC and myself are both sticking with the GFS solution: the Gulf Coast. Why? Well a large ridge is going to slide off the east coast, north of this thing, and prohibit any northward movement in the open Atlantic. But once the ridge slides out to sea, the hurricane will be in the Gulf. Because this ridge is sliding off, the hurricane shoot north and hit the coast. Who's coast you ask? I don't know yet. Pretty much anywhere from Texas to Florida and a chance for even the Carolinas too.

All I have to say is that based on the historical tracks of storms in this region that various agencies have put out, it looks like the Gulf Coast or no coast at all. Since this ridge is in place, one would believe the former will occur. Just sit tight though because this may be an emotional wild ride as this track is decided. I have to make this disclaimer right now: New Orleans has a chance of getting this one. The latest GFS model had the worst possible situation for New Orleans, but I don't think its necessary to show that when the GFS is all over the place with this thing. Everyone needs to be alert with this storm because I think it may be THE storm if the right elements come together this week.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

8/12 - 10am - Keep an "eye" out issued this tropical wave graphic this morning:

Notice the "STRONG" annotation on the far easterly wave. Thats our sucker. This thing could be a tropical depression by day's end. The National Hurricane Center is calling this a "Vigorous" tropical wave, something we've not seen yet this season. The current GFS track takes it through the Yucatan into the Mexican heartland, but don't trust any model at this point. The GFS has been different on the landfall location every single time it was run. Henry Margusity at thinks this is a Florida storm or a Florida storm that goes back into the gulf and hits the gulf coast. Of course that is just a far-out prediction that will probably be tweaked over the next week. Don't panic, I'm not calling for Hurricane Katrina II as of now. Everyone just needs to keep an eye on the tropics because I think we'll have a hurricane this time next week, regardless of its location. By tonight, we could be calling this thing Tropical Depression Dean.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

8/11 - 3pm - New Forecast Video

The possible hurricane I discuss in the video is slated to make landfall around the Augsust 21-23, depending on the run of the GFS. The new 12z run (not in video) has this thing making landfall in Miami. Don't take the model's placement of the storm seriously. Take the fact that there could be a hurricane making landfall in the US in a few days seriously though.

8/11 - 9:20am - GFS is Hunting Hurricanes

So for the last few days its been relatively quiet in the tropics. A tropical wave here and a cluster of disorganized storms there. That's all.

From the look of the current conditions it seems that it could stay tranquil there for a while. The GFS begs to differ. For many model runs now, the GFS has consistently shown a hurricane hitting the US around the 20-25th of August. Now I'm not trying to stir up any fear or frenzy, but it needs to be made known that a chance of a hurricane does loom. I'll give a full discussion in my forecast video this afternoon...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

8/9 - 5pm - Last Day of Triple Digits (for now...)

Yes, it will not break 100 tomorrow like it has done for the past few days! We will instead turn down the humidity and temperature down. How does lower 90's sound?

Yet we are not done with triple digits. I think by this time next week we could be seeing more of them as another pesky ridge sits on us. This one should feel the same as the one we're experiencing now and last a couple days. As for now, my thermometer reads 99 degrees at home and the airport is sitting at 101. We may even see some storms tonight as we get the cold front in here, which is the catalyst for this break in heat. I think it will be widely scattered at best though.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

8/8 - 5pm - 102 Degree Record Tied

We have tied the 102 degree record for this day back in 1930. Wow. I can't believe we're seeing multiple days in a row with triple digit temperatures after years without any. My home thermometer topped out at 99.7 degrees today because I live in a suburb with a lessened heat island effect. But still, 99 is HOT! I can't remember a time in Louisville in the past decade when it was this hot for this long, although it has happened before. Breaking two records yesterday (for the highest high and highest low temperature) was also unfathomable. Tomorrow promises more of the same, but we will "cool" down into the lower to mid 90's for the weekend. The heat index for tomorrow will breach 110... Yuck. I don't know if I can bear this much longer. It is so hot that I start sweating the minute I open the front door!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

8/7 - 5pm - HEAT INDEX OF 108!

That's right everyone, tomorrow's heat index is going to push near 110. The NWS has issued a Heat Advisory for today and probably will stay in place for at least two more days. The high for tomorrow WILL breach 100. Period. I don't care what kind of humidity or heat index you factor in, because 100 degrees alone is just awful. Here's my advice: Stay indoors after 11am and don't come back out until after 5pm. We will get a break from this heat after Friday, but you can't really call lower 90's relief...

Monday, August 6, 2007

8/6 - 4pm - 96°

My weather station is showing a blistering 96° right now. Humidity is reading in at 41%, which puts the heat index at around 103°. Here are the current readings (updated every 5 mins):

Sunday, August 5, 2007

8/5 - 11:20am - Holy Mole Its HOT!!!

I'm back from my trip! I must say that New Mexico was a good 10 degrees cooler and a lot less humid than in Louisville this week. I'm still getting oriented here, but I just took a look at the NWS forecast and they are saying we will shoot up to 97 this week! Are you kidding me!? Looking at the GFS, theres no more rain for a while after the generosity mother nature extended to us yesterday and this morning. It also doesn't show this general pattern changing for a week or so. That means we'll be in the (mid-upper) 90's for a little while. Ughh...

Still no trouble in the tropics. Yet.

Yes, I saw that the hurricane forecast was downgraded by two storms. Big Deal. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated the state of Florida. It was the only hurricane to hit the US that year. So the quantity of hurricanes has no connection with the quality (or direction) of hurricanes. I flipped on the news one night in my hotel room and discovered they were trying to downplay the hurricane season because of this new forecast. Don't let the media tell you this hurricane season is over. It's just getting started.