Sunday, September 30, 2007

9/30 - 6:30pm - NAM Sniffing Out a Hurricane

I looked at the GFS and it had some sort of tropical system on the map for late next week. Yeah, we all know how accurate the GFS is. But then I peered at the NAM for Thursday. This is what it looked like:

Yes that is a hurricane on the bottom portion of the map near Louisiana. I would say that this is a terrible scenario, but luckily this is just a very preliminary landfall estimate for this potential system. This will change many times as we go throughout the week. This system will supposedly come from a disorganized blotch of thunderstorms just east of Florida right now. Now this is a similar route to a depression we had last week that made landfall in Fort Walton Beach, FL (great place to vacation by the way) that didn't cause too much of a problem. Hopefully we'll be able to say the same for this system by the end of this week.

I wanted to also point out that I made a mistake in my forecast video yesterday. I said that we would have time to make up our monthly rain total so that it would be near normal. I forgot that it was September 29th, there is no time to make up that rain total! So yes we'll be at a deficit for this month, but at least we'll be less than an inch behind on our monthly total. The deficit of over 5 inches for the year still stands.

We may get some rain tomorrow, but I'm getting signals from both the GFS and NAM that are against that. Oh well, looks like we're settling back in to our "normal" pattern for this year, high and dry. We'll get close to 90 by late in the week, but I don't think we'll hit it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

9/29 - 2pm - Forecast Video

Had some video problems today. Sorry it took so long to put up here...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9/26 - 9pm - Not that much rain...

The rain gauge at my house reads .06" for today, severely down from the .5" the HPC had for us from yesterday's outlook. Areas north of here got way more than we did (some areas over 2 inches). Just the luck of the storm though!

Tropics are fairly active with Karen spinning out in the middle of the Atlantic and a few waves in the Caribbean that could be something to look out for. A wave just off of the SE of Florida is interesting, but I think its too close to land to get to hurricane strength.

Around these parts we could see just a few showers tomorrow just before the cold front moves through. After that we're in the low 80's for the next week or so. I've been looking at the long range GFS data just for fun and I'm seeing a consistent cool down pattern in multiple runs of the model. Seems like we'll be getting way cooler by the second week of October. It's interesting that we're transitioning so quickly from Summer to Fall here. It was well over 90 for a good part of the week and in just more than two weeks we could be dipping into the 60's for highs (if I'm looking at this correctly). Again, this is way far out. Remember how the GFS promised cool downs in August that never came? Just a reminder to take this model with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

9/25 - 9pm - Tropics Winding Down, WAVE's New Set

Tropical Storm Karen formed waaaay out in the Atlantic today. This one won't pose any threat to land period! A couple other waves are out in the Caribbean but nothing really of note, save a low near Mexico that could affect that area. Most of the reports associated with these waves and lows are citing increased upper level winds (or shear) as the cause of non-development. This makes sense because we are in a period right now where a large ridge is sitting in the Atlantic (partly causing our misery here) and curbing storms NE and impeding any development that passes to the south of it. We have just a few more weeks of hurricane season left and luckily we haven't had any major problems this year in the US.

As for around here we were HOT again today! Did you know that we broke a 107-year-old record today? We reached 95 and shattered the old record of 92 set in 1900. I'm sick of breaking records; I want my (light) jacket back! This is the fourth and final time I will say this hopefully: there will be no more 90's for the rest of 2007.

Rain-wise, some areas were graced by the presence of a downpour or two this afternoon. My rain gauge in SE Louisville showed not even .01" even though we had a quick drizzle (and I mean quick). Tomorrow will bring more rain to a greater coverage area than today luckily. The GFS favors rain for us and I think we'll get around half an inch tomorrow according to the HPC's QPF:

Finally, I wanted to discuss some recent developments in Louisville's media sector. WAVE 3 TV just unveiled an awesome new set with all the bells and whistles you could think of. More importantly, the weather department looks like Captain Kirk's bridge on the Enterprise (or Captain Picard if you prefer). I've made some interesting observations about the set:
  1. All displays on the set are in 16:9 widescreen, meaning a possible move to HD is in the near or fairly near future. Also, the set is very large with a good amount of space between the anchors at the desk, which is needed for the wider aspect ratio of HD.
  2. The actual WAVE 3 logo that appears on the back board of the main anchor desk and on the LCD monitors in the weather department is different than the current version, meaning a possible graphics and logo change is possible soon (could be with the possible HD sometime soon). Kevin Harned's blog also alluded to some more changes coming soon, which could support this theory.
Remember that these are just observations and theories; I'm not spilling the beans on anything. The first station in Louisville to broadcast in HD will get a lot more viewers. I'm seeing more and more people buying HDTV's and they want something to watch in HD on it. Fox 41 (WDRB) broadcast Thunder Over Louisville this year completely in HD with rented equipment and it looked nothing short of phenomenal. If this were applied to everyday news (more importantly weather) it would be quite a revolutionary move. Sorry if that was a little technical but my secondary hobby is video production, hence the video forecasts every weekend.

9/25 - 5pm - Some Storms Around...

Right now there is a line of thunderstorms just west of Louisville. No watches or warnings are being issued at this time, with the exception of Jennings County Indiana, and video coverage will not be needed. We have the possibility of seeing a couple heavy downpours in Louisville this evening. Come on rain!

Monday, September 24, 2007

9/24 - 4:30pm - Mid 90's in September!?

Sorry about the gap in between posts here... It's been a busy weekend.

Wow, its 92 right now! This is supposed to be a month of transition between Summer and Fall, but apparently the atmosphere didn't receive the memo. I don't think I've ever seen 90's in the fall (which started yesterday). 90's look to be sticking with us at least until Wednesday.

Another note is the rain situation, which is looking questionable. Will we get some moisture out of this front on Wednesday? I think we may get some short steady rains, but nothing to speak highly of.

Finally, the tropics are still busy. The officially named Jerry is a depression spinning itself out in the Atlantic, which won't affect us here. There are two other areas in the Atlantic worth watching, but nothing all that great right now...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

9/22 - 8:30am - No Jerry or Forecast Video!

Sorry everyone, I'll be out of town this weekend and I won't be able to do a 7-day or video forecast. Here's something funny... Jerry never did become "Jerry". Tropical Depression 10 made a quick landfall on Fort Walton Beach this morning and never did reach tropical storm status, hence never receiving a real name. So I guess we'll have to see when another storm takes on the name Jerry!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

9/20 - 9pm - Quick "Almost Jerry" Update

So Jerry isn't quite Jerry yet. It's just below the threshold for a tropical (or subtropical) cyclone and it just crossed the Florida Panhandle. The Louisiana landfall solution (Cat 1 hurricane or tropical storm) is looking more and more likely. Look at these computer model plots:

Notice how close to Louisiana we get with the two leftward plots. Just a few miles difference and you're in New Orleans. The GFS is just about the same as these two models on the chart above (ignore the rightmost track, I just think that's too far north). The GFDL is also in general agreement with those models too. So I think we're looking at a landfall between Gulfport, MS and New Orleans, LA. Obviously the strength is still questionable, but I say a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane. If this storm even gives New Orleans an indirect blow, I would be worried about flooding. The levies are still a mess after Katrina and I've read news reports that say they are not even close to being ready yet. If this storm does hit New Orleans it will be interesting to see how the levies react. Since it isn't a whopper storm it would be good for the Army Corps of Engineers to get data from to see how much they need to build them back up to withstand stronger storms. I just hope we don't get another surprise like Humberto, that would not be good for the Gulf Coast right now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9/19 - 9:30pm - Jerry. Paging Tropical Storm Jerry.

Oh yes, this is real folks. Yesterday that low twirling around the east coast of FL was still deciding where to go. It just made a crucial turn towards the west, signaling a little bit of alarm. Once up to subtropical storm status it will be named Jerry. I won't hold this one back: the GFS says New Orleans or darn close to it. I know I have heavily criticized the GFS on tropical forecasting, even just recently. But this time I agree with it somewhat. The reason I say somewhat is because there are a couple other scenarios, but the GFS is being consistent (for at least 2 runs!). The second scenario is a Corpus Christi/Houston scenario if the high (which is making us dry right now) in the south stays its ground. The GFS doesn't like this at all.

Another scenario even then, but far less likely, is a Mexico solution that I saw possible. I don't like it though because at some point it will turn north. Now, what should the Gulf Coast prepare for? A Cat 3 hurricane. What will probably happen? A gusty tropical storm or Cat 1 hurricane. Here's where it is now (#1)...

The reason I say prepare for a Cat 3 is because the water near the coast is HOT!!! Its the same water that nearly gave us a heart attack when Humberto unexpectedly strengthened into a hurricane. Yes, the models and whatnot are shooting for a Cat 1-ish hurricane, but I ain't buying it until we see what happens after the system's crossing of Florida. This area is too volatile to not prompt an early warning for.

I think you'll see this on the news tomorrow, because this could be bad for the Gulf Coast.

Locally, we're hot and dry until Tuesday. Its very odd that a drought like this is persisting well into September. I just think we're saving up our rain credits for conversion into snow during the winter (or rather I wish we were doing that, for a snow day's sake).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

9/18 - 9:30pm - Why We Are Warming Up...

It was supposed to cool off this week and the next, but instead it looks like we will go for the 90's after Wednesday. This is all because it was expected to rain late last week, but never did. Without any moisture in the ground or in the air, the sun just bakes everything. Ho hum on the cool down...

No moisture in sight! NONE!!! Not one drop until at least next week, and doubtful at that! The only way to get some rain right now would be from a tropical system coming up north. As of now there is a disorganized mess of thunderstorms getting ready to transverse Florida from the east. The GFS has this thing being a tropical storm and hitting the TX/LA border coastline by this weekend. Other than that there are a couple slow meandering areas that can't get their act together. So you can pretty much throw our chance of tropical system rains out the window with the positioning and lack of intensity of the systems developing.

If we get a couple more weeks of these dry, hot conditions, it'll be a full blown desert here!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

9/16 - 8pm - It Was Certifiably Cool Today

Wow. 73 yesterday and 77 today for the high. That's the first instance of cool weather in a long time! If you aren't ready for Summer to be over yet, don't worry. The 90's will return for the mid part of this week, but they won't stick around. I know I've said this at least twice before, but I think that we will be done with the 90's after this week.

Now to the restless tropics. Tropical Depression Ingrid is puttering around slowly in the Atlantic. There is a change though, it will turn back into a tropical storm by Thursday and the track for the storm has shifted west a bit. Oh I hope this isn't another surprise storm like Humberto, but we'll have to keep an eye on it. Here's the updated track:

Let's also not forget about the rest of the tropics also. There are two areas marked on the Tropical Weather Outlook that could get organized, although they don't look extremely promising at the moment:

So all in all, the forecast on my weather page looks pretty good except the highs for Wednesday and Thursday should be around 90 and the rain chance for Friday has diminished.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

9/15 -1pm - Forecast Video

Cool weather, Tropical Storm Ingrid and more in this week's video...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

9/13 - 9pm - Humbert"oh!"

If you told me we were going to have a hurricane on our hands today on Wednesday night I would have said you were crazy. But this was really the case! Tropical Storm Humberto quickly turned into Hurricane Humberto overnight and shocked the meteorology world. Granted it was only a Category 1 storm, but nevertheless it wasn't supposed to be a hurricane! Max winds were just above hurricane status and its breaking up in Mississippi now.

Now to our COOL weather. It was 46 degrees at my house in rural Louisville this morning. I finally broke down and had to bring out my light jacket because it was just too cold to go outside without it. Our high temperature was a nice 85 degrees though! Its that time of year when the mornings are cold and the afternoons are pleasurable. I don't know if we'll consider Saturday a cool day or a cold day at 72. Since we've seen well over 100 many times, 72 may not feel as warm as it used to...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/12 - 9:45pm - Like a Christmas Tree

The tropics lit up like a Christmas tree this morning. The depression in the Atlantic that was expected to be named Humberto was beaten out by the naming of a tropical storm near Texas. This depression out in the Atlantic is aptly named Tropical Depression Eight right now, but will take on the name Ingrid by the weekend. This one will be a hurricane by the end of this weekend. Placement and landfall is still very sketchy though.

Nice cool off, eh? The rest of this week will be in the low 80's with lower 70's on Saturday. Looks like the light jackets are making their cyclical comeback...

Monday, September 10, 2007

9/10 - 9pm - From Feast to Famine

Ahh... The half inch of rain that we received yesterday greened up the grass and perked up the plants. Now there's no more rain in sight, except for a small chance on Friday. I guess we're in a pattern that "when it rains it pours", yet when it isn't raining "its drier than the SAHARA!" It's interesting how we get big bursts of rain in between extended periods of drought conditions. I guess I can't say too much about this rain when temperatures this weekend will be in the MID-70's. Tomorrow's high: a bone-chilling (hey folks 105 feels normal to us now) 78 degrees.

Next order of business is a sticky situation in the tropics. Number 1 on the map above is slated to become a tropical depression by tomorrow or Wednesday. This looks like a larger area of coverage on this wave than a couple previous waves that turned into storms, so this storm could be a big one. The only thing I really know about it is that it will be called Humberto once it reaches tropical storm status. Landfall is still a mystery right now, but one thing's for sure: gas prices will go up if this thing even breathes on the US...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

9/9 - 9:20am - No Rain!?

The radar looked very promising yesterday, with batches of rain heading toward us. Alas, that rain all diminished before it got here and so we didn't get a drop yesterday. Without that rain, our cumulative rain totals for the next couple days just went way down. I showed the 5 day QPF model outlook from the HPC yesteday on my video forecast and it had up to 3 inches of rain in here by next week. That number is now down to half an inch.

I'm also worried that it could happen again today. I know all the forecasts and models have rain on it, but it's all going to come down to specific placement of these rain storms. Prospects for Tuesday also look a bit bleaker too, as the GFS has nearly erased our rain chance. We really need this rain because we are so far behind. This is quite the meteorological disaster, isn't it?

On that note, Tropical Storm Gabrielle (the sub- prefix was dropped) is just hours away from landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Winds are now at 50mph and the storm isn't expected to strengthen anymore before it hits. Luckily its not too bad of a storm...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

9/8 - 3:15pm - Forecast Video

Lots to talk about on the forecast video this afternoon, including Subtropical Storm Gabrielle.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

9/6 - 9pm - Weather or Not...

Alright, so there's a big area of disorganized shower activity and a low just off the coast of Florida and Georgia. This thing is just drifting around in prime development waters just waiting. There's a pretty good bit of shear associated with an upper level jet that's almost ready to bug on out of New England, and I think that's when this thing is going to go tropical. The models don't know what's going on because of this jet being so finicky and thus they can't seem to get strength or placement for this next storm right. So by this weekend, once a ridge builds and the jet clears, we've got ourselves a tropical storm, possibly hitting the Carolinas.

Tomorrow is our last day in the 90's for the whole year! Then we'll have a rousing round of storms this weekend that will lead to upper 70's for highs next week. That's right, 90's to 70's in one week! Here's the new motto for Kentucky that I made up in place of "Unbridled Spirit": "Kentucky, where seasons change in less than a week." Pretty accurate, eh? It always seems that we don't have any buffer time between seasons. It's always ridiculously hot or freezing. No such thing as "warm" or "mild" in the Ohio Valley. But of course that's an exaggeration.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

9/4 - 5pm - Oh Give Me A Break!

This headline on Yahoo! News really bugged me:

Oil hits $75 as hurricane fears brew

It's so dumb that a forecast could make oil prices jump like that. Now I could understand if a refinery or platform was hit by a hurricane and oil prices went up then. But for a pretty lofty forecast to make a commodity jump like that is just unacceptable. The chances of a particular company's oil facilities to be hit by a storm are fairly low given statistics, so I really don't get this. Imagine what'll happen to oil prices if a hurricane slams into the US. But I don't know, I'm not an energy expert. Now my editorial comments are out of my system.

Hurricane Felix hit Nicaragua as a Category 5 storm this morning. One could only imagine the horrible destruction that it caused. Not much news out of there right now, which is understandable given the situation. Whew, two Cat 5's in a season is just too much. I do think we broke a record for the most Cat 5 landfalls in a season this year.

It's still very active out there now. There's a non-tropical low just off Florida's east coast that could develop over the next day or so. I see it as becoming a tropical storm that could make landfall in the Carolinas. We'll see if this happens.

The heat keeps building here. As of 5pm we were at 97 in the city and 95 in the suburbs. We're almost out of the woods though! This weekend we could get some appreciable rain that will extinguish our 90's for hopefully the rest of the year. I'm a little concerned that we could see some severe weather on Friday, but we're still a little far out on that one. It would make sense to have a little bit of severe weather because of the noticeable temperature difference between the two air masses that will be involved with this front. So we'll see about that...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

9/2 - 11pm - Oh I Blew it on Felix

Yeah folks... Sorry about that one. I said on the forecast video that Hurricane Felix wouldn't get past a Cat 1 or 2. Now its a Category 5 storm near Jamaica (Cat 2 to 5 in less than 24hrs, holy smokes folks). Yesterday the projections didn't really get past a Cat 3 at maximum. Then I woke up to a Cat 4 monster this morning. That made me feel sheepish...

No matter, here's the current track:

I'm a little worried about that track right now. It plows Felix right through the Yucatan and emerges as a hurricane on the other side, in the Gulf of Mexico. The GFS is a mess as I said before so I can't use that for guidance. The rest of the models show a re-entry into Mexico after the Yucatan hit, but after that flare up and surprise overnight, I'm still skeptical. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to tell you until this storm clears the Yucatan.

As for here, It's really dry. I mowed the lawn today and created the most sizable dust cloud ever seen to man. Not to mention that it all got into my lungs. With ground that dry, its hard to negotiate a cool down in the air. The ground only makes heating worse, which makes drought conditions worsen, and then the circular pattern begins. We could see rain next weekend, but even then its hard pressed.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

9/1 - 12:40pm - New Forecast Video

Hello Tropical Storm Felix! In the video I go over the path of that storm and prospects for cooler weather after next week.