Friday, February 29, 2008

2/29 - 4pm - Whoa... GFS is Rockin' it OUT!

The 12z model run of the GFS is just spectacular on the Tues-Wed storm:



Yeah, that's quite a low there. Just a quick count of the moisture puts us at over a foot of snow. The last two runs (0z and 6z) had the low just west of the position in the 12z, so that would be less snow. The fact that the low is moving east though on the Euro and GFS really makes you think. I peeked at the unfinished 18z NAM and it looks like its taking the low to the west, but its botched the last few storms, so I'll disregard that for now.

This is very interesting. Someone is going to get a massive snow accumulation out of this, but who? Just looking at the possible low tracks, I'd say its either us or Evansville. The problem is that this low will start to wrap around itself right before it hits us. That presents some issues because we don't know when or where the low will exactly start to wrap. This wrapping is where our snow comes from because cold air starts to inject itself on the backside of the low. So we want this thing to head just west of the Appalachians into E. Kentucky. If the models push this low into our area, you can kiss your snow goodbye.

I'm not calling for this storm yet. Just another 36-48 hours and we'll have a decent idea. As of now, it looks fairly good for us. Keep checking back, I'll have my forecast video out about lunchtime tomorrow. Hopefully the GFS doesn't do any dancing between now and then...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/28 - 4pm - Don't Panic!!!

Lots of people saw the 18z model last night (after I posted) and went nuts. Let's all just calm down everyone.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's probably for the better. Last night, the 18z GFS model came out and dumped 20+ inches of snow on us for Wednesday. I debated on posting about this but I wasn't too sure about the consistency about this system and thought that this could be a fluke. 24 hours later confirms that its not. The most recent run of the GFS (12z) shows the storm still very potent, but the strongest part is just west of here (W. Indiana):



Given that the GFS isn't consistent with the placement of the storm, I'll just say that this area in general could be in for a cocktail of rain/snow/ice, with snow being the whopper issue. I'm just not going to commit to a 20" snowstorm yet and cause mass panic. That's just irresponsible! This storm could go out of our area on the model just as quick as it came and I think that might happen. It is true that this is not too far away and things need to get sorted out quite soon. I'm just not going to go on a whim like this and call a snowstorm at 132 hours out based on a GFS monstrosity. If this monstrosity stays on the models by the weekend though, I'll commit.

The Euro model is running the low over us instead of east, so that would hamper our snow totals. The DGEX wants to move the low over the Appalachians (most lows go east or west of them) and gives us a little snow. Finally, the Canadian wants to move the low in here similar to the Euro, yet a little more to the east.

By the way, I do read my comments and I was very aware of the storm on the 18z last night. I didn't post because I wanted to see at least two more model runs before I could make a good analysis of this. Don't get your hopes up yet, but keep checking back...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/27 - 4pm - Interesting Long Range Storms

Let's begin with today, which has been cold and snowy. There are a few spotty (but heavy) snow showers charging through the area right now. I just picked up a quick half inch in 15 minutes here before the sun came back out. The temperature took a little bit of a hit as well, dropping down to 26 before recovering back to 28 after the snow. Fortunately our snow from earlier this morning didn't cause any problems here other than some lightly covered side roads.

Next weekend (Thurs - Saturday) is giving me problems. The GFS has been consistently putting a nasty storm in here today for this period and I'm not sure what to think. One scenario has a large storm developing in the Midwest and then sliding right up the coast giving us a quick hit of snow. The two other scenarios have smaller, yet more potent storms riding right up the Ohio River. Those storms would be whoppers to say the least.

It's still too early to grab a prediction out of the GFS crystal ball, but I will say that this might be the storm I thought would happen as winter exits the Northern hemisphere. It's interesting how this storm wasn't on the model yesterday as a snow maker, yet all day today the temperature has been consistently been below freezing on the model for this storm. We'll have to wait and see. Still two weekends away...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2/26 - 6:30pm - Quick Shot of Snow

Temperatures are falling to the freezing mark as we speak and snow is falling around the area. While its nowhere near heavy, I think we could pick up a quick inch or less. NWS is playing up the risk of slick roads in the morning and the GFS agrees with that based on the southern placement of the freezing line. There could be some school delays, but I don't think there will be many.

No other big snows in the forecast now, but if any of the warm storms (like the March 3rd one) decide to plunge south, then we could be in trouble. Give it some time and I think we could see another storm on the models. Just remember that time is running short!

Monday, February 25, 2008

2/25 - 5pm - A Little Snow on the Backside of a Storm

Looks like we'll get hit with some rain in a matter of hours here as a storm makes its way east. The interesting part comes tomorrow afternoon when this changes to snow. The NAM is pretty light at just over an inch and the GFS and others are slightly lower. Not too big of a deal here, but it looks like a mighty big storm for the Northeast.

Next snow chance looks to come around the 3rd, and it looks light at that. The GFS is winding up some big storms for the second week of March, but you know how reliable that is this far out. Given our luck this late in the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see another snowstorm in March. We just need to see if this materializes though. Big warm up in the works for this weekend!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2/23 - 7pm - New Video Forecast

Sorry it's late today, I just completed a major computer upgrade...



NOTE: I said 2007 in the video and meant 2008. I suffer from meteorological amnesia :).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2/21 - 4pm - Houston, We Have an Ice STORM!

I totally didn't expect JCPS to dismiss early today. Apparently the NWS held a press conference and told the school systems to either dismiss early or suffer the consequences. Kudos to the NWS!

We're not done yet even though the freezing rain is tapering off. Later tonight, if we are below freezing, the mother of all ice events will come through with a possibility of thunder too. It looks like we'll be below freezing until 4am the NWS says. If that's the case, we'll have more than a 1/2" of ice. That's a terrible mess folks. If we indeed stay below freezing that long, you can count on at least a 2 hour delay tomorrow for school systems around the area.

My street is a sheet of ice, but the interstates are fine. Looks like the metro road crews have pulled through once again! Too bad they can't do the neighborhood streets, but that would be way too much salt and money down the drain.

We'll see how the temperature holds...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2/20 - 9:30 - ICE STORM

Oh what to do, what to do... The GFS is calling for a pretty good lickin' of an ice storm, with temps really warm above a few thousand feet and temps cold at ground level. The NAM is similar, but its warmer aloft. The NWS is even floating the idea of issuing an ICE STORM WARNING instead of a winter weather advisory as well.

This will start tomorrow afternoon from 2-4pm as some snow and sleet. Rush hour tomorrow afternoon will be a mess for the most part. As night falls the temperatures aloft will rise and then we'll transition to freezing rain. That's worse than sleet since you get sheets of ice instead of manageable pellets. I think we could get a sizable accumulation of ice too, over .25" possibly. We should be all rain by Friday afternoon.

So, this isn't a snow event by any means. I think there might be a 2-hour delay or cancellation for JCPS on Friday if we do get ice accumulation. We'll see how that works out though...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2/19 - 5pm - BIG Bit O' Snow! - Storm Chasing!

We're getting about an inch tonight from this system. That's about all I have to say on that one.

The Friday storm is WAY colder than what I saw yesterday evening. The freezing line is 200 miles south of where it was on the models for early Friday. This is a huge development.

The GFS is giving us snow, with some definite icing going on. The HPC has put us in a slight risk for .25" ice (sound familiar? - last Tues) for Thurs/Fri and the 4 inches of snow risk is just north of here. This will almost surely come south given the current model hoopla.

The NAM model is being weird by swinging around on its guesses, so the NWS isn't using it. It wants a more northerly track with some ice. So I'll call this an ice event until I see otherwise. If the models even hint at going south, I'm calling this a snowstorm.

In the meantime, we're under a SNOW ADVISORY tonight and winter storm watches are being issued for Western KY, not unlike what happened last Tuesday. Expect one of those for us in the next 24-36 hours once this thing starts to get its act together.

On a completely different note, I've been invited to be a guide for Storm Chasing Adventure Tours out in the plains this Spring. This is an awesome opportunity and I'll be able to post pictures and videos right here on my blog while I'm gone. You can go to the company's website at stormchasing.com, where you can even see my picture and bio towards the end of the page.

Monday, February 18, 2008

2/18 - 3pm - Little Bit O' Snow

There was some doubt as to whether or not there would be nice snow system for mid-week. Right now, it doesn't look like it at all. Here's the good part though, we do get a shot for some snow Wednesday. This won't be a huge snow, but I see potential for about an inch or so. That's not too bad.

The system after this occurs on Friday, and that one has some question marks. As I see it now, I think we'll start off with some moderate/heavy snow on Thursday night and then turn to rain on Friday morning. That sounds an awful lot like our system from last Tuesday, but there are still some outstanding variables to be determined. If it goes south, our snow increases of course. I'll keep some tabs on this one and get snow estimates out by Wed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2/14 - 7pm - Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Don't hold your breath for snow on either Friday or Sunday. The Friday one is gone from the models and the Sunday one is in Chicago right now. I don't see anything else in the cards right now as far as snowstorms go. At least we've had one good snow this season so far.

More of the same weather we've had today until Saturday. We'll warm into the 50's by Sunday (definitely no snowstorm if that happens) and then we'll see a drop into the upper 30's and 40's. I'll update you if anything weird happens with either system, but right now it looks like a rain-maker.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2/13 - 5pm - Surprise Snow Showers

Before I get to the weather, I need to set the record straight on something first. Back roads and subdivisions were absolutely treacherous this morning. Main roads were dangerous due to visibility issues along with some slick spots. Adding insult to injury, we received about .5"-1" of snow during the rush hour commute this morning. Why on earth did JCPS only delay? Buses were wrecking left and right, getting stuck on hills, and causing more traffic problems on top of normal commuters at 9am. I got to school 15 minutes late this morning on my bus due to horrendous traffic on Breckenridge Lane and on Taylorsville Road. Come on JCPS, remember that you have thousands of kids that you can put into harm's way. The fact that they didn't close this morning is just appalling. Kudos to the counties around us that did close. They had the safety of their students in mind.

Sorry, just had to let that one out folks. They really blew it this morning.

We did get some surprise snow showers this morning after a chance of flurries was forecast. According to the NWS, seems an area of low clouds decided to just condense and drop on us all at once unexpectedly. It's still snowing right now, and temperatures are holding in the mid 20's. Interesting how long this storm is hanging around, especially after the surprise of getting it to begin with. We'll be in the upper 40's tomorrow though, so no more surprises.

The storm on Sunday is looking warmer than initially thought and the one on Friday has vaporized from the GFS. So don't be overly optimistic on snow yet. I think the GFS is playing games on the Sunday one though, so be ready for more possible surprises there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2/12 - 9:10pm - Winter Weather ADVISORY

A Winter Weather ADVISORY has been issued for the whole area as temperatures drop below the freezing mark and sleet and freezing rain are starting to fall. I have freezing rain at my house right now with 30 degrees. The roads will become frozen overnight as the ponding on the roads solidifies. From what I've seen/heard, there is a back side to this storm that nobody really saw and it's giving us more freezing rain than expected. It's heavier in some places than others, but the NWS says we could get up to .05"/hr of freezing rain, which is pretty substantial by freezing rain standards. School districts are already throwing in the towel in Indiana, but we'll see what they do here. I think JCPS might get a 2 hour delay, but the temperature will be below freezing tomorrow for the whole day which would exacerbate conditions. If we get another quarter inch of ice on the ground, school could be canceled. It's been a long time since we've had 2 consecutive school closings, but hey it's happened. It's a real mess right now, and the NWS says this could go on for quite a while longer. Stay tuned.

2/12 - 5pm - NAM Has Next Storm!

I just wanted to update you on this weekend's storm situation. The latest 12z and 18z NAM runs are being eerily consistent on this storm on Sunday. The new GFS is being processed now, but the NAM is banking on us getting this storm next Sunday. That's good because if the GFS gets its mind back, then we'll have 2 models being consistent on this storm. It's strange how we've gone from missed storms and no storms to plenty of storms to deal with. Hopefully this one is less ice and more snow. What a weekend it could be...

2/12 - 4pm - Not Out of the Woods Yet

Thanks for everyone's comments on the blog, I really enjoy reading them!

Well, as the title suggests, we're not done yet. One last burst of sleet and snow is heading this way over the next couple hours. It won't be that strong, but all liquid on the ground will flash freeze once the colder air from this comes in.

Many are concerned about school tomorrow. I think if we get another good helping of sleet in the next couple hours along with the re-freeze of the roads tonight, we could get a delay. I'm not terribly optimistic of a second cancellation tomorrow, but a delay is certainly not out of the question.

The next item up for bid (queue the "Price is Right" music) is a possible snow system later on this week. I've not really paid attention to this due to our current mess, but I think it's time something is said about it. This storm would be on Sunday the 17th, possibly similar to the storm we're still trying to shake off. The 0z, 6z, and 18z GFS model from last night all show a real nice storm in here, but the most recent 12z takes this one down to Tennessee. We'll just throw that one out. I'll keep up with this one because it looks good at the moment in terms of the GFS. Other models are being inconsistent and odd on this storm. So given the track of the storm that just occurred being so close to the one on Sunday that the GFS suggests, I'll go with a storm this weekend with either ice/snow, ice/rain/snow, or just straight snow. We're 1 for 5 on the snow forecasts this season (weather people collectively), so take this with a grain of salt. But given the fact that we did get snow and this pattern looks consistent for the week, I wouldn't be surprised if we did get the same thing all over again.

I'll post some model run images either tomorrow or Thursday if things still look good for this weekend.

2/12 -12pm - Snow Time Lapse and Picture

Here's a time lapse video I took last night of the storm from 4:30PM to 11:30PM. Notice how it really piles up near the end. That was when we had that 9pm snow burst that really socked most of the county.



Take a look at this picture my dad shot this morning. Quite an interesting phenomenon occurred when the pinwheel was spinning and the ice was accumulating.



We got over 4 inches of snow here with about half an inch of ice. The rain looks to continue until this afternoon when it will taper off. We'll get another quick burst of snow tonight with a half inch of accumulation. Temperatures will be below freezing both tonight and all through tomorrow, so roads might get a little dicey again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

2/11 - 10:30PM - JEFFERSON CO. PUBLIC SCHOOLS CLOSED

Just 10 mins ago on Fox41, Jefferson County Schools were reporting being closed tomorrow (Tuesday). YEEEEE HAWWWW!!!! I knew it! With 4.5" of snow they just had to!

2/11 - 10PM - 4 inches on the ground!

That's right, I have 4 inches on the ground at my house! I saw reports of 5 near downtown. We'll get at least another couple inches of snow tonight before we change over to sleet and freezing rain. I think Jefferson County will close tomorrow, it's just going to be a horrid commute. This might be my last post for the night, but if I'm still up at 11 I'll post then.

2/11 - 9pm - Here it is!

Reports are coming in of near white-out conditions in the St. Matthews area. I also saw somebody reporting thunder-sleet just south of Louisville. Looks like we're the big winners here folks, because it's sleeting just south of here and there's no snow north of Harrison County, IN. We're at least getting 4 inches here, over 6 isn't out of the question as this whopper snow band moves through. It's starting to come down quite hard at my house now...

2/11 - 8:20pm - Heavy Round of Snow 9pm

I'm currently tracking a very heavy batch of snow in the Owenboro-Hardinsburg corridor that is running full steam ahead toward us. This is where we will receive the bulk of our accumulation this evening. At around 9pm we'll ramp up to over 1 inch/hr and we could see another 3-4 inches out of this burst on top of what we have now. This is certainly shaping up to be a big storm.

2/11 - 8pm - Winter Weather Update Video

Here's a rundown of what's going on...

2/11 - 4pm - 4-8" of Snow Expected

In about 20-30 minutes the visibility in Louisville will drop as moderate to heavy snow moves in. Looks like we're going to get a whopping 4-8" if we can keep the sleet out of here until midnight. Once the sleet does come I think we could get .25" to .5" of sleet, causing power outages and mass traffic issues. I'll post later with more details as they become available.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

2/10 - 5:30pm - WINTER STORM WATCH

That's it! The NWS just issued a WINTER STORM WATCH for the entire Kentuckiana region! They are forecasting around 4 inches of snow tomorrow night after a quarter inch of ice accumulates. Here's the latest 4 inch risk and ice charts from the HPC:



Notice how far south the 4 inch risk area moved, they're putting us in a MODERATE RISK for 4 inches of snow! The ice chart is also impressive, another MODERATE RISK of .25" of ice or more. This all amounts to a nasty winter storm tomorrow night, one that I didn't even know was going to happen this morning. This will catch a lot of people by surprise due to the late and huge changes in the forecast. Inevitably I think this may be our best snow so far this season. Also, beware of the risk of power outages tomorrow night when the ice falls. With so much ice accumulation, we're sure to have power issues here. I think it would be wise to make sure your flashlights work and that you have gas for generators handy. This is simply unbelievable.

2/10 - 12pm - Hold the Phone!

I said that the rain on Monday night would be just rain in my forecast video. WRONG!!! The newest runs of the GFS and NAM are swinging this storm way south and putting us in a ice storm/snow storm area. I know what you're thinking: "Sure, and then it will revert back to rain just before it happens." Well, we haven't had this big a change just hours before a storm this year. My head is spinning right now, I can't believe what I'm seeing. There is a Winter Storm Watch in effect just 3 counties west of here, just 3 counties! I think the NWS office in Louisville is waiting one more model run to just to make sure before they issue a WSW and make 1.2 million people frantic.

The HPC is putting us in a pretty good zone for .25" of ice and they have the 4" or more of snow just north of us.



Now while I don't think this'll be a big snow maker, I do think the ice will be a mess. I think we'll get around 2 inches of snow on top of .25" of ice. That's bad.

Stay with me on this one for the next 12 hours. I'll post an update before dinner tonight.

Friday, February 8, 2008

2/8 - 5pm - Calmer Pattern

How about those 50's today? That's pretty good for this time of year, and we don't even have to pay for this with anymore severe weather! More of the same tomorrow, but Sunday looks to be colder. Rain looks likely on Tuesday and Wednesday, but we'll make a quick descent into the 40's by that time.

Just an update on the tornado situation from Tuesday... The NWS office in Louisville has put together a nice page that goes through all of the various tornado tracks that occurred. Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

2/6 - 5pm - Aftermath

What a storm system last night. Heavy damage in the Memphis, TN area, not to mention in our own state as well. I've never seen such a bad winter outbreak like this before. It's just awful that this system claimed 50 or more lives. That's simply unacceptable with the technology we have today to forecast and warn people of tornadoes. Of course it saddens us all when things like this happen.

We were issued a tornado warning here in Jefferson County at about 12:40am last night. I remember my weather radio going off and scaring me to death and then turning on the TV to see what was going on. The radar looked nasty so I went to the basement right as the straight line winds came through. That's about all I remember because I was half asleep while doing this.

Luckily it wasn't too bad in Louisville, but areas just south of here received a moderate amount of damage. The worst I saw here was a tree limb on a car near U of L.

The next few days look cloudy with 40's and 50's with a stray mid-30 degree high on Sunday. Possibly a chance for a little snow by early next week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2/5 - 10pm - Cell has weakened...

The tornadic cell I was watching has now weakened and is not producing a tornado anymore. This means that we've bought an hour more of time before anything tornadic comes into the area. It's late and I have to go to school tomorrow, so I'm going to blast out of here for the evening. Keep your weather radios on and listen for TV updates. We're just getting started here...

2/5 - 8:40pm - TORNADO WATCH ISSUED

It's time to get those severe weather plans in action folks. As I said earlier, the SPC looked like they were ready to issue a TORNADO WATCH and they just did a couple minutes ago. I'm tracking three cells heading towards downtown Louisville right now with strong indications of tornado production. In the next 45-60mins these cells will be approaching the county. I'm basically issuing my own tornado warning right now because it looks like these cells have funnel clouds or tornadoes on the ground. STAY TUNED!

2/5 - 8pm - Mesoscale Discussion, TORNADO WATCH Coming Soon

It's crunch time. The SPC has just put us in the cross-hairs for a Mesoscale Discussion, meaning that a Tornado WATCH is likely in the next hour or so. They say that the destabilized air up here will interact with the supercells coming out of the W. Tennessee area to produce more tornadoes. The red outline in the graphic shows where the most concern is:


Notice how we are smack-dab in the middle of this discussion area. Be on alert for the next couple hours...

2/5 - 7pm - Tornadoes in Memphis

I've just received word from the SPC that there have been at least two reports of tornado damage in the Memphis, TN area. One report reads that a tornado has been spotted on the ground near Hwy 70 and another says that numerous homes were damaged.

This is of the utmost importance here. These storms are tracking NE at 65 mph and will be in the Louisville area in just a couple hours. There is concern because the tornadoes in West Tennessee are staying on the ground for long distances and could still be on the ground by the time they go through Bowling Green and eventually here.

Separate from these super cells is the main squall line of storms about 2 hours behind them. This is when the embedded tornadoes and straight line winds will come into play.

At 8:30-9pm, things should start to get dangerous in Louisville.

2/5 - 5:30pm - Severe Update Video

Here's a brief summary of what we can expect tonight...

video

2/5 - 4pm - SEVERE OUTBREAK BEGINS, HIGH RISK POSSIBLE

Here we go folks, sleepless night for all of us. Storms will start 11pm - 12am, with damaging winds and tornadoes expected. At the present moment we're under a MODERATE risk for severe weather, but John Belski at WAVE just got off a NWS conference call and said that they were considering upgrading the Louisville area to a HIGH risk. This type of risk is issued only a few times a year in the entire US, so obviously this will be a severe weather outbreak of epic proportions.

Everyone needs to keep their weather radios on alarm mode tonight. This outbreak is occurring when most are asleep, which makes the prospect for fatalities an awful one. If you need to, find a place to sleep in your basement if you have one. I can almost guarantee there will be dozens of tornado warnings tonight around our area. This outbreak will certainly outdo the one we had last week.

I'll post when anything is issued. STAY ALERT!

Monday, February 4, 2008

2/4 - 4pm - MODERATE RISK FOR SEVERE WEATHER

Yet again we're under fire here everyone. As I said in the video forecast on Saturday, the SPC would probably issue a slight or moderate risk and they did issue a MODERATE risk for us on Tuesday:



This will be just like last week's event, but I'm seeing more talk about tornadoes on the SPC's site than before. There will be the straight-line wind issue again but I think we'll see many more tornadoes as well. This will occur around 7-9pm here tomorrow evening, so get your severe weather plans ready now. This might be one of the worst winter tornado events for the TN/MS area in a long time, but we could get some of that bite as well. Stay alert folks.

Saturday, February 2, 2008