Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4/30 - 8pm - Slight Risk for Severe Storms Derby Eve

After many weeks of calm weather, we're starting to encounter signs that it could change significantly. Oaks looks pretty good right now compared to yesterday's forecast, so I think we'll squeeze out a little drizzle or light rain possibly during or after Oaks. That night, Derby Eve, is the problem. The SPC has issued a SLIGHT risk for severe weather for Friday night, with up to 1 inch of rain possible as well. While the risk isn't too bad at the moment, the rain factor is huge.

The track at Churchill Downs is going to be a mess Saturday morning and all throughout the afternoon if the sun doesn't come out to dry it. I'm betting (pun intended) that track conditions will be listed as muddy or sloppy before the Derby. As I said yesterday, you might want to factor that in to your wagers on Saturday.

Until Friday, calm and warm weather will prevail. Low temperatures will hold in the 50's and 60's too, which is a massive improvement over this morning's 30's and 40's around the area.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4/29 - 6pm - Last Cold Day for a While

It's 50 degrees on the second to last day of April. That's quite frigid for a time when we think of 70 degrees and maybe a rain shower in the afternoon. This is the last day of 50 degree weather for what looks like quite a while, maybe even until fall (hopefully). Temperatures will recover back to 70 degrees tomorrow and reach to near 80 degrees by Thursday!

Friday's Oaks race looks iffy right now with some possible showers in the area, but we might pull through with a dry one. Derby looks fine because the thunderstorms should exit the area the morning of the race (track will most likely be muddy... factor that in to your wagers on Saturday). The SPC isn't calling for any severe weather yet for Friday night, citing some concerns with instability and airflow issues. It's difficult for me to read that when the GFS is painting what looks to be a nice squall line here late Friday evening...

Read about the Virginia tornadoes from Monday here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

4/28 - 3:15pm - Showers and Thunderstorms Almost Here

Taking a look at the radar shows a large line of showers and thunderstorms approaching the area. No severe weather watches or warnings have been issued yet, but it's possible within the next couple of hours. The SPC has put us in a 5% risk for severe weather (which is really not much at all), with the main threats being hail and wind.

I really don't think we'll get anything more than some rain, a brief gust of wind, and maybe a clap of thunder or two. We're too cold and too stable for anything really to happen severe weather wise. I think a much greater chance for severe weather exists on Friday night when a line of storms is expected to make its way through. The SPC says its too early to tell, but they are looking into it.

We're still on track for much of what we saw today in tomorrow's forecast, with some needed warming in here by Wednesday. I'm less confident that Oaks will be dry than I was yesterday. With a line like this expected to go through, its difficult to tell when it will actually get its act together. I still think the rain should be mostly out of here by Derby time on Saturday.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

4/25 - 4:30pm - Storms in the West Coming This Way

A squall line of severe storms has formed this afternoon from Iowa down to Northern Texas. While the storms are severe, and even tornadic in Iowa, these are expected to weaken quite a bit before they reach us. The Balloon Glow tonight looks bleak due to the winds ahead of these storms.

The storms will give way to a semi-warm weekend and a cooler start to the week. Wednesday through Friday could harbor some severe weather as stated by the SPC. The GFS also verifies that statement with warm temperatures and precipitation forecast. This is the time of year when we really need to watch out for severe outbreaks like this. Things are fired up in the Plains, but those conditions could shift to this corridor by next week. We'll keep an eye on it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24 - 4:30pm - Rain on the Radar

There's a line of showers and thunderstorms just west of Evansville that will come through here later tonight. Luckily the rain will end by late tomorrow morning and the sun will come out. Highs tomorrow will only reach the lower 70's though, meaning you might feel a chill in the morning on your way to work or school.

70's continue for the weekend until Monday, when it looks to be in the mid-50's according to the NWS. Ouch!! Derby Day looks stormy according to the GFS, which might not bode well for conditions at Churchill Downs. Let's hope this forecast changes in the coming days...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4/23 - 7pm - 80's are Back!

84 degrees was our high today, something we haven't seen in many months. It certainly didn't feel like 84 with the low humidity, which made for a good afternoon to go out and mow the lawn (like I did). Our temperatures will take a dip on Saturday after another repeat of today tomorrow. The dip will bottom out by Monday with highs in the lower 60's/upper 50's before rebounding to near 70 by Wednesday. Tomorrow night starts the rain, which will last off and on until Monday.

One month and one day until my storm chasing trip begins!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4/22 - 8:30pm - Happy Earth Day!

Wow! What an excellent day we had today... upper 70's with very few clouds. We'll see more of the same for tomorrow, with a small chance for rain by Thursday. Temperatures will take a dip by Monday, with highs in the mid 60's. No chance for severe weather in sight, so things will stay quiet around here for quite some time.

We're in a very quiet pattern right now, especially for this late in April. I'm expecting a flare up in severe weather at some point here, maybe by the first or second week in May. This is just a sitting and waiting game as we see when the springtime severe pattern rears its head.

We haven't had any aftershocks today either, which is very good news. The only thing I saw from the USGS was a small 1.6 today near the origin of the 5.2 quake we had. I said yesterday that we could be dealing with this for some time based on some articles I read, but it looks like someone turned off the earthquake switch overnight. Hopefully we're through with geologic activity for a while.

Also, its just over a month now until my storm chasing adventure begins. If you haven't heard yet, I've been hired as a guide for Storm Chasing Adventure Tours for two weeks in May/June. We'll be chasing all around the Plains and, best of all, I'll have mobile Internet on the road. That means I can post live updates, pictures, and videos right here on my blog! Hopefully the severe season ramps up for the two weeks that I'm out there...

Monday, April 21, 2008

4/21 - 4pm - Another Shaker, Nice Weather

I didn't feel this one, but this morning at 1:38am EDT we had another earthquake in Illinois. This one was a 4.5, so we felt it in Louisville. There was no damage here from it, but this is the sign times to come. It looks like we could be dealing with aftershocks for quite a while due to the persistence of activity. Hopefully we don't get anything worse than a 5.2 again, because it seems thats the damage threshold for this area and the threshold for many people's nerves around here. We're not known for many earthquakes like this, so this is very strange to many. I've read reports that these are both good or bad. They can be good by relieving the fault of its pressure, but bad by possibly waking up the New Madrid fault, just south of the area we're getting our quakes from. We don't want to hear from the New Madrid anytime soon...

At least the weather's good though! We're steady at 70 degrees in the suburbs right now and that pattern looks to continue until at least Thursday. Temperatures will be on the rise as well, but nothing above the lower 80's. We'll also have more fog tomorrow morning. There was so much fog this morning in my neighborhood that not even my fog lights on my car did any good. Be careful out there!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

4/18 - 5:30pm - Earthquake!

I've never felt an earthquake before. That was until this morning when I was shaken out of bed by a 5.2 magnitude rumbler from Illinois. It lasted for about 15-20 seconds and broke a model airplane on my desk in my room. It started very gently and ramped up until my windows were vibrating pretty good. At first I was afraid that the New Madrid fault had finally roared to life and left Memphis in ruins. Luckily it was just a moderate quake out in Illinois, one that could be felt even in Ohio! At 11:14am, as I was going to lunch at school, a 4.6 magnitude aftershock came through. We thought it was a train that was going by the school at the time, but after a while it was pretty evident that it was another quake.

Click here for a video of the quake live on WAVE3 during a morning newscast.

I can't forecast earthquakes folks, but that was sure interesting! Our weather will get a little interesting as showers and thunderstorms (not severe) roll through here tonight through tomorrow night. We'll clear out on Sunday and Monday with temperatures back in the 70's with more rain mid week. The coolest day this week is Saturday in the lower 60's; The rest of the week will be in the 70's!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4/17 - 3:50pm - Nice and Warm!

It's 74 right now in the suburbs with 76 in the city. The sun is shining, the trees are blooming,... But yet it will rain tomorrow night through Saturday. Here's the good part: We don't lose our 70's after the rain ends!

The lowest we'll get will be lower 60's on Saturday, due to a few thunderstorms and that rain I talked about. Nothing severe this week, but next week could harbor some severe weather. The SPC has an area just west of us shaded in for some severe weather Monday through Wednesday, but that certainly isn't a fixed area yet. We'll have to see if the severe threat stays out west or shifts this way as we get closer to the actual event. But other than that, clear and warm after this weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4/15 - 3:30pm - Pushing Out the Cold Air

Now we're talking! 57 degrees right now is much better than the 46 degrees we had yesterday at this time. We're talking 70 degrees tomorrow with 70's throughout the rest of the week, with the only exception being mid-60's on Saturday.

Looks like we'll get some rain on Friday and Saturday (thus the drop in temperature on Saturday), but other than that we'll see sunshine and warm temperatures for the rest of the week and into next week as well. Not a storm in sight!

Monday, April 14, 2008

4/14 - 5:30pm - Freeze Warning

Looks like we're actually going to pierce the freezing barrier tonight. I saw this coming last week while putting together the 7-day and I said "No, surely not this far in to April." But the numbers kept confirming the freeze and so the NWS is now issuing a Freeze Warning for our area:
Now, don't get too upset about this because the 70's will be back by Wednesday. Tomorrow won't be too bad either, with highs near 60. We could get a shot at 80 again by early next week if the sun comes out long enough...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

4/11 - 11am - Round 2

So the storms weren't too bad last night, although there was damage in S. Kentucky with a few injuries. We're getting skirted by a small cell to our north right now that's part of a bigger line to our south. Nothing is reaching severe limits in this line yet, so we may be OK for today. We just need to see if we can push this line through this afternoon before things get bad.

Now, I know everyone is wondering about the Thunder Over Louisville forecast. Right now it looks cloudy and 50 for the air show and in the 40's for the fireworks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4/11 - 12:30am - All Clear!

Well, we got lucky on that one. The storms simply couldn't hold together in severity and are now just thunder-makers. I guess we didn't have enough instability after all! So much for the predicted record tornado outbreak... whew. Thank goodness it's off the plate now.

We still have tomorrow to contend with, but at least the tornado forecast is way lower than this one was supposed to be.

4/10 -7:15pm - Quiet... Too Quiet...

Here's the situation. There's a nasty squall line getting fired up along the Mississippi River right now heading NE at about... oh, say... 70MPH!!! There is a tornado WATCH out for that corridor, but most of the tornadoes are on the Iowa part of the line. It's interesting because there are really two smaller lines right now, only miles apart. It seems as if they're canceling each other out in terms of energy, but once one dissipates then we're off to the races. I think that the southern part of the line is getting ready to hit the most unstable part of the country in just a couple hours. That ought to fire the storms up.

Another component is the tornadic activity in Iowa I mentioned. These storms are heading north pretty quickly, so I think those cells will die off pretty soon as they hit cooler, more stable air. Once that occurs, it is possible that the moisture feed could open up for our storms to use. Again, this is what is supposed to happen, not what actually will in most cases.

The SPC didn't issue a HIGH risk like many thought they would today. It seems that cloud cover ahead of the line of storms limited their punch. What affect the earlier cloud cover out west would have on our severe potential is not known.

If all goes according to plan, storms should roll in here just after midnight well within severe limits. Wind damage will be the primary problem, but a couple tornadoes aren't out of the question. Keep your weather radios on alert mode folks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

4/9 - 6:30pm - This is Making Me Nervous

I've been watching the evolution of this severe outbreak for Thursday and Friday. It now looks as if the storms will pack enough punch on Thursday (tomorrow) night to cause wind damage and possible hail. Another component of this system is the tornado threat as well, which mainly applies to areas just west of here. What's getting me is that these will be strong and long-tracked tornadoes, possibly not well adhering to any drop in instability as they go east. In that case I'm afraid that some of those tornadoes could come into the area, but I think they'd be few and far between given the time of day and lack of instability as you go east.

Another thing that came up in the last few hours is a change in timing for the front passage on Friday... now in the afternoon. If this indeed happens, we'd be in the cross hairs for severe weather again. It won't be as bad as tomorrow, but still there is a possibility. I noticed the CAPE values (measures instability -key for storm development) are highest at 4pm for Friday, which is prime time for severe weather. So we'll keep our eyes on that.

In any case, if I wake up tomorrow morning and the SPC's outlook for severe weather has shifted east, we're in trouble. We're in a SLIGHT risk for severe weather tomorrow as of the current forecast. There will be a HIGH risk issued tomorrow for the Missouri and Arkansas corridor most likely, but we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

4/8 -7pm - Straddling the Edge of Two Severe Outbreaks

I've been in Pennsylvania since Sunday, and let me tell you that Louisville has had some nice weather lately! Coming back to mid-70's was a nice welcome home after mid-40's in State College, PA.

The 70's won't last long. By Saturday we'll drop 15 degrees into the mid-50's after a nasty storm system rolls through. Speaking of which, Thursday and/or Friday could harbor some severe weather for us. The two images below are the SPC's severe outlooks for Thursday and Friday respectively:

Notice how close to the edge we are on both of these. This is because the storms will roll through here Thursday night into Friday, which could deplete the capability of these storms. The storms would fall apart Thursday night and redevelop Friday morning, hopefully after they're out of here. Any shift in timing though will result in a much different scenario though. If the MODERATE risk on Thursday (first image) shifts to our area, we're in trouble. Inside that risk area is the potential for one of the worst tornado outbreaks in quite some time. We don't want that at all.

So if all goes according to plan, the storms will roll through here at night and not be as bad. I'll keep my eye on this to see if the timing changes. We'll be lucky if we do get to stay within the weakening zone we're in for these storms.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

4/3 - 8pm - Less Rain... But Still Some Issues

It's with pleasure that I'm informing you that the cold front has setup shop south of the area, which shifts the core of the heavy rain down to Southern Kentucky. The radar shows some light shower activity in our area, with the bulk of the washout just north of Bowling Green. We've gotten .22" at my house and I think there will be 2 more inches, better than the up to 4" that was expected before the front settled in the south.

There will be some minor stream and river flooding here, but nothing compared to a couple weeks ago. Couple that with the lack of severe weather and I think you have a pretty benign system for the Louisville area.

It is also with pleasure that I inform you of our first 70 degree streak. From Sunday until at least Thursday we'll see temperatures hold in the 70's and just a spotty shower or two. Too bad I have to miss this pleasant weather coming up, because I'll be out of town!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

4/2 - 9pm - Flooding Issues on the Horizon

Sorry about the gap between posts this week. This has been one of the busiest weeks this year for school, so bear with me. I'll also be gone next week to visit colleges as well, so there'll be a lull in content on the blog and site for the next couple weeks.

But now on to a potential flooding situation. We're looking at 2-4 inches of rain by Friday after a Thursday-Friday complex of rain comes through. With the ground still saturated, this surely won't sink in to the ground and go away on its own. If we get even more than the amounts projected today, this could be a very difficult flooding situation. We'll have to see.

And, if you didn't hear about this, Ken Schulz is retiring from WHAS11 TV in May. I personally met him for a shadow in January 2007, and he is just the nicest guy you'd ever meet. He will surely be missed along with meteorologist Jeremy Kappell, who is leaving the station as well.