Thursday, July 31, 2008

7/31 - 12pm - Rain's Outta Here

We're now finished with rain for the day. In fact, we're done with rain for the week. We're going to see a high of 86 today, with temperatures on the increase for the weekend. While I don't think we'll see 100 degrees (GFS has backed off on temperatures since yesterday), we'll definitely see mid to upper 90's this weekend. Our next chance of rain is August 7th at the earliest. Hope you like hot and sunny weather... it's going to stay around for quite a while.

Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

7/30 - 12:30pm - Rounds of Rain

After some rain this morning, our severe weather threat for today has diminished. The atmosphere can't recover enough for severe storms to form this afternoon, so we'll have some soaking rains instead. All this is left over from Hurricane Dolly, which made its rounds through the West and is now here to give us some rain.

The next item of business is heat. I'll be quite blunt, we'll see temperatures near 100 this weekend, particularly on Sunday. One aspect of this that isn't helping is the lack of any rain for this weekend. With sunny skies, solar heating will only make the temperature nudge higher. If some of the computer models are right, we actually could see triple digits on Sunday. Nobody, including myself, is getting on this bandwagon yet. If the model continues to show this by Friday, you can bet you'll see triple digits on forecasts for Sunday from just about everybody. Let's not forget about last year's heat... 105 in August is something I don't want to see happen again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7/29 - 3:30pm - 5.4 Los Angeles Earthquake

This just in...

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake centered just east of Downtown L.A. occurred just before noon PDT. There are no initial reports of damage or injuries, but communications (cellular, landlines) have been disabled in some parts of the Los Angeles area.

7/29 - 10am - SLIGHT Risk Tomorrow

This has been on the books since yesterday, but I wanted to wait for the new update this morning from the SPC before I posted. We're under a SLIGHT Risk for severe storms tomorrow:

This risk is being spurred by a slow passing front coupled with some upper level disturbances. Couple these factors with super moist air (dew points near or over 70F), and you've got some storms. The main risk factors will be from wind and heavy rain, although the SPC can't rule out a tornado or two. That makes sense since these will be small clustered storms, which makes a better tornadic environment than a long squall line.

Things should clear up by Thursday, which means we're back to mid 90's and sunshine for the rest of the week and the weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

7/28 - 10:30am - Wow, Rain!

I saw the weakening complex of storms south of Chicago last night before bed. It just didn't look like they'd stay together long enough to make rain down here. But they did! We've had nearly three quarters of an inch of rain this morning at my house, with just a stray shower left in the area now.

We're done with rain for today, save for some small stray showers around the area. The GFS is creating odd issues for tomorrow morning. It wants to bring an MCS (line of storms) through and then clear it out for the afternoon. There's really no other model wanting to do this, so I think the GFS is having difficulties with this pattern. Its interesting how "insistent," as the local NWS office put it, the GFS is being on this. We'll see, but I don't think we'll get an MCS tomorrow morning. At any rate, temperatures will be in the mid 90's tomorrow with heat index values in the 100's.

On Wednesday into Thursday, the remnants of Hurricane Dolly will make some rain around the area. So much for my dry weather discussion yesterday! With the rain this morning and later this week, I think we'll actually be close to normal for July precipitation.

Finally this morning, I've launched a new interactive radar page on my website. Not only does it have the interactive radar, but it also has links to local and regional radars, as well as infrared satellite. Click here or click the "Interactive Radar" button on my website to go to the page.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

7/27 - 12pm - Maybe I Went Too Low?

The models yesterday were all a mess when it came to temperatures. The GFS was building a huge heat wave in here for early this week, but the NAM was being more conservative. So, I went in the middle and said 93 would be the hottest we'd get, which would have been on Tuesday. Oops! Now the models have come into agreement, but it's the GFS that generally won out in the beginning. I think we could see temperatures up to 96 degrees on Tuesday, with lower 90's until Friday.

Now it's time to talk about the big elephant in the room... Rain. I said we could get some rain this weekend, and well, quite frankly we really didn't. All the isolated storms missed us for the most part and we're left high and dry. If we don't get anymore appreciable rain this month, we're in for a 2.5" inch deficit for July. While we're certainly not in a drought, a dry ground can only make the air warmer. Our next chance for rain will be on Wednesday, but my confidence level on us seeing some of that rain is quite low.

Friday, July 25, 2008

7/25 - 11am - Storm Chances Dwindling

The models are now backing off on this weekend's rain chances, meaning we'll see storms of an isolated nature, not scattered. Our best chance for these storms looks like Sunday into Monday, but even then it's not a big chance. I think the coverage area of these storms will be very limited at best. Temperatures will touch and possibly exceed 90 this weekend before dropping back to the upper 80's early next week. Today, however, will feature a high of only 87.

The Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico are fairly quiet now after the passing of Hurricane Dolly. This has been a very active July in the tropics, but things are only getting started. We're going to have to watch the West African Coast very carefully over the next couple of months. This is the area where storms coming off the African mainland go out to sea and develop into tropical storms and hurricanes, which eventually end up near North America.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

7/24 - 2pm - Simply Beautiful Weather

Does anyone remember this time last year? We had a nasty drought and our temperatures were building to a climax, which was 105 in August. Look at our weather now.

We're sitting at 85 with a dew point at 51. That's right, we have a 51 degree dew point right now. Last week I was sitting here complaining about a dew point in the 70's, but now I can't be any happier with our current humidity levels. Unfortunately we're going to venture into the upper 80's for a high tomorrow, with a small chance of rain in the evening. Bumping past 90 on Saturday, rain chances will be greater. The rain should be out of here after a chance on Sunday, ushering in a stable pattern of upper 80's for highs and a few passing clouds.

Quite a few places are without electricity in South Texas and Mexico after Hurricane Dolly. Approximately $750 million in damage has been done in South Texas, with major flooding issues. Read more on some of the damage here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

7/23 - 11pm - Hey, We Got Lucky!

I was surprised that we saw rain last night. The storms that were to fire up along the front did just that, but they positioned themselves so that Louisville was one of the few places that got hit. It was an isolated batch of storms, giving most areas around .10" of rain. I'd say that's pretty good for not expecting any rain!

I'm putting my seal of approval on today's weather. It'll be sunny and 85, which sounds like a dream after all the sweltering 90's we've had to endure. Looks like about the same for tomorrow's forecast as well. Friday looks to have a good chance of rain, so enjoy these couple of dry days.

Hurricane Dolly revved up to a Category 2 storm this morning with winds up to 100 mph. The eye will make landfall in just a matter of minutes on the Texas/Mexico border. Looks like Brownsville and Corpus Christi are going to take a beating from this one:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7/22 - 7:30pm - So Much for Another Shot at Some Rain

We were very close to getting some appreciable rain in the metro today. A small cell moved across the northern fringe of Jefferson County, but missed most of the central and southern suburbs. Other than that, all other storm activity was limited to downstate Kentucky and the rest of the South. Our storm threat is pretty much over for today because our area was storm-proofed by spotty storms sending cloud cover over us during the day, and in turn limiting our instability. Otherwise we would have seen more rain... the atmosphere did have time to recover after the storms from 2am this morning. There is a small possibility that we'll see some isolated storms as the cold front passes through tonight.

Tomorrow should see just a few clouds with a high temperature only in the mid-80's. Similar situation for Thursday as well. Next chance of rain looks to be on Friday, with highs in the upper 80's.

Tropical Storm Dolly became a hurricane today, prompting a Hurricane Warning to be issued for the southern coast of Texas. It's a Category 1 storm now, and I think it'll stay that way until it hits land tomorrow morning. It's not an awful storm, but it's certainly a warning to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts that it's time to start watching the tropics. Flooding could be a major issue to Texas and Mexico if levees break, according to officials.

7/22 - 12pm - Only .03" of Rain!?

I woke up and heard the storms last night, thinking we were in for a good bit of rain. Well, they pretty much missed us. My rain gauge reads .03" since midnight. Ouch.

Some areas around the region got dumped on, but the storms fell apart as they reached the Ohio River. Sure, there was a great deal of wind associated with what we had, but the rain just fizzled out. We're under the gun again today with a SLIGHT risk from the SPC, mainly for wind. Looks like we'll be dealing with a similar situation this afternoon into this evening compared to last night. A line of storms is forecast to build just north and west of us and slide southeast, with the possibility of large hail, high wind, and an ever so slight risk of an isolated tornado.

More posts to come on this today...

7/22 - 1am - Severe Update

Before you head off to bed, here's an update on our severe situation. We're under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 6am, with storms producing 60 mph winds and large hail possible in just over an hour from now. The MCS (line of storms) is still packing a punch on radar, with numerous storm warnings around the Indianapolis area. There have been reports of tornadoes associated with this MCS in Missouri this evening, but nothing in the last couple hours. Leave your weather radio on alert mode just in case this decides to spring back to life in our neck of the woods, but I don't think it will. Have fun trying to get some sleep tonight... I know I will.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7/21 - 10pm - Missed the Storms Today, More Tonight!!!

I missed today's severe storms, which were well forecast by the SPC, because I was spending my day at King's Island in Cincinnati. It was hotter than blazes, the sun was out, and the air was chuck full of moisture, yet no storms materialized for the Cincinnati area. Louisville seems to be a storm magnet lately!

I heard about the Severe Thunderstorm Warning that was issued and came home to see nearly a quarter of an inch of rain recorded on our digital rain gauge. That must have been quite a downpour!

We're not out of the woods yet it looks like for tonight. An impressive looking line of storms (MCS) is taking shape north of St. Louis... possibly becoming a derecho later tonight if it isn't already. A derecho is a large, bowing line of storms with sustained winds of near 60 mph or higher. The SPC did a good job today by issuing a MODERATE risk just to our north and west. We'll see if that area needs extentions though. Our local NWS office is estimating a 2am arrival time for this in Louisville, and I'm in agreement with this.

Derechos are nasty, folks. We had one in 2004 that knocked out power to nearly 200,000 LG&E customers in the metro. We didn't get power back at my house for nearly 5 days. Granted, this storm had sustained winds of over 75 mph, but the point of the story is that large scale bowing events like this cause major problems. I don't really think we'll see real widespread severe weather tonight due to the deterioration of these storms during the night, but nevertheless there is a good chance we could have some problems. We'll see if this thing is going to live long enough to pack a punch down here. Our NWS office is putting out the call to turn on your weather alert radios tonight, so I think I know their what their feeling is about this thing. I'd heed that call if I were you.

This could be a rough night if this storm structure stays intact.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

7/20 - 9pm - Whoa!

I just got in from mowing the lawn about 10 minutes ago... boy did things go downhill quick! I just fired up my radar software and took a look at the mess that popped up. There's a cell moving southeast from Indiana that needs to be watched because it's rotating and has tops at 50,000 feet. The hail indicators are at 1.5" for the core of this storm as well, making it a candidate for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, which it has at the moment. It's moving at about 21 mph, so it'll take it up to a half hour to reach Louisville.

I'll post again if this cell gets worse...

7/20 - 1pm - SLIGHT Risks

We're on the edge of a SLIGHT risk for severe storms from the SPC today and in the middle of one tomorrow. The radar shows some storm activity in Southern Indiana that's making its way toward us, so we should see some rain by mid-afternoon at the latest. Other storms could pop up as well, but so far nothing looks severe.

Tomorrow still looks pretty active with that SLIGHT risk. We had a joke going when I was storm chasing that a SLIGHT risk day was always worse than a HIGH risk day... which turned out to be true on two occasions on that trip. Anyway, we should see an MCS line of thunderstorms roll through here tomorrow afternoon or evening with gusty winds and heavy rain. There's a possibility that we could see some smaller, more broken storms as well, but I'm not real keen on it. I think we're going to see what we've been seeing all summer: a couple weak cells in front of a semi-strong MCS (Mesoscale Convective System - a line of storms).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

7/19 - 10pm - YouTube Plug

It's been a slow weather day around here, so I decided to refresh a "commercial" of sorts that I put on YouTube nearly a year ago. I figured it was time to update it since the site logo and address have changed since then.

7/19 - 12:15pm - New Forecast Video

Looks like a hot week with some spotty storms. There could be some severe weather on Monday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

7/18 - 1:45pm - Storms On the Way!?

It's going to be hot today, there's no doubt about that. Tomorrow looks pretty similar, but we could even bump up the temperature a degree or two, to near 95 or 96 degrees. This hot weather will continue for at least the next week, give or take a couple degrees. One thing that will differ next week is the chance for storms.

We could see some strong storms on Sunday afternoon as a trough starts to work its way into our neck of the woods. The SPC has us in a 5% chance of severe weather then, which isn't even a SLIGHT risk. Throughout the early and middle parts of next week, expect storms in the afternoon. These will be scattered for the most part, but its possible that some linear storms could form on a couple of these days. I don't think we'll see anything all that severe, but it's certainly possible that we could get some storms with damaging winds and frequent lightning.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

7/17 - 2pm - Real Simple Forecast

We're going to continue to see mid 90's and sunny skies around the area until Sunday. Rain chances go up on Sunday and continue on throughout next week. It's good we're going to have some rain, but that also means we'll have more moisture in the air. With that in mind, we're going to have to watch the humidity next week. We've been lucky to have dew points in the 50's and 60's this week, but there's a good possibility it will head higher next week. Sunday and Monday look pretty gnarly, with a heat index near 100 when you factor in the humidity. I don't think we'll see dew points go much higher than 70, but keep in mind that anything over 65 does not feel good at all. Keep cool!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

7/16 - 4:30pm - More Interesting Weather On the Way... I Promise!

If you don't like hot and sunny weather, you're out of luck until this weekend. High pressure will remain in control, meaning we're going to stay in the 90's and stay clear until at least Saturday. Sunday and well into next week look more active, with storm chances increasing due to interference with some areas of low pressure. I think our best chance for rain is Tuesday based on some of the model data coming out, but I don't think that the rest of the week should be discounted. I'm sure we'll see some rain at other points during the week, but it will be scattered, making it more difficult to forecast. I'll have a more precise rain forecast this weekend when we push out the calm, high pressure-dominant weather.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7/15 - 3pm - Brace Yourself for 90 Degree Weather

Here come the 90's! No, not the decade, but a stretch of hot weather that will make it feel like it's really summer. We'll touch 90 today, but we're going to stay in the low to mid 90's for at least the next few days and into next week. Our rain chances go up this weekend, but not before a sunny and clear end to the week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

7/14 - 2pm - Hot Weather On the Way, Tropics Active

We're slated for some hot weather later this week as this period of dry weather and sunshine continues. The mercury will spike into the mid 90's by Thursday and Friday, with no more than a couple clouds in the sky. Our next rain chance looks to be this weekend into next week.

The tropics are getting active, with Bertha grazing Bermuda and a new depression that looks likely to form. The NHC (National Hurricane Center) has put an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles under a "High Possibility of Formation". This means that the waters are warm enough and conditions are favorable for this area of storms to become a tropical depression. It will be interesting to see what this does over the next 48 hours.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

7/12 - 4:30pm - Rain on the Way!

No video forecast today... too many things going on. I'll have one out tomorrow morning.

If you stick your head outside, it's pretty oppressive. The temperature is hovering around 90, but there's so much moisture in the air that it feels like a whole lot more. This moisture-laden air will be the fuel for some needed rain this evening and into the overnight hours. A line of storms is trying to fire up from Evansville to Cincinnati, but I'm doubtful that it'll reach here. The cold front is pressing some more impressive rains eastward and they'll reach us after midnight. Some of these storms tonight could be quite gusty and reach severe limits. We're not expecting an outbreak of severe weather, although we are on the edge of a SLIGHT risk for severe weather from the SPC.

The rain should be out of here tomorrow morning, leaving us a warm and sunny Sunday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

7/11 - 1pm - A Repeat of Yesterday

We're a little warmer than we were yesterday at this time, with the suburbs holding at 85 for the moment. Urban areas in town are in the upper 80's, with a high of around 90 expected by later this afternoon. Our next chance of rain looks to be tomorrow evening, when some scattered showers and thunderstorms. Sunday afternoon will have higher rain chances as a cold front sweeps through here from our west. A nice week is in store for next week as high pressure sets in a calms down our general weather pattern.

Here's an update on Hurricane Bertha's forecast track:

Looks like Bertha will only come close to Bermuda, but not actually hit it. Forecast accuracy is key here; any westward movement not factored into the forecast would put Bermuda in harm's way.

Our weather for the rest of the summer looks pretty uneventful. The CPC (Climate Prediction Center) has released the July-August-September climate outlook, and nothing is out of the ordinary for us. Here's the temperature chart:

We're in the EC (Equal Chances) area, meaning our temperatures won't really differ all that much from normal. The Northeast and the Southwest look really warm though, with above average temperatures forecast. The precipitation chart looks very similar for us as well, with Equal Chances covering much of the eastern half of the nation:

Notice though that the Northeast will see above normal precipitation, along with increased temperatures on the first map. It's interesting that an area in the southern tips of MS, AL, and GA will see increased precipitation. Hopefully that area can extend north a little and provide some relief to areas in North Georgia and the Carolinas, where water is needed pretty badly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

7/10 - 1:30pm - Warm Summer Day

It's just beautiful outside if you can tolerate a solar heat! We're in the lower 80's now in the suburbs with slightly higher readings in the city. Temperatures will top out in the mid 80's today and peak at around 90 tomorrow. Our next chance for any precipitation is on Saturday, with some scattered thunderstorms. I'd say this is a pretty good deal we've got going!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

7/9 - 8pm - Close, But No Cigar!

That front sagging down from Indiana I talked about earlier today did generate some heavy rain... south of us. The front is slated to move through here at midnight, but I don't think we'll see any rain from it. There is a possibility of a stray shower or storm along the front firing after dark, but I think the activity south of Louisville will inhibit that. In any case, the radar is clear as a bell where the front is. Expect a dry evening and a dry end to the week!

7/9 - 11am - Heavy Rain Today

We've already had a little rain this morning, but it looks like more is on the way this afternoon. A large batch of showers and thunderstorms is stretching from New Mexico to Arkansas right now, but that won't give us our rain this afternoon. A cold front coming down from central Indiana will fire off some thunderstorms as the heating of the day increases instability. These shouldn't be all that severe, but I can't rule out one or two severe thunderstorm warning criteria storms coming through.

We should be dry until Saturday once this rain goes through. Temperatures will be in the mid 80's today, but should rise to near 90 degrees by Friday.

Monday, July 7, 2008

7/7 - 7pm - Under the Weather

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. I've had a very unpleasant stomach illness that has kept me away from the computer since Saturday. Since then, Tropical Storm Bertha has become Hurricane Bertha, but it doesn't look like it will be a threat to the U.S. coast. I'm actually not in town right now as I'm visiting Mississippi State University, which I was just well enough to do today. It looks like there's been quite a lot of rain in Louisville over the past few hours, and more rain is in store for the next couple of days.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

7/5 - 3pm - New Forecast Video

Looks like a pretty warm week with some decent storm chances thrown in. Sorry about the rain yesterday, things didn't quite work out as they were forecasted.

Friday, July 4, 2008

7/4 - 10am - Happy Independence Day!

A quick check of the composite radar this morning is making me feel confident about my forecast in yesterday's post. There is a large gap in the rain between here and Western Kentucky, with only a few showers after that. This means we'll stay dry for a couple hours before a little more rain sets in. After the next batch of rain, we should be dry for the rest of this afternoon and this evening. There is a possibility that a small, isolated shower could develop within the gap this morning, but I think it will be limited to counties south of Louisville.

Have a great 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

7/3 - 2pm - Dodging a Bullet?

I think we might just dry out for tomorrow afternoon. The GFS and NAM have now come into a general agreement that the storm activity will start late tonight and continue on until about midday tomorrow. Even though the timing of the front passage is a couple hours different on each model, the gist is that the rain chances should clear out of here by 5pm or so. From noon to that time we'll see some scattered hit and miss storms as the front pulls south, but it should be short-lived. The prime time for fireworks (after 9pm) looks dry. Keep your fingers crossed that it works this way. If the front stalls on the river, you can forget about shooting off fireworks or having a cookout in the late afternoon. I think we're going to get lucky on this one, and a high of around 80 tomorrow makes this deal even sweeter.

Today won't be as warm as yesterday, with only 80 degrees as our high. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are working their way into the area as of this writing and will stick around through the night and into tomorrow as I said earlier.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7/2 - 1pm - Not an All Day Rain, But Scattered Storms for the 4th

I'm finally starting to pinpoint the rain chances on Friday. It does look like we will have scattered showers and storms from early morning until evening, but I think mid-evening might just make it out okay. This is crucial fireworks display time.

I've been closely eying this front from the Great Lakes that will be coming through on a few of the forecast models, and I think it's not going to be as stationary as once thought. Granted, it will move slowly and put down some really heavy rains at times, but at least it will keep moving. I think this is a situation where just about everyone will see some rain, but some way more than others. Since the front will be moving southward, it looks like we could dry out after sunset for just a little while according to the NAM. If things work out how the GFS paints it, then we've got a problem. That model is putting our rain in here later in the day and into the night, but I just don't see that happening with the timing of the front going through. This should be pretty firmed up by tomorrow hopefully. In any case, temperatures should hold in the lower 80's due to the cloud cover and rain.

Today will be warm and sunny, with highs topping out around 90 in the region. Tomorrow has a pretty good chance of rain in store with temperatures in the mid-80's.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7/1 - 11am - Go 4th and Get... Soaked?

After a relatively dry and warm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday doesn't look too good. The GFS is painting some small spots of very heavy rain on the map for July 4th, and it makes sense why. A front is going to get stuck just north of us and we'll get any of the rain that generates ahead of it, which will be isolated. These will be slow moving storms due to the lack of a push from the front, so any area that gets one of these storms is in for a pretty big amount of rain. I don't think we'll see much in the way of severe weather, other than one of these isolated storms could reach severe limits for a little while. I can't really tell you when these storms will happen since they'll be so isolated, but I would guess the afternoon would be prime due to the heating of the day.

If you can dodge some of these storms and make it out dry on the 4th, temperatures will hold in the low to mid 80's around the area. Maybe the rain will clear out just before nightfall so that you can shoot off your fireworks. Watch out for some natural fireworks though, lightning!