Sunday, August 31, 2008

8/31 - 8pm - Maybe Gustav Won't Reach a Category 4?

It's good that Gustav has been relatively weak today, with winds at around 115mph. It looks like now that the storm won't go any higher than a Category 3 before landfall because it's simply getting too close to land to get any stronger. The strengthening that most, including myself, thought would happen over the warm Gulf waters never materialized. This is very good news, but this is still a force to be reckoned with.

The projected area for landfall is still the same as when I posted at 3pm, so New Orleans will see some wind, rain, and storm surge out of this. Since this will steer just west of the city, I think the risk of heavy damage has decreased a bit. Tropical storm force winds are expected at landfall, with hurricane force not out of the question. The levees are a different story though, as the storm surge might or might not be enough to run over them. Let's hope they hold.

Hopefully there will be more good news to come, although it can only get so good. We're still talking about a hurricane impacting the Central Louisiana coast, folks. Remember that landfall is slated to occur tomorrow before noon.

8/31 - 3pm - Get Out of New Orleans. Now.

If you're reading this from the city of New Orleans, you'd better be there with a media outlet or emergency management. Nobody except these people need to be in the city right now. Hurricane Gustav has not changed its path since last night, and there's still room for the trend to go dangerously east. There is also the possibility that it could go west as well, but that is looking less and less likely as the storm reaches the coast. This will hit land as at least a Category 3, even though it has calmed a bit today. Things should pick up as we head into the evening hours in terms of winds.

Here's the latest from the NHC and the Colorado State spaghetti chart:

(NOTE: The CLP5 and XTRP lines on the chart are not to be used as forecast tracks)

Notice that the eastward shift is still on there, but the couple models from last night putting it over the city of New Orleans have gotten back to their senses. Still the same situation as last night in terms of landfall and projected intensity. This storm is bad news for New Orleans, especially since they could get the northeast corner of the storm that is strongest.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

8/30 - 11:20pm - The Dreaded Eastward Shift... Look Out New Orleans

I shuddered when I saw the 11pm update from the National Hurricane Center for Hurricane Gustav:

The track has moved eastward toward New Orleans and away from Central Louisiana like the outlook this afternoon. The spaghetti chart confirms the shift pretty well:

(NOTE: The CLP5 and XTRP lines on the chart are not to be used as forecast tracks)

This is bad, bad news folks. Now that the storm has cleared Cuba for the most part, it has an open road straight to the Gulf Coast. Winds calmed to 140mph while crossing Cuba, but they're expected to pick up again as the storm goes into some wickedly warm water. The eye has lost its definition as well, but it is already showing signs of coming back on the satellite loops.

New Orleans is in great danger from this Categroy 4 storm as of this moment. This eastward shift in the models has made it pretty clear that Gustav has the potential to wreak havoc on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, with New Orleans potentially in that dreadful right sector of the storm where the winds are highest. It's good that evacuations are well underway right now, but they need to move as fast as possible. If the track even shifts the tiniest bit east again, then New Orleans gets the full force of the storm. As of now, they are just slightly out of the full potential, but still within great danger. All it will take is a powerful storm surge that penetrates the levees to repeat 2005 all over again. I really do hope that this track shifts west and that the levees hold.

I'll talk about Tropical Storm Hanna more in depth after Gustav's landfall on Monday. As of now, Hanna looks like it will head up near the Carolinas or over the Florida Peninsula, but the models are all over the place with it. This week could be one of the most disastrous weather weeks in US history with the combination of these two storms.

8/30 - 7:45pm - New Forecast Video

I made this video earlier in the day, but I couldn't get it online until now. Sorry for the wait.

Hurricane Gustav is now a Category 4 storm and is expected to be a Category 5 by tomorrow or earlier. The track that brings it just west of New Orleans in the video still applies.

By the way, the mobile site is back up and running after problems earlier in the week. Go to to find out how to access it on your phone or mobile device.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8/29 - 6pm - Weather Channel Contest, Storms in the Area, Gustav

A couple of months ago I submitted one of my video forecasts to a video contest at the Weather Channel. Recently, I found out that I won the "Most Likely to be a Meteorologist" award for my entry and the results of the other contestants were posted today. Here's a link to the Weather Channel's Stephanie Abrams giving a rundown of all the winners: Click here. To see my contest entry, click here. Main contest page: click here.

Storms have popped up along the cold front coming through the area and are giving us a NICE dose of rain. We've needed it for nearly two weeks now. Most areas in East Louisville have seen rain today, but areas west of I-65 have not had that luxury. These areas might not see rain until late next week. Sunny skies and 90 degree temperatures will prevail for next week.

Hurricane Gustav is showing a little bit of a westward shift in forecast track as updated models come in. Here's the NHC's track:

The spaghetti chart shows the same trend as the NHC's, so I don't need to post that. This is still not looking good for New Orleans, but at least it looks like the eye might veer off to the west of the city. An area from East Texas to the Central Louisiana coast looks like the prime target area for landfall right now, at least until the models change again. Hanna is still churning in the Atlantic as a tropical storm with the potential to briefly become a hurricane before hitting the Bahamas.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8/28 - 5pm - A Concerning Consensus, Now with TS Hanna

I bet the guys and gals at the National Hurricane Center are in a frenzy right now. Not only do we have the daunting Tropical Storm Gustav, but now Tropical Storm Hanna has just been upgraded to a named storm as well.

First off, the track on Gustav has not really changed much since yesterday:

What gets me is the newest spaghetti chart, comparable with one I peeked at early this morning:

(NOTE: The CLP5 and XTRP lines on the chart are not to be used as forecast tracks)

That's a pretty specific landfall area for this far out, but of course this is not by any means set in stone. The consensus is somewhere west of New Orleans as a Category 3, which is bad news. The most powerful part of a hurricane resides in the northeast section, which would smack the Crescent City head-on if this scenario were to happen. Katrina hit just east of New Orleans, which gave Biloxi, MS and other cities around that area the worst of the storm. New Orleans got the surge from the storm, not so much the wind.

I'd say this is probably the worst track for New Orleans I've seen come off the models yet. The good part is that there is still a great deal of room for change in this track. This is no time to sit and wait for more models before taking action. If you have friends or relatives who reside in or near New Orleans or the western Gulf Coast, make sure you tell them it's time to get some serious plans together for evacuation. Barring any significant changes to the forecast track, official evacuations should start within the next couple days.

Here's Tropical Storm Hanna's track:

This should be a hurricane by Saturday, with no real good estimate on a location for landfall at the moment.

Compared to the tropics, our weather around here has been nice and calm for the past couple weeks. The bad part is that we need rain badly. A cold front coming through tomorrow should give us a chance for some rain, but it's not real high. We'll be seeing more brown grass for a little while if this doesn't produce any appreciable rain. Highs should stay around 90 for the weekend and into next week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

8/27 - 6pm - Gustav is Causing Quite a Stir

Things haven't changed much since yesterday aside from the fact that Gustav has been downgraded to a tropical storm for the time being. This storm will become a hurricane again on Friday barring any drastic forecast track changes. Here's the latest from the NHC:

The spaghetti chart is still fairly consistent with yesterday's, but with a slight shift to the east:

(NOTE: The CLP5 and XTRP lines on the chart are not to be used as forecast tracks)

I didn't want to mention this until the storm got halfway past Cuba for the sake of accuracy, but the national media already did this for me. New Orleans is at risk from this storm. I have been seeing the writing on the wall for the past 48 hours and I'm sure many of you have as well. The storm's forecast track has been for the most part pretty consistent on going into the Gulf. Just about every model agrees that this storm will end up hitting the Gulf Coast, but where is the issue. The general gist right now is somewhere between West Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. I sure hope we're wrong about this and the forecast track changes, but I have a bad feeling at the moment. If these forecasts don't change by this Friday, talk of evacuations will skyrocket and the ball might already be rolling by then on getting people out of NOLA. Let's hope this doesn't need to happen. New Orleans is such a wonderful place to visit, which I did in June, and the culture there is simply unparalleled. Hopefully we'll get lucky and the models will trend a different way.

A few pockets of showers associated with the remnants of TS Fay like the ones we've been seeing all day are still around the area. They should dissipate overnight with a dry day ahead tomorrow. Next chance of rain will happen on Friday with a small probability of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Dry weather will prevail again for this weekend and into next week. Temperatures will touch 90 degrees for Labor Day and hold for the remainder of next week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

8/26 - 5:30pm - We Missed Out on Rain, Hurricane Gustav

The GFS was right, all the rain from what was Tropical Storm Fay slid eastward overnight and left us dry as a bone. Our next chance of rain will be a small one, occurring on Friday and Saturday as a cold front quietly passes through. Temperatures will stay in the mid 80's for the remainder of the week and this weekend.

Here's the big story of the day: Hurricane Gustav. This could be a news maker in a matter of a couple days if it continues on it's current forecast path:

The spaghetti chart for this storm is equally attention-getting:

Notice how most models have a general consensus right now of taking the storm between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. This is certainly a better consensus among the models than what we saw with Fay, which had a bizarre and unusual track to begin with. Gustav's winds are already at 75mph as of 5pm, and it's not even in the Gulf yet. If you have any interests on the Gulf Coast, you definitely need to monitor this. We should have a pretty decent landfall estimate by this weekend. This track will change many times over the next few days. Lots of oil platforms are in the Gulf, so don't be surprised if oil and gas prices skyrocket in the next couple days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

8/25 - 6pm - TS Gustav, Website Issues

Tropical Storm Gustav was upgraded from a depression/tropical wave and is expected to hit Haiti as a hurricane tomorrow afternoon. The track right now takes it through Cuba and possibly into the Gulf if it doesn't veer to the west:

The spaghetti charts look like this NHC track, with a couple models taking it over to the Yucatan Peninsula. This is another game of wait and see we're going to have to play this week.

We've got a daily chance of rain around here for the rest of the week as the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay slide northward. Our best chance for rain looks like Wednesday as the bulk of the precipitation comes close to us. The GFS wants to shift most of the moisture off to our east, whereas the NAM has most of it coming over us. I'm partial to the NAM because of the what the system is doing on radar right now, but we'll watch it to see which model is right.

I've been having bandwidth issues with my main website lately due to my new mobile website. Problems right now range from the podcast being down to images and menus not showing up. To fix this problem temporarily, I've shut down and removed the mobile/iPhone site. I'm working on an alternate hosting solution for it, so it should hopefully be back up sometime in the near future. As far as the issues with the main site, it should be fully functional within the next few hours.

UPDATE 7pm: The main website is now fully operational and I'll be working on a fix for the mobile site this week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8/23 - 11:30am - New Forecast Video

We need some rain! Looks like we'll have a chance at some most days this next week. Temperatures will also take a dip as well.

Friday, August 22, 2008

8/22 - 4:15pm - Rain is Coming!

After more than a solid week with no rain in the Metro, we sure could use some. Luckily, we're in for a chance of rain on Sunday into Monday. We'll see small rain chances (hit or miss) throughout next week, so hopefully everyone will get hit at least once. Temperatures should peak tomorrow in the lower 90's before settling down in the 80's for next week.

Tropical Storm Fay is still churning away, giving quite a bit of rain to the Florida panhandle and causing flooding problems. Here's the latest track:

Fay will just skim the edge of the Gulf Coast, giving it enough water to keep it a tropical storm until the end of this weekend. It should turn inland by Sunday and finally dissipate.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8/21 - 9pm - Rain... Where'd it Go?

I haven't mowed the lawn since last weekend. It hasn't grown an inch since and its now a nice shade of brown. Where's our rain?

While we had a few passing showers today, nothing hit the metro directly. I think we'll see some rain early next week with the passing of Tropical Storm Fay and a front that looks promising for us. We'll also see a dip in temperatures after this weekend. Highs in the 80's should hold for most of next week if not all.

Here's a track update from Fay:

Notice how much further south the track has shifted since yesterday. I'm not going to post the spaghetti charts since they have about the same track and margin of error as the NHC's above. It's still not going to become a hurricane with this track. Anything track further south than this would make me concerned though.

Here's an excerpt from the Old Farmer's Almanac website pertaining to the Ohio Valley's winter forecast:
The coldest periods will be in mid-December, early January, and early February. Precipitation will be near normal in the east and above normal in the west, with above-normal snowfall nearly everywhere. Expect snowfall in time for Thanksgiving, frequent snow in December, and additional snowfalls from January to mid-February.

Interesting how this is different from the CPC's warm forecast for this winter. Many think that forecasts from almanacs are rubbish. That's not the case because there really is a good bit of long range forecasting science that goes into these. The techniques used are not as common though, like using sunspots to predict long range weather patterns.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8/20 - 5pm - Fay Won't Go Away!

(I apologize for the corny title... couldn't resist)

The track of Tropical Storm Fay has changed around a little bit today, but we're back to about where we were yesterday in terms of forecast track:

As usual, this is just a line of best fit for the spaghetti chart with all the forecast models chiming in:

The GFS nearly puts this storm back in the Gulf again, but that's still up to debate. Most models, as you can see above, like a more northwesterly track better. I'll stick with that too for the moment, but I'm reiterating that it could still re-enter the Gulf under the right circumstances. It just takes one model run to change up this whole situation. One thing I did get correct was the fact that Fay didn't become a hurricane as it re-entered the Atlantic. Simply too close to land with not enough time.

A number of homes have been flooded from Fay's rain. To read more, click here.

Today was the first day in a while that I actually called hot. Same story for the rest of the week, with a possible rain system and/or the remnants of Fay coming in for the weekend and into next week.

Since Tropical Storm Fay has been so widely publicized, my blog has seen a great deal of hits from Florida coming from web searches. Welcome to all you Floridians and stay safe down there!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

8/19 - 9pm - Fay is Going Where?

It looks like that crazy GFS model wasn't so bad after all. Yesterday it showed Tropical Storm Fay (it never did become a hurricane) going back into the Atlantic and then curving back inland. Now it looks like that's going to be the track. A batch of high pressure, the one that's been giving us all this nice weather, is suppressing Fay from tracking much further north. Here's the latest from the NHC:

The chart above says it will become a hurricane, but I don't know about that. The GFS is reinvigorating the storm enough on the current model run to do so, but if the track goes any further inland then you don't have as much exposure to warm water. The current forecast track would probably give it enough time to become a hurricane, so we'll watch to see if that sticks. There is still a possibility it could enter the Gulf again according to some models, but the storm would have to go way south to do that. I think the track from the NHC is pretty good for now.

Rain chances could pick up around here by this weekend, but that's all dependent on Fay's track right now. The GFS gives us not a drop of precipitation for a week, but that's based on the model's prediction of where Fay will go. The NAM is pretty dry too, but it takes Fay back into the Gulf of Mexico. We hope that doesn't happen. In any case our best chance of rain will come from Fay, if indeed it eventually comes north. Temperatures will hover in the low 90's until next week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

8/18 - 4pm - TS Fay Has Intentions Now

After meandering near Cuba for a time, Tropical Storm Fay has now made it clear that it will make landfall on the western coast of Florida. It will do so as a weak hurricane unfortunately. The exit plan isn't totally clear yet, but most models are taking the storm generally up the Appalachians. A few models (including the famed GFS) are taking it out to the Atlantic then having it turn around, go back through Florida, and then hit the Gulf Coast. I don't know how valid that type of track is. At any rate, this will transverse Central Florida, which is something that I didn't expect it would do. I guess it's going to break the historical track pattern of veering east or west of Florida. Here's the latest track from the NHC:

The rest of the week here looks sunny and dry. A low will pass west of us on its way up from Texas, so we could get a shot at a few showers here Thursday into Friday. Other than that, we're clear until early next week.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

8/17 - 11am - Computer Models Are Confused With TS Fay

I've been checking the spaghetti charts for Tropical Storm Fay for a couple days now and I don't like what I see. Here's the current chart for Tropical Storm Fay:

This is definitely a wider spread of forecast tracks compared to the chart I showed on my forecast yesterday. Obviously the computer models are having a tough time with this storm. An interesting feature to note is that there are two general tracks outlined here, with a gap in the central panhandle of Florida. As I said before, I believe this storm will go west of Florida. Take a look at the historical tracks for storms near Fay's current position and you'll see why:

Notice that Central Florida has remained mostly unscathed by these storms. Most of these storms on the chart have gone east or west of Florida. Obviously this storm could break tradition, but I don't think it will. This sucker could be in the Gulf of Mexico off the West Florida coast on Tuesday if I'm right. The water in there is about 85 degrees and up, so once this storm is out of the area of interference from the islands in the Caribbean it could get stronger. In any case, the western Florida Keys will get clipped, so its good that evacuations have been ordered there. Let's wait and see on the track, it could be a totally different scenario tomorrow.

More uneventful weather will continue around here for this week, with not a drop of rain in sight. Expect highs to top out in the upper 80's to lower 90's for this week.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

8/16 - 1pm - New Forecast Video

Looks like a nice week ahead with a small jump in temperatures and little rain. Tropical Storm Fay might become a hurricane and impact the US sometime this week...

Today I'm launching Ryan Weather Mobile, a website designed for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or web-enabled cell phone. The coolest thing about this is that you can get the latest forecast video on your iPhone or iPod Touch without leaving your browser! Learn more and get connected at

Friday, August 15, 2008

8/15 - 7:15pm - Rain Chances Gone, TS Fay

Our rain chances for next week were already small to begin with, but now the GFS has changed its mind and decided that high pressure will suppress any low pressure that tries to come north from Texas. What does that mean for us? It means another spectacular dry week ahead, but this time we'll throw in a few days in the low 90's. Considering how lucky we've been, a few days in the low 90's is a minuscule price to pay for all this wonderful weather.

Tropical Storm Fay is getting revved up near Hispaniola. Here's the latest NHC advisory graphic:

You may be thinking, "Oh, this will stay a tropical storm, so there's nothing to worry about." Wrong! The forecast path has already changed from east of Florida to almost west of Florida just today alone. I personally think this might get into the Gulf, which is not a good thing at all. More and more lines on the spaghetti chart (each line is a projected forecast path) are drifting west, which is dangerous for the Gulf coast:

The thick pink line is the "line of best fit," which is what the NHC is going off of right now. This morning these lines were, for the most part, to the east of Florida. The GFS is taking Fay through the middle of Florida and the NAM is taking it up the Atlantic Coast right now. There's no telling which of these three posible paths the storm will take, but I think we'll know fairly soon. As for now, I'm going to stick with my slightly west of Florida forecast track. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

8/14 - 4pm - Nice Louisville Soaker!

I was in my last class for the day when all heads peered out the window at one instant. It was pouring! Since it was close to dismissal time, we all groaned about having to get to our cars/buses in the rain. But magically the clouds parted and gave way to a brilliant ray of sunshine, and thus our commute home was dry. That's an isolated storm for you.

Just took a look at the radar and it looks like more scattered storms are on the way, with one forming in Northeast Louisville and another south of Indianapolis. Expect short periods of rain with a couple claps of thunder built in through this evening. As promised, we should be dry for the weekend, making for excellent state fair weather.

The tropical wave I talked about yesterday (the one near the Caribbean) has now been upgraded to a high risk of development. Looks like we could have tropical storm or hurricane Fay on our hands by the weekend. Here's the discussion from the National Hurricane Center:


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

8/13 - 9pm - Who's Ready for Rain?

It's been a dry and cool week so far, but it looks like we could transition into a more active pattern. Expect a chance of rain tomorrow, with temperatures hovering where they've been for a while. The weekend now looks dry as the GFS and NAM models have backed off on low pressure interference quite a bit. That should come into play after this weekend and stay with us for the remainder of next week. We should get a few shots at rain with that situation.

One of the two tropical waves I talked about yesterday has weakened somewhat, however the one closest to Caribbean is still scheduled to become a tropical depression either tomorrow or Friday according to the National Hurricane Center. It's path right now takes it near the Eastern Florida Panhandle, a prime zone for development due to water temperatures.

The Kentucky State Fair starts tomorrow, so get out there and enjoy the nice weather while we've got it! Speaking of which... I've had this recurring thought that this weather we're having could lead to a change in our Winter temperatures. If this general jet stream orientation continues, it could very well lead to a cooler winter than usual. This is just speculation at this point, but there is talk about this on some private weather sites. The CPC still maintains a warm forecast for winter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8/12 - 8:30pm - Rain Chances Increasing

I don't think I remember a time when August was this pleasant. We haven't seen 90 degrees in quite some time and rain has been holding off. We'll keep the nice temperatures, but it looks like rain will be entering the forecast Thursday and through the weekend. While this rain won't be an all day or all location event, be on the lookout for scattered storms. This activity should pick up and become more widespread early next week with an area of low pressure entering the vicinity. We could be dealing with some pretty wet weather for next week.

A couple tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean are showing signs of development as they churn west toward our neck of the hemisphere. While they aren't considered terribly organized, the National Hurricane Center warns that the closer of the two could become a tropical depression, the precursor for a tropical storm, in just a couple days. This could be the beginning of peak hurricane season if activity continues to increase.

Monday, August 11, 2008

8/11 - 5pm - More Dry, Comfortable Weather Ahead

It really can't get any better than this in August! It's 77 degrees in the suburbs with a dew point at 56. Not much will change this week as this dry and cool pattern continues. Rain chances will be on the increase for the weekend, but I think we'll need some rain by then.

Tomorrow is the start of my last year of high school, and with that comes more responsibility and less sleeping in. Blog posts will be more sparse than in the summer, but hopefully they don't fall below one every two days. I will tell you that I've applied to two colleges and I should know which one I'll be going to by October, so I'll announce that when the time comes. I will be majoring in meteorology, of course, at whichever of these two schools I go to. Hopefully this last year in Louisville is a good one!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

8/10 - 9:30am - Quiet Weather Continues

Dry and cool weather should continue for the week ahead, with a couple very small rain chances. Humidity will be low this week, with dew points not even passing the 65 degree mark. Not much else going on around here other than an abnormally cool start to August, at least if you compare it to last year.

The tropics are beginning to fire up again. Two areas of disturbed weather are highlighted from the National Hurricane Center as having medium potential for development over the next few days:

After an active start and a short break, this year's hurricane season bears watching as we head into the peak of it. September historically has the most hurricanes in a season.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

8/9 - 7:30pm - New Video Forecast

Looks like a nice week ahead, with sunny skies and low temperatures.

8/9 - 9:30am - New Forecast

It's a busy morning, so I won't be able to make a video forecast until later tonight or tomorrow. I was able to get a 7-day forecast made, so here it is:

Notice the absence of 90's, isn't that great? Our best chance for rain looks like Thursday now. The models have been flip flopping on the Sunday/Monday rain, but now they're pretty stable on a dry forecast. Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

8/8 - 10am - Super Nice Weather

Wow! I woke up this morning to my thermometer saying 62 degrees outside. Granted, I live in a small valley where cold air pools, but I'm sure temperatures around the region weren't too much warmer. We're sitting at 69 right now at 10am, which is a very nice start for a day in August. For those wondering, this cool weather was caused not only by the passage of a cold front a couple days ago, but also by low humidity. Humid air tends to keep temperatures stable, whereas dry air has more variation between a high and low temperature. Simply put, the water in the air retains heat longer than dry air.

Do you like this weather? Good! There's more on the way. Temperatures will remain in the mid 80's for the weekend and next week as well. We'll have a small shot at rain late Sunday night into Monday and maybe a little during the day on Wednesday as well.

Here's the weather for Beijing, China tomorrow:
Scattered Clouds. High: 95° F. / 35° C. Wind light.

They're 12 hours ahead of us, so I'm sure that makes for an interesting time issue when broadcasting the Olympics and for the athletes as well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

8/7 - 8:30pm - Not Bad Today!

While it felt like a sauna this morning, dry air filtered in via northerly winds and provided dew points in the 50's for the afternoon. This turned what looked to be a humid day this morning into a pleasant afternoon.

Still looks cool and sunny until early next week, when rain chances increase. We'll still keep our temperatures steady in the 80's for the duration. The tropics are pretty quiet too, so this makes for a slow few days in terms of weather.

8/7 - 8:15am - Cooler, But Humid

It's only 72 right now, but here's the kicker: The dew point is holding at 70 degrees. This means that when we hit our high in the mid 80's today, it will feel like it's in the 90's. I guess you can't have cool weather in August without having humidity. The rest of the week will be in the 80's, with the next chance of rain happening early next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

8/6 - 10pm - Missed It By a Nose!

All the isolated thunderstorms that popped up earlier this evening slid to our southwest and missed Jefferson County by just a few miles. There was no severe weather around these parts today, and only a few warnings were issued toward the Tennessee border. That's the best forecast I've made this week! (read earlier post for details) With the relative calm that accompanied the front this evening, our rain chances for tomorrow have completely evaporated. Looks like no more rain until early next week, with 80 degree temperatures for the foreseeable future. The humidity was brutal today, but it could've been much worse if it were in the 90's. I'd say we're in a pretty nice pattern for August!

8/6 - 1:30pm - Rain Later Today

The SPC still has us under a SLIGHT risk for severe weather today after some southward shifting, but I don't buy it. Instability is less than yesterday, we've got some serious cloud cover issues, and shear doesn't look impressive at all. One thing we do have is moist air, so I think we'll see some rain showers with a little thunder come through later this afternoon and into tonight. The severe threat should stay down toward Southern Kentucky and Tennessee.

Here's another bit of good news: We won't see 90's at all for the next week. We might even extend this trend for the next two weeks if this pattern stays in place. 80's are much better than the 100's we were experiencing this time last year. Small chance of rain tomorrow, with no more rain after that until at least Monday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

8/6 - 12am - Storms Weakening

Whew! The complex of storms in Illinois has weakened into a strong rain-maker, with no warnings other than flooding out right now for it. At the peak of this system, winds reached up to 80mph with tornado warnings issued. All we'll see tonight is some heavy rain, gusty winds, and a pretty good deal of lightning. Expect this to come through in the next half hour.

8/5 - 8:15pm - Oh I Hope I'm Wrong About This

I'm having flashbacks to last night when a dangerous derecho complex of storms went through Chicago, causing evacuations at O'Hare Airport and Wrigley Field. There's a line of storms in Illinois that's starting to develop and look like the ones that came through Chicago last night. This time we're in the crosshairs.

It's still very early to tell on this, but all other cells in our neck of the woods have dissipated to make way for this line of storms. It's not bowing out yet, but there is a tornado warning out for counties near the center of the line. My radar display here was showing a few rotation signatures, but most of those were probably due to outflow confusing the radar system. If these storms make it this far, they will most likely arrive around midnight. There's a possibility that this line could make a quick dive south once the bowing starts and miss us completely, but I have a suspicion that they won't. Here's what it looks like now:

Since the storms will be coming through after the Severe Thunderstorm Watch expiration, I think that will be extended for us. The SPC made note of that in their mesoscale discussion for the area. Stay tuned...
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued until 11pm tonight. Storms are beginning to develop to our north and west, but are not severe yet.

8/5 - 10am - Edouard Lanfall, Rough Night in Chicago

TS Edouard is making landfall this morning, just north of Houston. This is a northward shift from where it was originally plotted to reach land.

This was very close to becoming a weak hurricane, with winds now at 65mph. The lower limit for a hurricane is 73mph. This storm did close some oil platforms, but oil prices have actually dropped over the last day. Looks like supply and demand can overrule a tropical storm.

Last night, a very large and damaging derecho complex of storms hit Chicago and its Northern Indiana suburbs head-0n. Winds were clocked at 70mph in the city. More than 200,000 homes are without power in the area at the moment. It also caused evacuations at O'Hare airport and Wrigley Field. Here's a radar image I snagged last night:

Around here, we're under a SLIGHT risk for severe storms from the SPC both today and tomorrow. Instability for today and tomorrow is higher than previously thought on the SREF model, so we might get a little more than we bargained for. A line of storms is getting ready to come through the metro around an hour from now. This line has no warnings or watches associated with it, and it looks pretty benign on radar. Since these area coming through this morning, one would think that our storm threat for later today would be quashed. True, it will weaken the potential a bit this afternoon, but there's still a pretty good chance we'll see some severe weather later. If we can clear out the clouds later this morning and into the afternoon, you can bet on it.

Tomorrow's threat looks about the same in terms of severity, but I think those storms will be more isolated due to a passing cold front.

These storms this morning will limit our temperatures today, with highs in the lower 90's instead of upper 90's. Humidity will still be an issue, with heat index values in the lower 100's today. Make sure you wear light clothing and drink lots of water! Tomorrow will see a decrease in temperatures, with a high somewhere in the uppper 80's.

Monday, August 4, 2008

8/4 - 9:30am - TS Edouard, Less Severe Threat

An area of disturbed weather off the coast of Louisiana got real organized yesterday, prompting the National Hurricane Center to skip the tropical depression designation and name it Tropical Storm Edouard. This storm could become a Cat 1 Hurricane by landfall:

Notice the pink areas along the Texas coast, that's a hurricane watch. Winds are up to 50mph now, and around 75 is the threshold for a hurricane. If it continues strengthening at this rate, then it'll have no problem getting to this point. Watch the oil prices rise...

Not much has changed for severe weather on Wednesday other than the SPC's outlook, which now has no area outlined for us. I still think we might see a couple severe storms around here, but the threat will be slightly magnified to our south. As I said yesterday, we'll only see fair instability which will inhibit storm growth. Instability will be even less in the south, but more moist air and shear will probably compensate just a little. So, expect mostly strong storms with a couple severe clusters embedded on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is our hot day for the week, with temperatures topping out around 96-97 in the area. The heat index will for sure top 100. Stay hydrated!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

8/3 - 10am - Mid-Week Still Looks Rocky

I mentioned yesterday that we could see some severe weather during the middle of this week. After taking a look at the GFS and NAM models this morning, I can certainly say this might happen. The SPC issued a severe weather outlook yesterday with us in the line of fire for Wednesday. While we're still on the fringe, they still think we're in for some rough weather:

The GFS and NAM confirm this risk, so they're not the only ones saying this. This is all caused by a cold front coming through in relation to a trough sinking down into the Plains states. Instability will be fair, with CAPE values from 1500 to 2000 J/KG according to the SREF. I don't think we'll be in a MODERATE risk or anything higher because we're going to be in the zone of development when this happens. The storms will be immature when they reach us, unless that area shifts north and west. I have a feeling these storms will begin as broken cell clusters and then merge into a line as they mature, especially after the models painted something similar. I'll have more on this as the situation evolves.

In the mean time, it's going to be downright hot! We'll see 90 today, with mid 90's expected tomorrow. Tuesday is the near 100 day, with highs expected in the upper 90's. The heat index will soar over 100 on Tuesday, so don't forget to drink lots of water and limit your activity if possible.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

8/1 - 10:30pm - Watch Cancelled, MCS Forms North

Well, an MCS did form tonight, just not where expected. The cells that formed north and west of here seemed like they were starting to connect into a linear line, but more cells in extreme Northern Indiana beat them to it. Since these became an MCS first, it sucked all the energy from our cells and left them as weak, isolated dowpours. This whole comedy of events has cancelled our severe watch, which is reasonable given our now slim chance for a storm tonight. More hot weather tomorrow!

8/1 - 6:30pm - Severe Thunderstorm Watch

The SPC issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for our area until 1am tonight. A few storm cells are getting organized just to our north and west, heading southeast and potentially impacting the Louisville area later this evening. I think this will merge into one large MCS later tonight, with multiple rounds of storms possible until late evening.

8/1 - 3:30pm - Severe Chances Looming?

The SPC has issued a SLIGHT risk for severe storms in our area later today.

While nothing is showing up near us on radar at the moment, a line of storms is starting to materialize in Northern Indiana. The SPC warns that an MCS (line of storms) could reach the Ohio River later tonight. Since this is mainly a wind event, I think we're out of the line fire for tornado problems. Even though we're under the SLIGHT risk, we might not even see any storms today. We've yet to see a tangible line of severe storms form, and the one that's forecast to form could pop up in a variety of places around the region. We'll see what happens later tonight.