Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/30 - A Mix of Rain and Snow

With temperatures reaching into the mid 40s today, I'm not real optimistic about snow accumulation tonight as rain changes over to all snow. We might not even get below freezing tonight, so I doubt we'll see any accumulation of snow or ice on the roads. Bear in mind that bridges and overpasses could still have some slick spots tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon as temperatures drop.

Overall, expect from a dusting to an inch of snow on the grass by tomorrow and a few possible travel issues for the morning and afternoon commutes. After a high near 40 on Tuesday, temperatures will rise to about 50 degrees on Wednesday. Unfortunately, a reinforcing shot of cold air arrives by Thursday. That will send highs into the upper 30's for the rest of the week, not to mention a few snow showers that could accompany it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

11/25 - 10:15pm - Not Much Snow

I'm sorry to say that my previous estimate of 2 inches of snow for Monday is a stretch at this point. The models have shifted north and west with the low pressure track over the last 24 hours, and thus our snow chances have dwindled. I'd say we're lucky if we get an inch on the grass by Monday evening due to higher than expected temperatures. We should see mostly rain on Sunday, which will change to snow by the evening. I think we could have some minor issues with the Monday morning commute, especially on highways and overpasses.

Snow lovers... do not lose hope! It is still very early in the season and we have many more snow chances to come! Speaking of which, we could see something Thursday into Friday. I'm not real sure right now because of the track of the storm on the current model runs, but we'll see. I'll talk about that later if it stays on the models.

Friday, November 28, 2008

11/28 - 1:45pm - Still Looking at Some Snow!

The latest models aren't as optimistic as they were on Wednesday evening when I last posted, but we haven't lost our snow completely. The GFS trended east with the storm yesterday, but the track has trended a bit westward in the latest runs. The NAM is in fair agreement with the GFS on this, so I think we could squeeze out a couple inches of snow. We could see some rain during the day on Sunday due to warmer temperatures, which would bring down snow totals. Even if that were to happen, it would still snow on Sunday night and Monday. In any case, I'm going to go with my prediction of around or above 2" of snow by Monday.

This storm is still evolving and there are still issues to be dealt with before it gets here. One issue is that a low from the Southwestern US and a low Canada could phase together in a variety of ways. Until this phasing occurs, no model or human being can really give a straight answer as to what this storm will do. So we'll just have to keep our eye on the models and see if there are any major shifts in the next day or so. I will say that a shift like this in the models is not unlikely given that we still have 48 hours before the system comes through.

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

11/26 - 7pm - Now We're on to Something!

I wrote yesterday that the models were not in good agreement with each other for a potential system late weekend into early next week. The GFS had a strange looking trough and the DGEX didn't know what to do. Fast forward 27 hours and look what happened:

Yikes! The GFS and DGEX both agree on a snowstorm solution for Monday, with Louisville, Evansville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis right in the crosshairs. The NAM doesn't go out far enough in time to see the storm, but the right components are on the model for development 84 hours from now. I don't even want to talk about accumulations yet... the models have varied wildly over the last 24 hours. What I will say is that I've seen a general increase in moisture in the models since yesterday, so keep your fingers crossed!

Obviously I want to express a word of caution before you grab your snow cream recipes and snow shovels. This storm is still 5 days out and much can change in that time period. If the low pressure associated with this system decides to go east of the Appalachians, that could mean less snow. If the low goes any further west of where its forecast to go now, we could see rain and mixed precipitation. BUT... the fact that model agreement is fairly decent at the moment makes me more optimistic that we could be dealing with a snowstorm here Sunday night into Monday.

I'll be out of town for the Thanksgiving weekend (whew... not going to miss the potential storm), but I'll have internet access while I'm gone. If anything happens with the models, I'll be sure to post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11/25 - 4:45 pm - Not Sure What to Make of This Pattern

The GFS has been an utter mess over the last couple days. Its been bringing in storms, loosing them, and disagreeing with itself and other models. I must say I'm not the only one being driven crazy by this! The 12z run has nothing but cold air and mostly dry conditions. The DGEX is fairing the same way at the moment as well. With both of these, the trough that will form across much of the US this weekend and into early next week is situated oddly, making me suspicious that the model is not handling the setup well. We'll have to see what comes our way early next week if anything at all. There's moisture and cold air, but the moisture is south of here and the cold air is over us. There's a possibility we could see a surprising shift in the models as we get closer to time.

The possible snow on Friday has pretty much evaporated from the models, but a slight chance for a small shower is still in the works. Thanksgiving still looks warm, with a high near 52!

Monday, November 24, 2008

11/24 - 4pm - Something Could Be Lurking in the Models

My rain gauge reads .66" of rain since midnight, which seems reasonable given how heavy the rain was early this morning. The good news is that it's out of here, but unfortunately temperatures will stay in the 40's for the remainder of the week. Tomorrow will be the coldest day, with a high that will struggle to reach 40. A high of 50 is not out of the question for Thanksgiving, but it's difficult to tell what might happen this weekend temperature-wise.

What I mean is that some of the models are showing a snowstorm for this Friday and into the weekend. The GFS is really not picking up on this and suppressing the associated low to the south. It also shows warmer air in here that the other models do not favor. The Canadian in particular has the low tracking south of us and then cutting up through Eastern Kentucky, which would be a classic snow solution for us. The DGEX is a little more aggressive with the cold air and precipitation than the GFS, but still nowhere near models like the Canadian.

At this point we just need to sit back and wait. I'd say the chances of a storm actually playing out this weekend are fairly small, but a little snow on the backside of a rain system would make more sense to me. The Louisville NWS isn't jumping on any bandwagon and calling for mostly rain with a possible period of snow or mix if the models trend colder. I think that's a pretty sound forecast given the great uncertainty, so I'll go with that for now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

11/22 - 6pm - New Forecast Video

A few more chilly days before we warm up slightly for Thanksgiving.

I'm introducing Ryan Weather DOPPLER Plus today, which is a high-resolution radar feed for the website. It's powered by StormLab and can be accessed on the Ryan Weather homepage.

Friday, November 21, 2008

11/21 - 4pm - Messy Long Range

As advertised, the temperature reached a frigid 36 degrees this afternoon for a high. Temperatures will really take a plunge tonight as cloud cover diminishes and high pressure comes into play. Expect a low in the upper teens in the city, with lower teens possible in the outlying areas. Gulf moisture coupled with a low sinking southward from Canada will create some rain for Monday, up to .25" by the HPC's estimates. Things should calm down for for the rest of next week, with temperatures topping out in the 40's and maybe even 50's for Thanksgiving! Expect more rain for Friday and into next weekend.

Looking ahead to the long range shows a very disturbed pattern as we head into December. Multiple disturbances will come through the first week and a possible cold spell could come through the next. With all the storms projected to come through and possible freezing temperatures, I'm eying the second week of December right now for a possible accumulating snow. Nothing tangible has really come out of the GFS yet, but the pattern suggests we could be in for a snow event:

Interestingly enough, this loosely coincides with the winter predictions I gave a few weeks ago. We should see more assurance of this late next week in the models if everything works out. This could be an interesting start to winter!

By the way, here's a link to NOAA's Winter Outlook that was released today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

11/20 - 8:45pm - Now That's Snow!

That was what I call a real first snow! The flurries began this afternoon at around 4pm downtown and are still going on in some areas right now. Visibility dropped a little bit as heavier batches of flurries came through. As I drove by the airport this afternoon on I-65 it was very difficult to see the UPS hub or the terminal with all the snow. We got a dusting on the grass at my house, so things definitely look winter-like here! The radar shows a few more flurries coming at us from Southwestern Indiana, but nothing heavy at all. A few slick spots could develop overnight as temperatures dive below freezing, but I really don't expect any big issues tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow's high temperature will be 36, so bundle up! Temperatures will ease into the 40's for the weekend with some rain expected for Sunday night into Monday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11/19 - 7pm - Cold Enough??

I awoke to a very startling number on my thermometer this morning, 15.5 degrees. Lows in Louisville were in the mid 20's, but once you got out of the city temperatures nosedived. Another cold night is on tap with a low just below freezing in the city and even lower temperatures in the suburbs and rural areas. Tomorrow will be a repeat of today, except we'll see a high near 43 instead of 48 for today. Friday will be the real wake-up call for the upcoming winter: a few clouds with a high near 36.

Looks like rain will be the main story for early next week as a reinforcing cold front comes through. The HPC is calling for between .1" and .25" on the QPF at this point and the models seem to be in agreement with that. Could squeeze out a flurry or two on the backside of this system.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

11/18 - 5:15pm - Can You Say Wind Chill?

It was bitterly cold this morning to begin with, but once you stepped out into the wind it was just frigid! Our temperature now is 37 degrees, but our windchill is at 31 right now. Compare that to 30 degrees this morning and a wind chill in the upper teens to lower 20s. Yikes!

Tomorrow will have an improvement in temperature, with a high just shy of 50. Thursday could actually see some of the flurries I talked about on Saturday as a low pressure system passes to our northeast. That system will bring colder air to our neck of the woods for Friday, so expect a high of 40 then. Some light rain, mixing with a pinch of snow by Monday, will be possible for the weekend.

My discussion yesterday on the storm that disappeared from the GFS is still valid. We should know by tomorrow or Thursday if this storm is really hiding from the models or not. I will note that the current GFS run does take a smaller version the fabled storm from the Pacific Northwest through the Plains, but it falls apart completely before it gets here. Chances are pretty small that this thing will reappear, but it needs to be watched for.

Monday, November 17, 2008

11/17 - 7:15pm - A Bit Chilly Don't You Think?

Today's high of 43 was a shrill reminder of the winter months to come! We had some flurries flying around this morning in some areas along with some this afternoon. Any and all flurry activity should cease by tonight, leading the way for a few clouds and a high struggling to reach 40 by tomorrow. Temperatures will moderate a bit for the rest of this week, but we should stay below 50. The next chance of some light precipitation will happen late this weekend and into early next week.

For all you snow-lovers... the storm I talked about on Thursday (scroll down two posts) came back on the models yesterday in an altered form, prompting much excitement from the online weather-geek base. The storm has disappeared off the models today, but some schools of thought think that this might be a normal part of the GFS model, particularly blogger Henry Margusity at AccuWeather. What I mean is that storms in the long range disappear in the medium range (3-5 days out) and then reappear just a couple days before they happen. This happened to us this past March when that storm disappeared 4-5 days out and then reappeared just a little over 48 hours before the storm started. I'm not forecasting a snowstorm or wish-casting here, just putting it out there that we need to be vigilant when looking at the models this time of year. Big storms that disappear a few days out will need to be watched for in case they come back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11/13 - 5:30pm - Oh Dear, Is It Time for the GFS Blizzards to Start?

Yep, you guessed it! The GFS has a blizzard on it for the 23rd of November:

The "storm" gives MO, IL, and IN a large amount of snow, with a little less on the backside for us due to the position of the low. The blizzard was on the model Tuesday for a different date, but of course the weather world went nuts as this came out today. Obviously this is ten days out, but its something to wish for. They don't call it "wishcasting" for nothing! But seriously, if this thing can be reproduced on later runs then we might have a big storm to deal with. I'm not going put any sort validity on this storm until I see way more proof of its existence in the forecast.

It actually wasn't too bad of a day was it? The sun came out and temperatures actually breached 60! The rain machine will turn on again tomorrow afternoon and continue until Saturday, when snow showers will come into the area as the temperature drops in the afternoon and evening. By Sunday morning we could have a dusting on the grass, but I now think that temperatures might be too warm for any road problems, which would have been small to begin with. That's good news! A fridgid week ensues after this system passes. Look for highs in the...drumroll please...40s.

***UPDATE: The storm is on the 18z GFS run too, but it is weaker. We still get quite a bit of snow if this works out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

11/12 - 9pm - Dreary Weather

I don't think I saw the sun come out today! This dreary weather will stick around until Sunday after this upper level low passes, with the cold weather sticking around even after that. We're in for more rain tonight, but it'll taper off tomorrow and then restart Friday afternoon. The rain will continue Saturday and then change to snow showers on Saturday night as the temperature falls below freezing. We're forecast to be in the upper 20's at night in the Metro area, so there could be some slick spots as the wet roads freeze overnight Saturday and into Sunday. My thinking is that we could have a light coating of snow on the grass, especially in the suburbs, if the temperature does fall into the 20s. We'll see about that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11 - 8pm - Yep, Snow This Weekend!

(sorry for the late post... I was out of the house for my 18th birthday today)

It's been pretty consistent on the models for quite a while now, so I'm definitely on the bandwagon for some snow this weekend. While it won't really stick to the ground, I'll venture to say that Saturday night will definitely be our "official" first snow in the area as snow showers (yeah, I'm going to call them showers I suppose) come into the area. Lows on Saturday will be near the freezing line so there could be some slick spots on the road as the rain from previous hours freezes. I wouldn't worry too much about this because our temperatures will be close to freezing, but outlying areas could have a few issues.

We're still on track for around 1.5" of rain this week as this upper-level low meanders through the region. Not much rain around here tonight, but it should restart tomorrow afternoon and be fairly steady until Friday afternoon. We'll get back into the 50's tomorrow with upper 50's on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday look downright cold, with highs struggling to reach 40!

Monday, November 10, 2008

11/10 - 4:30pm - Did Someone Say Snow Showers?

I've been watching the GFS over the last few runs as it has moved some snow in here for Saturday night. The NWS is calling for snow showers, but I think that may be too strong of a term based on the amount of moisture that is possible. If the models start giving us more moisture in later runs I'll say snow showers, but for now I'm going to stick with flurries for Saturday night and even into Sunday.

Until then we have some rain to deal with, and a lot of it! The HPC is putting our 5-day rain total at just under 1.5". This will come from two low pressure systems, one passing to the south and the next passing to our north. The rain will start early tomorrow morning and continue until Saturday night. Whatever is left on the backside of the second low will fall as flurries on Sunday morning and a cold rain with possible embedded snowflakes on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures will hold below 40 for a high on Sunday, so there are definitely the right parameters for some snow. While it won't stick to the ground, it'll at least be a nice reminder of the winter still to come (if you like snow).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

11/8 - 3pm - New Forecast Video

Looks like a cooler week ahead with some good rain chances Tuesday through Thursday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

11/7 - 4:30pm - Cooler Week Ahead, Hurricane Paloma

A cooler weekend and week lies ahead due to the passage of a cold front today. Highs will struggle to reach 50 around the area tomorrow with the same story playing out for Sunday. Looks like we'll stay in the 50's next week with plenty of rain chances. Also, the GFS model has flurries in the forecast for sometime around the 19th or so. This is still way out, but we're getting to the time of year where snow flurries are a real possibility.

Its late in the season, but Hurricane Paloma has been making headlines in the Caribbean as a Category 2 storm. It looks like it will weaken a bit and then cut through Cuba this weekend:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

11/6 - 4:30pm - Here Comes the Rain!

A line of rain is moving this way for tonight. Looks like some thunderstorms will be embedded, so a few rumbles of thunder and some lightning are possible. The HPC is calling for around .25" of rain for tonight, which should end before daybreak tomorrow. The front associated with this rain will certainly cool things down. Look for a high near 65 tomorrow and then upper 50's for the weekend and into next week.

Speaking of which, next week looks to be rainy throughout. A couple of systems coming through could give us quite a bit of rain. The first rain system should be making its way through by Tuesday, which unfortunately corresponds with my birthday. After a couple days of off and on rain, the next system will come through by the end of the week. According to the GFS, this could be a heavy rain maker, so be ready for that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

11/5 - 8:30pm - Wild West Weather, WAVE Visits My School

A well-advertised cold front is sweeping through the Plains, bringing with it Blizzard Warnings in the Dakotas and a Tornado Watch in Oklahoma and Kansas. This same front will come through here Thursday night, but with much less effect. We should see rain mixed with some lightning throughout Thursday night before a clearing on Friday morning. What you'll really notice is the drop in temperature, from mid 70s tomorrow to lower 60s on Friday and then 50 degrees for a high on Saturday. 50s will dominate the weekend and most of next week, if not all.

We received a pleasant surprise in my government and politics class today as WAVE TV's David McArthur came by to get some reaction from yesterday's election. You can see the whole piece that the station put together here. (I'm in the orange shirt from 1:04 - 1:28)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

11/4 - 2pm - Get Outside and Vote!

I'm still in disbelief that I'm staring at a 74 degree reading on my thermometer right now. I can remember wearing heavy jackets and gloves on election day back in 2006, so this is definitely not average weather for us. Enjoy it while you can because we'll see a 20 degree drop in high temperatures after a cold front comes through on Thursday night with some storms. It doesn't look like anything severe will occur at this point, so just some rain, wind, and lightning expected.

This cartoon in the Courier-Journal Op-Ed section made me chuckle this morning:

At least I'm not the only one that thinks this is unseasonably warm weather! But seriously folks, go out there and vote this afternoon if you can. The polls close at 6pm this evening.

Monday, November 3, 2008

11/3 - 7pm - A Great Looking Election Day!

After a pristine day around the area, we're on track for a repeat tomorrow. With sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s, weather won't hold anyone back from voting, so get out there and cast your ballot!

I'm monitoring a chance for some severe weather on Thursday night as a cold front comes through. The SPC doesn't have us in a severe weather area yet, but that could change tomorrow morning. More on this tomorrow and Wednesday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

11/1 - 9:40pm - Winter Forecast Video

Here's the winter forecast video I promised! It took a while to finally get it on the site, but it's there! Expect warm temperatures next week and a sizable cool down before next weekend. Don't forget to set your clocks back 1 hour tonight!