Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/28 - 1:15pm - New Forecast Video

Light snow will start falling this afternoon, but no more than a dusting should accumulate in Louisville. Temperatures in the 30's will stick around until early next week with warmer weather setting in after that.

Friday, February 27, 2009

2/27 - 4pm - On the Edge for Snow

What a storm last night! Winds gusted to 44mph at 3:54am this morning at my house with winds around 60 in other parts of the Metro. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued and bleachers were overturned at Ballard High School according to a storm report filed with the Storm Prediction Center.

The latest runs of both the GFS and NAM have snow just to our south for tomorrow and late tomorrow night. The heaviest moisture is so very close, but a tight gradient exists as you go north:

(click image to see larger view)

This morning, the HPC had a SLIGHT risk of 4+ inches of snow in Central Kentucky and points east, but the newest outlook pulls the risk area further south into Tennessee and far South Kentucky. At this point I don't think anything is written in stone because of the amount of irregularity in the models. Even though the general track of the storm has been pretty consistent, a 25-50 mile shift north in the storm track will bring us more than just the snow showers the models are forecasting at the moment. This kind of shift is not rare 24-36 hours out, so I would not discount the fact that we could have an accumulating snow late Saturday.

We should top out at around 32 tomorrow for a high, with upper 30's for Sunday and Monday. 40's are back for Tuesday, with 50's for the remainder of the week.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2/26 - 5:45pm - Storms, Snow (But Not at the Same Time!)

I'm in awe of my current thermometer reading at home: 64 degrees. As this southeast ridge amplifies a bit this evening, we might actually add another degree or two to that temperature for our high. Rain should begin here after midnight and the heavier rain with lightning should be here somewhere between 3-5am. Since this is happening in the early morning hours, severe weather is not expected. There is a chance for some gusty winds and small hail, but both should stay under severe limits.

As this cold front passes early tomorrow morning, cooler air will filter in behind it. Temperatures will start out in the 50's tomorrow, but will fall well into the 40's during the afternoon hours. This colder air coupled with a low passing to our southeast will fuel a snow chance here for Saturday. The 18z GFS runs has lowered snow amounts for the area compared to the 12z, and both runs have the bulk of the snow going just south of Louisville. No two models are in agreement with this system, so we could end up with nothing or a 1-3" snow accumulation if this moisture can move a hair northward in later model runs. More on this tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2/25 - 5pm - A Warm, Wet Thursday

Today was a super day temperature-wise! Tomorrow looks even better, with highs reaching into the mid 60's. A few rain showers will develop early tomorrow, but things should clear out for the afternoon. Heavy rain and even thunderstorms will be an issue on Friday morning, with a SLIGHT Risk of severe weather just west of us:

These storms will be weakening as they come through during the early morning hours on Friday, so it's unlikely that we'll see any severe weather problems. A few snow showers are possible on Saturday evening as a low passes to our southeast, but little or no accumulation will occur. Highs in the 40's return for the weekend and the beginning of next week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2/24 - 3:45pm - A Short Warm-Up

If you're sick of 40-degree weather, I have good news for you! Temperatures will bump up into the 50's tomorrow, with 60's expected for Thursday. A cold front passing through early Friday morning will dampen things back into the 40's, but a couple days in the 50's and 60's isn't a bad break in the middle of February.

Rain chances will pick up tomorrow evening as an area of low pressure tracks up to the Great Lakes from the Plains. Storms will become likely late on Thursday with the approaching cold front to the south of the low. It looks like the storms will be strong, but it's still too early to tell if they will be severe. I think there is potential for some isolated severe weather, but an outbreak looks very unlikely because there is not much instability to work with.

The 12z GFS takes the low coming through the region on Saturday well to our south, suppressing most of the moisture down that way as well. After seeing some of the solutions yesterday, I'm not sold on that southern suppression and I think the low will track back north in successive model runs. This kind of setup has been happening all winter in the GFS, where a low is suddenly supressed southward for a few model runs and then quickly corrects northward in just one or two runs. The main thing is that we could see some precipitation on Saturday, but the track of this low and how much cold air comes south from the Great Lakes will determine whether it is rain or snow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

2/23 - 4pm - Quiet Start to the Week

If you're not a fan of the cold temperatures around the area, no worries. Warmer air will filter in here for the rest of the week, giving us highs in the 40's tomorrow, 50's on Wednesday, and even lower 60's on Thursday! The price to pay for all of this will be in the form of a storm system coming through on Thursday, which will bump up chances for thunderstorms during the day.

The weekend is uncertain at the moment. The GFS is being inconsistent with an area of low pressure coming through the region on Saturday. Its track will determine whether we see warmer temperatures and dry weather, cooler temperatures and rain, or even cold air with snow. If the low keeps the track on the 12z GFS and intensifies a bit more, we may have a bit of snow to deal with. It's too early to tell right now, so I'll have more information as the week progresses.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2/21 - 3:15pm - New Forecast Video

Most areas will see around 1" of snow this afternoon, but isolated spots of 2" are possible. The rain is getting ready to change to snow as we speak, and the snow should last for 3 or 4 hours at the most. Things will turn cold for the rest of the weekend and early next week behind this cold front, but warmer temperatures are on tap for the middle of next week. Rain will be back in the area by late Wednesday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2/20 - 6pm - Snow On the Way

While it won't be much, snow should be an issue late tomorrow as temperatures drop below freezing and rain changes over. Temperatures should actually warm up to near 40 tomorrow, if not over that. As the cold front passes, I think we'll be left with enough moisture to squeeze out a one inch accumulation around the area. A few isolated areas could get up to two inches, but that should be the upper extent of this system. There are still timing and moisture issues to be solved at this point, but I'm thinking that we should switch to all snow between 5pm and 6pm. If the front comes through more slowly than anticipated, snow will stick around longer and accumulations will increase. Add to that the fact that the new 18z GFS just painted a little more available moisture near us than the 12z, which could bump amounts up a bit. I must say that this system is being finicky at just under 24 hours out. I'll have a complete update in the video forecast tomorrow. For now, plan on receiving about an inch of snow.

We could see a few flurries tonight as this system approaches, with a low just below freezing tomorrow morning. The rain should start around noon, but again, the snow will hold off until dinnertime. After a high of 30 on Sunday, temperatures will slowly rise to 50 by Wednesday. We should hold in the lower 50's for the balance of next week. Next chance of rain will happen on Wednesday, with heavy rain possible for Thursday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2/19 - 6pm - Ryan in the News... Yet Again!

Davis Instruments (the maker of the weather station in my front yard) posted a story about me in their February E-Newsletter today:

Ryan Hoke is still in high school, but he knows just what he will be studying at Mississippi State University this fall: meteorology. He plans to use his degree, his love of weather, and his unruffled charm as a television weather broadcaster. The young weatherman is already a sort of institution in his hometown of Fisherville, Kentucky, where he keeps the public informed of local weather on his Ryan's Weather web site and in weekly videos he produces and posts to his web site. He has even been a guest weather broadcaster on WAVE TV 3. (A video of him on WAVE TV 3 is pretty impressive. It looks to us like he has been doing the weather in front of a camera for years!)

And he is not just a proud weather geek, he's a proud, entrepreneurial weather geek! Check out the store on his site where he sells such very cool things as tee-shirts that say, "I'm a Weather Geek. Are YOU?" (Altogether now: "Yesssss!!")

And what kind of station does the Boy Wonder use? Of course, it's a Vantage Pro2.

Ryan was featured in a story by Charlie White in the Courier-Journal. If you happen to run into Ryan, you might want to ask for his autograph now and beat the crowds.

To see the full article and picture from Davis Instruments, click here. Want one of those cool T-shirts mentioned in the article? Click here.

Needless to say, I'm floored by this article and I think Davis does a great job with the newsletter.

2/19 - 5pm - Rain to Snow

The latest model runs from both the GFS and NAM suggest warmer temperatures for Friday night into Saturday. We should actually warm to near 40 degrees by Saturday afternoon, but we'll drop below freezing quickly as the cold front passes on Saturday evening. This means that we'll see all rain from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, but we'll transition to snow somewhere around dinnertime on Saturday. I'm thinking that accumulations will be an inch or so at the most, but some areas could make out with 3 if the new 18z GFS verifies:

(click on any image to see a larger view)

Saturday afternoon - Low passes directly north of us and temperatures stay warm enough for all rain during the daytime.

Saturday evening - Clipper passes to our northeast and a cold front comes through. Temperatures drop below freezing and all rain changes to snow. A bit of moderate snow may come through, so accumulations of 2-3" are possible IF a good chunk of moisture comes from the southwest as the GFS advertises.

The 18z NAM has less moisture from the southwest to work with and hence less snow. Temperature profiles are similar though, so the time for changeover from rain to snow in the early evening looks pretty good at the moment. There's still some time for the models to change, but it's looking more and more like we'll see rain to snow with minor accumulations. We'll see if the models pull a fast one on the 0z runs and change things up.

In the meantime, expect temperatures near 40 tomorrow with sunny skies!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2/18 - 7:30pm - Wild Day of Storms

We managed to escape most of the strong and severe storms around the region today, but tornadoes well to our south have been quite an issue. Hail was reported across the area, averaging between pea and golfball size at the most. Winds gusted to 45mph this afternoon, but luckily that wasn't enough to cause any power issues around the Metro.

A few snow showers will come through tonight and tomorrow behind this sharp cold front, with temperatures only topping out at around 30. Looks like a high near 40 for Friday.

The newest NAM and GFS model runs have warmed up the storm coming through on Friday night into Saturday a bit, so we could get mostly rain instead of snow. We should know tomorrow what kind of precipitation we'll be getting, but I think we might be just cold enough for snow and that the models will correct back to a solution similar to yesterday's.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2/17 - 8:30pm - Did Someone Say Snow?

I'm back from a great trip at Mississippi State University. Every time I go there it's difficult to come back home and adjust to high school life. Just under 4 months to go until I graduate!

Enough about me, let's look at what the GFS run for a snow system on late Friday into Saturday:

The 18z is really layering on the precipitation as a low passes to our north. I don't like how this low is passing to our north and generating that much moisture south of it. Usually the low would need to go south of us if we were to have temperatures cold enough for it to snow and to have the bulk of the moisture. Temperatures warm just above freezing in the daytime during this event on the GFS, but it's still too far out to call that the correct solution. There's still quite a bit of time for the GFS to get its act together this week, but I think we'll get some snow out of this regardless. Could be an inch or it could be several inches as is depicted right now, we'll see.

In the meantime, showers will be coming through tonight and continue as heavier rain tomorrow with a high near 60. We'll see a brief changeover to snow early Thursday morning, and that should continue until the late morning hours. Flurries and snow showers with little or no accumulation are expected on Thursday with a high near 32. Yep, that's about a 30 degree temperature difference between the highs on Wednesday and Thursday... yikes!

We'll top out just under 40 on Friday and it's uncertain what exactly will transpire this weekend with this snow system. I do know that a bit of a warm up is in store for next week, so be ready for another ride on the temperature rollercoaster!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

2/14 - 11pm - Mississippi State

I'm on my way down to Mississippi State University to take care of some business for the coming school year, so there won't be any blog posts until Tuesday. With highs in the 40's and no rain between now and then, there shouldn't be any problems at all for the rest of this weekend.

2/14 - 1pm - New Video Forecast

A calm week with some rain on Wednesday is in store. Cooler temperatures will be in here by late next week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2/13 - 9:30pm - A Bit of Rain

After decent day in the upper 40's, we should see a repeat of that tomorrow. A few showers could creep in here tonight, but those should be out of here by early tomorrow morning. Most days next week will be in the 40's, but I think we'll top out in the 50's for Tuesday and Wednesday as a rain system comes through. There is still some question as to whether we could get some snow on the backside of this system by Thursday, but I'm not impressed by the setup at the moment. So, just be ready for some rain midweek and a few snow showers if cooler air is able to work its way in.

Video forecast will be updated tomorrow afternoon. Have a great Friday evening!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2/12 - 7:30pm - Calmer Weather... For Now.

I'm not sure if the city (or the region for that matter) can handle another wild-weather week. Luckily next week looks pretty calm with some light rain or snow on Monday and rain possible ending as a little bit of snow on Wednesday night. No Return of the Wind Storm or The Ice Storm Strikes Back in sight.

There are still 9,000 LG&E and 7,000 KU customers without power from yesterday's winds. Winds were much worse to our north and east, especially in Pittsburgh where upwards of 200,000 were out power.

In the short term, we'll see a high in the mid 50's tomorrow with rain coming in during the nighttime, which should be out of here by Saturday afternoon. Highs in the 40's will be around for the weekend. More 40's for next week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2/11 - 5:45pm - Batten Down the Hatches!!!

We just clocked winds of 43mph here at my house, with numerous reports of 70mph+ just west of town. My power is flickering off and on like many in the city, so I'll keep this short.

We didn't get a terribly bad round of storms this afternoon, but areas to our south weren't so lucky. Our winds here tonight will be downright heavy as the pressure gradient tightens and the area of low pressure passes to our northeast. I wouldn't be surprised to see wind gusts of 70-80mph before 9pm tonight, then it should die down. As far as a comparison to the wind storm in September, it's not as bad as that storm right now. I'm worried that we could equal that storm though if winds from aloft mix down to the surface later this evening. Either way, we have numerous reports of wind damage and power flickering (if not out already) around the area. All I have to say is be prepared to be without power, because that could happen tonight for many.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here's the latest convective outlook from the SPC:

We're under a 30% chance for severe weather tomorrow, which is at the high end of a SLIGHT Risk. We were under a 45% chance earlier today, but that they have since lowered that. A squall line (thin line of severe storms) will be coming through tomorrow afternoon sometime with high winds and the possibility of a few tornadoes. If the sun comes out tomorrow before this line comes through, expect a heightened level of severe weather.

The High Wind Warning will be from 7am until 10pm tomorrow. This has been put in place because we could see constant winds of 40mph with gusts to 60mph just before and after the squall line passes tomorrow afternoon. The squall line itself could generate wind gusts well over 70mph if it becomes severe enough. At any rate, winds should start to pick up tonight and last through the day tomorrow. As for power outages, I do think there will be some around the area. The number of power outages will depend on the wind speeds tomorrow.

One more day in the 60's tomorrow before we drop into the 50's for the rest of the week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

2/9 - 11pm - WAVE TV Appearance

Here's a video of my appearance on WAVE 3 TV today with John Belski:

It was a lot of fun getting to do a real weather forecast on TV for the first time! I've never used a green screen to do the weather before, so it took some quick learning to get accustomed to it. I appreciate all of the e-mails and comments that I've been getting about the broadcast tonight!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2/8 - 9pm - WAVE-TV Tomorrow

I'm scheduled to do the weather on WAVE 3 TV tomorrow evening:

The winner of our "Be a Weathercaster" contest....Ryan H., will be doing the weather on the 5:30 news tomorrow.

-John Belski's Blog

I hope that everyone can tune in at 5:30pm tomorrow for my first live weathercast!

2/8 - 11am - Squall Line?

Take a look at what the SPC just issued for Wednesday into Thursday:

At the moment, the SPC is thinking there will be a squall line (thin line of severe storms, usually packing high winds) east of the Mississippi River on Wednesday based on a front coming through with high dewpoints, indicative of a high level of moisture in the air. Instability will remain marginal at best according to the latest SREF, with the highest concentration remaining just to our west during this event. If we stay overcast the whole day on Wednesday, then instability will certainly be low. A sunnier day on Wednesday could spell trouble. A little bit of shear may come into play around here, but I think that will stay in the deep south. Overall, I think we'll see a fast-moving squall line come through here on Wednesday afternoon or evening, but it shouldn't be too bad. The main threat would be wind damage, but really nothing else because the line should be decreasing in intensity as it comes our way.

I know the clouds and showers weren't a great way to start the day, but temperatures will increase a couple more degrees this afternoon and it looks like we will see some sun. Tomorrow is shaping up to be even warmer than I thought, with highs around the area now expected to top out in the mid 60's! The warm air coming up from the Southeast should stick around for Tuesday and Wednesday, but that supply of warm air will get cut off as the cold front comes through on Wednesday night.

My next blog post will be late tomorrow evening... you'll want to check back for that one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2/7 - 2:45pm - New Forecast Video

A wild week of warm temperatures and possible severe weather is on the way. Winter should be back in time for next weekend, with temperatures back in the 40's. The jury is out on severe weather for Wednesday afternoon/evening, but I do think we'll see some strong storms at the very least.

Friday, February 6, 2009

2/6 - 8pm - A Warm and Wild Week

How about those 50's today? I actually ventured outside of the house without a jacket for the first time in weeks! If you like this kind of weather, you're in luck for most of next week. The southeast "snowstorm-busting" ridge providing us with these nice southerly winds and 60 degree temperatures will stick around for the weekend and most, if not all of next week. Low pressure passing to our north will generate a chance for some showers on Sunday, but major rainfall will hold off until Tuesday through Thursday.

The GFS is showing a potent round of severe storms on Tuesday night heading through Texas and Oklahoma, but that should fall apart and die out before it reaches us. I'm a bit concerned about Wednesday evening because the GFS is showing quite a bit of heavy rain and possible severe weather at this time. It's too early to tell how severe it will be and if it will be in the immediate area, but it's certainly worth watching. I think the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) will have some areas outlined for severe potential on the Wednesday evening system in the coming days.

Here's the question that's been looming in my head for the last couple of days: "What happens when this ridge breaks down/moves out and colder air comes into play?" The answer is pretty simple according to the GFS; It's time to return to winter. More specifically, I think we'll have more chances for snow just after Valentine's day. Storms riding along the southern edge of the new trough that'll sink in should give somewhere in the region a good snowstorm or two at some point later this month. Pinpointing dates and places for these storms will start pretty soon, but more time is needed so the long range models can get their act together.

For now, I think we're pretty content with our current weather. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2/5 - 7:30pm - Here Comes the Warm Air!

I think everyone is tired of these cold temperatures, but luckily we're out of the woods! A sunny day with a high of 50 degrees is in store for tomorrow, with highs near 60 for the weekend and even into the middle of next week. I think we'll see light rain on Sunday and Monday, but thunderstorms will roll through on Monday night into Tuesday. The severe weather threat should stay to our south and west, but this still needs to be monitored in case the computer models pull some of the crazy tricks they've been pulling lately. More heavy rain looks to be in store for Thursday as well.

By the way, today is National Weatherperson's Day! To read more about how this tradition was started, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2/4 - 5:30pm - One More Cold Day

Who's ready for temperatures near 60? I think most of us are saying yes, and luckily we're in for some near-60 temperatures for the weekend! Unfortunately, we have to muscle through one more day below freezing tomorrow (looks a little bit colder than it did in yesterday's data) before this warm-up can start. One more cold day means one more frigid night as well, with that being tonight. I think the suburbs could bottom out near 4 degrees early tomorrow morning, with temperatures hovering below 10 in the city. The 7,000 without power in Louisville right now will really have to hunker down tonight with these single digit temperatures, but luckily power has been restored to 97% of those who lost it.

In the long range, things look pretty interesting. The GFS is showing a couple storms coming through the region after the 13th with cold air to work with. It's way too far out to tell if any of these will give us snow, but the pattern is certainly worth watching.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2/3 - 5:30pm - Snow Showers Ending

The last of the snow showers will come through tonight, but don't expect more than a half inch of additional accumulation. There's not that much on the radar right now, but a few snow showers will pop up as night falls. Accumulations around the area today range from 1-2" in Louisville to 4+ inches in counties just to our northeast. With winds near 15mph right now, the snow is blowing all over the place!

Get ready for another cold day tomorrow as temperatures hold in the mid 20's and winds kick up to 15mph again. Thursday will top out just above freezing with more wind chill problems, but temperatures on Friday will ratchet up to around 50. We might even take a shot at that magical 60 degree mark next week, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 2, 2009

2/2 - 4:30pm - Winter Weather ADVISORY

The 2 inch snow I was talking about in the previous post for tonight and into tomorrow has triggered a Winter Weather ADVISORY for the area:






So... The NWS puts a 1-3" estimate here, which seems good to me. I still think we'll get 2 inches in Louisville, but some areas just to our north could see 3.

2/2 - 11am - Snow Everywhere, Groundhog Day!

While our snow and ice has been melting here, other places have been seeing snow that usually don't see much snow. This picture was sent to me this morning from Knoxville, TN:

I'm told these flakes were nearly two inches in diameter at times. This snow came from the system that veered off to our east in the computer models and is getting ready to hit the East Coast tomorrow.

Another place getting snow today is London, England. Just over four inches of snow sounds like a moderate snowfall for us, but for London this is the biggest snowstorm in 18 years! They usually don't have snow like that, so an army of brine and salt trucks just doesn't exist there. Heathrow Airport had to close a runway and an Airbus 330 from Cyprus slid off a taxiway. To read more, click here.

For us, snow will fall this evening and tomorrow. The NAM is being a little more liberal with precipitation amounts at the moment, suggesting somewhere between 1 to 3 inches for us with the cold temperature snow ratio accounted for. The GFS is suggesting just over an inch at the moment. I think we'll see two inches on the ground by tomorrow evening, but that should be it. There's not a lot of moisture to work with here, but temperatures in the 20's for tonight and tomorrow should help the snow fluff up and drive accumulations to the two-inch mark.

Today is Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so Winter will continue for six more weeks. Read more about the event here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Jefferson County Public Schools will be closed on Monday. Classes should resume on Tuesday according to local media.