Sunday, May 31, 2009

5/31 - 11am - Everything Shifted Northward

The severe weather we were supposed to receive yesterday shifted northward and caused quite a few problems near Indianapolis. Large hail, funnel clouds, wall clouds, and even a few tornadoes were reported. Here's the complete map of storm reports from the SPC yesterday:

There were some heavy storms in Breckinridge County, KY last night that put down some large hail and very heavy rain. That's as close as the storms got to Louisville last night.

Today, tomorrow, and Tuesday look very nice, with highs in the upper 80's and sunny skies. Storms might roll through on Tuesday night, but I'm more concerned with Wednesday. With a cold front to our south, good instability, and decent moisture, there could be some severe weather across the area. There's a great deal of question as to how fast and when this front will pass through, so I'll leave the severe weather probability in the chance category for the moment.

I should be able to post everyday this week, but there will be a lot of things going on. I have three more days of high school left, then graduation on Friday, and finally I leave for Denver on Saturday to go storm chasing.

6 days until storm chasing begins!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

5/30 - 2pm - New Video Forecast

Severe thunderstorms should start to pop up later this afternoon. With instability looking decent and shear being fairly strong, a few tornadoes across the area are not out of the question. These storms should be in the form of clustered cells or even a few supercells, with wind being the biggest threat at this point. Things should clear out tonight and leave us with an excellent start to the week! This will be the last video forecast for a couple weeks due to my storm chasing trip.

Don't forget to follow my Twitter feed, where I'll post up-to-the-minute storm chasing information and a few pictures while I'm out there starting next weekend.

7 days until storm chasing begins!

Friday, May 29, 2009

5/29 - 5pm - Severe Tomorrow?

The SPC put us in a 15% area (SLIGHT Risk) for severe storms tomorrow:

Instability and shear will be decent tomorrow, so we'll have to see what happens. Right now, I think wind will be our biggest issue with any storms that develop tomorrow afternoon.

The rest of the weekend looks clear and dry after tomorrow. After Monday we'll have a daily chance of scattered storms, but it still looks like we'll see less rain compared to earlier this week according to the GFS model.

Just over a week until I go storm chasing!

8 days until storm chasing begins!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

5/28 - 4:30pm - A Few More Scattered Storms

I still think we've been doing pretty well with these scattered storms over the past few days. We've only been hit three times and the rain has not lasted long during each hit. The radar isn't too populated with storms at the moment, but there is potential for the formation of some storms this afternoon with unstable air around. A cold front should come through this evening, which could have some storms with it as well.

The passage of this cold front will allow for dry weather on Friday, but there's a potential for severe weather on Saturday. The latest SREF model puts a bit of instability here on Saturday and there will be a cold front coming through as well. It doesn't look very impressive at this point, but 48 hours allows for quite a bit of change in severe weather forecasting.

More scattered storms will be around next week after Tuesday, but I think these will be a bit less dense than what we've seen this week. Severe weather in Tornado Alley looks like it will crank up next week and continue for at least a week or two after that. Perfect timing I'd say!

9 days until storm chasing begins!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5/27 - 4pm - Clearing Out

A slow-moving line of thunderstorms drenched the whole area this afternoon, but these are exiting as we speak and should leave us with a nice evening. We should warm up as this rain passes and the sun will make an appearance, but there's still a chance for more storms overnight.

More scattered storms will be around tomorrow, and I think we'll get hit once again in the afternoon. This should be the last of the rain until the weekend, when we could get a storm or two with a weak disturbance. We could see some spotty storms next week, but they won't be as numerous as they were this week. 80's will stick around for the weekend, with mid to upper 80's next week.

I've been following the GFS for the past couple days in relation to my storm chasing trip coming up and I'm beginning to like what I see. This boring zonal flow (west to east flow) is dampening any severe weather in the Plains at the moment, but the GFS is hinting at major changes in the pattern just in time for my June 6th arrival. The jet stream will dip south sharply into the Western US, which indicates an area of low pressure forming there. As that low moves east during the week, severe weather will be plentiful and tornadoes will likely get going.

The jet stream is forecast to nudge south a bit next week, and look what it prompted the SPC to issue on the 4-8 day outlook:

Pretty colorful, isn't it? I think the end of our summer-like severe weather doldrum in the Plains is approaching fast. Still doesn't look good for severe weather here in Louisville, but hey, I'll have great pictures to post from my trip!

10 days until storm chasing begins!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5/26 - 8pm - More Scattered Thunderstorms

The Louisville Metro area didn't do too bad today in terms of rain. We missed the bulk of some heavy rain around the area, and then it pretty much exited the area for the afternoon. Tomorrow will be nearly identical to today, but I think we may not be as lucky on the rain chances. Thursday will be the last day with scattered storms around the area, meaning we should see sunny skies and no rain through the weekend. Highs should approach 90 by early next week.

The SPC actually issued an outlook area on their 4-8 outlook today for the first time in weeks. This is very rare to have such a small amount of severe weather for this time of year:

Maybe things are looking up just in time for my storm chasing trip? Sure looks like it if you look at the jet stream model predictions!

11 days until storm chasing begins!

Monday, May 25, 2009

5/25 - 11:30am - Memorial Day

Cooking out today? Rain and thunderstorms shouldn't be too much of a problem because they're widely scattered and will continue to be like that throughout the day. Be aware that if you get under a thunderstorm this afternoon there could be some heavy rain. We should top out around 80 degrees this afternoon, but that could jump higher if we see some sun like yesterday. Tomorrow's and Wednesday's forecasts are about the same as today's, so we'll end up with a total of four days in a row with scattered storms and warm weather.

The rain should be out of here by Thursday as this low exits to our northeast and we'll be left with sunny skies and highs near 80.

Less than two weeks until my storm chasing trip! The weather has been terrible for storm chasing over the past few weeks and it doesn't look like this summer-like pattern will let up for at least another week or two. With that said, the jet stream looks like it might come south out of it's hiding place in Canada during the first or second week of June according to the long-range GFS. Let's hope so, because that would fire up the severe weather machine in the Plains!

12 days until storm chasing begins!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

5/23 - 1pm - New Video Forecast

Clouds have cleared out a bit this afternoon, but more are on the way from the south and they should arrive later today. On and off rain will affect us from Sunday until Wednesday, but a whole-day washout is not expected on any of those days. We could see some heavy rain from thunderstorms that come through with this system, but nothing severe is on the way. Sunshine is back late next week!

14 days until storm chasing begins!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

5/21 - 4pm - We Need Fresh Air!

High pressure that's been sitting on top of us for the past few days is beginning to cause problems with the resulting stagnant air. Both today and tomorrow are Ozone Action Days, even though the air quality at the moment is actually in the "Good" category. If you've noticed an uptick in your allergies, you're not alone. This high pressure is trapping allergens and pollutants like a plastic bag and creating excessive amounts of ozone. Low pressure will come up from Florida next week, so this stagnant air should be flushed out then.

Rain shouldn't be an issue here until Sunday, but even then we'll be dealing with only a small chance for some afternoon storms. More steady rains should be here from Monday (Memorial Day) through Wednesday, with Tuesday and Wednesday having the highest chances. Thursday and beyond of next week should be similar to our current sunny and warm conditions.

Kevin Harned and the rest of Storm Chasing Adventure Tours are out near Oakley, KS right now. There's not much going on out there, but the video stream is active at Storm Chaser TV. It doesn't look like a great severe weather forecast for the next couple of days out there unfortunately.

16 days until storm chasing begins!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

5/20 - 6pm - Showers This Weekend

A few scattered showers will be around for the weekend, but I'm thinking these won't hit most areas around the region. The main rain will get here on Tuesday after a round of showers on Monday. We may have another shot at some scattered storms on Wednesday and Thursday, but I expect next weekend to be fairly dry. Still looking at highs in the 80's until the middle of next week.

Severe weather is hard to come by in the Plains states this week, but the Storm Chasing Adventure Tours team is in action chasing a thunderstorm (not severe) in Nebraska right now. WAVE-TV's Kevin Harned is out there chasing with the group this week. Check out the live video stream (which has been off and on all afternoon) at Storm Chaser TV, which I finished designing last month.

17 days until storm chasing begins!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5/19 - 4pm - More Gorgeous Weather

Another cold morning brought out the jackets and sweaters for most, but today turned out to be great once things warmed up. Temperatures will get into the lower 80's tomorrow and mid 80's for Thursday. I think we'll hold on to those temperatures and dry weather until at least the weekend. A tropical disturbance from Florida looks like it will bring us scattered showers this weekend, but it certainly doesn't look like a wash-out at this time. It's still pretty quiet out in the Plains states... hopefully severe weather picks up later this week for all the storm chasers out there!

18 days until storm chasing begins!

Monday, May 18, 2009

5/18 - 4:30pm - Nothing But Sunshine!

If you could stand the chilly air, today was a great day to get out and enjoy the great weather! Temperatures will warm into the 80's by Wednesday and we should hold on to that, along with the sunny skies, until the weekend. It's been unusually quiet severe-weather wise around the area over the past couple weeks, but I think that may change at some point in the next week or so. It looks like we'll break this high-pressure dominated pattern after this weekend, which will allow for more disturbances to come though and an increase in precipitation.

19 days until storm chasing begins!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

5/16 - 1:15pm - New Video Forecast

After a few showers this afternoon as a cold front comes through, we should be mostly dry through the evening. Next week looks great, with highs reaching into the 80's and sunny skies all around.

21 days until storm chasing begins!

Friday, May 15, 2009

5/15 - 10:30pm - Storms Late Tonight?

A line of severe thunderstorms is crossing Illinois and Indiana right now and is building southward and staying pretty strong a bit unexpectedly:

There are no tornado warnings at this point with this line of storms, but there are some Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. The SPC is beginning to think that a Tornado Watch in Indiana may need to be extended southward into our area (we'd be on the southern fringe) in their latest mesoscale discussion:

Don't be surprised if we get a Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watch in the next couple hours, but I'm thinking these storms will weaken before they get here.

5/15 - 6:45pm - A Few More Storms

As storms moved through late this afternoon, heavy rain fell and even hail was reported. Parts of Eastern Jefferson County reported hail larger than golf ball size and we were placed under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until the cell passed. We may see a few more scattered storms this evening, but more substantial precipitation will come from storms ahead of a cold front expected to come through tomorrow evening. Rain should start tomorrow morning and end before midnight.

After all this rainy mess goes through, we're done with rain for quite a while! The computer models look free and clear until next weekend. Temperatures will rise from 70 to the mid 80's by late week.

22 days until storm chasing begins!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5/14 - 6:30pm - Scattered Storms Tomorrow

A few scattered storms will make the rounds around the Louisville area tomorrow, but nothing severe is on the table it looks like. Heavier and more widespread precipitation will be here on Saturday afternoon, lasting until just after midnight according to the GFS and NAM models. The rest of the weekend and most of next week will be cooler, but not a drop of rain will be in sight.

This was posted over on John Belski's blog, but it bears a reposting here. Take a look at this video of a tornado in Kirksville, MO yesterday evening:

I was watching some live video streams from that area yesterday, but I didn't see anything nearly this dramatic. This tornado destroyed 10 homes and damaged 60 buildings, killing two people in the process. Severe weather could fire up again in the same area on Saturday. Let's hope we don't get that close during my two weeks of chasing coming up.

23 days until storm chasing begins!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5/13 - 4pm - Soggy Days Ahead

A batch of heavy rain is passing to our north at the moment and I think they'll just barely miss us this afternoon. Areas north of the Ohio River will most likely receive rain, but Louisville will probably stay dry until late tonight. A nasty line of storms is expected to develop and charge through the OKC and St. Louis areas this evening, so the SPC has put that area under a MODERATE Risk for severe weather:

These storms will weaken as they approach the Louisville area late tonight and into tomorrow morning, so I don't expect any severe weather here. It's just too late at night for these storms to stay severe because of the lack of solar heating an instability. Any rain tomorrow should end by the early afternoon.

Friday will be warmer with a high near 80, but rain will still be a factor. A few showers and thunderstorms will come through during the afternoon, so keep the umbrella handy. Spotty showers will develop on Saturday morning, but those should fill in and create a rainy afternoon and evening as we head into the weekend. The leftover rain on Sunday should clear out in early morning and leave us with a dry week to look forward to.

24 days until storm chasing begins!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5/12 - 5pm - Thunderstorms On the Way

While nothing severe is expected, thunderstorms will be rolling through tonight and tomorrow in the early afternoon hours. The storms should lessen up a bit on Thursday night, but a new round will be back for Friday afternoon. The storms on Saturday and Saturday night should be the last ones for quite a while, so we can all look forward to 70's and sunshine for next week!

25 days until storm chasing begins!

Monday, May 11, 2009

5/11 - 4pm - Another Nice Day!

A few showers popped up in Eastern Jefferson County this afternoon, but they moved out in a hurry and the rest of the day will be rain-free. Tomorrow looks clear and dry at this point, with a high near 75.

Thunderstorms will move through on Wednesday and Thursday. The storms on Wednesday will certainly be severe near the St. Louis area, but a lack of instability will keep things under control here. Expect a round of storms early Wednesday afternoon and then again on Thursday during the mid to late morning. The SPC just barely has us in a SLIGHT Risk area for severe weather on Wednesday, but again, I think the main problems (tornado and otherwise) will occur near the St. Louis area.

Spotty thunderstorms will be around on Friday and Saturday, with more steady rain occurring on Saturday night and Sunday. Next week looks pretty dry!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

5/9 - 12:45pm - New Video Forecast

There's a chance for some showers this afternoon, but overall the forecast looks pretty good! Next big chance of rain happens on Wednesday and there could be some strong or severe storms on Thursday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

5/8 - 11:30pm - Severe Weather & Flooding Over

Our severe weather risk is officially over for the day and all flood-related watches and advisories have expired. The storm that caused wind damage to areas west of Evansville, IN weakened considerably before it arrived in Louisville, which prevented us from seeing any high winds. That's quite a relief!

Check back tomorrow afternoon for an updated video forecast!

5/8 - 5pm - High Winds!!!

High winds are coming into the Louisville area at around 5:30pm. Speeds near 100mph were recorded with this storm in Carbondale, IL and Evansville, IN recorded gusts near 80mph this afternoon. The good news is that the winds are weakening, but I still see potential for 50mph winds here in the next 30 minutes (5:30pm). To top that off, we're under a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH until 8pm.

How about all this rain!? All of the streams in my neighborhood are at capacity right now and I have a feeling that one or more of them will spill into the street soon. Cloud-to-ground lightning has been a major feature of this storm system, so be careful if you have to venture outside.

After the last batch of rain and wind comes through from the Owensboro area in a few minutes, we should clear out a bit, save for some scattered showers tomorrow morning. We should stay out of the rain until at least Wednesday with temperatures holding near 70 for highs.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

5/7 - 4pm - Severe Threat Diminishes

Storms that developed this afternoon have stayed south of the Louisville area and have stayed well below severe limits. Severe weather still looks fairly likely in Missouri, and anything that develops there will weaken as it arrives here late tonight. Expect a period of heavy rain and thunder tonight, a bit of dry weather late tomorrow morning once the early morning rain clears out, and more spotty thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. After seeing the instability we'll have to work with tomorrow, I'm thinking that a few of these storms in the afternoon could get close to being severe, but most will be strong. The SPC has also dropped us from the SLIGHT Risk area they had yesterday for Friday. Another line of thunderstorms will come through tomorrow night, but they'll be dying as they reach us like tonight's round of storms.

We'll work on clearing out any remaining rain on Saturday, which should help bring in sunny skies for us on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Temperatures will consistently stay in the 70's through the middle of next week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5/6 - 5pm - Want Sunshine? Wait Until Next Week.

The spotty showers coming through right now extend all the way to Paducah, so I think rain will be possible through the mid evening hours today. We should dry out a bit tonight and tomorrow morning, but a chance of thunderstorms is on-tap for tomorrow afternoon. The SPC has put us in a SLIGHT Risk (15%) for severe storms tomorrow:

Instability won't be too strong tomorrow, so expect some wind-driven thunderstorms to fire up in the afternoon. This threat may be enhanced if we see more sunshine than expected. Speaking of sunshine, where is it!? It's on the way for early next week, but I think there may be a few peeks of sun here and there between now and then.

Friday probably won't see much in the way of sunshine with more storms coming through. The latest instability data suggests a lesser threat for severe weather on Friday than previously thought, so the SPC has taken the area out of the SLIGHT Risk area they had yesterday. Still a few details to be hammered out with this next system, so we'll have to keep watch on it. We'll most likely see the remains of an MCS (mesoscale convective system --big 'ol line of thunderstorms) come through, but the elements aren't there for this thing to be terribly strong.

As this Friday system exits the area, it'll leave behind some showers for Saturday. Sunday and Monday is when the sun will come out for a good while and temperatures will stay in the mid 70's.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

5/5 - 4:15pm - Storms to Come!

Before I get into local weather, let me first tell you about about a new website that I designed and just put online. It's called Storm Chaser TV and you can access it at It's a streaming video website for Storm Chasing Adventure Tours (, the company I've gone storm chasing with for the last two years. The live storm chasing video will be active when the tour group is out chasing during the week (It's been on and off this afternoon). A redesigned will be unveiled when I go chasing in a month as well.

Now, on to local stuff...

Rain will be around mid-morning tomorrow and possibly last into the middle of the afternoon. The SPC has taken us out of the SLIGHT Risk area for tomorrow's severe weather possibilities.

Thursday looks pretty dry right now, but rain should come into the picture by tomorrow evening. Severe weather prospects for Friday have increased a bit, especially given the increased CAPE values (instability) that I'm seeing on the SREF. Time will tell with this system, but I think severe weather will be real possibilty somewhere in the region on Friday afternoon. The SPC has gone ahead and put us in a SLIGHT Risk area (15%):

Monday, May 4, 2009

5/4 - 5:30pm - A Quick Reprieve

While Derby events were spared, I think we're collectively sick of rain in this town. We should clear out tomorrow and see some sunshine with temperatures in the lower 70's, which is very good news. Just as things start looking good, they deteriorate yet again. Take a look at this SPC severe weather outlook for Wednesday:

With the primary low passing to our south on Wednesday, I think the bulk of the severe weather will be concentrated to parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia. That's not to say that we won't see a few severe storms up here, but I think we'll be pretty limited because of low placement and a lack of decent instability.

More showers and thunderstorms are on the way for Thursday and Friday, with temperatures staying in the 70's for the rest of the week.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

5/2 - 2:15pm - 100th Video Forecast!

Today I'm celebrating my 100th video forecast. With over four hours of video forecasts in my possession, you can bet my hard drive is getting pretty full!

Kentucky Derby weather looks pretty good, but it won't get above 61 today. Sunshine may actually become plentiful this afternoon and evening if this eastward clearing trend continues. Rain will be back for tomorrow and Monday, but I think a reprieve is on the way for Tuesday with warmer temperatures!

Friday, May 1, 2009

5/1 - 5:30pm - Showers and Storms On the Way

A few showers are coming across the river to Louisville right now. This batch of rain won't last too long, but there's a little more behind the initial line. That rain should be here later tonight if it doesn't dissipate.

It still looks like there will be some rain for the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, but it won't be heavy at race time. Heavy rain will be around the area in the early morning, but this should taper off to just some showers by the afternoon. It may even clear out if we get lucky. I think we may have a hard time getting much above 60 degrees with all this rain around.

Sunday and Monday look pretty wet as well, so don't put away those umbrellas yet. I'll have more tomorrow afternoon in the video forecast.