Thursday, December 16, 2010

12/16 - 2:30pm - Ice Photos

It seems we received some of the worst ice accumulations in Kentuckiana here at my house in Southeast Louisville. Check out this slideshow for some pictures of the impressive ice accumulations that I took earlier this afternoon:

It took 30 minutes to get a minivan out of our driveway using sand. Trying to walk on any of this ice isn't a good idea. Glad that I only fell once! It should be noted that all the major roads in Louisville are pretty good right now, but those streets that have not been treated are extremely dangerous. Use caution if you have to be out today.

I'll be heading out to on vacation to Florida tomorrow so there won't be any blog posts for about a week. I should be back just before Christmas, so I'll be sure to post if any wintry weather heads toward Louisville after that point. It appears that things will quiet down for a short while, so it's certainly a good time to take a break!

12/16 - 11:30am - Ice Accumulation Numbers

The temperature in Louisville got up to 32 at around 8am this morning, but we're now back down to 29 degrees. That's not good news at all because the accumulated ice simply won't melt with temperatures below freezing and cloud cover. Overall, Louisville did get around 0.5" of ice in places as expected, but the expected 1-2" of snow simply did not happen due to warm air advection aloft that traveled north quicker than expected. Here are some of the ice accumulation totals from the NWS in Louisville:



*************************ICE ACCUMULATIONS**********************

ACCUM  LOCATION             ST   COUNTY               TIME
-----  --------             --   ------               ----

0.5"   VALLEY STATION       KY  JEFFERSON           500 AM EST
0.5"   ENGLISH              IN  CRAWFORD            900 AM EST
0.3"   BROWNSVILLE          KY  EDMONSON            200 AM EST
0.3"   CASEY                KY  BUTLER              200 AM EST
0.3"   TELL CITY            IN  PERRY               900 AM EST
0.3"   ANCHORAGE            KY  JEFFERSON           900 AM EST
0.3"   DOE VALLEY           KY  MEADE               900 AM EST
0.25"  HOLLAND              IN  DUBOIS              600 AM EST
0.25"  FRANKFORT            KY  FRANKLIN            645 AM EST
0.25"  GEORGETOWN           KY  SCOTT               730 AM EST
0.25"  ELIZABETHTOWN        KY  HARDIN              745 AM EST
0.25"  CORYDON              IN  HARRISON            705 AM EST
0.25"  SALEM                IN  WASHINGTON          600 AM EST
0.2"   NWS LOUISVILLE       KY  JEFFERSON           900 AM EST
0.2"   FERDINAND            IN  DUBOIS              530 AM EST
0.2"   PORTERSVILLE         IN  DUBOIS              530 AM EST
0.1    LEITCHFIELD          KY  GRAYSON             715 AM EST
0.1"   BOWLING GREEN        KY  WARREN                MIDNIGHT

I'll post some more photos of the ice later on today. Some of those icicles out there are pretty big! I think Louisville will stay dry for the rest of the day but areas near Lexington will receive just a little more freezing rain.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12/15 - 11:40pm - More Ice in Louisville?

Jefferson County Public Schools are closed today (Thursday) due to the ice accumulations overnight. Great decision given the dangerously slick roads and driveways in Louisville. I know I have a few readers who go to my Alma mater duPont Manual High School, so you guys have the day off. Enjoy and be safe!

***2:30am UPDATE***
The temperature is now up to 28 °F in Louisville as warmer air drives northward. Still think we'll be below freezing for the next few hours. I just snapped a picture of some icicles forming on our deck railing at my house... check it out. Took another walk around my driveway as well and found that ice skates were preferable to tennis shoes. Don't go out if you don't absolutely have to for the next few hours.

***1:45am UPDATE***
My driveway (and most sidewalks/untreated streets in Louisville) is a sheet of ice and we're still awaiting another big batch of freezing rain in Louisville. That precipitation should be here within minutes and we'll continue to see freezing rain fall until around 7am or just before. Temperature at my house is 26.7 °F and the airport is still holding at 27 °F. You have to go down to Bowling Green, KY to find temperatures just above freezing, so I don't think any relief in the form of warmer air will make it here in time to spare the morning commute in Louisville. Still some snow falling to our north and east, but it's transitioning to sleet/freezing rain as warmer temperatures aloft work their way northward. I still think we're on track to get somewhere near 0.5" of accumulated ice here in the Metro, especially since radar returns are filling in to our west.

We started out with some snow in the Louisville area around 10pm this evening, but most of Jefferson County has now switched over to freezing rain and sleet. With what I'm seeing on radar and surface observations, the heavy snow will still fall in areas just northeast of Louisville as you go toward Cincinnati. The heavy ice accumulations are going to happen right here in Louisville I think, up to a half inch or more in places. Areas near Springhurst and Prospect in Northeast Jefferson County may pick up some of that heavier snow, but most of Louisville will stick with freezing rain and sleet overnight unless temperatures above the surface cool a bit. I'll continue to monitor the trends, but as of right now I think Louisville and points south aren't going to see any more snow tonight except for a few snowflakes.

No word on school cancellations in Louisville yet (JCPS says they'll make a decision at 4am), but I'm already seeing reports of slick roads in the suburbs. It's 25 degrees here at my house and 27 at the airport, so the liquid rain that's falling from the sky is freezing on the surface. Needless to say, things are going to be very slick on those untreated roads in the Metro tomorrow if temperatures continue to stay below 32 at the surface with freezing rain tonight.

12/15 - 9pm - Snow/Sleet Initiating, Winter Storm on Track

***10:15pm Update***
Snow and sleet are falling simultaneously at my house in SE Louisville near Fisherville with reports of snow/sleet/freezing rain coming in all over Kentuckiana.

Helpful Tip: It's sometimes hard to tell what type of frozen precipitation is falling because it's dark outside. If you're having a hard time trying to determine what's falling, stick a flat object like a tupperware lid, book, magazine, or pan out your door for a few seconds and then bring it inside or under a light source quickly. If it's all wet, you're experiencing freezing rain, any ice pellets on there are sleet, and of course you'll be able to pick out the snowflakes visually. Be sure to do this very quickly so that you're able to inspect the accumulated precipitation on your flat surface before it melts!

Precipitation is breaking out across Kentuckiana and reports of snow and sleet falling are coming in from those areas you see with precipitation on radar below:

The bands of precipitation to the southwest of Louisville are filling in quite quickly and we'll see those come into the Metro area within the next hour or two. We're still on track for 1-2" of snow before 1am tonight, but a few of the short-range models are indicating a 2-4" accumulation in Louisville if these snow/sleet bands fill in and set up well. We'll see if that happens, but for right now all eyes are on the radar. The snow and sleet will eventually turn in to freezing rain sometime between 1am and 2am here in Louisville, but areas to our northeast across the Ohio River in Indiana will most likely stay all snow and sleet and see accumulations over six inches in some cases. Areas to the south and west of Louisville like Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, etc will have little snow and see mostly sleet and freezing rain tonight. The good news for them is that surface temperatures have a good shot at getting above freezing later on tomorrow, whereas here in Louisville and points north that probably won't be the case.

I'm getting lots of questions about schools being open tomorrow and right now I can't supply a definite answer. Locally in Louisville I think the side roads and streets will be dangerous tomorrow morning (4-10am), so that will probably be a strike against schools being open tomorrow. Road crews are hard at work on interstates and major roads, but we'll see how surface temperatures cooperate with that overnight. Areas to our north with the heavy snow will also see many cancellations. This is still very much a "wait and see" game right now, but it's not looking too good for us weather-wise at the moment.

12/15 - 5:30pm - Louisville Winter Storm CRUNCH TIME!

The onset of Louisville's first major mixed precipitation winter storm of the season is just hours away and the forecast is still very difficult. The National Weather Service has extended tonight's and tomorrow's Winter Storm Warning to counties in Southern Indiana that were previously only in an advisory. The reason for this is the increase in precipitation totals that both the NAM and GFS have been hinting at today. Those areas in Indiana will see all snow and sleet, with accumulations up to six inches in places.

Here in Louisville the snow should start from the southwest near the 10pm hour and possibly mix with sleet before 1am, with accumulations of around 1-2". Based on the model guidance I've seen, I think we'll switch over to a period of sleet with some freezing rain mixed in after 1am. Freezing rain will become dominant in Louisville just a couple hours after that and last until around 7am with ice accumulations ranging from 0.25" to 0.5". The 18z GFS model (pictured top left) and the NAM both keep Louisville just below freezing at the surface during the entirety of the winter storm, but we're going to have to watch that. The snow we have on the ground will influence the surface temperatures across the area, so the computer models may be running too warm at this point. As I've said before, Downtown Louisville could get a degree or two above freezing during the afternoon and that will help road conditions improve tremendously. The 18z NAM BUFKIT output (second image on left) gives Louisville 1.7" of snow/sleet with a half inch of ice accumulation.

Even with all of this data nothing is set in stone. The storm is forming to our west right now and we're already seeing light snow and sleet falling to our west and southwest. Watching the radar trends and surface observations overnight (called nowcasting) will be crucial to see who gets what kind of precipitation. Louisville is historically the battleground between precipitation types and we'll be in that situation for sure tonight. The HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) has Louisville and areas south in a Moderate Risk for 0.25" of ice accumulation. Louisville and points north have been put under a Moderate Risk for 4"+ of snow accumulation as well, so we may very well end up with quite a bit of both snow and ice here in the city.

Should this system shift south just a few miles, Louisville would end up with mostly snow and accumulations would pile up to nearly half a foot. I've posted the 12z NAM snow accumulation output on the left just so you can see how incredibly close the heavy snow will be to Louisville, at least according to that model run. A shift northward would severely limit snow accumulations and put us in a mostly ice situation. Either way, Kentuckiana is set to get walloped by winter weather tonight. This will not be as bad as the January 2009 ice storm due to lesser ice accumulations and the potential for slightly above freezing temperatures during the daytime hours in Downtown Louisville and areas south of town as well. We'll see how it all plays out!

12/15 - 1am - Late Night Winter Storm Update

The 0z suite of computer models (GFS/NAM) is in and the verdict is not good for our winter storm here in Louisville and surrounding areas. Both computer models have increased the amount of precipitation that will fall tomorrow night through Thursday, but it still appears the time line I laid out in the blog post below is valid. The GFS model is now putting out 0.35" of liquid equivalent precipitation and the NAM just output 0.75". This is up considerably on both models compared to this afternoon's runs. Check out the 18z NAM model's accumulated freezing rain estimate for this storm on the left... it's showing the potential for a half inch or more of accumulated ice around the region.

I still think Southern Indiana north of Scottsburg will see mostly snow, which could add up to four or five inches especially as you head eastward. Here in Louisville we're on track to see a brief burst of moderate snow on Wednesday night before we go to sleet and then to freezing rain by Thursday morning. Like I said earlier today, Louisville's morning commute on Thursday is going to be treacherous if all the data we're seeing right now comes to fruition. Surface temperatures should be below freezing in Louisville throughout Wednesday night and Thursday (Downtown Louisville could get just above freezing on Thursday afternoon), so ice will have no problem accumulating on cars, roadways, overpasses, and everything in between. The computer models aren't accounting for the snow we have on the ground already, which will cool our surface temperatures, so it's difficult to gauge just where exactly it will get above freezing just south of town. The good part in all of this is that we will be fairly close to the freezing mark, which will make the salt on the roads much more effective. If surface temperatures were to be in the teens or 20's during this event, we'd have much worse road conditions. The HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) has points just south of Louisville in a slight risk for 0.25" of freezing rain or more (see right image), but we'll see how that plays out. I think we have the potential for 0.25" or higher of ice accumulation here in Louisville on Thursday, but those numbers will be fine-tuned as we get closer to time.

I'll post tomorrow with the latest data. Again, this storm won't break any records, but it will have a significant impact on much of Kentuckiana. Remember that I-64 and south will be under a Winter Storm Warning from tomorrow afternoon through Thursday afternoon and points north of I-64 will be under a Winter Weather Advisory for the same time period. The difference between these two is the potential ice accumulations, which warrant a Winter Storm Warning in place of an advisory.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12/14 - 1pm - Winter Storm WATCH for Louisville

A Winter Storm WATCH has been issued by the National Weather Service for Louisville and surrounding areas until Thursday afternoon. An area of low pressure passing to our south will give us a quick-hitting winter storm, meaning we'll only see its effects in Kentuckiana from late Wednesday into midday Thursday. There's talk at the NWS of issuing an Ice Storm Warning for portions of Central and North Central Kentucky if the freezing rain accumulations appear that they'll get near a quarter of an inch.

Storm Timing

Wednesday morning/midday: All Clear

Wednesday afternoon/evening: Light snow/sleet begins in the west and spreads toward Louisville as snow. Under an inch of accumulation expected.

Early Thursday morning: Snow switches over to sleet and freezing rain, becoming mostly freezing rain as the morning wears on. The morning commute will be a royal mess in Louisville. Based on the forecast models and guidance I'm seeing right now, most schools should be closed or delayed on Thursday due to the treacherous driving conditions on Thursday morning. Areas north of Scottsburg, IN should have snow throughout the entire event and I would not rule out a couple inches of accumulation up that way.

Thursday afternoon: Near and south of the Ohio River should see freezing rain end from west to east in the early afternoon hours. There could be a few snowflakes as temperatures aloft cool down on the west side of the low. Again, Southern Indiana from Scottsburg northward should stay with snow and possibly a little sleet as this system pulls out of the area.

The devil is in the details with this storm. How much freezing rain will accumulate in North Central Kentucky? Right now I'm thinking Louisville will see just under a quarter inch of ice accumulation whereas areas near Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, and Bardstown could pick up about a quarter of an inch. The GFS model is being conservative with precipitation amounts (0.27" liquid) whereas the NAM is pumping more into the area (0.56" liquid). I'm willing to bet we'll see something in between those numbers here in Louisville, some of that liquid falling as snow/sleet while the rest falls as freezing rain. Check out the annotated BUFKIT sounding from the NAM model at 4am on Thursday above (click to make it larger). You'll notice that temperatures between 4000 and 8000ft will be above freezing, meaning the snow will melt to rain while it's falling through that layer of air. The lower 4000ft or so of the atmosphere will be below freezing and that already thawed liquid rain will likely freeze when it hits the surface. There will likely be a period of sleet in Louisville as we transition from snow to freezing rain on Thursday morning. Like I said yesterday, only a few miles will make a big difference. We still have a decent snow pack in Louisville, so I do expect temperatures to stay below freezing here at the surface throughout Thursday except for some areas downtown where they may reach 33 degrees. Even though we're only about 36 hours away from this event, there's still wiggle room for all of this. If temperatures aloft aren't as warm as forecast, we'll see mostly snow in Louisville and the freezing rain risk would shift southward. On the flip side, temperatures at the surface could also nudge a couple degrees higher than expected (unlikely due to snow cover in my opinion) and decrease the ice problems on Thursday morning.

We'll see how this one plays out. The NWS in Louisville will upgrade the Winter Storm WATCH to either a warning or Ice Storm Warning at some point later today and I'll post the details of that on Twitter and Facebook immediately. Should any significant changes occur in the forecast, I'll post those on the blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/14 - 12am - Cold is Here and Another Louisville Storm Looms

My apologies for posting so late today. I didn't expect the recovery time from my wisdom teeth removal procedure this morning to last so long, but I think I'm about 95% back to normal now. Cold temperatures are the big story tonight as clouds continue to clear out of the area and cooler air filters in from the northwest. Low temperatures will hover around 8 degrees early tomorrow morning and we're already well into the teens at the eleven o'clock hour here in Louisville. Check out some of the surface observations on the image to the right. Indianapolis and Evansville, IN are coming in at 9 degrees at the moment with temperatures getting even closer to 0 as you make your way toward Peoria, IL. Wind chill values will get a few degrees below zero tonight, especially in the suburbs of Jefferson and surrounding counties.

Our attention turns to yet another storm that should affect the Louisville area as soon as Wednesday evening. If you thought this past storm was a bear to forecast, try figuring this one out! Since temperatures will be hovering near freezing at the surface across the area with upper-air temperatures varying, this is going to be a real mess. The 0z NAM model run keeps Louisville and points northward mostly in the snow, but the 18z GFS had quite a mixed bag of precipitation for us, including freezing rain, sleet, snow, and plain rain. The 0z GFS is just now coming in and it appears that there will be a longer period of snow here in Louisville according to that run, but freezing rain or sleet could take hold on Thursday as warmer temperatures make their way in aloft (still need time for the BUFKIT output to be generated to find out exact precipitation type). If I had to guess right now, I'd say that Louisville and Southern Indiana will start out as snow on Wednesday night before switching over to either sleet or freezing rain sometime early Thursday before gradually changing back to snow as the storm ends. Should temperatures at the surface get just above freezing on Thursday, that period of freezing rain could turn to plain rain at times.

It's a real sticky situation as you can gather from my comments above. Since just a few miles will make a difference during this Wednesday/Thursday event, snow, sleet, and freezing rain amounts will vary wildly across Kentuckiana. I'll have an update tomorrow with more specifics and hopefully the computer models will have a better handle on this storm by then.

Check out some video that I shot of today's snow accumulations in Louisville below:

Be sure to select either 720p or 1080p and play at fullscreen for a high-definition experience.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12/12 - 9pm - Snow is Making Things Hazardous in Louisville

Hazardous Roads
I just got back from a drive out on the Watterson Expressway, I-64, and the Gene Snyder. All of those interstates had snow on them, but they weren't quite covered. Needless to say, everyone is taking it slow and easy out there tonight. Most side roads and even some major streets have snow cover on them right now around Louisville, so take extra precautions if you're out driving tonight into tomorrow. With temperatures getting below 20 tonight in the city, the salt that Metro road crews have put down will not be as effective and major roadways could be difficult to drive on.

Snow Tonight
Louisville has been getting hit by multiple snow bands throughout the evening and it appears that at least a couple more developing in Indiana right now could hit us later on tonight. Most areas around the city and surrounding counties have seen an inch or two of snow with locally heavier amounts. These snow bands tonight could give us another inch or two in places, so a total snow accumulation of 2-3" in the city looks about right. Many area school systems are already announcing closures tomorrow and I'm inclined to think that schools around Louisville may have delays or closures based on the poor road conditions already present. (EDIT 9:23pm: Jefferson County Public and Catholic Schools have announced they will be closed tomorrow)

Gusty Winds
The winds are really going to pick up tonight on the backside of this storm. Winds just to our west in Paducah, KY and Southern Illinois are topping 25mph and those speeds are certainly headed our way. Winds tonight into tomorrow could get up to 35mph. That kind of wind will put wind chills down to zero and blow this dry, powdery snow around like dust. Visibilities will likely be reduced tonight and tomorrow, so keep an eye out if you're traveling.

Here's some irony for you... I have an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning. Not sure if that's still going to happen or not. If the surgeon's office is open tomorrow, I won't be posting on the blog or Facebook/Twitter for about a day or so while I'm recovering. If it's not, I'll have more updates tomorrow!

12/12 - 10am - Louisville Snow Still on Track

It's snowing in Louisville as of this writing and more of the white stuff is on the way. We'll see off and on snow showers today, but they should increase in coverage and intensity as we begin to see snow bands from Illinois cross into the region later this afternoon and evening. I'm still thinking we'll get 1-3" here in Louisville (down a little from yesterday because the cold air did not catch the precipitation fast enough last night) and some areas just to our north could see 4 inches. In contrast, areas around Minneapolis have seen over 20 inches of snow since Friday and the inflatable dome of the Minneapolis Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings, has collapsed.

Winds will be a big issue later on today as they begin to increase and pick up the dry snow on the ground along with what's already falling. Visibilities could fall as this happens, so use caution if you're out and about. Side and back roads could be problematic as well due to snow cover and black ice that could have formed last night. Interstates and major roads look fine based on some of the traffic cameras I've looked at this morning, but use caution.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12/11 - 10:45am - Louisville Snow Update

More Snow?
It's looking like our snow accumulation totals may be slightly higher here in Louisville than what I was thinking yesterday. The new 12z NAM and 6z GFS computer model runs have shifted the track of the storm slightly southward, which in turn gives us some of the heavier precipitation here in Louisville that Southern Indiana was supposed to receive. Check out the snow accumulation map from the 12z NAM below:

My latest thinking for Louisville is a 2-4" snowfall with possibly 5" just to our north. We'll watch this storm closely... the rain starts this afternoon and changes to snow early tomorrow morning. Watch out for gusty winds tomorrow and Monday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

12/10 - 12:30pm - Crazy Weather on the Way in Louisville!

I'm back home in Louisville after a long drive from Mississippi last night. My third semester at MSU is over after going through my final exams and now it's time to move on to more important things, like a potential accumulating snow here in Louisville this weekend!

The Latest
The computer forecast models have had a very difficult time trying to forecast this weekend's storm across the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley. Earlier this week there were vast differences in where the low pressure center of this storm would track. Some models had the low moving into central Tennessee or central Kentucky before cutting northward to Ohio/West Virginia, and others had it moving into Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana before cutting north to the Great Lakes. The Tennessee/Kentucky track is the one that would give Louisville a snowstorm, but it appears a more northerly track will take place. The HPC's (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) depiction of the northern track is on the right image. Luckily, for you snowlovers out there, this is not the end of our snow chances for this storm here in Kentuckiana!

As the cold air behind this storm catches up with the back end of the rain we'll see on Saturday, we may see a brief burst of wet snow on Saturday night. Then, light snow will wrap around the back end of the storm and impact us from the north on Sunday, possibly into Monday. By the time this is all said and done, I think Louisville will have 2-3" (isolated 4") of snow on the ground with lower amounts south and higher amounts north of here. The 6z GFS model seems to be picking up on these totals well and I've posted its forecast snowfall accumulation map to the left. You can click the image for a larger view if needed.

Here's what the National Weather Service in Louisville says about all of this:

Even though we have a general track somewhat ironed out now, there are a couple of details that could increase our snow totals. While the GFS/ECMWF (European)/NAM/CMC models all generally agree on a northern track to this storm, the UKMET model is still taking a more southerly track near the Ohio Valley. At this point I think it's an outlier solution, but nevertheless there is a sliver of a chance that the low could take a little jog southward and impact our snow totals. There's also a chance that a secondary low could form well to the south of the primary storm and the implications of that are pretty substantial on our snow totals. Chances for that look slim as well as most computer models either don't have it or get rid of it before it exits Texas. Again, these are just a couple little things to watch that could affect us if they come to fruition by some outside chance.

As if the snow wasn't enough, we'll also have to contend with gusty winds of 25-35mph on Sunday which will blow the drier snow around and create visibility issues. Temperatures will also plummet during the storm as a cold front comes through, meaning we'll see highs only in the 20's for Sunday and Monday here in the Metro. Factor those chilly temperatures in with the winds and you've got yourself below zero windchills. That's dangerous weather in itself... stay warm out there!

I'll be posting updates on my Facebook and Twitter accounts today if there are any updates.

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/6 - 8pm - Video from the Starkville Christmas Parade

I was able to get my hands on some video of WOBV 5's coverage of the Starkville, MS Christmas Parade that I participated in. I've edited an eleven minute highlight reel of my street reporting that you can view below. You may recognize a few familiar faces in there like meteorologist Jennifer Watson from WTVA-TV in Tupelo, MS and Jason Dunning from WCBI-TV in Columbus, MS. Both graduated from Mississippi State University's award-winning meteorology program and were real troopers for letting me stick a camera in their faces during the parade!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12/5 - 2pm - WBBJ and Starkville Christmas Parade All in One Day!

The forecast for Jackson was fairly tame yesterday as a cold front was poised to swing through the area and bring cooler temperatures into the region. Highs could get into the 30's and lows into the teens this week, so bundle up! Check out my video from ABC 7 below:

As if waking up and going on-air early in the morning in Jackson wasn't enough yesterday, I drove back to Starkville to participate in WOBV 5's TV production of the Starkville Christmas Parade. Like last year, I interviewed participants on the floats and attendees on the street for the station and had a great time doing it! Since this year's broadcast was not live, I'll have to get a recording of the program and post it here later on in the near future.

It's final exam week here at Mississippi State, so that means I'll be heading back to Louisville for the long winter break coming up on Thursday. I'm watching a potential snowstorm that could happen up in Louisville next week like a hawk and I'll post some updates on that once I knock out these final exams.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30 - 4pm - MSU Forecast Video / Severe Weather Aftermath

An EF2 tornado touched down in Starkville last night according to the National Weather Service in Jackson. Mobile homes, roofs of buildings, gas stations, and street signs were all damaged in this tornado that came through just after the 11:00 hour last night. I have a picture of the damage from a mobile home park here in Starkville in my forecast video below along with the full text of the NWS damage survey below that. Forecast-wise this week here in North Mississippi, we should be clear and cool with no more severe weather on the way:



Sunday, November 28, 2010

11/28 - 5pm - Post-Thanksgiving Odds and Ends

Weekend in Jackson, TN
I just got back to Starkville after a nice weekend up in Jackson where I did my regular weather shift on Saturday morning at WBBJ and spent some time touring the area with my family. It really warmed up today up there (into the 60's) and the weather was quite pleasant all the way back to Mississippi. Another cold front is poised to sweep through the South tomorrow, bringing with it some rain and possible severe weather for portions of the region. Cooler temperatures will be on the way behind it on Tuesday. Check out some clips from yesterday's ABC 7 Good Morning West Tennessee show below:

You might be able to tell from the video above that I have a severe cold. I'm surprised the show went as well as it did even though I was nearly losing my voice.

Louisville Surprise Snow Accumulations
Early Friday morning was pretty interesting back home in Louisville. A cold front has just swept through the area and temperatures were dropping like crazy as the rain associated with the front was almost at an end. Just as I was getting into bed, I checked the surface conditions real quick to see if we would get any flurries with the moisture we had left. I was shocked to see a temperature of 37 degrees and dropping quickly at our house with the amount of precipitation left on the radar to our west. Within the next hour we dropped to just above freezing and snowflakes the size of golf balls started mixing with the rain. It turned to all snow just minutes later and the temperature bottomed out to around 30 degrees before the snow ended. I was very surprised to see nearly an inch of snow on the grass and elevated surfaces when it was all said and done because the ground was still wet and supposedly warm from the day's rain. A few runs of the GFS model before the front came through hinted at a possible snow accumulation, but I wasn't buying it because of the lack of moisture on the back end of the front... guess it proved me wrong! Check out these pictures I took at my house after the snow stopped:

Mississippi/Louisiana Severe Weather Threat Tomorrow
As I said before there could be some severe weather in the South tomorrow, especially in Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. The threat for severe weather in Starkville tomorrow afternoon and into the late evening will most likely be smaller than in areas in the south near I-20. With that said, computer forecast model differences in instability are making it difficult to pinpoint exactly how far north the severe weather threat will extend. With the amount of upper level wind support and shear (latest GFS model run says we could get 60kt of bulk shear tomorrow evening... only 30-40kt is needed for severe weather), this event looks like a tornado-maker for the aforementioned areas. The SPC seems to favor areas just south of the Golden Triangle for tomorrow's severe weather with their Slight Risk issuance (above image). We'll see how it goes with the overnight computer model runs and the surface conditions tomorrow morning. I'll be posting updates for the MSU/Starkville, MS region on my Twitter and Facebook accounts tomorrow on this threat, along with any other significant severe weather developments in the South.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/20 - 3pm - WBBJ Video

It was a chilly morning in Jackson, but things have warmed up and a pleasant day is in progress. Storms are on the way for Tuesday and Wednesday, some of which could be a bit strong. Clearing will take place on Thanksgiving, but temperatures are going to take a tumble into the 40's. Check out the video below (there are a few audio/video issues with it):

Monday, November 15, 2010

11/15 - 10:30am - Great Weekend at WBBJ

This weekend was quite busy for me as I did weather for the 6pm and 10pm Saturday shows on WBBJ in addition to the morning show that I appear on. It was good experience to work both morning and evening shifts on the same day and it was actually pretty fun! The forecast was a little tricky in Jackson for this week because of a stationary front and multiple areas of low pressure riding up over the South that the computer models did not want to be consistent with. Check out the videos below of my morning, 6pm, and 10pm newscasts:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11/9 - 6pm - MSU Video Forecast... With New Intro!

Sunny skies, warm temperatures, and overall pleasant conditions will be the rule over the next few days in Starkville as high pressure continues to dictate our weather. The next chance of rain will happen on Saturday into Sunday as a cold front passes through the region and more rain is expected early next week as well. If you're headed out to Tuscaloosa, AL for the Mississippi State vs. Alabama football game this weekend, you'll want to take a raincoat because there is a chance of rain in the forecast that evening. Check out my forecast below, which features a brand new video intro that I put together over the weekend:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11/6 - 5:30pm - Chilly Morning in Jackson!

It was downright cold this morning in Jackson, TN as temperatures bottomed out at 24 degrees during our newscast. High pressure will keep skies clear and conditions dry for about the next week or so, but stormy changes are on the way as we head toward next weekend. Check out some of my weather clips from this morning's episode of Good Morning West Tennessee on ABC 7:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

11/2 - 4:30pm - Rainy Days Ahead

The rest of today and tomorrow will be pretty rainy as a warm front just to our south keeps pumping in the moisture and lift needed for rainfall. Temperatures will take a nose dive after Thursday as the moisture clears out of the area and cool north winds take hold. Expect overnight lows to be in the 30's by the time the weekend rolls around. Check out the video below for more details:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

10/30 - 11pm - Spooky Forecast on WBBJ ABC 7!

We had our pre-Halloween episode of Good Morning West Tennessee Saturday on WBBJ ABC 7 this morning. I wore a vampire cape for both main weathercasts during the show and let me tell you that it is not easy to operate a chroma key wall with that extra fabric in the way! Forecast-wise, there's no rain in the forecast for Jackson until at least Monday and even then we're only talking about a chance. Once a warm front moves out of the region on Wednesday, rain chances should diminish and we'll be left with clear skies and cool temperatures. Check out my video from this morning below:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10/26 - 5pm - MSU Weathercast / Severe Weather

We're under a Tornado Watch in Starkville until 7pm tonight as a cold front continues to kick up a few severe thunderstorms around North Mississippi. We've been lucky enough to miss the bulk of the severe weather here in Mississippi, but areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky have been dealing with wind damage and tornadoes throughout the morning and afternoon today. As this record-breaking low pressure system in Minnesota begins to weaken and move off to the east, weather conditions will improve across much of the East and we'll see the return of sunny skies and cool temperatures here in Mississippi. Check out my latest MSU forecast video below:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10/24 - 11:40am - Severe Weather Risk Today Across the South

Severe weather could be on the way this afternoon and evening for a large chunk of the country. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk from just south of Chicago to Dallas/Fort Worth, to East Alabama, and southward to the Gulf Coast. Here in Starkville, MS, we're right in the middle of all this. This Slight Risk includes a 5% tornado risk, 15% hail risk, and 15% wind risk for us here in North Mississippi. We're already seeing a few small storms breaking out in the Delta region of Mississippi, but I don't expect anything substantial to form until this afternoon.

This is a fairly classic severe weather setup for the South today. From the west we're seeing the entrance of a shortwave trough into the region, which is causing divergence, or wind spreading, in the upper levels of the atmosphere. This spreading of the winds up there causes air at the surface to rise because something has to fill that low pressure void aloft created by the divergence. That rising motion, along with cooler temperatures in the upper atmosphere and increased heating and moisture at the surface act to create atmospheric instability, or the tendency for air to rise. Today we're already seeing instability or CAPE values above 1000J/Kg, and it's expected that we'll see values into the 2000J/Kg range. Anything above 1500J/Kg is considered to be adequate for a severe weather setup, so we won't be lacking in instability later on today and tonight. Wind shear, or the differences in wind speed and direction with height, is important because it helps sustain any storm that forms by blowing the storm's downdraft away from its updraft. This keeps the downdraft from contaminating the warm, moist air needed for the updraft. We'll have bulk shear values around 40-50kt this afternoon and evening, which is adequate for severe weather.

These storms will be in clusters when they form and come through the area tonight, but there's a chance that we could see some independent cells as well. This really isn't a big event for tornadoes, but there's a chance that a few could spin up later this afternoon and into the evening. I'm more concerned about the hail and high winds that these storms could bring, so be on the lookout for that. This risk extends well up into West Tennessee as well, but the severity of the storms will most likely be limited by lower dewpoints and the presence of the rain moving into that region this morning. The satellite image this morning shows that quite a bit of sunlight will be able to reach the ground today here in North Mississippi, which should crank up instability. This severe weather event won't be historic or record-breaking in any respect, but it does pose a general threat to parts of the South this afternoon and evening.

I'll be sending out updates on this event for the Starkville, MS / MSU area on Twitter and Facebook today. I'll also post if there are any major severe weather developments in other areas of the South as well.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10/23 - 1:30pm - Today's WBBJ Video

There's quite a bit of weather to talk about today after what seems like an eternity of drought and clear skies. A shortwave (small trough of low pressure) will advance towards West Tennessee over the next couple of days, resulting in increased chances for showers and thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday. Some of those storms Sunday night could be severe, especially across East Arkansas, North Mississippi, and extreme Southwest Tennessee. Another shortwave and cold front will cross through the area on Tuesday, giving Jackson and surrounding areas another shot at some strong storms. That's good news though... We need the rain! Check out this morning's video from ABC 7 in Jackson below:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10/19 - 5pm - MSU Forecast Video

We're in for a pleasant rest of the week once these showers and storms clear out of the area, although we do need the rain around here. Portions of Mississippi are in a Severe Drought according to the US Drought Monitor, but some alleviating rains could be on the way later this weekend. Check out the video below:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10/16 - 5pm - WBBJ Good Morning West Tennessee Video

We completed another successful broadcast of Good Morning West Tennessee Saturday on WBBJ ABC 7 this morning. The weather is pretty tame right now across West Tennessee and Mississippi, so the forecast looks like a winner! Check out the video below (Note: This recording has some audio and video errors due to antenna interference):

Monday, October 11, 2010

10/11 - 3pm - Mississippi Severe Weather / WBBJ Video

I'm back home in Louisville for the long weekend thanks to Mississippi State's later-than-usual fall break. Tomorrow will be my day to travel back to Mississippi, and interestingly enough, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT Risk (15%) for severe weather tomorrow across most of the state. A jet streak passing through the Mississippi Delta tomorrow afternoon will create upper-level divergence (air separation) and allow some instability (rising parcels of air from the surface) to setup mostly north of Meridian, MS. That factor coupled with surface dewpoints in the 60's tomorrow should support some severe weather across Mississippi tomorrow, with a greater emphasis on northern and central portions of the state. Because of the marginal shear environment that will be in place tomorrow, there's really no tornado risk. Cool temperatures aloft could trigger a few instances of medium/large hail and gusty winds can be expected with any storm that forms. We really need the rain back in Mississippi, so any precipitation from these storms will be greatly appreciated! The so-called "secondary" fall severe weather season in the South is just starting up, so while this severe event won't be too bad, it will serve to increase awareness about what could come in the following weeks.

Check out some clips from my weather segments on WBBJ ABC 7's Good Morning West Tennessee Saturday from this weekend below:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10/5 - 5pm - MSU Forecast Video

It's been very dry around North Mississippi and it will continue to be like that for at least another week or two as high pressure stays firmly in place across the Eastern half of the US. These cool, dry, and windy conditions are creating a fire risk, so take extra caution if you're putting on a bonfire or burning brush this week. Check out the video below:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

10/2 - 3pm - My Saturday Morning Shift at WBBJ Begins

Today was the start of Good Morning West Tennessee Saturday on WBBJ ABC 7. This is the first time ABC 7 has had a morning news show on a Saturday and I'm thrilled that I was able to help kick things off! Since this was the very first show, there were a few small errors here and there both technically and on the set (like my comical sprint from the weather desk to the news desk that happened while the 7-day forecast was being discussed - forgot where I had to be!), but everyone at WBBJ deserves a pat on the back for an excellent job this morning. Check out the highlight reel below that I put together of the various morning weather segments:

I also filled in for a shorter-than-usual (due to high school football) 10pm newscast last night. This show debuted my new voice-over intro and a promo for the Good Morning West Tennessee show, which was pretty neat to see just as I was going on-air:

Overall it was a very good weekend in Jackson and I can't wait to do it all again next week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9/28 - 5pm - MSU Forecast Video

With not a drop of rain in the forecast, it looks to be a very pleasant week here in Mississippi!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

9/26 - 11:45pm - Great Weekend at WBBJ!

I had another wonderful weekend at WBBJ-TV ABC 7 in Jackson. I did three newscasts this weekend there, and you can view Saturday's 10pm show below:

This is my last weekend filling in for the afternoon shows because this coming Saturday I'll be starting my normal morning shift with Good Morning West Tennessee at 6am. Can't wait to begin my first morning show! I'll be back on Tuesday with an updated MSU weather forecast here on the blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

9/24 - 2pm - Article in MSU's Reflector Newspaper

Mississippi State University's student-run newspaper The Reflector printed an article about me in this morning's edition. Check out a snippet of the article and a link to the full text below:

"Ryan Hoke, Mississippi State University sophomore professional meteorology major, turned a childhood obsession with thunderstorms into a career in weather forecasting.

Hoke's accomplishments include an interview on The Weather Channel, feature weather forecasts on WAVE-TV in Louisville, Ky., and WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tenn., a job as a tour guide for Storm Chasing Adventure Tours and a full scholarship from MSU."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9/21 - 5pm - MSU Weather Forecast Video

It doesn't take me to tell you that it's hot out there around North Mississippi. Readings in the upper 90's were quite common across the Golden Triangle this afternoon as high pressure kept the cloud cover and precipitation away. We'll see that heat continue, but with some moderation over the next few days and a slight increase in humidity. A frontal boundary will approach the region by the weekend, so we could have a shot at some rain then. Check out the video below:

Monday, September 20, 2010

9/20 - 11am - First Weekend at WBBJ

Three and a half years ago I began producing short weather forecast videos for my new Louisville, KY weather website. Two days ago, I began my first job as a weather forecaster at WBBJ ABC 7 in Jackson, TN. I'm still in shock that it only took three and a half years to get where I am now. Needless to say, I'm the youngest on-air talent at WBBJ right now at 19 years old. I can't believe this is happening!

My first show took place on Saturday at around 10:30pm. There was a football game on ABC that ran late, so our 10pm show was delayed. It was a decent first broadcast and I'm happy that I was able to pull it off! You can watch some of that broadcast below:

On Sunday at 5:30pm, I went on for my second broadcast at ABC 7. This newscast was better than the first because I grew accustomed to the logistics of the studio and the weather graphics system. Unfortunately I could not record this newscast like I did for the Saturday show, but luckily WBBJ posted a short clip of the weather segment on their website. You can view that clip below:

I'll be back next weekend to fill-in for more newscasts at WBBJ before I start my normal Saturday morning shift at the station on October 2nd. I want to thank all the behind-the-scenes and on-air staff at WBBJ for welcoming me so warmly and helping me out during this first weekend. The people at this station have to be some of the nicest in the business and I'm so lucky that I get to start my career with them. As always, the Mississippi State meteorology department needs to be acknowledged for their efforts in helping me become a better weather forecaster and a better broadcaster. They're role in helping me get this job has been crucial in so many ways. I can't say enough that MSU is the absolute best broadcast meteorology school in the Southeast. This isn't just because the department produces some great meteorologists, but because they are willing and able to help students get a foothold in the industry after (and sometimes before!) graduation. I'm looking forward to my next two and a half years at MSU as I continue to learn and grow in the field of meteorology.

As if the WBBJ ABC 7 job wasn't enough, I should have some more "big news" by the end of the week. Lots of great stuff going on! I'll be back on Tuesday with my next MSU CampusConnect forecast here on the blog.

Friday, September 17, 2010

9/17 - 8pm - Super Weather Weekend!

Today was certainly fun and informative as I attended the broadcast workshop portion of the Southeast Severe Storms Symposium here at MSU. TV meteorologists James Spann (ABC 33/40 - Birmingham, AL), Mary Wasson (WTVQ - Lexington, KY), and others spoke about a range of issues pertaining to broadcast meteorology and television news. They all had great advice for the up and coming meteorology students in the audience, including yours truly. Tomorrow is the operational workshop of the symposium, which will include presentations on various weather phenomena from National Weather Service meteorologists and professors from MSU. I'll be chairing (emceeing) the symposium for a couple hours tomorrow, so it should be a lot of fun!

As if that weren't enough for tomorrow... Right after I finish chairing the symposium tomorrow afternoon, I get to jump in my car and head to Jackson, TN to begin my broadcast meteorology career at WBBJ ABC 7. My very first show will air tomorrow at 10pm CDT and I'm very, very excited to say the least. I understand that most of my blog viewers do not live close enough to Jackson to see that station, so I hope to have some video from that newscast posted here late tomorrow night or early Sunday morning. I'll also be doing the 5:30pm Sunday newscast, so I'll have a second attempt at getting some video if it doesn't work tomorrow. I do want to mention that WBBJ is available on cable from Murray, KY to Corinth, MS, so if you live within a stone's throw of West Tennessee, you may want to check your channel listings. This is not the start of my normal shift, which will start on October 2nd at 6am. I'm filling in for the weekends leading up to the premiere of the new Saturday morning show on WBBJ to get acquainted with my new position and to get introduced to the viewers. This is going to be a great experience and I know that my years of practice and preparation will pay off tomorrow.

Now that we've addressed this weekend's activities, let's talk weather! Hurricane Igor is on track towards Bermuda and is currently a Category 2 storm with winds of 105mph. Hurricane Julia is positioned to the east of Igor and is barely maintaining hurricane status at the moment. Both storms are not expected to hit the US, but Bermuda is likely to see some problems from Igor. Back closer to home, things are pretty quiet weather-wise. A cold front passed through Mississippi early this morning and brought northerly winds to the area, meaning we'll see humidity levels drop over the next couple days as that drier air filters into the region. It will likely get hot and steamy again by the end of the weekend in North Mississippi as southerly winds return. Aside from that, the rest of the week looks dry and hot as high pressure remains in control. I wouldn't expect any rain until at least next weekend, and even then it doesn't look terribly promising.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

9/14 - 5pm - MSU Weather Forecast Video

Things are pretty stable around here in Mississippi, but we'll see a southward wind shift tomorrow as high pressure off the east coast begins to influence out weather. This will increase humidity values from Wednesday through Friday and give us some cloud cover as well. By Friday a new high pressure center will form to the northwest of the region and begin to funnel northerly air into the area that should decrease humidity and clouds for the weekend. View the entire forecast in the video below:

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/10 - 3:30pm - Here Comes a Cold Front! / WBBJ-TV

It may have been hot and muggy, but the weather for yesterday's MSU/Auburn game was perfect by most counts. It became clear very early in the day that the small chance of rain in the forecast for the game was gone, which was very good news considering the crazy rainfall we had on Wednesday that was on everybody's mind. Showers and storms have developed to our north this afternoon where a warm front is pulling eastward and we may see some of those develop down here in Starkville as the afternoon progresses. Rain chances will be higher tomorrow compared to today with the approach of a cold front that should pass through on Sunday. I think the best chance for rain tomorrow will happen in the late afternoon hours as the heating of the day coupled with the lift from the approaching front come together over North Mississippi. Temperatures next week should only hit around 90 degrees with lower 60's for lows due to the decreased humidity behind this cold front.

I'm off to Jackson, TN for the weekend to begin training and getting ready for my new job at WBBJ-TV ABC 7. It's exciting to be starting my first TV job soon and I should hopefully be on the air for some introductory broadcasts within the next few weeks. My Saturday morning shift officially starts on October 2nd and I'll try to post videos of my broadcasts on the blog if possible. Should be fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/7 - 4pm - MSU Forecast Video

We're in the middle of a pretty average week weather-wise here in Mississippi. Temperatures will remain in the mid 90's with high humidity and an almost daily chance for afternoon thunderstorms. Check out the video below:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

9/4 - 10am - Hello from Louisville!

I'm back home in Louisville for the Labor Day weekend, which is sure to be filled with sunny skies, good food, and college football. The same cold front that came through North Mississippi yesterday came through here the day before, meaning temperatures will stay in the 70's here today with low dewpoints around the region. That front is brought pleasant weather to most of the Southeast, so go out there and enjoy it this weekend!

Hurricane Earl has now weakened into a tropical storm and is moving off toward Nova Scotia. It did not hit Cape Cod as a hurricane, which was very good news for the folks up there. There was some isolated flooding and numerous power outages, but that's about the extent of the damage in New England. North Carolina took a heavier blow from Earl, but the damage was not as significant as once feared. We turn our attention now to the remnant low of once Tropical Storm Gaston. This area of disturbed weather (marked by the red 70% circle in the NHC map) could once redevelop and turn into a storm that could affect the Caribbean and Gulf. We'll keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31 - 6pm - MSU Video Forecast

Our weather at MSU this week is forecast to be fairly calm, with highs in the 90's and a chance of rain on Friday. After a cold front passes by on Friday we should be left with slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Hurricane Earl is making headlines as it nears the North Carolina coast... Hurricane Watches have just been issued for that area. Check out the video below:

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30 - 7:45pm - Tropics Becoming Very Active / Calm in MS

The tropics have so-called "roared to life" over the past few days as Danielle, Earl, and Fiona have formed in the Atlantic. Danielle is no longer a hurricane and still poses no threat to land, so you can write that storm off. Hurricane Earl is the one making headlines as a Category 4 storm right now with sustained winds of 135mph. There's a chance this storm could become an ominous Category 5 storm over the next 24 hours as it nears the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There's much concern over Earl's effects on the East Coast, especially because the projected path of the storm (seen on left) has shifted closer and closer to the Outer Banks and much of New England over the past couple of days. The consensus among the various computer models (the 'spaghetti plot' to the right) is that Earl's center will stay off-shore, but it's too early to be sure about that because of the model inaccuracies and last-minute corrections that come with any storm. Should Earl track further west than anticipated, the East Coast will have quite a mess to contend with later this week. Rip currents and high waves from the storm passing offshore will be bad enough. A land falling Earl would really take things to the next level. Tropical Storm Fiona has also formed today, but it's way too early to tell if that storm will curve out to sea, hit the East Coast, or travel into the Gulf of Mexico.

Here in Mississippi we've had on and off rain over the past couple of days, but nothing all too heavy. As our air dries out from moist easterly flow from the Atlantic we've had all week, we should see a gradual decrease in clouds over the next couple days with dew points falling below 70 degrees. Our next chance of rain will happen on Friday as another cold front approaches and passes through North Mississippi. Rain chances won't be too high as the front will not have much moisture to work with as aforementioned. Don't forget to check back here tomorrow evening for my weekly MSU video weathercast!