Wednesday, July 28, 2010

7/28 - 5:15pm - Storms Today and Tomorrow

A cool front that's dropping down from Indiana is kicking up quite a few storms around Kentuckiana today. Here are a couple shots I took of an updraft base on a storm near Fisherville, KY (East Louisville) that had visual lift on it (click images for larger view):

We're seeing more storm formation in and around Louisville right now and we'll continue to see that tomorrow afternoon as well. Some of these storms could put down some heavy rain and produce gusty winds, so stay alert out there! After the cool front plows through Louisville tomorrow evening, the probability for storms should diminish a bit. Look for some very hot temperatures next week!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

7/25 - 12pm - More Heat and Scattered Storms

After a couple days of 96 degree weather in Louisville, we're on-track for a cool-down today. How much of a cool-down? Try four degrees. Yep, it's going to be another hot one today. With dew points in the lower 70's today, the heat and humidity will combine to produce heat index values at or above 100. No Heat Advisory will be issued, but it'll still be hot enough to cause problems if you're not hydrated. The other feature of our weather today will be the chance for some showers and thunderstorms around the region. A cool front that's situated just north of the Ohio River will provide a trigger for these scattered storms today, which should begin to form this afternoon. We're just outside of a Slight Risk area for severe weather from the SPC, but I think a few storms around the region could get strong due to increased atmospheric instability and a light touch of shear. A small daily chance for storms will exist through the rest of the week with temperatures hanging around in the lower 90's.

We may think the heat is bad here in Kentuckiana, but there's nothing like a warm July afternoon in Death Valley, California. Look at the forecast for that area today from the National Weather Service: 
Today: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 121. Calm wind becoming south between 4 and 7 mph.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

7/22 - 10pm - Could We Get Another Shot at 100 Degrees?

100 degrees might not be that far off as high pressure has settled into the eastern half of the country. As it draws up warm, moist air from the south over the next couple days, temperatures and heat index values will skyrocket. The National Weather Service in Louisville has issued a Heat Advisory from noon to 7pm for both tomorrow and Saturday in lieu of the heat and humidity. Temperatures both tomorrow and Saturday could get very close to 100 degrees and even hit it in areas influenced by the urban heat island effect (like downtown Louisville and the larger suburbs). As dew points get into the lower to mid 70's, heat index values will surge past 100 or even 105 over the next couple days. In other words, be careful and stay hydrated if you have to go outside anytime soon!

Relief will come in the form of a front on Sunday, which should bring us a chance for thunderstorms until Monday morning. Temperatures will stay in the lower 90's after that with a small daily chance of rain through the remainder of the workweek.

Tropical Storm Bonnie (formerly Tropical Depression Three) has formed off the coast of Florida and is expected to hit the South Florida Coast before heading out to the Gulf of Mexico. It should remain a tropical storm until it makes landfall somewhere near Louisiana according to both the National Hurricane Center and the spaghetti chart (a compilation of various computer model forecast tracks - see right image). We'll have to keep a close eye on any intensification of this storm, especially when it exits the Florida Peninsula and heads into the Gulf.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

7/18 - 3:45pm - Slight Risk for Severe Weather This Evening

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT Risk for severe weather this evening, with the main threat to the Louisville area being high winds. A squall line of storms has been developing this afternoon to our west and should be coming through here sometime after 4:15pm. An embedded cell within this line near English, Indiana has reached severe limits and I do expect this line to strengthen given the highly unstable environment and moisture available in the region. Once this line comes through, we may see a few scattered storms develop tonight due to enhancement by the low-level jet.

Since a cold front will be stalling out south of Indianapolis tomorrow, we'll see another good storm chance on Monday and Tuesday. The Storm Prediction Center has placed us under a 15% SLIGHT Risk for severe storms again tomorrow, with the main risk being high wind again. After another 90-degree day on Monday, temperatures will bump into the mid 90's for the remainder of the week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7/16 - 12am - More Heat and Rain on the Way!

We topped out at 95 degrees today in Louisville, which was two degrees short of being the hottest day of the year so far. Higher dew points also stayed to our west today as well, so things were not as bad as they could have been. We've had 31 days this year with 90 degree temperatures or higher in town, and I'm sure we'll be able to break 40. Compare that with 13 last year.

A cold front sitting just north of the Ohio River is firing off some strong storms just to our west and we'll likely see some rain from those tonight as they push south. This front will stall out in Southern Kentucky and generate more rain chances for us on Friday and Saturday before things taper off on Sunday. Another front will bring daily rain chances on Monday and Tuesday, but high pressure will regain control for the rest of the week and dry things out. Temperatures will remain consistently in the low to mid 90's throughout the next week.

Oil has finally stopped leaking from BP's Deepwater Horizon rig accident site after a new containment cap was placed on it this afternoon. This marks a possible end to the 85 days of leakage that has caused mass devastation along the Gulf Coast and called into question the regulatory practices in place for the industry. There's still no guarantee that the cap will hold and it will be a "wait and see" game for many in Gulf Coast region. To read an article on the leak stoppage, click here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

7/12 - 9pm - So Where Did All That Rain Go? / 100 Degrees

We had quite a soaking over the weekend in most places around Louisville, but I was really expecting today to be the bigger event. As the term "chance" implies, some forecasts succeed while others fail. A few scattered storms formed last night in Western Indiana that were expected to become more widespread and hit Kentuckiana this morning, but they simply couldn't get organized. The rain that formed this afternoon (as you can see in the left radar image) stayed to our south, but storms that are developing in Missouri and West Kentucky right now may have enough juice to make it here early tomorrow morning. We definitely can't say that moisture will be a limiting factor in the evolution of these storms as dew points right now in Louisville are in the lower 70's. That's pretty humid! We'll see another rain chance on Tuesday before a cool front passes through on Wednesday. You would think that temperatures would decrease after the passage of a cool front, but hot air will rapidly build back into the area after it goes through. Temperatures will soar into the middle and upper 90's for Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

We may have had some rain this weekend, but overall the ground is still pretty dry in Louisville. Soil moisture levels have quite an influence on the air temperature, but they're especially crucial when you're talking about the heat of summer. If we don't see any rain tonight and tomorrow, I have a feeling that 100 degrees won't be too far from our grasp. A location or two, most likely in an area with lots of concrete, could get within a degree of 100 on Thursday. Next week has more potential in my mind because there is no appreciable rain in the computer models for the entire week and high pressure to our east will cause hot air from the south to flow into our neck of the woods. Should be interesting to see how it develops!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

7/10 - 11:30am - More Rain on the Way!

After more than a week with no rain here in Louisville, Thursday and Friday really turned things around. We measured .71" of rain at my house on Thursday and Friday combined. That may be a higher number than most areas in town because we were caught under a small isolated storm on Thursday that only covered the Southeast portion of the county (see right image). Now that the cold front has passed, we're enjoying slightly cooler temperatures with lower humidity. We should get up to 90 today and a couple degrees warmer than that tomorrow.

Our next chance for rain comes on Monday as another approaching cold front fires off some showers and thunderstorms. That chance will last throughout the day on Tuesday before tapering off on Wednesday. We could get nearly two inches of rain out of this front as it comes through according to the HPC, so get those umbrellas ready!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

7/7 - 10:30am - WAVE-TV Storm Chasing Video / Heat Continues

WAVE 3 News aired a segment last night about Kevin Harned's storm chasing trip with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. The piece used some of my and another tour driver's tornado video to tell the story of our once-in-a-lifetime tornado intercept near Campo, Colorado on May 31st. View the news segment below:

This video is available in 720p or 1080p high definition

The heat continues here in Louisville, but a break from it is on the way. We could get very close to 100 degrees in the city today, with a repeat of that performance tomorrow. Dew points won't be extremely high, so heat index values will stay near or at 100. An approaching cold front will give us a good chance for rain on Friday, the first appreciable shot at rain in well over a week. After the passage of that front on Saturday, we'll see temperatures drop to around 90 for highs next week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7/6 - 3pm - Storm Chasing Video on WAVE 3 News Tonight!

Tonight at 11pm on WAVE 3 News, meteorologist Kevin Harned will be showing a piece on his storm chasing trip with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. You'll recall that Kevin and I saw a large, photogenic tornado in Colorado while we were out there, so you won't want to miss tonight's newscast. My video along with some from one of our other drivers on the tour will be shown during the piece. Here's an ad that WAVE has been airing over the past few days for tonight's segment:

The tropics have been hinting at some development for the past couple of days, but no organized storms have come to fruition out of the disturbed weather. One area of concern near the Yucatan Peninsula has a 30% risk for becoming an organized storm, but that's the only one for now.

Temperatures in the Northeast are extremely hot today. High pressure that has settled over the area is allowing things to really heat up. Temperatures near Philadelphia are around 100 degrees right now and numerous heat advisories and excessive heat warnings are in place.

Around here in Louisville it's still very dry! We haven't seen any rain in over a week, but an area of low pressure passing through on Friday will finally provide a good chance for some as the weekend begins. After seeing temperatures in the upper 90's tomorrow and Thursday, the front associated with the low coming through on Friday should take temperatures down to around 90 for the weekend. Stay cool!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

7/3 - 11pm - Nice Weather for the 4th / Storm Chasing on WAVE 3

As high pressure persists around the Ohio Valley, we'll be seeing wonderful July 4th weather. Temperatures will top out around 92 tomorrow in Louisville with dew points in the mid 60's. That translates to a warm day without the oppressive humidity we saw last week. Most high-resolution computer models are placing a chance for some isolated rain showers in here tomorrow afternoon, but I don't think the probability is high enough to warrant any change in plans for Independence Day activities. Be sure to use sunscreen tomorrow if you participate in any outdoor festivities as the UV index will be high.

On Tuesday at 11pm, WAVE 3 will be airing a segment about Kevin Harned's June storm chase in the Great Plains with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours.You won't want to miss it if you're in the Louisville area because some of my tornado video from Campo, Colorado will air and you may even catch a few glimpses of an interview with me that WAVE recorded in May. It was awesome to storm chase for a month out in the Plains, and wrapping up my trip by seeing a picturesque tornado with Kevin was just the icing on the cake.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

7/1 - 5pm - Hurricane Alex Landfall / Where's the Humidity?

Hurricane Alex made landfall in Mexico last night as a category 2 storm, which was the strongest June hurricane since 1966. causing widespread damage and flooding in areas around Monterrey. Rivers that had dried up in the area became active yesterday, sweeping away cars and unfortunately people. Two have died in that area after 16 inches of rain fell from the storm, which is now a weakening tropical storm. On the US side of the border, Alex caused mainly flooding issues for areas in Texas near Brownsville. A tornado watch is in effect for South Texas until 8pm CDT as the storm weakens and moves west. Hit the links below to read more about Alex's impact on Mexico and Texas.
[Yahoo! News / KRGV-TV]

Aside from a hurricane, the other weather story of note is the lack of humidity around the Ohio Valley. In Louisville right now, the dew point is a very comfortable 49 degrees with a temperature at 82. Remember that we had dew points in the upper 60's and 70's last week, which is oppressively humid. When will the typical July heat and humidity return? It looks like July 4th is when we'll see temperatures in the 90's again with rising dew points as an area of high pressure moves to the east of us (see image on right), which will allow humid air from areas near the Gulf of Mexico to surge northward. We won't see any rain here this week as high pressure remains the dominant factor in our weather. It's pretty dry around here, so we definitely need a good soaking. A cold front will attempt to make its way through the area this time next week, so I'd say that would be our next chance of rain in Louisville.