Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Possible Wind Damage Today

A cold front to our NW brought a round of thunderstorms for many in central Kentucky last night.  This was the "appetizer" if you will.  Today, the main course will be served as the front pushes into the state.

The sun is now shining in the Bluegrass of Kentucky as of 9:30EDT and instability is on the way up.  Outflow boundaries from last night's storms have left areas to generate new storms upon.  Moisture is there and forcing will be there later today as the front approaches.  This should set the stage for another round of storms that will be more widespread across Kentucky this evening.

The tornado threat will be higher to our NE across parts of PA but it will still be non-zero across KY as well.  The main threat though is wind damage here and SPC has included most of KY in the high-end Slight Risk for wind damage today.

Stay weather aware!




-Shawn

Monday, June 2, 2014

Derecho? Maybe! Severe Weather Outbreak Possible

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Summer!  June 1st was not only the beginning of hurricane season but also the beginning of meteorological Summer!

It's been a while since I made time for a blog post but I think it's time to discuss what's going on in the world of Kentucky weather.  First of all, how about this humidity?!  Crazy isn't it?  Typically we get into the middle part of Summer before it really gets sticky.  This year however we've already gone straight to 70°F dewpoint temps before May even came to an end.  I admit, I did not expect that after the Winter we just came from.  My Spring outlook worked out pretty good in Kentucky overall though with a calm severe weather season that picked up a little as time moved forward.  But now we're staring straight at Summer and the weather is becoming very active.

For this upcoming week what we've got to keep an eye on is a possible outbreak of severe weather that could stretch from South Dakota all the way into the Appalachian mountains by week's end.  The models are indicating this to occur as a large MCS (mesoscale convective system) that would race eastward and leave large amounts of damage in it's wake, possibly even as a Derecho.  However, the exact storm mode is not known just yet.  Here's how the WRF model sees things as of the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday:



Even though I'm not sure of what mode this storm activity will take on, I am pretty confident in saying that there will be an outbreak of storms across the nation's midsection this week and it will likely end up leaving quite a bit of damage behind.  Kentucky may get in on this action Wednesday, as the MCS strikes us from the northwest.  Here is the current convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center valid on Wednesday the 4th of June:



So keep in mind if you will be outdoors this week that severe weather is a good possibility and plan accordingly.  As of right now, I believe that wind damage will be widespread and will be the main threat, especially in areas to our northwest.  However, tornadoes and some hail will also be possible.  As always, stay alert and keep the NOAA weather radios on.  You can follow me on Twitter @WXinKY



-Shawn

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The lack of severe weather has been pretty astonishing this Spring.  But it wasn’t totally unexpected.  And though we did have one outbreak with fatalities last week, people are thankful that it hasn’t been a typical season.

 

We do have a slow moving system headed toward the Ohio Valley this weekend that will usher in a pattern change.  Say bye bye to the 80s for a while as thunderstorms and rain become common Friday-Tuesday, followed by cooler weather for next week.

 

Right now it appears that the parent low will scoot off into Canada and take the dynamics with it, so severe weather looks unlikely in Kentucky this weekend.  Plenty of rain for the flowers and trees coming up though.

 

I know I haven’t written much lately, but there hasn’t really been much to write about!  The weather this entire year has been benign of t-storms so far.  Business may still pick up later in May and into early Summer.

 

Take Care,

 

Shawn

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Severe is Here!

Update (7:20EDT 3-April-14):

Not many changes from SPC in the new outlooks.  Parts of AR, MO, IL, TN, and KY are going to get hit pretty hard by thunderstorms throughout the day today and into late tonight.  Significant tornadoes (EF-2 or greater) are possible in this area and the wind damage outlook shows a 45% chance of damaging winds.   This includes the Land Between the Lakes national park in western Kentucky.  If you are in this area keep a close eye to the weather and have a plan ready.



Some of this activity might stay together long enough tonight to affect central Kentucky.  It should be in a slightly weakening phase by then, however.

The weekend is still looking pleasant with dry conditions and temperatures in the 50s.

-Shawn



Update (13:50EDT 2-April-14):

SPC just released a new outlook for Thursday and there are no changes to it from previous thinking.

Thunderstorms will be scattered about the area tomorrow and some may be strong.  Tomorrow night the cold front will approach and a squall line will move through late with wind damage and hail possible.  There is a low end threat of tornadoes in central Kentucky also.

Basically, you need to keep an eye to the sky from now until Friday noon when this mess should all begin to move out of the area.

-Shawn

Previous discussion:

I expect April as a whole to be somewhat mild as far as severe weather is concerned compared to average.  But that doesn't mean we won't see ANY severe weather.  A potent low and a stalled warm front in the Ohio Valley will bring repeated thunderstorm episodes to Kentucky from now through Friday.

One such round of storms could be a little on the frisky side as it knocks on our door tomorrow afternoon.



We'll have to keep a close eye on the weather tomorrow.  Here is the latest convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center:



You'll notice that the brunt of this activity is expected to stay to the west and south of Lexington, KY.  Inside the hatched area is where the greatest threat will be for significant damage from thunderstorms.  Currently, the Bluegrass is in a Slight Risk of severe weather tomorrow.  This outlook will be updated this afternoon and I will post the latest map when it becomes available.

Now is the time to review your preparedness plans and get ready for the possibility of damaging weather conditions Thursday and early Friday.



-Shawn

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring 2014 Outlook for Kentucky

Wow.  What a Winter.  (I’m going to continue to capitalize the names of the seasons because that’s how my grade school teachers taught my generation to do it, although apparently that’s not common practice now days according to the young journalists.)  We exceeded our average snowfall for the season, our average school snow days for the season, and broke many records for cold temperatures.  Winter 2013-2014 will go down as one of the worst winters in recorded history for Kentucky.

 

We’re finally to that time of year that people love.  The trees are budding, the grass is becoming green again, and the sun’s angle of incidence is growing providing us with more daylight than darkness now.  Spring is on the horizon.  And the question is being asked: what does Spring 2014 have in store for Kentucky?

 

To begin, let’s think about the last 12 months (or perhaps a little longer) of weather here.  The eastern U.S. has been dominated by a trof which means the western U.S. has been in a ridge.  As a result, the average of our weather over the past year to year and a half has been cooler and wetter than average in the Ohio Valley.  This is why we had a very calm severe weather season last Spring.  This is why we totally avoided drought last Summer.  And it’s why the Winter we’re coming out of has been harsh.  Going into Spring 2014 there is no sign of this overall pattern across North America easing up.  The official forecast from the Climate Prediction Center shows this well.

 

 

I agree with their assessment.  I think April will be a relatively cool month as a whole, particularly in the first part of the month.  I believe we will see warm temperatures at times toward the latter part of the month but as a whole the month will end below average for temperature.  As far as precipitation, we should end up about average for April.  I believe that the severe weather season will once again be very calm in April as it has been in March due to the influx of cold air dominating the region.  So, cool and wet will be the rule.

 

Looking down the road into May and June I think business will pick up in terms of thunderstorms.  As the sun’s angle draws near the Tropic of Capricorn and the hot air across the Gulf of Mexico finally spreads northward and tries to displace the stubborn cold trof in the eastern U.S., we should see an uptick in severe thunderstorm reports.  Temperatures and precipitation during the latter half of Spring will be about average in my opinion.  So seasonably warm and seasonably wet will be the rule.  Here is the CPC outlook for the period April-June as a whole:

 

Temps

 

Precipitation

 

 

The El Nino/Southern Oscillation that can drive our weather patterns is still running neutral and is forecast to remain this way generally throughout the Spring.  Therefore I don’t feel it will really have much influence.  Eventually as we head into Summer I believe this dominating trof in the east and ridge in the west pattern will start to dissolve and some above average readings may return.  But for the next 3 months I expect us to remain cold early on and gradually work toward normal as far as temperatures go with frequent weather systems bringing rain and storms to the area…not entirely different from last year.  This should cause planting season to be delayed some for agricultural interests, but will also be good for the purposes of storing up groundwater for Summer.

 

Are we done with snow now?  Time will tell…but in past years with cold Winters we have seen a few cold snaps in April and even May and occasionally we do get snow in both months.  If it happens it’ll be very brief.  Winter 1989-1990 featured some of the coldest weather we have ever seen and if you look at Spring 1990 you will find cold snaps lasting into June!  In fact, early June 1990 had at least one morning with near frost conditions!  For those wanting nice weather…hang in there. We are headed that way…just more slowly this year than usual.

 

 

Shawn