Fall Cool Down is Here

Currently: Ridging has been persistent over the eastern portion of the contiguous US for quite some time now with little variations in the jet stream pattern as a whole. As a result, heat and high humidity have been seemingly relentless over the past several weeks across the Ohio Valley. However, this trend is starting to break down, as we would typically expect this time of year as we now have more nighttime than daytime hours in the Northern Hemisphere. Resultantly, the thermal distribution begins to shift southward towards the equator, and the jet stream responds accordingly with a similar shift south with more prominent Rossby wave activity.

Nonetheless, lets look at our setup for this upcoming week. These are images of good news for us as relief from the persistent heat is arriving:

500 hPa wind speeds and isoheights indicate ridge over Ohio Valley at 00 Z Monday

500 hPa wind speeds and isoheights indicate a ridge over Ohio Valley at 00 Z Monday

NAMUS_sfc_thetae_012

Surface Theta-E and 10 m wind vectors show clear boundary between warm/humid airmass and cooler/dryer airmass to NW at 00 Z Monday

Monday: With approaching cold front to the NW late Sunday, it is expected to arrive in the overnight hours and morning commute time period of Monday the 26th. This is particularly good news as daytime highs will dip into the low 70’s for Bowling Green and the surrounding region, rather than the lower 90’s as we’ve been experiencing lately. Light rain is possible with the passage of the front as well but should taper off throughout the day.

Trough axis and NWerly winds at 500 hPa will usher in relief for days to come. Image Valid for 00 Z Tuseday.

Trough axis and WNW winds at 500 hPa will usher in relief for days to come. Image valid for 00 Z Tuesday.

This week: Guidance suggests this cooler/dryer airmass will stick around for awhile with daily high temps expected to stay in the 70’s throughout the upcoming week. This is likely as it appears the upper-level low is expected to detach from the primary branch of the polar jet and allow for NW winds in the upper levels to dominate our stable and dryer weather pattern for the days to come.

In short, expect fair skies with highs in the low to mid 70’s for the week. Lows near 50 every night and similar dewpoints throughout the week in the low 50’s. Oh so nice! Seasonal fall weather is here and we all hope it stays for awhile!

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Gameday is Going To Be Hot!

Hey everyone, as the week nears the end, the upper level trend of dominate ridging is phasing out. Temperatures are expected to stay in the low 90s dipping to the mid 60s at night through Sunday. The high temperature for Bowling Green today was 90 degrees according to the Kentucky Mesonet.

500Mb Geopotential Height Shown to Visualize Ridging over Kentucky (College of DuPage)

500Mb Geopotential Heights Shown to Visualize Ridging over Kentucky (College of DuPage)

Forecast for Weekend:

Tonight: Expect Clear skies and a low around 65 degrees.

Saturday: Sunny and hot with the high temperature around 92 degrees.

Saturday Night: Clear skies low temperature about 64 degrees.

Sunday: Sunny and hot with the high temperature around 91 degrees.

Sunday Night: Clear skies with the low temperature around 63 degrees

Saturday is game day on the hill, enjoy the clear and warm weekend everyone and Let’s Go Hilltoppers!

-Andrew

 

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Warm Start to Fall Season

Good Afternoon! As the summer comes to an end today, and the change officially to the autumn season begins tomorrow Thursday, September 22, the warm temperatures continue. A dominating upper level ridge continues to stall over the Mid-South region and Ohio Valley allowing the continuation of high temperatures and clear skies.

 

Surface Pressure Map of United States (WPC)

Surface Pressure Map of United States (WPC)

Today’s maximum temperature was recorded at 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maximum Temperatures Recorded by Kentucky Mesonet Stations (KYMesonet.org)

Maximum Temperatures Recorded by Kentucky Mesonet Stations (KYMesonet.org)

Here is the outlook for the remainder of the work week:

Tonight: Clear skies low temperature around 64 degrees, light winds.

Thursday: Sunny and warm with a maximum temperature of 90 degrees.

Thursday Night: Clear with a low temperature around 65 degrees with light winds.

Friday: Sunny with a high temperature of 90 degrees.

Friday Night: Clear skies again with light variable winds, low temperature around 65 degrees.

Enjoy the warm sunny days everyone, I will be back Friday with an weekend outlook as the WKU Hilltoppers take on the Vanderbilt Commadors this Saturday at L.T. Smith Stadium!

-Andrew

 

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Warm Week Ahead

The warming trend continues today, as astronomical summer is nearing its end and astronomical fall starts on Thursday. An area of high pressure sits over the area, bounded by a stationary front along the eastern coast of the United States and a cold front to the northwest, trapping the high pressure in between. A sweltering start to the fall season with high temperatures continuing throughout the week of staying in the upper 80s to  low 90s degree range, low temperatures sitting around the low to mid 60s. Not much change in this pattern for the week. There will be a light, Northeasterly wind blowing through the area today in the afternoon hours continuing through the night.

12Z Forecast Map for September 20, 2016 (NOAA)

Forecast Map for September 20, 2016 (WPC)

 

Today: High temperature of 88 degrees with clear skies, this afternoon will have light winds moving in from the northeast, around 5 miles per hour.

Tonight: Low temperature of  61 degrees with clear skies.

I will be back tomorrow with a outlook for the rest of the week! Have a great Tuesday everyone!

-Andrew

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Friday Showers, Weekend Forecast

Over the course of my last two blog posts I kept discussing that this weekend was going to be very similar to last weekend with possible showers and  thunderstorms. It is not expected to be  wash out, but chances of rain are here for your Friday. In this final blog post for the week I am going to discuss your Friday forecast and the weekend outlook.

Current Forecast Map, WPC

Current Forecast Map, WPC

We have a center of low pressure around Canadian, Texas that is fueling a stationary front. That stationary front extends north into Southeast, North Dakota into another low pressure center pushing a cold front. This is the cold front that will bring rain chances to our area along with some flash flooding hazards to Missouri.

In Kentucky we have wind flow from the south west bringing warmer, more moist air to our region. This warm, moist air will combine with the heat we already will have as the day progresses. With that, comes instability. Nothing severe is expected, but this instability is what will spark a shower or thunderstorm. Popup showers are very possible throughout the weekend, so make your plans accordingly.

As of writing this the KY Mesonet has Bowling Green at 76 degrees. It is a very nice morning to start your weekend with. Today’s high is 90 degrees. Not much different from what we have seen this summer, I personally can’t wait for fall.

Your forecast for the weekend:

Today: High 90, Low 70, Showers possible in the afternoon.

Tomorrow: High 86, Low 71, Popup showers possible.

Sunday: High 82, Low 70, Popup showers possible.

I want to thank you for reading, I can’t wait to write more. I will be back in October with this same Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. If something I find interesting occurs I will write about it, weather is my passion and I’ll tell you, it stops for no one.

-Austin

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Gloomy, Mild, with Rain Chances This Weekend

Your Wednesday has been all but a sunny beautiful day. It has felt nice, but looking outside all you see are clouds.

Overcast all day so far with temperatures steadily rising to the mid 80s as of me writing this.

WPC National Forecast 9/14

WPC National Forecast 9/14

A stationary front to our west with a low pressure system is expected to bring shows and thunderstorms this weekend just as it did last weekend. Kentucky is currently sitting in a high pressure center just under a small ridge in the upper air flow. The low pressure system will impact KY Saturday.

Today through Friday Tropical Storm Julia will be causing flood problems for South Carolina. The storm is expected to move north from its current position on the border of SC and Georgia to East-central South Carolina.

Forecast for Bowling Green:

Tonight: Temperatures will drop to around 68 degrees. Cloudy.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy to cloudy, temperatures expected to rise with more sun exposure. 88 degrees.

My post Friday will include details about the weekend rain chances.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Cooler Conditions Throughout the Week

While this summer has been an unusual one in terms of how much rain we have received, we have also been the victims of another very hot summer. Temperatures consistently in the mid to upper 90s making life miserable for those who don’t like the extreme heat.

After this past weekend’s storms temperatures have dropped significantly to much of the content of everyone. I remember after walking outside right after the storm and it was very cool in comparison to the heat from earlier in the day. I checked the KY Mesonet and it had recorded a maximum temperature for Saturday at 92 degrees fahrenheit. Right after the storm had passed it was reading 72 degrees. A 20 degree drop in just a few hours.

Current Weather Map Highs and Lows from NOAA

Current Weather Map -NOAA

Mild temperatures are coming from the passing cold front that brought the weekend storms. With another cold front to our north west that will effect us closer this weekend, we are expierencing high pressure with clear skies all around.

If the low pressure area on the east side of the Rocky Mountains maintains its momentum and direction, it will have an effect on us later in the week. However, as of now we will just have to enjoy sunny skies and mild temperatures. Can fall get here soon enough?

Tonight: Expect a low around 65 degrees and clear night skies.

Tomorrow: Will be much like today was with a high in the mid to upper 80s with clear to partly cloudy skies.

As this is my first blog post I will have some improvements to make, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Austin Evans and I am a junior Meteorology student at Western Kentucky University. I have a minor in Broadcasting and hope to make weather my full time career. I will see you Wednesday!

 

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Weekend Outlook

The weather for this weekend will be influenced by a low pressure system, which will be moving to our north near the Great Lakes. This system will bring a cold front over our region, giving us chance at rain and thunderstorms throughout today and tomorrow. By Sunday morning, we should again be seeing sunny skies, which look to last until Tuesday. We will also see a drop in temperature as a result of this system, making way for cooler temperatures on Sunday and the early part of next week.

Surface Map

NWS Surface map issued for Sept 9th at 3:42 AM local time.

Today

As the low pressure system moves toward our north, there is a 20% chance of scattered showers today. However most of the rain looks to remain just north of us, affecting Indiana and Lexington. We will be experiencing winds between 5-10 mph from our Southwest, and the temperature today will continue the pattern of the past few days, with a high of 90 and low of 70.

Saturday

The cold front will begin moving across our region in late morning Saturday, bringing some slightly cooler temperatures and a 50% chance for rain and thunderstorms. Rain will remain a possibility throughout the day, with a 30% chance until around 8pm. Winds will continue from the Southwest at 6-11 mph, but gusts up to 20 mph are expected. The temperature will fall slightly into the upper 80’s as the high, and a low of a cooler high 50’s.

Sunday

The cold front will have moved out of our area by late Saturday night, making for great weather on Sunday. The skies will remain clear throughout the day, and we’ll finally get some relief from high temperatures. Winds will shift to be blowing from the Northeast at 3-7 mph. The high for Sunday will be at a comfortable 78 degrees, and a low in the mid 50’s.

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WKU Meteorology Program Expands

Over the past several months the Meteorology program at WKU has expanded technological capabilities through grant funding under the diligence of Dr. Josh Durkee and Dr. Eric Rappin. This award went to purchase computer systems, servers, and software upgrades which allowed for the installation of AWIPSII, a highly sophisticated atmospheric analysis and visualization software program created by Unidata. This software is used by the National Weather Service and functions on many different levels between simple surface observations, radar and satellite data, lightning data, and numerical weather prediction analysis. This will enable the WKU meteorology program to offer hands-on training and experience to student looking to enter a very competitive work force upon graduation.

chaos-logo-lightning

CHAOS Logo

The new platform is housed under the newly coined College Heights Atmospheric Observatory for Students, or CHAOS Meteorology Lab. As a result, its drawing more and more attention to the program, as well as from the National Weather Service in Louisville who is offering seminars to the program in order to gain better understanding to the software’s capabilities.

Over the spring semester, Lead Forecaster Mark Jarvis (NWS Louisville) gave a presentation on AWIPSII to several student within the program:

 

 

A full article courtesy of Dr. Durkee via Unidata’s website can be seen through link here.

An article by WKU News featuring the AWIPSII upgrade can be seen here.

In addition to this expansion it is noteworthy to mention that the meteorology programs freshman level attendance has nearly tripled over the past eight years. In response the higher demands within the program, logistical changes are being made to add another CHAOS lab to furnish more workstations to facilitate the higher number of students. Also, WKU’s Geographic Information Science (GIS) program is now planning to move next door in the EST building. This is a move to allow for the two programs to work more efficiently together and provide more GIS training to meteorology students. Currently the Fall  2016 semester has over 290 students utilizing the CHAOS Lab for their Meteorology 121 class.

In addition to all of the recent technological upgrades to the program, Dr. Josh Durkee has launched a WKU centralized weather information and forecasting service to serve the needs of campus activities for students, and more, called White Squirrel Weather (WSWX for short). This is an exciting new venture for the meteorology pr gram as students and faculty will combine the talents and capabilities of each individual to provide custom weather information for WKU’s needs which include NCAA sporting activites, as well as providing forecasts and consulting during severe weather and winter storms.

WSWX Logo

WSWX Logo

Currently WSWX is working to launch their new website and will be available in the next few weeks for anyone interested in seeing a WKU focused weather information platform, which includes on-site weather observation data at EST, and soon to be available at WKU’s Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium, with future stations also possible.

Follow along as CHAOS and White Squirrel Weather continues to expand, along with the program in general!  Social media is a quick way to stay updated and get involved!

  • Twitter:
    • @WKUweather (WSWX)
    • @wkuCHAOS (WKU Meteorology)
    • @wkustormteam (WKU Storm Team)
    • @WarrenCountyWX (WKU StormToppers)
    • @wkustormchase (Self explanatory)
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Cooler, Dryer Weather For Ohio Valley | Tropics Heat Up

Not surprisingly, changes in the weather are taking place this week across the country and Kentucky is in full participation. With the onset of September finally here, climatic changes usually start to show in our day-to-day weather and this is certainly the case. A persistent ridge of high pressure over much of the eastern portion of the United States is finally taking a few days off which will allow for cooler, dryer air to infiltrate the region from the north. This is just in time for WKU football as we host Rice on Thursday September 1st at 7:00 PM at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

Guidance suggests the changeover to a more comfortable air mass on Thursday as a positively tilted trough approaches from the Great Lakes region throughout the day. Below is the NAM depicting the trough and other important weather features (see Gulf of Mexico):

500 hPa map valid for Thursday at 7:00 PM.

500 hPa map valid for Thursday at 7:00 PM.

It appears the full effects of the cold front won’t be felt until later into the afternoon hours when noticeably dryer air moves into western KY. The passage of the front is not expected to bring rainfall however, WPC forecasts also support this notion:

WPC QPF forecast

WPC QPF forecast valid thru 00 UTC Friday 2 September

However, as we start to feel some relief from the hot and humid conditions that have been the apparent theme for summer weather in the Ohio Valley, tropical weather activity across the Atlantic basin is starting to increase:

two_atl_2d0

  • As seen above, the NHC is currently tracking and issuing Atlantic advisories for:
  1. Tropical Depression 8
  2. Tropical Storm Hermine
  3. Hurricane Gaston

Currently, Tropical Storm Hermine is situated in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to continue a period of strengthening before making landfall somewhere in the Florida panhandle. Primary threats from the system, and most tropical storms alike, are heavy rain producing thunderstorms and storm surge.

This tropical system will need to be watched in the coming days as it moves northeastward along the Atlantic coast and interacts with the same trough affecting our weather here in KY. Below is the latest NHC forecast track:

NHC forecast cone for Tropical Storm Hermine

NHC forecast cone for Tropical Storm Hermine

Any significant interaction with the upper-level trough along the east coast would mean a heavy rainfall threat from Georgia to Massachusetts. The Weather Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center will continue to track the developing system in the coming days.

In the mean time, more comfortable weather conditions for us here in Bowling Green and the surrounding areas will extend throughout the weekend with no noteworthy chances of precipitation to boot. Warmer weather and the return of higher dewpoints look to begin returning by the start of the next work week, but overall, the next several days look sunny and dry.

In other news, changes and new implementations are taking place within the WKU meteorology program and the Department of Geography and Geology. I’ll discuss these topics on Friday!

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