A Much Deserved Break From the Heat!

Good morning everyone!

Sunday morning started of a wet one with temperatures in the low 70s. Not much will change for the next 3 days as a cold front associated with a cut off low makes its way through the area Sunday. Temperatures will fall to the mid and upper 70s during the day, and will fall to the upper 50s and lower 60s. Conditions will remain wet until towards Sunday night where it will become cloudy. The following two days should see skies partially cloudy.

Based on the GFS dewpoint values will begin to fall today and continue dropping through Wednesday morning. You should feel much more comfortable through the first half of this week!

GFS 850mb dewpoints Sunday-Wed

Relative humidity levels will also drop through this week so the air will feel drier unfortunately not by much though.

GFS Relative Humidity Sunday-Thursday

To wrap things up:

Sunday temperatures will hit a high of 76 and a low of 61. Precipitation will continue through Sunday afternoon where it will start to dry off.

Monday temperatures will reach a high of 77 with a low of 60. Skies will will partly cloudy during the day and cloudy at night.

Tuesday we’ll see a high of 78 and a low of 63. Skies will continue to be partly cloudy during the day and cloudy at night.

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Wet Saturday?

Our Saturday is off to a cloudy start due to Gordon’s remnants passing on mainly through the Midwest. But the questions I’m here to answer today are: Will it rain during the Cage the Elephant concert? Will it rain during WKU’s football game?

13Z IR Satellite (courtesy of College of DuPage)

Fortunately, the morning and early afternoon will be quiet yet cloudy, and that will be unlikely to change as we progress to concert time and ultimately, game time. Dew points still stand in the low 70’s, serving to continue the muggy condition within Central Kentucky and Central Tennessee.

09Z RAP Reflectivity (Source: College of DuPage)

Concert time and game time have a medium chance for showers for Saturday evening, so concertgoers should bring their finest ponchos to cage themselves in just in case the rain comes in. We are also looking at another chance for rain throughout the duration of WKU’s football game, so be prepared when it happens.

These same conditions persist as we end our weekend, but an incoming cold front will bring an end to the rainy conditions.

Saturday: Medium chance of afternoon and evening showers, High 88, Low: 74

Sunday: Medium chance of rain, High: 77,  Low: 60

Monday: Comfortable, nice and sunny, High: 73, Low: 63

 

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Wet Friday…Yuck!

Greetings Southern Kentucky!

September 7, 2018 is looking to be the start to a wet weekend. As remnants of Tropical Depression Gordon moves North-Easterly across the plains and a weak surface boundary sitting over southern Illinois and central Indiana. This adds up to a nice set up of convergence, giving Kentucky a chance to see pop up storms. The greater chance for the convergence to trigger pop up storms is southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. Whereas in Southern Kentucky will start with to isolated showers to scattered in the late afternoon hours.

Below is the 11Z HRRR at 2 p.m Central Daylight Time

8

http://weather.cod.edu/forecast/

As the HRRR indicates that the chance for pop up storms will be greater in the late afternoon. With a low chance to see isolated thunderstorms in the evening hours. The overnight hours looks to be quite, but can’t rule out a shower totally.

The temperatures looks to be similar  compared to early week. With the high around upper 80s   with high dew points in the low 70s. The rule of thumb says that when the dew points are in the 70s that it feels oppressive and you will probably feel awful, even if you have to be outside for just a short amount of time.

The 11Z HRRR is indicating dew points in the low 70s in central Kentucky.

6

http://weather.cod.edu/forecast/

Clouds will increase though out the day and with the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms the low is looking to be in the  mid 70s.

The current cloud cover is broken and will stay broken till the late afternoon to the evening hours where then it will switch to overcast.

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/mesoanalysis/new/viewsector.php?sector=19#

In summary:

Friday: Highs in the upper 80s with lows in the mid 70s. With increasing clouds and precipitation in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Saturday: Highs in the mid 80s with lows in the lower 70s. With a greater chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Sunday: Highs in the low 80s and lows being in the upper 60s. with chance of showers throughout the day and  will clear out sometime through the overnight.

The beginning of next week looks to be in the low 80s as a high and a small chance of  precipitation.

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A Soggy Next Few Days

Good Evening folks!

It is time to dust off your rain boots and umbrellas as rain chances come back into the picture over the next few days.

For the rest of this evening, scattered showers will persist for the next few hours. Otherwise, most of the region will be experiencing mostly cloudy skies with temperatures hovering in the lower 70’s.

Below: 21Z NAM Composite Reflectivity

The remnants of tropical storm Gordon will spread north into Missouri and Illinois heading into Friday. The first half of the day looks mostly dry with a few isolated showers around the region. Areas across the region that do experience sunshine will feel very soupy, dew point temperatures will hover in the low to mid 70’s.  As the moisture from the remnants of Gordon move closer to the area later in the afternoon, showers will be on the increase. High temperatures for your Friday will be around 85 degrees.

Below: Fri 2018-09-07 18Z Dew Point Temperatures

Saturday looks like it could be a soggy one as the remnants of Gordon pushes just north of the Ohio River Valley. Showers and thunderstorms become more likely as the day goes on with a lot of available moisture in the atmosphere to work with. This is a problem in the afternoon with Cage the Elephant concert and WKU’s home opener football game.

Below: Sat 2018-09-08 21Z Composite Reflectivity

With rain chances becoming more likely during the afternoon hours on Saturday, models are still not in agreement with the exact timing of the rain and how much rain to expect. Stay tuned for further updates.

Bowling Green forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies, low right around 70 degrees

Friday: Isolated showers in the morning, chances of rain increase in the afternoon, high temperature will be in the mid 80’s

Saturday: Shower and thunderstorm chances increase throughout the day, especially in the late afternoon and evening hours, high temperatures will be in the low 80’s

 

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First Major Hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Season

Good morning!

Another hot and humid day is on tap for parts of western Kentucky, with the possibility of scattered showers and storms as soon as early this afternoon.  With southerly flow into Bowling Green, expect temperatures to jump to the lower 90’s today.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids if you find yourself outside- with prolonged exposure or physical activity even on days such as today, your risk for heat exhaustion/stroke increases.

Below: 06Z NAM Temperatures

 

TROPICAL UPDATE:

Last night, Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border in the Gulf of Mexico as a 70 mph storm (4 mph short of hurricane status!).  It has since began to weaken greatly, and is expected to eventually decay to a remnant low.  While Gordon is weakening, it needs to continue to be monitored as it is forecast to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to parts of the south and midwest.

Below: 06Z GFS Precip Accumulation

The photo above of one run of the GFS (not a forecast!) shows a general idea of what we could see from the remnants of Gordon.  The track of this system will need to be watched closely, as it could potentially impact Saturday’s Cage the Elephant concert and WKU football game.

Below: Major Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic

Hurricane Florence is now the first major hurricane of the 2018 season in the Atlantic.  She is a powerful Category 3 hurricane with sustained wind speeds estimated at 125 mph.  As of this post, she is still closer to Africa than the U.S.- so model runs and forecasts that are out currently have to be taken with a grain of salt.  We will have a much better idea of any U.S. East Coast impacts in the coming days.

Below: Latest Model Guidance

 

With that being said, there are still a few things to take note of.  Hurricane Florence will move into warmer waters over the next few days, but encounter more shear.  Warmer waters aid tropical cyclone development, however wind shear does the exact opposite.  So far, Hurricane Florence has intensified rather quickly even with wind shear in place.  Also, latest guidance (as shown above) has actually started to trend more to the west, thus slightly increasing the chances of U.S. East Coast impacts.  However, as you may be able to tell, the variation among the model guidance is vast.  Since we are still so early in the game, it’s not time to freak out if you live/have interests on the East Coast.  However, ALL of the East Coast needs to monitor this storm CLOSELY- and have a hurricane plan in place.

A lot going on in the weather world this week- stay informed by following our blog and your local TV meteorologists as well as the National Weather Service.

Bowling Green:

Today: Scattered afternoon storms and showers, high of 91

Tonight: Partly cloudy skies, low of 74

Tomorrow: High of 90, scattered late afternoon showers

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Tues., September 4th

Good morning folks, a very similar day for Tuesday… like Monday, temperatures are feeling seasonably summer-like in the 90’s. Decent upper air rotation (clockwise) suggests a higher altitude of heights in the atmosphere to start back the work week. Mostly clear skies and a predominately southward wind induces dew points in the 70’s early before dawn. Watch for possibly hazy roads if your driving around that early!

Temperatures during the day are to be a bit warmer than yesterday. Maximum temperature flirting with the 90 degree mark and maybe beyond. Humidity keeps heat indices several degrees hotter making that “real-feel” temperature. Dew points in the upper 60’s will make conditions become uncomfortable at the peak of the day. It will be hot. It will be humid. Here’s some things to consider:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear loose fitted clothing
  • Eat breakfast and a well-nourished meal throughout the day
  • Protect those glands, wear sunscreen

 

A slight balance in the upper air keeps rain chances slim for Tuesday but some low clouds may become in tact for some spotty showers late afternoon. However, don’t fret, rain chances aren’t prevalent in today’s forecast but the approach of Hurricane Gordon could call for more relevant severe weather throughout the rest of the week.

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Labor Day 2018

All systems are a go for South Central Kentucky in terms of Labor Day plans. Bring out the burgers and hot dogs and lots of ice cold water because it will be a real heater today. Like a typical MLB player’s fastball, temperatures will be in the low 90s with dewpoints like a slow curveball in the low to mid 70s. That means hot and muggy all day long. If you don’t have a tailgating tent, it may be best to just move the party indoors to beat the heat.

NAM showing high pressure over most of the Eastern US (4pm CDT):

500mb heights and winds initialized 9/3 at 12z and valid Monday, Sept. 3rd, at 21z -Courtesy Pivotal Weather

 

Temperatures and winds from the NAM showing South-Southeast flow bringing in the heat (4pm CDT):

Temperature and winds initialized 9/3 at 12z and valid Monday, Sept. 3rd, at 21z -Courtesy Pivotal Weather

Dewpoints, as depicted by the NAM, will be oppressive for holiday plans (4pm CDT):

Dewpoints initialized 9/3 at 12z and valid Monday, Sept. 3rd, at 21z -Courtesy Pivotal Weather

As we move later into the week, conditions will remain hot and humid, with temperatures around 90 and DPs hovering near 70; however, a slight chance of rain is possible mid-week as recently named Tropical Storm Gordon makes its way northwest through the Gulf. While these chances are low for now, any chance for rain is a welcome possibility after so many hot days (7 of the last 9 days have been 90 or above). At the least, there will be an increase in cloud cover Wednesday and Thursday, but it will do little in the way of reducing temperatures. Nighttime temps will remain in the low 70s throughout most of the week.

To sum it up:

Today (Monday): Labor Day plans should include an indoor or at least a shaded area. If a pool is available, make good use of it. Use sunscreen, drink cold water, and relax on the day off. Highs in the low 90s with a very muggy feel to them.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Conditions will be identical to those we experience today.

Wednesday: Rain chances increase later in the day, but they will only be enjoyed by a select few. Otherwise, still hot and sticky.

Thursday and beyond: Cloud cover and rain chances further increasing, temperatures on a very slow decline closer to the weekend.

Enjoy the day off, and remember to drink plenty of water today and all week long (alcohol does not replenish the body)!

 

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WKU Storm Chase Day 12

We awoke in Colby, KS this morning and had a fairly quick FD as we were looking at a “hurry up and wait” kind of day/set up. The initial target was Woodward, OK. Several models were showing storms firing up in the TX panhandle to western Oklahoma behind some initial morning convection sweeping through Oklahoma. Like most other days on this trip, models show the storms initially discrete before congealing into a cluster in the 21z to 0z time frame. There are multiple sources of lift (outflow boundaries, low pressure) but with fairly weak upper level winds and shear. There is plenty of instability however, and we are fairly confident that we can get on a fairly structured storm today and hopefully witness some Panhandle magic.

Kook’s in Greensburg, KS

 

We stopped at Kooks deli in Greensburg, KS and had a delicious lunch, a storm chase tradition, and a little tornado history lesson. From there we finished our journey to Woodward and killed a few hours at a large park that we enjoyed very much last year waiting for initiation. It took a while but winds finally started to back around the surface low and thus we re-positioned southwest towards Canadian, TX. Sure enough, a tower started to go up and remained discrete for its entire lifespan and was moving into a really good environment!

Our storm initiating around Canadian, TX

 

We stayed on this storm for a good amount of time and were rewarded with some great mammatus, LP structure including a rapidly rotating updraft, and even an elevated funnel near Mobeetie, TX! The funnel was fairly long and was probably 12,000 feet up and was not associated with lowering but it was still quite a sight to watch it grow and die.

Standing underneath a rotating updraft on our LP storm

 

Elevated funnel on our Canadian, TX storm

 

 

Mammatus and the moon to end the day & trip

 

To cap off a great day and an excellent trip, we had a steak dinner at Big Vern’s Steakhouse in Shamrock, TX and even got to meet Big Vern himself! Overall we had a great time and really learned a lot on this trip, and considering the pattern we were given, we made some great lemonade. We would all like to sincerely thank Dr.Durkee, Dr.Dixon, and everyone back at WKU who support this trip and help make it happen. Until next year!

 

– Thomas Giebel

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WKU Storm Chase Day 11

We started our day out in North Platte, Nebraska, wondering what the game plan for the day would be; convective initiation seemed possible across several areas in the Great Plains, but because of our location, the best target appeared to be far west-central Kansas through far east-central Colorado. Given the latest NAM, NAM-3km, and HRRR runs from that morning, it seemed that most storms would fire along a boundary line that would become more defined throughout the day. That being said, the unimpressive bulk shear values, coupled with the linear convective mode that would appear to dominate that evening, convinced us that the best approach to this chase day would be to spend the day in North Platte and then later in the evening head down to Kansas to catch a nice lightning show.

As such, we spent our morning and early afternoon visiting the Union Pacific Railroad Line and learned a great deal about the Line and trains. We then went down to Penny’s Diner where we scored some great breakfast options.

Union Pacific Railroad Line, North Platte, Nebraska.

Penny’s Diner, North Platte, Nebraska.

It was soon after the diner that we started to notice that initiation had indeed begun in far east-central Colorado and that some storms were poised to start following up ahead of a boundary line to our south. Given the opportunity to watch storms initiate before our eyes, we decided to drive south past McCook, Nebraska, and into Kansas.

Initiation began in the early-to-mid afternoon hours.

The storms that eventually went off began to appear more linear with time and soon even kicked off a dust storm due to the fairly strong winds associated with them. These conditions further lead to the development of a couple of gustnados which turned out to be an unexpected surprise  as well. By the time the dust storm and the gustnados had settled down we had already made it fairly close to Colby, Kansas.

Dust storm from that afternoon.

Gustando that developed soon afterwards.

As they began to wind down we made it out to our Holiday Inn Express in town and then headed to dinner at the Twister, which was without a doubt one of the most appropriate restaurant settings we have eaten in during this chase and even got some nice mammatus clouds ahead of the storms.

Mammatus clouds from that evening.

And so while the day may have taken a slightly different turn from what was originally intended, we did manage to witness the initiation of some storms, gustnados, and got some of the most phenomenal mammatus cloud structure we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

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WKU Storm Chase- Day 9

A change in the forecast for today ended up resulting in a change of plans. Yesterday we traveled north to South Dakota to get into place for today’s severe weather threat. However, later model runs yesterday evening and into this morning showed northeastern Colorado becoming a more favorable target. Eastern South Dakota appeared to have more favorable ingredients for supporting severe thunderstorms for today. Storms, however, weren’t expected to begin initiating until later on in the day after these favorable ingredients had virtually disappeared. Since the favorable ingredients for supporting severe thunderstorms would decrease throughout the late afternoon/early evening hours, strong storms would not survive long in this environment. Modeled reflectivity showed storms initiating late afternoon in eastern South Dakota and quickly dying due to the lack of these necessary ingredients. Northeastern Colorado was the opposite. Northeastern Colorado was expected to start off lacking ingredients necessary for supporting severe storms but would gain them later on in the day. This environment was expected to be favorable for producing supercells. Since we were in South Dakota, we had to make our way down to northeastern Colorado as soon as possible in order to make it in time for any storms that would fire up.

We made our way down to Fort Morgan, Colorado where we stopped at a local park for about an hour, waiting for storms to initiate. As storms began to fire up in northeastern Colorado, we headed northeast to stay ahead of them. These storms started off as high based storms and maintained the same intensity for an extended amount of time.

High based storm near Crook, CO.

After awhile, the storm we were chasing began to intensify more and become better organized. This storm developed a very nice supercell structure as it moved into a more favorable environment. Rotation within this storm could be seen but never was able to produce a tornado.

Supercell becoming better organized near Big Springs, NE.

The storm became a beautiful HP supercell as it moved northeast into southwestern Nebraska. We experienced approximately 40mph wind gusts from the storm’s RFD as we watched it.

Storm strengthening into a beautiful HP supercell near Lemoyne, NE.

This storm put down plenty of hail as it moved through. Roads became covered with hail at some points while we were driving. This hail was approximately pea to marble size. We didn’t observe anything larger than that.

Hail covered roads near Author, NE.

After a long day of chasing, we ended the day in North Platte, Nebraska. Today’s supercell turned out to be one of the most beautiful storms we have seen on this trip!

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