Author Archives: wx

Snow tonight

Not much, but it’s a good start

Monday, November 11, 2019

Forecasters and forecast models all seem to be on the same page with the cold front moving through this evening.  Late afternoon rain should change over to light snow between 7 – 8 P.M. around the metro area.  Snow should be light and be over by midnight.  Then a wintry blast of cold air takes over for a few days.

It’ll probably take about 1-2 hours after the snow begins before temperatures drop below freezing. Nevertheless, we’ll probably see a little snow on grassy areas – up to 1″ in colder suburban areas.  No more than a few icy spots on roads, especially bridges and overpasses.  No problems are expected for the morning rush hour(s).

Stuff:

No wonder squirrels seem busy these days.  It takes at least 100 acorns for an average squirrel to make it through a winter.

 

Take your pick

Sat. Oct 26, 2019 3 P.M

Windy and wet

As I usually do when I get up in the morning, I turn on NOAA Weather Radio to get an idea on what the latest ideas are.  I didn’t get much help today.  Rain…yes, but that has been pretty obvious for the past couple of days.

But, high winds were also expected today.  Here’s what I got… from the “official forecast” the winds were predicted for this afternoon to be 15-25 mph with gusts to 30 mph.  However, there was also a Wind Advisory.  That said late afternoon gusts would be 40-45 mph with a few gusts possibly reaching 50 mph.  Well, there is quite a difference between 30 mph and 50 mph gusts.  Thirty is pretty ordinary; fifty can create significant damage. So we’re getting two very different forecasts at the same time!  Probably should have just used the word “windy” and let everybody decide for themselves.

At least the Noon forecast updated the gusts up to 35 mph, but that doesn’t change the situation very much.

Meanwhile, the latest short term models have been lowering their wind predictions.  Current indications point to the strongest wind gusts should be between 4 and 7 P.M.  My best current estimate is for gusts reaching 35 and 40 mph with perhaps into the low 40’s

U of L’s Homecoming game should see those gusty winds and about a 50-50 mix of showers/no showers during the game.

UK’s game should also see a rain/no rain mix.  However, the winds should be quite a bit weaker.  Top gusts around 30 mph or so.

Mystery forecast?

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019

Spent some time this morning and again this afternoon looking at the GFS and NAM forecasts for the rest of the week.  Both models move a full-latitude trough into the Ohio Valley Friday and Friday night.  It’ll positive-tilted, so no major storm development is expected here.  But, there’s almost certainly going to be plenty of moisture around with a large area getting rain, especially Friday night.

Then I checked the National Weather Service’s forecast.  This morning they had a 20% chance for rain Friday.  Now, the Friday/Friday night forecast has no mention of rain at all!

I’ve said this thousands of times..things change.  And I’m certain Friday won’t turn out exactly as the models are saying now.  But, if your two most important forecast tools are practically yelling “rain” at you, shouldn’t you at least mention the possibility in your forecast?

Much weaker than advertised

Ohio Valley part of storm fades

Oct. 21, 2019 4 P.M.

Since late last week I’ve been hearing all these horror stories about today’s weather – heavy rain, flash flooding, possible severe storms, strong winds, etc.

Well, Monday has arrived and only (mostly) one part of the forecast will be correct.  We have had strong winds – gusts in the mid 30’s.  Although we were led to believe they’d be about 10 mph stronger.

Periods of rain are likely through about 9 P.M. though total rainfall should be about a quarter-inch or less.   A little lightning will be possible around 8 P.M.  Winds will still remain gusty- gusts possible of 30-35 mph late afternoon but diminishing this evening.

Stuff

This situation brought back a story about a former WAVE weathercaster from waaaay back.  He had predicted the next day to be sunny, windy and warm.  Instead, we had a cloudy, cool, rainy and windy day.

His next broadcast began this way…”See, I told you it was going to be windy today!”

Really?!

Nit Picking

Noon Oct.9,2019

Just checked the afternoon forecast from the NWS.  Cloudy with a high in the upper 70’s.

Here we are sitting under cloudy skies, light NE winds at about 60 degrees.  How are we going to get almost 20 degrees of warming over the next 4-5 hours?  We’re not.  Even if the clouds cleared immediately, we’d be hard pressed to get that warm.  In reality, clouds should begin to thin by 3-4 P.M.  Even with thinning clouds, we’ll be lucky to reach the low 70’s.  Around 70 seems more likely.

What’s up?  Isn’t anyone paying attention?

Stuff

A little perspective…

Slashing and burning of the Amazon has been going on for decades.  All of a sudden this year, it became the “climate destruction gang’s” next big thing on the climate agenda.  But why now?  The  average amount of deforestation over the past five years has been only about 50% of what was occurring 20 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong on this, Amazon deforestation is (and has been) a big climate problem.  But, programs have been ongoing for years to reduce the burning.  Success has been modest, but this certainly is not a new problem.

Dorian footnotes

5 P.M. Friday, Sept. 6,2019

Some laughs in a serious situation

Looking back on some things said this week, it appears the U.S. coastline got off pretty easily.  We had plenty of damage, but nothing that could compare anywhere close to the damage sustained by our Bahamian neighbors just 100 or so miles east of Florida.

Meanwhile, I just couldn’t resist laughing at our Prevaricator-in-Chief.  Some really funny sound bites – actually, though, crying should have been my reaction instead of laughter.  But, when the Prevaricator speaks about science, funny things roll out of his mouth.  He’s the classic example of speaking first, thinking later.

1).  Alabama.  He postpones (or cancels) a trip to Poland because of the potential hurricane damage to Alabama.  No National Hurricane Center bulletins on Dorian ever mentioned Alabama.  There was never a potential threat to ‘Bama.  (Of course, now he’ll probably ask the citizens of Alabama to vote for him because he kept the storm away from them.  Prevaricator-in- Chief indeed,)

2). Cat 5.   Numerous quotes earlier this week about…Category 5, nothing like this has ever happened before.  Who can believe this?  Amazing, Category 5’s just don’t happen.  And on and on.  Trouble is, he used the same words over and over and over in 2017 when another Category 5 storm approached the U.S.  Are we talking about memory loss or slow learner or both.

3).  Nuke it.  Hurricanes should be no problem, says the PIC.  We can just nuke ’em.  In any other reality, that just makes matters worse.  Instead of a hurricane hitting the coast, we’d have a radioactive hurricane hitting the coast.  We’d need a far different system to clean up from that hurricane.  Why won’t nuking a hurricane work.? The amount of energy nature works with dwarfs what we humans can do.  The NHC estimates that a typical average hurricane releases an amount of energy equal to about 10,000 average nuclear bombs.  Over an typical 7 day lifetime, that amounts to about one bomb per MINUTE.

Basically, the PIC should keep away from talking about science.

P.S.  I’ve just had an even scarier thought.  What if his science advisers told him to say those things???

Not much more to say about Dorian

Six P.M. Thursday, Sept 5, 2019

Dorian approaching North Carolina

Dorian is weakening but still poses a threat to  SE North Carolina. It’ll move along, perhaps touching, the coast tonight and exit off of Cape Hatteras around midday tomorrow.

So, we sit back and wait to see the results.  It certainly won’t be as bad as some of the projections issued earlier this week.  But, it still looks like beach erosion will be extensive.

Some of the video from the northern Bahamas look almost unbelievable.

The next 36 hours are going to be tough for the Carolinas

Wed, Sept 4, 2019  6 P.M.

Gulf Stream providing more fuel

Now that Dorian has cleared the Bahamas and moved over the warmer Gulf Stream waters, the storm’s winds and organization are picking.  Quite likely Dorian will move back to Cat 3 status, if it isn’t already there.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been focusing on the area between Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks of North Carolina as the most at risk from this storm.  That’s still the case.  The full force of the winds plus the wind-driven storm surge will hit the South Carolina coast tonight and move along the coast until leaving the Outer Banks Friday morning.

Forecast models are consistent that the storm path will hug the coastline.  In fact, there’s a growing consensus that Dorian will make landfall for at least a few hours in North Carolina.

Official forecasts predict at least a 7-8 foot storm surge over northern South Carolina and probably higher over North Carolina.  The highest storm surges will occur at the time of high tides.  These storm surges were based on Dorian when the storm was weaker.  Now that intensification is occurring,  the waves could be even higher.

Whether Dorian is a Cat 2 or Cat 3, the Carolina coast is going to take quite a pounding during the next 36 hours.

 

Weaker Dorian approaching the U.S.

Tuesday, Sept 4, 2019  4P.M.

Little change since yesterday.  Models in very close agreement.

Important to note:  Dorian has weakened and is nor longer capable of catastrophic damage.  Dorian’s energy to do work, or its force, is now only about 40% of what it was the past two days.

Thus, Florida as expected gets off easy – minor to moderate beach erosion.  The beaches of the Carolinas will not be so lucky.  Major to severe erosion is likely as Dorian rides RIGHT along the coast, or briefly inland, late tomorrow through early Friday.  The area from Myrtle Beach to the Outer Banks will be the worst hit.

Dorian has stopped, for now

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2019  5 P.M.

Northern Bahamas still getting blasted

Dorian has weakened a bit today, down to a Cat 4, but is still very potent.  The weakening trend should continue for awhile due to interaction with land.  More importantly, weakening may be even greater than expected because the storm has essentially stopped.  To simplify things, hurricanes grab a lot of their energy from the warm surface waters  beneath them.  But, when a tropical system stops, the warm surface water gets essentially “used up.”  In fact, cooler water from below the ocean’s surface rises to the surface.  When this happens, the hurricane becomes energy deprived and weakens.  The longer Dorian remains stalled, the better the prospects become for the southeast U.S. coast.

As you might suspect, the closer (in time) Dorian comes to possible landfall, the closer the forecast agreement gets.  But, there are still some very destructive scenarios to consider.

Florida and Georgia Coasts:  Neither the GFS nor the euro models expect landfall along these coasts.  The GFS, however, does nudge Dorian closer to the coast.  Either way keeps any major storm problems away from these coasts.

South and North Carolina coasts:  The GFS continues the northeast movement of Dorian.  As the storm parallels the coast, A very strong storm surge will produce moderate to major damage.  How much damage depends upon how much Dorian weakens by that time – late Tuesday into early Thursday.  Another thing to consider is that the current weakening should be temporary.  Dorian will be riding the Gulf Stream along the coast and that warm water favors reintensification.

Meanwhile, the euro has Dorian closer to the North Carolina coast, with a possible touching of land, over North Carolina.  This is a decidedly worse scenario than the GFS is offering.

So in summary, the Florida and Georgia coastal areas are likely to have strong winds and very heavy rains.  But, extreme conditions are not likely.  However, severe damage is still a possibility for the Carolina coasts, especially from Myrtle Beach northward.  But, things change.  Stay tuned.