Category Archives: stuff

Scattered showers early this evening

Monday, January 28, 2019

Month ends on a very cold note

A cold front crossing central IN/KY now is producing scattered very light showers.  The showers will move east of I-65 by 7 P.M. Maximum rainfall should be .02″ to .03″.  Much of the area should get only a trace of rain.  The rain will exit the area several hours before near freezing temperatures arrive, so no snow is expected this time

After 7 P.M. the Arctic air pushes in to set the stage for a very cold end to January.  Tomorrow won’t be too bad as temperatures remain in the 20’s all day.  Morning low will be around 20 with an afternoon high in the mid 20’s.

Wednesday will be the coldest day with a morning low near 8 degrees at the airport but afternoon highs only in the mid teens.

Thursday starts with a low only a couple degrees on the plus side of zero, but with afternoon temperatures rebounding into the 20’s  Warming continues Friday.


With the cold air in place we’ll continue to see chances for flurries/light snow here as weak upper air disturbances pass overhead.  At this time, it looks like our best chance for a dusting will be Tuesday night into early Wednesday


Light pillars are rare.  They require ice  crystals and man-made light.  Enough ice crystals for the pillars to appear usually only happen with clear air and very cold temperatures –  such as sub-zero cold.  Mia Stalnacke of Kiruna Sweden sent this photo to recently.

The orange pillars  are created by sodium vapor lamps while the blue-white ones are from LEDs.

Cold weather continues

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2019

Daily chance for flurries/light snow

Now that cold air has reestablished itself, the open question remains – what about snow?

Helping to bring in  the new cold air mass is a brisk northwesterly jet stream flow from northwestern Canada into the central and eastern U.S.  Little pockets of even higher energy move along with this jet on a roughly daily basis.  One is passing over us tonight and will bring only clouds.  If it were a little stronger, it might squeeze out some flurries or light snow.  That’s another big question.  How strong will they be?

Being small, these Alberta Clippers (as we commonly call them) are hard for the computer models to resolve well.  As of now, the system due tomorrow night looks a little stronger – some flurries and very light snow possible.  Story looks about the same for Saturday night.  The GFS especially likes the chances for light snow from a Clipper Sunday AND one on Monday night/Tuesday.

Meanwhile, it’s far too early to get a handle on Sunday and Tuesday’s Clippers.  If the Tuesday storm works out similar to the GFS model’s forecast, the coldest air of the season will follow.  We’re almost certain to get that “single digit” temperature that has been talked about a couple of times recently.  Perhaps even a trip down to near zero.  But, that’s next week – plenty could change.  Meanwhile…


Back to current times, the clouds should hold most of the night, but skies should clear by sunrise.  Westerly winds appear likely to stay above 10 mph.  Those two features should be enough to keep temperatures in the lower teens.  Probably it’ll drop to 12-13 here in Louisville.  A few degrees colder west of Louisville since skies will clear earlier there.

Lots of sun tomorrow, but not much warming.  Highs in the mid 20’s.


Here’s another cool aurora shot from

A little snow tonight

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019

Rain may hang around long enough for the cold air to arrive

The slow-moving cold front crossing the region now has been an active rain-maker for KY/IN.  As mentioned before,  the main part of the cold air won’t arrive until tomorrow.  Meanwhile, the models have slowed the tail-end of the precipitation by 3-5 hours since yesterday.  That should give time for the slowly advancing cold air to arrive in time to produce a little snow tonight.

Current thinking is that the rain will change to snow for a short time around 10-11 P.M. tonight.  Temperatures will still be above freezing, so no accumulation is likely on roadways.  However, grassy areas may get a dusting or even a “generous dusting”, but a half-inch looks like a top limit.

Later this week

A large mass of cold air will be dominate our weather scene from tomorrow into the weekend.  The upper air flow will be from the northwest.  That usually produces an almost daily chance for an Alberta Clipper to drop south from Canada into the midwest.  Clippers are hard to predict, but this morning’s GFS indicates that our best chances to get any snow from them will be Sunday and Tuesday.  Stay tuned.


If you haven’t seem the pictures of the rare snowfall on the Sahara Desert, just click on them in the column to the right.  They’re worth it.

Winter wonderland plus the aurora!

from Chad Blakley

Snow on the Sahara!

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

Amazing pictures

I missed these photos about two weeks ago, but they are certainly worth a look.  The little Algerian town near where the snow fell has only had snow three times in its recorded history…the past two years and 45 years ago!

This is from a web site known as Earther.



Cold air highlights the week ahead

Monday, January 21, 2019

After Saturday’s Hall of Shame forecasting by the majority of local prognosticators, the cold air has settled in and calmed our weather for awhile.  Next system in line will be the remains of another large storm that blasted the Pacific northwest over weekend.  This system is diving into the southern  Rockies and then will slide eastward.  Unlike a couple of similar systems (the past two weekends), this one isn’t given much hope of regeneration.  The upper level parent trough is projected to remain, as we meteorologists say, positively tilted.  In this case, very strongly tilted.  That translates into normal people-talk as weak energy levels and very little development.

Tomorrow and Wednesday

The trough, however, will begin brisk southwesterly winds over the midwest and Ohio Valley tomorrow and transport moisture our way quickly.  Increasing clouds tomorrow with much warmer temperatures (into the 40’s).  Rain will return around midnight tomorrow night and continue into midday Wednesday.  Similar to Saturday night, the cold air behind this new system will be late to join the action.  In fact, the true blast of cold air won’t arrive until Thursday.  So there could be some snowflakes Wednesday afternoon, but no accumulation is expected.

Note:  The NWS is forecasting 1″-2″ of rain for us from this system.  That seems pretty high considering the upper support.  Probably closer to one inch than two.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Later this week

With wintry air again dominating our weather, little active weather is anticipated.  Computer models are hinting at a couple of very weak Alberta Clippers drifting into the area Thu-Sat with periods of cloudiness, but not much chance for any significant snow.

Note:  The GFS is developing a strong Clipper into the western Great Lakes by early next week. Although not posing much of a rain and/or snow threat for us, the clipper is gathering a very potent cold air mass in its wake.  It might be the coldest air mass we’ll see this winter and probably bring along some light snow along with it.  Of course, that’s a week away – a lot of model changes can happen in that time.


I see the Courier Journal has gotten even smaller.  The USA Today section has gone off the digital world.  So, there’ll be less paper in the “paper.”  At least the dimensions of the physical paper haven’t shrunk, as they have in recent years.



Another weekend…another storm

Thursday, January 17, 2019…4 P.M.

Subtle changes

If you’re a snow-lover you’re not going to like the small changes to Saturday’s forecast.  Both the GFS and NAM have drifted in the same direction, so I’ve got pretty good confidence the solution they are pointing toward looks realistic.

We’ve been tracking a storm system blasting northern California and a large chunk of Arctic air moving south from Canada.  Original thought was these two systems would merge over the Ohio Valley/midwest on Saturday.  The result of the merged system would bring us plenty of rain (2″-3″) Saturday.  Then, as the cold air rushed in Saturday night, we’d see an inch or two of snow.  I’ve heard talk of heavier snow, a “flash freeze,”  and single-digit temperatures (even sub-zero).

That’s all nonsense if the current model trends are correct.  The new idea is that the west coast trough and the cold air system will not get “in phase” until the primary surface storm system passes east of the Louisville area.  That means the storm system will not get to its rapid development stage until it gets to Ohio or beyond.

Consequences of the recent changes

1).  Rain remains likely most of the day Saturday.  But it won’t be as much.  Totals will probably range in the 1″ to 1.5″ range.

2).  Rain should end by Saturday evening and we’ll probably see some snow flurries and/or snow showers overnight.  Accumulation, if any, should be less than 1″.

3).  The initial surge of colder air will be slower to arrive.  Temperatures will not fall rapidly enough to allow a flash freeze.  Icy spots, however, will form on roadways during Saturday evening.

4).  Sunday will be very cold…probably near 20-22 all day.  Because the primary storm system will intensify north/east of Louisville, the cold air transport southward will be weaker.  Thus, it appears the local temperatures won’t drop into the single digits in the Louisville area either Monday or Tuesday morning.  Rural areas especially in southern IN could see lows below 10 degrees.)


The cold upper trough expected over the eastern parts of North America due to the Sudden Stratospheric Warning of late December is now in place.  This system should provide us with frequent snow opportunities and plenty of cold air for the next 2-4 weeks.  Forecasting should be lots of fun.

If you’d like a little more detail on what a Sudden Stratospheric Warming is, see my post from a couple of weeks ago.


We are constantly bombarded by the things that the climate change “hawks” want us to hear, so you probably missed the news that the U.S. is one of the world leaders in carbon emissions REDUCTION.  Yes, compared to the 2005 baseline, total U.S. emissions have dropped 11%, even though we had a small increase last year.  As a whole, Europe has dropped a little (1-3%) as well.  But, the rest of the world continues their rapid increases.  Roughly 80-90% of the nations which signed the Paris Climate Accord continue to increase their emissions.  China and India are by far the biggest offenders.

Let’s not blame China too much.  After all, they have a signed agreement with the U.S.  to keep increasing emissions as much as they want until 2030.  The Climate Gang praised that agreement as just about the greatest thing since (the proverbial) sliced bread.  I’ve always felt that the agreement gave China all the bread and the slicer.  Maybe we’ll get some crumbs out of the deal.

Weekend Weather Prospects

6:30 P.M. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019

Snow and rain likely.

Forecast models have changed little since yesterday, but that’s enough to bring our weekend forecast into better focus.  The primary change is that the NGM and GFS have both warmed a little.  My worry from yesterday about that prospect is looking like a realistic idea.  Consequences follow:

General situation remains the same…a weak system coming out of the southwest will drift ENE across the southern states.  It will start to regenerate Sunday, but that will be too late for us.  With the low center staying to our south, we’ll have a northerly component to our winds, so the colder air will hold in place with only a slight warming modification.

Heavy snow will break out over northern AR and southern Missouri tomorrow and march eastward into KY/IN tomorrow night.  Snow should begin in the I-65 region about midnight or later.  Temperatures should remain at or above 32 degrees overnight, so snow should accumulate ON GRASSY AREAS !”-2″ by morning.  Roads will have only a small accumulation of slushy/wet snow, but,as always, drivers will find the icy spots.  Luckily, since it’ll be Saturday traffic should be light.

Saturday most of the overnight snow will melt away and roads will improve rapidly.  It’s also looking like little or no precipitation will fall during the day.  If anything falls from the sky during the day, it’ll be light rain.

Part 2

Light rain/drizzle moves in Saturday night and continues off and on until early Sunday.  During Sunday, the surface storm system pulls eastward and drags colder air back into the Ohio Valley.  Some light snow/flurries are likely during the day, but little, if any, accumulation is expected.

We need babies!

Read an article today about the slowing birth rate in the U.S.  In general, the thought goes, our female population needs to produce  2.1  children during her lifetime in order to keep our population stable.  Our current rate has dropped to about 1.7.  So, in spite of what we’re being told, we need those immigrants!

Strong storms possible until 7 P.M.

Monday, March 27, 2017  5:30 P.M.

We’re on the northern edge of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch currently.  Primary concern lies south of Louisville over central KY and, especially, central TN.  Activity is due to a small, but intense upper level disturbance racing over the lower Ohio Valley.  Once again, the upper dynamics are strong, but the lower level instability is quite weak.  For the past  few hours, clusters of thunderstorms have been moving NE from southern/southwestern KY.  A few severe storm warnings have been issued, but it appears most of the storms, while strong, have stayed below severe limits (58 mph winds).  Main factor for us has been the weakening of the storms as they encounter the more stable air mass near the Ohio River.

Main line of storms will push through the I-65 corridor (and Louisville area) between 6 and 7 P.M. this evening.  Strong wind gusts and, perhaps, isolated spots of small hail will be likely as the line passes by.  Overall, these storms should have little affect on our  metro area.

BY 7 P.M. any storm threat for the Louisville are will end.  Any additional threat for severe storms will continue east and southeast of us.


A little late for the big day itself, but some things to remember about St. Patrick:

1).  He was not Irish.  (He was born in England, sold into slavery in Ireland as a child.  He later escaped and returned to England where he became a priest.  Then he returned to Ireland to help bring Christianity to Ireland.

2).  It is true that there were no snakes in Ireland when Patrick died.  However, there were no snakes in Ireland when he arrived as a priest.  Irish snakes were destroyed about 10,000 years BEFORE Patrick’s era by the most recent Ice Age.



Snow possible Saturday night!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017  7 P.M.

Today’s GFS is predicting a nice snowfall Saturday night (see below).  Of course, a lot can, and will, happen between now and then.  But it is exciting to at least have the thought that we still could have a good snow before the season ends.  Unfortunately, the GFS stands alone at this time…the European model keeps the chance for significant snow north of us.

Meanwhile, here’s the GFS’s snow forecast for the 24-hour forecast ending at 7 A.M. Sunday:

Think snow!

Streetside parking meters are illegal in the state of North Dakota.

Charity begins in the home…in this case.  An 87 year old preacher and his wife run an on-line ministry as a “non-profit” organization.  Last year they reported a net income for the website of 7 million dollars.  Their combined salaries added up to $4 million.  That reminds me of the old joke about what to do with the offering plate each Sunday.  “i take the plate, throw it up in the air.  God takes his share and whatever falls back down is mine.”  Only is this case, it’s not a joke!



Atmosphere is set for some big fireworks

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017  3:30 P.M.

Both surface and upper air components of the atmosphere are converging on a major “sweet spot” where (and when) ample supplies of severe storm ingredients will come together soon.  A major outbreak of severe weather is expected with large hail, strong winds and tornadoes all looking likely.

WHERE:  Texas, eastern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, Illinois and western Indiana.  Perhaps far western KY as well.

WHEN:  The arrival of the strong storm ingredients should occur over the southern parts of the states listed above around 6 P.M. EST.  The most severe activity will continue for about 8-12 hours.  The prime conditions will uncouple after that and activity will diminish tomorrow morning.  Additional strong storms (but not as strong as tonight’s storms) may reform tomorrow afternoon over eastern KY.

A storm system developing over central Missouri now will rapidly intensify under a very strong upper air flow over the Mississippi Valley and reach the Great Lakes by morning.  Trailing the low pressure will be an eastward moving cold front.  As the front moves into the warm, moist air thunderstorms will break out this evening and accelerate northeastward.  The strong wind fields aloft will have no problems converting the thunderstorms into severe weather-makers quickly.  During the evening, the biggest problems will be over ne TX, east OK and AR.  By Midnight, the greatest threat pushes northward into eastern MO, IL and western IN.  From Midnight until about 6 A.M., the models put a  “bulls eye” over southern IL and southern IN for the greatest damage risk.  NOTE: although the models zero in on the area north of the Ohio River, a few isolated severe storms could develop over western KY counties bordering the Ohio River.

By 6 A.M. the severe storms should be over, or at least diminishing.  By that time the remaining lines/clusters of thunderstorms will be approaching the Louisville area.  The primary area of rain/storms should push through the I-65 corridor between 8 A.M. and Noon.  Some strong winds may still be possible, but the primary threat for our area will be flash flooding.  After the periods of heavy rain today, the ground is saturated.  Additional heavy downpours tomorrow morning would be enough to trigger brief flash flooding.

The cold front is expected to pass though the Louisville area about Noon tomorrow so any additional severe weather generation tomorrow afternoon will be over eastern KY.  Meanwhile, we’ll start a drying process during the afternoon as cooler air arrives.


Sunday night’s big Oscar blunder wasn’t the first time that has happened.  But, the first time it happened, the category wasn’t a major one.  In 1964, the “Best Music Score”  award was announced for the movie “Tom Jones.”  But that movie wasn’t even nominated!  The actual winner was Andre Previn for “Irma La Douce.”