NOWCAST: Rain/Mix Transitioning to Snow

Precip intensity is increasing and we will see the full transition to snow very soon.  Tonight's Winter Weather Advisory continues through 2 PM tomorrow.  Click here to see more about the alerts. 

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Temperatures will fall faster after the sun goes down, so the full transition to snow should happen around that same time.  


Moderate to heavy snow will continue overnight as temperatures fall toward 30 degrees. As we reach that low temperature and the snow cools the ground, the snow will stick overnight. 


Snow will still be falling in many places during your Wednesday morning drive.  Roads will also have seen several hours of accumulating snow at that point.  Any untreated roads are likely to be slippery, but well-traveled main roads will be wet and slushy. 


The snow will start to taper off through early afternoon.  This is when it will slow down and become more spotty around Kentuckiana.  Through our eastern counties, snow will continue until a little later in the day. 


We don't really dry out until early evening on Wednesday.  As temperatures climb through the afternoon, any remaining snow would transition to rain before it clears our southern counties. 


We are expecting this snow to accumulate.  Even though we have been warm lately and the ground temperatures are above freezing, they will fall quickly as temperatures dive tonight.  The air temp will fall to 30 degrees in Louisville. The areas in white will see lower snow totals, roughly 1"-2". The blue area will be around 2"-4", and the purple will be the spots seeing the highest snow totals. 3"-6" of snow are possible there with some locally higher amounts. 


Marc and Rick will be in the weather center all night tracking the snow and updating you as it starts to stick.  WDRB in the Morning on Wednesday will start at 4 AM, so you know about all the traffic problems and can track the snow before you need to the leave the house. 

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-Hannah Strong


Winter Storm Warning Tuesday Night and Wednesday

2:15 PM Update: Jackson and Jennings counties in Indiana have been added to the Winter Storm Warning. 

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Washington, Scott, Jefferson, Floyd, and Clark counties in Indiana beginning at 8 PM Tuesday and continuing through 2 PM Wednesday.  Higher snow totals are expected here making travel hazardous. 


Below is the text from the warning issued by NWS Louisville: 


* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 6
inches are expected.

* WHEN...From 8 PM this evening to 2 PM EDT Wednesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Plan on difficult travel conditions,
including during the morning commute on Wednesday. Be prepared
for significant reductions in visibility at times. The snow will
be heavy and could result in downed trees and power lines.


A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency.


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-Hannah Strong


Updated Snow Projections

From Jude Redfield...

    Winter weather advisory blankets the region for tonight into the first half of Wednesday. The month of March is going to drop more snow than any other month this winter season. First day of spring...FORGET ABOUT IT!!!  Don't expect any snow covered roads until after sunset tonight. We can thank the high March sun angle for wet pavement instead of snow/ice covered during the day, but problems will arise tonight.


    Steady snow will spin on the radar from late this afternoon through around midday tomorrow. All of Kentuckiana should expect 1"-3".


    I do expect a sweet spot that will have amounts exceeding 3". The areas on the map below highlighted in blue stand the greatest chance at more than 3" The I-65 to I-71 corridor looks prime for this!


    As long as Interstates are treated with salt in the overnight we should expect mainly wet travel. The more serious issues will be on the untreated less traveled roads late tonight as temps settle below freezing. The snow will fall heavy enough at times to overcome the warmer pavement in spots. I expect school delays/closings early Wednesday morning so keep up with the always changing weather forecast. Check with Hannah on WDRB News from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm and Marc and Rick on WDRB  News at 4, 6, 10 and 11. -Jude Redfield-


WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: When & Where Accumulating Snow Is Possible...



* WHAT...Snow. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are

* WHERE...Portions of southern Indiana and north central Kentucky.

* WHEN...Tuesday evening through early afternoon Wednesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Plan on slick and slushy road conditions,
including during the morning commute on Wednesday. Be prepared
for reduced visibilities at times.


A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will
cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.


-Rick DeLuca



Rain and Storms Tonight

A low pressure system barrels toward our area tonight bringing with it rain and the potential for thunderstorms.  We will break down timing and how strong these storms are likely to be when they arrive. The weather service has already issued a severe storm warning in southern Kentucky today. 



Isolated rain showers will move in before our storm chance reaches its highest. Watch for a few raindrops through early afternoon before the heavier rain arrives.  That heavier rain (and the storm chance) begins around 4 or 5 PM west of I-65, around 5 or 6 PM east of I-65.


The chance for thunderstorms will be highest around 7 or 8 PM across Kentuckiana. The farther south you live, the more likely it is you will encounter a thunderstorm tonight. Southern Indiana and spots closer to the Ohio River are less likely to see storms. 


The storm chance weakens through the night, but rain sticks around for a while.  After 10 PM the rain will become a little more scattered, though it will continue through Tuesday. 



Breathe easy. We do not have the right ingredients for widespread severe weather here. The greatest threat for severe weather stretches through the Southeast, specifically northern Alabama where strong tornadoes are most likely.  The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Moderate Risk for severe weather.  This is the first Moderate issued in 2018 and the first since June 2017. 


Moisture is a key ingredient in storm development of any kind. Dewpoints will increase tonight showing an increase in moisture in the atmosphere, especially around and south of the Kentucky parkways.  This, plus the fact that the storms moving our direction are already producing it, is why we have included small hail in the forecast. 


The wind will pick up tonight; forecasts show gusts 30-40 mph around the area. Isolated gusts could approach severe threshold, especially south. 



Heavy downpours are pretty much certain as this system comes through tonight. It won't be a deluge all night at your house, but off-and-on bursts of heavy rain are likely.  Small hail is slightly less likely, but still a very good possibility.  The storms don't have the right energy to become strong enough to support large hail stones, but pea-sized hail would not surprise me.  Damaging wind gusts are even less likely, but still possible.  The wind will be gusty tonight, so secure loose and lightweight objects outdoors.  I don't think it will be strong enough, though, to cause widespread damage.  Tornadoes are the least likely threat of all, though not completely impossible. The best chance for severe weather will be in southern Kentucky (in our southernmost counties). 

Marc and Rick will be here all night to talk you through what they're seeing on radar.  Make sure you connect will all of us on Facebook so you know when we do our live videos analyzing storms and breaking down the forecast. 

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-Hannah Strong


Accumulating Snow Again

From Jude Redfield...

    Rain develops late this afternoon/early evening for most of the region. A few storms and locally heavy rain are in the cards as this potent low pressure slides to our south. A majority of Kentuckiana will pick up .25" - .50" of rain over the next 24 hours. Isolated amounts up to an inch are possible. By late tomorrow afternoon wet snow begins to mix in with the rain and it's here we go again.

Snow Reports

    Wet snow is likely Tuesday night and some of this is going to accumulate.


    This time of the year with the high sun angle it is very difficult to get a sticking snow during the day. After sunset tomorrow I fully expect the snow to begin to accumulate. A large chunk of Kentuckiana should expect 1" - 2" of slushy wet snow. MOST OF THIS WOULD NOT ACCUMULATE TO THE PAVEMENT. With temps falling to around 30 tomorrow night a few slick roads are possible, but the majority of the accumulation will stay off of pavement.



    As we get new info to analyze this afternoon the weather team will be able to hammer out a more specific snow map to pinpoint the area with the greatest snow potential. At this point a general 1" - 2" is likely for Kentuckiana. Check in with Hannah, Rick and Marc later today for the latest update. -Jude Redfield-


Anniversary Of The Deadliest Tornado To Strike Our Region In Recorded History

Today is the anniversary of a tornado that holds many of the records for our region and the country. 93 years ago on this date, the legendary Tri-State tornado ravaged MO / IL / IN for 3 hours causing full destruction on many entire towns. This Tri-State tornado to this day holds the record for the most fatalities and it is longest continuous tornado in recorded history. Let's talk about this monster.


At approximately 1:00 pm on March 18, 1925 an extremely violent and long lived tornado touched down near the town of Ellington Missouri. During the next three and a half hours, the storm would travel over 200 miles while destroying everything in it's path. In many cases, entire towns were 100% destroyed.

At the end of the day, thousands were injured and 695 people were killed by the monster making it, by far, the deadliest tornado in US History.


This was the front page of the Chicago Herald Examiner the next day...  



Presumably an EF-5, the storm is in the history books and holds many records including the deadliest and the longest lived tornado.  It also has the longest continuous damage path at 219 miles! To put this into perspective, the Henryville EF-4 tornado from March 2, 2012 was on the ground continuously for 49 miles. The Tri-State tornado had a damage path over 4 times as long as the Henryville tornado!

The devastation from the storm was staggering.  More than a mile wide at times, it swallowed many towns whole and completely wiped out several communities!




The storm touched down in Southeast Missouri and traveled very quickly to the northeast tearing a path through Southern Illinois and into Southwest Indiana.




Murpheysboro, Illinois was the hardest hit by the storm with 234 lives lost.  This stands as the most fatalities in one city by a single tornado on record.




The storm moved at a frenzied pace averaging an astonishing 62 mph during it's three and a half hour rampage across three states.  




At one point, the storm was caluculated to have traveled at an unbelievable 73 mph as it raced from Gorham, IL to Murphysboro! That is an EF-5 tornado moving faster than most of us drive on the highway. The amount of ground this monster was able to cover is remarkable!

Read first-hand accounts of the storm courtesy the Paducah NWS here.

The Tri-State Tornado was a part of a larger outbreak of tornadoes that occurred that day across portions of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.  

Including the other tornadoes that occurred day, at least 747 people were killed and 2,298 were injured. This makes the Tri-State Outbreak the deadliest tornado outbreak, March 18 the deadliest tornado day, and 1925 the tornado year in U.S. History!




Several of these other tornadoes occurred across parts of Kentuckiana including an EF-4 and an EF-3 in Louisville!  You can see details on the local outbreak here...  Kentuckiana March 18, 1925 tornado outbreak


Here is an informative video documenting the devastating Tri-State tornado.





There is a lot of discussion in the meteorological community about whether the Tri-State tornado was actually a single tornado or what is called a "swarm" or "family" of tornadoes. This tornado stands out because the track of the tornado was just so long and we have nothing even close to this length in recorded history. With that said, the damage path was observed and documented as continuous in 1925 and stands in the record books as a single tornado. I think what I find most staggering is the forward speed near 70 mph. Most violent tornadoes move half that speed. Whether it was a single tornado or a swarm, this was one of the most unique and destructive tornadoes we have ever seen.


-Marc Weinberg


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Puzzling Trivia: What and Where is this?

Do you know what island this is or where it is located? 

Here’s a hint and a bit of trivia to challenge your geography knowledge: Which country is closest to the continental United States without sharing a land border?

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The answer is revealed in the first image below, which shows the eastern part of Russia and western part of the United States. This image was acquired on June 2, 2017, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. At the narrowest part of the Bering Strait, about 82 kilometers (51 miles) is all that separates Cape Dezhnev on the Chukotka Peninsula and Cape Prince of Wales on mainland Alaska. But Russia’s Big Diomede Island is even closer to mainland Alaska, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away, making it the closest non-border-sharing country to the continental U.S.

The distance between the two countries is actually much smaller. Just 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) separate Big Diomede Island (Russia) and Little Diomede Island (U.S.). The island pair is visible in the detailed image, acquired on June 6, 2017, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

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Summer temperatures on the islands average about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Wintertime is even colder, averaging between 6 and 10°F. Each year, Arctic sea ice extends southward into the strait from the Bering and Chukchi seas. By June, however, melting usually causes the ice edge to retreat northward, leaving open water that appears black in these images.
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The water between the two islands is bisected by the maritime border of the two countries. The passage was historically nicknamed the “ice curtain" which had more to do with Cold War tensions than climate. Today, Little Diomede has a small permanent community—about 115 people according to the 2010 U.S. census. The town is located on a small beach on the island’s western side, meaning that Russia’s Big Diomede and even the mainland are visible from the homes.

Another invisible line runs between the islands and inspired the nicknames “Yesterday” and “Tomorrow” islands. Big Diomede and Little Diomede sit on opposite sides of the International Date Line. As Earth Observatory reader Jim Andersen commented on our blog: “When you look at the Big Diomede Island, you’re looking into the future!”

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-Katie McGraw 



Thunderstorm Watch Issued for Parts of the Area


A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for our WDRB Counties until midnight.


Below is the text issued with the Watch from the Storm:

* Effective this Saturday afternoon from 430 PM until Midnight

* Primary threats include...
Scattered large hail likely with isolated very large hail events to 2 inches in diameter possible Scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible

SUMMARY...Clusters of storms including supercells will continue to increase through late afternoon especially across central/eastern Kentucky, with somewhat more isolated development expected southward into Tennessee. Bouts of severe hail will be common with the most intense storms, while damaging winds can also be expected, especially if a semi-organized linear system evolves by early evening toward the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.

The severe thunderstorm watch area is approximately along and 65 statute miles north and south of a line from 75 miles west of London KY to 35 miles east northeast of Bristol TN. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU0).

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-Hannah Strong


SPC Has Issued a Weather Discussion For Our Area

The Storm Prediction Center just issued a MCD (Mesoscale Convective Discussion) for our area. What does that mean? It is normally to give us insight into whether they will issue a Watch for our area.


Here is their technical discussion: 

Probability of Watch Issuance...80 percent


SUMMARY...Scattered thunderstorms are expected to form over central KY this afternoon, spreading/developing east-southeastward into adjacent parts of TN and VA. Large hail will be possible in the stronger cells. A watch is likely in the next couple of hours.

DISCUSSION...Visible satellite loops show a corridor of increasing cumulus development over north-central KY. This is in vicinity of a weak surface low that will track southeastward across the discussion area during the afternoon and early evening. Strong heating is occurring in the warm sector of the low, resulting in substantial heating and destabilization. Meanwhile, low-level moisture is slowly returning to this area with dewpoints now in the 50s.

Present indications are that storms will initiate near the surface low in the next 1-2 hours and spread southeastward across parts of southeast KY and into northeast TN and western VA. Sufficient CAPE and favorable effective shear/mid-level lapse rates will promote rotating cells capable of large hail. Locally damaging winds may also occur if storms can congeal and develop upscale several hours from now.

They have said there is an 80% chance they will issue a Thunderstorm Watch within the next couple hours.  We will update you here if/when such a Watch is issued; it would likely impact our southern counties (in southern/central KY). The main threats will be hail and moderate wind gusts (30-50 mph).

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-Hannah Strong