Weekend Rain/Snow Discussion

From Jude Redfield...

    Cold, cold and more cold through Saturday. Saturday morning will be the coldest with high pressure centered up right on top of us. As this pulls east clouds increase Saturday, but we stay dry until Sunday. The next significant weather maker looks to take a track that is not favorable for much snow (if any) in Kentuckiana Sunday into Monday. As expected the models have done the playground seesaw effect the last few days(back and forth back and forth).  They are now becoming somewhat more uniform for the Sunday-Monday outlook. This looks to be a cold rain storm and not a snow storm.


    This does present a SMALL chance for some light snow mixed with rain early Sunday(did I mention it is a SMALL chance LOL). At this point that would be about it in the snow department IF we see any snow at all.  Moisture surges late Sunday and moderate rain will then follow. Temps are going to be cold, but well above freezing.


    Look for a half inch of rain, if not more for sections of Kentuckiana by the time Monday morning rolls around and the energy moves east.  Looks like a pretty good soaking to me.



Arctic Blast En Route!

The well advertised cold snap is mere hours away! Thanks to a strong cold front that will then usher in cold Canadian high pressure. 

12-7 set up

This cold front is looking progressively drier but we could still a few snow showers or flurries across the region tonight and into tomorrow morning. All three models below (EURO, GFS and NAM) show no accumulation. If you are up late or very early for work you could see a few flurries flying around but otherwise the snow shouldn't be much of a concern for you. 

12-7  euro snow

12-7  gfs snow

12-7  nam snow

What will be a bigger concern tomorrow morning is the COLD. In fact, the next few mornings are going to be bitter! But tomorrow we are going to pick up to the wind speeds as well. Expect sustained wind speeds of 10-20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph. Therefore, wind chills will be a lot colder! 

  Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 4.00.51 PM

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 4.01.01 PM

The coldest wind chills are going to be on Friday morning. We could potentially see wind chills in the SINGLE DIGITS! Brr! Saturday morning our low temperatures will be in the mid teens and it will technically be our coldest morning.

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 4.00.38 PM

Winter is only 2 weeks away and it is going to feel like it all week! Plus, we are keeping an eye on a system that is making its way toward us by the end of the weekend. Right now the type of precipitation is still a big question mark. To learn more about this system tune into the news this evening on WDRB with Marc and Rick! 

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All Modes of Precipitation Possible, Including Snow!

We know about the cold that's on the way for the end of the week, but now we have more and more questions concerning a storm system that looks to impact much of the region by late over the weekend. 

The storm of interest is still more than 3,000 miles away located over the Bay of Alaska in the Northern Pacific.


This upper level storm looks to rotate into the Pacific Northwest as we head into the weeekend.  From there it is expected to travel across the Rockies where it will begin to interact with an arctic air mass that will be in place over much of the Central and Eastern US.  

There has been a WIDE VARIETY of model solutions creating the possibility of rain, snow, sleet or even freezing rain in our area.  

Let's see what the models are saing...

12z GFS

The latest run of the GFS develops a primary surface low near Chicago by early on Sunday sending a plume of moisture in our direction in advance of a developing cold front.


The GFS also keeps the freezing line at 850 mb (roughly 4,500') into Central Kentucky leaving the possibility of frozen precipitation for much of our area.  

GFS Forecast Sounding

Looking at the forecast sounding for early afternoon on Sunday reveals that temps and dewpoints (red and green lines respectively) remain to the left of the freezing line (0° C line), meaning the forecasted profile is below freezing from top to bottom.


This would be a SNOW profile for Louisville with the possibility of rain and sleet to the south across Central and Southern Kentucky.  

Back to the surface plot, the 12z GFS pushes the initial front through the area before stalling it out to the south across Tennessee as a secondary area of low pressure develops into Louisianna by Sunday evening. 


This is a very interesting development. Earlier runs of the GFS largely neglected this feature.  

So what do the other models say? 

The 12z run of the CMC or Canadian model also picks up on the development of the secondary low pressure system putting much of Kentucky and Indiana in an area of potentially accumulating snow late Sunday and into Sunday night.


Now before you draw too many conclusions, let's have a look at last night's (0z) run of the Euro.  

the European model has a similar idea to the Canadian, only it has the low about 100 miles further north into Western Tennessee by Sunday night.


This would make our precipitation type much more likely to be a mix or even just plain ol' rain. 

So what do I think? 

I think chances are high that we will see precipitation on Sunday and into Sunday night.  I also know that synoptic models tend to remove arctic air at the surface too fast.  With that being said, the models have been steadily trending south with this storm over the last day or two perhaps beginning to "catch on" to the amount of cold that will be in place.  

At this point, it appears that ALL MODES of precipitation will be possible including rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow.  The best chance for an all snow or mainly snow event will be for our northern counties with a better bet for mostly rain occurring further south into our Kentucky counties. 

While this storm is still way too far away to nail down any specifics at this time, just know that this system should be monitored. 

Marc and Rick will have a full update on what to expect on WDRB News this evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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See Mars, Neptune And A New Year’s Eve Comet!

2016 ends with fireworks as three planets line up as if ejected from a Roman candle. Mercury, Venus and Mars are visible above the sunset horizon all month long. 


As Venus climbs higher in the sky, it looks brighter and larger than it appeared last month.


On New Year’s Eve, Mars and Neptune appear very close to each other. Through telescopes, rusty red Mars and blue-green Neptune‘s colors contrast beautifully.


There are two meteor showers this month – the Geminds and the Ursids. The best time to see the reliable Geminids will be next year, when the full moon won’t be so bright and interfering. This year, however, we may luck out and see some of the brighter meteors on the evening of the 13th and the morning of the 14th.


The best time to view the Ursids, radiating from Ursa Minor, or the little Dipper, will be from midnight on the 21st until about 1 a.m. on the 22nd, before the moon rises. They may be active on the 23rd and 24th, too.


We haven’t had a good easy-to-see comet in quite a while, but beginning in December and through most of 2017 we will have several binocular and telescopic comets to view.


The first we’ll be able to see is Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, which will appear low on the western horizon on December 15th. On that date, the comet will pass the pretty globular cluster M75. 


By the 21st, it will appear edge-on, sporting a bluish-green head and a thin, sharp view of the fan-shaped tail.


On New Years Eve, the comet and the crescent moon will rendezvous to say farewell to 2016. A “periodic” comet is a previously-identified comet that’s on a return visit. Periodic comet 45P returns to the inner solar system every 5.25 years, and that’s the one that will help us ring in the new year.




-Rick DeLuca





NASA: The 50th Anniversary of ATS-1

Fifty years ago, at 9:12 p.m. Eastern on December 6, 1966, a NASA Atlas rocket carried the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS-1) to space, becoming the first Earth-observing satellite ever placed in geostationary orbit.


“What if the weather moves, not the satellite?”

The satellite era began in 1957 when the Soviet Union hurtled Sputnik into a low-Earth orbit, launching the world into the space race. In the years that followed, dozens of satellites, used to view Earth’s weather from space, communicate around the world, and study the near-Earth environment, were placed in low-Earth and polar orbits. The first weather experiment, an instrument used to measure Earth’s radiation budget, was flown aboard Explorer VII, launched by the U.S. on October 13, 1959.

The world’s first operational meteorological satellite, TIROS-1, circumnavigated the globe for the first time in 1960, forever proving the worth of weather observing satellites to the world and opening the door for the weather systems of the future.

As these early satellites raced around the globe a few hundred miles above the surface, they captured an impressive array of visible and infrared imagery of the planet in narrow segments, or swaths, that were later stitched together to create a full image. Although these satellites revolutionized scientists’ understanding of localized weather phenomena, it was still very difficult to grasp global weather circulation, the key to better weather prediction.

The question quickly became, “How does one continuously monitor the movement of weather over large portions of earth’s surface?” The answer, as it turns out, was more than 22,000 miles away in geostationary orbit.

ATS1_Launch_CaptionATS-1 launched at 9:12 p.m. Eastern on December 6, 1966 aboard a NASA Atlas rocket. Credit: NASA

The launch of ATS-1

On December 6, 1966, a NASA Atlas rocket carried the Applications Technology Satellite, or ATS-1, into geostationary orbit. From there, the satellite was able to precisely match the spin of our planet on its axis and remain over a fixed point on the surface.

ATS-1, and the six models that followed, served as a platform for evaluating different kinds of spacecraft stabilization and communications techniques, while also carrying several scientific and meteorological experiments.

During its 18-year life, ATS-1 tested spin-stabilization and 3-axis stabilization systems, investigated the geostationary environment, tested the ability to act as a link between ground stations and aircraft, demonstrated collection of meteorological data from remote terminals, and evaluated the feasibility of using VHF signals for navigation. It also transmitted educational programs and provided health, research, and community services to the United States and several Pacific locations, including the Cook, Mariana, Marshall and Caroline Islands, as well as West and American Samoa, Melanesia, New Zealand and Australia.

The satellite was also responsible for providing the first full-disk image of Earth ever taken from geostationary orbit.

11Dec1966_ATS1ATS-1, and its Spin-scan cloud-cover Camera, provided this image on December 11, 1966- the first full disk image of Earth ever taken from geostationary orbit. Credit: NASA

The Spin-Scan Cloud-cover Camera

One of the many instruments aboard ATS-1 was the spin-scan cloud-cover camera, invented by Verner Suomi, the “Father of Satellite Meteorology.” Suomi, and his co-inventor, Robert Parent, both worked at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Since the first weather experiment launched in 1959, the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) has been at the forefront of developing the satellite technology that allows scientists around the world to view and study Earth from space.

Because ATS-1 spun to stay stabilized in space, taking an image of Earth became rather tricky. To overcome this, the camera scanned a small strip of the Earth with each rotation of the satellite. By tilting the mirror slightly for the next rotation, an image of Earth could be pieced together line by line in less than 30 minutes.

Suddenly, scientists could see weather moving around an entire hemisphere while the satellite seemed to remain still, revolutionizing weather forecasting forever.

Earth%20MoonATS-1 captured the first image of Earth and the moon together, a feat often mistakenly attributed to Voyager 1. (Voyager 1 captured the first single-frame image that showed the entire Earth and moon.) Credit: NASA

Continuing the Legacy

After the success of ATS-1 and Suomi’s invention, the multi-color spin scan camera was flown on ATS-3 in 1967, which captured the first full-color image of Earth from space.

The first six geostationary ATS satellites, and their meteorological experiments, paved the way for NASA’s Synchronous Meteorological Satellite (SMS) series. It did not take long (October 1975) before the SMS-1 and -2 geostationary weather satellite experiments morphed into NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) program, today’s weather eyes in the sky.

The 50th Anniversary of ATS-1 | NOAA NESDIS

Click here to learn more about NOAA’s current GOES satellites, including GOES-16, America’s most advanced weather satellite to-date.

414448main_g-66-3651An artist's rendering of the ATS-1 spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Images and information courtesy NASA

As big of news as the recent launch of GOES-R was last month, back in 1966, this was bigger.  Much bigger! 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Google Unveils A 32 Year Timelapse Of The Earth...

WOW! Google released a stunning a new time-lapse video that shows the evolution of major destinations around the world over the last three decades. The team worked with more than 5.4 million discrete satellite images taken from 1984 - 2016. A majority of the images came from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970's. See how the Earth has changed over the course of 32 years...  


Video Courtesy: TIME / GOOGLE


-Rick DeLuca



Big Rain-Maker on the Way! How much to expect...

Clouds have arrived and rain won't be far behind!

An area of upper low pressure is spinning over Central Texas.  Ahead of it, rain and thunderstorms are spreading north out of the Gulf and into the Tennessse River Valley.


This area of rain reaches us tonight and will bring us potentially some very generous rainfall amounts over the next 24 hours. 

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...







AT shows showers developing south of the river by late evening before spreading to the north overnight. 

The heaviest activity holds off until early tomorrow morning with a few rumbles of thunder also possible for areas south of the river.  

The steady rain looks to taper off to showers by late morning before ending into the first part of the afternoon. 

How much are we talking about?

The rainfall potential is going up with this system with the latest run of AdvanceTrak showing a generous amounts  of around an inch for areas along the Ohio River with lesser amounts of a half inch or more for our southern and northern counties. 

Rainfall projection

The "American Models" or the GFS and NAM are showing similar amounts along the river with heavier rainfall along or south of the Parkways.  The NAM has been particularly bullish with the rain potential showing some areas close to two inches!  

Rainfall projection2

So what do I think?

I like our chances for some very beneficial rains.  While this won't eliminate the drought completely, like we saw with the system last week, it will put another sizeable dent in it.  I think 1.0 to 1.5 inches appears likely for areas along and south of the river. Southern Indiana looks to get a good drink too on the order of 0.75" to 1.00"  

Marc and Rick will have a full update on our rain potential and the looming cold on WDRB in the News this evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Soggy Tuesday Morning Drive

Today is going to be mild with breaks in the clouds and temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s. However, it will change rapidly by tomorrow morning thanks to a  closed low over Mexico and a surface low over the Gulf Coast. They will both track toward the Ohio River Valley over the next 12-16 hours.

12-5 surf map

This will increase deep layer moisture and return rain to the area late tonight and Tuesday morning. The showers will be scattered to start around 2 am but eventually becoming widespread.  I cannot stress enough this could lead to a hectic morning and commute tomorrow because the rain could be heavy at times. 

12-5 at 2 am

Notice on this image of Advancetrak that at 6:30 am, nearly the entire viewing area is seeing rain and there are pockets of heavy rain too. This will continue through the morning hours. 

12-5 at 6am

Yep, it's still continuing at 8 am. . . 

12-5 at 8 am

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Only half of our day will be soggy. By lunchtime, we will clear out the rain and the rest of our Tuesday will be dry. 

12-5 at 12 pm

This will be a beneficial rain in the midst of a drought from the fall. Expect about a half an inch up to an inch of rain in most places. In our SE counties, where we expect the heaviest rain, there could be locally higher amounts of an inch or more.  We could also hear a rumble of thunder or two. That is most likely in southern KY.  

12-5 rainfall totals

There are several systems at play in our forecast and an arctic cold front is going to bring a major cold snap by the end of the week! 

12-5 highlights of week

For more information on that be sure to tune into the news this evening with Marc and Rick! 

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From Rain to Snow? What to expect this week!

One storm exits, and the next one is set to pounce!  

A vigorous upper level low pressure system spinning over Northern Mexico looks to bring us a good bet for beneficial rains late Monday night into Tuesday.


Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...







Showers develop after midnight and really picks up towards morning on Tuesday with heavy heavy rainfall a good bet for your morning commute.  Following a morning soaker, rain ends by afternoon on Tuesday. 

How much?

Most models agree that 0.5 to 0.75" will be common.  The GFS is projecting locally better than an inch south of the river.  I like that possibility.  Keep your fingers crossed, we still need the moisture.


The Looming Cold

Beyond that, we continue to monitor bitterly cold temps across interior Alaska where the mercury has plunged to some 2o or even 30 degrees below zero.  


This matters to us, because a chunk of this Arctic Air remains on track to plunge into the Central and Eastern US this week.  Take a look at these forecasted temps via the GFS.  By far the coldest so far this season...




Feeling The Chill

It will feel colder when you factor in the wind with wind chill values hovering in the teens for much of the day on Thursday before dropping into the single digits by Friday morning!  This will be the coldest air we have seen since last February.... about 10 months ago! 


First Snow?

In addition to the brutal cold, Thursday continues to look like a GREAT candidate for snow showers or snow squalls!  I think they are likely and they could even come down heavy enough for minor accumulations on elevated surfaces such as roof tops, grassy areas and such.  

Next Weekend?

There remains a ton of uncertainty concerning a possible system late next weekend.  As of this writing, timing, strength and the amount of cold associated with it is completely up in the air.  Just know that there is a chance for a wintry mix into Sunday.  We'll have all week to watch this one. 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Tracking Sunday Showers

We woke up to a colorful radar this morning with a wintry mix across the area. Most of the light snow and wintry mix was positioned north of the river and the light rain was in the south in our Kentucky counties. Most of the precipitation was burning off before it was hitting the ground, resulting in a light drizzle, mist, and wet snow across the region.  So far, no measurable precipitation has been noted in downtown. 

12-4 radar am

Since about 9 am, there is a lull in the activity for most of the area that will continue until mid afternoon. It will be very cloudy & dreary during that time with uniform temps in the mid 40s and light drizzle will be possible. 

12-4 radar now

However, we are not done with the rain for today! Shower chances spike this afternoon around 2 pm. This is from a plume of moisture positioned in the gulf that is being pulled toward our region. 

12-4 radar south


By 2 pm, showers will return to the majority of the area. They will be light, but it is likely many of us will see them. They will be on and off all afternoon. Notice they are widespread and rather pesky. 

12-4 AT 2

They continue straight through dinner time. 

12-4 AT 5

And will exit the region between 8-10 pm. We will be left with mostly cloudy skies for the rest of the night with lows once again in the mid to upper 30s. 

12-4 AT 9

Tomorrow morning, there is a chance for some patchy fog, particularly in areas that see the most rain today. Prepare for that for your morning commute. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a few peeks of sun and highs in the upper 40s. Rain returns late Monday night and into Tuesday. 


To find out the exact timing of Tuesday's rain and also A MAJOR COLD SNAP later in the week (as well as the potential for some snow), be sure to tune into WDRB News with Jeremy this evening. He will have the latest information for you at that time! 


I will be in for Jude tomorrow morning, bright and early, to discuss those chilly numbers above! Until then, you can find me on social media with the links below. Have a great Sunday! Stay warm and dry! 

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