Flooding Concerns & Storm Potential for Rest of the Day

What a night! What a morning!

There were multiple severe thunderstorm warnings, thousands of lightning strikes, a possible tornado near Goshen,  several hail reports and a TON of rain. Many areas in southern Indiana have picked up a tremendous amount of rainfall since last night, some seeing nearly NINE inches of rain in spots. We have gotten reports of road closures, flooded homes & business across the area and even reports of a water rescues in Dubois County.

Currently, a few showers continue along and north of the warm front and an outflow boundary, in the same areas that have already seen plenty of rain. This is known as training and has been the case all night and morning long.  The good news is that it appears the warm front will lift north and shut off the precipitation by the afternoon and allow us to shake off and dry off. 

Below are the rainfall totals for metro since midnight only. Notice the difference between Floyds Knobs and Fern Creek. They are roughly 20 miles apart and saw HUGE differences in rainfall amounts. It is truly amazing to see the difference only a few miles can make. Some parts of our viewing area just to south of Fern Creek didn't see a drop. 

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On the wider perspective, you can see where the heaviest rain fell. These are just estimates for the past 24 hours, but they are pretty close. Dubois and Crawford Counties saw the most rain in the past day with 7-8'' in most places. Just north of I-64 was slammed the hardest in terms of heavy rain. 

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The flash flood watch has been allowed to expire, but the flood warnings are still in effect for Counties in southern IN through this afternoon. There are also a few rivers in our most northern counties that will continue to be monitored over the next few days with flood warnings in effect until further notice. 

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Around midnight, there was strong rotation indicted on radar near eastern Clark & NW Oldham Counties and Goshen. Today the NWS said they are going out there to conduct a survey to determine if there was a tornado or not along that path of strong rotation. Stay tuned. 

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The rest of today... 

There are still a few showers across the area and they should move out between 1-3 pm. The data does show enough instability for strong to severe storms, but there should be a cap or lid in place limiting convection. But if you were paying attention yesterday, the cap is a tricky and fickle beast to predict. Let's hope it holds. We all need a break I think. 

However, I will mention if it breaks and storms fire off, there is enough instability for damaging winds and large hail once again. (Fingers crossed).

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I am confident a few isolated to perhaps scattered showers and storms will return to the area tonight and linger through Sunday morning. This will be mainly for southern IN. Exactly where we've already had a boat load of rain! 

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Because I think we should stay dry this afternoon, we are also expecting a hot, humid and breezy afternoon for most areas, with record to near record high temperatures possible. I went with a high of 88 degrees. The old record is 89 set back in 1899.  The record warm low for today is  67 set back in 1951. 
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Tomorrow will also be very warm too, with highs in the upper 80s once again and more records will be in jeopardy! 

4/30 Warm Low: 70 (1899)

4/30 Record High: 91 (1894)

Plus, there is the potential for MORE severe weather tomorrow! To find out when that will happen and the main threats, be sure to join Jeremy this evening on WDRB News! I'll see you tomorrow morning from 6-9! Be sure to give my social media pages a visit and a like! The links are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 



TORNADO WATCH issued for a large chunk of our area...

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

   * Tornado Watch for portions of 
     Southern Indiana
     Northern Kentucky

   * Effective this Friday night and Saturday morning from 825 PM
     until 100 AM CDT.

   * Primary threats include...
     A few tornadoes possible
     Scattered large hail and isolated very large hail events to 2.5
       inches in diameter possible
     Isolated damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible
SUMMARY...Clusters of storms along a surface boundary will likely retain supercell structures for the next few hours, with an attendant risk for large hail and damaging winds. The near-storm environment is favorable for some tornado risk for the next few hours with the storms near the Ohio River, within the northern edge of the warm sector. The tornado watch area is approximately along and 30 statute miles north and south of a line from 15 miles west northwest of Evansville IN to 45 miles east of Louisville KY. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU1). PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... REMEMBER...A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.


-Rick DeLuca



A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH has been issued for parts of our area! Locations inside...

 The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

   * Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of 
     Southeast Indiana
     Extreme north central Kentucky
     Southwest Ohio

   * Effective this Friday night and Saturday morning from 810 PM
     until 200 AM EDT.

   * Primary threats include...
     Isolated very large hail events to 2 inches in diameter possible
     Isolated damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible
SUMMARY...Clusters of slightly elevated storms, with some supercell structures, will likely persist and spread eastward from Indiana into Ohio through early tonight. The strongest storms will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. The severe thunderstorm watch area is approximately along and 30 statute miles north and south of a line from 115 miles west of Cincinnati OH to 85 miles east of Cincinnati OH. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU0). PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... REMEMBER...A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes.



-Rick DeLuca



Watch Likely to Be Issued ....

The Storm Prediction Center is monitoring the conditions for our area for severe weather for the next day. Based on the data, it is likely that a thunderstorm or a tornado watch will be issued.  They have not specified which yet will be issued. The main threats are going to be gusty, damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning, heavy rain and tornadoes are possible as well. Read what SPC has to say about the threat below and be sure to stay weather aware.

  Image 1

 Probability of Watch Issuance...60 percent

   SUMMARY...Elevated storms developing over the southeast Missouri
   vicinity should gradually increase in coverage, and pose a severe
   risk -- mainly in the form of large hail.  Weather Watch may be required in the
   next 1-2 hours.

   DISCUSSION...Latest radar loop shows storms increasing across the
   southeast MO vicinity, likely associated with a zone of ascent
   associated with a weak/subtle wave evident in water vapor imagery
   moving northeast across eastern portions of KS/OK and into MO at
   this time.  A slow increase in storm coverage and intensity is
   expected over the next few hours given gradual mid-level
   destabilization in conjunction with the existing, amply sheared
   environment (and as hinted at by visible imagery and the latest HRRR
   runs).  As such, we will continue to monitor convective evolution
   and need for a possible WW.  Though risk would likely remain
   primarily hail, any storm development farther south -- i.e. nearer
   the warm front -- would require additional attention, with respect
   to possible surface-based severe risk.  While capping (with respect
   to a surface-based parcel) is expected to persist, we continue to
   monitor areas near/south of the boundary as well -- i.e. eastward
   across western and into central KY and vicinity.


Stay tuned for the latest information. Storms are likely to develop shortly. Marc, Jude and I will be here and keeping you informed for the rest of today. Be sure to watch the news this evening with Marc and Rick on WDRB for the latest information. If and when storms go severe, we will be updating all of our social media pages, and cut into programming if necessary. The links to my social media pages are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 


Synopsis of National Weather Service Conference Call and Severe Weather Threat for Today and Weekend

The National Weather Service in Louisville has concluded a conference call with local emergency managers and media concerning the potential for severe weather today, tonight and the overnight.

Below are a couple graphics summarizing the discussion. 

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Marc, Rick and I will be here and keeping you informed for the rest of today. Be sure to watch the news this evening with Marc and Rick on WDRB for the latest information, especially because storms will be firing off around 4 - 5 pm. If and when storms go severe, we will be updating all of our social media pages, and cut into programming if necessary. The links to my social media pages are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 


Severe Weather Likely...Spread The Word

From Jude Redfield...

    Bottom line...severe weather is LIKELY for parts of Kentuckiana late this afternoon through tonight. We are expecting multiple rounds of VERY HEAVY RAIN along with NASTY STORMS.


    Please see the graph below which illustrates our storm threats into early Saturday morning. A few storms will be capable of producing large hail up to 2.5" in diameter. Some of the storms will rotate, possibly producing a few tornadoes.


    We all know it's Friday night leading up to Derby week which means people will be outside all over the town. Please have a back up plan in place and shelter that you can get to IF severe weather heads in your direction. Please spread the word and be weather aware.


    Scattered storms, some severe look likely between 4pm and 4am.


    In the overnight a slow shift to the north is expected with the bulk of the rain/storms heading north of the river by the time the Mini/Marathon takes place.


Excellent weather is expected for much of the day Saturday and Sunday. BRACE FOR ABSURD LEVELS OF HUMIDITY THIS WEEKEND! It's going to be sticky!!!


    Be alert for the potential of flash flooding.  If multiple clusters of storms happen to roam in the same spot rain amounts in excess of 3" are likely. A flash flood watch has been issued.  Please check in with Katie, Rick and Marc this afternoon. I would imagine some sort of severe weather watch will be issued later today. Stay safe! -Jude Redfield-



The blog Katie McGraw wrote earlier today focused on the severe threat Friday night. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. Late Sunday into the overnight hours we have another risk for strong storms. The Storm Prediction Center is highlighting locations to our southwest, but in my opinion this should also include our area...


Why do I think we need to be on guard Sunday night? Well, for starters the wind energy is fierce! At the 850mb level, or 5,000 feet above the ground, winds speeds rapidly increase to 75 knots. A severe thunderstorm is defined as winds 58 mph or greater, so if a storm drags that wind down to the surface we could easily see localized damage...


If we don't have enough Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), then the powerful shear would cause storms to topple over. CAPE is a measure of instability through the depth of the atmosphere, and is related to updraft strength in thunderstorms. The NAM computer model shows about 800 units while the GFS has closer to 400 units. While this isn't an overwhelming amount of instability, it's certainly enough to support severe storms given the wind energy. It's also important to note the updraft strength is key to hail formation. The longer hail stones are suspended in the storm, the larger they can get. In this case, I don't see hail exceeding 2" in diameter, but 1" hail is definitely in the cards... 


Last but most certainly not least, let's take a look at the Storm-Relative Helicity (SRH). SRH is a measure of the potential for cyclonic updraft rotation in supercells, and is calculated for the lowest 1 and 3 km layers above ground level. When values begin to exceed 250 units, it usually suggests an increased threat of tornadoes. The map below shows 300 units in our area, so an isolated tornado warning or two is possible. Usually, cold fronts that arrive at night bring us what's referred to as a squall line. A squall line is a group of storms arranged in a line, often accompanied by high wind and heavy rain. They tend to pass quickly and are less prone to produce tornadoes than supercells. That means if we get a tornado, it would likely be a quick spin-up...  


Ok, to give you a quick recap all modes of severe weather are POSSIBLE late Sunday into the overnight hours. Damaging winds would be the main threat. The exact timing will become more clear in the coming days so please check back with us on a daily basis. Marc will be on at 10 and I'll catch you at 11 on WDRB. Jude Redfield will also have lots to chat about in the morning. Have a good night!  



-Rick DeLuca




Severe Weather Risk for Friday Night into Saturday

Severe Risk:

The Storm Prediction Center has increased our storm risk for tomorrow and issued an "Enhanced Risk" for severe weather for a portion of our area on Friday, mainly west of I-65. This is an area of greater (relative to a slight risk) severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity. The rest of Kentuckiana is under is under a "Slight Risk" for severe weather.  A slight risk is defined by SPC as an area of organized severe storms, which is not widespread in coverage with varying levels of intensity.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop during the evening Friday night through Saturday morning.  The main threats will be damaging gusty winds, large hail, frequent lightning and localized heavy rain. Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out either.  Flash flooding may also be a concern with areas that see repeated storms. 

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Set up:

A warm front will be around the Ohio Valley on Friday and the placement will be critical for our shower and storm potential, especially in reference to severe weather. Computer models are not in complete agreement about the timing or intensity of the storms. We do know there will be a strong cap in place most of the day on Friday, but exactly when that cap breaks and storms begin to fire off is still a bit in question. So the storms could begin earlier than what Advancetrak suggests below. 

Image 1


Instability: Temps will be warming and dew points will be increasing as well. We know that an increase in heat AND moisture both increase instability and instability is key to severe weather development. Models are showing an abundance of CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability overnight on Friday into Saturday, that is definitely enough for strong to severe storms to develop.   

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Wind shear profiles will be supportive of organized discrete cells. There is also enough wind energy, mid level winds are around 50 kts and peaking at 60 kts, which is plenty for severe weather and there is also directional wind shear, which is a change of wind direction with height and would suggest the potential for rotating storms. This would support large hail and isolated tornados. 

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As I mentioned above,  there is disagreement among the models about when storms will start and end on Friday through Saturday. Scroll through the images of Advancetrack below to get an idea of the timing and coverage of storms.  

Advancetrak likes the idea of the cap breaking late in the day on Friday and storms firing off at night, but it is a possibility they could be earlier. We will continue to tweak this forecast over the next day.  

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Storms will definitely become more numerous overnight and this is our best chance for storms and for them to become severe. 

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We will still have several storms across the area right when many events are supposed to be starting in Louisville; such as the Great Balloon Race and the marathon/mini. 

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Sigh... more uncertainty continues into Saturday afternoon. The warm front is expected to move north in the morning and afternoon on Saturday and leave the area capped once again to prevent any more storm development. HOWEVER, if it is broken then we could see more showers and storms during this time frame, some of which could be strong to severe. 

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Because this is a CHANGING forecast, be sure to join Marc and Rick this evening on WDRB News! Jude and I will have the latest updates tomorrow as well during the morning and afternoon. If and when storm become severe, we will be keeping you informed in a variety of ways. One of those is on social media. The links to my pages are below! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 



A Steamy and Stormy Weekend! Update on Severe Threat.

Following a nice start to the week, our weather gets active again as we head into the weekend with a round of showers expected late tonight and into tomorrow morning.  

Fortunately, this first round is expected to be sub-severe and fairly light with most areas picking up less than a quarter inch of rain.  Showers look to exit by afternoon behind a cold front that looks to drop temps back to near 70 for a high on Thursday.  

While Thursday night and most of the day on Friday appear to be quiet, as a strong low develops over the Southern Plains, a warm front will push into our region bringing a surge of warmth and moisture and the potential for strong storms as we head into Friday night.  

Friday Night

AdvanceTrak 5

While the Storm Prediction Center keeps the "greatest risk" (an enhanced risk in this case) to our west, they have placed much of the Lower Ohio Valley, including our viewing area, under a Slight Risk for severe storms late Friday and Friday night.

A quick analysis of the data shows that the wind profile would be sufficient for strong to severe storms and the warm front is expected to serve as the focus for storm development.  

However, instability may be limited for parts of our area with the GFS showing CAPE (convective available potential energy) on the order of 1,000 units or less for most of Southern Indiana.  CAPE does ramp up for our Kentucky Counties  with perhaps a better chance for seeing a few damaging wind or hail makers into the overnight on Friday night.

Gfs cape

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...





AT shows most of the storm development late Friday evening and overnight before diminishing by morning.  

This seems to be in line with what most of the "synoptic" models are showing (i.e., the GFS/EURO) and could cause issues for the Great Balloon Race Saturday morning. 

As far as severe potential is concerned, I think it will be limited to areas along and south of the river with the main threats being hail and wind.  

Saturday/Saturday Night

Gfs cape2

Moving ahead into the day on Saturday, a surge of warmth and low level moisture will make it feel very summer-like.  This "juiced" atmosphere with temps well up into the 80's will increase instability for the entire area giving us expected CAPE values on the order of 1,000 - 2,500 units.  This would be more than enough to fuel thunderstorms.  However, we will be lacking a "trigger" or forcing mechanism to get storms started as the warm front will have lifted north into Central Indiana by Saturday afternoon.

Gfs sfc01

This means that after the morning round of showers/storms, we will be mainly dry through the afternoon hours on Saturday. 

That could change Saturday night with model data indicating that scattered showers/storms will develop late as the "low level jet" (wind flow a short distance above the surface) increases helping to aid in the development of "elevated" as opposed to surface based storms.  

Gfs sfc02

While a few of these could be strong, a lack of instability during the overnight should mitigate any real severe threat. 

Sunday/Sunday Night

Moving ahead into Sunday, the Storm Prediction Center keeps the Slight Risk (15% risk area) to our west/south.

AdvanceTrak 2

The slow moving storm system to our west approaches and deepens producing strong storms into the Lower and Middle Mississippi River Valley during the day on Sunday.

Gfs sfc03

Ahead of this storm we will see a strong southerly flow and good heating which may help to increase instability.

Gfs sfc04

This could set us up with a west to east moving squall line of storms Sunday evening/Sunday night.  

Analyzing the data we see that because of a significant warm layer of air aloft, instability might be mitigated some with the GFS showing around 1,000 units of CAPE for most of our area late day Sunday.

Gfs cape3

While this is on the lower end of what you would expect for severe storms, it might be enough when combined with a ROBUST wind field that develops in response to the approaching low with the GFS showing 70+ knot winds a short distance above the surface (at 850 mb level).  

Gfs 850 wind

So what do I think?

I think that heavy storms are likely for much of the area Friday night and a few severe storms will be a possibility especially if they get going into our Southern Counties where instability will be maximized.  Overall I think the tornado risk is low with this set up though.  

Despite the Storm Prediction Center forecast, there could be a legitimate severe threat Sunday evening if the squall line arrives near peak heating.  The later it comes in, the lesser the threat.  However, considering the amount of wind energy aloft, it might be able to overcome less than impressive instability.  Damaging winds would be the main threat.

The other factor to consider this weekend is just how much rain will we see?  While the GFS keeps the heaviest stuff to our west into the Middle Mississippi River Valley, rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, if verified, could cause some flooding concerns. 

Gfs precip total

That's a lot of rain!  We'll be watching.  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Weather Anchor Nearly Struck by Lightning While Reporting on Thunderstorm

This is a pretty wild and scary video. A weather anchor from China, Xiao Dong, was reporting from a rooftop during a thunderstorm (not a good idea) when lightning struck nearby and he was holding a METAL umbrella. You can see in the video below, after there is a flash of lightning and Dong quickly drops the umbrella. Reports say he was not actually struck by the bolt, but by the electric charge that was attracted to him from the metal handle of the umbrella. Thankfully, it doesn't appear that he has any serious injuries. His co-worker was holding an umbrella with a wooden handle and was not hit.

Video Credit: New News

This is a great example of what NOT to do and in my personal opinion, a weather anchor should know better. However, this is a great opportunity in the midst of so many outdoor events in the next two weeks while there is the potential for severe weather, to discuss lightning and storm safety.

We will also discuss which days might be in threat of storms this week.

Impacts to Outdoor Events:

Chow Wagon Opens at 11 am on Thursday. Opening day looks good! Rain will be moving out of the area just in time for lunch!

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Great Balloon Glimmer at 8:30 pm 

Thursday evening also looks good with partly cloudy skies with mild temperatures and winds should be out of the west around 5 mph becoming calm.

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Great Balloon Rush Hour at 7 am

This event looks good too at this point! However, clouds will be on the rise. 925 mb winds are showing southerly winds at 15 kts. Officials will pay attention to various critical parameters for flight for the balloon races Friday and Saturday.

  1. Visibility: 3 miles or greater
  2. Ceiling heights of 1500 feet
  3. Check the wind direction for various levels of the atmosphere
  4. And winds 12kts or less at the surface

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Great Balloon Glow:

Looks like showers will be arriving to the area by Friday evening and strengthening with time overnight and into Saturday morning. If you can pick one option over the other, Glimmer would be your better choice!

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Great Balloon Race at 7 am and The Marathon/Mini at 7:30 am:

Showers and storms will be likely. Some could be strong to severe. If you are planning on running in the race, plan on getting wet and a soggy race.

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Severe Weather Safety Reminders:

With so many outdoor events in the coming days and seeing a video like the one above, I thought it was a good opportunity to chat about safety precautions during storms and severe weather.

First, a thunderstorm is considered severe when it contains one inch or larger diameter size hail and/or wind gusts of 58 miles an hour or greater. A severe thunderstorm can also produce deadly lightning and very heavy rain which can lead to flash flooding. Remember, with any severe thunderstorm there is always the possibility of tornadoes.

If you are in the path or near the storm, take immediate actions to protect life and property and follow these safety rules:

  1. In open country, you should seek shelter and avoid trees which can be targets for lightning. If there is no shelter, go to a ditch or culvert but beware of rising water which can cause flooding.
  2. When indoors, stay away from outside walls and windows and go to an interior room on the lowest level. Avoid using electrical appliances while the storm is nearby. 
  3. In mobile homes, you should leave and seek nearby safe shelter.

Marc and Rick are going to be updating the risk for severe weather this week and the weekend during the news this evening on WDRB. Be sure to join them. I'll see you tomorrow at 11:30 in the morning! Until then we can connect on social media! The links to my pages are below!

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw