A Major Cooldown For Part Of Derby Week! Let's Talk Temperatures & Precipitation Chances...

I first starting talking about this in my blog on Monday this week. I felt there was enough data to support mentioning that there is going to be a major cool down for part of Derby week and the data continues to suggest part of the week may not be very nice at all. In tonight's blog, I want to start to look at the computer model's temperatures for next week.


A Major Pattern Chance Is Beginning


The weather pattern for 4 of the last 5 days has been a warmer than normal pattern. That has been very nice and quite frankly will continue through early next week, but when the change comes it will be sharp! The weather pattern right now has broken down into what we call an "omega block". Notice how the jet stream resembles the greek letter omega (Ω) now.


AdvanceTrak 1


Blocking patterns act as a road block for all storms. That means the storm over Billings, Montana will not just move slowly, but it will really drag its feet over the next week. Notice that same storm by Monday has only moved to near eastern Kansas.




By Thursday of next week, this is now sitting over eastern KY. That means in 204 hours, this storm has only moved 1,200 miles. That is an average storm motion of 5.8 mph for the next 9 days! Talk about a turtle!





What Does This Slow Moving Storm Mean For Our Area?


This slow moving storm means sustained weather on both sides of the low. In front of the low, it means sustained warm weather that lasts through around Monday, then a sharp turn toward sustained colder weather. Looking at the EURO and GFS temperatures for next week, you can see the problem this potentially means for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then it gets a bit unclear beyond that point. As you look at the data, note the timestamp and computer model name is in the top right part of each image. Please remember this is NOT my forecast, but a look at the computer model temperature forecasts for next week.


EURO Computer Model Temperature Projections

Notice the EURO keeps us "mild" on Tuesday, but beyond goes cold for this time of the year.
















GFS Computer Model Temperature Projections

Notice the GFS also doesn't bring the front through on Tuesday, but it turns sharply colder on Wednesday.

















My Thoughts On Our Cooldown Next Week...


I have been pretty convinced this pattern was a lock for days now. The exact time when we turn colder is still not locked at all. I do feel it will occur in the middle of next week. If it ends up in the Tuesday timeframe, then it will likely warm by Derby day, but if it occurs later like Thursday, then we would have a colder Derby. Right now, the data suggests the front gets here on Tuesday night meaning Wednesday through Friday would be chilly days for this time of the year.


The slow moving nature of this storm means rain is likely from Sunday night through at least Wednesday and showers will likely continue on Thursday. While this is not ideal for Derby week, it seems the most likely at this point. The heaviest rain would likely be Monday or Tuesday as things stand right now. Here is one of the interesting tidbits, both the EURO and GFS gets it cold enough to mix a few snow flakes or sleet pellets with the precipitation next week. This is nothing to worry about from a travel standpoint, but an interesting footnote. Here is a look at the GFS for Wednesday morning. To be honest, I would not be surprised to see a little sleet mix in with some of the showers if they came in the early part of the day on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.


Gfs mslp 1



The Climate Prediction Center continues to bite hard on this cooldown in their 6 - 10 day forecast and their 8 - 14 day forecast. Notice they have a 50% - 60% chance of below normal tempertures in this period which covers April 28 through May 6. That is obviously a significant chance of colder than normal temperatures!


CPC Forecast For Monday, April 28 - Friday, May 2.



CPC 6 - 10


CPC Forecast For Wednesday, April 30 - Tuesday, May 6.


CPC 8 - 14


How this affects Oaks and Derby remains a bit unclear considering those days are still 9 and 10 days into the future. This kind of pattern moves so slow and with slow moving storms, they can be erratic. I would say in the next 3 - 5 days, we should be able to dial in Oaks and Derby, but not yet. I will be watching and updating...





We are in Spring storm season and if you want to be one of my storm spotters, you can join me on my facebook or twitter page. Just follow the link below and click "like" or "follow".


If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!







Amazing 2D Rubens’ Tube Visualizes Sound With a Plane of Fire...

A Rubens' tube, also known as a standing wave flame tube, or simply flame tube, is an antique physics apparatus for demonstrating acoustic standing waves in a tube. This wave that stands in a constant stationary position consists of nodes, or low points, and anti-nodes, or high points. Invented by German physicist Heinrich Rubens in 1905, it graphically shows the relationship between sound waves and sound pressure, like a primitive oscilloscope...


Image Courtesy: Wiki

Now let's get to the updated version of the Rubens tube. Using the same concepts, physicists and chemists have developed a flat apparatus that contains 2,500 separate holes! Flammable gas is pumped through one end of the board and a sound wave through the other via a speaker. This is the Pyro Board...


Video Courtesy: Veritasium



-Rick DeLuca




Weather Blog: Oaks & Derby Weather

From Jude Redfield...

    Over almost 140 years of weather on Oaks and Derby Day you can imagine the wide range of weather Louisville has seen. The National Weather Service has put together the exact weather reports from every Oaks and Derby Day going back to day 1.  This is pretty cool to see how drastic the weather can be in a season of transition.


Oaks Day Weather History



We have literally seen every kind of weather on Derby Day. With the amount of rain we've had the last few years it seems our luck has to bring dry weather this year right???  That is the big question to answer at this point. Something we will be doing every day over the next week and a half.  **Check out the link below for specific details year by year** 

Kentucky Derby Weather History


We are off to a record shattering start to the severe weather season!

It has been 156 days and counting since the last "strong" tornado occurred in the United States.  

1118-Illinois-Midwest-tornado_full_600 A tornado west of Flatville, IL on November 17, 2013.  Image via Jessie Starkey/News-Gazette/AP

That storm was associated with the tornado outbreak that struck portions of the Midwest on November 17th last year and included the EF-4 that struck Washington, IL.  

Since then, severe weather has been at a minimum. In fact, it hasn't even been close.  Take a look at the number of EF-1 or stronger tornadoes that have occured through the 21st day of April over the last 62 years.  


On average 157 EF-1 or stronger tornadoes will occur during that period.  In 2011 there were 465!  So far this year, there have only been 20!!  This isn't just a record for fewest tornadoes to start out a year, but this is record shattering.  We have never seen anything like this.  

On this pace, we will break the record set just last year for fewest annual tornadoes in a season (adjusted for inflation) when we ended up with a total of 802 of them during the 2013 calendar year. 



So what is causing such low numbers of twisters?  

While there are likely a number of factors that have contributed to the lack of severe weather, the sustained cold period for the Eastern US has to be chief amoung them.  

It has been well documented on just how cold this past winter has been.  For many areas over the Eastern United States the winter of 2013-'14 will go down as one of the coldest on record.  

At one point, the Great Lakes were 94% covered by ice, good for the second highest level since we've been recording that sort of thing by satellite back in the early 70's.  

2_18_14_andrew_greatlakeswideviewVisible satellite image of ice covering Great Lakes February 2014.

Even as of last week, nearly 40% of the Great Lakes remained covered by ice.  This has never been observed this late in the season.  Take a look at how it compares to past Aprils dating back to 1981.


Locally, the winter was brutal here too with temperatures averaging some 5.4° below normal during the months of January, February and March!  That is a HUGE number and ranks as one of the coldest periods ever for the city of Louisville.

Keep in mind, the cold wasn't just limited to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.  It was unusually cold over just about the entire Eastern half of the United States.  The cold penetrated deep into the south too, including the Gulf of Mexico.  


As of this writing, sea surface temperatures across the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico remain below normal for this time of the year.  

This lack of warmth has translated to less moisture and heat available for the development of thunderstorms and ultimately tornadoes too.


So what has been causing all of the cold?  

The biggest factor has been the position of the polar jet stream.  Remember early January when we experienced the "polar vortex"?  Of course I'm referring to the displacement of the PV which caused the jet stream to take a huge dip across the Eastern United states resulting in the massive arctic outbreak that occurred.


That event set the tone for what would continue for most of the winter with a series of troughs in the upper levels over the East and at the same time a semi-permanent ridge of high pressure over the West.

That pattern of troughs over the Eastern US and ridges over the West has continued almost uninterrupted leading to a steady flow of cold air across our region.  This combined with a lack of Gulf moisture has been the main limiting factor to the severe weather season so far.  


So what about the future? 

While it's impossible to make accurate judgements about what will occur during the rest of this spring season, it is appearing more and more likely that severe weather will remain quite limited here at least over the next week or two.

Does this picture look familiar?


Longrange forecast models are once again indicating that we will see a deep upper level trough developing over the Eastern US next week with another ridge out West.

This will likely result in more below normal temperatures and unsettled weather heading into Derby Week.  That is the bad news.  The good is that severe weather is unlikely in a set up like this.  

Be sure to join Marc for the latest on the Derby Week forecast on WDRB News this evening.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell


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The Storm Prediction Center Has Severe Probabilities In Our Area Later This Week. Let's Discuss...

The Storm Prediction Center introduced severe weather chances for part of our area late Thursday in their update early today. In tonight's blog, I want to show you the area they are watching and give you my thoughts.


Storm Prediction Center Severe Risk On Thursday Night


SPC didn't put us in a slight risk of severe weather for Thursday night, but they did introduce a 5% chance of severe weather for the western part of our area. The 5% chance is their lowest probability for severe weather.


Categorical Risk Of Severe Weather Thursday 7 am - Friday 7 am

Notice SPC has us in the general t-storm risk late Thursday per their latest forecast and it covers all of our area.


Spc 3 cat



Probabilistic Risk Of Severe Weather Thursday 7 am - Friday 7 am

Notice SPC has the 5% chance for severe weather generally west of Louisville.



Spc 2 prob



A Discussion Of The Severe Weather Risk Thursday Night


Since we haven't discussed a severe weather risk in a little while, I want to begin by reminding you of the ingredients I look for when evaluating a severe weather risk. Remember, all three of these ingredients need to be present for larger scale, organized severe weather events.


Severe Weather Ingredients



The forcing Thursday night will come from an upper level low that will be moving across our area. It is not a powerful low by any means, but sufficient to support some t-storms.


Nam_500_vort 1



Wind Energy & Instability

To make this discussion a bit easier tonight, we will look at a couple of values (instability & wind energy) together to see if either supports organized severe weather. Bulk shear is an easy way to look at the maximum wind energy from around the surface to 6 km above the surface. Generally, we need 35 knots / 40 mph or more bulk shear to support severe weather. Looking at the bulk shear overlayed on the instability, we can see the data suggests about 25 knots / 28 mph of bulk shear with 500 units or less instability Thursday night.





My Thoughts On Severe Weather Chances Thursday Night


The data shows a decent mid level disturbance that will move across our area on Thursday night. The wind energy is not very strong and the instability is low end to support organized severe weather in our area. This is clearly not a day that jumps out as having a great severe weather risk. I would describe this as low end at best and likely below any severe weather threshold. I think the 5% to the west is ok, but I would not move it further east based on the data I see right now. I cannot rule out a rogue strong storm, but with low dewpoints even that may be a stretch.


AdvanceTrak shows a line that just goes flat as it enters and leaves our area Thursday night. Notice AdvanceTrak is trending toward around 2 am for the city, but some of the data is as early as 10 pm on Thursday night.


AdvanceTrak 1


AdvanceTrak 2


AdvanceTrak 3


AdvanceTrak 4


AdvanceTrak 5


AdvanceTrak 6


AdvanceTrak 7


We will watch it closely, but right now I am not concerned about an event.




We are in Spring storm season and if you want to be one of my storm spotters, you can join me on my facebook or twitter page. Just follow the link below and click "like" or "follow".


If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!






The Data Suggests Some Changes For The Colder Derby Week! My Thoughts Inside...

Over the last 4 months, we have seen the jet stream break down into a cold pattern over and over and over again. I am not sure this is what you want to hear , but the creates a jet stream pattern again this is likely going to lead to below normal temperatures for much of Derby week. Let’s talk more…


Weather Pattern Changes


The jet stream is very important as it can create powerful low pressures or stop them in their tracks. We have seen a number of weather “blocks” develop in the last 5 months that resulted consistently colder than normal temperatures. Just when you thought it was over, guess who is back? The data strongly suggests we will degrade into an “omega” (Ω) block late this week which will evolve into a high over low block late next week. This is critical because it means we will likely go below normal late this week and we could stay there for a while.


As we look at the jet stream, let’s start with Sunday. Notice how the jet stream strongly resembles the greek letter omega Ω? This is a good ole fashion omega blocking pattern. This is important because it just will not let storms move across the use and notice our area is in the middle of the block, so whether we start on the warm or cold side of the block is still complex.


Gfs 500 mb 1


By Tuesday morning of next week, the omega block has eroded but it is now replaced with a “high over low” block. This block means the same thing… storms are going nowhere and a persistent northwesterly flow should continue to blow colder than normal air in our direction.


  Gfs 500 mb 2


Finally, by Wednesday or next week, we still see a massive high over low block dominating our weather pattern. Notice the low has gotten closer and that would mean colder weather for our area.


  Gfs 500 mb 3



What Does This Mean For Derby Week?


When you look at how the temperatures compare to normal, there is very good consistency next week from the EURO and GFS. This weekend, we are seeing some divergence, but it smooths out next week.  Since the GFS and EURO are very similar next week, let’s look at only one in tonight’s blog starting on Monday. Notice the temperatures are from 11 – 16 degrees below normal by Monday of next week.


  Gfs temperature anomoly 1


Tuesday (next week), we see the trend continuing with temperatures running about 8 degrees below normal.


Gfs temperature anomoly 2


Wednesday (next week), again the data still suggests well below normal temperatures with most of the area about 10 – 13 degrees below normal.


  Gfs temperature anomoly 3


Thursday (next week)  has another push of cold air as that high over low block plants right on top of us. Notice the GFS has temperatures from 10 – 13 degrees below normal dominating the Ohio Valley.


  Gfs temperature anomoly 4


The GFS starts to moderate temperatures a little by Oaks day, but I feel we are starting to get into the part of the data that can be very unreliable. The GFS has temperatures about 6 degrees below normal for Oaks day.


  Gfs temperature anomoly 5


My Thoughts On Derby Week


I have very little question that two types of blocking patterns will dominate our weather pattern starting late this week. There is some question about whether we end up on the warm or cold side of the omega block for Sunday and Monday. Right now, I am playing the middle with temperatures in the mid 60s and a slight shower chance. To be honest, where these blocking patterns set up is not a strength of the computer models. By early next week, it appears clear we will head below normal on temperatures. Normally this time of the year we should be in the low 70s and it appears at least the first 4 days of next week will be quite a bit colder than normal.


Heading toward Derby and Oaks, we get into the medium range data that can be unreliable. At this point, I would hedge myself on a colder than normal late part of next week but I am not going to commit quite yet. This is still a long way off, so locking now is a recipe for failure.


The Climate Prediction Center does appear to agree now in their 8 – 14 day forecast that covers April 29 – May 5th. Notice they have a large 50% - 60% chance of colder than normal weather in that time frame.


  CPC Month


Since precipitation is so important to our outdoor festival events, I don’t want to speculate just yet. I would like a couple more days of data before I start to talk about days with rain chances for the mid or late part of next week. The placement of that block will be the key.




We are in Spring storm season and if you want to be one of my storm spotters, you can join me on my facebook or twitter page. Just follow the link below and click "like" or "follow".


If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!






Next system brings a chance of showers and storms to start the workweek.

Following a picture perfect Easter Weekend, we focus our attention on a storm system that will be impacting our weather as we start the new workweek.


We are tracking a developing cold front across the Northern Plains.  Ahead of it, several areas of showers and storms have developed across portions of the Great Lakes, Midwest and the Great Plains.

This system will track through Kentuckiana tomorrow night.  

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT starts us off with dry conditions out the door on Monday and a partly cloudy sky.


Despite increased clouds, temps warm quickly into the 70's during the lunch hour.


Isolated showers and storms will be possible by late afternoon as highs close in on 80 degrees.


Although most of the area looks to remain dry during the evening, isolated showers will remain possible.


Showers become more scattered overnight Monday night.


Showers linger into the first part of Tuesday with clearing and cooler conditions during the afternoon.


Jude Redfield has a full update first thing on WDRB in the Morning.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell


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NASA Discovers Earth Sized Planet in Habitable Zone


Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.

While planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth and understanding their makeup is challenging. Kepler-186f is more reminiscent of Earth.

"The discovery of Kepler-186f is a significant step toward finding worlds like our planet Earth," said Paul Hertz, NASA's Astrophysics Division director at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Future NASA missions, like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the James Webb Space Telescope, will discover the nearest rocky exoplanets and determine their composition and atmospheric conditions, continuing humankind's quest to find truly Earth-like worlds."

Kepler186f_artistconcept_0The artist's concept depicts Kepler-186f , the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Although the size of Kepler-186f is known, its mass and composition are not. Previous research, however, suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.

"We know of just one planet where life exists -- Earth. When we search for life outside our solar system we focus on finding planets with characteristics that mimic that of Earth," said Elisa Quintana, research scientist at the SETI Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and lead author of the paper published today in the journal Science. "Finding a habitable zone planet comparable to Earth in size is a major step forward."

Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system, about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four companion planets, which orbit a star half the size and mass of our sun. The star is classified as an M dwarf, or red dwarf, a class of stars that makes up 70 percent of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Kepler186f_comparisongraphic_0The diagram compares the planets of our inner solar system to Kepler-186, a five-planet star system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The five planets of Kepler-186 orbit an M dwarf, a star that is is half the size and mass of the sun. Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

"M dwarfs are the most numerous stars," said Quintana. "The first signs of other life in the galaxy may well come from planets orbiting an M dwarf."

Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130-days and receives one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from the sun, placing it nearer the outer edge of the habitable zone. On the surface of Kepler-186f, the brightness of its star at high noon is only as bright as our sun appears to us about an hour before sunset.

"Being in the habitable zone does not mean we know this planet is habitable. The temperature on the planet is strongly dependent on what kind of atmosphere the planet has," said Thomas Barclay, research scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames, and co-author of the paper. "Kepler-186f can be thought of as an Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth."

The four companion planets, Kepler-186b, Kepler-186c, Kepler-186d, and Kepler-186e, whiz around their sun every four, seven, 13, and 22 days, respectively, making them too hot for life as we know it. These four inner planets all measure less than 1.5 times the size of Earth.

The next steps in the search for distant life include looking for true Earth-twins -- Earth-size planets orbiting within the habitable zone of a sun-like star -- and measuring the their chemical compositions. The Kepler Space Telescope, which simultaneously and continuously measured the brightness of more than 150,000 stars, is NASA's first mission capable of detecting Earth-size planets around stars like our sun.

Ames is responsible for Kepler's ground system development, mission operations, and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and was funded by the agency's Science Mission Directorate.

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.  The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

For more information about the Kepler mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

Video and information provided by NASA


Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell


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VIDEO: Violent tornado strikes Northern Italy!

This picture of a tornado that touched down in Civitavecchia, Italy (northwest of Rome) was shared to me via my my facebook page.  

Tornado northwest of rome

Apparently, this storm was one of several tornadoes that occurred.  Several more twisters were reported across the northern part of the state.  One of these tornadoes turned out to be quite strong.

According to DailyMotion.com, a strong tornado hit the Italian region of Emilia Romagna on Friday at around 1400 GMT according to Italian media, injuring 11 people and damaging several houses. Numerous fields were damaged by the strong storms and the harvest could be ruined. 

Vid still01

Here's a video of that powerful tornado.


Injuries reported as tornado leaves trail of destruction in northern Italy.

Tornado Smashes Through Northern Italy - Sky News news.sky.com/story/1087036 - Traduzir esta pgina 6 horas atrs -- Villagers are working to repair millions o.

A huge tornado has struck the Emilio-Romagna region of northern Italy this weekend. Amateur footage from small towns near the region.


Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell


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Historical Easter Weather & 2014 Forecast...

Spring in the Ohio Valley is known for it's wide variety of weather. For example, back in 1970 6.4" of snow fell in Louisville! Thankfully this time around, the weather looks amazing!  Here is a list of some of the other stats and records set on Easter...


The entire holiday weekend will be rain-free, sunny, and warm. After climbing into the mid 70's this afternoon, I think we could hit 80 tomorrow. If you are heading out early in the day to church service or maybe an egg hunt, dress for some cooler temps...


The only thing that might stop you from getting outside and enjoying this perfect spring weather would be your allergies. You might start sniffling and sneezing just by looking at the pollen count. Notice that we are in the very high category all the way through Monday...


Have a nice weekend and Happy Easter!


-Rick DeLuca