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66 posts from November 2016


HEADS UP! The ISS Will Be Visible For 6 Minutes...

Looking into the night sky and seeing the International Space Station fly overhead is mind-blowing! Just think, you are watching something that is 230 miles above you, flying at nearly 5 miles per second. Since it will be visible for such a long time, I wanted to let you know when and where to look...


How To View The International Space Station



When To Look...

The ISS will be visible in our area this evening at 5:49 pm for 6 minutes! Usually these passes last about a minute or two so 6 minutes is more than enough time to view it. Don't forget, it will be moving FAST.

Where To Look...

At 5:49 pm, the ISS will appear about 10 degrees above the horizon in the south-southwest part of the sky and move toward the east-northeast. The ISS will reach a peak elevation of 28 degrees, which is sort of low on the horizon...


The skies will be partly cloudy across Indiana and mostly clear in Kentucky making viewing conditions a bit better to the south. Temperatures will be in the 40's so grab a jacket and enjoy!




-Rick DeLuca



December Outlook: Winter Arriving on Time!

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center released their updated December Outlook earlier today.  

According to their projections, we will see near normal temperatures locally with above normal precipitation.



CPC is also forecasting continued above normal temps across the Northeast and a large area of below normal temps for much of the Western US, particularly in the Central and Northern Rockies.  

The Looming Cold

As mentioned in the WDRB 2016-'17 Winter Outlook, while we have enjoyed more than our share of warmth so far this autumn, that has not been the case on the other side of the globe where much of Siberia and Eastern Europe have been experiencing record levels of both cold and snow for this time of the year.  

As also mentioned in the WDRB 2016-'17 Winter Outlook upper patterns appeared favorable for some of that cold and snow to swing into parts of the Western Hemisphere in the coming months.

Judging by current temps in interior Alaska, it appears that THE COLD HAS ARRIVED where the mercury has dipped to some 30 or even 40 degrees BELOW ZERO in some cases!


While clearly the "cross-polar flow" has set up across the Arctic.  The only question now becomes, when doe the cold arrive here?  

Agreement amongst the Data

Both the Euro and the GFS agree that the end of next week looks cold... very cold!  


Data suggest that a large trough of low pressure will swing from the Northern Rockies and into the Central - Eastern US by late in the week.  

This looks to bring an ABSOLUTE SURGE of cold arctic air into much of the Continental US.  There is GOOD AGREEMENT that this will occur where highs might not escape the 30's in our area by next Friday and lows will likely be MUCH LOWER than that next weekend, BRRR!!! 


What to the Models Say??

The latest data from the "Euro Weeklies", a longer range version of the European medium range weather model which goes out up to 45 days, shows the cold arriving in force across the Rockies next week and it beginning to arrive here in about 8 days. 


 This cold then looks to expand and intensify as it engulfs almost all of the US during the 2nd week of the month.


 Looking ahead towards the third week of December, it shows the cold remains in place over much of the Central and Eastern US.


 Finally, the Weeklies are showing temps modifying to near normal towards Christmas and the final week of the month.


So what do I think?

I think after a nice little warm up during the first half of next week, we are set to see the first ARCTIC INVASION of the season by late next week.  In addition, data supports the idea that we will see reinforcing shots of cold arriving through the middle of the month with modifying temps after that.  

As far as precipitation is concerned, I agree with CPC with the ABOVE NORMAL PRECIP forecast for the month.  This is supported by the weak La Nina that has developed over the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, the warmer than normal sea surface temps in the Gulf of Mexico and the VERY ACTIVE jet stream winds that the models are projecting.  

So despite the abundance of warmth and lack of precipitation in recent months, with a serious cold snap looming in the near term, it looks like WINTER WILL indeed ARRIVE ON TIME this year.

In my opinion, at this point, it looks like temps will average out a little below normal for the month.  As far as snow is concerned, there is no guarantee that above normal precip and below normal temps result in a lot of snow.  However, considering we only average around 3.5" of snow each December, I like our chances!  

Stay tuned.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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First Above-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season Since 2012 Produced Five Landfalling U.S. Storms...

November 30, 2016 As the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and central Pacific 2016 hurricane seasons end today, NOAA scientists said that all three regions saw above-normal seasons.


Image Credit: NOAA

For the Atlantic, this was the first above-normal season since 2012. The Atlantic saw 15 named storms during 2016, including 7 hurricanes (Alex, Earl, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto), 3 of which were major hurricanes (Gaston, Matthew and Nicole). NOAA’s updated hurricane season outlook in August called for 12 to 17 named storms, including 5 to 8 hurricanes, with 2 to 4 of those predicted to become major hurricanes.

Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, as well as Hurricane Hermine, made landfall in Florida. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.

Several Atlantic storms  made landfall outside of the United States during 2016: Tropical Storm Danielle in Mexico, Hurricane Earl in Belize, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas, and Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua.

The strongest and longest-lived storm of the season was Matthew, which reached maximum sustained surface winds of 160 miles per hour and lasted as a major hurricane for eight days from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. Matthew was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Felix in 2007.


Image Credit: NOAA

Matthew intensified into a major hurricane on Sept. 30 over the Caribbean Sea, making it the first major hurricane in that region since Poloma in 2008. It made landfall as a category 4 major hurricane in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, causing extensive damage and loss of life. It then made landfall on Oct. 8 as a category 1 hurricane in the U.S. near McClellanville, South Carolina.

Matthew caused storm surge and beach erosion from Florida through North Carolina, and produced more than 10 inches of rain resulting in extensive freshwater flooding over much of the eastern Carolinas. The storm was responsible for the greatest U.S. loss of life due to inland flooding from a tropical system since torrential rains from Hurricane Floyd caused widespread and historic flooding in eastern North Carolina in 1999.

“The strength of Hurricane Matthew, as well as the increased number of U.S. landfalling storms this season, were linked to large areas of exceptionally weak vertical wind shear that resulted from a persistent ridge of high pressure in the middle and upper atmosphere over Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions, along with very warm Caribbean waters, helped fuel Matthew’s rapid strengthening.”

Eastern and central Pacific Hurricane Seasons


Image Credit: NOAA

The eastern Pacific hurricane basin, which covers the eastern Pacific Ocean east of 140 degrees West, produced 21 named storms during 2016, including 11 hurricanes of which 5 became major hurricanes. July through September was the most active three-month period on record for this basin. NOAA’s eastern Pacific hurricane season outlook called for 13 to 20 named storms, including 6 to 11 hurricanes, 3 to 6 of which were expected to become major hurricanes.

The central Pacific hurricane basin covers the Pacific Ocean west of 140 degrees West to the International Date Line. This basin saw seven tropical cyclones (includes tropical depressions and named storms) during 2016. All seven became named storms, and included three hurricanes of which two were major hurricanes. Tropical Storm Darby made landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii, marking the first time in recorded history that two storms in three years struck the Big Island (Darby in 2016 and Iselle in 2014). NOAA’s central Pacific hurricane season outlook called for 4 to 7 tropical cyclones. That outlook does not predict specific ranges of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes.



-Rick DeLuca



Deadly Fires Destroy Resorts and Homes in Gatlinburg

Raging wildfires have left devastating results in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the death toll continues to rise. The number stands at four but there are several families still searching for missing loved ones and reaching out with heartfelt messages. 14,000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate with nothing but the clothes on their backs. More than 250 homes and businesses have been destroyed. This scary video is from INSIDE the Park Vista Hotel as it became a raging inferno. The person behind the camera evacuated shortly after.

Video Courtesy: Adam Palemno

As people fled, hundreds of firefighters headed into the flames fearlessly and more than 200 are still fighting flames and hot spots even after rain arrived with perfect timing last night. However, Tennessee is in the midst of an EXTREME drought. The rain helped yesterday but it won't end the drought. This drought didn't happen over night and it won't be fix with one rain event. Rainfall amounts are 10-15 inches below normal from the past 3 months. Therefore, the fire threat is still a risk.

Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 3.56.51 PM

This video below is really striking. It is aerial coverage of the largest fire in Tennessee in 100 years.

Video Courtesy: Mr. Kapil Sharma

City leaders might start allowing people to return to the city later this week, perhaps as early as Friday. He says that will give business owners a chance to look at the damage. Right now, following the evacuations, it is a ghost town.

Video Courtesy: Jon Gaddis

Gatlinburg's mayor, Mike Werner said if you want to do something to help that is to come and vacation there, when they are back on their feet in just a short time. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

  -Meteorologist Katie McGraw


NWS Holds Conference Call Concerning Tonight's Severe Potential

The National Weather Service held a conference call concerning the severe risk for portions of Kentucky tonight.  Here are their notes...




My thoughts...

NWS is concerned about an isolated tornado threat for areas south of the Bluegrass Parkway in Kentucky tonight after midnight.  

The reason for their concern revolves around the formation of a small "meso" area of low pressure that could result in the development of circulations within thunderstorms that organize late tonight. 

Although you can't completely rule out a brief spin up in our area, in my opinion, that MUCH HIGHER risk will remain a lot further south into Northern Mississippi or perhaps far Southern Tennessee where several tornadoes could materialize later today and tonight. 


Regarless, the situation should be monitored as things develop this evening. 

Marc will have a full update tonight.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Severe Weather Potential

From Jude Redfield...

    Moisture on the rise with added warmth = just enough instability that leads to a slight risk for severe storms later tonight.  The best chance for rain and storms develops after 9pm in southern Kentucky. These will move to the NNE rapidly and spill showers and a few rumbles to near the Ohio River after 11pm. Most of this action (severe potential) will leave by 4am.

    The richest moisture (highest dewpoint) area will be situated in southern Kentucky.  This is where we have the greatest risk for a few warnings.  An isolated storm could surge north of the parkways and pose a very small threat at severe weather. In my opinion locations along and south of the parkways should be in the slight risk. Areas north of this line don't have enough projected instability to sustain multiple severe storms (isolated possible)

    Since winds support a little twisting motion underneath the developing low pressure I can't rule out a brief spin up prompting a tornado warning. I SEE NO INDICATIONS AT THIS POINT THAT WOULD LEAD TO AN OUTBREAK OF SEVERE WEATHER

    Heavy rain could tally up more than 1" across sections of Kentucky.

    Check in with Jeremy Kappell and Marc Weinberg later today. They will be looking at the new data this afternoon making possible adjustments to the forecast. -Jude Redfield-




Squall Line Approaches! When to Expect it this Evening...

A large shield of rainfall continues to provide some much needed moisture across the region.  

As a squall line approaches out of Western Kentucky, the intensity of both the rain and wind look to increase into this evening!


Ahead of this approaching line of gusty showers, a Wind Advisory has been issued for our Metro Indiana Counties and points to the south through Kentucky for the possibility of winds in excess of 40 mph. 


Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT brings this line into our far western counties by around 7 pm with light to moderate rain continuing ahead of it.


The line moves through Paoli and hardinsburg by 8 pm with the line holding strong as it approaches metro.


AT brings the line to the I-65 corridor by 9 pm with a secondary line forming in it's wake.


From there the primary line weakens at it moves through our Eastern Counties by 10 pm.


Eventually the line falls apart into the Bluegrass with just some scattered showers left over into Eastern Kentucky by late evening.


So what do I think?

We have seen some very beneficial rains today and we look to add to that this evening.  However, the wind will howl for a bit with the passage of this squall line especially across our western counties where there's a little instability to work with.  As this line shifts east, it will ingest drier air and we will lose all instability.

So while 40 mph gusts should remain widespread, the chance for seeing stronger winds to 50 mph or so will remain limited to areas west of I-65 and likely south of I-64.  

Behind this system, we will see a beautiful day shaping up for Tuesday as highs near 70 with some sunshine.  Another round of beneficial rains will be possible for our Kentucky counties Tuesday night.

Marc will have a full update on what to expect tonight.  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Damaging Wind Potential

From Jude Redfield...

     On and off soaking light to moderate rain for the rest of the day. The rain becomes heavy between 6pm-12am. As winds pick up this afternoon expect gusts to near 30mph by 4pm.  Wind gusts to near 50mph are likely between 6pm-12am.  I expect many, many gusts between 40-45mph as the line works through Kentuckiana.  A few gusts around 50mph are likely. Since we don't have instability it will be difficult to produce many gusts in excess of 60mph.  This one missing ingredient will save us from an outbreak of severe weather. Since the low level jet is so ferocious an isolated gust to 60mph can't be ruled out.  Tree limbs could fall and Christmas decorations will be tossed around this evening.


    Please view the future radar images below.  The squall line of heavy rain and gusty wind will move to the ENE around 60mph at times.  When the appearance of the long red line on the radar pushes through is when the highest winds are likely.  This line will not come packed with much lightning due to a lack of instability.  This could lead to a situation that prompts severe t-storm warnings without any t-storms on the radar. I've seen this situation unfold a few times in the past.  The National Weather Service could issue these warnings for the potential of gusty winds of 58mph or greater without the thunder and lightning.





    Rain amounts from this one system will be equal or higher to what we've seen combined since October 1st.


Please check in with Jeremy, Marc and Rick later today for the latest radar images and wind outlook -Jude Redfield-


Double-Barreled System set to Deliver BIG Rain & Wind!

A large, complex, upper level storm system swirling over the Western US is set to deliver big rain and wind here locally tomorrow and tomorrow night.  


Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak....






While AT brings in some shower activity during the morning, it will be light and mainly limited to areas west of 65 and north of 64.  

Activity looks to slowly expand over our Western and Central counties during the afternoon with Southeastern counties largely missing out through mid afternoon.


Finally, the rain pushes east during the evening with the main event coming in the form of a VERY GUSTY line of showers and storms. 


For the most part, wind should remain below severe criteria in the 30 to 40 mph range.  

However, it should be noted that there will be a TREMENDOUS amount of wind energy available a short distance above the surface.  Take a look at these 850 mb winds... located at about 4,500'.  WOW!  Yes, those would be hurricane force at about a mile up.  


Fortunately, instability is expected to be at a minimal and this will largely negate that type of wind energy above us.  However, it should be mentioned that any storms that do get going will have the potential to divert a part of that to the ground with gusts exceeding 40 mph locally.  

Back to AT where it shows the main line breaking down into two distinct lines moving thru our Western and into our Central Counties by mid evening.


Quickly these lines push east and into the Bluegrass by late evening or approaching midnight.


Activity quickly exits into Eastern Kentucky after midnight.


What's the severe risk? 

As of now, the Storm Prediction Center doesn't have us in a risk at all... only a "general" t-storm category here.  


They do have much of the Lower Mississippi River Valley included in a "slight" or  "enhanced" and a "marginal" nudging into SW Kentucky. 

Considering the latest data, I wouldn't be surprised if they pushed the marginal into some of our Southern Counties.  Something to watch.


So what do I think?

I think we are in line for some very beneficial rains, especially for areas along and north of the Ohio River where TWO inches will be possible.  Elsewhere, for most of our Kentucky counties I think a general 1 to 2 appears likely.  

As far as the wind potential, it will get gusty with those lines of showers/storms.  Severe may not be out of the question for our far Southern Counties.  For the rest of us, 30 to 40 mph gusts appear likely with heaviest squalls.  

A second round of beneficial rains will be possible for parts of the area Tuesday night.

Jude will be in with a full update on what to expect first thing on WDRB in the Morning.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Major West Coast Storm to Deliver Beneficial Rains!

A potent upper level storm system is spinning over the Southwestern US bringing some much needed rains and mountian snows to parts of Central and Southern California.  


This storm will quickly swing in our direction over the next couple of days bringing a good bet for beneficial rains here too.  

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT shows showers developing first thing on Monday for our central and western counties.


Shower activity becomes widespread by Midday.


AT shows the heaviest activity remaining to our west through the afternoon hours.


Rain begins to pick up in intenisty by early evening with a line of gusty showers and possibly storms into western countes. 


The line of heavy storms  reaches the I-65 corridor by late evening. 


Heavy rain progresses into eastern counties after midnight.


Rain exits by early morning on Tuesday.


How much rain can we expect? 

While all models are showing some VERY BENEFICIAL rainfall, the GFS is the most aggressive with widespread 1.75" and 2.00" amounts in our area. 

Rainfall projection

This storm system could also help much of the drought stricken Southeastern US where an extreme drought continues to plague much of Southern Appalachia and Dixie. 


So what do I think?

I think we are finally due for some beneficial rainfall.  While there's no guarantee that two inches of rain materializes, I think 1 to 2 inches looks very reasonable for the entire viewing area with the highest totals occuring over our western counties.  Also, I think it will rain for MUCH of the day on Monday giving the opportunity for it to soak into the ground and not just runoff.  


Could there be severe?

While the potential for severe weather will be there for parts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley on Monday, no more than a few gusty showers are expected here. 

Parts of the area will see another chance at some rain late Wednesday.  Stay tuned.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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