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63 posts from March 2017


VIDEO: Tornado in Washington State, Tosses RVs

Tornadoes are not unheard of in Washington state but they are rare. Yesterday, a weak tornado caused some damage to a town and it was all caught on camera!

The Speedway RV Center in Monroe, Washington recently installed cameras to keep an eye on the lot and just like that (snaps fingers) they were able to get a good look at what toppled trailers across the yard. One even landed on an employees car. Check out the videos below!

Video Credit: The Weather Network

Video Credit: Jeff Raetz

Trees bent, RVs were pushed around and toppled over, but luckily there were no injuries. However, it could have been a lot worse. The car that was crunched by the one of the RVs, belongs to a mechanic named Tyler Muchoney. He says he normally takes his break in his car. Yesterday, however, he decided to take it a little later and that decision may have saved his life!

This is another great time to discuss tornado safety regarding mobile homes. They are not safe during tornadoes because they are not sturdy enough and you need to have a back up storm plan if you live in a mobile home.

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Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 


Friday Rain Update

From Jude Redfield...

    Clouds, spotty showers and chilly breezes headline the weather today. Yesterday's high of 80 is long gone!!!  The showers you see on the radar image below (9:28am) will slide east this afternoon. Ample dry time is likely this afternoon.  High temps will not make it out of the mid-upper 50s.

Lawrence County Tornado


Last nights heavy rain and today's showers squash the pollen count through tomorrow morning.  As dry air arrives this weekend our sneeze cast shows high levels of pollen on Sunday.


If you are headed to the Reds vs Bats game tonight have a jacket to keep the chilly breeze off you. It isn't going to be a rainout with only a 10% chance of a sprinkle.  Opening day for the Reds is Monday...that could be a rainout.


Just wanted to say safe travels to everyone heading out of town for spring break. Have a great time, be safe and we will see you back home in a couple weeks. -Jude Redfield-


NASA's MAVEN Reveals Most of Mars' Atmosphere Was Lost to Space...

Solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping the Martian atmosphere, transforming Mars from a planet that could have supported life billions of years ago into a frigid desert world, according to new results from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

"We've determined that most of the gas ever present in the Mars atmosphere has been lost to space," said Bruce Jakosky, principal investigator for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), University of Colorado in Boulder. The team made this determination from the latest results, which reveal that about 65 percent of the argon that was ever in the atmosphere has been lost to space. Jakosky is lead author of a paper on this research to be published in Science on Friday, March 31.


This infographic shows how Mars lost argon and other gasses over time due to ‘sputtering.’ Click to enlarge.
Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

In 2015, MAVEN team members previously announced results that showed atmospheric gas is being lost to space today and described how atmosphere is stripped away. The present analysis uses measurements of today’s atmosphere for the first estimate of how much gas was lost through time.

Liquid water, essential for life, is not stable on Mars' surface today because the atmosphere is too cold and thin to support it. However, evidence such as features resembling dry riverbeds and minerals that only form in the presence of liquid water indicates the ancient Martian climate was much different – warm enough for water to flow on the surface for extended periods.

“This discovery is a significant step toward unraveling the mystery of Mars' past environments,“ said Elsayed Talaat, MAVEN Program Scientist, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In a broader context, this information teaches us about the processes that can change a planet’s habitability over time.”

There are many ways a planet can lose some of its atmosphere. For example, chemical reactions can lock gas away in surface rocks, or an atmosphere can be eroded by radiation and a stellar wind from a planet's parent star. The new result reveals that solar wind and radiation were responsible for most of the atmospheric loss on Mars, and the depletion was enough to transform the Martian climate. The solar wind is a thin stream of electrically conducting gas constantly blowing out from the surface of the sun.

The early Sun had far more intense ultraviolet radiation and solar wind, so atmospheric loss by these processes was likely much greater in Mars' history. According to the team, these processes may have been the dominant ones controlling the planet's climate and habitability. It's possible microbial life could have existed at the surface early in Mars’ history. As the planet cooled off and dried up, any life could have been driven underground or forced into rare surface oases.

Jakosky and his team got the new result by measuring the atmospheric abundance of two different isotopes of argon gas. Isotopes are atoms of the same element with different masses. Since the lighter of the two isotopes escapes to space more readily, it will leave the gas remaining behind enriched in the heavier isotope. The team used the relative abundance of the two isotopes measured in the upper atmosphere and at the surface to estimate the fraction of the atmospheric gas that has been lost to space.

As a "noble gas" argon cannot react chemically, so it cannot be sequestered in rocks; the only process that can remove noble gases into space is a physical process called "sputtering" by the solar wind. In sputtering, ions picked up by the solar wind can impact Mars at high speeds and physically knock atmospheric gas into space. The team tracked argon because it can be removed only by sputtering. Once they determined the amount of argon lost by sputtering, they could use this information to determine the sputtering loss of other atoms and molecules, including carbon dioxide (CO2).  

CO2 is of interest because it is the major constituent of Mars' atmosphere and because it's an efficient greenhouse gas that can retain heat and warm the planet. "We determined that the majority of the planet's CO2 was also lost to space by sputtering," said Jakosky. "There are other processes that can remove CO2, so this gives the minimum amount of CO2 that's been lost to space."

The team made its estimate using data from the Martian upper atmosphere, which was collected by MAVEN's Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS). This analysis included measurements from the Martian surface made by NASA's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Curiosity rover.

Video Source: NASA Goddard

"The combined measurements enable a better determination of how much Martian argon has been lost to space over billions of years," said Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "Using measurements from both platforms points to the value of having multiple missions that make complementary measurements." Mahaffy, a co-author of the paper, is principal investigator on the SAM instrument and lead on the NGIMS instrument, both of which were developed at NASA Goddard.

The research was funded by the MAVEN mission. MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, and NASA Goddard manages the MAVEN project. MSL/Curiosity is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.


-Rick DeLuca



Tornado Watch Issued

A Tornado Watch has been issued for a portion of our viewing area. The watch is in effect until 10 pm EDT.

Below is an image of the counties included, as well as the details from the National Weather Service. 


   Tornado Watch Number 104
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   305 PM EDT Thu Mar 30 2017

   The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

   * Tornado Watch for portions of 
     Central and southern Indiana
     Western Ohio

   * Effective this Thursday afternoon and evening from 305 PM until
     1000 PM EDT.

   * Primary threats include...
     A few tornadoes possible
     Scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible
     Isolated very large hail events to 2 inches in diameter possible

   SUMMARY...The air mass will continue to gradually destabilize along
   and south of a northward-moving warm front across Indiana and
   western Ohio. Aside from a damaging wind/some hail risk, moderately
   strong low-level shear will support the possibility of tornadoes,
   particularly near the warm front.

   The tornado watch area is approximately along and 55 statute miles
   north and south of a line from 10 miles west northwest of Terre
   Haute IN to 35 miles north of Dayton OH. For a complete depiction of
   the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS


   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.

Marc, Rick and I are here and watching the radar and will be keeping you informed. Be sure to watch the news this evening 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 


Recap Of The National Weather Service Conference Call Regarding Severe Weather Potential

The National Weather Service in Louisville has concluded a conference call pertaining to the threat for severe weather this afternoon and evening. Below are a couple graphics summarizing the discussion. 

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

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Marc, Rick and I are here and watching the radar and will be keeping you informed. Be sure to watch the news this evening 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 



Thursday's Severe Weather Potential: Threats and Timing

The Storm Prediction Center has our entire region under the risk for severe weather tomorrow, but some of us (west of I-65 and south of the river) have an elevated risk. This is the enhanced risk of severe weather vs the slight risk of severe weather. However, there is a good chance the risk area will change before the storms arrive tomorrow and the enhanced risk will likely include more of our area.

Just for your information: A slight risk (area in yellow) is an area of organized severe storms, which is not widespread in coverage with varying levels of intensity. While the enhanced (orange lines) is an area of greater severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity.

While there is still some uncertainty about tomorrow, it is a day to be weather aware and informed. If everything lines up, all modes of severe weather are possible. This means we could have supercells, damaging straight line winds, large hail, heavy rain, lightning and tornadoes. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 6.00.17 PM

There is a moderate risk, one notch up from enhanced to our SW. That is the greatest risk area for tornadoes tomorrow and extends into TN and MS.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 6.00.08 PM

The system bringing the severe threat to our region is still positioned to our west. We could see a few scattered showers in the morning, but there should be enough dry time in the early afternoon to increase instability, which would aid the development of severe weather in the late afternoon and early evening. If there is any sunshine- it would really increase the severe risk. We will also be warming, the moisture content will be increasing both of which increase instability. Timing will be everything tomorrow, the earlier the storms arrive, the severe threat increases, because it will be during the heat of the day with higher instability. 

Image 3

So on that note, let's discuss how much instability and wind shear the models are predicting.  Below is the CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy peaking around 1800 J/Kg and later in the afternoon it is around 1000-1500 J/kg. Which is definitely enough instability for severe weather production. 
Image 4

There is also plenty of wind energy available. Below is an image of the mid-level winds peaking at 50-60 kts and there is about 40 kt of 0-6 km bulk shear. As storms arrive later in the day there is about 40-50 kt winds. Again, this is more than enough wind energy for severe weather and we have both speed and directional shear. Directional shear is the turning of wind fields with height, which not only points to the potential for rotating winds which increases our tornado threat but also increases the threat for hail. 
Image 5


As I mentioned above timing will be everything tomorrow and it is not 100% certain when the strong to severe storms will hit our area. That's why it is important to check back tonight, tomorrow morning and during the afternoon tomorrow to make sure you know everything you can about tomorrow's threat. At this time, we feel they are most likely around 6-8 pm. 

We have the chance for a few scattered showers early in the day and they will weaken as they progress into our area. 

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At 2

We will then dry up for the afternoon. Regeneration of storms to our west will then take place as the atmosphere destabilizes and mid/upper level winds increase ahead of a cold front. If you see a lot of sunshine during the afternoon, have  your guard up even more for the evening, because it will increase our threat for severe weather as it destabilizes our atmosphere even more. 

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Danger Zone. 

6-8 pm looks like the main threat period at this time. Also, I think SPC is leaving out parts of our area in the "enhanced risk" that should and probably will be included if things continue to progress the way they are now.  

At 4

As we moved through the night, there will be a gradual weakening in storm intensity. 

At 5

Marc and Rick will have their analysis on the storm threat this evening on WDRB News. Jude will be on bright and early with any changes that happen overnight. The whole WDRB team is ready for the storms and we will be keeping you informed in a variety of ways if and when the storms go severe. Social media is a great way to stay informed during severe weather. You can find my pages below. Stay safe! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 



Severe Weather Likely On Thursday

From Jude Redfield...

    Thursday presents another risk for severe weather. While scattered showers and a few storms are possible in the morning and early afternoon we aren't looking at the enhanced risk for severe weather until the evening. As long as we experience ample dry time during the day, high temps will jump over the 70 degree mark. I feel this is going to happen. This will provide enough instability to aid in severe storm formation by the evening. Wind energy is potent with this storm system so damaging straight line wind will be the primary threat.

Lawrence County Tornado

The areas highlighted in red indicate the regions severe storms are most likely. This includes areas along I-65 and locations to the west.


The area below highlighted as the tornado zone is the region where supercells will form in the afternoon and likely produce scattered tornadoes. This enhanced region for tornadoes should remain just to our southwest.  These supercells will eventually form into a line and blast through Kentuckiana producing severe storms with damaging straight line wind as the primary concern.



Please follow the future radar images below for a gauge of Thursday's storm timeline.


The cold front arrives in Paducah around dinner time.  Ahead of this cold is where the line of severe storms moves.


Our greatest potential for severe weather is from 7pm - 12am. The instability will quickly fade shortly after sunset. By the time we head after midnight the severe weather threat should exit.



Tomorrow's cloud cover and eventual rain/storm development during the day will have a huge impact on the instability levels. The least amount of cloud cover and rain we get = greater instability and vice versa. Until we see how this shakes out we don't know for 100% certainty how this potential will be realized. Please stay up to date with this evolving weather situation.  Jeremy Kappell is on WDRB News from 11:30am - 12:30pm with additional info. -Jude Redfield-



HEADS UP! The International Space Station 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. If you've never taken the opportunity to check it out, it's worth a few minutes of your time...


How To View The International Space Station


When To Look...

The ISS will be visible in our area this evening at 9:06 pm for 6 minutes! 6 minutes is more than enough to view it, but remember it will be moving FAST and clouds may obstruct the view at times. 

Where To Look...

At 9:06 pm, the ISS will appear about 10 degrees above the horizon in the southwest part of the sky and move toward the northeast. It will reach a peak elevation of 72 degrees above the horizon, so don't look too low in the sky...


Blotchy areas of clouds may dim or block out the ISS in spots, but you should still be able to see it at intervals. You might not even need a jacket as temperatures slowly drag down through the 60's...




-Rick DeLuca



Next Storm Approaches. Severe Storms Again Possible!

Our busy spring pattern continues with another round of strong to severe thunderstorms expected late Thursday and Thursday night. 

The system of interest is a sprawling, detached, upper level area of low pressure now exiting the Southern Rockies where it is sparking severe weather into the Southern Plains. 

Gfs vort

This storm looks to slowly move in our direction over the next couple of days and promises to deliver some rough weather from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up into the Lower Ohio Valley.


The Storm Prediction Center currently has the southwestern half of our viewing area under a Slight Risk for severe storms Thursday.


This could be expanded north or south with time depending on how the ingredients come together.  

Let's time it out with the GFS...

The 12z run of the GFS shows a round of showers in the morning on Thursday as a warm front lifts through the area out ahead of an elongated low stretching from near St. Louis into Northern Arkansas.


We could see a break here during the afternoon allowing for some heating and destabilization as the low makes slow progress to our west.


The GFS shows an intense area of heavy rain and thunderstorms developing across our Central viewing area Thursday evening.


The potential for heavy rain continues Thursday night before diminishing to showers on Friday as a more stable air mass arrives across the area.


So what do I think? 

Like we saw yesterday, instability will likely be a limiting factor this far north.  The warmer we get, the more intense the storms will become.  The dynamics with this storm are stronger.  If higher instability readings materialize, this could lead to damaging winds on a larger scale.  However, because low level winds will not be as "backed" and the overall wind field appears to be more unidirectional, this could lessen the threat for tornadoes.  If the GFS is correct, then rainfall could be excessive in some areas with locally 1 to 2 inches possible Thursday night alone.  

We'll be watching.  Marc and Rick have your updates tonight on WDRB News.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

   * Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of 
     Far southern Indiana
     Central Kentucky
     Middle Tennessee

   * Effective this Monday afternoon and evening from 225 PM until
     1000 PM CDT.
* Primary threats include... Scattered large hail and isolated very large hail events to 2.5 inches in diameter possible Scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible A tornado or two possible SUMMARY...Within a moderately moist and unstable environment, multiple corridors of severe thunderstorms including some supercells will continue to move east-northeastward across the region through the late afternoon and evening hours. The severe thunderstorm watch area is approximately along and 60 statute miles east and west of a line from 40 miles northeast of Louisville KY to 80 miles south of Nashville TN. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU1).
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