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59 posts from May 2017

05/30/2017

2017 JUNE OUTLOOK

May turned out to be quite a turbulent month with several waves of strong to severe thunderstorms and also several periods of well above normal temps as highs reached as warm as 89 degrees.  But there were also some very cool days as temps failed to escape the 60's on seven occasions and even one day which featured highs in the 50's!  (55 F on June 5th)  Overall temps averaged out to near normal and precipitation was also near normal for the month at 4 and 3/4".  

So what can we look forward to for the month of June? 

While data suggests near normal to above normal conditions to start the month (June 1st is on Thursday), after a potentially steamy and stormy first weekend, much of the data points us towards a colder period setting up by early next week.  

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The current run of the Euro (12z) shown above features a rather large upper level trough developing over the Eastern US early next week with temps running 10 to 15 C below normal in our area.  

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While the GFS is not going this cold, it to shows this basic idea of upper troughing over the Eastern US at least into the early portions of next week.  

The Climate Prediction Center is bullish on the Euro idea and has the US bisected with above normal warmth over the West and below normal over the Eastern US in the next 8 to 14 days.

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CPC is also foreasting wetter than normal conditions over the Eastern US corresponding with the area of below normal temps.

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Looking further out, the Euro Weeklies (featured below) gives a snap shot of what June might look like with the first week (5 day increments) at the top left, week 2 in the top right, week 3 in the bottom left and week 4 in the bottom right. 

Euro weeklies

This give us the idea that temps remain near or slightly below normal even through the end of the month. 

This differs from the current CPC forecast for June showing  near normal to slightly above normal conditions in our area for the duration of the month.

Off14_temp

So what do I think? 

This time of the year, one of the biggest factors when it comes to temps is moisture.  When it rains regularly, it keeps vegetation green which in turns keeps the air more humid and the likelihood of rain higher.  This is a feedback loop that lends itself to cooler temps overall thanks to more clouds and rain.  

So as long as we can keep the rain coming, I don't see why we don't stay cooler in the near term.  However, all it takes is a week or so without rain this time of the year and the temps can quickly get away from us.  

So while we have been able to avoid the 90 degree mark so far, there is no guarantee that will continue despite the cool forecast by the Euro.  

As far as severe weather is concerned, June is still an active month for our area and although not major outbreaks are expected in the near future, the possibility of regular rains will also pose the possibility of strong storms from time to time.  

Stay tuned.  Marc has your update on the possibility of more storms this weekend on WDRB News this evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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05/29/2017

We Have All Seen A What A Solar Eclipse Looks Like From Earth. How About Space? Really Cool Video Of An Eclipse From Space!

With the Great American Total Solar Eclipse coming in just under 3 months, the topic is a hot one right now. I thought this was a cool video NASA capture recently of a partial solar eclipse from space. NASA's SDO was looking at the sun on May 25th when the moon happened to pass across the sun creating a partial solar eclipse from its reference point. The video is seriously cool! Take a look at this article of the event courtesy of NASA...

 

May 26, 2017
 

NASA’s SDO Sees Partial Eclipse in Space

On May 25, 2017, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, saw a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun. The lunar transit lasted almost an hour, between 2:24 and 3:17 p.m. EDT, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the sun’s face. The moon’s crisp horizon can be seen from this view because the moon has no atmosphere to distort the sunlight.

While the moon’s edge appears smooth in these images, it’s actually quite uneven. The surface of the moon is rugged, sprinkled with craters, valleys and mountains. Peer closely at the image, and you may notice the subtle, bumpy outline of these topographical features.

 

 

animation of SDO observations of May 25, 2017, lunar transit
On May 25, 2017, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it observed the moon passing in front of the sun. The lunar transit lasted about an hour, between 2:24 and 3:17 p.m. EDT, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the face of the sun.
Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng, producer

 

Later this summer on Aug. 21, 2017, SDO will witness another lunar transit, but the moon will only barely hide part of the sun. However, on the same day, a total eclipse will be observable from the ground. A total solar eclipse — in which the moon completely obscures the sun — will cross the United States on a 70-mile-wide ribbon of land stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Throughout the rest of North America — and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe and Asia — a partial eclipse will be visible.

The moon’s rough, craggy terrain influences what we see on Earth during a total solar eclipse. Light rays stream through lunar valleys along the moon’s horizon and form Baily’s beads, bright points of light that signal the beginning and end of totality.

The moon’s surface also shapes the shadow, called the umbra, that races across the path of totality: Sunlight peeks through valleys and around mountains, adding edges to the umbra. These edges warp even more as they pass over Earth’s own mountain ranges. Visualizers used data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, coupled with NASA topographical data of Earth, to precisely map the upcoming eclipse in unprecedented detail. This work shows the umbral shape varies with time, and is not simply an ellipse, but an irregular polygon with slightly curved edges.

LRO is currently at the moon gathering data and revolutionizing our understanding of Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. Knowing the shape of Earth and the moon plays a big part in accurately predicting the umbra’s shape as it falls on Earth, come Aug. 21.

SDO will see its partial eclipse in space just after the total eclipse exits the United States.

For more information about the upcoming total solar eclipse, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

 

 

Remember it is 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"!

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674#!/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674

 

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VIDEO: 3D View of 2015 El Nino

El Niño is a recurring climate pattern characterized by warmer than usual ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

Two back-to-back 3-D visualizations track the changes in ocean temperatures and currents, respectively, throughout the life cycle of the 2015-2016 El Niño event, chronicling its inception in early 2015 to its dissipation by April 2016. Blue regions represent colder and red regions warmer temperatures when compared with normal conditions.

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

Under normal conditions, equatorial trade winds in the Pacific Ocean blow from east to west, causing warm water to pile up in the Western Pacific, while also causing an upwelling—the rise of deep, cool water to the surface—in the Eastern Pacific. During an El Niño, trade winds weaken or, as with this latest event, sometimes reverse course and blow from west to east. As a result, the warm surface water sloshes east along the equator from the Western Pacific and temporarily predominates in the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean. At that same time, cooler water slowly migrates westward just off the equator in the Western Pacific. The first visualization shows the 2015-2016 El Niño through changes in sea surface temperature as warmer water moves east across the Pacific Ocean. The Eastern Pacific Ocean undergoes the most warming from July 2015 to January 2016. In the west, just to the north of the equator, cooler waters hit the western boundary and reflect along the equator and then head east starting in February 2016. Just as the warming waves traveled east earlier in the video, these cool waters make their way to the central Pacific, terminating the warming event there.

Hand-in-hand with an El Niño’s changing sea surface temperatures are the wind-driven ocean currents that move the waters along the equator across the Pacific Ocean. The second visualization depicts these currents, which here comprise the ocean’s surface to a depth of 225 meters: Yellow arrows illustrate eastward currents and white arrows are westward currents. The El Niño-inducing westerlies—winds coming from the west that blow east—cause the eastward currents to occur in pulses. A good example of one of these pulses can be seen hitting the South American coast on May 15, 2015. By the end of February 2016 trade winds return, as evidenced by the return of westward currents and cool water along the equator, signaling the dissipation of the El Niño.

 

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05/28/2017

HD VIDEO: Jaw Dropping Texas "Corkscrew" Supercell!

Texas Panhandle Supercell Timelapse [5/27/2017] from Jacob DeFlitch on Vimeo.

Simply stunning.  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Sunday's Scattered Storms: Severe Potential?

*UPDATE

Minutes after I posted this blog, SPC removed our risk for severe weather. Fringe parts of our viewing area are under the marginal. Otherwise, our area is just under a general thunderstorm risk. However, we could see a gusty storm or two with frequent lightning and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding. *

Image 1

The cold front is still positioned out to our west, with a low pressure centered over the Great Lakes. That surface low will swing the cold front through our area tonight and we could see a few scattered showers and storms this afternoon and evening as a weak upper level disturbance moves in. 

Image 2

Ingredients:

Instability: 

Our ingredients are modest at best; but not overwhelming. Some models are showing CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, around 1000 J/kg. Which is just enough CAPE for strong to severe storms to develop.  Also in the image below are wind barbs, showing bulk shear. Today's wind energy is also not overly impressive, it is around 20-30 kts. This is just enough for a rogue severe storm, but not a widespread event. This is why SPC has lowered our risk.

Today is considered a "conditional threat" for severe weather. It is dependent on the destabilization of the atmosphere. We are currently seeing quite a few clouds across the area. Our current CAPE level is almost nothing. It will need to increase a lot in order to develop strong to severe storms.

Image 3

 Timing: 

 Let's check two computer models for our possible outcomes for this afternoon. 

  1. RPM North American 4KM High Resolution 

Mid afternoon, a few showers and possibly a few storms look to pop up across the area and they will continue throughout the evening with variably cloudy skies. Scroll through the images to get an idea of the coverage through the day. 

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2. HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) Model 

This model is similar, but the coverage is more isolated. Scroll through the images to get an idea of the coverage through the day

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HRRR does show a few more showers and storms arriving late in the day for southern IN. 

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 The front will push through tonight and we will see decreasing clouds and this will lead into a nice looking Memorial Day! 

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Be sure to join Jeremy this evening to hear more about the forecast for the rest of the week. 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! 

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-Katie McGraw 

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05/27/2017

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been Issued!

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe T-storm Watch for much of Kentuckiana until 10 pm EDT.  

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URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED Severe Thunderstorm Watch Number 276 NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 135 PM CDT Sat May 27 2017
The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of Southern Illinois Southern Indiana Western and Central Kentucky Southeast Missouri Northern Tennessee
* Effective this Saturday afternoon and evening from 135 PM until 900 PM CDT.
* Primary threats include... Widespread damaging winds likely with isolated significant gusts to 80 mph possible Scattered large hail likely with isolated very large hail events to 2.5 inches in diameter possible A tornado or two possible

Watch

SUMMARY...Scattered thunderstorms are forming across the watch area this afternoon, while other and more intense storms move in from Missouri. Large hail and damaging winds are possible with the biggest storms. The risk of widespread damaging winds will develop later today over parts of the area.

The severe thunderstorm watch area is approximately along and 85 statute miles north and south of a line from 45 miles west of Cape Girardeau MO to 15 miles north of London KY. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU6).

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.

For continuous updates as the storms develop, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Watch Likely to Be Issued ....

The Storm Prediction Center is monitoring the conditions for our area for severe weather for today next day. The probability of watch issuance is 60% .

Based on the data, it is likely that a watch will be issued. The main threats are going to be gusty, damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning, heavy rain, flash flooding and isolated tornadoes are possible as well. Read what SPC has to say about the threat below and be sure to stay weather aware.

   Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 1.54.19 PM

Probability of Watch Issuance...60 percent
   SUMMARY...Large hail and damaging wind threat will increase with
   thunderstorms developing along an outflow boundary and stalled front
   this afternoon. Watch issuance is possible within the next several
   hours.

   DISCUSSION...Visible satellite and radar imagery depict an outflow
   boundary from earlier convection extending from parts of
   south-central KY into northern middle TN. The airmass downstream of
   this boundary has destabilized with temperatures warming into the
   upper 70s and lower 80s, and dewpoints in the mid to upper 60s.
   Steep mid-level lapse rates of 7-8 C/km are supporting MLCAPE
   generally 1000-2000 J/kg across this region. A convectively enhanced
   mid-level vorticity maximum moving eastward this afternoon will
   likely encourage scattered thunderstorms to form along the outflow
   boundary over the next several hours. Additional thunderstorms will
   likely develop along a stalled front across southern OH into WV. A
   belt of strong westerly mid-level winds of 40-50 kt (locally higher)
   associated with the low amplitude shortwave trough/vorticity maximum
   and a veering wind profile with height is resulting in effective
   bulk shear values of 35-55 kt, stronger across KY/TN. This expected
   combination of moderate to strong instability with sufficient shear
   will support supercell structures, with both a large hail and
   damaging wind threat. Eventual growth into clusters/line segments is
   probable, with perhaps a greater damaging wind threat later this
   afternoon if this occurs. 

Storms are likely to develop shortly. Jeremy and I will be keeping you informed for the rest of today. Be sure to watch the news this evening with Jeremy on WDRB for the latest information. I will have the latest for you on WDRB in the Morning tomorrow from 6-9 am. Jeremy and I will be here overnight as well when the line is moving through the area. 

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. 

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Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 

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Timing, Threats, Analysis and Impacts from Saturday's Storms

Severe Risk:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued an "Enhanced Risk" for severe weather for all of our area today. An enhanced risk is defined by SPC as an area of greater (relative to Slight risk) severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity. There is a moderate risk just to our west, which is higher than enhanced. 

The main threats will be damaging gusty winds, frequent lightning, large hail, and localized heavy rain. The tornado threat remains low, but is not completely off the table. We could have a few brief spin ups, that result in isolated tornado warnings. 

  Image 1

Ingredients:

Instability: Heat and moisture (or dew points) both are fuel for storms. The increase of each, increase our instability.

We have warmed a lot in the past two days. Highs will be in the mid 80s today. Our dew points have also increased by about 10 degrees in the last day and it is starting to feel pretty muggy. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. Notice below, our dew point this morning is already at 69 degrees and will probably get into the 70s today.  On our muggy meter, we call that "miserable". 

Image 7

An increase in heat AND moisture, increase instability, and instability is key to severe weather development. Some models (like the NAM) are showing around 2500 J/kg  of CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, for today. That is more than enough for strong to severe storms to develop.  

There is also plenty of wind energy to produce strong to severe storms. Bulk shear requirement for severe weather is 35 kts, below we are seeing about 40 kts, which is exceeding the threshold.

Image 1

If we look at a different model, such as the HRRR, it show an interesting concept: the cut-off of instability as storms push through the area. We will have a lot of instability this evening and it will slowly get cut-off as storms push through the area, lowering the severe weather threat. 

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Threats:

As mentioned above, the main threats will be damaging gusty winds, frequent lightning, large hail, and localized heavy rain and isolated tornadoes.

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Brief, but intense rain could result in flash flooding. A flash flood watch in effect from From 2 PM EDT /1 PM CDT/ this afternoon through Sunday evening. 1 to locally 3+ inches of rain could fall from multiple rounds of thunderstorms early this from scattered storms this afternoon, through the main squall line tonight and continued activity tomorrow.

Areas that see repeated thunderstorm activity, and locations that have seen excessive rainfall over the past couple of weeks will be most at risk, along with urban areas and the normal flood prone locations.

Image 4

Timing: 

There are two areas of interest for today. One to our SW and one farther the west, in the plains. The first closer system will fire off a few thunderstorms for our southern counties in central KY. The second system in the plains will be the round that arrives late tonight into Sunday morning.  

Image 3

Notice below on AT, a few of those storms from the first complex that are skimming our viewing area. These could include some gusty winds and hail. These will be more "pulse" like storms. Storms that increase in strength and size quickly and quickly come back down. They could become strong to severe. 

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The same could be said for our afternoon scattered showers and storms. They will be pop up, hit or miss type storms. They are hard to pin-point exactly where they will develop. Use AT as a gauge for coverage but not exact locations. We could again see a few pulse type strong to severe storms to develop with a localized damaging wind threat, as well as a large hail threat with the strongest updrafts.

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Notice some areas may see a lot more rain than others and some may not see any storms at all during the afternoon. 

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I do think there will be a brief period of time this evening with a lull of drier conditions ahead of the squall line. 

At 7

The line should arrive toward our viewing area, in our western counties, around 11 pm- 12 am and continue to push east until about 6 am. 

At 7

Some models have it arriving later. However, there is a trend with several models that cannot be ignored. It does appear the strongest storms may push south, into the Tennessee River Valley.

Does that mean we are in the complete clear for severe weather tonight? No.

But it is a positive trend. I do think the worst will be out to the west, before our viewing area and the storms will weaken with time. 

Scroll through the images of Advancetrack below to get an idea of the timing and coverage of storms for tonight/Sunday morning. 

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Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to summer and a lot of people have a camping fever. If you are going to be outside tonight across the Ohio or Tennessee River Valleys, be sure to take proper precautions. I found this image from the NWS and it gives some good tips for planning ahead. 

Image 9

And we are not done on Sunday. There is a slight risk posted for Sunday as well. The storms on Sunday are dependent on what happens on Saturday though.  

Image 1

To find out the details about the rest of the weekend, be sure to join Jeremy this evening on WDRB News. This is an evolving forecast. We will be watching carefully what happens to the west and how this system progresses. Be sure to keep up to date with the forecast! I will have the latest for you on WDRB in the Morning tomorrow from 6-9 am. Jeremy and I will be here overnight as well when the line is moving through the area. 

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 

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05/26/2017

Holiday Weekend: Severe Weather Update

Severe Risk:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued an "Enhanced Risk" for severe weather for all of our area on Saturday. This has been elevated from a slight risk this afternoon. An enhanced risk is defined by SPC as an area of greater (relative to Slight risk) severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity. There is a moderate risk just to our west, which is higher than enhanced. 

The main threats will be damaging gusty winds, frequent lightning, large hail, and localized heavy rain. The tornado threat remains low, but is not completely off the table. We could have a few brief spin ups that result in isolated tornado warnings. Although the tornado threat is low, we do not want you to have your guard lowered. Damaging straight line winds can still be very dangerous. 

Image 1

 

Ingredients:

Instability: Heat and moisture (or dew points) both are fuel for storms. The increase of each, will in turn, increase our instability.

If you look at the temp change in the past 24 hours, you will see we have increased significantly in the past day. We will be back in the 80s today and through the the weekend. 

And as we continue to warm over the next few days, we will also be increasing the dew points. This will make it feel more muggy across Kentuckiana. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. By the weekend, it will be very noticeable. The dew point will be well into the 70s.  On our muggy meter, we call that "miserable".  It will be some of those "air that you wear" days. 

Image 2

We know that an increase in heat AND moisture, increase instability, and instability is key to severe weather development. Models are showing around 3000 J/kg  of CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, for Saturday. That is more than enough for strong to severe storms to develop.  There is also plenty of wind energy to produce strong to severe storms. Bulk shear requirement for severe weather is 35 kts, below we are seeing 40-55 kts, which is easily exceeding the threshold.

Image 1

Timing: 

We will start Saturday dry. This is a good time to mention, that although we have strong to severe weather likely this weekend, we will have plenty of dry time as well.  In fact, first half of the day looks to be capped, which is just like sounds. There is a lid of warm air aloft, preventing storms from firing off.  There is a chance for a few isolated to scattered storms during the afternoon on Saturday.

Look below for an idea of coverage, but don't take it for exact locations. These will be pop up, so it is hard to determine the exact location and timing. 

AT 1

AT 2

The stronger storms will be later in day on Saturday night and into the overnight on Sunday from about 10 pm to 6 am. Rounds of storms will include damaging winds and large hail as primary threats. But there will also be a lot of lightning and brief but intense heavy rain.

Scroll through the images of Advancetrack below to get an idea of the timing and coverage of storms for Saturday night/Sunday morning. 

AT 3

AT 4

AT 5

Something to note: Not all models are in agreement about placement of storms. Some have storms diving more to the south, toward the Tennessee Valley. It is something I am watching with interest and could be a possible scenario. I want you to be weather aware above all. 

AT 6

 

And we are not done on Sunday. There is a slight risk posted for Sunday as well. The storms on Sunday are dependent on what happens on Saturday though. 

Image 2

To find out the details about the rest of the weekend, be sure to join Marc this evening on WDRB News. This is an evolving forecast. We will be watching carefully what happens to the west and how this system progresses. Be sure to keep up to date with the forecast! I will have the latest for you on WDRB in the Morning tomorrow from 6-9 am. I hope to see you then. 

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 

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NWS Conference Call: Assessing Severe Weather Situation for Weekend

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

Below are a couple graphics summarizing the discussion. 

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Marc and I will be here and keeping you informed for the rest of today. Be sure to watch the news this evening with Marc on WDRB for the latest information, especially because this is an evolving situation.

Jeremy and I have you covered this weekend. 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 

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