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62 posts from July 2017

07/31/2017

2017 August Outlook!

July goes into the book at midnight, but the numbers don't lie.  It was a hot one! 

Low temps averaged out to 72° and highs came in at 89.5° with several days in the mid to upper 90's.  SDF recorded highs of 98 and 97° respectively on the 21st and the 22nd day of the month.  In total temps averaged about 1.6 degrees above normal for the month that only delivered 2.79" of rain, leaving us nearly 1.5" below normal since July 1st.  

OK, now that July is behind us, what can we expected for the month of August??  

The Climate Prediction Center released their updated August Outlook earlier today and are advertising a cooler than normal month for much of the Plains and warmer than normal conditions along the West Coast as well as the Northeast and Southeastern US.  

Off15_temp

For precipitation, CPC shows above normal rainfall for the Southern Tier of the US and drier than normal conditions over the Pacific Northwest. 

Off15_prcp

That leaves us in the the "Equal Chances" category which simply implies that they are expecting our area to see near normal temperatures and precipitation.  

Climatologically speaking, Louisville averages around 88 for a high with an average low of near 69° for the month of August with normal rainfall at about 3 1/3".  

What do the models say?

Looking a bit deeper into the data, it is worth noting the current upper pattern that is developing over East-Central North America.  With both the GFS and Euro (GFS shown below) just like we saw this past weekend, a sizeable ridge of high pressure will continue to impact the Western US through the end of the week.  At the same time, also like we saw this past weekend, a significant trough of low pressure is forecasted to develop again this weekend for the Central and Eastern US.  

Gfs_uv250_noram_19

Like we saw last weekend, underneath this trough a pocket of cool air is expected to send temps back below normal for this time of the year with highs perhaps only reaching the low 80's and overnight lows well into the 50's for many.  

Gfs_t850a_noram_19

Further out, the GFS continues to indicate that this basic pattern of a ridging out West and troughing over the East looks to continue into the middle of the month.  

Gfs_uv250_noram_41

This sentiment is echoed by the Euro with the latest run of the "Euro Weekly" long range forecast model showing temps averaging below normal not just over the Plains as CPC would suggest, but over almost the entire Central and Eastern US.  

Eps_t2m_768h_conus_129

In addition to the cooler than normal forecasted temps, the Euro is also showing a healthy amount of rain for the same region with locally 3 1/2 to 4 1/2" projected in our area. 

Eps_qpf_768_conus_129

So what do I think?  

I don't think you can argue with what the current model data is saying.  While there will certainly be a number of hot days this month, the overall trend is a cooler one going into the second half of summer.  Around here, that is a good thing!  In addition, the rains projected by the Euro would be very welcomed after falling into a two inch deficit since the beginning of the summer.  

However, as we have seen in the past, this forecast will be highly dependent on the rain being delivered.  As we are already a bit on the dry side, if we don't see significant rainfall over the next week or two, then this outlook could really take a turn.  In the meantime, fingers crossed for the rain and cool temps!

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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TROPICAL DEPRESSION EMILY: Track & Intensity Update...

Emily's appearance in satellite and radar imagery has degraded
significantly since the previous advisory, with only weak convection
noted near the low-level center. The deepest convection is well
removed from the center and lies across southern Florida and the
Keys. Since Doppler velocity values at any altitude have decreased
to less than 40 kt, the initial intensity has been lowered to 30 kt,
resulting in Emily being downgraded to a depression on this
advisory.

1

The initial motion estimate is 070/10 kt. Emily made landfall on
Anna Maria Island, Florida, around 1445Z. Since that time, the
depression has been moving steadily eastward to east-northeastward,
and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. NHC
model guidance remains in very good agreement on Emily emerging off
the east-central Florida coast Tuesday morning, and then
accelerating northeastward ahead of a digging mid-level trough and
frontal system through the remainder of the forecast period. There
is high confidence that Emily will not directly affect the
southeastern United States after the small cyclone emerges over the
Atlantic Ocean. The new NHC forecast track was nudged slightly to
the east of the previous advisory track, and follows a blend of the
TVCN and HCCA consensus models.

2

Some additional weakening is possible tonight while Emily moves
across the central Florida peninsula and entrains more dry air from
the north and west of the system. However, once the compact cyclone
emerges over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic
Ocean on Tuesday, some gradual re-strengthening is expected to begin
while the vertical wind shear is modest at around 15 kt. By 48 h,
the shear is forecast to increase to 20-30 kt, which should act to
cap Emily's intensity until the cyclone dissipates or merges with a
frontal system in 96-120 h. Since Emily is not expected to regain
tropical storm status when it exits the Florida east coast Tuesday
morning, no watches or warnings are required for that area.

 

Here's the take home message with regard to Emily...locally heavy
rain will continue across portions of the southeastern Florida peninsula
through tonight. The storm will weaken overnight as it interacts with dry air.
As Emily moves back into the Atlantic it should regain strength, but stay FAR away from the United States. Rip currents and high surf are the main impacts to the Mid-Atlantic states.

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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07/30/2017

NASA Image of the Day: The Deepest Lake in the United States!

ISS052-E-8744Image Acquired June 26, 2017

Click Here for Full Resolution Image!

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of Crater Lake, in the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon. Snow still blankets most of the slopes surrounding the crater in late June, and clouds cast dark shadows on the lake surface. Wizard Island, a cinder cone volcano, is almost hidden by the clouds over the western part of the lake. (Note that north is to the bottom of the photo.)

Crater Lake is the surface expression of a caldera that formed when Mount Mazama—a composite volcano whose peak once towered 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level—exploded and collapsed in a catastrophic eruption approximately 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. The lake now stands 1,883 meters (6,178 feet) above sea level.

Fed by rain and snow, and with no rivers flowing in or out, Crater Lake is the deepest in the United States and ninth deepest in the world. The depth of the lake (592 meters or 1,943 feet) was first calculated by geologist Clarence Dutton and his team using 168 measurements made with piano wire and lead weights. He was assisted by William Steel, who later campaigned to establish Crater Lake as a national park in the late 1800s. The original measurement of depth was only 53 feet off from modern sonar measurements.

In 1902, Crater Lake and the surrounding 740 square kilometers (280 square miles) were established as Crater Lake National Park. In 2016, more than 750,000 people visited the park. Part of the reason the lake has so many visitors is the fishing. In the late 1800s, Steel and colleagues introduced six species into the lake, though there are only rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon (the landlocked version of sockeye salmon) remaining today. Since none of them were native to the lake, fishermen are not required to obtain a permit.

Astronaut photograph ISS052-E-8744 was acquired on June 26, 2017, with a Nikon D4 digital camera using an 1150 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 52 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Andi Hollier, Hx5, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.

Image and information courtesy NASA

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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07/29/2017

NASA: 9 selected proposals to advance knowledge on the Sun & space environment

17-064Illustration of the heliophysics system. Credits: NASA

NASA has selected nine proposals under its Explorers Program that will return transformational science about the Sun and space environment and fill science gaps between the agency’s larger missions; eight for focused scientific investigations and one for technological development of instrumentation.

The broad scope of the investigations illustrates the many vital and specialized research areas that must be explored simultaneously in the area of heliophysics, which is the study of how the Sun affects space and the space environment of planets.

“The Explorers Program seeks innovative ideas for small and cost-constrained missions that can help unravel the mysteries of the Universe,” said Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division and the selection official. “These missions absolutely meet that standard with proposals to solve mysteries about the Sun’s corona, the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and the solar wind.”

Under the selected proposals, five Heliophysics Small Explorer missions and two Explorer Missions of Opportunity Small Complete Missions (SCM), concept studies will be conducted that span a broad range of investigations focusing on terrestrial weather in the near-Earth space environment; magnetic energy; solar wind; and heating and energy released in the solar atmosphere. 

The proposals were selected based on potential science value and feasibility of development plans. Small Explorer mission costs are capped at $165 million each, and Mission of Opportunity costs are capped at $55 million each.

Each Heliophysics Small Explorer mission will receive $1.25 million to conduct an 11-month mission concept study. The selected proposals are:

Mechanisms of Energetic Mass Ejection – eXplorer (MEME-X)

  • MEME-X will map the universal physical processes of the lower geospace system that control the mass flux through the upper atmosphere to space potentially transforming our understanding of how ions leave Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Principal investigator: Thomas Moore at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI)

  • FOXSI is a solar-dedicated, direct-imaging, Hard X-Ray telescope that would detect hot plasma and energetic electrons in and near energy release sites in the solar corona.
  • Principal investigator: Steven Christe at Goddard

Multi-Slit Solar Explorer (MUSE)

  • MUSE will provide data to advance understanding of the difficult problems of mechanisms responsible for energy release in the corona and the dynamics of the solar atmosphere.
  • Principal investigator: Ted Tarbell at Lockheed Martin Inc. in Palo Alto, California

Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites (TRACERS)

  • TRACERS will fill a fundamental gap in our knowledge of the global variability in magnetopause reconnection by providing an abundant, well targeted set of new and unique in situ measurements.
  • Principal investigator: Craig Kletzing at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City

Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH)

  • PUNCH will advance our understanding of how coronal structures fuel the ambient solar wind with mass and energy, and the dynamic evolution of transient structures in the young solar wind (near the source surface).
  • Principal investigator: Craig DeForest at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado

Each Mission of Opportunity (SCM will receive $400,000 to conduct an 11-month mission concept study. The selected proposals are:

Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE)

  • SunRISE will consist of a constellation of cubesats operating as a synthetic aperture radio telescope to address the critical heliophysics problems of how solar energetic particles are accelerated and released into interplanetary space.
  • Principal investigator: Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE)

  • AWE will investigate how atmospheric gravity waves, including those generated by terrestrial weather, impact the transport of energy and momentum from the lower atmosphere into near-Earth space, a fundamental question in Heliophysics.
  • Principal investigator: Michael Taylor at Utah State University Research Foundation in Logan

A Partner Mission of Opportunity (PMO) proposal has been selected for components and scientific analysis for three in situ payload instruments aboard the Turbulence Heating ObserveR (THOR) mission – one of four proposed missions currently under consideration by ESA (European Space Agency). After ESA’s final selection, work will begin on implementation of the PMO only if THOR is selected.

The chosen PMO is:

U.S. Contributions to the THOR mission (THOR-US)

  • THOR-US will provide components and scientific analysis for an investigation into how plasma is heated and accelerated by the dissipation of turbulent fluctuations through kinetic processes. The concept study for THOR-US was conducted prior to its selection for NASA’s Explorer Program, so the team is positioned to move into the detailed design phase if its host mission is selected.
  • Principal investigator: Harald Kucharek at University of New Hampshire in Durham

One Mission of Opportunity SCM received highly favorable review for scientific and scientific implementation merit, but was deemed to require more technological development of the instrument’s innovative optical design before further consideration of an implementation concept. This proposal is offered funding for a continued technology development study. The SCM chosen for a technology development investigation is:

COronal Spectrographic Imager in the Extreme ultraviolet (COSIE)

  • COSIE would provide a missing link between the physics of the low corona and that of the heliosphere with a unique and innovative instrument based on the International Space Station.
  • Principal investigator: Leon Golub at the Smithsonian Institution/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Explorers Program is the oldest continuous NASA program designed to provide frequent, low-cost access to space using principal investigator-led space science investigations relevant to the agency’s astrophysics and heliophysics programs. Since the Explorer 1 launch in 1958, which discovered Earth’s radiation belts, the Explorers Program has launched more than 90 missions, including the Uhuru and Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) missions that led to Nobel Prizes for their investigators.

The program is managed by Goddard for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, which conducts a wide variety of research and scientific exploration programs for Earth studies, space weather, the solar system and universe.

For more information about NASA’s Science Mission Directorate activities, visit: https://science.nasa.gov

Information Courtesy NASA

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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07/28/2017

METEOR SHOWER: See The Southern Delta Aquariids This Weekend...

The Southern delta Aquariids (SDA) are active from July 21 through August 23 with maximum activity occurring on July 30. This shower possesses a very asymmetric activity profile in that it quickly reaches maximum activity and then slowly dissipates throughout August. When the shower becomes active, the radiant lies in southwestern Aquarius, not far from the Capricornus border. The nearest bright star is 3rd magnitude Deneb Algedi (delta Capricornii) which lies 6 degrees to the northwest. The radiant travels nearly a degree eastward each night and at maximum activity on the 30th it lies in central Aquarius, 4 degrees west of the 3rd magnitude star known as Skat (delta Aquarii). After maximum the radiant traverses eastern Aquarius and enters southwestern Pisces before the activity totally dissipates.

Southern-delta-aquariids

Unlike the Perseids of August, the Southern delta Aquariids possess a flat maximum were rates will be good for several nights surrounding maximum. The quoted zenith hourly rate for this shower is 25, but observations from equatorial locations where the radiant lies high in the sky has produced rates in excess of 30. Realistic maximum rates from dark sky sites at latitude 30N would be 20 meteors per hour and 10 at 50N.

As seen from mid-northern latitudes, the radiant rises near 2200 (10pm) local daylight saving time. Little activity is seen at this time and it is better to wait at least until midnight when the radiant has gained more altitude. The radiant lies highest in the sky near 0300 and this is the best time to try and view activity from this source.

GeminidMeteorShower2012_JeffDai950-1

Image Credit: NASA

The Southern delta Aquariids (SDA) are originated from the breakup of what are now the Marsden and Kracht Sungrazing comets.

This year the moonlight situation is favorable for the Southern delta Aquariids as the moon is at its first quarter phase on July 30th. For viewers in mid-northern latitudes the half-illuminated moon will set near 0100, leaving the remainder of the morning free of interfering moonlight. While viewing this activity you will notice other meteors that are not members of this shower. Most active will be the swift Perseids, which will usually have a north to south trajectory. The other notable shower is the slow alpha Capricornids, which will shoot from a radiant in northwestern Capricornus. Of course there will also be random activity shooting in all directions having variable velocities. To best see the Southern delta Aquariids I would suggest facing due south approximately half-way up in the sky. Most of the SDA activity will shoot upward into your field of view. Most of these meteors are on the faint side and easily missed. It helps to find a dark location away from street lights to increase your chances of viewing more activity. Take advantage of the favorable schedule this year as next year the SDA’s will be spoiled by a bright moon.

Info Credit: American Meteor Society (Robert Lunsford)

 

-Rick DeLuca

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07/27/2017

RUSSIAN RAINBOW: Full-Circle Rainbow From Top Of Crane...

Construction crews captured remarkable video while working on the Lakhta Center skyscraper in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It's almost hard to believe your eyes as the camera pans over a 360 degree rainbow! Despite what you may think, the phenomenon is not uncommon. In fact, rainbows are always circular. A rainbow has two basic needs, raindrops and sunlight. Under the right conditions, each water droplet acts like a prism. When a beam of sunlight hits the droplet, it will bend, bounce off the surface, and then bend again as it comes out, dispersing the white light into seven visible colors. From the ground, only the top portion of a rainbow is visible because the bottom part is usually blocked by the horizon. However, with the the right vantage point, such as flying in a plane or on a crane, you can see the beauty of a full-circle rainbow...

Video Credit: Fox News

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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07/26/2017

Interactive Solar Eclipse Map: How much of the sun will be blocked where you live?

The Countdown is on! Less than 25 days until the total solar eclipse! By now, you probably know one of the best places to view it is right here in Kentucky, in Hopkinsville. In fact, it is THE BEST because it is the one place in the country designated as the point of greatest eclipse, where the axis of the umbra passes closest to earth. That means it's where spectators will have the longest and best view of the full solar corona, the luminous ring that appears around the moon. It's the sun's outermost layer and is seen only during a total solar eclipse.

On Monday, August 21, 2017 around 2:30 pm, along a narrow path of the United States, the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. 

Below is the map for the Great American Solar Eclipse! If you are not in the blue lines, **you will not go into totality** for the total solar eclipse. The bottom line is that if NOT inside the blue lines, you will NOT see a total solar eclipse.

Image 1

So how much of the sun will be blocked out at your house? Here are the percentages of how much of the sun will be obscured for virtually the whole area from south to north:

-- Kentucky:

Leitchfield, KY - 98.8%
Munfordville, KY - 98.9%
Greensburg, KY - 98.4%
Columbia, KY - 98.7%
Lebanon, KY - 97.2%
Springfield, KY - 96.8%
Bardstown, KY - 96.8%
Hodgenville, KY - 97.8%
E-town, KY - 97.5%
Hardinsburg, KY - 98.2%
Brandenburg, KY - 97.1%
Shepherdsville, KY - 96.5%
Louisville, KY - 95.8%
Taylorsville, KY - 95.9%
Shelbyville, KY - 95.2%
Eminence, KY - 94.6%
Bedford, KY - 94.1%
Carrollton, KY - 93.6%

-- Indiana:

Tell City, IN - 98.1%
English, IN - 96.5%
Corydon, IN - 96.4%
New Albany, IN - 95.7%
Charlestown, IN - 95.0%
Madison, IN - 93.6%
Scottsburg, IN - 94.4%
Salem, IN - 95.1%
Paoli, IN - 95.8%
Jasper, IN - 96.9%
Bedford, IN - 94.8%
Seymour, IN - 93.8%
North Vernon, IN - 93.2%

Did we not list your town? You can find it this interactive Google map (click the link). It shows the path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 Aug 21.

The northern and southern path limits are blue and the central line is red. You MUST be somewhere within the central path (between the blue lines) to see the total phase of the eclipse. The eclipse is longest on the central line (red). The yellow lines crossing the path indicate the time and position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals. The green marker labeled GE is the point of Greatest Eclipse. The magenta marker labeled GD is the point of Greatest Duration. This is the location where the total eclipse lasts the longest along the entire path. In the case of the 2017 eclipse, the Greatest Duration is 2 minutes 40.2 seconds. 

Image 2

Remember, you need to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse and you need a special glasses to do. In most locations around Kentuckiana, you will need the glasses the entire time because it is never fully blocked. In a total solar eclipse, once the moon blocks the sun, like in Hopkinsville, you will be able to remove your glasses for about 2 minutes.

Now all we need as we get closer to the big day is a good forecast! Fingers crossed! 

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IMG_1597

Approach of Cold Front to Spark Numerous Storms

Following a real scorcher today, the approach of a slow moving cold front looks to bring us rounds showers and storms on Thursday with the potential of some strong storms and locally very heavy rainfall.

Satrad

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

At1

At2

AT shows the potential of storms arriving during the predawn hours tomorrow and the possibility of rounds of storms through the midday.

At3

At4

From there we get some heating during the afternoon with another round, perhaps a line of storms arriving during the evening.

At5

If enough heating is achieved, this line could be strong or possibly severe with damaging wind potential.

At6

Storms slowly diminish during the evening hours.  The chance for showers continues overnight and into early Friday.

At7

Update from Storm Prediction Center

Because of uncertainty regarding the amount of heating we will see, SPC has dropped the Slight Risk and placed much of the region in a VERY LARGE "marginal" risk (in green) covering up areas from the Southern Plains and into the Eastern Seaboard including the Ohio Valley .

Watch

How much rain?

Rainfall amounts will be very dependent on how individual storms develop and if "training" occurs.  Right now a large range can be expected with some areas potentially picking up more than an inch or two.  

Rainfall projection

Hopefully the heaviest precip will avoid our western Southern Indiana counties where so much rain fell over the weekend.  Otherwise, the rain will be welcomed.  

Marc and Rick will have a full update on the storm potential on WDRB News this Evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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07/25/2017

ROUND 2! The ISS Will Be Visible Again Tonight And Conditions Look Perfect...

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...

1

How To View The International Space Station

Tuesday:

When To Look...

The ISS will be visible in our area this evening at 9:47 pm for 6 minutes! 6 minutes is more than enough to view it, but remember, it will be moving FAST.

Where To Look...

At 9:47 pm, the ISS will appear about 10 degrees above the horizon in the west-southwest part of the sky and move toward the northeast. It will reach a peak elevation of 67 degrees. 

Weather

The weather looks amazing with clear skies and low humidity and temperatures in the low 80's. Enjoy the show!

2

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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Turning Steamy and then Stormy Midweek!

Hopefully you enjoyed our brilliant weather today, because it was a one day deal.  

Gfx

The passage of a warm front sitting to our west will turn our winds back around to the south tomorrow ushering in much higher levels of both heat and humidity again for the middle of the week with heat indices again pushing near 100°. 

Following a scorcher on Wednesday, a cold front currently located over the Rockies, looks to swing through on Thursday bringing a good bet for storms to return to the area.

Could they be Severe?  

In short, yes.  The combination of abundant low level moisture, sufficient wind energy aloft and a good lifting mechanism should provide some strong storms in our area.  If these ingredients get coupled with good heating/instability, then I think severe weather will be likely with damaging winds and hail possible.  

Currently, the Storm Prediction Center our east-central counties under a Slight Risk for severe weather on Thursday. 

Spc

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

At1

At2

At3

At3

At4

Current model consensus agrees that multiple rounds of storms will be possible on Thursday and into Thursday night.  Any storms that develop during the afternoon or evening could be severe.  

In addition to the potential for strong storms, rainfall could be very generous once again and perhaps excessive if "training" of storms occurs like we saw over the weekend. 

How much rain?

I think the latest run of the GFS has a decent handle of the forecast showing anwhere between 0.75" and better thaqn 2.00" over our area.  

Rainfall projection

While we are still a bit dry, the rains will be welcomed.   

Marc and Rick will have the latest on Thursday's storm potential tonight on WDRB News.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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