Severe Weather Risk Updated

From Jude Redfield (Friday 11:15am)...

    Locally heavy rain this morning in southern Kentucky has a prompted flash flood warnings. Parts of Adair county has a flood risk into the early afternoon.  Most of this should taper off in the next few hours.



    With so much moisture fueling storms locally heavy rain will happen, where storms develop. Rain rates of 3" per hour are likely. Thankfully most of us will not have that kind of rain lasting for that long of a period.  Brief downpours will be vicious! Scattered strong storms are likely through Sunday morning. A few storms over the next 48 hours will hit severe weather criteria most likely. This means some storms would be capable of producing straight line wind gusts to 58mph or greater along with hail of an inch in diameter or larger. We aren't forecasting an outbreak of severe weather, but be weather aware if you have outdoor plans today or tomorrow.  The good news to all of this is we should have LOTS of time when it isn't raining or storming. Hopefully your weekend fun won't be impacted.





WAIT FOR IT! The First Bright Light That Appears Is Not The Sun...

Wait for it, the first bright light that appears is not the Sun! Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut on the ISS, filmed this phenomenal time-lapse video of an aurora leading into a sunrise. The first two balls of bright light that can be seen are the Moon and Venus being illuminated by the Sun. I could watch this over, and over, and over again. Share it if you feel the same way!  

Aurora to Sunrise

Credits: ESA/NASA



-Rick DeLuca




A Steamy & Stormy Finish to the Week! Update on Severe Risk...

It's setting up to be a steamy and at times stormy finish to the week.  

While parts of the Central and Southern Plains are getting blasted by an outbreak of severe weather this evening, a slow moving frontal boundary will serve as the focus for showers and storms across much of the East-Central US over the next couple of days.  Meanwhile, heavy snow is falling over portions of the Central Rockies where locally more than a foot is expected in the upper elevations of Colorado and Wyoming!

Sfc front

 A large area of moderate to high instability is in place ahead of a slow moving upper storm system.  This instability is largely a result of high humidity and also some very warm surface temps. 


While CAPE (convective available potential energy) values remain maximized over the Southern Plains, there will be plenty of fuel here locally too, on the order of 2 - 3000 units (j/kg) as we head into your Friday and Saturday.

Mid wind

While this will provide plenty of fuel for storms, the main upper level energy remains to our west limiting the severe threat in our area.  


The current forecast by the Storm Prediction Center highlights a rare High Risk zone across parts of SW Kansas and NW Oklahoma where several confirmed tornadoes have already occurred.  


 The storm threat locally will be on the low side with only a "marginal risk" posted for our area through tonight.  

However, with the loss of heating, the threat looks to diminish by late evening with no more than a few renegade showers overnight.



For tomorrow, SPC has issued a rather large "enhanced risk" across parts of the Southern Plains and a Slight Risk is in place for areas just to our west. 


 This Slight Risk area could be expanded east to include portions of Kentuckiana if we get enough heating.  

The current run of advanceTrak shows the development of scattered storms during the late afternoon/evening hours. 


These storms could produce some gusty winds and perhaps small hail.  


Looking into Saturday, SPC keeps us in a Marginal Risk.  However, like tomorrow this will be largely dependent on the finer details of our atmosphere at the time.


Current thinking is that the best bet for storms will be late in the day.  Unlike what AT shows below, most models point to an evening/overnight event Saturday night where some strong storms will be possible. 


What do I think?

Overall, this will not be an impressive severe weather set up locally.  However, if we get enough heating tomorrow and/or if storms can organize and make a run at us from the west on Saturday, we will see a chance for strong storms a few of which could reach severe limits with damaging winds the main threat.  

The chance for showers and storms will linger into Sunday before drier weather finally arrives late in the day.

Marc and Rick will have a full update on WDRB News this evening. 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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HD VIDEO: Stovepipe TX-OK Tornado with Baseball Sized Hail!

YouTube Video via BasehuntersChasing

The tornado traveled from near McLean Texas to just south of Elk City Oklahoma damaging or destroying nearly 100 homes.  Several injuries were reported and one fatality from the storm as a man tried to escape his mobile home just as the storm arrived.  The storm also produced hail larger than baseballs. 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Find me on Facebook!

Follow me on Twitter!

Email me at jkappell@wdrb.com


Storms Return to Kentuckiana: Severe Potential

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a "Marginal Risk" for severe weather for tomorrow for our northern counties in southern Indiana. This is the second lowest of six categories and is defined as an area of severe storms of limited organization and longevity, or very low coverage and intensity.  The main threats to be aware of will be gusty wind, small hail and heavy rain. 

Image 1

Low pressure is deepening in the plains and will move toward the Ohio River Valley and eventually drag a cold front through the area. The front will drop our temperatures back down to seasonable/seventies after the weekend. But before that, the front will stall and keep showers/storms in the forecast for the next few days. 

Image 3


We will continue to be warm over the next few days and we are increasing the dew points, which will in turn make it feel more muggy across Kentuckiana. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. By the end of the week and into the weekend, it will be even more noticeable. On our muggy meter, we call that "steamy"

Image 4


Heat and moisture (or dew points) both are fuel for storms and the increase of each will in turn increase our instability. For tomorrow, models are showing CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, around 2000-2500 J/kg. Which is a lot of CAPE and certainly enough for strong to severe storms to develop. 

Also in the image below are wind barbs, showing bulk shear. Tomorrow's wind energy is not overly impressive, it is around 25-30 kts. This is enough for a rogue severe storm, but not a wide spread event. 

Image 7


I'm sure you have notice the increase of clouds today. It will be mostly cloudy the rest of today and into tonight. We could see a shower overnight. 

Image 5

Majority of the shower and storm activity tomorrow will be positioned north and along the river. Not everyone will be seeing showers and storms on Thursday, but those that do could see heavy rain, gusty winds, and small hail. There will be a chance for rain an storms early on Thursday and then again late afternoon and evening. 

 At 1

At 2

SPC has also issued a "Marginal Risk" for severe weather for Friday. Notice the position is very different from Thursday's severe risk. I do think it is likely that SPC will up the risk eventually to a "Slight Risk". While the position is different, the main threats are the same. Be aware of isolated damaging winds, hail producing storms and heavy rain.

Image 2


Models are showing CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, around 2500-3000 J/kg, for . Which again is a lot of CAPE and certainly enough for strong to severe storms to develop. 

The difference between Thursday and Friday is the bulk shear or wind energy increases. This time there is sufficient wind energy for the development of strong or severe storms, but they will still be isolated. 

Image 8

Showers and storms will be more numerous on Friday. They will become isolated to start and eventually more scattered by the afternoon. Scroll through the images below to get an idea of coverage. But as always, don't take them to the bank! They are just a gauge. 

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Storms will be continuing into this weekend. To learn about the timing and impacts, be sure to join Marc and Rick this evening on WDRB News and Jude bright and early tomorrow morning.  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 


















DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! Why You Should NEVER Go Out In A Hail Storm...

“As you can see, it’s hailing out here!” Jerry Mack Stitt, the shirtless man in this video, decided it would be a good idea to go outside during a hail storm. This video was taken Thursday afternoon, May 11th in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. According to reports, baseball-sized hail busted out the windows of multiple vehicles and homes. Severe thunderstorms are officially defined as storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph. Hail larger than that can cause extensive property damage and possibly even death. Please, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!   

Video Credit: Conscious Zone



-Rick DeLuca



Dry Stretch Ending: When Storms Return to Kentuckiana

It has been a nice couple of days, with dry weather and sunshine as high pressure is positioned just to our SE. We are also continuing to slowly warm. Each day gets just a degree or two warmer and we could hit 90, although all the greenery that has been very saturated lately (a process known as evapotranspiration) may keep that happening. But we do have winds increasing today and they will be out of the SW. That could help the boost happen. However, this blog is about the changes that are coming! How rain will return to the area and when. 

There is a lot to look at in the graphic below. I mentioned the high pressure. There is also a low pressure over MN and that will pass to the north, through the Great Lakes. That will drag a cold front through the area by the end of the week, on Thursday night. The front will stall and keep showers/storms in the forecast as a new low from the plains moves toward our area. 

Image 1

Turning Humid: 

We are increasing the dew points, which will in turn make it feel more muggy across Kentuckiana. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. By the end of the week, it will be even more noticeable. 

Image 2

As I mentioned above, we are warming and we will be close to 90 degrees. If we reach 90s, we will be in record breaking territory today and tomorrow. I doubt we break any, but here is the Almanac data and the records in jeopardy. 

Image 3

Increase, increase, increase. 

A lot of parameters are increasing! The dew points, the winds and eventually the clouds. The winds have started to pick up the pace today, but tomorrow they will be gusting even faster. Up to 30-35 mph at times. 

The clouds will begin to increase tomorrow as well, ahead of this next system during the late afternoon and evening, but we will still see another dry day. 

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At 5

The cold front will be well out to our west by Wednesday evening, but showers will be approaching the area. 

At 1

 We begin to see a few spotty showers and storms early on Thursday morning, around day break. 

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Notice the coverage increase by the afternoon and evening on Thursday. 

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This will be hit or miss type showers and storms. The images below should be taken as a gauge for coverage and not exactly what will happen on Thursday. 

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In terms of severe weather, there is plenty of instability, with CAPE values around 2000 J/Kg but the bulk shear values at the mid levels are not super impressive. They are only around 20-25 kts. Currently, there is no severe threat posted by the Storm Prediction Center. We are just under the general thunderstorm potential on Thursday. We will of course be keeping you posted about changes that develop.  

Image 6

Showers/storms do not end on Thursday, we will continue to have scattered showers and storms on Friday. 

At 9

In fact, after the return of showers and storms, we will have a very unsettled pattern setting up for much of the extended period and into the weekend. To learn more about the timing of those storms, be sure to tune into the news this evening on WDRB with Marc and Rick. 

I will see you tomorrow from 11:30-12:30. Until then, we can connect on social media. The links to my pages are below! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 




SEE SATURN: When And Where To Look...

Saturn is now visible before midnight, rising around 11:30 pm in early May and by 9:30 p.m. later in the month. The best time to see Saturn is when it is highest in the sky. That's after midnight, low in the southeast sky. By 4:00 am, it is due South in the Constellation of Sagittarius, very close to the border of Ophiuchus!

With the naked eye, you will notice a golden, bright object. Through your telescope, you may see some of Saturn's cloud bands and even a glimpse at Saturn's north polar region. John Chumack, an amateur astronomer from Ohio, recently shared an amazing image he captured of Saturn with 8 of its many moons. This picture is simply stunning! 

Sat_Moons082118UT_130517_Chumack wideHrweb


We have to give a HUGE thanks to John for this amazing photo and all of the useful info...

The distance to Saturn from our planet is constantly changing as both of the planets travel through space. When Earth & Saturn are closest, they are approximately 746 million miles or 1.2 billion kilometers apart, that is about eight times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

The Moons of Saturn and (Brightness) magnitudes left to right:
Brightest Moon is Titan 8th mag., Dione 10th mag., Mimas 12.5 mag., Enceladus 11.5 mag., Tethys 10th mag., Rhea 9th mag., Hyperion 14th mag., Iapetus 10.5 mag.



-Rick DeLuca



CODE ORANGE: Air Quality Alert Issued

An Air Quality Alert has been issued by the National Weather Service in Louisville, The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. It is in effect for today and again for tomorrow for Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham, Floyd, Clark Counties or the metro area. This only impacts some individuals. Read more about the alert below. 

Image 1

The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District and the Indiana
Department of Environmental Management have issued an Air Quality
Alert for Today and again on Tuesday.

A code orange Air Quality Alert for Ozone has been issued for the 
Louisville Metro Area.
Image 2
Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The 
general public is not likely to be affected. Sensitive groups include
the elderly...children...persons with asthma or other breathing 
problems...and persons with lung and heart disease. People in these 
groups are advised to limit their outdoor activities to reduce their 
exposure to ozone and particulate pollution. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

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-Katie McGraw 




While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

The entire Canadian province of Québec, which covers twice as much area as the State of Texas, was plunged into darkness on the morning of March 13, 1989. An intense geomagnetic storm seized Québec’s power-grid system, tripping relays, damaging high-voltage transformers, and causing a blackout. 


NASA's VISIONS sounding rocket mission is studying what makes aurora and how it affects Earth’s atmosphere. It launched from Poker Flats, Alaska, on a night in February 2013. Credit: Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force

When the Sun Meets the Earth

When a large sunspot emerges, the likelihood of an abrupt emission of radiation and an intense solar wind becomes greater. When these winds reach the Earth, electrically charged particles enter the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and interior, inducing a geomagnetic storm. The storm can interfere with utilities, infrastructure, and technologies essential to modern society, disrupting daily life, the economy, and national security.

Informing Utility Companies

The USGS monitors the Earth’s magnetic field at 14 ground-based observatories positioned across the United States and its territories. Scientists continuously monitor the geomagnetic field throughout the Nation and its territories, providing information on magnetic storm intensity. Some USGS observatories have operated continuously for over 100 years.

“USGS observatories help support infrastructure critical to keeping the electric grid running smoothly in crises,” Olson said.


Geomagnetic observatories in Fredericksburg, VA. This site is one of the world’s most important observatories because it has produced high-quality data for years. Credit: USGS

Utility companies use recently published geoelectric hazard maps to assess the vulnerability of power-grid systems and mitigate the adverse effects of intense magnetic storms, which, Olson says, “have had a history of shutting down the electric grid.”

NERC recently released two reliability standards for utility companies: One requires North American utility companies to develop operating procedures for weathering potentially serious geomagnetic storms, and the other requires utilities to carefully assess their systems to ensure they are prepared for a magnetic storm.

“These standards are supported by historical, global data and real-time information from the USGS on forthcoming hazards so that electric utilities can be as prepared as possible,” Olson said.

This geomagnetic storm’s impact on Québec pales in comparison to what could happen in the future. A report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a rare but powerful magnetic superstorm could cause continent-wide loss of electricity and substantial damage to power-grid infrastructure that could persist for months and cost the Nation in excess of $1 trillion.

“Utility groups rely on historical data collected by long-running USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] magnetic observatories to see what a worst-case scenario could look like,” said Mark Olson, a standards developer with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). “These data help NERC draft standards aimed at maintaining reliable operations of the North American power grid.”

The Next Big Storm

People often ask, as with earthquakes, about the next major geomagnetic storm and what is being done to prepare for the storm.

The unique role of the USGS includes monitoring space weather on the ground, to include researching the physical causes and effects of magnetic storms. Scientists develop products useful for real-time situational awareness and assessing the hazardous effects of magnetic storms. The USGS also authors maps of magnetic activity, which are derived from data collected by ground-based observatories. At present, USGS scientists are mapping the nature of the Earth’s lithosphere to construct maps of geomagnetic hazards.

In October 2015, the White House’s National Science and Technology Council released strategic and action plans for coordinating Space Weather Operations, Response, and Mitigation across Federal agencies. These important documents were a multi-agency effort, relying on collaboration between many Federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from the Department of Commerce; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Science Foundation; the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security; and the USGS from the Department of the Interior.


Active Region 12192 on the sun erupted with a strong flare on October 24, 2014, prominent in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA

Impacts to Many Facets of Society

In addition to electric-power grids, space weather can interfere with radio communications, military and civilian navigational systems, satellites, airline activity, and directional oil and gas drilling.

“With the support of the USGS Geomagnetism team, we can accurately drill and position wellbores in Alaska,” said Benny Poedjono, an advisor from Schlumberger Technology Corporation. “This support has reduced the likelihood of safety and environmental incidents through accurate wellbore placement, something that was previously not possible.”