08/11/2017

DUST DEVIL IN FRANCE: Watch How High Beach Items Were Thrown...

Yesterday in Antibes, France, a dust devil sent beach toys, umbrellas and more flying through the air. A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a meter wide and a few meters tall) to large (more than 10 meters wide and more than 1000 meters tall). They are usually harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property.

Video Credit: Love Life World Travel

They are comparable to tornadoes in that both are a weather phenomenon of a vertically oriented rotating column of air, but that's where it ends. Tornadoes are associated with a larger parent circulation, the mesocyclone on the back of a supercell thunderstorm. Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado.

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

NOWCAST: Friday's Storm Chances, Impacts, Timing & Severe Threat

Severe Threat:

As expected, SPC increased our storm threat from a general thunderstorm risk to a marginal risk. A marginal risk of severe weather is an area of severe storms of either limited organization and longevity, or very low coverage and marginal intensity.

The potential threats will be brief heavy rain, gusty damaging winds and brief small hail.  

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Set Up: 

This is a low pressure and there is a weak cold front, more a cool front when you see how it will impact the temperatures. You will notice more of a change in humidity than temperatures. It will cross our region tonight. 
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Check out our change in dew points following the front. Saturday and Sunday will be more comfortable than today! 

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Ingredients: 

  1. There is a forcing mechanism: the cold front, its weak, but still a boundary.
  2. There is marginal instability, as shown below. Highest CAPE values are around 1000-1500 J/KG.
  3. Wind energy also looks to be just enough for strong to severe storms. Bulk shear is around 35 kts, which is the bare minimum for severe criteria.
  4. The combo of the two aforementioned ingredients could support some strong to severe storms. 

My thoughts? Any strong to severe would be VERY isolated. Ingredients are just meeting criteria, so it is not super likely, but not off the table.

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NOWCAST:

A few showers and storms started almost immediately after the clock struck noon. But storm chances will increase with time today.

Here is our radar right after 1 pm. 
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 Timing: 

As mentioned above, we are already seeing a few showers and they will continue to push east. The chance for showers and storms increases with time today and from west to east. Scroll through the images of Advancetrak to get an idea of coverage and timing for the next 24 hours 

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Showers and storms will still be around this evening and could impact your evening plans or commute! So keep that in mind! It doesn't look like everyone is guaranteed to see rain and I think we will have periods of dry time as well. 
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At 7

A few stray showers look to linger into Saturday overnight. 

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Most will be dry on Saturday morning and afternoon, but leaving a 20% chance for a few pesky showers. Most will clear out by the afternoon and we will see decreasing clouds. 

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Are there anymore storm chances for the weekend?  What about next weekend? Find out this evening during WDRB News with Marc and Rick!

If and when storms go severe, we will be the first to let you know! This is especially true on social media. Be sure to like our Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter. The links to my pages are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 

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Aug-Tember Weather Continues

From Jude Redfield...

    A brief surge of moisture ahead of our Friday cold front helps deliver a few showers/storms to the region. NOT EVERYONE GETS WET. Pretty common storms for this time of the year will produce downpours and frequent lightning. The scattered storms will be most prevalent on the radar between 4pm and 11pm.

WKUlunge2

    Get a load of the map below. The cold front goes WAY south tomorrow. This takes most of the rain with it. An isolated shower is possible in southern Kentucky early Saturday morning. Low humidity is the name of the game this weekend as our month of Aug-Tember continues.  I mean seriously, it feels more like September than August.

WKUlunge

    The dew point chart below tells the story...

WKUGraphic

08/10/2017

UPDATE: 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook...

Yesterday NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.

Forecasters now say there is a 60-percent chance of an above-normal season (compared to the May prediction of 45 percent chance), with 14-19 named storms (increased from the May predicted range of 11-17) and 2-5 major hurricanes (increased from the May predicted range of 2-4). A prediction for 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the intial May outlook.  

GRAPHIC-2017 August hurricane outlook update_numbers-NOAA-700x433-Landscape

Image Credit: NOAA

“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May.”

Bell noted other factors that point to an above-normal season include warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic than models previously predicted and higher predicted activity from available models.

In just the first nine weeks of this season there have been six named storms, which is half the number of storms during an average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1-November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

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Image Credit: NOAA

“Today’s updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “As we enter the height of hurricane season, it’s important for everyone to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update their insurance and have a preparedness plan.”

The updated outlook is based on the current and evolving atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the most recent model predictions, and pre-and early-season storm activity. The numbers announced today include the season activity to-date. The Atlantic basin has seen six named storms (Arlene in April; Bret and Cindy in June; Don and Emily in July; and Franklin in August). Two of these storms, Cindy and Emily, struck the United States. Cindy made landfall on June 22 at the Louisiana-Texas border and caused heavy rain, inland flooding and multiple tornado outbreaks. Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida. Franklin is predicted to make landfall in Mexico overnight as a hurricane.

Today’s update also decreases the chance of a near-normal season from 35 percent to 30 percent, and a below-normal season from 20 percent to only 10 percent from the initial outlook issued in May.

As we move into the peak of hurricane season, when hurricanes are most frequent and at their strongest, NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts.

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

 

Rain Chances Ramp up on Friday

Today, there are a few showers across the area, but most of us stay dry. Notice, majority of showers are in eastern KY, but there is a new group of showers and storms out to the west! That will impact us tomorrow, giving us a better chance to see rain. 

Image 1

Set Up: 

This is a low pressure and there is a weak cold front, more a cool front when you see how it will impact the temperatures from Friday to Saturday. It will cross our region tomorrow night. A few showers and storms will fire off starting as early as tomorrow afternoon and into Friday evening. 

Image 1

Severe threat? 

For now, we are not under any risks from SPC, just a general storm risk for tomorrow. But if I know them, we will be under a marginal risk by tomorrow. 

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Why do I think they will upgrade us?

  1. The ingredients. There is a forcing mechanism: the cold front, its weak but still a boundary.
  2. There is decent instability, as shown below. CAPE values are around 1000-1500 J/KG.
  3. Wind energy also looks sufficient for strong to severe storms. Bulk shear is around 35-40 kts, which is the bare minimum for severe criteria.
  4. The combo of the two aforementioned ingredients could support some small hail and gusty winds as well as heavy rain. 

 Image 2

Timing: 

There could be a few spotty showers and storms during the afternoon tomorrow but the chance for storms will increase with time tomorrow. Notice on Advancetrak, there are scattered showers and storms ahead of the front in the early evening. 

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They will continue to push eastward throughout the evening and could impact your evening plans! So keep that in mind! 

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Most of the storms look to be on the eastern fringe of our viewing area by late Friday night. 
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A few stray showers will continue into Saturday overnight. 

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Are there anymore storm chances for the weekend?  Find out this evening during WDRB News with Marc and Rick!

If and when storms go severe, we will be the first to let you know! This is especially true on social media. Be sure to like our Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter. The links to my pages are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 

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08/09/2017

TWO TIMES! The International Space Station Will Fly Across The Sky Twice Tonight...

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...

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How To View The International Space Station

Wednesday:

When To Look...

The ISS will be visible in our area this evening at 9:38 pm for 4 minutes! 4 minutes should be more than enough to view it, but remember it will be moving FAST.

Where To Look...

At 9:38 pm, the ISS will appear about 16 degrees above the horizon in the north-northwest part of the sky and move toward the east. The ISS will reach a peak elevation of 28 degrees above the horizon, so don't look too high in the sky...

Weather

A deck of high clouds may dim the ISS in spots, especially southeast of Louisville. Otherwise, it looks really good with low humidity and numbers in the 70's... 

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If you want to go double or nothing on this one, the ISS will also make an appearance at 11:14 PM. Unfortunately, this show is going to be much shorter as viewing only lasts for 1 minute. With increasing clouds, I also think visibility won't be as good either. Look to the WNW, 18 degrees above the horizon and follow it to the West. Good luck!

 

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

Earth's Puzzler: Swirly Mysterious Art

Check out NASA's July Puzzler (I am clearly a few days late)!  What in the world do you think this is? Where do you think this is located? Do you think it is interesting? (I do!!) 

Image 1

Each month on Earth Matters they offer a puzzling satellite image.  It was posted on July 25th and people posted their guesses on NASA's website and Facebook pages for a few days. The answer was revealed on the image of the day site on July 29th. This might be favorite puzzler so far this year. It is truly stunning and memorizing. Nature really makes some of the best art!

But do you have any guesses as to what this image is or where is was taken?  Here is another look at the same image, plus more context clues and zoomed out. Any takers?

Image 2


Okay, I'll tell you! 

According to NASA, this is where Pakistan’s coast meets the Arabian Sea. The arid terrain contrasts sharply with the open waters beyond it. Sometimes the two overlap, and the land bleeds into the water. It did just that when sediment poured into the sea in May 2017.

The image above shows the Makran Coast on May 25, 2017, when it was observed by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite. To the left of the image, the sediment-rich Hingol River feeds into the Arabian Sea. As its tan color indicates, the river frequently carries large amounts of sand and other debris. This is particularly true after a rare rain.

“Rivers in arid and semiarid areas tend to carry lots of sediment when it rains heavily because there is no vegetation,” said Peter Clift, a professor of geology and geophysics at Louisiana State University. Once river water—and accompanying sediment—reaches the ocean, it is swept along by currents. “It looks like the sediment is being pushed along the coast by eastward flowing longshore currents, which are typical along this coast,” Clift added.

What about that swirl pattern? It could be a result of underwater terrain.

Sparsely populated, this section of coast is part of Balochistan, one of Pakistan’s four provinces. Bordering Iran to the west and Afghanistan to the north, Balochistan supplies much of Pakistan’s natural gas. It also contains active mud volcanoes, some of them standing hundreds of feet tall. Just inland from the beach, the landscape becomes rugged, with canyon-like protrusions and scores of parallel ridges running east to west. The narrow valleys between them provide pastures for sheep and stretches of arable land amid the desert.

So was your guess close?! Let me know on my social media pages! The links are below! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 

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Muggy Air = Storm Potential

From Jude Redfield...

    Low humidity arrived yesterday and has no notion of leaving just yet. Today's feel factor is in the comfy range for all lovers of arid air. Dew point chart shows slightly higher levels of moisture Thursday, but the noticeable change hits Friday. All things considered it's hard to complain as long as the dew point stays below 70. Dew points by Friday evening will be closer to 70 as the sticky comes on strong.

WKUlunge

    This time of the year an increase in moisture usually helps aid in shower/storm formation. We should see that develop tomorrow. Spotty downpours are possible after midnight tonight (10%). More stray showers/storms flare up Thursday (20%). Friday's chance is closer to (40%) with the cold front in the vicinity.

WKUGraphic

    A quick look at the kickoff of the Kentucky State Fair indicates temps at or slightly below average. Looks like a relatively calm beginning when it comes to our rain/storm chances. The first full week of the fair could bring back the hotter conditions with temps surging to near 90.

WKUlunge2

08/08/2017

TORNADO MANGLES CARS IN MARYLAND: See What 105 MPH Winds Can Do...

The National Weather Service out of Wakefield, Virginia confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Salisbury, Maryland on Monday. Peak wind speeds reached 105 mph as the tornado tracked 1.5 miles near Salisbury University. A couple different surveillance videos surfaced that show cars getting tossed around and buildings being damaged. Take a look...

Video Credit: INTERNATIONAL NEWZ

Video Credit: INTERNATIONAL NEWZ

 

...Tornado Confirmed Near Salisbury in Wicomico County MD...

Location...Salisbury in Wicomico County MD
Date...August 7, 2017
Estimated Time...140 PM EDT
Maximum EF- Scale Rating...EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...105 mph
Maximum Path Width...100 - 150 yards
Path Length...1.5 mile
* Fatalities...0
* Injuries...0

  • The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
    change pending final review of the event(s) and publication in
    NWS Storm Data.

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Image Credit: NWS

...Summary...
The National Weather Service in Wakefield VA has confirmed a
tornado near Salisbury in Wicomico County MD on August 7, 2017.

The EF1 tornado tracked quickly across the south side of Salisbury,
MD around 140 pm August 7, 2017. The tornado initially touched down
near Salisbury University along Highway 13 and Dogwood Dr damaging
several businesses. The tornado struck a strip mall along highway 13
tossing vehicles around in the parking lot and causing minor damage
nearby buildings. A concrete building in the area collapsed due two
bay doors on the building being open. Wind entered the structure
causing it to collapse. It was in this area near the University
where the tornado was most intense, at the time of initial
touchdown.

The tornado tracked northeast across East Salisbury University
crossing Bateman St and E. College Dr before damaging a home on
Rogers St. The tornado lifted off the ground before it could cross
Highway 12 (Snow Hill Rd) near the Elks Club Golf Course. The total
path length was one and a half mile with a path width of 100 to 150
yards.

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

 

08/07/2017

PERSEIDS PEAK THIS WEEK! When & Where You Could See Up To 30 Meteors Per Hour...

The Perseids are often the most impressive Meteor Shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. The Perseids offers a consistently high rate of meteors every year and it occurs in August when the temperatures are usually nice enough for a night under the stars!

Comet Dust

Most people have heard of the Perseid meteor shower, known for producing celestial fireworks every summer in the northern hemisphere. What they don’t often know is what causes this display and what causes it to produce varying levels of activity year to year. We see Perseid meteors when the Earth intersects the orbits of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. I mention “orbits” because the comet does not take exactly the same path each time it passes through the inner solar system. When the Earth happens to pass through the center of one of these paths we witness enhanced activity from the Perseids. Most of the time it passes between these paths. The meteors we seen in our skies are actually tiny particles of ice and dust that are released by the comet each time it passes near the sun. They strike the earth’s atmosphere at high velocity of 37 miles per second. At that speed all Perseid meteors disintegrate while still high in the upper atmosphere. Larger Perseid particles produce fireball class meteors and persistent trains that remain in the sky a few seconds after the meteor has disappeared.

Perseids

Peak: August 12th

The Earth begins to enter the outer edges of the paths of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle around July 17 and leaves it around September 1st. We are closest to the core around August 12. This is when you will see the most activity. The number of particles in orbit are much greater than for most streams therefore we see more activity from this shower than most others. The closer you view to August 12, the more Perseid activity one will see. There is one other factor that comes into play year to year and that would be the moon. A great majority of the particles the Earth encounters are very tiny and produce meteors so faint that they are invisible to the naked eye. Of course there are Perseid meteors bright enough to be seen but most of these are also faint.

If you try and view the Perseids with a bright moon in the sky the moonlight will obscure these fainter meteors. Unfortunately this is the case this year with a full moon occurring on August 7th. By the time the 12th arrives the moon will have waned to approximately 80% illuminated. This is not much better than a full moon and will certainly pose a challenge in viewing the Perseids this year. To alleviate this problem one could try to view the display before the moon rises, which would be approximately 10pm local daylight saving time on the evening of the 11th. Unfortunately at that time the Perseid radiant, the area of the sky that Perseid meteors appear to shoot from, is located low in the northern sky and the number of meteors seen is the lowest. However, these meteors tend to be very long and long-lasting so it is definitely worth trying to see some of them. Once the moon has risen, it would be advisable to face away from it so that you save your night vision and face the darker portions of the sky where more activity can be seen. Perseid meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky. If you focus on one part of the sky then Perseid meteors will all have similar paths and velocities, only the brightness will be different. This gradually changes throughout the night, depending on the position of the radiant in Perseus.

Per

Image Credit: NASA

Radiant

Meteor Showers are named for the constellation out of which they seem to come. Because all of the particles are moving in roughly the same direction, the meteors which strike our atmosphere all “point” back to the direction of the comet’s path. This point in the sky is called the Meteor Shower Radiant. The Perseids appear to come from a point next to the constellation of Perseus. Perseids can be seen anywhere in the sky, but the direction of motion, when traced back, will point to a point next to the Perseus constellation.

The best time to see Perseid activity is when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. For most potential observers this occurs near 4am local daylight saving time. At this time you should be able to see 20-30 Perseids per hour, depending on the transparency of your sky. These rates are better than most of the major annual showers so it is definitely worth trying to view the display this year despite the moonlight. There will also be other meteors visible besides the Perseids. These meteors will be far less numerous and will possess varying velocities and paths through the sky. If you are clouded out on the evening of August 11 or the morning of the 12th, meteor activity will still be good the following night and for a few nights after. The good news for Perseid observers is that the 2018 display will occur near a new moon, when the moon is located near the sun and not visible at night.

Credit: I have to give a huge shout out to Robert Lunsford from the American Meteor Society for all of the info!

 

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather