08/23/2016

A Spectacular Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter Occurs This Week!

Venus and Jupiter are converging for a spectacular conjunction in the sky on August 27th. The planets roughly line up about once a year, but usually not as close. This year they will appear to be separated by 1/15th of a degree! We have our Earthly vantage point to thank for this display since the planets are still more than 416,399,477 miles apart. Head outside just after sunset this Saturday and look west. Venus is the brighter planet. Check out the video below for more info...

 

Video Courtesy:  ScienceCasts: A Spectacular Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter - YouTube ScienceAtNASA

 

 

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

08/22/2016

INSANE HABOOB! Time-Lapse From Phoenix, AZ...

Haboobs can be observed anywhere in the United States, but they are most common in the Southwest. Phoenix, AZ has seen their fair share of them lately and August 21, 2016 was no exception. These dust storms occur as thunderstorms collapse, sending out a line of gusty winds. This downdraft of cold air reaches the ground, blowing dry, loose silt and clay up from the desert. It creates a wall of sediment that can be up to 100 km (62 miles) wide and several kilometers in elevation!

Time Lapses of Massive Dust Storm Over Phoenix, AZ - August 21st, 2016 from Bryan Snider Photography on Vimeo.

 

 

Dust Storm Safety Tips

  • If dense dust is observed blowing across or approaching a roadway, pull your vehicle off the pavement as far as possible, stop, turn off lights, set the emergency brake, take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated.
  • Don't enter the dust storm area if you can avoid it.
  • If you can't pull off the roadway, proceed at a speed suitable for visibility, turn on lights and sound horn occasionally. Use the painted center line to help guide you. Look for a safe place to pull off the roadway.
  • Never stop on the traveled portion of the roadway.

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

End to Hurricane Drought? Topics are Heating Up as Peak Hurricane Season Arrives!

Following record setting years for US Hurricanes back in the mid 2000's, it's been eerily quiet since.  In fact, the United States hasn't seen a major hurricane (category 3 or stronger) make landfall since Hurricane Wilma came on shore over South Florida on October 24, 2005.  

Check that date... 2005!  That's over 10 years ago or 3,955 days ago to be more precise!!!

Hurricane wilma

According to the National Hurricane Center, this is the largest such drought that has been documented going back to 1851.  So to say we are overdue, would be an understatement.

Tropics are heating up!

So all eyes are on the the Atlantic currently watching the development of THREE tropical systems.  The first one, Fiona, was named over the weekend as a minimal tropical storm.

Looking further out, there are two substantial tropical waves over the Tropical Atlantic.  

Satrad tropics

The second of these waves, Invest 90L, is very large and shows good organization.  This system is expected to become a named storm within the next couple days.

In fact, the National Hurricane Center has issued a rare 100% forecast for cyclone development over the next 48 hours.

Nhc forecast

However, they are also forecasting "wave #1" to fizzle as it encounters some unfavorable upper level winds.  

So where are these storms going? 

Fiona has been downgraded into a depression since becoming a named storm over the weekend.  Currently the hurricane center keeps it rather unorganized as it drifts towards the northwest over the next few days bringing it somewhere west of Bermuda by Thursday stating that upper winds look to limit develpment.

Nhc fcst fiona

The other storm, Invest 90L appears to have a much better chance for developing into a hurricane.  However, there is considerable uncertainty in the forecast track with this storm with tropical models taking it west initially before curving it northwest into the open Atlantic by early next week.  

Tropics

We'll obviously have plenty of time to watch this one.   When it is named it will be called Guston.  

Peak of Hurricane Season approaches!

As we turn the calendar into September, we reach the climatological peak of the hurricane season.  

NOAA had a nice write up about why this is the "most dangerous" time of year when it comes to tropical activity...

August 22, 2016 

Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st, we’re now entering the “season within the season” - a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity.

From mid-August through mid-October, the activity spikes, accounting for 78 percent of the tropical storm days, 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), and a whopping 96 percent of the major (category 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days.

Hurricane by months nhc

Why does this peak period of activity begin so deep into summer? There certainly is no lack of disturbances throughout the entire six-month hurricane season. Tropical waves are coming off of the coast of Africa roughly every three days, and the very early and late parts of the year provide additional types of potential seedlings. What’s different, though, is the environment that these potential tropical cyclones tend to encounter. Both dynamics (wind factors) and thermodynamics (temperature and moisture) play a role.

Wind shear, which can tear disturbances apart before they strengthen, is strong in May, but gradually fades through June and July, reaching a minimum by mid to late August. This minimum in the shear combines with favorable thermodynamics – ocean temperatures in the deep tropics that increase with each day of summer sun, warmer air temperatures, and increasing atmospheric moisture. When the dynamics and thermodynamics are in sync, as they often are from mid-August through early October, disturbances like African tropical waves can easily strengthen. The statistical peak day of the hurricane season – the day you are most likely to find a tropical cyclone somewhere in the Atlantic basin – is September 10th.

By mid-October, when winter begins to give autumn a little nudge, strong upper-level winds bring increased wind shear to much of the Atlantic basin, while both the air and water temperatures cool. The season is not over yet, but the areas where storms can form become limited.

One thing that doesn’t change as we move into and out of the peak of season is the need to be vigilant and prepared. Because it doesn’t matter whether activity levels are high or low – it only takes one storm to make it a bad year for you. For more information about hurricane season please visit NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

Usatlant_c

Right now, although upper level winds are not favorable over the Western Atlantic, this will likely change in the coming weeks and sea surface temperature are more than supportive for tropical development with an enormous area experiencing temps at or above 29°C (84.2°F) stretching from the Central Atlantic, through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Summer Isn't Over & Here's The Proof

From Jude Redfield...

        A real "Barker's Beauty" has come down the pipeline today.  Low humidity linked up with bright sunshine makes it feel pretty nice. Not everyone is happy about this and by the end of the week the fans of high heat and sticky air will smile once again.

RadarHelp

TempPlunge

The proof that summer is still alive and well is seen in the dew point chart. By Thursday heat indices are back in the mid 90s.

MeteorShower

    Storm chances creep up later this week, but should remain somewhat spotty in nature.

Mike

08/21/2016

Countdown is on: One Year Until Solar Eclipse!

The most exiting 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds in astronomy is 365 days away! The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse will happen right over our next of the woods at 1:24 pm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This will be  one of the best locations, in the whole U.S., to see the eclipse next year! 

The last total solar eclipse was in 1991 and it was only visible in Hawaii. The last time for the continental US was back in February of 1979!  This is a long time coming and the countdown is on! 

Sol ec 2

A solar eclipse occurs the moon passes between the sun and the Earth.  A TOTAL solar eclipse is when the moon is perfectly aligned with sun AND the Earth. It looks as though the moon completely covers the sun and daylight quickly turns into a deep twilight with planets and bright stars becoming visible. It's one of Mother Nature's amazing events! 

The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017 begins in the Pacific Ocean and enters the United States at Yaquina Head, Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PDT. Over the next 92 minutes, the Moon’s shadow races across Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This total solar eclipse will be the first to cross the nation from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean since 1918. This will also be the very first total solar eclipse to cross exclusively over the USA and no other country since our nation’s founding in 1776.

Sol ec 1

The most important criterion for selecting a viewing site is the weather. Every eclipse viewer should have a plan for mobility. Locations with a good nearby highway systems are best. Across the US, the path of the eclipse is between 60 and 70 miles wide. The longer durations are closer to the centerline of the path of totality.

Check out this awesome guide from the Great American Eclipse so you can prepare for, and view this rare celestial event.

 

There is another map below from google (which can be interactive here) shows the path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 Aug 21. According to NASA, 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. Again, it's much more important to watch the weather forecasts a day or two before the eclipse and choose a location with the best chance of a cloud-free sky during the eclipse. 

Solar ec map

For more information about the total solar eclipse head to The Great American Eclipse's website or to NASA's website!

I personally cannot wait! Are you excited? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! Links to my pages are below! 

Headshot

-Meteorologist Katie McGraw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

08/20/2016

VIDEO TIME-LAPSE: Heavenly Storms by Pecos Hank!

 

4K UHD Time Lapse of the most beautiful storms from the 2016 storm season. Incredible supercell structure, explosive storm updrafts, rotating mesocyclones and unbelievably beautiful lightning storms. For licensing 4K storm footage contact hankschyma@yahoo.com

Via Pecos Hank

I absolutely love this guys work!  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Saturday Storms: Timing and Threats

Marginal Risk:

Today is going to be an active weather day and a day to be weather aware. The entire viewing area has a 70% chance to see showers and storms. They will be on and off throughout the day. They will become more numerous and thunderstorms become more likely as well. The Storm Prediction Center has place our region under the "Marginal Risk" for severe weather. The best chance for strong storms is further north, in Michigan, where the slight risk (yellow) has been placed. A marginal risk basically means this will not be a widespread severe event, but a rogue severe storm warning is not out of the question. 

8-20 marginal

The Set Up: 

The well advertised cold front is trucking toward our region and will sweep through the area today. It will clear the region tonight/early tomorrow. It will bring with it showers and storms today. It will lower our air temperatures and our dew point temperatures by Sunday. Cool high pressure will build in after the front, making Sunday a winner. . . but more on the good news in a minute. 

8-20 surf map

8-19 surf map sat

We have already seen a few showers and even some downpours across Kentuckiana this morning. This is a nice preview for what is to come today. The more rain we see early, the lower chance we have for showers and storms to become strong or severe later today.  

8-20 10 am radar

In order to have storms, you need to have a few ingredients. One of those is instability. Instability is created from heat and moisture (or high dew points). We definitely have high dew points- in the mid 70s! Rich moisture is a good component for storm development. 

8-20 DEW POINTS

The NAM model has CAPE, (Convective Available Potential Energy) at 2 pm today, around 1500-2000 J/kg. That is conducive for the production of some stronger to severe storms. 

8-20 cape

Another ingredient we like to look at is wind shear aloft. Mid level winds are around 25-30 kts and deep layer shear is around 40 kts. This is a sufficient amount of wind shear aloft that could support some more organized cells just ahead of the front late this afternoon and evening. 

8-20 850 winds

8-20 250 winds

Threats:

The main threat today, if storms become severe, is going to damaging winds gusts. We can't rule out some small hail or a brief spin-up, but the threat is EXTREMELY low.

8-19 storm talk

Timing: 

Showers and storms will become more likely as we move throughout your Saturday. But we will also have periods of dry weather. Although the chance for showers and storms is high, it is possible you will miss out entirely! Scroll through the images of Advancetrak below, to get an idea of how they will be around the area for the rest of the day, but they will be on and off as well. 

8-20 AT SAT 3 PM

8-20AT 4 PM

8-20 AT SAT 8 PM

Unlike the summer-like pattern we have been seeing for weeks, these showers and storms will not shut off at sunset. They will continue tonight and through the overnight, but the coverage will decrease as the front slides through the area. 

8-20AT 11 PM

8-20 AT 11 PM 2

By tomorrow morning, the front will have cleared the area. We will see a few final showers the first 12 hours of the day. Then around lunchtime, we will see decreasing clouds, temperatures and dewpoints! 

8-19 surf map sun

8-20 AT SUN 1130 AM

The Good News:

High pressure from Canada will slide into the region tomorrow following the front. If you like sunshine - you like high pressure! It will clear out our skies! The cold front and cool high are keeping things a bit cooler and comfortable for a few days. 

8-19 sunday cool higher

Low temperatures could be in the 50s around Kentuckiana Sunday night into Monday morning! We haven't been that chilly since June 9th at 56 degrees! The sticky dew points will also be going down, down, down! Today they are in the 70s. Tomorrow the 60s, which is usually considered humid, but will be nothing in comparison! By the beginning of the work week, it will be positively spectacular! 

8-20 =CHARTING THE DEW POINTS

Stay in Touch:

Be sure to tune into the news tonight with Jeremy on WDRB to get the latest information about the storms and their timing. IF any of these storms become severe, we will be the first to let you know. The best way to get that information is to follow the WDRB Weather Team on social media. Links to my accounts are below!

Headshot

-Meteorologist Katie McGraw

 

 

 

 

08/19/2016

Saturday Could be Stormy At Times! Analyzing Severe Risk...

By now you've probably heard about the cool, refreshing air that's heading our way. The cold front bringing the taste of fall will collide with the warm, humid air we have outside right now. This clash usually ignites storms in our area and it looks like Saturday offers up the best chance. The Storm Prediction Center has our area highlighted in their "Marginal Risk" for severe weather...

Spc

With so many people trying to make outdoor plans this weekend, I'm sure you're wondering if anything could be severe. It's been a while, so just as a reminder the three main storm ingredients are instability, shear and forcing...

Severe

The first ingredient to consider is the upper-level forcing about 18,000 ft up in the atmosphere. Forcing appears to arrive in 2 distinct waves tomorrow. The first one moves in around late-morning according to the 12Z NAM...

1

What you will notice in the image below is the of an LACK of upper-level disturbance during the mid-afternoon. During this time frame, storms should ease up and sunshine could make a brief appearance before more clouds roll in...

Vort

Then a secondary push of energy moves in during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The first round of rain should be more scattered in nature, with the second one being more widespread...

2

The map below tells us how much instability and wind energy the storms have to work with as they roll through. On average, there looks to be around 1,400 units of CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) in our area with 35 mph winds...

4

After digesting some of this data, it's clear that we will have a decent amount of instability for storms to feed on. There's also enough wind energy and forcing to help support the formation of organized storms. Overall, it seems we are just meeting criteria to produce strong storms in our area. This is FAR from an event, but a COUPLE warnings may occur late in the day for damaging winds. Keep in mind severe weather ends up being localized in situations like this. Many of us simply get downpours and lightning, while a select few may see tree branches knocked down. While I can't say there is a 0% chance for hail or a brief spin-up, the threat is EXTREMELY low. One last note, even though the rain chance high this doesn't guarantee rain at your house. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

 

ISS Crossing: Last Chance to See It!

Much like today, tonight there will be variable clouds across the Kentuckiana sky. This is good news to catch a final glimpse (for a month or so) of the International Space Station crossing overhead! 

Iss

Where To Look...

At 9:14 pm, the ISS will appear about 10 degrees above the horizon in the west southwest part of the sky and move toward the southwest. It will set below the horizon in the southwestern part of the sky about 10 degrees above the horizon. The ISS will reach a peak elevation of only 11 degrees above the horizon, so it going to be very low in the sky! 

8-19 iss

When To Look...

The ISS will be visible tonight, but as mentioned above, it is going to be variably cloudy and it may be difficult to see, but not impossible. Notice in the image of Advancetrak below, there are some breaks in the clouds around 9 pm tonight. Since it is the last time to see the ISS for a while and it will be visible pretty early on a Friday night - I say give it a go!

8-19 advat

Iss 2

THAT'S NOT ALL! 

The International Space Station was trending online today because the astronauts' spacewalk, which was live streamed on NASA's website,  was also made available on the ISS Facebook Page. The live stream was from the orbital facility and featured NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins. They were installing a new gateway for American commercial crew spacecraft at the International Space Station—a significant milestone in NASA's work to return crew launches to U.S. soil! Very cool stuff! See the livestream below! 

 

Video Courtesy: Euronews

If you are able to catch a glimpse of the ISS tonight, snap a picture or have a watch party. Let me know! Find me on social media with the links below. I hope to see you tomorrow morning on WDRB News from 6-9 am!  

Headshot

-Meteorologist Katie McGraw

 

Weather Blog: Temperature Drop!

From Jude Redfield...

    Today makes it 48 days in a row with temps not dipping below 65 degrees in Louisville. This is now top 5 all time.  We aren't forecast to go below 65 tomorrow and probably won't on Sunday. BUT....Monday is a slam dunk to snap the string. Just remember...to get into the comfy air we have to contend with scattered storms at times Saturday. Some of those storms could be strong with gusty winds and downpours.

    The cooler air has already plunged into the United States with 30s/40s in Montana. This is the airmass that will have many (not everyone) smiling by Sunday afternoon. Get ready to turn off the air conditioner Monday and Tuesday.

TempPlunge

RadarHelp

Shoes

Make sure to watch Katie and Jeremy this weekend as they update the rain and storm potential throughout the day on Saturday. -Jude Redfield-