10/26/2014

Record Heat to be Followed by Hard Freeze?

Wow, what a weekend!  

Following a high of 77° yesterday, temps reached 76° today in Louisville with a ton of sunshine.  

The good news for warm weather fans is that we get to keep the warmth with us for one more glorious day.  

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Notice the highs into the upper 80's to near 90° for the Lower Mississippi River Valley and into the Southern Plain.  That is the air mass that will be moving in for your Monday. 

Needless to say, Monday will be warm!  Currently we are projecting a record breaking high of 85°!  (The current record is 84 set back in 1940)

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Unfortunately, after tomorrow it will be all downhill for the remainder of the week as a series of cold fronts delivers progressively colder conditions heading into the weekend. 

Will a hard freeze be possible this weekend?

The latest data suggests yes.  Notice the bulg of 20's and 30's extending down from Canada into the Eastern US come Saturday morning.  

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The hi-res Euro has a similarly cold solution with lows down to the very low 30's for just about all of Kentuckiana come Saturday morning.

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 Not only that, but it is even showing widespread 20's for our area into Sunday morning!!

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So what does this mean?  

This could very well signal the end of the growing season for our area.  

Keep in mind that November starts on Saturday and a "normal" first freeze for Louisville is around November 4th, so this wouldn't be that out of the ordinary.  

In the meantime, be sure to enjoy your summer-like monday!  

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Wavy Upper Pattern Brings Wild Temp Swing This Week!

I don't know about you, but I could get used to this weather.  

Take a look at highs from across the region yesterday.  The 77° in Louisville was the warmest we've seen in about two weeks.  Also take note of the 80's and even 90's to our south and west. 

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The reason for the warm temps, upper high pressure currently taking up residence across much of the Central US.  

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This high will build towards the east tomorrow bringing with it the 80's into our area!

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Don't get used to it though.  A series of cold fronts will precede a big dip in the jet that is projected for the end of the week making for a very cool Halloween. 

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Here's a look at forecasted highs this week.  Note the 84° for tomorrow.  That will equal a record high that dates back to 1940! 

Be sure to enjoy it, as it will be a slippery slope from there.  Highs don't look to escape the 50's by Halloween.   

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 A hard freeze will be possible next weekend. Stay tuned!

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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10/25/2014

ISS To Make Another Appearance This Evening!

The International Space Station (ISS) will be making another pass over our sky this evening!

At a blazing speed of 17,500 mph, it crosses the globe every 90 minutes.  It will spend about 6 minutes above Kentuckiana before leaving our field of view tonight. 

Currently located over the Southern Atlantic, the ISS will speed around the globe and cross almost directly over Kentuckiana on it's next pass within the hour! 

Next pass

WHEN & WHERE TO LOOK:

You will be able to view it rise over the northwestern horizon at approximately 7:37 pm ET Sunday Evening.  

It will appear as the brightest object in that part of the sky.  The ISS will move quickly towards the southeast while rising to around 65 degrees altitude before it dissappears over the southern horizon at approximately 7:43 pm.

With a clear sky overhead, viewing will be ideal!

6a0148c78b79ee970c017c370e8365970bLong Exposure Photograph of the ISS Credit: Mark Humpage

See an amazing time-lapse video taken from the ISS here.

For information on how to photograph the ISS: http://www.universetoday.com/93588/a-beginners-guide-to-photographing-the-international-space-station-iss/#ixzz2Lll4JR00

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You can track is progress live here on isstracker.com.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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ISS will make a close encounter this evening!

The International Space Station (ISS) will be making a pass across our sky this evening.  At a blazing speed of 17,500 mph, it will cross our sky in about 4 minutes total time. 

At last check, the high flying space station was located near the equator over the far Western Pacific.  However, at such a high rate of speed, it will pass over Kentuckiana within the next 30 minutes!

Iss map

You will be able to view it rise over the northwestern horizon at approximately 8:26 pm ET.  

It will appear as the brightest object in that part of the sky.  The ISS will move quickly towards the southeast while rising to around 65 degrees altitude before it dissappears over the southern horizon at approximately 8:30 pm.

With a clear sky overhead, viewing will be ideal!

6a0148c78b79ee970c017c370e8365970bLong Exposure Photograph of the ISS Credit: Mark Humpage

See an amazing time-lapse video taken from the ISS here.

For information on how to photograph the ISS: http://www.universetoday.com/93588/a-beginners-guide-to-photographing-the-international-space-station-iss/#ixzz2Lll4JR00

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You can track is progress live here on isstracker.com.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Alan Eustace Jumps From Stratosphere, Breaking Felix Baumgartner's Skydiving Record!

Google executive Alan Eustace has raised the bar even higher for skydivers! He broke the old record of 128,100ft set by Austrian Felix Baumgartner in 2012, not to mention he also broke the sound barrier! On Friday, Eustace jumped from over 130,000ft in a specially designed spacesuit. The free fall took about four-and-a-half minutes as Eustace hit a top speed of 822mph! This event was captured in the video below...

 

Video Courtesy: Marcel Coolio

 

-Rick DeLuca

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An Incredible Optical Phenomenon: Light Pillars Explained

A light pillar is a visual phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces. The light can come from the Sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar. There is obviously no sun present in the picture below so what's causing these columns of light?

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Image Courtesy: Wiki

Well, the light can also come from the Moon or in this case from a terrestrial source such as streetlights! Pretty cool, huh? The ice crystals near the surface reflect the light up in the sky making for a stunning optical phenomenon. At Niagra Falls, the mist causes this phenomenon to appear quite frequently. During the winter months, horizontal ice crystals interact with the city's many upward facing spotlights to create prominent light pillars.

 

Video Courtesy: V-Talk

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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10/24/2014

Our Sun Launches Third X-class Flare This Week!

Giant sunspot AR2192 has fired it's third X-class solar flare of the past week!

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After hurling an X1.1 on Sunday and following that with an X1.6 on Wednesday, at approximately 5:40 PM ET this evening AR2192 launched a goliath X3.1 magnitude flare.  The strongest solar flare measured in the past 6 months! 

Xray

Although the explosion did lead to an hour long high frequency radio blackout across  portions of the Western Hemisphere, little to no CME (coronal mass ejection) appears to be associated with this flare.  

This is a bit of good fortune for us Earthlings because the AR2192 is currently centered on the Sun's disk leaving us vunerable to anything it throws our way.

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The active sunspot will need to be monitored closely over the next couple of days until it moves over the Sun's western limb and directed away from us.

For more on solar flares and a video explanation of the threats they pose, CLICK HERE.  

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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VIDEO: The X-class Solar Flare Explained

 

 

Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The number of solar flares increases approximately every 11 years, and the sun is currently moving towards another solar maximum, likely in 2013. That means more flares will be coming, some small and some big enough to send their radiation all the way to Earth.

The biggest flares are known as "X-class flares" based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength. The smallest ones are A-class (near background levels), followed by B, C, M and X. Similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes, each letter represents a 10-fold increase in energy output. So an X is ten times an M and 100 times a C. Within each letter class there is a finer scale from 1 to 9.

533432main_102803-eit_195_0The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft captured this image of a solar flare as it erupted from the sun early on Tuesday, October 28, 2003. Image Credit: ESA & NASA/SOHO

C-class and smaller flares are too weak to noticeably affect Earth. M-class flares can cause brief radio blackouts at the poles and minor radiation storms that might endanger astronauts.

And then come the X-class flares. Although X is the last letter, there are flares more than 10 times the power of an X1, so X-class flares can go higher than 9. The most powerful flare measured with modern methods was in 2003, during the last solar maximum, and it was so powerful that it overloaded the sensors measuring it. The sensors cut out at X28.

The biggest X-class flares are by far the largest explosions in the solar system and are awesome to watch. Loops tens of times the size of Earth leap up off the sun's surface when the sun's magnetic fields cross over each other and reconnect. In the biggest events, this reconnection process can produce as much energy as a billion hydrogen bombs.

533440main_halloweenstorm2003-auroraThe Halloween solar storms of 2003 resulted in this aurora visible in Mt. Airy, Maryland.  Image Credit: NASA/George Varros 

If they're directed at Earth, such flares and associated CMEs can create long lasting radiation storms that can harm satellites, communications systems, and even ground-based technologies and power grids. X-class flares on December 5 and December 6, 2006, for example, triggered a CME that interfered with GPS signals being sent to ground-based receivers.

NASA and NOAA – as well as the US Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) and others -- keep a constant watch on the sun to monitor for X-class flares and their associated magnetic storms. With advance warning many satellites and spacecraft can be protected from the worst effects.

Images and Information Courtesy NASA

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Video Of The Day: Dust Devil Tosses Bounce House & Boy Into The Air!

A Children's Day celebration in Sao Paulo, Brazil went terribly wrong earlier this month. The event was in full swing when a dust devil spun up close by and then took aim at a large group of people. In the dramatic video below, you can see it toss around an inflatable bounce house with a 9-year-old boy inside! According to reports, the boy was injured but he is expected to recover. I am guessing these people won't hesitaint to take cover the next time they see one of these dust devils take shape. Watch this...
 
 
Video Courtesy: PANORAMANOTICIA
 
 

Weather Blog: Weather For The Weekend

From Jude Redfield...

    The weekend offers a serious warm up with highs in the 70s both days.  The one rain chance (VERY SMALL) is possible during the first part of Saturday as a cold front approaches. This chance looks to be around 10% (don't panic if you had a brief shower...it will be brief).  Expect a sun/cloud mix this weekend will enjoying a pleasnt breeze during the day. The forecasts below should have you covered for football games, camping, hunting, etc...    Be safe and enjoy it! -Jude-

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