06/30/2015

SPC Says Severe Thunderstorm Watch is Possible

The Storm Prediction Center is considering issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for our area.  Here is their discussion...

Mcd1246

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1246
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0132 PM CDT TUE JUN 30 2015

   AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS OF SRN INDIANA INTO CNTRL/S-CNTRL KY

   CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE 

   VALID 301832Z - 302100Z

   PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

   SUMMARY...THE AREA IS BEING MONITORED FOR INCREASING SVR-TSTM
   POTENTIAL...AND THE ISSUANCE OF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH IS
   POSSIBLE.

   DISCUSSION...VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY REVEALS A BROAD...DEEPENING
   CUMULUS FIELD WHERE SFC HEATING OF THE MOIST/UNCAPPED BOUNDARY LAYER
   /SFC DEWPOINTS IN THE MIDDLE 60S TO AROUND 70F/ IS CONTRIBUTING TO
   AROUND 1000-2000 J/KG OF MLCAPE. CONVECTION MAY BLOSSOM FROM THIS
   ACTIVITY AS PBL CIRCULATIONS CONTINUE TO DIURNALLY
   INVIGORATE...THOUGH RELATIVELY WEAK LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE PER SFC
   OBS DETRACTS CONFIDENCE IN OVERALL TSTM COVERAGE. HOWEVER...AN
   EXPANDING/UPSCALE-GROWING CONVECTIVE CLUSTER NEAR CINCINNATI MAY
   SPREAD ACROSS PARTS OF N-CNTRL/CNTRL KY...WITH ASCENT AT THE COLD
   POOL/S LEADING EDGE OFFERING A CORRIDOR OF GREATER TSTM-RISK INTO
   PARTS OF CNTRL KY. WITH THE LVX VWP SAMPLING AROUND 30 KT OF
   MID-LEVEL FLOW AND DEEP UNIDIRECTIONAL/WLY FLOW...VERTICAL WIND
   PROFILES WILL REMAIN SUFFICIENT FOR MULTICELL CLUSTERS TO EVOLVE
   ACROSS THE REGION WITH ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED DMGG WIND GUSTS
   POSSIBLE.

Marc and I will be tracking the situation closely.   Get a full update starting at 4 on WDRB News this evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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06/29/2015

From Drought to Deluge!

The amount of rain we have seen lately has been impressive and it came at a good time.

During the nearly two month stretch from April 21 thru June 16 (56 days) Louisville only picked up 3.09" of rain which is less than half of what would be considered normal.  

Remember the Brief Drought?

US Drought Monitor officially placed Louisville and much of our area in a "moderate drought".

Drought monitor

The drought was short lived though as the arrival of former Tropical Storm Bill signaled a change in our pattern and rainfall fortunes.  

Since June 16th, we've more than made up for the lack of spring moisture.  Since June 16th Louisville has picked up a whopping 6.38" of rainfall and there is more to come!

Active Northwesterly Flow

Now we are looking at a persistent trough of low pressure developing in the upper levels over the Eastern US.  

In between this trough and an upper high pressure system located over the Western US are active jet stream winds that dive from Canada into the Eastern US.  

Satrad

Within this "northwesterly flow" are several disturbances that look to bring keep things quite unsettled with  more heavy storms expected over the next several days ahead.  

How Much More Rain? 

The latest run of the GFS (12z) run indicates that the entire area could see widespread 2 to 3 inch rainfall amounts by the end of the week.

Rainfall projection2

This more or less aligns with the forecast from the Weather Prediction Center which is projecting locally 5 inches for our Southern Counties.

P168i

If this verifies, then flooding may become an issue by the end of the week.  

Marc will have a full update on those storm chances on WDRB News this evening.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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SPC Issues a Tornado Watch

Ww0369_radar

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
   TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 369
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   235 PM EDT MON JUN 29 2015

   THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

   * TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF 
     CENTRAL AND EASTERN KENTUCKY
     SOUTHERN OHIO
     WESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

   * EFFECTIVE THIS MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 235 PM UNTIL
     900 PM EDT.

   * PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
     A COUPLE TORNADOES POSSIBLE
     SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE
     SCATTERED LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE

   SUMMARY...THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY OVER CENTRAL KY
   AND MOVE ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THIS AFTERNOON.  A FEW SUPERCELLS ARE
   EXPECTED...WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL POSSIBLE.  A FEW TORNADOES
   MAY ALSO OCCUR IN THE STRONGEST STORMS.

   THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 75 STATUTE
   MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 70 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF
   LEXINGTON KENTUCKY TO 35 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF ATHENS OHIO. 
   FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
   OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU9).

   PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

   REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
   TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
   AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
   THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
   AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

Watch

Marc and I will be watch the situation closely this afternoon.  Get a full update today on WDRB News at 4.

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SPC Highlights Our Area for Severe Potential

The Storm Prediction Center is considering issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for our Kentucky Counties.  Here is there discussion...

Mcd1228

 MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1228

   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1252 PM CDT MON JUN 29 2015

   AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN OHIO...WESTERN WEST
   VIRGINIA...KENTUCKY

   CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE 

   VALID 291752Z - 292015Z

   PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

   SUMMARY...THE AREA IS BEING MONITORED FOR AN INCREASING RISK OF
   ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS
   AFTERNOON...AND THE ISSUANCE OF A WW IS POSSIBLE.

   DISCUSSION...VISIBLE SATELLITE AND MOSAIC RADAR LOOPS HIGHLIGHT
   CONVECTION BEGINNING TO DEEPEN ALONG A BAROCLINIC TROUGH/CONFLUENCE
   AXIS RUNNING APPROXIMATELY ALONG THE OHIO RIVER SW OF A SFC CYCLONE
   NEAR CINCINNATI. THE AIR MASS SE OF THIS TROUGH CONTINUES TO
   DESTABILIZE OWING TO DIABATIC SFC HEATING AMIDST DEWPOINTS IN THE
   MIDDLE 60S. THIS IS SUPPORTING MLCAPE AROUND 1000-2000 J/KG ACROSS
   SW AND CNTRL KENTUCKY NEWD TO A MULTI-WARM-FRONTAL ZONE ACROSS
   ERN/NRN KY TO THE OHIO RIVER. WITH LITTLE IN THE WAY OF WARM-SECTOR
   CAPPING...CONVECTION WILL CONTINUE TO DEEPEN ALONG THE TROUGH AND IN
   THE OPEN WARM SECTOR ACROSS PARTS OF CNTRL/WRN KY. THE LOUISVILLE
   VWP SAMPLES AROUND 20-35 KT OF FLOW IN THE 1-5-KM AGL LAYER...WHICH
   WILL LIKELY FOSTER EWD-SPREADING MULTICELL CLUSTERS AND PERHAPS A
   FEW SUSTAINED DISCRETE CELLS WITH LOCALLY DMGG WIND GUSTS AND
   PERHAPS MARGINALLY SVR HAIL THIS AFTERNOON.

   PRESENT INDICATIONS ARE THAT CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY WITH AN ASSOCIATED
   SVR RISK WOULD THEN SPREAD INTO AND/OR DEVELOP ACROSS AREAS FARTHER
   E/N INTO ERN/NRN KY...SRN OH...AND WRN WV WITH TIME -- ESPECIALLY
   LATER IN THE AFTERNOON -- WHERE AIR-MASS RECOVERY IS ONGOING OR HAS
   YET TO BEGIN IN THE WAKE OF EARLIER CLOUDS/PRECIP. AS THE
   MULTI-WARM-FRONTAL ZONE BRANCHING SE/E OF THE SFC CYCLONE ADVANCES
   NWD...AT LEAST MARGINALLY UNSTABLE AIR WILL SPREAD N OF THE OHIO
   RIVER...WHILE NEAR-SFC WINDS REMAIN SOMEWHAT BACKED IN THE
   SHELTERED/DESTABILIZING PBL. THIS WILL LOCALLY ENHANCE LOW-LEVEL SRH
   AND YIELD SOME POTENTIAL FOR A WEAK/SHORT-DURATION TORNADO OR TWO --
   ESPECIALLY IN SRN OHIO...NERN KY...AND FAR WRN WV. THIS IS
   CONSISTENT WITH THE JACKSON KY VWP THAT PRESENTLY DEPICTS AROUND
   150-175 M2/S2 OF 0-1-KM SRH.

   HOWEVER...REGION-WIDE...MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES ARE NOTABLY MORE POOR
   IN ADVANCE OF THE VORT MAX -- PER 12Z ILN RAOB -- THAN THEY WERE IN
   PREVIOUS DAYS. FURTHERMORE...WATER VAPOR LOOPS SUGGEST THAT THE
   VORT-MAX PRECEDING LOBE OF ASCENT IS IN THE PROCESS OF ADVANCING
   ENE/NE OF THE DESTABILIZING PBL. THESE FACTORS CAST CONSIDERABLE
   DOUBT ON OVERALL CONVECTIVE VIGOR AND THE NEED FOR A WW.
   REGARDLESS...VERTICAL SHEAR REMAINS SUFFICIENTLY STRONG AMIDST AREAS
   OF DESTABILIZATION TO WARRANT CONSIDERATION OF POSSIBLE WW ISSUANCE
   THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON.

   ..COHEN/HART.. 06/29/2015

Marc and I will be watch the situation closely this afternoon.  Get a full update today on WDRB News at 4.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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06/28/2015

"Summer Clipper" to Bring Storms Late Tonight and Tomorrow

Following a much needed break in the active weather this weekend, the stormy pattern resumes promptly as we head into the workweek.  

Currently, we are tracking a fast moving "summer clipper" moving down through the Midwest.

Satrad

This system looks to move into our area over the next 24 hours and could bring storms by late tonight.  

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT shows scattered showers developing late tonight with a few storms possible by 4 am for some of our western counties.

At1

AT brings a cluster of storms into the metro area between 5 and 6 am with small hail possible.

At2

This initial round of activity looks to quickly exit our eastern counties by around 8 or 9 am.

At3

It looks breezy and mainly dry during the mid to late morning hours.

At4

Scattered storms redevelop with heating for our eastern counties during the afternoon.

At5

Some of these storms could be strong.  

The Storm Prediction Center has much of our area in a Slight Risk for severe weather for Monday.

Spc

The primary threat will be damaging wind and hail.   

I think the highest chance of this occurring would be to the east of I-65. 

Jude will have a full update on what to expect first thing on WDRB in the Morning.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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HD VIDEO: SpaceX's Falcon 9 Lift Off and Explosion

On June 28, 2015, a SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted the cargo-laden Dragon off the pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to begin CRS-7. Falcon 9 rocket experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown. 

 

Lost in the explosion was approximately 4,000 lbs of supplies and new experiments destined for the International Space Station.

"This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "Today's launch attempt will not deter us from our ambitious human spaceflight program."

SpaceX is currently leading an investigation to figure out why the rocket launch failed.  

The failure was the first by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket after 18 successful launches.

NASA was hoping the SpaceX Falcon 9 will be able to transport astronauts to the International Space Station within the next two years.  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Video Of The Day: HUGE 8 Foot Lake Vortex...

Here's a very unique view of an intake vortex, created as water enters the Denison Dam spillway on Lake Texoma. The vortex was approximately 8 feet in diameter and capable of sucking in a full-sized boat! This is a normal occurrence when flood waters are released from the reservoir via flood control gates. Check it out...

 

Video Courtesy: usacetulsa

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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06/27/2015

NASA Explains Why June 30 Will Get Extra Second...

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or “leap” second, will be added.

“Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” said Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Leap_second_image2_06-24-15_2

 Video Courtesy: NASA Goddard

Strictly speaking, a day lasts 86,400 seconds. That is the case, according to the time standard that people use in their daily lives – Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. UTC is “atomic time” – the duration of one second is based on extremely predictable electromagnetic transitions in atoms of cesium. These transitions are so reliable that the cesium clock is accurate to one second in 1,400,000 years.

However, the mean solar day – the average length of a day, based on how long it takes Earth to rotate – is about 86,400.002 seconds long. That’s because Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, due to a kind of braking force caused by the gravitational tug of war between Earth, the moon and the sun. Scientists estimate that the mean solar day hasn’t been 86,400 seconds long since the year 1820 or so.

This difference of 2 milliseconds, or two thousandths of a second – far less than the blink of an eye – hardly seems noticeable at first. But if this small discrepancy were repeated every day for an entire year, it would add up to almost a second. In reality, that’s not quite what happens. Although Earth’s rotation is slowing down on average, the length of each individual day varies in an unpredictable way.

The length of day is influenced by many factors, mainly the atmosphere over periods less than a year. Our seasonal and daily weather variations can affect the length of day by a few milliseconds over a year. Other contributors to this variation include dynamics of the Earth’s inner core (over long time periods), variations in the atmosphere and oceans, groundwater, and ice storage (over time periods of months to decades), and oceanic and atmospheric tides. Atmospheric variations due to El Niño can cause Earth’s rotation to slow down, increasing the length of day by as much as 1 millisecond, or a thousandth of a second.

Scientists monitor how long it takes Earth to complete a full rotation using an extremely precise technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). These measurements are conducted by a worldwide network of stations, with Goddard providing essential coordination of VLBI, as well as analyzing and archiving the data collected.

The time standard called Universal Time 1, or UT1, is based on VLBI measurements of Earth’s rotation. UT1 isn’t as uniform as the cesium clock, so UT1 and UTC tend to drift apart. Leap seconds are added, when needed, to keep the two time standards within 0.9 seconds of each other. The decision to add leap seconds is made by a unit within the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Typically, a leap second is inserted either on June 30 or December 31. Normally, the clock would move from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00 the next day. But with the leap second on June 30, UTC will move from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60, and then to 00:00:00 on July 1. In practice, many systems are instead turned off for one second.

Previous leap seconds have created challenges for some computer systems and generated some calls to abandon them altogether. One reason is that the need to add a leap second cannot be anticipated far in advance.

“In the short term, leap seconds are not as predictable as everyone would like,” said Chopo Ma, a geophysicist at Goddard and a member of the directing board of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. “The modeling of the Earth predicts that more and more leap seconds will be called for in the long-term, but we can’t say that one will be needed every year.”

From 1972, when leap seconds were first implemented, through 1999, leap seconds were added at a rate averaging close to one per year. Since then, leap seconds have become less frequent. This June’s leap second will be only the fourth to be added since 2000. (Before 1972, adjustments were made in a different way.)

Scientists don’t know exactly why fewer leap seconds have been needed lately. Sometimes, sudden geological events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, can affect Earth’s rotation in the short-term, but the big picture is more complex.

VLBI tracks these short- and long-term variations by using global networks of stations to observe astronomical objects called quasars. The quasars serve as reference points that are essentially motionless because they are located billions of light years from Earth. Because the observing stations are spread out across the globe, the signal from a quasar will take longer to reach some stations than others. Scientists can use the small differences in arrival time to determine detailed information about the exact positions of the observing stations, Earth’s rotation rate, and our planet’s orientation in space.

 

Video Courtesy: NASA Goddard

Current VLBI measurements are accurate to at least 3 microseconds, or 3 millionths of a second. A new system is being developed by NASA’s Space Geodesy Project in coordination with international partners. Through advances in hardware, the participation of more stations, and a different distribution of stations around the globe, future VLBI UT1 measurements are expected to have a precision better than 0.5 microseconds, or 0.5 millionths of a second.

“The next-generation system is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding scientific applications now and in the near future,” says Goddard’s Stephen Merkowitz, the Space Geodesy Project manager.

NASA manages many activities of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry including day-to-day and long-term operations, coordination and performance of the global network of VLBI antennas, and coordination of data analysis.  NASA also directly supports the operation of six global VLBI stations.

Proposals have been made to abolish the leap second. No decision about this is expected until late 2015 at the earliest, by the International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations that addresses issues in information and communication technologies.

 

-Rick DeLuca

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06/26/2015

Severe Threat Ends. Showers Continue.

Following another active day weather wise, all Severe Watches and Warnings have been discontinued.

Watch

Along with some severe winds, we saw another round of very heavy thunderstorm rains today bringing two day totals to more than four inches in some areas.  

Rainfall01

This has been leading to some flooding issues tonight.  Flood Warnings remain in effect for parts of the area.  Currently, the entire area remains under a Flood Watch. 

Watch2

Current radar continues to show scattered showers across much of the area.  

Radar01

I don't expect this to exacerbate the flooding situation and the vast majority of rainfall will have ended by morning.  

Gfx

Saturday looks to be MUCH COOLER with only a few widely scattered afternoon showers.

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A Severe Thunderstorm Watch Is Now In Effect...

 THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

   * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF 
     SOUTHERN INDIANA
     CENTRAL KENTUCKY
     SOUTHWEST OHIO
     NORTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE

   * EFFECTIVE THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 310 PM UNTIL
     1100 PM EDT.
1
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE... SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH LIKELY SCATTERED LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE SUMMARY...THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP EASTWARD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING...WITH THE STRONGEST CELLS CAPABLE OF DAMAGING WINDS. THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 75 STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 30 MILES NORTHWEST OF CINCINNATI OHIO TO 40 MILES SOUTH OF BOWLING GREEN KENTUCKY. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU0). PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.
Ww0360_radar

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

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