09/25/2016

Cold Front Arrives Ending Heat Streak... Bringing Rain Chance.

Our heat streak continued AGAIN today with ANOTHER 92° temp notched.  The 5th in 5 days!

24 hour temp change

Overall we've seen 54 - 90 degree days this summer (and early fall).  

Today's 90° heat might very well be the last though as we are watching the approach of a potent cold front that will bring us MUCH COOLER conditions this week.  

Advancetrak

This front will also FINALLY bring back the chance for rain tomorrow. 

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

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At2

At3

At4

At5

At6

It looks like the highest rain chance will occur between 9 am and noon for the metro area.  

The showers will be rather scattered in nature and rainfall amounts will be limited to less than a quarter inch.  

However, perhaps more importantly, it will be followed by a BIG cool down, with some areas expecting 40's by Tuesday morning!

At7

Although a little late, fall finally appears to be arriving.  Enjoy!

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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09/24/2016

Finally some Real Fall Weather! When to Expect 40's!!!

It's been hot and now we have the numbers to prove it.  

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Despite the arrival of Fall on Thursday, the heat of summer continues with today's 92° high making a 5th straight at or above 90.  We now have 53 of those on the year!  

Finally, a potent cold front across the Plains looks to arrive here by early on Monday bringing a merciful end to this latest stretch of 90's.  

Satrad

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT shows ONE MORE hot one tomorrow with highs reaching near 90 AGAIN, but likely for the last time for quite a while.  

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The cold front reaches our western counties early Sunday morning.

Advancetrak

 The front moves steadily across the area Monday morning bringing with it a chance for showers.

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 Unfortunately, the rain won't add up to much, but it will be followed by MUCH COOLER and drier conditions.  Despite the return of some sunshine by late afternoon, temps look to remain in the 70's on Monday.

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 From there, temps plummet into the 50's during the evening on Monday.

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 Believe it or not, but temps could reach the 40's for parts of the area Tuesday morning!  

At9

 This will likely be the coolest readings we have seen since back in the spring. Enjoy!  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Find me on Facebook!

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Email me at jkappell@wdrb.com

 

 

Is that Foam? Snow? Guess Again!

ICK!!

This is a phenomena you simply do not see very often and it is kind of disturbing and GROSS! When you look at this picture, do you have any idea what you are seeing around this house? It looks like some snow or possibly some odd foam right?

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This photo was taken in the town Wagga Wagga in Australia. What you are seeing in the picture is spider webs... LOTS AND LOTS of spider webs! Not to mention LOTS OF SPIDERS TOO!

AUSTRALIA-FLOODS/

How did this happen?

In March 2013, there were enormous floods in the country of Australia. The Murrumbidgee river rose to about 33 feet flooding large areas near and around Wagga Wagga. Like the humans, the spiders fled the flooded rivers and moved inland to escape the floods. 

To understand how and why they did this, you need to know a little more about the spider. This particular spider is part of the Linyphiidae family of spiders and can be about 1/2" long. This species of spider actually releases strings of silk that it normally uses for webs in an attempt to escape when it senses danger. Releasing the silk allows the spider to actually catch the wind and lift the spider to safety. The process is called "ballooning" and spiders can use this to disperse in dangerous situations. Since they are blown by the wind, you can get large numbers of the spider in a single location and in this situation they were EVERYWHERE! How wild is that?

And speaking of creepy crawly spiders, check out this big guy that was in our studio this week! 

Spider

Full disclosure: the only reason I remained calm when this spider was a foot away from me was because there were some brave souls around! They saved its life and took it back outside! 

I hope you have a great Saturday! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

 -Meteorologist Katie McGraw

09/23/2016

10 YEARS AGO: REMEMBERING THE FLOODING FROM SEPTEMBER 22-23...

A slow-moving storm system brought torrential rains to the region on September 22 and 23, 2006, resulting in widespread flooding.  Unfortunately, six people were killed in our area. It was the deadliest weather event since seven people were killed in the flood of March 1-2, 1997. Sections of Kentuckiana picked up 8-9" of rain as shown by the 48-hour rainfall totals...

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Images Courtesy: NWS

Mudslide on Cardinal Boulevard in Louisville...

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Hawkins Drive in Elizabethtown (Tom Williams, Station 50 Images)...

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Near Colesburg, Kentucky  (Tom Williams, Station 50 Images)...

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Pisgah Road at Versailles, Kentucky (Steve Blake)...

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Cooler Weather En Route

If you think this summer (and now fall) and have been unusually warm, you are not wrong! This is not just because of any overly hot days, but also because of the persistent heat and days above normal. We normally see 37 days with 90 degrees or warmer. This year we have seen 51 days and today was the 52nd day of at least 90 degrees! There have also been 106 consecutive days without low temperatures in the 50s in downtown! 

Smoking hot

But CHANGES-A-COMIN! 

We will be dry and hot for this weekend. Thanks to high pressure, there will be more temperatures in the 90s and no shortage of sunshine! But during that time, a cold front is going to be trucking toward our region. 

This will bring back the chance for a few showers early next week. That's good! We need some rain, although this probably won't be very much. But my concern in this blog is the cool down after the front passes through the region! 

9-23 at cold front

Keep in mind this is raw model data but it is what we use to paint a picture . . . or in my case a forecast. Check out what the GFS shows for lows in the middle of next week! But brace yourself! 

9-23 wed am gfs

9-23 thu 6 am

Brrrrrr!! That would be a shock to the system!

But notice the Euro's raw data is a bit warmer and keeps the low temperatures in the low 50s rather than the 40s. 

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9-23 euro thus 9 am

So how likely is this cold and what are my thoughts?? I think feasibly some areas could hit 40s, away from metro, in the low lying areas and valleys across Kentuckiana. Downtown will probably stay in the low to mid fifties, but that will still feel chilly! Remember, we haven't felt 50s in downtown for over THREE MONTHS!

Most importantly, we will be continuing to update the forecast over the next few days. Be sure to tune into WDRB news this evening with Marc and Rick to hear their analysis of the data. They will also track out the showers early next week. I will also have the latest info bright and early tomorrow morning from 6-9 am! Hope to see you then! You can also find me on social media with the links below. 

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 -Meteorologist Katie McGraw

Weather Blog: Streaking In The Ville

From Jude Redfield...

    No need for much commentary on these two "hot" graphics below. On Sunday we will establish a new all-time record (in Louisville) for most consecutive days at or above 60 degrees. It will be 108 days. We aren't expecting 50s in Louisville until next week. It's been a long time coming. While we missed out on record high temps this summer we certainly had a boat load of days in the 90s.  In fact by Sunday if the forecast is correct we will have had 54 days. Smashing our average of 37...37.3 if you want to be technical.

Shoes

MeteorShower

    The cool air transition begins on Monday! We watch high temps cool from the 80s to the 70s Monday into Tuesday. This cold front also sparks a 40% chance at scattered showers on Monday. The lack of rain is a big deal as well.  Unfortunately this isn't a 100% for everyone. We will take what we can get! Overnight lows by the middle of next week easily cool into the 50s. Some of the valleys could even find a few upper 40s later next week. WOW! Have a great weekend!  -Jude Redfield-

09/22/2016

Throwback Thursday: Do Goats Grow in Trees??

Happy First Day of Fall!

With quiet (but unseasonably HOT) weather for the next few days, I decided to have a little bit of fun with the blog today and revisit one of WDRB Weather's most infamous blogs! Plus I found some updated video and information!

I am sure that you have seen goats climb rocky and mountainous terrain, but have you ever seen them in trees?!

Goats

If you are wondering why they are up there, it all has to do with food. Found in the Sous valley of southwestern Morocco and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region, the Argan tree grows to 8–10 meters high and live up to 150–200 years. They are thorny, with gnarled trunks, but that doesn't stop the Tamri goats from getting up there and eating it's pulpy fruit!

Argan fruit falls in July, when black and dry. Until this happens, goats are kept out of the argan woodlands by wardens to stop them from eating it all. Rights to collect the fruit are controlled by law and village traditions. If argan sounds familiar to you, you are not wrong. After the goats eat the fruit and the undigested seeds became a part of their waste, the seeds were cracked open, ground up and an oil was created. This the traditional way "Argan Oil" was produced. Lovely.

But HOW??

The secret to their ability to climb lies in the shape of their hooves. They are able to grip the tree branches with their soft, textured hooves.

If you think the photo above is photoshopped, watch them in action in the video below...

Video Courtesy: Photo Workshop Adventures

 

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 -Meteorologist Katie McGraw

 

Did You Recently Hear That NASA Changed The Zodiac Signs?

Did you recently hear that NASA changed the zodiac signs? Nope, we definitely didn’t…

…Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math. Here are the details:

First Things First: Astrology is NOT Astronomy

Astronomy is the scientific study of everything in outer space. Astronomers and other scientists know that stars many light years away have no effect on the ordinary activities of humans on Earth.

Astrology is something else. It’s not science. No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based on their birth dates.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

Some curious symbols ring the outside of the Star Finder. These symbols stand for some of the constellations in the zodiac. What is the zodiac and what is special about these constellations?

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Image Courtesy: NASA

Imagine a straight line drawn from Earth though the sun and out into space way beyond our solar system where the stars are. Then, picture Earth following its orbit around the sun. This imaginary line would rotate, pointing to different stars throughout one complete trip around the sun – or, one year. All the stars that lie close to the imaginary flat disk swept out by this imaginary line are said to be in the zodiac.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

The constellations in the zodiac are simply the constellations that this imaginary straight line points to in its year-long journey.

What are Constellations?

A constellation is group of stars like a dot-to-dot puzzle. If you join the dots—stars, that is—and use lots of imagination, the picture would look like an object, animal, or person. For example, Orion is a group of stars that the Greeks thought looked like a giant hunter with a sword attached to his belt. Other than making a pattern in Earth’s sky, these stars may not be related at all.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

Even the closest star is almost unimaginably far away. Because they are so far away, the shapes and positions of the constellations in Earth’s sky change very, very slowly. During one human lifetime, they change hardly at all.

A Long History of Looking to the Stars

The Babylonians lived over 3,000 years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts – like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 “slices.” So, as Earth orbits the sun, the sun would appear to pass through each of the 12 parts of the zodiac. Since the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar (based on the phases of the moon), each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

But even according to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and crossed over into the next one.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

When the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of zodiac, a birthday between about July 23 and August 22 meant being born under the constellation Leo. Now, 3,000 years later, the sky has shifted because Earth’s axis (North Pole) doesn’t point in quite the same direction.

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Image Courtesy: NASA

The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days.  To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.

So, we didn’t change any zodiac signs…we just did the math.

 

Weather Blog: I See A Big Change Coming!

From Jude Redfield...

    Gorgeous sunshine on this first day of summer...I mean first day of fall LOL  Yea, yea, yea I know it is hard to get into the fall spirit with this heat wave. Our sunshine doesn't stop until next week when a storm system changes everything.

TempPlunge

    The key to allowing the temperature drop and rain chances to rise comes from a strong storm system from the northern plains. This will finally kick out the strong high pressure heat dome that has plagued the region all week long.

Rainamounts

    The only question at this point centers around the exact time we see the front move through. Since we've had such a strong block in place it is difficult to have a great handle on the specific timing of the cold front passage. We should start to transition to the cool down from Monday into Tuesday. Monday keeps us well above average, but clouds increase with a few showers possible late Monday. Adding clouds to the mix on Tuesday with the front very close to the Ohio Valley gives us better chances for rain. Even cooler temps arrive on Wednesday! High temps in the 70s look likely from Wednesday into Thursday.

RadarHelp

   In summary our big drop should begin Tuesday into Wednesday and have high temps for a few days next week in the mid 70s. There's even the possibility if rain chances rise we could see even cooler high temps than what the current forecast has. Stay tuned...  -Jude Redfield-

09/21/2016

The Woolly Worm Winter Prediction!

Everyone knows about the woolly worm and it's alleged forecasting skills for the winter. And it's that time of year again! And the million dollar questions: can the woolly worm predict winter and what do the colors mean?

Let's start by discussing what a woolly worm is. The woolly worm is actually the tiger moths in the larva stage. The technical name for the woolly worm is Pyrrharctia Isabella. In the late summer / fall these woolly worms start to appear more and more. 

With more photos of woolly worms coming in on social media, I wanted to share some of them with you. In case you didn't know, folklore says that thin brown bands on the woolly worms means a harsh winter is coming, wider brown banded woolly worms mean a mild winter,  nearly black woolly worms means a severe winter is coming, and finally the very light brown or white woolly worms mean a snowy winter . . . according to the folklore. 

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Photo Submission: Antoinette Heady Gilpin 

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Photo Submission: Richard Henderson 

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Photo Submission: Linda Lyman Norris 

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Photo Submission: Jenny Trimer 

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Photo Submission: Barbara Colyer

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Photo Submission: Ryan J. DeLong 

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Photo Submission: Thomas Styers Jr. 

Well. . . That's a lot of variety! So the real question ... can the woolly worm predict winter?

Woolly Worm ... Superstition Or Accurate Predictor Of Winter?

Let's first think about the fact the prediction is based on the color of the woolly worms. All of our submissions, that are from THIS year, are different colors. So they all give a different "forecast".  I think you can probably guess if the woolly worm can accurately predict the winter forecast.

What you might not know is there actually was research done in the 1950s for 8 years by Dr. C.H. Curran. At the time, Dr. Curran was the curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Dr. Curran found that generally the wider the brown segments on the woolly worm the more mild the winter would be. I think you can see where the folklore was born. Since then, there have been independent tests done and most say the woolly worms are about as accurate at predicting the winter as flipping a coin.

In reality, the woolly worm can tell something about the weather, but only the past winter. To understand, we need to look a little more into how woolly worms grow. As the woolly worm grows through spring, they molt which means they shed their skin. Every time they shed their skin, more brown bands can occur. Basically it appears the more brown bands a woolly worm has can be an indicator of the age of each woolly worm or when it started to grow in the prior spring. Entomologist Mike Peters from UMASS says specifically that the colored bands on a woolly worm are "telling you about the previous year('s)" winter, not the upcoming winter.

The bottom line is the woolly worm is only folklore and most scientists agree there is no correlation between the brown banding of the woolly worm and the upcoming winter. All the different photo submissions support that because they are all different predictions, which doesn't lend for a lot of confidence in our furry friends' forecasting skills. But folklore can still be very fun! Keep sending in your woolly worm photos! We love seeing them! The links to my Facebook and Twitter pages are below. 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

 -Meteorologist Katie McGraw