03/22/2015

Spring Turns Back Into Winter Later This Week...

The first weekend of spring has been a winner so far with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures! Don't pack away those big, puffy jackets just yet because winter plans on making a comeback. A shot of cold Canadian air looks to invade the Ohio Valley later this week. Highs on Friday will struggle to make it into the 40's and I think some spots won't even get out of the 30's...

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Saturday morning is going to sting as temperatures drop down into the 20's for all of Kentuckiana. Both the EURO and GFS show similar temperatures around 6 AM... 

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Saturday doesn't look any better with more chilly air on tap. It's a tough pill to swallow following the 60's and 70's we are enjoying this weekend, but spring is full of these up's and down's. We will have to endure one more round of highs in the 30's and 40's before the cold air goes back north...

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Make sure you tune in with Jeremy Kappell tonight for details on our rain & snow chances.

 

03/21/2015

VIDEO: A supertide turns France’s famed Mont Saint-Michel into an island!

A supertide has turned France’s famed Mont Saint-Michel into an island and then retreated out of sight, delighting thousands of visitors who came to see the rare phenomenon. 

 

Although the tide rushes in and out along the whole northern French coast, it's especially dramatic at the UNESCO world heritage site, which is normally linked to the mainland only by a narrow causeway at high tide.

The high tide, said to rise at the pace of a horse's gallop, turned the Mont briefly into an island Saturday, while the day's low tide allowed people to walk on the expansive flat seabed.

Tidal specialist Nicolas Pouvreau told France 24 the surge was a few inches short of expectations.  The so-called “tide of the century” actually happens every 18 years. 

YouTube Video via wochit General News

 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Video Of The Day: Solar Eclipse 2015...

Did you miss the solar eclipse? People in Britain had front-row seats as the moon partially covered up the sun. This video captures the remarkable view from Newquay, Cornwall. If you are feeling left out and want to see this event first hand, I have good news. The United States will have its turn to enjoy a total solar eclipse when it passes over the country on August 21, 2017!

 

Video Courtesy: Sky News

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Image Courtesy: Wiki

 

 

 

03/20/2015

Spring Arrived Today, but Winter may be Poised to Return.

Although spring officially arrived with the Vernal Equinox at 6:45 pm ET this evening, it certainly didn't feel much like spring today with a cold grey overcast and highs that remained about 7 degrees below normal for this time of the year.

Almanac

Fortunately, we'll turn the corner tomorrow and the first full day of spring looks like a real beaut with temps quickly warming after a chilly start with afternoon highs expecting to reach into the upper 60's with plenty of sunshine.

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After Saturday's warm up we'll cool it a bit for the second half of the weekend and into early next week, but temps should remain near normal Sunday through Tuesday with highs generally in the mid to upper 50's with quiet conditions continuing.  

Big Changes Next Week

Things may not be so quiet for the second half of next week though.  The latest data suggests that we'll see the return of a huge trough of low pressure over the Eastern US by late in the week.  

Jet stream

Ahead of this storm, we could see heavy rain and thunderstorms on Wednesday with warm temps, perhaps 70's.    

Behind it, a HUGE drop in temperature will be possible with the latest GFS advertising 850 mb temp anomalies running about 18 to 20°C below normal for this time of the year.

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This could bring low temps down into the 20's or even teens by next weekend!  Highs would struggle to escape the 30's. 

Some models are even suggesting the possibility of more frozen precipitation Thursday night or early on Friday. 

March Goes Out Like A Lion (or maybe Polar Bear?)

Long range models hint that once the cold returns, it might just stick around through the end of the month or even into early April.

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The latest Climate Prediction Center forecast has the Eastern US once again in a bullseye for more cold in the next 8 to 14 days.  

Let's hope they are wrong about this.  Rick will have a full update on the changing forecast first thing on WDRB in the Morning.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Helping You Plan For The Weekend

From Jude Redfield...

    This first weekend of spring looks pretty nice. We might start with patchy fog early Saturday morning before sunshine comes out to play. Plenty of sunshine is in store Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Ahead of a weak cold front tomorrow we get really close to 70. Take about ten off that for Sunday as slightly cooler air invades.  Keep in mind this time of year dry weather typically means high levels of pollen. The pollen count climbs both Saturday and Sunday. Get ready to sneeze a little.

The Long Ranger for next weekend (end of March) indicates big temperature swings. March & April can bring it all.   I hope you get a chance to soak up a little sunshine tomorrow or Sunday. Enjoy! -Jude-

Mesonet

Stormview

Specialgraphic

Roster

03/19/2015

NOAA's 2015 Spring Outlook...

According to NOAA’s Spring Outlook released today, rivers in western New York and eastern New England have the greatest risk of spring flooding in part because of heavy snowpack coupled with possible spring rain. Meanwhile, widespread drought conditions are expected to persist in California, Nevada, and Oregon this spring as the dry season begins.

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Image Credit: NOAA

“Periods of record warmth in the West and not enough precipitation during the rainy season cut short drought-relief in California this winter and prospects for above average temperatures this spring may make the situation worse,” said Jon Gottschalck, chief, Operational Prediction Branch, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA’s Spring Outlook identifies areas at risk of spring flooding and expectations for temperature, precipitation and drought from April through June. The Spring Outlook provides emergency managers, water managers, state and local officials, and the public with valuable information so they will be prepared to take action to protect life and property.

 

Video Courtesy: NOAA Climate.gov

Spring Flood Risk

Record snowfall and unusually cold temperatures in February through early March retained a significant snowpack across eastern New England and western New York raising flood concerns. Significant river ice across northern New York and northern New England increase the risk of flooding related to ice jams and ice jam breakups. Rivers in these areas are expected to exceed moderate flood levels this spring if there is quick warm up with heavy rainfall.

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Image Credit: NOAA

There is a 50 percent chance of exceeding moderate flood levels in small streams and rivers in the lower Missouri River basin in Missouri and eastern Kansas which typically experience minor to moderate flooding during the spring. This flood potential will be driven by rain and thunderstorms.

Moderate flooding has occurred in portions of the Ohio River basin, including the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers from melting snow and recent heavy rains. This has primed soils and streams for flooding to persist in Kentucky, southern Illinois, and southwest Indiana with the typical heavy spring rains seen in this area.

Minor river flooding is possible from the Gulf Coast through the Ohio River Valley and into the Southeast from Texas eastward and up the coast to Virginia. The upper Midwest eastward to Michigan has a low risk of flooding thanks to below normal snowfall this winter. Though, heavy rainfall at any time can lead to flooding, even in areas where overall risk is considered low.

Drought Outlook

El Niño finally arrived in February, but forecasters say it’s too weak and too late in the rainy season to provide much relief for California which will soon reach its fourth year in drought.

Drought is expected to persist in California, Nevada, and Oregon through June with the onset of the dry season in April. Drought is also forecast to develop in remaining areas of Oregon and western Washington. Drought is also likely to continue in parts of the southern Plains.

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Image Credit: NOAA

Forecasters say drought improvement or removal is favored for some areas in the Southwest, southern Rockies, southern Plains, and Gulf Coast while drought development is more likely in parts of the northern Plains, upper Mississippi Valley and western Great Lakes where recent dryness and an outlook of favored below average precipitation exist.

Current water supply forecasts and outlooks in the western U.S. range from near normal in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and Upper Colorado, to, much below normal in California, the southern Rockies, and portions of the Great Basin.

If the drought persists as predicted in the Far West, it will likely result in an active wildfire season, continued stress on crops due to low reservoir levels, and an expansion of water conservation measures. More information about drought can be found at www.drought.gov.

Temperature & Precipitation Outlook

Above-average temperatures are favored this spring across the Far West, northern Rockies, and northern Plains eastward to include parts of the western Great Lakes, and for all of Alaska. Below normal temperatures are most likely this spring for Texas and nearby areas of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

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Image Credit: NOAA

For precipitation, odds favor drier than average conditions for parts of the northern Plains, upper Mississippi Valley, western Great Lakes, and Pacific Northwest. Above average precipitation is most likely for parts of the Southwest, southern and central Rockies, Texas, Southeast, and east central Alaska. Hawaii is favored to be warmer than average with eastern areas most likely wetter than average this spring.

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Image Credit: NOAA

Now is the time to become weather-ready during NOAA’s Spring Weather Safety Campaign which runs from March to June and offers information on hazardous spring weather -- tornadoes, floods, thunderstorm winds, hail, lightning, heat, wildfires, and rip currents -- and tips on how to stay safe.

 

 

Radar Update And Other Things

From Jude Redfield...

    The steady morning rain pushes east with drier times expected this afternoon. A few lingering showers are likely this afternoon, but they will be isolated. Cloudy, cool conditions are established and no big change occurs until Saturday. Saturday will be off the charts kind of good. Highs near 70 with sunshine are likely to start the weekend.

    **INDIANA HAS A STATEWIDE TORNADO DRILL TODAY** The first one is at 10:15 this morning and the last one is at 7:35 tonight. THIS IS ONLY A TEST...DO NOT BE ALARMED!

Mesonet

Stormview

Windchill comparison

03/18/2015

The Great Tri-State Tornado

At approximately 1:00 pm on March 18, 1925 an extremely violent and long lived tornado touched down near the town of Ellington Missouri.  During the next three and a half hours, the storm would travel over 200 miles while destroying everything in it's path.  

At the end of the day, thousands were injured and 695 people were killed by the monster making it, by far, the deadliest tornado in US History.

This was the front page of the Chicago Herald Examiner the next day...  

Tri-State_Tornado

Presumably an EF-5, the storm is in the history books and holds many records including the deadliest and the longest lived tornado.  It also has the longest continuous damage path at 219 miles! 

To put this into perspective, the Henryville EF-4 tornado from March 2, 2012 was on the ground continuously for 49 miles.  

The devastation from the storm was staggering.  More than a mile wide at times, it swallowed many towns whole and completely wiped out several communities!

Desotorb

The storm touched down in Southeast Missouri and traveled very quickly to the northeast tearing a path through Southern Illinois and into Southwest Indiana.

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Murpheysboro, Illinois was the hardest hit by the storm with 234 lives lost.  This stands as the most fatalities in one city by a single tornado on record.

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The storm moved at a frenzied pace averaging an astonishing 62 mph during it's three and a half hour rampage across three states.  

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At one point, the storm was caluculated to have traveled at an unbelievable 73 mph as it raced from Gorham, IL to Murphysboro!

Read first-hand accounts of the storm courtesy the Paducah NWS here.

The Tri-State Tornado was a part of a larger outbreak of tornadoes that occurred that day across portions of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.  

Including the other tornadoes that occurred day, at least 747 people were killed and 2,298 were injured. This makes the Tri-State Outbreak the deadliest tornado outbreak, March 18 the deadliest tornado day, and 1925 the tornado year in U.S. History!

Tristate

Several of these other tornadoes occurred across parts of Kentuckiana including an EF-4 and an EF-3 in Louisville!  You can see details on the local outbreak here...  Kentuckiana March 18, 1925 tornado outbreak

This is one of the few photographs that have been preserved of what is believed to have been of The Great Tri-State Tornado.  

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 Here's a good video documentary of the devastating event...

  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Rain Is On The Way! How This Could Impact River Flooding...

The clouds have arrived and rain isn't too far behind. We've already picked 6.89" of rain so far this month! A handful of weak disturbances will ride overhead tonight through Friday morning giving us the chance for showers. There might be an ice pellet or two mixed in early Thursday but it wouldn't last long enough to cause any problems. Take a look at the future radar images below to get as rough idea as to when and where light rain may be possible...

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Plan on a damp, dreary, and cooler end to the workweek with highs in the 40's and 50's. The good news is that the rain amounts won't be enough to irritate the river flooding issues. Most locations should only pick up a couple tenths of an inch and the NAM, GFS, EURO and AdvanceTrak all seem to agree on rain totals...

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The Ohio River is expected to drop below flood stage Friday night. In the meantime, expect road closures and limited parking. The gloomy weather takes a hike just in time for the weekend as the sunshine returns and temperatures warm up!

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Marc Weinberg will have more on the weekend forecast tonight on WDRB!

 

 

No March Watches To Date Unprecedented!

During a month when severe weather typically strikes, this March has been unusually quiet, with no tornado or severe thunderstorm watches issued by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center so far. And, National Weather Service forecasters see no sign of dramatic change for the next week at least.

"We are in uncharted territory with respect to lack of severe weather", said Greg Carbin, SPC's warning coordination meteorologist. "This has never happened in the record of SPC watches dating back to 1970."

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

Since the beginning of 2015, the SPC has issued only four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches, which is less than 10 percent of the typical number of 52 tornado watches issued by mid-March. The approximately 20 tornadoes reported since January 1 is well below the 10-year average of 130 for that time period.

There is no one clear reason to explain the lack of tornadoes, Carbin said. "We're in a persistent pattern that suppresses severe weather, and the right ingredients -- moisture, instability, and lift -- have not been brought together in any consistent way so far this year."

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

Forecasters expect a change soon, however. April and May are typically the busiest months for severe weather and tornadoes. Patterns can change in a few days, Carbin said, and it's important to be prepared for severe weather when it occurs.

Analysis of the ten lowest and ten highest watch count years through the middle of March reveals little correlation to the subsequent number of tornadoes through the end of June. For example, early 2012 was particularly active with 77 watches issued through mid-March. The subsequent period through the end of June was unusually quiet for tornadoes with about 130 fewer EF1 and stronger tornadoes occurring than what would normally be expected. On the other hand, 1984, with a relatively low watch count of 28 through mid-March, became more active and by late June had about 100 EF1 and stronger tornadoes above the long-term mean of 285.

Severe Weather Reports Per Year (2003-2012)

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

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These maps were created by gridding the total number of daily severe weather reports (Midnight to 11:59pm CDT) over the 10-year period from 2003 through 2012 on a 80km grid. The resulting grid numbers are then divided by 10 and smoothed to arrive at the annual average number of days with a report of severe weather based on official NWS Storm Data records. The 80km grid-point value corresponds to the number of events within 25 miles of a point. While the resulting maps generally match our understanding of severe weather climatology, there are a few exceptions that come about as a result of how the severe weather event is quantified. Even through the data are smoothed, severe weather reports cluster around population centers. This can be seen on the "any" or "all" severe weather map in the upper left. Maximum values show up around Charlotte, NC, Huntsville, AL, Jackson, MS, Springfield, MO, and Dallas, TX. These are locations where more severe weather is reported because more people live in those areas. The hail reports used to generate the hail frequency map are from reports of hail 1 inch or greater in diameter. Large hail reports are most common from Rapid City, SD to Denver, CO, Dodge City, KS, and Springfield, MO. The wind report map perhaps poses the greatest challenge in terms of representing where a greater severe thunderstorm wind threat may exist. The majority of severe thunderstorm wind reports are verified by falling trees *not* by observed wind gusts of 50 knots or greater. Thus, there is a distinct tendency for severe thunderstorm winds to be reported in areas with more trees. Recent peer-reviewed studies have compared the severe weather reports used to make these maps with automated observations (for wind), and radar data (for hail). These studies have found that greater concentrations/frequencies of severe hail (based on radar) and 50kt or greater severe thunderstorm wind gusts (based on automated observations) are more likely to occur over parts of the Great Plains and Midwest than what might be indicated in the maps shown above.

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

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Image Courtesy: NOAA

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Image Courtesy: NOAA