06/07/2018

PHOTOGENIC TORNADO: Stunning Video From Laramie, Wyoming On Wednesday June 6th...

Stunning video of a well structured tornado was captured in Laramie, Wyoming Wednesday, June 6th. This is called an LP supercell or "Low Precipitation" storm. Tornadoes, if they do occur, are very visible due to the light amount of precipitation. LP supercells tend to be higher based than the other supercell types because air must rise to a higher level in order for condensation to occur. Check out this mesmerizing video...

Video Credit: nico bellic

 

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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06/06/2018

Passenger Plane Forced to Land After Flying Through Hail Storm

Hail forced a passenger plane to make an unplanned landing, but not before severely damaging the windshield and nose cone of the plane and terrifying passengers.  The video below shows you the damage to the plane. 

Facts: 

  • American Airlines flight 1897 took off from San Antonio at 6:58 PM CDT headed for Phoenix. 
  • The plane landed in El Paso at 8:03 PM MDT after being diverted there. 
  • Later that night passengers were taken the rest of the way to Phoenix in a different aircraft. 
  • No injuries were reported but the incredible turbulence did make some passengers sick.

The image below shows the flight path (including the diversion) with radar. You can also see at the very bottom of this image the plan was traveling near 40,000 ft.  Hold on to that information as we look at radar images. 

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This first radar sequence shows the initial development of the storm that caused the damage.  This was the first radar scan you could really see this storm - the previous scan barely showed any returns. Notice this storm is below 40,000 feet.  This flight would likely be able to fly over this storm in this state without any problems. This is from 6:10 PM MDT.

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This second radar sequence shows how strong the storm was when the plane flew through it.  Click here to see the flight log for specific times on when the flight encountered rough weather and when it was diverted.  The first set of images is from 6:30 PM MDT; the second set is from 7:12 PM MDT (more than an hour after this cell showed up on radar). 

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At its strongest this storm likely grew taller than 50,000 feet and the hail was likely anywhere between 1" and 3" in diameter based on radar estimates and estimates based on hail damage. 

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One of the pilots said to air traffic control, "The hail has beat up our forward windshields pretty badly for American Airlines 1897. At this time, we don’t have a whole lot of forward visibility."  In a statement American Airlines said, “On June 3, American Airlines flight 1897, from San Antonio to Phoenix, diverted to El Paso due to damage sustained by weather in flight. We commend the great work of our pilots, along with our flight attendants, who safely landed the Airbus A319 at 8:03 p.m. MDT."

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AIR QUALITY ALERT Issued for Thursday

An Air Quality Alert has been issued by the National Weather Service in Louisville, The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. It is in effect for tomorrow for Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham, Floyd, Clark Counties or the metro area from 8 am until midnight Thursday. This only impacts some individuals. Read more about the alert below. 

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AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT EDT
THURSDAY NIGHT...

A Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Ozone has been issued for the
Louisville Metro Area.

Orange: Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects.
The general public is not likely to be affected. Sensitive groups
include the elderly...children...persons with asthma or other
breathing problems...and persons with lung and heart disease. People
in these groups are advised to limit their outdoor activities to
reduce their exposure to ozone and particulate pollution.

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06/05/2018

Cold Front Tonight: Temperature Changes and a Rain Chance

A cold front will pass through Kentuckiana tonight which normally brings changes, but so many of you are begging to not change the weather.  Fortunately, you might like the changes this front brings. 

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If you live in our far northeastern counties, you'll be the closest to the rain chances. The counties I'm talking about are Trimble, Henry, and Caroll in Kentucky and Jefferson in Indiana. 

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If you're on that list, you'll probably see a few extra clouds and maybe some patchy fog, but it's unlikely you would see much - if any - rain. This is a pretty weak front. 

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The front will really do more for temperatures than for rain/storms.  We've been enjoying this period of low humidity.  Dewpoints will stay in the "comfortable" range Wednesday, but steadily climb toward "steamy" by Friday.

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Temperatures will also climb quickly after Wednesday.  Wednesday enjoys that nice, brief cool-down before the heat grabs a hold of us, but we're back into the 90s before the weekend. 

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On WDRB News tonight, Marc and Rick will talk to you about if this second cold front impacts us and when that would be possible. 

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06/04/2018

ODD CLOUD-LIKE Feature Over Guatemala Explained...

Fuego in Guatemala is one of Central America’s most active volcanoes. For years, the towering Volcán de Fuego has puffed continuously, punctuated by occasional episodes of explosive activity, big ash plumes, lava flows, and avalanche-like debris slides known as pyroclastic flows.

Just before noon on June 3, 2018, the volcano produced an explosive eruption that sent ash billowing thousands of meters into the air. A deadly mixture of ash, rock fragments, and hot gases rushed down ravines and stream channels on the sides of the volcano. Since these pyroclastic flows often move at speeds of greater than 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, they easily topple trees, homes, or anything else in their path. According to news reports, more than two dozen people were killed. As a precautionary measure, thousands of other people have been evacuated.

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Image Credit: NASA

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP acquired this image of the ash plume at 1 p.m. local time (19:00 Universal Time) on June 3, 2018, after the ash (brown) had punched through a deck of clouds. A report from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center estimated the plume’s maximum height at 15 kilometers (9 miles). Imagery from a geostationary satellite showed winds blowing the plume to the east. The eruption deposited ash on several communities surrounding the volcano, including Guatemala City, which is 70 kilometers (40 miles) to the east.

In addition to ash, the plume contains gaseous components invisible to the human eye, including sulfur dioxide (SO2). The gas can affect human health—irritating the nose and throat when breathed in—and reacts with water vapor to produce acid rain. Sulfur dioxide also can react in the atmosphere to form aerosol particles, which can contribute to outbreaks of haze and sometimes cool the climate.

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Image Credit: NASA

Satellite sensors such as the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the Aqua satellite and the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) on Suomi NPP make frequent observations of sulfur dioxide. The map above shows concentrations of sulfur dioxide in the middle troposphere at an altitude of 8 kilometers (5 miles) as detected by OMPS on June 3.

Upon seeing data collected by AIRS several hours after the eruption that showed high levels of sulfur dioxide in the upper troposphere, Michigan Tech volcanologist Simon Carn tweeted that this appeared to be the “highest sulfur dioxide loading measured in a Fuego eruption in the satellite era.”

 

-Rick DeLuca

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Nearly Perfect Space Station Sightings This Week

Picture-perfect weather for the next several days is creating prime viewing opportunities of the International Space Station.  There are two chances to see it tonight with several more opportunities coming later this week. 

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We are forecasting mostly clear sky during this early part of the night, so as long as you're away from lights, you should have no problem seeing the ISS.

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If you can't catch tonight's sightings, you have several more chances this week.  Below is the list from NASA with the date and time, length of time it will be visible, max angle, where it appears and where it disappears. 

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Clouds will build by Wednesday, so if you want to see the space station, I recommend trying tonight or tomorrow night.  If you do see it or get a picture of it, let me know on social media.  You can use the links below to send me pictures or reports of seeing the ISS. 

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06/03/2018

Kilauea Eruption Update: Still Going Strong

These are the most current images from the U.S. Geological Survey of the Kilauea eruption.  They were taken at 7 this morning (Hawaiian time) when USGS said, "nearly all of the front was active and advancing; advance rates were estimated at an average of 250 feet/hour (76 m/hr)."  

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The flow was less than 500 yards from the ocean when these pictures were taken. 


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This image below shows the plume at the summit this morning (taken around 8:40 AM local time) at Halema'uma'u Crater.

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Here's the latest update from USGS: 

"Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Fissure 8 fountaining persisted throughout the night (...) All other fissures are inactive, although Fissure 9 is steaming heavily.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low. Seismicity remains relatively low with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor.  Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. 

Earthquake activity at the summit was high overnight, and it is possible that a small explosion, much like those that have occurred during the past two weeks, will take place in the next day. Ash emissions are low as revealed by webcam views this morning. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high."

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How WARM was May?

Did the last month feel very warm? If you thought it was - you were right! In fact, The National Weather Service in Louisville says Every single day of May was warmer than normal  in Louisville (as well as Lexington, Bowling Green, and Frankfort). This resulted in the warmest May this area has ever recorded. 

The average temperature was 75.9 degrees, that is 8.8 degrees ABOVE normal. To put this in perspective, the normal temperature for June is 75.6, so we were actually warmer than June too (by 0.3 degrees)! The previous warmest May on record was May 1991 with an average temp of 73.1 degrees. 

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Records: 

Besides being the warmest May on record there were some individual days that broke records as well. It was the wettest Derby on record and several temperature records were broken in the middle of the month.  
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WHAT SPRING?? 

Looking back on Spring 2018, it is hard to call it "Spring". It had two very distinct personalities: Sprinter and Summer.

March and April were quite chilly, with measurable snow falling as late as April 16. But by May, a switch was flipped and we jumped straight to summer with average temperatures (as mentioned above) warmer than even June!  All climate sites in central Kentucky recorded their warmest May on record. Amazingly, this was Louisville's 4th snowiest spring and warmest May on record! 

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Storms and Severe Weather: 

Severe weather was much lower than our typical spring. Daytime heat driven and scattered showers and storms were the name of the game. There were only two tornadoes, both of EF1 strength on April 3. The most widespread severe weather event was a powerful squall line that brought wind damage to southern Indiana and north central Kentucky on the last day of May. 
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06/02/2018

Arizona Dust Devil Looks More Like a Tornado!

This dust devil was caught on camera last week in Arizona, and it looks intense! In fact a lot of people thought it looked more like a tornado than a normal dust devil. Watch this crazy video below.

In the video around 0:50, the camera tilts up so you can see the top of the dust devil.  This is how we know it wasn't a tornado - there was no parent storm cell.  A tornado requires a storm to produce it, but a dust devil is caused by wind and a temperature difference outside of a storm. 

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Few Showers and Storms This Weekend

We are sunny, dry, warm and humid! But notice below, there is actually quite a bit of activity happening in our atmosphere and just to our west. That cold front in the plains is headed toward us and will bring our next best chance for showers and storms. BUT...it not a great chance. Not everyone will see showers and storms and the line will be weakening as it makes its way toward Kentuckiana. 

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The boundaries over us now, give us a slight chance for a few stray showers to develop this afternoon. Most of the us will stay dry. 

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I increase our rain chance to about 20% this evening. For overnight and Sunday morning, I increase it to 30% as the front moves through. 

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SPC has a marginal risk for severe weather over our western counties. We are lacking substantial wind energy, but there is plenty of instability. Rogue strong to severe storms are possible. The better chance is outside of Kentuckiana, to the west, but not off the table for us. 

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For any strong storm, main threats would be gusty winds, heavy rain and lightning. This will not be a defined squall line along the front, but rather scattered showers and storms. Storms will be around for about half the day tomorrow from 12 am to noon. 

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Let's look at the timing a bit closer... 

Notice how showers and storms become more numerous around 1 am 
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I do think some of us will see scattered showers and storms during the overnight hours and into Sunday morning. But I also think there is a better chance to stay dry. Remember, if you see any storms, there is the potential for them to be on the strong side. 
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Notice below, a lot of data suggests this line will start to weakening as it moves into our viewing area. 

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But then, as the front progresses to the east and temps start to warm late morning and early afternoon, showers and storms will begin to flare up again in the Bluegrass region and eastern KY. But at that point, the front will have likely cleared and we will see very few remaining showers and storms in our viewing area. 

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Even though the shower and storm chance is lower with this cold front, we will still notice that a front pushed through. Temps will drop by Sunday night/Monday morning. Lows will be in the FIFTIES for much of Kentuckiana and highs will drop into the lower 80s. We will also notice a dip in the dew points or the humidity. So it will be not as sticky. The beginning of the week will be very comfortable in the low 80s with sunshine! Enjoy! 

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For the latest about our shower and storm chances this weekend, be sure to join Hannah on WDRB News this evening. I will also be showing you current radar scans bright and early and update you on any severe weather updates tomorrow morning from 6-9 am on WDRB in the Morning! Be sure to join us! 

We will also post updates on social media! The links to my pages are below!  

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-Katie McGraw 

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