Monday, March 16, 2015

Hazard Kentucky Lives Up to It's Name, Sort Of

The Kentucky town of Hazard may be named after the U.S. naval Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry of the late 18th and early 19th century, but the town has been facing the more familiar term when we think of the word 'hazard', mudslides.

The recent snowmelt and heavy rain have produced numerous hazards for the town's property owners and travelers.

A dangerous slip on Upper Second Creek Road has reduced traffic to one lane. Residents there are concerned the road will continue to crumble away. (Photo submitted)

The picture above is some of the issues residents in Perry County are facing as mudslides wreak havoc on local roadways. This is Upper Second Creek Road.

According to this story in the Hazard-Herald, other significant slides have impacted the following areas:

Middle Fork
Puncheon Camp
Brown's Fork
Faulkner Ave and Highland Ave in Hazard

One thing I do not understand is that the National Weather Service has products for Avalanches, yet do not have an official advisory or warning for mudslides. Areas that are usually impacted by these events, and there are maps from the USGS that show these locations, should be given more transparent information about the potential for mudslides that could impact life and property but especially area roadways. Special Weather Statement products from the NWS may highlight the potential but again is buried beneath other weather information that does not specifically spell out the danger like a stand-alone advisory or warning would do in such cases.

MS



Friday, March 13, 2015

Rainfall Totals Updated Throughout This Event

Here are a few sites to monitor current rainfall amounts....You can also access them from my Miks Piks section of the blog...

http://water.weather.gov/afws/stprecipsummary.php?state=KY

I don't know how current and accurate this site is, but some reporting stations appear credible.

Here's a regional favorite....

http://www.kymesonet.org/

Just click on the Precipitation tab 'since 12am' and shows latest 24 hour amounts. Also, create an event for specific location using this helpful table below...

http://www.kymesonet.org/event_precip.php

For Louisville residents, I like using the MSD automated rain gauges. For the most part, they work pretty well....

 http://www.msdlouky.org/aboutmsd/rainfall.cfm

Also, follow river levels at the site below for the Louisville CWA...

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lmk

Here is another view from Jackson's CWA...

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=jkl

Estimated precipitation amounts can be accessed from the same site. Just use 'Precipitation' tab at the top....For example...

http://water.weather.gov/precip/index.php?location_type=wfo&location_name=jkl

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At 1:15pm, my rainfall total in Valley Station is...0.24"
The rainfall has been fairly light though steady. Rain began here just after 9:00am.

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4:30am UPDATE

A band of heavy rain just pushed through the area. Rainfall amounts have now topped 1.50"
here at my house in Valley Station since 9:00am yesterday. Otherwise, the overnight rains had been generally light though persistent and steady. Heaviest rainfall totals include Floyds fork in eastern Jefferson county with 1.91" and Jeffersontown at 1.85". At 4:00am just as the heavy band was pushing through, Louisville Int'l airport had recorded 1.39" for the duration of this event. Highest in the state is coming out of Henderson county at 2.12".

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10:00am UPDATE

Very light rain falling once again after a lull in activity. Rainfall reports as of 10:00 am include...

Louisville international - 1.83"
Valley Station (home) - 1.84"
Floyd's fork - 2.48"
Jeffersontown - 2.35"

Statewide...

Boone county - 2.26"
Henderson county - 2.25"

Flood warnings for Ohio and Green rivers. Moderate flooding ongoing just downstream from Louisville along those waterways. McAlpine upper forecast to reach nearly 30 feet, borderline moderate stage.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

El Nino and Blizzard in Hawaii

Blizzard warning in effect for Big Island summits like Mauna Kea until Thursday evening HST. Wind gusts up to 80 mph along with accumulations of 5-8".

While it's not uncommon for the summits of Hawaii to receive snow, it still takes my breath away when I read a winter message coming from the Island of Paradise.

Well, it is official. We have El Nino. Perhaps a little too late in the season to help the drought-strickened west but El Nino nonetheless.

This event is much weaker than previous events.

From a global perspective, precipitation patterns for the March through May period generally show a drier pattern around here in Kentucky.

Hmmm, not off to a good start as I look around my neighborhood. This El Nino is so weak right now as to not even exist at all. Might as well be a lonely flea at a packed  Dallas' ATT stadium.

MS

Friday, March 6, 2015

The New Standard

The winter of 2014/15 or should I say 2015 for the most part will always be mentioned in the same breath as the infamous winters of 1994, 1998, and 1977 and 78 for some of us older ones.

The new standard is that the bulk of our winter's snowfall occurred during February and March, months normally designated for looking ahead to Spring, fishing, daffodils, and buds on the trees.

It just goes to show that winter is never over until it's over. For those who give up on winter after January, typically our coldest and snowiest month, you will always be reminded that February and March of 2015 produced some of the snowiest weeks ever for many Kentucky residents along with bone-jarring cold.

MS