Monday, November 23, 2015

MikJournal Monday 11/23/15

Good morning. I have tallied my interpretation of the leading medium range models for last week. Among the three I tested for medium range, GFS, GDPS, and the Euro, the winner was...GFS.

That's not uncommon, but typically, the Euro does a better job than the other models. I selected last Sunday evening as the initialization point. All the models got lost by last Thursday but the GFS performed better. And although it was a day off on the cold for Sunday (it had Saturday), the temperature profile was nearly spot on.

I will include some other variables going forward for this upcoming week, as we have another active week ahead of a busy travel time. I have reserved that for another post today.

Barrow Alaska is going through that phase where the sun does not rise above the horizon. On November 1, there was nearly 6 hours of daylight. By the 19th, the sun failed to rise above the horizon. Now, that does not mean it's totally dark. There are hints of daylight throughout the day but no sign of the elusive orange ball. The sun will not rise above the horizon again until January 23, 2016 at 1:10pm local time.

Where do you think the earliest sunset is at in the continental United States? Well, you may find a different answer than I did, but I went to Maine and found the northern AND easternmost point on the map and arrived at Van Buren. The earliest sunset is at 3:42pm. But, it is not on the winter solstice. Remember that measures the shortest day of the year in terms of sunrise and sunset.

Just for fun, where in Kentucky has the earliest sunset? That one is pretty tough to answer. I don't want to start a civil war. But, looking at Ashland and Catlettsburg, they're pretty close. But, I used the US Naval Observatory numbers and Catlettsburg appears to be the winner at 5:09pm. However, at least one other source has both setting at 5:09pm. It's just that close.

Again, be looking for some hints at how the rest of the month may end. Also, I am working on a winter forecast for the month of December. I have elected not to put out a complete winter forecast for December through February but have decided to work on a monthly forecast for each month of the winter as these may tend to be more updated and have the most relevant information needed to update the reader as to the latest trend of the developing winter.

In other words, I am holding myself to a higher standard of reporting instead of some long range blindfolded dart throw in the dark from the next street over, which is separated by a river, at least a half-mile wide, etc....


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rainfall Totals at My House This Week 11/16 - 11/18

Here at my house in Valley Station, a large storm system began affecting my region in Kentucky. On Monday, the 16th, light rain began falling, ahead of schedule, as the drier air aloft was moistening quickly. Then parts of Tuesday saw additional light rains. Those events added up to 0.22".

Today, the 18th, rain moved back into the area. In fact, a large N-S shield of rain moved in again, ahead of schedule, and plagued the Louisville area most of the day with moderate to occasionally heavy rain.

After several hours of steady rain, the precipitation shut off temporarily as winds began gusting up to over 40mph at my house. Then another quick hitting band of rain moved in.

Another dry spell, but thick clouds persisted. Then, shortly after 5:00pm, a narrow band of intense showers hit the area with one last punch. Once the rain ended, a beautiful color-filled western sky blazed and graced the horizon. What a way to end the day.

Today's rainfall amounted to 2.11" for a weekly total of 2.33".


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Volatile November So Far

November has been a busy month with reports of various kinds of weather, mostly extreme weather. Tornado reports for the month have now more than doubled since yesterday. Pampa TX has an alleged video footage of a mile-wide wedge tornado that caused lots of damage yesterday. But numerous reports from storm chasers confirm the event.

On the other side, we have seen a major winter storm engulfing much of the Rockies and the front range. Blizzard products are out with high winds and blowing snow. Some locations will report from 1 to 2 feet of snow by the time it moves out of the region.

In addition, heavy rainfall slowly moves across the Plains poised to sack the Mississippi River valley area. Houston TX, hit hard by flooding rains in October with over 13", has recorded over 1.50" with this event.

Let's not forget about the west. One of the locations I have been wanting to keep tabs on as regards our El Nino phenomena is Forks WA. I have been looking for a signal for milder and drier conditions as it relates to El Nino. Uh, far from it. Forks has now recorded measurable rainfall for 22 out of 23 days with totals surpassing 19"!

Locally, last year on this date, many of us snow lovers were pleased to see 2-3" of snow. While the weather has not taken on a wintry look yet, forecasts are leaning toward a colder pattern through most of the month and perhaps starting the month of December. In fact a few of our flakey visitors may pay a visit to some parts of our region, at least letting us know that hopefully, there will be repeat visits forthcoming with a posse of their friends soon.

Buckle up and let's see where this takes us.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Model Comparisons...GFS, NAM, Euro For This Week 11/16 - 11/23

I am going to try and post these weekly. Then make a comparison of the models as far as the longer range and the shorter range to see which is a better fit.

In the past, I have said that the Euro is the preferred model at 7 days out. I generally like the GFS about 4-5 days out, then the NAM within 24-48 hours.

Also, we'll explore what the models are saying in the 8-9 day outlook and I'll mention any adjustments made to that time period once I report the next weekly series of data for the 7 days.

First, all of the models that I am showing highlight temperatures ranging from highs of 60-70 degrees for central Kentucky during the Mon/Tue time frame.

Wednesday appears to be a transition time as the Euro has us in the 60's, the GFS in the 50's, but the NAM has us in the 60's but falling through the 50's during the daytime.

The NAM for this model run does not see into Thursday very completely. So, it's down to the GFS and the Euro, and I will show another model called the GDPS.

For Thr, GFS has us in the 50-54 degree range...Euro 49-53...GDPS 51-55. So, they all overlap to some extent.

But look what happens by Friday and Saturday.

Friday November 20
GFS:  54-58
Euro:  47-51
GDPS: 49-53

Saturday November 21
GFS: 53-57
Euro:  46-50
GDPS: 46-50

Sunday the 22nd
GFS: again solidly in the 50's
Euro: 52-56
GDPS: 49-53

Monday the 23rd
GFS:  39-43
Euro: 56-60
GDPS: 55-59

The GEFS analogs for the 21-23 time frame has much of central Kentucky in a 4-6 degree below normal shading, which the GFS and GDPS would fit. The Euro has us about 3 degrees below normal. I am using Louisville's normal high temperatures of 57-58 degrees for this time period.

Finally, the 8 and 9 day outlook (24-25) just for fun...Euro and GDPS has central Kentucky above normal, while GFS has us just below normal.

The estimated temperature highs are based on 850mb temps when clear to partly cloudy and mostly dry. Cold and warm air advection may also impact readings at the surface. Therefore, temperatures may differ by several degrees under certain conditions.