Saturday, August 23, 2014

All Aboard!

The Train is entering the station, Valley Station that is, and the Louisville Metro area in general. A long line of storms stretches north and northwest all the way to Illinois. Movement of these storms is generally southeast.

More than likely, the atmosphere should get worked over enough that storms will either fade away soon or combine with additional unused boundaries and wreak havoc along that path.

These storms are once again putting out lots of lightning and heavy rain. If training does develop, flooding concerns will become an issue.

MS

Friday, August 22, 2014

Storms Still Possible, Heat Likely

06:45pm
Lexington getting pounded with heavy rain and lots of lightning. Fayette county outages increasing. Oldham county just north of Prospect with intense storm knocking out power to 3,200 customers.
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06:09pm
Franklin county power outage up to 371...Fayette county next.
Storm appeared to be bowing out, but could also be a sign of weakening, hopefully. This thing was a monster.
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05:45pm
Power outages are now increasing in parts of Franklin and Owen counties. Could be from wind but most likely the lightning. See LGE/KU power outage map in the Miks Piks section of the blog.
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05:35pm
The small cell is producing lightning strokes of nearly 30 per minute nearing Frankfort and Georgetown. It is slowly moving and is producing flooding rains.
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04:55pm
Speaking of Frankfort, strong storm just north...lightning strikes really ramping up now. Wouldn't be surprised by power outages due from lightning strikes. This storm is really putting out the lightning.
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03:45pm
Lightning tracker shows lightning count within 180 miles of Frankfort ticking down for the moment. As of this writing, the 3:30 lightning strokes per minute stood at 30.9. Overnight, it peaked around 200 strokes per minute. The nice thing about this feature is one can adjust the distance from, in this case it's Frankfort, within a few miles. Most of the current lightning strikes is occurring in West Virginia.

http://www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung/america/index.php?bo_page=statistics&bo_station_id=33&bo_region=dist300&lang=en

Within 120 miles of Frankfort...
http://www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung/america/index.php?bo_page=statistics&bo_station_id=33&bo_region=dist200&lang=en


Watch the lightning count ramp up this evening....
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03:20pm UPDATE
Dry conditions continue to exist. Mesoscale analysis shows rampant instability across the region. The only thing keeping a lid on things is the weak cap that should break down later this afternoon. Looking at vis sat, partial clearing may help focus potential development of storms along a line from Cincinnati to Terre Haute and drop southeast. Storms may form a broken line, so not everyone will get wet. Gusty winds and very heavy rainfall can be expected with the more rambunctious cells.
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PWat or Precipitable Water values are running at 1.8 to 1.9 across north-central Kentucky and southern Indiana at 11:00am this morning.

Dewpoint readings are in the upper 60's and low to mid 70's.

Weak capping is in place across parts of the region. Convection is dying off to the north and northwest of the area. Cloud debris though has streamed into the area limiting instability at this time.

Therefore, I'm expecting dry conditions for several hours today. But convection is sure to fire up and break through the weak cap and produce heavy rainfall for many of us today. Even gusty winds along with dangerous lightning (uh oh Friday Night Football attenders) are possible. Actual pinpointing of that is difficult to do. However, I would place it at greater than the 20 percent coverage area by the NWS.

Heat is building into the area. NWS is expecting heat indices to approach and exceed 100 degrees at times this weekend.

I'll follow the action this afternoon but expect convection to really get going after 3pm.

MS

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Follow the Storms Here

Real time lightning tracker...works very well, helps me determine whether storms are firing up, increasing in intensity, or weakening. Cloud to ground strikes.
http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime?lang=en

Watch satellite trends using infrared loops...warming clouds mean weakening convection, darker colors increasing mean increasing convection.
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/mw/flash-ft.html

SPC Upper Air - 700mb analysis...checks temperatures at that height...>=10 degrees means less favorable conditions for thunderstorm development, known as 'capping' (too warm at that level to generate upscale cumulus formation).
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/mesoanalysis/new/viewsector.php?sector=20

1:00pm synopsis...
Satellite trends continue to show weakening of main convective cluster in Illinois. However, active convection is still ongoing within this cluster albeit quite limited by now. Now, new convection is firing up to the south of that complex.

As this whole complex encounters a juiced up air mass, expect scattered chances for precipitation along the Ohio River from Evansville to Covington through late afternoon.

Capping does appear to be a limiting factor in parts of western KY despite very high instability values. If cloud debris does not contaminate instability upstream, storms should refire with significant intensity along the Ohio River and push into central and east KY later this evening into the first part of the overnight at the very least.

Possible updates later if storms get cranky.

MS

Sunday, August 17, 2014

On the Edge of High Heat and High Water

Computer models are spitting out the potential for flooding issues somewhere across the Commonwealth. However, a heat ridge is poised just to the west and southwest of that and could lead to temperatures soaring well into the 90's for mainly western Kentucky.

It is a tricky setup and one that forecasters will watch closely as to how this pattern continues to develop.

Last week, I began noticing the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms to occur within the next two weeks for our region. Will still have to monitor that potential. But right now, that particular threat could be transitioning to a heavy rain threat as we are under the influence of northwesterly flow while a strong heat ridge and its associated outer periphery are bound to collide.

Typically, strong storms in the form of an MCS develop along these boundaries and can unleash a tremendous amount of rain and wind (given enough instability). They tend to follow the moisture of high dewpoint readings.

The month of August has already set rainfall records for many residents east of the Mississippi River, especially the Northeast. Even here in Kentucky, drought conditions are beginning to ease for some while Lexington may just add to its top ten wettest August statistic.

Wherever the rain falls, it will be a lot. Wherever the heat is, it will be a lot.

Right now, the WPC, formerly known as the HPC, is forecasting 2-4" this upcoming week for eastern Kentucky from I-75 eastward. Lexington is already sporting a 4th wettest day (any given day, not just August) on record back on August 10th. If the higher end of the forecast is realized, Lexington could be looking at its wettest August on record. The heat ridge could nose in along the I-65 corridor and westward. More on this threat later.



MS