September, 2012

Tracking rain

September 30th, 2012 at 10:04 pm by under Weather

Rain will move across the area from south to north, arriving as early as late afternoon in southern portions of the area (Grant, Blackford and Jay counties).   By late night, it will be raining across most of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.

The steady rain, which may be heavy at times in some places, will continue through Tuesday morning before becoming more scattered in nature.  Rainfall totals by Tuesday morning will generally be in the .25″-.50″ range, but some areas could pick up amounts up to an inch where heavier pockets of rain develop.

More periods of rain are expected on Tuesday, but there will be many times during the day when it won’t be raining.


A new type of cloud…maybe

September 30th, 2012 at 12:18 pm by under Weather

Undulatus asperatus – Image Credit: Tony Dustman

The official source on clouds is the “International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization)” and there has not been a new cloud type added to it since 1951.

That may eventually change thanks to images, like the one above, of what are called “undulatus asperatus” clouds.

In order for the cloud to become its own type, the cause behind the cloud type’s formation has to be determined to ensure it is distinctly different from other existing cloud types.  It’s a process that still could take time, but may be helped along thanks to technology and a “cloud-spotting” smart phone app that would allow users to take pictures of clouds, like this one, and send them directly to researchers.

Check out these links to learn more:

What were those crazy looking clouds? – National Weather Service

Recognition sought for new cloud variety – USA Today

The Full Harvest Moon and a Wet Weather Pattern

September 29th, 2012 at 6:49 pm by under Weather

Have you notice the waxing gibbous moon the last few nights?   On Sunday we will see a full moon, and the full moon this month is called the “Harvest” moon.  After this dry and hot summer, I am curious to see what kind of corn and soybean harvest the farmer will have this year.

When it comes to our weather pattern for the next week, I am tracking two significant areas of low pressure.  The first is going to be just to our east Sunday, but since it is moisture starved, I am only expecting isolated showers at best.  It is about a 20% chance of rain on Sunday, but mainly east of I-69.

Our next rain maker is a slow moving storm system that will move out of the southern Mississippi River Valley late Tuesday and into Wednesday.  This system is not moisture starved for the Ohio River Valley, but it looks like we will only be brushed by this system.  If it tracks further to the north, we would possibly see more rain out of it.

But as of now, we should only see scattered showers Tuesday and Wednesday with only about a quarter inch of total rain over those two days.  The weather pattern becomes active again by the end of the week with more rain chances showing up for  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but with much cooler conditions.

Weather satellite down

September 29th, 2012 at 12:36 pm by under Weather

Often times, I get asked how much we rely on technology in the weather dept.  The answer, of course, is VERY MUCH!!  Just think about it, satellites positioned in outer space sense the clouds here on earth and relay those images to us in a very short time frame.  Plus, our computers merge various radar sites together so we get a clear image of storms as they track toward us.

Just like any pieces of technology, sometimes these weather sensors go down and end up being out of service.  This can make a huge difference in weather monitoring and forecasting.  Luckily, there are backups in place.

Last Sunday, the GOES-13 satellite stopped sending images back to us on earth and, for a time, some satellite maps were missing a big “chunk” of data.  With other satellites orbiting us in space, NOAA has been able to use them to help fill in the gaps while GOES-13 remains out of service.

As of this writing, there is no estimate of when GOES-13 will be back up and running or what caused the outage.

You can read more about this story on NASA’s website.

Cool Running Weather for Fort4Fitness 1/2 Marathon

September 28th, 2012 at 5:50 pm by under Weather

When it comes to long distance running weather, I am biased:  I love cool weather running!   Too bad I am not running the 5th Annual Fort4Fitness 1/2 Marathon Saturday as it will be dry and cool.  Here is the race forecast:

  • (Lining up in the corrals)  6AM: 45°
  • (Start of race)  8AM: 47°
  • (End of race) 10AM: 53°

If you are a local runner, or want to help raise money for prostate cancer research, come out to the 2nd Annual Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K on Saturday, the 13th of October.  I am really excited to run in the 5K o support my father who is a prostate cancer survivor and will be running the 5K also.  Click here for race information.

The rest of this weekend is looking very fall like with highs in the upper 60s for Saturday and the lower 60s for Sunday.  The difference in the temperatures is due to an area of low pressure dropping out Canada, which will bring another push of cooler air to the region.  This upper low may also trigger isolated showers for Sunday, mainly in the morning and early afternoon.

If you are leaf peeping this weekend, this is what you should expect for fall colors:

  • The leaves will likely change early due to the extreme drought. (Leaves have already dropped and some are already changing color.)
  • The colors will not be as intense due to the extreme drought.
  • Don’t expect widespread bright, colors.
  • The leaves will likely separate from the trees before they can reach their peak colors, due to the extreme drought.
  • Isolated, bright colors are possible though.

Cooler Weekend

September 28th, 2012 at 10:52 am by under Weather


Weekend changes

The weekend we will see brief cool down with temperatures falling into the 60s as a low pressure system that is cut off from the main flow of the jet stream and move from east to west or retrogrades toward the area. This disturbance will cause more clouds to be around Saturday night and into Sunday. This situation will modify quite quickly as we will see temperatures well above normal for the first week of October as highs will be in the middle to upper 70s by the middle of the week.

Still below normal rainfall

Here is the Climate Prediction Center outlook for October. it is showing below normal precipitation

The news is not good as far as precipitation for the month of October as the “long lead’ forecast model is showing below normal precipitation.

Free Prostate Cancer Screening Saturday

September 27th, 2012 at 11:30 pm by under Weather

Free Prostate Cancer Screening Saturday

I usually only talk weather here, but I wanted to get the word out about a free prostate cancer screening event this Saturday from 8AM to 4PM at the Walgreens at Coventry. This is hosted by Northeast Indiana Urology. This hits close to home for me as my father is a prostate cancer survivor.

No change in drought condition

September 27th, 2012 at 7:01 pm by under Weather

Good news:  Our drought level in the last week did not worsen, it stayed the same.  This is really good news considering the precipitation outlook for this October is for us to have a higher chance of below average rainfall.  When it comes to the drought outlook for the rest of the year, we are expected to see some improvement to the drought over our area.

Since we are on the topic of climate outlooks, here are some quick links to the Climate Prediction Center, the division of NOAA that specializes in long rain forecasting:

6-10 Day Precipitation Outlook

6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Cooler Weekend/Pattern Change Next Week

September 27th, 2012 at 6:47 am by under Weather


Nice end to the week

This week will end with very little ‘pomp and circumstance’ as we see temperatures rising into the upper 60s to near 70 Thursday afternoon with increasing sunshine. This nice forecast will hold together through Friday and at least part of Saturday as high pressure  stays in place, which will  give our area mostly clear skies. On Sunday we will see a different kind of change to the weather pattern. It’s certainly something that we don’t talk about on TV very much. You can see on the graphic above that we will see low pressure just east of our area. This will cause clouds and maybe even some light showers, but right now most of those light showers will be east of our area. What makes this pattern a little different is where this low is coming from. It’s actually coming from the Quebec Province of Canada, so it’s actually ‘retrograding‘ or moving the opposite of what we are used to seeing on conventional weather maps.

Nice October Start

Yesterday I alluded to a warmer start to October. It is still looking like a very warm start to the month with temperatures almost ten degrees above normal by Wednesday. This warm air will be dislodged in front of very cool air possibly headed our way. Look at the model above (the one with all the colors). This is an 850 millibar map which shows Celsius temperatures of -2 by next weekend. Now the 850 mb temperatures are taken above the surface so the actual temperature taken closer to the ground will be warmer. However, these kind of changes stick out when I do my daily model forecast analysis. That’s because 850 mb temperatures for Friday will be around plus 10 degrees Celsisus, so a drop of 12 degrees Celsius is something that is very noteworthy.

Here is the Climate Prediction Center forecast for the next 6 to 10 days.

The 6 to 10 day forecast is agreeing with the model forecast I was referring to with those below normal temperatures building in the plains by the middle of next week and then spilling into our area by the weekend.


Smooth Sailing Ahead

September 26th, 2012 at 9:05 pm by under Weather

Now that we got the rain out of the way, enjoy quiet weather for the rest of the week and into the weekend.  Rain totals were night and day across the WANE viewing area with Portland seeing 1″ and Angola seeing only a trace.  Officially FWA had .19″ of rain, but only a short drive away, I had .8″ at my house in SW Allen County.  The disparity in the values in Allen County was due to the isolated t-storm that rolled through early Wednesday morning, putting down a narrow swath of heavier rain.

When it comes the rain, we are pretty much done for a while, which will leave us with a dry forecast for the 5th Annual Fort4Fitness 1/2 Marathon on Saturday.  When it comes to the temperatures, I am biased as I like cooler conditions, or as my sister says, I am a “hot baby,” since I hate running in the heat.  Look for temperatures in the mid 40s for the start of the race with light winds and a partly cloudy sky.

If you have outdoor plans for this weekend, keep the hoody handy as we will see more fall like conditions as another wave of colder, Canadian air moves into the area for Sunday.  As of now, we are looking at highs only in the lower 60s to the upper 50s.  Perfect leaf peeping weather.

When it comes to giving a fall foliage forecast, I am hesitant as I am not an arborist, but here is what we should expect:

  • The leaves will likely change early due to the extreme drought. (Leaves have already dropped and some are already changing color.)
  • The colors will not be as intense due to the extreme drought.
  • The leaves will likely separate from the trees before they can reach their peak colors, due to the extreme drought.
  • The best colors in the fall happens after a wet summer when the moisture is the highest.