Chris Allen



Earth Sciences

12/6/11 MiddayUpdate: Big Time Rains Gone

NWS Louisville Three Day Total Rainfall

If you’ll recall I mentioned the possibility of seeing 3-5 inches of rain possible with this last system.  Thankfully, the system exited our region a little faster than expected which may have saved us from getting that kind of heavy rain.

Still, as the map above shows, we had another good soaking rain that added 3.5″ of rain here in Bowling Green and for many locations to our west.  Lighter amounts were found mainly east of I-65.

The good news is the heavy rains are gone for now…and for a while.  The bad news (if you so choose to refer to it as “bad”) is the colder temperatures.  Daytime highs will remain in the 40s despite the forecast return to sunshine late tomorrow afternoon into Thursday, Friday and through the weekend.  In fact, there appears to be a reinforcing shot of colder air arriving Saturday that may keep our afternoon highs only in the mid to upper 30s!

Graupel: You’re Full of Sleet…What The Hail Is That?

Graupel - little ice pellets

With the current band of rain moving into a chilled airmass over Southern Kentucky this morning, many of you are reporting “sleet” or “hail” or just plain ol’ “ice pellets”.

Technically, it’s graupel.

Graupel – (also called soft hail or snow pellets; METAR code: GS) refers to precipitation that forms when supercooled droplets of water are collected and freeze on a falling snowflake, forming a 2–5 mm ball of rime. The term graupel is the German word for this meteorological phenomenon.  Graupel is sometimes referred to as small hail, although the World Meteorological Organization defines small hail as snow pellets encapsulated by ice, a precipitation halfway between graupel and hail.

Not to worry…we will keep referring to this as “ice pellets” but you can see why the technical definition does not equal that of sleet or hail.  It is, however, more of a winter-leaning phenomenon but we’ll leave it at that.

Ground and road surface temperatures are still too warm for these tiny ice pellets to cause any travel issues this morning but it is a sure sign that we are not far away from what could be an eventful Winter season ahead.

To that end, parts of the Mid Atlantic states and New England are forecast to see their first Nor’easter this weekend with 3-6 inches of snow predicted as close as the hills of West Virginia!

Kentucky Well Represented at 36th NWA Conference

National Weather Service article on Kentucky’s presence at the NWA Conference in Birmingham

A huge congratulations to John Gordon, the Meteorologist in Charge at the Louisville National Weather Service office for being awarded the “Public Education Award” at the National Weather Association Conference in Birmingham last week for his “Beat The Heat, Check The Backseat” campaign. In addition, students from Western Kentucky University presented a poster of “A Synoptic Hydroclimatology within the Green River Watershed in Kentucky”.

You can click the link above and see picture and video highlights of these presentations. It’s great to do weather in a state where all facets of meteorology are well represented on a national level!

WeatherBrief 10/12/11: Dense Fog Advisory

AAASystems WeatherCam at the WBKO Studios looking at Russellville Road

CLICK HERE to listen to Chris’ Wednesday Morning Weather Podcast

DENSE FOG ADVISORY until 9am CDT for Allen, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties.

A tropical disturbance moving northward over the eastern U.S. is spinning cloud cover back into South-Central KY. Some light rain also managed to sneak into far eastern and southeastern parts of the area Tuesday afternoon. After some morning fog we will see a mix of sun and clouds today before a cold front approaches tonight. This system brings our best shot for widespread showers and even a few thunderstorms in quite some time. Rainfall could add up to around 1/2″ for much of the area by Thursday afternoon before the rain ends and the week finishes on a dry note Friday. Cooler air follows this system, with afternoon highs dropping to near 70 by week’s end.

At this time, it looks like we’re going to follow up a brilliant weekend of weather with yet another brilliant weekend of weather! Lots of sunshine is expected both Saturday for The Medical Center 10K Classic and Sunday as well with highs in the upper 60s to near 70 Saturday before some warming takes place late in the weekend. Our next chance for rain shows up Tuesday.

Partly Sunny…High 75, winds SW-6

Showers and Thunderstorms…Low 58, winds S-6
Rain Chance 70% – Rain Amount .25″

Showers and Thunderstorms…High 70, winds W-11
Rain Chance 80% – Rain Amount .25″

Chris’ Tuesday Morning Weather Briefing 10/11/11

Radar showing light rain moving NW into SE Kentucky

CLICK HERE to listen to Chris’ Tuesday Morning Weather Podcast

After many days of practically ideal weather, some cloudiness is moving into the region from a tropical disturbance spinning over the southeastern U.S. This disturbance slowly heads northward over the next couple of days. While it may spin some more clouds into the region today there’s only an outside chance for an isolated shower exists over far eastern/southeastern sections near Lake Cumberland. Temps could be a little cooler but still above seasonal averages (upper 70s). We’ll have similar readings Wednesday, and while much of that day appears dry, our best shower chances in a couple of weeks show up Wednesday night into Thursday as a cold front moves through. Cooler, more seasonal air takes over behind this system for Thursday and Friday.

At this time, it looks like we’re going to follow up a brilliant weekend of weather with yet another brilliant weekend of weather! Lots of sunshine is expected both Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the upper 60s to near 70 Saturday before some warming takes place late in the weekend.

Partly Sunny, Showers SE…High 76, winds E-6

Partly Cloudy, Showers SE…Low 54, winds Calm

Partly Sunny, Chance of Showers…High 77, winds SW-6
Rain Chance 20% – Rain Amount .05″

Chris’ Monday Morning Weather Briefing 10/10/11

CLICK HERE to listen to Chris’ Monday Morning Weather Podcast

Clouds have moved in from the south thanks to tropical moisture. We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds today with afternoon highs reaching the upper 70s to near 80 degrees in a few places (depending on cloud-cover). Despite the increase in cloudiness there will only be a chance of a sprinkle or two in most areas.

By the middle of this week, tropical moisture creeps northward from the Gulf Coastal states and into our region. This gives us a chance for light rain Tuesday and Wednesday with the best chance of rain coming Thursday. This will cool temperatures down to below seasonable levels for the second half of the week, with daytime highs in the low 70s and upper 60s for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Overnight lows early this week will be in the low to mid 50s before cooling off into the mid 40s late week.

Partly Sunny, A few Sprinkles…High 80, winds E-6

Partly Cloudy, A few Sprinkles…Low 54, winds Calm

Partly Cloudy, Chance of Showers…High 75, winds NE-5
Rain Chance 20% – Rain Amount .05″

Chris’ Wednesday Morning Weather Briefing 9/28/11

All in all, we enjoyed a pretty nice Tuesday, even though we remain under the influence of a large upper low spinning over the lower Great Lakes. This feature sends another piece of energy today which will result in a chance for a few scattered light rain showers. Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures staying just a few degrees below average. We’ll have one more warm day Thursday before a cold front advances through the region Thursday night. This front ushers in a crisp, cool Canadian air mass just in time for the end of the week, with readings struggling to hit 70 by Friday.

The annual Cordell Hull Highway Roller Coaster Yard Sale will take place Thursday through Saturday. It appears sunshine will rule the entire weekend with cool highs in the mid to upper 60s and lows in the 40s.

Partly Sunny, Isolated Showers…High 76, winds SW-11
Rain Chance 20% – Rain Amount .05″

Partly Cloudy and Mild…Low 54, winds Calm

Mostly Sunny…High 80, winds W-8

4pm Update: Strong Storms Headed This Way

Doppler Radar showing strong storms moving into South Central Kentucky

A line of strong thunderstorms is moving east southeast out of the Owensboro/Henderson/Evansville area and will be moving into parts of Southern Kentucky within the next hour. Expect winds of up to 50 mph on the leading edge of the rain along with heavy downpours, lightning and some hail.


2010 Kentucky Weather Workshop

This is big news!

How would you like to attend a two-day weather workshop where you’ll learn from some of the best weather experts in the business?

The 2010 Kentucky Weather Workshop will be held November 19th and 20th at the Carroll Knicely Center in Bowling Green.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Greg Forbes, noted severe weather scientist for The Weather Channel.

Alongside Dr. Forbes will be noted meteorologists, scientists, educators, HAM radio operators, aviators, ag specialists and weather spotters.

The workshop is hosted by Kentucky Emergency Management to provide detailed and technical processes used for understanding weather forecasting and modeling.  The workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about weather forecasting and storm spotting.

If you sign up before October 20th, the registration fee is only $20 but will go up after that date. With your registration, you will receive a workshop t-shirt along with a lunch for Friday, dinner Friday night and lunch again on Saturday.

A full agenda has not been set as of this writing but I am working closely with KyEM officials to finalize the schedule of events and presentations.

Yours truly will be making a presentation Saturday the 20th along with meteorologist Jennifer Rukavina from WPSD Channel 6 in Paducah discussing severe weather watch and warning criteria and the many new ways we now have to track and monitor storms.

I will be posting updates here on the workshop, so keep checking back often for the final agenda and any further announcements.  In the meantime, if you want to join us, registration is limited to only 300 people and these will go fast – so click on the workshop link below and get signed up today!

2010 Kentucky Weather Workshop Registration

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