October, 2011

Morning rain, then a slow warming trend!

October 31st, 2011 at 8:31 am by under Weather

Good Monday morning, and Happy Halloween to all!!

We’re starting the day with rain in the area, so you’ll probably want an umbrella as you head out this morning!  Check out LIVE DOPPLER 2X for a look at where the rain is right NOW.  A cold front moves through today, along with some upper level energy.  Rain chances are highest this morning, but we will keep at least a chance of showers through early afternoon.  We are expecting some breaks in the clouds by this afternoon as we dry out.  So good news, it does look dry for the Trick-or-Treaters this evening:

What a cold weekend!  We were below freezing both Saturday and Sunday mornings:

Frost was wide-spread, and it was officially the end to the growing season for our area:

The NWS will no longer issue Frost Advisories or Freeze Warnings this season, but if you still have things you’re protecting–perhaps plants you move inside when it gets cold– you’ll want to bring them in tonight.  After our cold front passes through, high pressure builds in.  That means clear skies and light winds tonight, which will allow temperatures to drop into the lower 30s.  Beyond this, there will be a warming trend for us as we head through mid-week!

The epic snow storm over the northeastern part of the US dumped some impressive snowfall amounts over that region, as Tara blogged about over the weekend.  I was looking through the data, and found some really high numbers–unbelievable for this time of year!!

Lots of kids are perhaps getting the earliest snow day ever today, as the region is still a mess.  This snow is a heavy, wet snow… and the weight of that snow was too much for trees–many of which still had leaves on them.  The leaves give that snow more area to rest on the trees, and that weight really adds up.  The weight also downed power lines over much of the region.  Remember Meteorologist Erik Zarnitz?  He is from New Jersey, and says his family’s power went out with the heavy wet snow… as did most in their area.  More than three-million homes and businesses lost power, and crews have been called in from numerous other states to help in the restoration efforts.  Afternoon highs will climb above freezing for many that are snowed in, so there will be melting during the day, but with the snow pack in place, nights will get downright cold, so re-freezing will occur.  While we were cold this weekend, it could have been a lot WORSE!!

No big snows showing up for us just yet… but the season is still young :)



Snowtober in the Northeast

October 29th, 2011 at 8:31 pm by under Weather

Trick or treaters in the Northeast got tricked this weekend.   They either have to cover up their costumes and fight snow drifts or forgo the candy and shovel the sidewalk.  Usually when I see snow on the radar due to a Nor’easter it’s in the dead of winter NOT late October.  Snow which has been heavy at times has accumulated from West Virgina all the way to Maine.  I guess that’s one of the reasons this storm has been given the nickname “Snowtober

Take a look at some of the winter warnings in effect along the east coast.

Can you imagine a lot of snow this early in the season?  Well people along the east coast are feeling the pain from this snow.  Depending on the location areas picked up four, eight and even 14 inches of snowfall!  The higher amounts are in some of the mountainous areas.  Here’s a neat link I found showing a map of the Northeast and how much snow has fallen in each location.  All you have to do is zoom in and out on the map and click on the number to see where the snow has fallen.  I found a 14″ total in Mount Storm, WV.  Can you find a higher amount?

Records are bound to be broken due to the fact there is so much snow so early in the season.  One interesting record I found was the snowfall recorded in Central Park, NY.  This is the snowiest October on record for Central Park!  Records have been kept since 1876 and as of 2pm today Central Park had 1.3″ of snowfall.  This amount is probably going to get a little higher after the storm but it smashed some of the other October snowfalls.

Oh did I mention winds with this storm are around 15-35mph with gusts near 50 or 60mph?  Visibility has been reduced to less than a quarter of a mile in some locations.
Like many early season snow storms one of the other large factors is a lot of the trees still have leaves on them.  The trees can’t take the weight of the snow, branches break or trees fall and hit power lines.  It’s estimated about 1.7 million people are without power.

I guess it’s a good thing this didn’t happen around the holidays….or will it happen again around the holidays?
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Cool and (mostly) dry this weekend with more frost…

October 28th, 2011 at 7:41 am by under Weather

TGIF!!  No, not Thank God it’s Foggy… or even Frosty… which it was both this morning.  :)   It’s FRIDAY, and it looks like a great fall weekend ahead, with lots of fun activities as we approach Halloween.

Under clear skies, with light winds, temperatures dropped into the low-mid 30s this morning.  Frost is common across the area, but once the sun comes up (around 8am), any frost will burn off quickly; our Frost Advisory expires at 10am.  We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds today, with highs expected to climb into the lower 50s.  It will be a chilly evening for the last regular-season high school football games… blankets a must tonight!

On Saturday, a weak disturbance will swing down from the north, and that could bring a few spotty showers to especially our northern counties.  But the system is lacking any real moisture, so the rain chance is low, and anything that does materialize looks pretty light.  Any rain should be out of our area before Saturday night’s Beggar’s Night in Yellow Springs, Springfield, Enon and South Vienna:

For the rest of us that do not have Beggar’s Night until Sunday, we invite you to come join us at the Boonshoft Museum for the Howl O Ween Event!  This is from 4-8:30pm, with a costume contest at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30… so there are plenty of chances to win :)   Lots of Halloween fun for the kiddos, too!  More info here:  BOONSHOFT HOWL-O-WEEN.  We went last year, and it was a blast– Hope to see you there!

The big weather-story over the weekend will be an early-season snow storm moving into the Northeast US.  Winter Storm Watches are already in place for parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.  This after we’ve already seen snow in Wyoming/Colorado… Texas… my goodness, we’re missing out!  LOL.  At least the snow-lovers think so… I do know a few of those.  :)

I will leave you with some inspiration from Miss Karrie Rossmiller!  She spent her down-time creating this unique Halloween decoration, I call it the Porcu-Pumpkin!!  She’s so talented!

Have a great weekend!


Rainfall records… and some frost

October 27th, 2011 at 8:26 am by under Weather

Goooood Morning, Bloggers!  It’s Friday Eve!!

I hope the rain falling overnight provided great sleeping conditions for you.  I know I slept like a rock, which is rare :)   As expected, rainfall amounts have been highest in the south, and lesser in the northern counties.  However, overall, they have not been as high as they could have been… Doppler estimates below:

But rain is still falling in parts of the Miami Valley, so numbers will edge up just a touch more through the rest of the morning.  You can see where the rain is right NOW by checking out LIVE DOPPLER 2X.  The chance of rain will continue through at least lunchtime, as upper level energy swings through:

Any showers should exit the area during the early afternoon, and the later afternoon hours look dry.

Overnight, Cincinnati quietly broke the record for the wettest year in history… as their yearly rainfall climbed to a whopping 57.68 inches.  The previous record was 57.58″… and with a couple of months to go, they’ll continue to add to this record wet year.  Earlier this month, Cleveland also set a new yearly precip record at 55.53″.

Here in Dayton, we stand at 45.36 inches for the year… which is more than 11″ above normal!!  But we’re not anywhere near the yearly record, which is 59.75″.

Along with the rain, colder air has spilled into the region behind our cold front.  Here are some comparisons between yesterday and today:

High pressure builds in tonight and that will set us up for a cold one!  Some clearing, light winds and the colder airmass in place will send temperatures down near freezing, which means patchy frost is likely.  This will play out again over the weekend, with the coldest morning expected to be Sunday morning.  By next week, there is a small warming trend… but it does still look chilly for Trick-or-Treaters, with temps in the 40s Halloween evening.  Kids will probably need some layers under those costumes!

Enjoy the day!

Cold front will bring changes…

October 26th, 2011 at 8:19 am by under Weather

After a couple of beautiful fall afternoons with sunshine and 60s, things they are a-changin’!  We’ll still be in the 60s today, but lots of clouds will be around, and there is the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms.  The best chance will be early (which we’re seeing now… ongoing showers in the northern counties)… and late today:

You can check out LIVE DOPPLER 2X at anytime on our website to see where the rain is right now.  A great tool to take on the go is the 2 News App… where you can have our weather team at your fingertips!  Current conditions, the latest forecast and of COURSE Live Doppler 2X :)

A slow-moving cold front is bringing these weather changes to the area.  As a wave of low pressure moves along that front this evening/overnight, that’s when we’ll see the heaviest rainfall.  On average, three-quarters of an inch up to an inch are expected, with the heaviest amounts being across the south.  Here’s what our in-house computer model is forecasting through Thursday afternoon:

Then the chill arrives!!  As cold air moves in quickly on Thursday, if there is still some moisture around we may see some wet snowflakes or sleet mixing into the rain before it ends.  No accumulation is expected… and temps will be above freezing, so I don’t expect any major problems because of this :)

This is our last week collecting coats for Carl’s Coats for Kids… and we’re making a push to get your donations in!  We had a fun morning as we all took turns going out to the parking lot to man the coat-drive-thru.  We passed out donuts to everyone who brought a coat, and I was happy to meet Dale who brought the cutest little girl coat in… and also glad to see @shknick, one of our great Twitter friends:

If you missed us this morning, remember you can drop off any coat or monetary donations to any of these locations:

Handyman Ace Hardware
Jeff Schmitt Auto Group
Huntington Bank

Thank you for helping to keep Miami Valley children warm this winter.  We’ll need those heavier coats tomorrow for sure…


NWA Conference: April 27th Tornado Outbreak

October 25th, 2011 at 9:43 am by under Weather

Last week, I attended The National Weather Association’s 36th Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama.  It was a fitting location, considering the super tornado outbreak the state experienced back on April 27th of this year.  Much of the conference focused on this event, and other events from this past Spring, which has sent the year 2011 into the weather record books.

2011 is currently the 4th deadliest year for tornadoes, with just over 540 deaths to date… and still a couple months to go (the deadliest year on record is 1925, when 749 people were killed).  One of the reasons for this spike in tornado deaths, is that this has been the year of the urban tornado… twisters have hit many metropolitan areas:  Raleigh, Tuscaloosa, Joplin, Birmingham and Nashville.

April 2011 is ranked as the most active tornado month on record with 753 tornadoes.  Today I will discuss April 27th, 2011… when several rounds of severe weather affected parts of Missippi, Alabama and Tennessee… and even us here in Ohio.  (That day there was a weak EF0 tornado in New Carlisle.)

But we had it easy, compared to what our friends to the south were dealing with.  There were basically three waves of severe storms for them–an early morning squall line, a late morning/early afternoon surge, and then the main show late in the day.  In Alabama alone, there were 61 tornadoes, and 238 fatalities.  Total area affected:  549-square miles, which is 1.06% of the state!  This may not seem like a lot, but it actually IS.

First, the early morning squall line.  At 3:31am, the NWS issued a special weather statement saying a severe weather event would be “rapidly unfolding” as VERY strong 500mb mid-level winds set up over the area.  Extreme shear was in place that day, which is a change in wind speed and direction with height in the atmosphere.  Surface winds over the area were out of the south-southeast, and the jet stream was blasting into the region around 100 mph out of the west-southwest.  There was a bullseye of 1km Bulk Shear over the area, and the Significant Tornado Parameter (STP) was extremely high… even that early in the morning!  The STP is an index used to highlight the co-existence of ingredients favoring right-moving supercells… which are capable of producing F2-F5 tornadoes.  CAPE (a measure of instability) was also high, and 1km Storm Relative Helicity (SRH) was at 328, a value that favors supercells.

So, ingredients in place… a strong squall line formed.  It’s sometimes difficult to issue tornado warnings on a squall line, as tornadoes in this type of situation can be hard to detect.  The ones that do develop can spin up very quickly and can be short-lived… possibly not even being on the ground anymore by the time the warning is actually issued.  Typical squall-line tornadoes would be EF0 or EF1 strength, but this was not a typical event.  On April 27th, EF3 tornado damage occured with the squall line, and it was definitely worth warning for.

Something interesting is the different types of tornado warnings that went out.  The Huntsville NWS office went with 30-minute polygon warnings… and the Birmingham office went with 60-minute warnings.  There are pros and cons to each… with the shorter-duration warnings, there is minimal overlap, so less confusion… but also increased workload on the meteorologists.  Not to mention you could lose lead-time on the next warning.  With the longer, 60-minute warnings, you definitely get that better lead-time, but you do get more overlapping warnings… different parts of different counties, and that can confuse people.  Also, there is some question as to if this is too much lead time.  Is there such a thing?  I will discuss this in a later blog.  Meteorologists from these NWS offices say that the time of day, population in the area, and confidence that there is actually a tornado help determine how long their warnings are issued.  For the longer-duration warnings, they will issue more special weather statements… with the wording “Tornado Emergency” in extreme cases.  On this date, the Huntsville office used that wording nine times, while the Birmingham office used it 38-times!

Here is a radar image of the morning QLCS (Quasi-Linear Convective System, aka Squall Line) event early that morning:

Now one big problem was that this line of morning storms knocked out power to much of the area.  This was extremely dangerous, as more severe weather would occur… and these people would be without TV’s to follow along when their local meteorologists were tracking even stronger tornadoes in the area.  Many ended up following the action on their cell phones–social media, including Facebook and Twitter–were HUGE tools during this event.  As many sat disconnected from the broadcast world, yet another line of severe weather developed during the late morning hours ahead of an approaching cold front.
But by far the worst episode of severe weather was the late-day event.  There was a deep negatively tilted trough at 300mb… winds were flowing quite strongly into an approaching area of low pressure… backing winds at the surface, and crazy shear in the area.  A capping inversion showed up at 700mb on sounding… which really allowed CAPE to build up (high instability).  There was also a thermal boundary at the surface, as Northern Alabama was cooler than the central part of the state.  The EHI… Energy Helicity Index…was through the roof!!  Anything over a “2″ value can mean supercells.. and values over 5 indicate that EF4/EF5 tornadoes would be possible.  That day 11-13 values were present!  Here is a look at the bullseye of 0 to 6 km helicity values that evening:


And a radar snapshot of a very historic… and deadly… moment in weather history:

You are looking at numerous supercell thunderstorms on the image above, some of which are producing EF4 and EF5 tornadoes, with winds up to 210 mph!  The images that we saw on TV were almost unbelieveable–huge metropolitan areas, like Birmingham in the foreground with big monster tornadoes in the background.  It almost looked like something from a movie:

The scars from these storms are still very visible today–even six months later.  It takes months and months to clean up storm damage, and while there has been much progress, there is still a long way to go. Below are some pictures taken just last week in neighborhoods affected by this deadly tornado outbreak:

The last shot is at least encouraging… new development, as people are rebuilding.  Again, it takes time.  It’s so easy to forget what’s going on down there when the national media turns it’s attention to the next big thing.  The people of this region are still dealing with the affects of tornadoes from back in early spring… their lives forever changed, and in some cases, lost.


Nicest day of the week & what was that in the sky?

October 25th, 2011 at 7:26 am by under Weather

An amazing red glow filled the sky over the Miami Valley yesterday evening… as we got a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights… or Aurora Borealis here in Dayton.  Our newsroom was flooded with pictures, and here is one from Greene County:

In fact, this magnificent light show was seen as far south as northern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas!  Here is another shot from Ozark, Arkansas:

Amazing!  So why were the Northern Lights visible so far south?  First, it’s important to understand WHAT they are.  We are in a period of increased solar activity, and what we experienced yesterday evening was a “Coronal Mass Ejection”–basically a massive burst of solar wind.  Supercharged particles from the sun slammed into Earth’s magnetosphere and interacted with gas particles, causing that beautiful glow.  This was particularly strong solar activity, as the best viewing for the Northern Lights is typically much farther north–Alaska, being the best spot in the US to view them.  While yesterday’s activity was strong… in extreme cases, the Northern Lights can actually be seen as far south as the tropics!

The other piece of the puzzle that fell into place is the position of the Earth’s geomagnetic pole.  There is a ring-shaped region… with a radius of approximately 1500 miles around Earth’s magnetic pole.  This area can actually shift position, approximately 50 miles from the average center point.  So the high solar activity coincided with the “Auoral Oval” in the exact right position for us to get a beautiful show last night.  The image below is this morning’s Auoral Oval location… you can click on it to see the current location via NOAA:

Another interesting thing… the type of gas present in the atmosphere will dictate what colors you will see in the sky.  A very common one is green, which is oxygen… and a rather rare color is red, which is high altitude oxygen.  That is just what we saw last night… green in the lower sky, and red aloft!  So not only was it rare to see it this far south, but also the colors were rare. What a sight!

We had perfect viewing, too, with clear skies.  This is all thanks to high pressure in control… which also brought about our chilly morning.  Clear skies and light winds allowed temperatures to drop into the mid-upper 30s in spots.  Expect lots of sunshine this afternoon, and it will definitely be the nicest day of the week, with highs near 70-degrees!

While solar activity is expected to remain high, we’ll actually see an increase in cloud cover this evening as the high shifts east and the next storm approaches.  So while there’s a chance you’ll catch another glimpse of the Northern Lights… it’s not quite as likely as last night.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms will actually arrive by early Wednesday morning, and the chance of rain will continue Wednesday afternoon… and especially Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  Models are forecasting anywhere from .75″ to 1″+… so a good soaking is expected.  This will all be followed by a COLD BLAST on Thursday, with breezy conditions and highs only in the upper 40s!!  Brrrr!



Morning rain, afternoon sun!

October 24th, 2011 at 7:33 am by under Weather

It’s going to be a 50/50 day today, with showers and thunderstorms through the morning hours, and the return of some sunshine by the afternoon.  Nothing severe is moving through the area now, but some brief heavy downpours will be possible, occasional lightning strikes, isolated small hail and a quick wind gust.  If you’re heading out early, check out LIVE DOPPLER 2X for where the rain is right now!  Here’s a look at the rain chances throughout the day:

As you can see, a cold front moves through… and once it’s east of us, the rain chances pretty much shut off.  Because of the short duration, rainfall amounts will be on the light side.  Northern counties may see a tenth to a quarter inch at most… while the southern counties should be held to a tenth of an inch or less.  Temperatures today will be pretty similar to what they were yesterday, but it might feel nicer because we’ll see more afternoon sun.  Tuesday looks to be THE pick day of the week, with sunshine and 70!  Enjoy it while you can, as another storm moves in mid-week, bringing changes to the area.  Showers and thunderstorms return for Wed-Thurs… followed by much cooler temperatures:

Once again, frost will be likely by the end of the week… best chances will be Friday morning and Saturday morning.  Even though we’ve dipped to freezing already… it was a “light” freeze… so the growing season is ongoing.  Once we drop well below 32-degrees, the growing season will end and the NWS will stop issuing frost/freeze warnings and advisories.  But I do expect to see something of this nature issued by the end of the week!

Today is my first day back from a weather conference I attended in Birmingham, Alabama… the National Weather Association’s annual meeting.  It was an amazing event, as we got to hear numerous talks on the tornado outbreaks from this past spring… we got a little taste of what’s to come in radar technology… and we got to mingle with some of the smartest and best meteorologists in the country.  I’m going to put together a series of blogs on this event, and will post them throughout the week… so stay tuned!

Have a great Monday!

Creepy curvy clouds

October 19th, 2011 at 8:42 am by under Weather

Photos started flooding in via  twitter, facebook and our inbox yesterday after the sky had an ominous look to it.   In fact we had so many photos we created a photo gallery on our website.  Click here for a link.

Kamran Mirza – Springfield                                                                        The Jones Family – WPAFB

No the world isn’t going to end nor is an alien mothership landing on Earth.  These cloud features are a way to tell the atmosphere is very turbulent.  They are called stratus undulatus clouds or Undulatus Asperatus.

First a little cloud 101 which I got a lesson in this morning too and I thought I would share.  At first I thought these clouds were called stratus undulatus.  Stratus because they are low in the atmosphere and undulatus a Latin word meaning wavy.  Afterwards I did a little research and found another name for these clouds – Undulatus Asperatus.  Again more Latin meaning turbulent undulation.  Apparently back in 2009 a group called the Cloud Appreciation Society decided to try and get this specific cloud type named and accepted in the meteorological community.  I was unable to find out if this name is now an accepted term but it does sound pretty neat.

Steve Moorman – Springfield                                                                              Karen Ankrom – Beavercreek

Ok so they are cool and have a unique name but how do they form?  Well you have to remember that air acts as a fluid but unlike water you can’t see it.  For example when winds pick up near an ocean or lake you can see the waves crashing against the shore.  The stronger the winds the bigger the waves.  It’s the same idea with the air.  The air yesterday was strong and turning in different directions creating very turbulent conditions and thus the wavy clouds.

I’m just glad I wasn’t in the air yesterday – that would’ve been one bumpy ride!

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Dry today but rain is on the way

October 17th, 2011 at 8:46 am by under Weather

Today we’re off to a chilly start!  It’s 38° in Dayton – did you need an extra cup of coffee to warm up?  Temperatures will rise later this afternoon with all the sunshine.  If you have any outdoor activities you want to get done this week today is the day to do it.  A storm system will be heading this way and will bring us rain for Tuesday and Wednesday.

We really could use the rain around the Miami Valley.  This October we haven’t even measured a tenth of an inch at the airport.  This means we’re running well below normal for the month.

Along with the rain on Tuesday and Wednesday temperatures are going to be in the 50′s during the day and in the 30′s at night.  While snow is unlikely this week it has snowed in October before.  The earliest measurable (measurable is defined as at least a tenth of an inch) snowfall occurred back in 1989.

Now that’s the earliest – the average makes me feel like I can enjoy fall a little longer.




Winds increase… a skirt alert day!

October 14th, 2011 at 7:20 am by under Weather

Behind our cold front, winds are increasing!  We’re expecting a breezy afternoon, with west winds 15-25 mph, and gusting up to 30mph.  Here is one of our forecast models showing just that:

Clouds should move out a bit late morning/early afternoon, but we’ll likely see some cumulus develop as we get some daytime heating. Energy aloft could kick off a spotty sprinkle or shower–especially across the northern counties this afternoon, but we will see a lot of dry weather today.  Temps drop quickly this evening, so bundle up at those high school football games!

Lows will dip into the low-mid 40s tonight & Saturday night, so the weekend mornings will be chilly.  Saturday afternoon will still be breezy and cool, with winds relaxing a bit on Sunday as we warm closer to 70 degrees.  At least one model is hinting at showers for Sunday, but others are not picking up on this trend.  I put a 20% in the forecast, and we’ll have to monitor that.  A better chance of rain comes Monday and Tuesday… Tuesday being when a stronger cold front moves through the area.  As first mentioned a few days ago, this front will really drop temperatures for the second half of next week!  Highs in the 50s… lows in the 30s!  Add to that breezy conditions again and we will definitely be wearing winter coats again!

At least… some of us will!  I am heading down south, along with several hundred of my collegues!  I’m attending the National Weather Association’s annual conference… this year it’s in Birmingham, AL.  During the conference, temps will be in the 70s & even the 80s a few days.  Then I’ll come home to 30s…. brrrrrr!  THAT will be a shock!  I am so excited to head south, not just for the nice weather, but to learn, share ideas & get some in-depth training on some of the new updates to our software.  I will tweet throughout the conference and blog about the experience when I return!  Until then, Tara will have you covered in the mornings!

I leave you with a BIG Friday high-five… in the form of Krispy Kreme Halloween awesomeness.  Sooo cute and delicious, too :)



Cold front today!

October 13th, 2011 at 7:42 am by under Weather

Yesterday, most of us got teased by the rain, as it only fell in a few locations.  Today, everyone stands a pretty good shot at seeing measurable rainfall!  A cold front west of us will head our way, and the rain chances will increase–especially as we head into the afternoon hours.  Here’s when we’ll see the best chance of rain today:

The front comes through this evening, but we’ll still see the chance of showers even early Friday morning.  Most of the models are forecasting near a half-inch of rain, which would be welcomed after a very dry start to October!  Winds will increase behind the front and usher in slightly cooler air.  Today’s highs will be in the mid-upper 60s… but lower 60s will be the rule for Friday and Saturday, with overnight lows dipping into the mid-40s.  The combination of today’s rain and subsequent wind will have quite a few leaves falling over the next few days.  And most local spots are experiencing ideal fall color right now:

So if you’re not raking this weekend, maybe you can head out to one of our local parks to check out the fall foliage!  Here is a link to events going on at Ohio State Parks this month:   ODNR Ohio State Park Events Hopefully you can find some fun! :)

Still looking at a bigger drop in temperatures next week–cold front Tues… and down from there!


Dry spell broken… for some…

October 12th, 2011 at 7:47 am by under Weather

We FINALLY have some rain falling in parts of the Miami Valley this morning!  Great news!  The last time we saw rain was back on October 1st… so we’ve had 11 DRY DAYS!  And the rain that fell at the beginning of the month only amounted to .01″… so it wasn’t much at all!  The Dayton airport (our “official” weather station) may go down in the books as dry today, too, as most of this rain has been in the eastern counties.  Here’s Doppler estimated rain as of 7:30am:

The heaviest has been in Clark & Greene counties, and even that has been pretty light.  Any rain will move away by the time we get into the afternoon hours, and most of our day will end up being dry.  We’ll likely see more clouds than yesterday (although peeks of sun will be possible this afternoon).  Temperatures do look a bit cooler, as highs should stay in the upper 60s.

We’re still watching the cold front for Thursday!  Right now, it looks like we’ll start the day dry, but an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms rolls our way as the front approaches from the west in the afternoon.  Here’s our in-house model showing the front coming through Thursday night:

The best chance of rain will be late afternoon/evening and overnight.  Rainfall amounts look to be in the .25-.5″ range, although if you get a thunderstorm over your area… you could get a bit more.  A few showers lingering on Friday are also possible, and the most likely spots for this to happen will be across the northern counties.  It will be a little cooler and breezy both Friday and Saturday, but at least dry conditions return for the weekend!

Next week, the computer models are pretty consistent on showing a stronger cold front, followed by an even colder blast of air.  Watch for a big drop in temperature around mid-week.  Here’s the ECMWF displaying the cold air as it may be rushing our way late Tuesday:

I know some of you are excited for winter… so there ya go!  It’s still a ways off, so let’s see how these models trend as we head through the weekend.  Just keep in mind you might need the heavier coats again next week.


Smallest full moon of the year

October 11th, 2011 at 8:16 am by under Weather

Two different systems will affect our area over the next three days… and today is the last day with no rain in the forecast this week!  We talked yesterday about these two features… the tropical-like system over the Southeast US, and the cold front over the Central US.  We’re right in the middle today, still getting clouds from the SE storm.  We’ll continue to see partly cloudy skies through the first part of the day, with the clouds then thickening later this afternoon.  By late tonight/early Wednesday morning, there should be some showers affecting our eastern counties.  Notice how we’re right on the back-edge of this system:

So most living along I-75 & west will likely not see any rain from this… just some clouds.  The better chance of rain for all of us will be from the cold front, which will move in on Thursday.  This will bring a good shot of showers, perhaps a few thunderstorms.  If we get enough instability, we may have a few severe storms in the area… with winds/hail as the main threat Thursday afternoon & evening.

The cold front will be followed by breezy conditions and much cooler weather for Friday and Saturday.  Highs will be in the lower 60s, with lows dipping into the mid-40s over the weekend.

Something cool tonight–which we unfortunately may not be able to see very well–is the smallest full moon of the year!  The reason for this:  the moon will be at the “apogee” of its orbit– the farthest point from Earth each month.  This month that is a distance of 252,546 miles!  And that’s only 154 miles shy of the moon’s farthest absolute point from Earth possible!

Tonight’s moon will appear 12.3 percent smaller than the “supermoon” we experienced back in March.  At that time, the moon was at its “perigee”–the closest point to Earth.  This is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the apogee.

During this time of apogee, the moon will also be traveling relatively slowly in its orbit.  Both things combine to make its motion against the stars especially small from night to night.  So it may seem to you that the moon is not only full tonight… but perhaps for a few nights?  My dad even thought the moon looked full Saturday night, as he debated it with my mom and me, who knew it wasn’t officially full until tonight.  :)

This is the full Hunter’s Moon, by the way.  It’s named because it’s the time of year that deer & other animals are fattening up, perfect timing as tribes began to storing meat for the long winter ahead.  Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September/early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that came out into the openings.

Now onto the winter months…. I’ve had a few people asking me if this is going to be a bad winter, as some weather sources have already come out with winter forecasts.  My answer is that it’s too soon to tell!  I don’t believe the weather pattern for the winter months is firmly in place (and recognizable) until mid-November.  So it will still be a few weeks before I make any calls on what the main features will be that drive our weather here in the Dayton area.  The new pattern is setting up now, and it’s amazing to watch at this time every year.  This pattern theory was discovered by one of my former co-workers, and favorite people– Mr. Gary Lezak.  It’s called Lezak’s Recurring Cycle or the LRC.  I was introduced to the LRC when I worked with Gary in Kansas City back in 2004.  I’ve been following it for seven years now, and Gary has been tracking it for much longer.

The basis of this theory is that every year a unique weather pattern sets up between the beginning of October and mid-November.  We look at “long-term” long-wave troughs and ridges… that set up and then cycle throughout the year.  The length of the cycle will vary year-to-year… and once we get through one cycle, we’ll have an idea of cycle length and what kind of winter it will be.  Once we get through two cycles, we can be even more confident   I will have more on this pattern and what it will mean for us as we head through the winter months!  Stay tuned!


Beautiful stretch to end this week…

October 10th, 2011 at 8:39 am by under Weather

You may have noticed an increase in cloud cover yesterday… those clouds held temperatures down a bit.  Highs were quite comfortable, in the lower 70s.  Today, we’re also looking at clouds in the region, and this is all thanks to a tropical-like feature over the southeast US.  You can see it bringing heavy rain to parts of Florida and Georgia this morning:

Clouds will continue to stream our way both today and tomorrow, although we will remain dry and see some sunshine, too.  But we expect a thickening in this cloud cover by tomorrow evening, and rain chances then increase during the evening and overnight period as the system moves northward along the East Coast:

Some showers may linger into early Wednesday, as shown on our in-house model above.  Again, the eastern counties will stand the best chance at seeing rain from this system.  Then our attention turns to that slow-moving front across the Central US.  That will move into the Miami Valley on Thursday, bringing with it the chance for more showers and thunderstorms.  Winds will also increase, and a few of the thunderstorms may have the potential to be on the strong side… we’ll have to keep an eye on that.  Best shot would be in the afternoon/evening hours Thursday.  With the winds picking up, more leaves will fall… so raking may be in store this weekend.  And it will be turning cooler, with a real fall-like feel to the air by Friday and the weekend!

Enjoy the transition!

Beyond the forecast – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 8th, 2011 at 8:58 pm by under Weather

Every October pink ribbons pop up in businesses, social media sites, t-shirts and even on bumper stickers for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For me and my family Breast Cancer Awareness happens EVERY month.

The summer after my senior year of high school my mom took me shopping and was getting me ready for my first year of college.  We bought towels, a shower caddy and even a small refrigerator (which now sits behind the weather center and yes – it still works!)   Despite how excited I was preparing for my college career I was hit with shocking news.  My mom – just 39 then – was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her young age was a factor in my feelings but I also couldn’t fight the images of my grandmother’s battle with the disease 6 years earlier.

My grandmother had breast cancer and went through chemotherapy when it was in its infant stage.  However as a young child I could never tell.  She smiled, laughed and played with me while her body was having its own internal struggle.  She went through remission but the cancer came back and spread to her entire body.  I remember going to my grandparents farm in Kentucky (they retired there) and seeing her in bed fighting to stay alive.  I remember telling my mom that if the cancer was in her blood, lungs, and kidneys the doctors could get transplant organs to keep her alive.  An ingenious thought for a young girl but of course not a realistic one.  She died on December 31st one day before a new year was to begin.

Even though my mom lost her mother to the same disease she was diagnosed with her outlook remained positive.  I think she was in a better state of mind than I was and she was the one facing surgery and treatment.  I will never forgot walking into her hospital room after her 7 or 8 hour surgery.  Iodine was still on her neck and arm, her face was pale and she looked weak.  However the first words were slow and slurred but she said “They got it all.”

Every September my mom and I celebrate the day she became “cancer free.”  I thank her for fighting and she thanks me for being there.  She still goes for yearly checkups and now that I am old enough I do as well.  I’ve had three mammograms so far and really they aren’t bad at all.  They are uncomfortable but not painful and are finished before you know it.

My mom and I at Race for the Cure in Toledo, Ohio 2009

Early detection is the key.  Medical technology has advanced so much since my grandmother and even my mother were diagnosed.  Breast cancer isn’t a death sentence – it can just be a bump in life if you find it early.

While I have a strong family history of breast cancer many women who are diagnosed with the disease may not have any family history at all.  During October I encourage you to talk to your girlfriends, mothers, sisters and daughters about mammograms and self breast exams.  I have many friends and family who have battled this disease and won.  Others are still fighting.  Talk about it and let’s save lives.


Fabulous Friday & a great weekend, too

October 7th, 2011 at 7:53 am by under Weather

OK.  By now, this HAS to be getting a little old!!  The sunny and warm weather will continue!  Don’t get me wrong, I am *loving* spending time outside in this gorgeous weather… but I’m soooo tired of repeating myself, as I’ve had to do it all week long :)

We’ll be under the influence of high pressure right through the weekend.  Temps will be unseasonably warm, with highs in the lower 80s both Saturday and Sunday.  And, yes, the sun will continue to shine in a bright blue sky.  So perfect conditions for the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville!

And a reminder about Bowl For Hospice on Sunday!  This event benefits the Hospice of Dayton… come join me and Carl Nichols for a little fun at Woodman Lanes!  You can still get registered to bowl, or if you don’t feel like knocking down some pins… just come for the other fun!

Next week, we’re still expecting mid-week changes.  We may get clipped by that storm system moving up from the south on Wednesday, but the drier scenario seems to be the one of choice.  A cold front approaches on Thursday… probably bringing about our best chance for showers and thunderstorms:

Behind the front, temperatures will drop down slightly to near-normal values (highs in the upper 60s).  So enjoy the warmth while it’s here… because it won’t last forever in this season of change!

Have a great weekend!

Another sunny day, ho-hum…

October 6th, 2011 at 7:42 am by under Weather

Remember a couple days ago, when I said the weather pattern would be lovely–but boring this week?  After day four, I’ve officially run out of things to say about it.  You can only say “picture-perfect,” “delightful,” and “gorgeous,” so many times!  So today’s weather summary:  Nothing has changed!  We’ll have a cool, clear morning (with just a touch of light fog in the normal spots)… followed by a sunny, warm afternoon.

As surface high pressure shifts just east of the area today and tomorrow, we’ll see that slow climb in temperatures we’ve been expecting:

We should be near 80 Friday and into the lower 80s by Saturday.  We’ll call this unseasonably warm, as our normal high is 67 this time of year!  But record highs over the next few days are actually in the upper 80s, and we won’t surpass any of those :)

The weather this week is IDEAL for a bright, colorful show as the leaves are really starting to change.  Sunny days and cold (but not freezing) nights are the optimal conditions for the most vibrant fall colors.  Just two days ago I was out walking with the kids… and my daughter and I were playing a game: Can You Spot the Changing Leaves?  At that time, there were only a few trees with hints of color… but yesterday, BAM!  All of a sudden the changing colors are much more common.  We’re still a couple weeks from peak in our region, but if you’re looking for a weekend drive, go north!  Near peak conditions are becoming evident across the northern part of Ohio… here’s when the rest of us can expect them:

With all the warm, sunny weather we’ve had, you’re probably not thinking of winter coats just yet.  But this morning on 2 News Today, I got to do a live shot promoting our Carl’s Coats for Kids campaign.  This is the 28th year… and we’re once again collecting new or gently used coats to distribute to the Miami Valley’s children in need.  Click HERE for a list of locations.  Calling all Boy Scout packs… Girl Scout troops… other area organizations… do a group drive & bring in your coats to donate!!  This can be an awesome community service lesson for kids. :)


No big changes until next week

October 5th, 2011 at 7:49 am by under Weather

As discussed yesterday, we are under the influence of high pressure, both at the surface and aloft.  It’s a strong ridge… and it will continue to provide us with fantastic fall weather!  Sunshine galore and really comfortable temperatures.  A slow warming trend will continue as we head towards the weekend, and by the  Sauerkraut Festival we’ll be up near 80-degrees!  You couldn’t ask for better weather in Waynesville:

The ridge will move little through the weekend, but by next week, we see some big changes showing up in the models.  First, a look at the upper flow… notice a trough finally digging into the central part of the country, breaking down our powerful ridge:

That will help to bring a cold front our way–right now it looks to be mid-week-ish.  Another thing that looks interesting in the long-range is a tropical system the GFS has been forecasting… the 0Z run brings it up through the Gulf of Mexico, which would be a better position for us to get some rain from it:

But then the overnight runs take it up the East Coast:

So there still is a lot in question.  We’ll continue to watch it, and give you our thoughts on what might happen.  By next Wednesday, the rain would definitely be welcomed by most!


This is what fall is all about!

October 4th, 2011 at 6:38 am by under Weather

We have a stretch of delightful fall weather setting up for the rest of the week.  A ridge of high pressure at the surface:

…and aloft:

…will build over the area & set up camp for days!  The Miami Valley will be under clear skies all the while… which means cool nights/mornings… and nice pleasantly warm afternoons.  So layers will be your best bet… shed them as the day goes on!  There will also be a slow warming trend day-to-day… with lower 70s today, mid-70s mid-week, and upper 70s by the end of the week.  Beautiful, comfortable, enjoyable… but boring!  Not much to blog about this week.  I’ll have to scrounge up some off-topics to discuss!

One of which is the Hospice of Dayton’s 14th annual “Bowl for Hospice” event that will be held this SUNDAY OCT 9th.  Join us at Poelking Woodman Lanes in Kettering from 1-3pm.  There will be FREE pizza, music, door prizes, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction… and of course… bowling!!  All proceeds stay local and will go to Hospice… which has helped many of our friends & families over the years.  To register, call 258-5537 (there are still a few lanes left!)… or just come out to watch and enjoy the other fun!  We hope to see you there!!