Memorial Day Storm Chances And Tuesday's Severe Risk...

It looks like we get another nice day with more sunshine and warmer temperatures. There might be a random downpour in our far western counties later this afternoon/evening, but the rain chance is so low that it's hardly worth mentioning. Check future radar at 7:30 PM...


A line of storms approach us from the west overnight, weakening as they run out of steam. They do reignite with the heat of the day, producing scattered showers and storms. The best chance occurs during the afternoon hours. Not everyone will see the rain on Memorial Day, but those who do should expect lightning and downpours...




Our active pattern continues Tuesday as another piece of energy sparks rain & storms. The Storm Prediction Center has placed ALL of our area under the "slight risk" for severe weather. Hail and high winds are the primary threats. There is just enough instability and wind to support some stronger storms, but I don't think organized/widespread severe weather is in the cards the way things look right now... 



Jeremy Kappell will be in tonight with the very latest on our storm chance and severe threat. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day Weekend!


-Rick DeLuca





Humidity Increases as does Holiday Storm Chances...

Thanks to high pressure aloft, it turned out to be a great start to the Holiday Weekend!  Our high touched 80° this afternoon with lots of sunshine and low humidity.  

That wasn't the case today across the Plains once again stricken with severe weather and very heavy rainfall.  


The storm system responsible for the persistent stormy weather across the Central US will slowly slide in our direction over the next few days helping to increase the threat of rain here locally by Memorial Day.

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT shows a fair and mild start to your Sunday with morning temps starting out in the upper 50's and low 60's.


While a few renegade showers can't be ruled out across far Western Kentucky, Kentuckiana looks to remain dry on Sunday with warmer and slightly more humid conditions as highs reach into the middle 80's with a partly to mostly sunny sky.


Moisture continues to increase as we head into Memorial Day with a few isolated showers possible in the morning. 


While the bulk of the area should remain dry during the morning hours, AT shows scattered storms promptly developing as we head into the afternoon as high humidity returns to the area.


Although a washout is not expected, some pockets of heavy rain and thunder will be possible through the afternoon hours.


If you have travel plans on Monday, heaviest rainfall looks to remain to our west across the Mississippi River Valley.  

Dma rain chances

Rick will be in with a full update first thing on WDRB in the Morning.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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NEW Guinness World Record: Farthest Flight By Hoverboard...

Catalina Alexandru Duru just pulled off the farthest flight ever traveled on a hoverboard! He created the prototype himself, which sort of works like a super powerful quadcopter. The old record of 164 feet was shattered by Catalina who cruised 905 feet and 2 inches over a lake in Quebec, Canada! Check it out...


Video Courtesy: Guinness World Records




-Rick DeLuca




Saturn At Opposition: See the Stunning Ringed Planet and Its Moons...

Saturn reaches opposition on Friday (May 22) at 10 p.m. EDT. This means that the ringed planet will be directly opposite the sun in our sky. It rises at sunset in the southeast and sets at dawn in the northwest. This year, the majestic rings are open-which means they're tilted towards Earth-more than 24 degrees, compared to the edgewise view we had in 2009. Through a telescope, you maybe able to see color differences and faint bands the color of cream and butterscotch...


Image Courtesy: NASA

Are you hoping to spot Saturn? It’s near an arc of three starsclose to Antares in the night sky. Antares is a reddish color and the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. If you don't get a chance to see it tonight, don't worry. Saturn’s opposition guarantees the ringed planet will be in good view throughout May and June 2015. Binoculars will allow you to see Saturn, but it will probably just look like a bright star. It takes a telescope to see Saturn's true shape, and higher magnifications will allow you to see the details and its ring system.


Video Courtesy: Eric Fischer


10 Need-to-Know Things About Saturn:

1.) If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, the Earth would be the size of a nickel and Saturn would be about as big as a basketball.

2.) Saturn orbits our sun, a star. Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun at a distance of about 1.4 billion km (886 million miles) or 9.5 AU.

3.) One day on Saturn takes 10.7 hours (the time it takes for Saturn to rotate or spin once). Saturn makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Saturnian time) in 29 Earth years.

4.) Saturn is a gas-giant planet and does not have a solid surface.

5.) Saturn's atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).

6.) Saturn has 53 known moons with an additional 9 moons awaiting confirmation of their discovery.

7.) Saturn has the most spectacular ring system of all our solar system's planets. It is made up of seven rings with several gaps and divisions between them.

8.) Five missions have been sent to Saturn. Since 2004, Cassini has been exploring Saturn, its moons and rings.

9.) Saturn cannot support life as we know it. However, some of Saturn's moons have conditions that might support life.

10.) When Galileo Galilei looked at Saturn through a telescope in the 1600s, he noticed strange objects on each side of the planet and drew in his notes a triple-bodied planet system and then later a planet with arms or handles. The handles turned out to be the rings of Saturn.



-Rick DeLuca






Holiday Weekend Forecast Update

From Jude Redfield...

    Sunshine all day today with a few clouds increasing tonight. Tonight will be AMAZING if you have plans on camping.  A few of the clouds could be thick enough tomorrow morning that some locations end up mostly cloudy. I still see plenty of signs that dry air will erode most of the clouds for a bright and sunny afternoon on our Saturday. Our Sunday rain chance looks a bit lower than the previous forecasts. The warm front arriving Sunday only provides a 20% chance for a storm, but does provide plenty of warmth with highs near 85.

Windchill comparison




The rain/storm chance on Memorial day will be the highest in the afternoon and evening (50%) when the peak heating and humidity is achieved. Nothing suggests an all day rain out at this time.


The worst part of the holiday outlook will be the cold pool water. The recent chilly weather has really cooled the water. All things considered this is a pretty good stretch of weather at such an important time of the year as summer unofficially gets kicked off. Have a safe and great time this weekend -Jude-


Video Of The Day: Tree Climbing Goats...

I am sure that you have seen goats climb rocky, mountainous terrain, but have you ever seen them in trees! If you are wondering why they are up there, well it all has to do with food. Found in the Sous valley of southwestern Morocco and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region, the Argan tree grows to 8–10 metres high and live up to 150–200 years. They are thorny, with gnarled trunks but that doesn't stop the Tamri goats from eating it's pulpy fruit...
Image Credit: Wiki

Argan fruit falls in July, when black and dry. Until this happens, goats are kept out of the argan woodlands by wardens to stop them from eating it all. Rights to collect the fruit are controlled by law and village traditions. The secret to their ability to climb lies in the shape of their hooves. They are able to grip the tree branches with their soft, textured hooves. Watch them in action in the video below...

Video Courtesy: onelove1970


VIDEO: Deadly 2013 Moore Oklahoma Tornado

Perhaps no town in America has been hit harder by tornadoes in recent years than Moore Oklahoma.

On May 20, 2013 the town was struck for the 2nd time in 15 years by an rare F5/EF5 tornado when a massive twister ripped right through the middle of the Oklahoma City suburb.


Originally rated an EF4, it was later upgraded to EF5 status with winds over 200 mph.  (Learn about the 1999 Moore F-5 here)

This video captured by Chance Coldiron and Justin Cox shows just how fast the storm developed as it rapidly grew from a needle nosed funnel cloud to a massive wedge tornado in just minutes.  


Here's a look at the color enhanced infrared satellite image at the time of the event.  The Moore tornado with the approximated location of the tornado marked.


This is what radar looked like at the time with reflectivity on the left showing the pronounced "hook echo" and "debri ball".  

On the right is the velocity signature showing an incredible 210 mph estimated winds near the center of the circulation!


In the video below, storm chasers David Demko and Heidi Farrar documented the disastrous d. With tremendous amounts of debris falling around them, they at one point were only one half mile away from the most intense EF-5 strength core tornadic winds, filmed from near the intersection of South Pennsylvania Ave and SW 164th St.


This short video courtesy Basehunters shows the mammoth twister at near peak intensity.


Here's KFOR's (Oklahoma City's NBC Affiliate) coverage of the event with Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan.  


The storm was on the ground for a total 39 minutes while traveling 17 miles through the heart of the city. The storm was a staggering 1.3 miles wide leveling entire city neighborhoods.

Moore ok 2013Aerial photo of a section of Moore struck by the massive tornado on May 20, 2013.  Photo credit: AP Photo/Steve Gooch 

Among the homes destroyed was that of Matt Malone, Marc Weinberg's brother, in the Briarwood Neighborhood. (House pictured below).  


Fortunately for Matt and his family, they survived the storm without injury.  Unfortunately their house was totalled.   

In total, the storm caused close to $2 Billion in damage while tragically taking 25 lives including 7 children at Plaza Towers Elementary.  377 others were injured.

The Moore Storm was a part of a sequence of twisters that occurred across the Plains between May 18-21, 2013. 

Of the 61 tornadoes that occurred, the Moore Tornado was the most powerful and deadly.

After a one year hiatus in tornado activity, earlier this spring on March 25th, unbelievably, Moore was hit by another twister, thankfully only an EF1 this time, making it the 5th tornado the town has seen in the last 5 years.  

According to records, at least 157 tornadoes have occurred in the Oklahoma City area (Moore is a suburb of Oklahoma's largest city) since 1890.  

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Latest NOAA Study Ties Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Spike in Gulf Dolphin Deaths...

What has been causing the alarming increase in dead bottlenose dolphins along the northern Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010? Independent and government scientists have found even more evidence connecting these deaths to the same signs of illness found in animals exposed to petroleum products, as reported in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE.


Image Courtesy: NOAA

This latest study uncovered that an unusually high number of dead Gulf dolphins had what are normally rare lesions on their lungs and hormone-producing adrenal glands.

The timing, location, and nature of the lesions support that oil compounds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused these lesions and contributed to the high numbers of dolphin deaths within this oil spill’s footprint.

“This is the latest in a series of peer-reviewed scientific studies, conducted over the five years since the spill, looking at possible reasons for the historically high number of dolphin deaths that have occurred within the footprint of the Deepwater Horizon spill,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, one of 22 contributing authors on the paper, and head of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, which is charged with determining the causes of unusual mortality events.

“These studies have increasingly pointed to the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons as being the most significant cause of the illnesses and deaths plaguing the Gulf’s dolphin population,” said Dr. Rowles.

A System out of Balance

In this study, one in every three dead dolphins examined across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama had lesions affecting their adrenal glands, resulting in a serious condition known as “adrenal insufficiency.” The adrenal gland produces hormones—such as cortisol and aldosterone—that regulate metabolism, blood pressure and other bodily functions.

“Animals with adrenal insufficiency are less able to cope with additional stressors in their everyday lives,” said Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson, the study’s lead author and veterinary epidemiologist at the National Marine Mammal Foundation, “and when those stressors occur, they are more likely to die.”


Image Courtesy: NOAA

Earlier studies of Gulf dolphins in areas heavily affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill found initial signs of this illness in a 2011 health assessment of dolphins living in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. NOAA scientists Dr. Rowles and Dr. Lori Schwacke spoke about the results of this health assessment in a 2013 interview:

“One rather unusual condition that we noted in many of the Barataria Bay dolphins was that they had very low levels of some hormones (specifically, cortisol) that are produced by the adrenal gland and are important for a normal stress response.

Under a stressful condition, such as being chased by a predator, the adrenal gland produces cortisol, which then triggers a number of physiological responses including an increased heart rate and increased blood sugar. This gives an animal the energy burst that it needs to respond appropriately.

In the Barataria Bay dolphins, cortisol levels were unusually low. The concern is that their adrenal glands were incapable of producing appropriate levels of cortisol, and this could ultimately lead to a number of complications and in some situations even death.”

Swimming with Pneumonia

In addition to the lesions on adrenal glands, the scientific team discovered that more than one in five dolphins that died within the Deepwater Horizon oil spill footprint had a primary bacterial pneumonia. Many of these cases were unusual in severity, and caused or contributed to death.

Drs. Rowles and Schwacke previously had observed significant problems in the lungs of dolphins living in Barataria Bay. Again, in 2013, they had noted, “In some of the animals, the lung disease was so severe that we considered it life-threatening for that individual.”


Image Courtesy: NOAA

In other mammals, exposure to petroleum-based polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, known as PAHs, through inhalation or aspiration of oil products can lead to injured lungs and altered immune function, both of which can increase an animal’s susceptibility to primary bacterial pneumonia. Dolphins are particularly susceptible to inhalation effects due to their large lungs, deep breaths, and extended breath hold times.



-Rick DeLuca



Showers Arrive Tonight & Our Holiday Outlook

From Jude Redfield...

    Scattered showers are likely by this evening. The rain isn't going to be real heavy, but it will impact some of our outdoor plans. If the showers hit where you are the temps will drop quickly into the upper 50s to around 60.


    Looking ahead to a huge holiday weekend we find a warming trend in store. Saturday starts chilly but ends warm enough for some swimming later in the afternoon. The mostly sunny skies deliver a very high UV Index.


If you have outdoor plans on Sunday and Monday prepare for the possibility of a couple showers and storms as the warmth and humidity climbs. It sure doesn't look as if all day rain is likely, but a few rain delays are possible with a 50% chance each day. 


Hopefully this forecast holds and we don't see those rain chances get any higher. Have a great day -Jude-


VIDEO: Advanced Solar Sail Concept - NASA's HELIOS

HELIOS is an advanced solar sail concept being evaluated by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

NASA's STMD rapidly develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise.



From the video:

NASA is designing a next-generation solar sail: HELIOS, or High-Performance Enabling Low-Cost Innovative Operational Heliogyro Solarsail.

HELIOS will demonstrate a type of high performance solar sail called a heliogyro. The "sail" of the heliogyro consists of very long reflective membrane strips, or blades.

Blades are rolled onto reels to simplify packaging and deployment. Sunlight reflecting on the blades creates thrust. No on-board fuel is required.

HELIOS requires no additional structure to maintain its shape. This reduces weight and permits higher accelerations and shorter travel times to distant destinations.

HELIOS also steers like a helicopter. Tilting each blade redirects the reflected sunlight and solar pressure. This can be used to change thrust, orientation relative to the Sun or spin rate.

Cameras will capture the motion of the blades, sending proof of deployment to Earth, recording video to compare with computer models and communicating blade motion to the blade control system.

Future HELIOS solar sail missions:
Solar weather early warning
Imaging the poles of the Sun
Travel beyond the Solar System

Video and Information Courtesy NASA

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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