Wet Weather Continues...

Following a very nice stretch of weather heading into Thanksgiving, it seems that we are getting a little pay back now.  

Light rain started arriving late yesterday, but remained light and rather spotty with mild temps.  However, the arrival of a sharp cold front helped to increase intensity of the rainfall today with most areas picking up 3/4" to an inch of the wet stuff.

At last check, rain remained widespread across the area tonight and it looks like the dreary conditions will stick around for the balance of the weekend.


Although the rain shouldn't be as widespread or as heavy as what we saw today, Sunday is shaping up to be a pretty nasty day with overcast skies, light rain and temps that will struggle to improve, remaining in the 40's for a high.


Unfortunately, the cold front that slid into the area today looks to get hung up across the region leading to more soggy conditions as we head into the workweek.

Jet stream

Eventually, a large, slow moving, upper low pressure system located over the Rockies will kick to the east shutting down our rain as we head into the middle of the week. 

Between now and then however, things look to remain quite wet with rain chances remaining high through Tuesday morning.


For the most part, the rain will be light with the possible exception of Tuesday morning.  

Sunshine looks to filter back into the area by Wednesday and Thursday with seasonably cool temps.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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There Was Some Strange Ring Around The Moon Last Night? Hmmm. Let Me Explain The Cause...

A number of our viewers last night sent us pictures noting there was some odd halo around the moon. So the question is what caused this? I have to say Atmospheric Optics is something I find very interesting and wrote my senior thesis on this very subject in college! So how do these halos occur? Sometimes different particles in the atmosphere can create very cool visual displays like rainbows. I want to share a little info on what causes the halos and when you should look for them!


Here is the picture courtesy of the halo from last night taken by Nina Dotta...


Facebook 7 pic


Another awesome picture of the moon halo last night came to us courtesy of Debra Woods...


Facebook pic 6


Most of us think of ice crystals in the atmosphere as snow flakes, but you may not have known that they are more often hexagonal columns. Here is an example donalbein of what happens to the moon or sunlight as it passes through one of these ice crystals. Notice the light is bent and spread into the colors you see.


Facebook 6 pic

 Image courtesy of donalbein via wiki.


The hexagonal columns are the mechanism that creates the 22 degree halo you saw last night. When the sun or moon light shines through these columns, the light is bent and dispersed. As the light emerges from the crystal, it is bent normally 22 degrees creating the 22 degree halo normally seen. Here is an example of the process as the light moves through these ice crystals from the University of Illinois website.


22 Degree Halo



The light is bent as it moves through the ice creating the atmospheric optical display known as halos! If you want to see one, just look toward the moon or sun (use caution to protect your eyes from the sun) when we have high cirrus clouds and you should see a halo! They are pretty common and some suggest we have near 100 per year in most locations.



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VIDEO OF THE DAY: Insane Slow Motion Video Of A Fire Tornado!

The Slow Mo Guys on Youtube do some really cool things, but they posted a video recently that I thought was SERIOUSLY cool! They utilized a little science with fans and a fire pit to create an amazing looking fire vortex / tornado. The slow motion video of the creation is nothing less than jaw dropping. Take a look...




Being a science geek myself, I love to see others displaying science in a way you can see. Pretty amazing video and this has to be one of my favorites in a while! 



If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!

Updated College Football & Light Up Louisville Forecasts

From Jude Redfield...

    The Marshall vs WKU game is going to end up with the best weather of any local game this weekend. It once looked like a washout, now the change indicates a high probability of going the entire game without one drop. GO TOPS GO TOPS GO TOPS!!!!!  Hopefully this nice weather will help boost the crowd.


    Friday night in Louisville for Light Up Louisville we are expecting the rain to overspread the entire region. It looks damp, but at least the temps stay in the 50s during the event

July Summary

    A must win situation for IU to become bowl eligible unfolds in West Lafayette, IN Saturday afternoon. The rain will move south with dry air expected for most of the game. Temps will be much cooler in northern Indiana. Sure hope IU can get that 6th win.

Fantasy football

    And finally the UofL vs UK game. This will end up being wet at times. The positive appears to be the rain intensity looks light, but sprinkles and on and off light rain looks likely at times from late morning into the afternoon.


    Rain continues on and off through Monday and Tuesday. Rain amounts of 1"-3" is likely during this 5 day window.  I sure hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend. -Jude Redfield-


Another Heavy Rain Scenario? Let's Discuss The Potential...

We will have an interesting weather pattern setting up in the next couple days. The jet stream will evolve into a full blocking pattern which can have significant influences across the entire country. For us, this blocking pattern could lead to a lot of rain yet again.



Evolution Of A Blocking Weather Pattern


There are many types of blocking patterns we see in the atmosphere. Two of the more common the infamous "Omega Block" and the "High Over Low" block. This is going to be a classic case of a "high over low" block and will have a significant influence on our weather. As we look at the satellite right now, we can see the high and low getting organized right now near the west coast of the US and Canada.


AdvanceTrak 1


This pattern is absolutely critical because the block will  stop that low pressure system dead in its tracks. It won't move for days and this sets up a scenario where it will have the ability to rotate weak waves of low pressure across our area loading us up with rain.


AdvanceTrak 2


The dark green above is the location I think the heaviest rain will fall from this style blocking pattern.



How Much Rain Should We Expect?


This year has really been a remarkable year for heavy rain events. While I think this doesn't pose a very large threat of flooding for our area (not all at once), I do think it has the potential to drop solid rain in our area. We have really very good agreement with the computer models prediction of rain for our area. Both the GFS and EURO both indicate from 2" - 2.5" of rain from Friday through Tuesday. While some of the details are different in how this evolves, both computer models show solid rain totals. You will notice the name of the computer model on the top right part of each image.






WPC (branch of NOAA/NWS) shows a solid rain for our area as well. These guys are great forecasters and always put out very good products. They are forecasting the 2.5" total to near Corydon, IN with the rest of our area near or above 2" of rain. Notice the huge 7" rain total in North Texas!


WPC Rainfall


My Thoughts On Rain Totals...


We are seeing the signals that a high over low block is in the process of developing. This blocking pattern will begin firing rain our way Friday night and continue in waves on Saturday, Sunday, and a last round either Monday or Tuesday. There are some complexities still because many times the computer models will have trouble timing the waves of rain when blocking patterns are present. With all that said, I think this system has the potential to produce 1" - 3" of rain across our area with a good chance many will exceed 2". If we do see 2" of rain from this system in Louisville, then we will officially vault into the top 10 wettest years on record!



If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!

Weather Blog: Football Games For All The Marbles

From Jude Redfield...

    The football games Friday and Saturday are easily the biggest for some area schools. WKU must win to make it to the CUSA championship game. IU and UK must win to become bowl eligible. The weather forecast has changed quite a bit in the last few days, but rain will be a big player in the UofL vs UK game. The Marshall vs WKU game once looked really wet. Now it appears the best chance of getting wet holds off until after the game. An isolated shower is possible during the game, but the soakers arrive at night. Hopefully after WKU beats Marshall.



    IU vs Purdue looks cloudy and cool. The rain should not be a real factor. Odds favor dry conditions all game.

Fantasy football


    The Cards and Cats game once had highly questionable rain chances, now rain looks likely for tailgating and at times during the game.






Very Active Pattern Setting Up. Heavy Rain Potential Increasing!

The good news is that anyone with travels plans tomorrow or on Thanksgiving across the region couldn't ask for better conditions. 

Now for the bad news...

Model data continues to advertise a VERY ACTIVE pattern setting up for the end of the week, weekend and now into early next week as well. 

A look at the upper level jet stream winds for the weekend (via Euro shown below) shows the set up.  


The High over Low Block

The problem revolves around the development of an upper level "blocking system" involving a large upper level high pressure system forecasted to develop over the British Columbia Canada.  To the south of that a large upper level low pressure system looks to take shape across the Western US.  This upper pressure configuration is known as a "High over Low" block and is known to prevent the progression of downstream jet stream winds.  

What does this mean for us?  

With the high over low block in place out west, it will set up an active "southwesterly flow" in the jet stream winds over our region. As multiple disturbances ride along this "southwest flow", round after round of rain can be expected as we head into the weekend and into early next week. 

So when will the rain arrive? 

While confidence is high that our first round will occur on Friday (particularly late Friday and Friday night), there are questions concerning timing of the other disturbances that look to follow it.  However, there is a good bet for rain and the potential for heavy rain on Saturday, Sunday and into early next week.  

How much are we talking about?

Have a look at today's run of the Euro advertising a whopping 3 to 8 inches of rain across portions of Southern and Central US with an axis of heaviest precipitation lining up between Central Texas and Kentuckiana! 


Locally, the Euro is showing widespread 3"+ rainfall amounts over our viewing area between now and late next Tuesday.  

Rainfall projection2

This solution has considerable support from the GFS now showing very similar numbers for our area.  

Rainfall projection

What do I think?  

I think we need to be prepared to get wet... perhaps very, very wet!  

For Black Friday shoppers who are out early, the data suggests that rain, if any during that time from, should be light.  

However, for the 2nd and 3rd rounds of rain that are expected between Saturday and Monday, it could come down quite hard.

Moral of the story... If you have a little time before your Thanksgiving plans, it might be a good idea to clean the leaves out those gutters!

Jude has a full update on our wet extended on WDRB News midday.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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VIDEO TIME-LAPSE: Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks!

As you probably know last week's Leonid Meteor Shower was a huge hit with one major fireball flying directly over our area.  In case you missed last week's show, here's a great time lapse of the event...


This evening of the Leonid meteor shower peak turned out to be mostly a bust -- mostly clouds, airplanes, satellites, and very few Leonid meteors.. However, one nice fireball appeared shortly before dawn (39 seconds into the video). For a closer look (enlarged stills) see:http://www.astrocamera.net/2015/1117/...

YouTube video via Dave Kodama

The next big meteor shower will be the December Geminids!

Comet of Origin: 3200 Phaethon
Radiant: constellation Gemini
Active: Dec. 4-16, 2015
Peak Activity: Dec. 13-14, 2015
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 120 meteors per hour
Meteor Velocity: 22 miles (35 kilometers) per second

Notes: The Geminids are typically one of the best and most reliable of the annual meteor showers. It’s one of the best opportunities for younger viewers who don't stay up late, because it gets going around 9 or 10 p.m. local time. Expect delightfully dark skies this year; the thin crescent moon sets early.

Information courtesy NASA


WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Is The Antarctic Ozone Hole Growing Again?

Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

The 2015 Antarctic ozone hole area was larger and formed later than in recent years, according to scientists from NOAA and NASA.

On Oct. 2, 2015, the ozone hole expanded to its peak of 28.2 million square kilometers (10.9 million square miles), an area larger than the continent of North America. Throughout October, the hole remained large and set many area daily records.

620300c1768EDNmainOzone-Oct2-2015-TOAST-OMPSLimb  Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

Ozone hole

This image, using data from NOAA and NASA satellites, shows the ozone layer from two perspectives. In the global map, blue colors indicate normal levels of ozone and red colors indicate the area associated with the ozone hole. The vertical profile in green colors shows how the actual thickness of the ozone layer changes. Very low levels and thicknesses of ozone were measured on Oct. 2, 2015. This depletion was consistent with balloon sonde measurements from the same time. (NOAA)

Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

Unusually cold temperature and weak dynamics in the Antarctic stratosphere this year resulted in this larger ozone hole. In comparison, last year the ozone hole peaked at 24.1 million square kilometers (9.3 million square miles) on Sept. 11, 2014. Compared to the 1991-2014 period, the 2015 ozone hole average area was the fourth largest.

Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

“While the current ozone hole is larger than in recent years, the area occupied by this year’s hole is consistent with our understanding of ozone depletion chemistry and consistent with colder than average weather conditions in Earth’s stratosphere, which help drive ozone depletion,” said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The ozone hole is a severe depletion of the ozone layer above Antarctica that was first detected in the 1980s. The Antarctic ozone hole forms and expands during the Southern Hemisphere spring (August and September) because of the high levels of chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere. These chlorine- and bromine-containing molecules are largely derived from man-made chemicals that steadily increased in Earth’s atmosphere up through the early 1990s.




Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

Ozone depletion lasted longer

“This year, our balloon-borne instruments measured nearly 100-percent ozone depletion in the layer above South Pole Station, Antarctica, that was 14 to 19 kilometers above the Earth’s surface (9-12 miles),” said Bryan Johnson, a researcher at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. “During September we typically see a rapid ozone decline, ending with about 95-percent depletion in that layer by October 1. This year the depletion held on an extra two weeks resulting in nearly 100-percent depletion by October 15.”

The ozone layer helps shield Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and suppress immune systems, as well as damage plants. The large size of this year’s ozone hole will likely result in increases of harmful ultraviolet rays at Earth’s surface, particularly in Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere in the coming months.


Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

Ozone depletion is primarily caused by man-made compounds that release chlorine and bromine gases in the stratosphere. Beginning in 1987, the internationally agreed-upon Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has regulated these ozone-depleting compounds, such as chlorine-containing chlorofluorocarbons used in refrigerants and bromine-containing halon gases used as fire suppressants. Because of the Protocol, atmospheric levels of these ozone depleting compounds are slowly declining. The ozone hole is expected to recover back to 1980 levels in approximately 2070.

This year, scientists recorded the minimum thickness of the ozone layer at 101 Dobson units on October 4, 2015, as compared to 250-350 Dobson units during the 1960s, before the Antarctic ozone hole occurred. Dobson units are a measure of the overhead amount of atmospheric ozone.


Annual Antarctic ozone hole larger and formed later in 2015

The satellite ozone data come from the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite, launched in 2004, and the Ozone Monitoring and Profiler Suite instrument on the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, launched in 2011. NOAA scientists at the South Pole station monitor the ozone layer above that location by using a Dobson spectrophotometer and regular ozone-sonde balloon launches that record the thickness of the ozone layer and its vertical distribution. Chlorine amounts are estimated using NOAA and NASA ground measurements and observations from the Microwave Limb Sounder aboard NASA’s Aura satellite. These satellites continue a data record dating back to the early 1970s.


Information Courtesy NOAA

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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How Long Are Days On Pluto?

The time it takes for the Earth to rotate completely around on its axis is what we call a day. One complete rotation takes approximately 24, but how long are days on Pluto?

Pluto’s day is 6.4 Earth days long. The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera as the distance between New Horizons and Pluto decreased from 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) on July 7 to 400,000 miles (about 645,000 kilometers) on July 13. The more distant images contribute to the view at the 3 o’clock position, with the top of the heart-shaped, informally named Tombaugh Regio slipping out of view, giving way to the side of Pluto that was facing away from New Horizons during closest approach on July 14. The side New Horizons saw in most detail – what the mission team calls the “encounter hemisphere” – is at the 6 o’clock position.


On approach in July 2015, the cameras on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured Pluto rotating over the course of a full “Pluto day.” The best available images of each side of Pluto taken during approach have been combined to create this view of a full rotation. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

These images and others like them reveal many details about Pluto, including the differences between the encounter hemisphere and the so-called “far side” hemisphere seen only at lower resolution. Dimples in the bottom (south) edge of Pluto’s disk are artifacts of the way the images were combined to create these composites.



-Rick DeLuca