March 2, 2012: One Year Later Thoughts and An Announcement

One year ago, a devastating tornado outbreak struck areas from Illinois to Virginia and from the Tri-State south to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas, leaving 41 people dead and multitudes of others injuried. Here is the day of March 2 as I (Jeremy) remember it. I put this in timeline form at the six month anniversary. Obviously, nothing has changed from this timeline, but we’ve added some video to it.

1:00 AM: Day 1 SPC outlook places Cincinnati in moderate risk of severe storms.
7:00 AM: I’ve been up all night tracking what is occurring out in Missouri. I now have a doctor’s appointment to go to, but I leave radar up while I’m preparing.
10 AM: Rain hits the downtown area of Cincinnati — but this isn’t even the main event.
11:00 AM: Severe weather has broken out in Alabama.
11:30 AM: SPC new outlook puts Cincinnati and NKY in the High Risk zone. Nick Byrd puts out the word on the NKY Weather Facebook…my cell phone battery has died by this point as I’ve been watching things all morning.
1:45 PM: I make it home and jump in on coverage on an Internet radio station (JJRN) run by a pair of friends, Jarrod Jicha and Cindy Detro (sadly, the station no longer exists).
2:50 PM: A major tornado forms west of Henryville, Indiana.
3:00 PM: Henryville is hit by the first of two tornadoes to strike the vicinity. This would do damage all the way into Carroll County, KY, and a tornado would be captured on video by my friend and colleague, storm chaser Corey Ecton, nearby:

3:19 PM: First tornado warning in the NKYWx forecast area, covers the extreme western part of NKY.
3:34 PM: National Weather Service in Wilmington issues first ever (for that particular NWS office) “Tornado Emergency”, covering a chunk of the western forecast area.
3:44 PM: Tornado Warnings dropped for southwestern Dearborn, southern Ripley counties…a new warning would be needed minutes later for the Holton tornado for Ripley County.
3:50 PM: New “Tornado Emergency” covers Carroll, Gallatin, Kenton, Boone, Switzerland, Grant and Owen counties.
3:52 PM: I take cover in the basement at home, as a course of least regret.
3:53 PM: Tornado hits Holton, IN.
4:03 PM: Another tornado warning for Boone, Gallatin, Kenton and Switzerland counties. I stay in my basement through this, tornado sirens blaring all along.
4:15 PM: Debris reported falling in Boone County as of 4:10 PM. Another official Tornado Emergency is issued based on this report.
4:32 PM: I call the Tornado Emergency for Piner and Morning View…Tornado has formed in Crittenden and is clearly seen on radar, with a debris ball signature. This tornado actually came within a few hundred feet of Nick Byrd’s home. We are thankful we didn’t have to help one of our own, but would have if need be.
4:35 PM: Boone County pulled from the tornado warning. I rejoin coverage online on JJRN soon after until that ends.

Things become a blur after this, and in my fatigue that day, I’m sure I forgot a lot. A lot of the following comes from the National Weather Service offices in Wilmington, OH and Jackson, KY.

4:40 PM: Another tornado touches down in Peach Grove, KY; it would track through Moscow, Ohio and all the way to near Hamersville, Ohio in Brown County before lifting.
5:02 PM: Small tornado in Berlin, KY (Bracken County).
5:25-5:40 PM: Several tornadoes strike Adams County, Ohio.
5:58 PM: Tornado hits the downtown sections of West Liberty, KY, which is east of Lexington and southwest of Ashland, KY.
6:50 PM: Salyersville, Kentucky hit by tornado.
7:00 PM: Portions of Laurel County, KY hit by another destructive tornado.
Around 9:30 PM: JJRN coverage wraps up.
11:00 PM: I finally climb into bed, completely exhausted.

Over the following days, the Crittenden/Piner and Henryville tornadoes would be declared EF-4’s; the Peach Grove to Moscow to Hamersville, Salyersville, West Liberty, and Holton tornadoes would be declared EF-3, and most others noted in this listing would be found to be EF-2’s or lower. Eleven fatalities have been confirmed in the Cincinnati television market, which I still take personally to this very day. It was the worst day of my storm tracking career. I hope I never see this happen again, but in reality, tornado outbreaks occur every year. We’re going to see this happen again. Our job is to limit the number of fatalities, and I promise you that I will be involved in that effort until I no longer have the strength to do so.

To that end, I am proud to announce that this season I am partnering with Corey and Nick Long to chase some of the events that come our way. I’m not sure when our first chase of 2013 will be, but we’re going to be working together and will try to make the process better.

Tuesday Evening Update: Tracking Tonight’s Severe Threat

Good evening everyone! I wanted to give you a quick update as to tonight’s severe weather possibility. Please note, we will focus exclusively on the period from now through Wednesday evening with this update.

THIS EVENING: I will keep things dry this evening. Storms will not arrive until the overnight period. Temperatures will probably hold steady in the middle 60’s for a good portion of the evening.

OVERNIGHT/EARLY WEDNESDAY:This is when things get rocky. The dynamics are in place, the wind shear is just right. Corey Ecton and I have been discussing this all day…it looks like a Quasi-Linear Convective System or squall line will move in during the overnight hours. What’s the timing? I think if you’re west of I-75, your best chances of storms are between 3-6 AM. East of I-75, the best chance is between 5-8 AM. Yes, there’s a bit of an overlap there. Temperatures still don’t move much…at least until the line gets here. We may stay close to 65.

THE THREATS: Damaging winds will be the main problem with this line. We could see some gusts to 70 mph or higher — these storms will have PLENTY of upper wind support to work with. Also, with a QLCS being the dominant storm mode, we may see a tornado or two embedded with the line, owing to the shear in place. Heavy rain is also a concern.

WEDNESDAY: Here’s where things get tricky. The cold front crosses the area in the late morning or early afternoon. This should produce a non-diurnal trend to the temperatures (that is, they’ll fall instead of rising). We end up in the upper 40’s by sunset. Rain will be around as well. Also, the upper level winds are such that even after the squall line/QLCS passes, we could mix down wind gusts to 50 MPH during the day, particularly behind the front.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Rain finally ends, maybe as a few snowflakes, and temperatures crash to the mid or lower 20’s. We may still have some strong wind gusts in the evening as well, but subsiding through the night.

SOCIAL MEDIA: I will be extremely active on social media tonight. Follow along:

NKYWx on Facebook
NKYWx on Twitter

NEXT UPDATE: We will go back to a normal format with the next update tomorrow after the line passes through. I cannot guarantee when that will be. Until then, take care!

Jeremy Moses

Tuesday Morning 1/29 Forecast: Watching Severe Potential

TODAY: The warm air will continue to move northward today. I do now think we could see a brief period of partial clearing later today, but it’ll be short-lived as high clouds blow in from the southwest. I am expecting a high of 67. Yes, I adjusted upward.

TONIGHT/WEDNESDAY: Lows tonight do not fall far — I am going to keep us in the lower 60’s tonight and for the first part of tomorrow. Rain will dominate the forecast as a very strong cold front moves in. This front will have just enough instability and wind shear that it could produce some strong winds with a line of showers and storms as it comes through tonight and tomorrow morning, and it should also send temperatures tumbling starting in the afternoon, then down to 24 by Thursday morning. Given the strong wind shear, a tornado CANNOT be ruled out either, but might be limited to a spin-up or two. The Storm Prediction Center has a SLIGHT RISK out west of Cincinnati. A plume of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico could also result in heavy rainfall and potentially some minor flooding in spots. Any leftover rain should end as a few snow showers late Wednesday night.

THURSDAY: I expect dry and partly cloudy conditions for the day, and a high near freezing. Thursday night a quick little system could still bring us a little light snow, otherwise I think lows will be in the teens Thursday night.

FRIDAY: Expect dry weather again and a high into the middle 20’s. Yes, back in the freezer.

SATURDAY: A quick little system again, so a few snowflakes are back in the forecast. Look for highs around freezing, with lows near 20 both Saturday morning and night.

SUNDAY: Temperatures will be much the same as Saturday (that is, close to freezing — I’m going 33), but with partly cloudy skies.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow along with us for weather info, school closings, and traffic updates:

NKYWx on Facebook
NKYWx on Twitter

NEXT UPDATE: The next blog post will be later today at some point. Until then, take care!

Jeremy Moses

Thursday 12/20 Storm Update: Getting Particularly Ugly

WIND ADVISORY in effect from 4 PM today to 4 PM Friday areawide.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Fayette, Franklin and Union Counties in Indiana and Butler, Warren and Clinton Counties in Ohio from 7 PM tonight to 10 PM Friday.

Good Thursday afternoon, everyone! Tomorrow we’ll go back to the normal 7 day forecast format, but we will focus again on the cold front impacting our area now.

NOW: The aforementioned front is just west of Cincinnati and will push through the area in the next two hours. Winds have already been gusty at times, and a few power outages have occurred as a result. There has even been a house fire reported on Julia Avenue with some downed wires there.

TONIGHT: We bottom out in the upper 20’s with some snow showers around. The changeover will take place from west to east as we go through the evening. Winds will remain strong and gusty out of the northwest at 20-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph overnight.

FRIDAY: Friday’s highs AT BEST look to end up in the LOWER 30’s (I’m playing conservative and going with 33), and we could still have some snow showers around, particularly north and west of the city. Snowfall accumulations by the time everything ends Friday evening will range from 2-3 inches near I-70, then tapering down to an inch or less south of town. Winds will still gust as high as 50 mph.

FRIDAY NIGHT: I wouldn’t be surprised to have lows all the way into the upper TEENS into the Cincinnati metro, but will currently go with about 22. A lot of that will be pending what happens with the snows to our north. A couple flurries will be around, otherwise expect clearing and cold conditions. Winds will FINALLY start to back off as we go through the night. What a way to kick off true winter!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow along with us:

NKYWx on Facebook
NKYWx on Twitter

NEXT UPDATE: The next update will be tomorrow morning on the blog, but there will be social media updates as needed. Until then, take care!

Jeremy

Thursday 12/20 Storm Forecast: Nasty 12-24 Hours Ahead!

WIND ADVISORY in effect from 4 PM Thursday to 4 PM Friday areawide.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Fayette, Franklin and Union Counties in Indiana and Butler, Warren and Clinton Counties in Ohio from 7 PM Thursday to 10 PM Friday.

Good Thursday morning, everyone! Because we are dealing with a big mess of a storm in the next 24 hours, we’re going to focus exclusively on that. Tomorrow we’ll go back to the normal 7 day forecast format.

TODAY: Today is the nasty day. Rain will begin this morning and continue for most of the day, as a cold front to our west pushes east. Temperatures will start out early this morning in the middle 40’s, rising to the low 50’s by noon (I’m skeptical of the NWS calling for middle 50’s, so won’t go that high). Then, the temperature will take a dive as the front comes through, so we’ll be into the upper 30’s or lower 40’s by evening. The other big story is the wind. Winds will be ramping up out of the southwest initially, but then backing around to the northwest by evening with the frontal passage. Gusts to 45 mph will start to affect us in the late afternoon which is why the advisory goes into effect at that time.

TONIGHT: We bottom out in the upper 20’s with some snow showers around. The changeover will take place from west to east as we go through the evening. Winds will remain strong and gusty out of the northwest at 20-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

FRIDAY: Friday’s highs AT BEST look to end up in the LOWER 30’s (I’m playing conservative and going with 33), and we could still have some snow showers around, particularly north and west of the city. Snowfall accumulations by the time everything ends Friday evening will range from 2-3 inches near I-70, then tapering down to an inch or less south of town. Winds will still be gusty but diminish during the afternoon.

FRIDAY NIGHT: I wouldn’t be surprised to have lows all the way into the upper TEENS into the Cincinnati metro, but will currently go with about 22. A lot of that will be pending what happens with the snows to our north. A couple flurries will be around, otherwise expect clearing and cold conditions. What a way to kick off true winter!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow along with us:

NKYWx on Facebook
NKYWx on Twitter

NEXT UPDATE: The next update will be later today. Until then, take care!

Jeremy

Sunday 10/14 SPECIAL UPDATE: Severe Weather Threat Diminishing

A brief update:

At 4:00, the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma has removed all of our coverage area, except for the southeastern part of Indiana, from the SLIGHT RISK of severe storms.

That being said…even outside of southeast Indiana, we still have a slight chance of a severe storm or two, with a 5 percent chance of damaging winds and a 2 percent chance of a tornado within 25 miles of any given point in our area.

The Wind Advisory is extended for the entire area until 11:00 tonight. We’ve received some reports of damage as a result of non-thunderstorm wind gusts to 45 MPH, and this will continue through 11:00.

Stay with us on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Jeremy Moses

Sunday 10/14 Early Morning Discussion: Storms This Afternoon, But Windy Before, Too

Welcome to your first of three planned updates here on northernkyweather.com today…I’ll jump straight into things, as there’s a lot to discuss for today:

TODAY: It’s a complex situation today. At this time, it does appear there will be enough wind shear for storms to form, but the instability is actually more marginal. That’s typical of fall events, as storm development takes less destabilization than it would in say, early May. The Storm Prediction Center kept us in a SLIGHT RISK today. Once our squall line forms this afternoon, damaging winds would be considered the primary threat (owing to the upper level winds — see below). Hail and tornadoes are also possible (the latter being a more isolated threat, but one to take seriously). The best threat is between 2 PM and 8 PM, and I still think that that’s especially true west of a line from Wilmington, OH to Georgetown, OH to Brooksville, Kentucky. Once you get east of that line (Highland, Adams, Mason and Lewis counties), the atmosphere will have begun to stabilize as the storms move in, but even here there’s still a severe weather threat. We will be back into the middle 70’s this afternoon.

Another concern is strong winds ahead of the line of storms that should form. Upper level winds appear to be around 45 knots at 850 millibars, or about 5000 feet and near 65 knots at 500 millibars or 18,000 feet. That’s concerning because with the heating of the day, we can mix those winds down to the surface. There will also be a tight pressure gradient especially north and west of here. If that gradient moves southeast, and we mix those upper level winds down a bit, we’d have potential for minor wind damage even before the storms come in. There is now a WIND ADVISORY for the entire area today from 10 AM to 8 PM for wind gusts as high as 45-50 MPH…and again, that’s before any storms!

TONIGHT/MONDAY: Back to dry conditions and highs around 65 on Monday afternoon, after starting with lows in the mid 40’s. I cannot rule out showers continuing this evening, but they should diminish.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: As of right now, I’ll leave us dry with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 40’s.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY: Looking like another complex situation. I put in the rain chance for Thursday with the PM discussion this past Thursday, and for Friday this morning. Now, it looks like Saturday we’ll be under the influence of an upper low, and so…sigh…the chance of showers needs to be added for this period as well. Highs will be in the lower to middle 60’s.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow along as I watch our skies and, as warranted, our streets:

NKYWx on Facebook
NKYWx on Twitter

NEXT UPDATE: The blog will be updated twice more today: once at noon and again this evening, storms permitting. Most of today’s updates WILL BE via social media — so please check the above links! At times there will be a heavy volume of information (I can almost guarantee our social media “Storm Mode” will be implemented at some point this afternoon)…but if we should call out your community for a warning, please heed that warning! PLEASE STAY SAFE and STAY ALERT!

Jeremy