Jason’s Weather Blog

Ramdon Thoughts On the Weather

Joplin, Missouri Devistated By Tornado

Major Damage in Joplin Missorui above pictures shows the Hospital Heavily Damaged!!!

Check www.ky3.com for more information

May 22nd, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

E-Portfolio Assignment #3

Above Image of the Tornado Watch  that was by the Storm Prediction Center Counties Highlighted in Red were under this watch from 12 PM until 9 PM Eastern Time

For this assignment I will be looking at the Tornado Watch #150 from April 16 Th 2011 that was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for a round of storms that moved through the Carolinas and left a path of widespread damage and was responsible for at least 43 Deaths and Numerous injuries and property damage. 

For the analysis of the weather patterns that lead up to this event we will first look at the synoptic or big picture weather players and then focus in on the mesoscale or small features that produced these deadly storms.



First let’s start with the synoptic level features that were the key players in the outbreak of severe weather for April 16 Th, 2011 and to begin we will look at a 200MB map that shows a very powerful upper level jet was moving though the area with winds in excess of 100 knots from mid Alabama thru Virginia


Above 200mb map depicting a upper level jet moving through the Carolinas with winds in excess of 100 Knots Courtesy of National Weather Service WFO Wilmington, NC 

Next we turn our attention to the 500 MB map below that shows a Strong mid latitude trough moving across the Ohio Valley that appears to be in a negative tilt.

Above 500mb map showing a negatively tilted mid level trough moving across the Ohio valley Image from National Weather Service WFO Wilmington, NC

Next as we look at a 500 MB map of Heights and vorticity

Above image from SPC and shows the 500mb heights and vorticity

On the above vorticity chart we can see a vort max over western north Carolina which placed the tornado watch to the east of the vort max and provide the upper-air divergence allowing parcels to rise and cool.

Lastly in the big picture we will look at the Surface Map


Surface Map From HPC Above map shows a Small warm front draped across North Carolina and a Occluded Cold Front and the associated Low pressure system from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes

The Surface map has a cold front moving into the area from the East as a Warm front is retreating to the north. The placement of the fronts had the tornado watch area in the warm sector ahead of the eastward moving cold front.  The cold front and associated boundary layer were the initiating factor for this convection. 

Now we turn to the Mesoscale features

To Begin I would like to look at a chart of MLCAPE

Above image courtesy of SPC and shows cape values in north and south Carolina between 250 and 500 J/kg 

The above MLCAPE chart shows a small amount of cape in the area ahead of the cold front.  This Cape which is the measure of convective available potential energy provided the energy necessary to fuel storms once the air parcels were lifted. 

Next we will look at a graphic of 0-6 KM wind shear

Above image courtesy of SPC and shows a fairly strong amount of vertical wind shear in the Carolina region with values between 50 and 70 knots.

With the high values of wind shear as seen on the above map we would expect to see supercell thunderstorms to develop and move across the area.

Next we look at the chart of 0-1 km SR helicity


Above image from the SPC and Shows the 0-1km storm relative helicity and is a measure of the potential for cyclonic updraft rotation in right-moving supercells, and is calculated for the lowest 1-km and 3-km layers above ground level

With the above Helicity map we can see some fairly high number across much of the eastern seaboard with ranges over the Carolinas from 300 to 600 m2/s2.  While there is no set threshold of when supercell’s will form number higher than 100m2/s2 indicate an increased threat of tornadoes with supercell’s.

Next I would like to point out the mesoscale discussion issued by the SPC for the approaching storms

Image from SPC and shows the outline for mesoscale discussion 455 and the weather watch 150 that was issued on April 16th 2011 for most of North and South Carolina as well as parts of Virginia

The above mesoscale discussion was issued by the SPC to discuss the impending severe weather threat for all of the Carolina’s and parts of Virginia and from reading the text they were forecasting a Strong risk of Severe weather along and ahead of the Cold front progressing into the area.

Next we will turn our attention to the Skew-T chart from 18z on April 16th 2011 to determine Storm Motion by using the Rasmussen Technique.

 The Rasmussen Technique is Galilean invariant, and is a more sophisticated method of predicting storm motion. The Rasmussen Technique works in a variety of wind shear environments but requires wind observations and shear vectors to be plotted on a hodograph.

To determine the forecast storm motion for April 16th 2011 we will plot the following Skew-t on a hodograph



Above Skew-t Chart Courtesy of SPC and is a sounding from the Charleston weather office and shows cape values of 2500 J/KG and  some fairly high Lapse Rates

If we use the above sounding to plot on a Hodograph using the Rasmussen technique we would come out with a storm motion near 240 degrees at 40 knots as seen below


The above hodograph shows a storm motion of 240@40 Knots and was found by using the Rasmussen technique which consists of plotting the surface wind vector and then the four kilometer wind vector, draw a line between those two points then at the 60% point draw a line that represents 17 knots at a right angle to the wind shear vector that you just drew connection the two points,  From there you would draw a line from the center of the hodograph until it intersects the 17 knot line and that line would be the storm motion.  When you compare this with the storm motion that was listed in the PDS watch they are identical.

To wrap things up

So for this deadly tornado outbreak we had a strong upper level jet combined with a vigorous negatively tilted mild level trough moving across the Ohio Valley as well as a surface low pressure system and associated cold front draped across the the east coast states and a retreating warm front over north Carolina and when combined with some moderate CAPE values and strong vertical wind shear sparked storms along the cold front which took the form of clustered supercells and led to the storm reports seen below

SPC Storm reports image courtesy of Storm Prediction Center and shows 139 Tornado reports and 421 total reports

On the above storm reports image we can see a tight cluster of storm reports over north Carolina that was associated with these cell’s that can be seen on the radar image below

Radar Composite Imagery courtesy of UCAR and shows the supercells forming and moving into the area with favorable wind shear

 And the above supercell’s produced numerous tornadoes as can be seen by the damage paths below

Damage path image courtesy of NWS Raleigh, NC WFO and shows multiple tornadoes across North Carolina

IN Research I found one interesting image to share and can be seen below 

Above image and quoted text below from Columbia, SC WFO

"This is a reflectivity volume loop of the storm that moved through near the Manning area around 330 pm. Notice the depth of the high reflectivity core (white and pink to over 40,000 ft) and also the overshooting tops when the updraft intensifies (light blue color)."

These Storms caused widespread damage in multiple areas and approximately 42 Deaths

April 27th, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

5th Snowiest Winter On Record For Paducah Ky


From the National Weather Service In Paducah, Ky


At Paducah, the snowfall so far this season has been 18.9 inches. This ranks as the 5th snowiest such period. The snowiest such period on record was 26.0 inches in 1984-1985. The mean snowfall for an entire winter at Paducah is only 9.6 inches, and about 9 inches was received from Feb. 7-9 this year.


At Paducah, the average temperature from December 1 to February 9 was 31.3 degrees. This ranks as the 9th coldest such period on record. Records at Paducah date back to 1937. The coldest such period was 27.3 in 1977, followed by 28.5 in 1978.


The short-range outlook calls for temperatures to warm to above normal levels, so the winter as a whole may not rank among the ten coldest.

On a Local Note

SnowFall for Benton, Ky measured at my house is currently 20.2 inches total running a little higher than Paducah’s 18.9 inches this was helped by the Banding that formed over us with the Christmas eve storm and the extra snow that we recieved witht he february 9th 2011 Snowfall

A Nice Warm Up is in store for Next week with some lower 60′s not out of the question


February 10th, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

Mother Natures Decides Not to Cooperate

So our Forecasted snowfall for the region today has Been Cancelled,  Seems Mother Nature has decided to take our SNOW Away for the time being,  Maybe next time it will work out and we can get another coating of WHITE GOLD!!!

January 23rd, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

Precip Typing Radar Now Active

With some help from a a few people and the Weatherobservatory.com we now have Precip typing radar active and looping


Links can be found here


The 2 loops on the Bottom Left GREarth #1 and GREath#2 are the New Gibson Ridge Earth Radar application with Gibson Ridges Custom Precip Typing model that uses a number of forumlas as well as data from THE RUC (Rapid Update Cycle) forecasting model to give us one of the most accurate and upto date Precip typing radar available

Should be fun to watch over the next day or so as a winter storm moves across the area over the next 72 hours or so

January 9th, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

Major New Years Eve Outbreak Of Severe Weather

Outbreak of Severe weather and tornadoes ripped across the US on New Years eve leaving in its wake a path of Death and Destruction,  Totals from the assoicated press have the death Toll at 6 and the NWS prelim report shows 40 tornadoes reported across multiple states, 

Here is a link to my other site with a few pic I will post more pictures there as the become available http://www.hbfdonline.org/pictures.php

Also working with Beau Dodson on getting some Winter Weather radar apps up and running on the Web

Links to the Images are listed below and update approxiamtely every 5 mins Hope to have a animated gif of the last hour in the near future







January 1st, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

New Kiva Partner

Imelda Faderes, 42, is from the town of Sto. Niño. She is married and has a 7-year-old child. To make a living, Imelda raises crops. Her main source of income comes from planting and harvesting rice for sale. Imelda works hard to sustain her family and her child’s education.

Imelda joined CEVI to gain access to financial services to help improve her living situation and ability to engage in business activities. Imelda has successfully repaid a previous loan from CEVI. Imelda is requesting a new loan of 17,000 PHP which will be used to purchase fertilizers such as manure

November 24th, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

Coldest Temps of the Season Friday Night

Looks like we will have a couple nights of below freezing temperatures the next night or two, Tommorow should stay in the 40′s, Also watching a few light showers moving in from our north on radar tonight

November 4th, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

4 die in storm with record rain, twister alerts

Two adults and two children were killed Thursday in a car accident tied to the savage weather that’s bringing record rain, twister alerts and nasty commutes along the East Coast. Another child survived the crash, police said.

The five were a family from Georgia whose vehicle hydroplaned on U.S. 64, west of Creswell, N.C., and then went off the road and into a ditch filled with water, police said.

Three-year-old twin girls were pulled alive from the wreckage but one later died at hospital.

Picture and Story from MSN.COM Can be read here in its entirit y http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39436685/ns/weather

September 30th, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

Hurricane Earl Now a Category 4 Storm

Updated satellite image of Earl moving near San Juan and Right on Earl’s heels Tropical Storm Fiona is born




August 30th, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments