The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Ramping Up!

August 6th, 2014

The annual Perseid (Per-SEE-uhd) Meteor Shower is about to hit its peak with anywhere from 50 to 100 meteors per hour streaking across the night sky. Unfortunately for those looking for a brilliant show this year you may have to fight with a nearly full moon in the sky during their August 12th and 13th climax. The Perseids are widely considered to annually be the best meteor shower of the year and they’re all thanks to debris from the comet Swift Tuttle. As the earth’s path crosses through this comet’s debris cloud, meteors are created as the debris falls into the earth’s atmosphere.

Even though the peak of the meteor shower isn’t for another week, the coming nights heading into this weekend may actually be your best chance to catch some of the activity from this meteor shower. The meteors in the sky will appear to originate near the constellation Perseus in the Northeast sky. According to NASA, the best opportunity to see the meteors will be in the PRE-DAWN hours. Who’s ready to set that alarm clock a little early?

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER

But you don’t necessarily need to just look northeast to see the shooting stars. If you look up long enough you’re likely to see a few of the meteors, but again, you’ll probably be contending with a bright (almost full) moon in the sky so they may be a little bit harder to see.

NASA also states that the Perseid Meteor Shower is also known for fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and can persist longer than the average meteor streak, basically due to larger pieces of comet material clashing with the earth’s atmosphere.

Good luck, hopefully you see some shooting stars over the next week or so!

-Kyle

 

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What Can We Learn From The Toledo Water Scare?

August 4th, 2014

What would we do without fresh, free-flowing drinkable water? I know this is something I take for granted, as probably many others do as well. I drink water out of the tap without EVER questioning it, I like it that way. I’m not a bottled water person either; it just doesn’t make sense to me. Call me cheap, but why would I want to pay dollars on the gallon when I can pay mere pennies and get it right out of the faucet?

But just in the past year a couple of water scares have really caught my attention, the Elk River Chemical scare near Charleston, West Virginia back in January of this year, and most recently the toxic algae that found its way into the Toledo water system.

However, what is most alarming to me is the fact that it seems to take very little to shut down the infrastructure of an entire city or in other words, how much we seem to take water and all that we rely on it for, for granted. The most obvious takeaways from these recent events should serve as a clear reminder that all of us should at least have ONE gallon of water PER PERSON PER DAY in our households for at least three days in case of an emergency (here’s more from ready.gov). I’ll count myself as one of those who needs to learn a lesson here: if you asked me how much water I had in reserve at my place before this latest scare in Toledo I would have embarrassingly told you “zero gallons” and I have a wife and five-month-old at home. That’s unacceptable.

I’m no expert on the topic, but I sincerely hope that the algae scare in Toledo will change A LOT of things. Unfortunately, it usually takes a major scare to enact change, as is the case with many other things as well. However, if there’s one issue I think we need to be proactive about as opposed to reactive, it’s the issue of water quality. I mean, it’s water; we need it to live! Don’t we want to at least get this one right? I know I sure as heck don’t want to live in a place where we have to depend on bottled water rather than tap water!

It was reassuring to me today that on our news we heard from both Celina and Lima on how the water is treated. Celina gets 100% of their drinking water from Grand Lake St. Marys, a lake that’s no stranger to toxic algae. If it wasn’t for the investment of MILLIONS of dollars for newer and better filtration, Celina wouldn’t be able to take drinking water from the lake. Of course swimming in the lake is still highly unadvised because of the algae, but the hope is that with more awareness and recognition, maybe one day a remedy will finally be found to allow people in that area to fully enjoy the lake once again! I know one thing, I used to take for granted just getting a drink of water out of the faucet and I never really put much thought as to where our water comes from. That will be changing for me now. I invite you to share ideas here about how we all might work together to become more educated and active when it comes to keeping our community’s water supply pristine and in abundance for years to come.

Here are links to our representatives to Washington here in Ohio.

United States Congressman Jim Jordan’s office

United States Congressman Bob Latta’s office

United States Senator Sherrod Brown’s office

United States Senator Rob Portman’s office

 

-Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.charlestondailymail.com/News/Kanawha/201401090067

 

Weekend Severe Weather Threat

A much more warm and moist air mass will settle into West Central Ohio this upcoming weekend with a couple of chances for severe thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday!

Most of the day on Saturday will probably be dry with just a few isolated showers and thunderstorms expected in the region thanks to a warm front lifting through. It’s that warm front that by the end up the day will bring warmer temperatures into the mid 80’s along with rising dew points well into the 60’s. Some very high CAPE values/instability will build into the region by the evening hours.

Some extremely high CAPE values potentially above 4,000 j/kg are possible by about 4 or 5 PM over parts of Illinois and Indiana.

Late Saturday CAPE

The latest models show a possible Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) developing in this are of very high CAPE late in the day on Saturday. This MCS will likely track across Indiana late evening and then into the Western half of Ohio by sunset potentially.

Future 1

Most forecast models (including the above image) show this MCS diving just to the south of West Central Ohio. But this will be something to watch because if it shifts another 50-100 miles or so North, we could potentially be in for a pretty good damaging wind storm here late evening. But for now, thankfully, it looks as if that threat will stay just to our south. With that said, we still have the chance for an isolated severe thunderstorm or two here in West Central Ohio heading into the overnight hours.

DAY 1 OUTLOOK

The chance for severe weather on Sunday will be highly dependent on what happens on Saturday night. Basically if we can clear out and see some sunshine on Sunday after Saturday night’s activity we may be able to see the atmosphere destabilize enough to see a few strong to severe storms develop Sunday afternoon with a second cold front moving through. Forecast models are pointing to that scenario with CAPE vales once again on the rise into Sunday afternoon.

Sunday CAPE

By about 3 or 4PM models show that second cold front moving into the region. This would be an ideal time for showers and thunderstorms to develop during peak daytime heating.

Future 2

But with that said I’m still a bit skeptical based on the fact that we may not clear out a whole lot from Saturday night’s storms that roll through. The details for Sunday’s severe weather chance is still a bit foggy, but once we see how storms play out Saturday night we should be able to paint a better picture of what could happen on Sunday.

We’ll be watching this weekend! I’ll have all the latest tonight at 10 and 11 and Allison will be in on Saturday for further coverage!

ALSO! This weekend would be a GREAT time to have our new weather app! It’s free, check it out. I use it all the time to check the latest radar and track storms when I’m away from my desk!

APP PIC

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Kyle

 

A Very Short Lived Warm Up!

Believe it or not, we have yet to hit 90 degrees here in Lima a SINGLE time so far this July! That could be changing tomorrow, but if we don’t get there on Tuesday, the chances are looking slim for the remainder of the month. Not only will it be hot on Tuesday, but it will also be very humid with dew point temperatures expected to reach up into the low 70’s during the day! That would give us possible heat indices approaching the 95 to 100 degree mark during the afternoon and early evening. Here are a look at the predicted dew points by late tomorrow afternoon.

Future Dew Points

As I mentioned earlier, if we don’t hit 90 on Tuesday, it’s possible we may go the entire month of July without reaching the milestone! A strong cold front will move through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that will drop our temperatures 10 to 15 degrees by the end of the week!

The front won’t begin to affect the region until after sunset on Tuesday, and even then, we’ll probably just see an increase in clouds as it approaches. By Tuesday evening at 11 PM the cold front will be well off to our NW.

Future 1

Since the front is moving through overnight I’m not concerned about severe weather. We’ll probably hear some thunder late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning though.

Future 2

By early afternoon on Wednesday the cold front will likely be through and to the south and east of us. This should keep our best rain chance focused through the early afternoon on Wednesday with clearing possible late in the day.

Future 3

I’m not holding my breath on this front either as far as rainfall is concerned. Forecast models are generally showing less than a quarter of an inch by the end of the day on Wednesday.

Kyle Future Rainfall

Stay cool tomorrow everyone!

-Kyle

Severe Thunderstorms Possible This Weekend

After a couple of beautiful days here in West Central Ohio it’s time to introduce another chance for storms in the forecast, and unfortunately this time its coming over the weekend :(

We’ll start off on Saturday with the chance of a few isolated showers (maybe a rumble of thunder) as a warm front lifts north through the region. I would think that these showers should remain pretty isolated in the region.

Future 1

By late in the day the warm front will lift far enough north that it should keep any showers or thunderstorms confined to the north with it. So overall, MOST, if not all of our Saturday should be dry with temperatures in the mid 80’s expected! It’s going to be a little more hot and humid!

Future 2

It’s a cold front moving through on Sunday that has sparked some concern for severe weather here in Ohio. First, here is a look at the NWS’s Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for severe weather on Sunday

DAY 2 OUTLOOK

Ok, now back to the cold front! This front will begin to move in early in the day and will likely bring with it widely scattered showers and thunderstorms to the region. We’ll probably start the day off on Sunday on a wet note.

Future 3

As things destabilize a bit later in the day a broken line of potentially strong to severe storms are expected to develop along the cold front as it moves south. As you can see here by the latest model run of our Futurecast, it looks as if this line of storms may indeed develop just to the south of us, more towards the Dayton area.

Future 4

If the cold front moves through by the afternoon hours as shown in the pictures above, our chance for severe weather would be pretty low. However, if the front slows down a bit, it would be passing through West Central Ohio during peak daytime hours and thus would give us a much better chance for severe storms. It’s still a bit too early to say, but it’s something to watch for sure.

As of now I’m going to stick with our Futurecast model showing a quicker passage of a cold front on Sunday. That would give us a very good chance for rain through about 2 or 3 PM with dwindling chances later in the day. In this scenario the threat for severe weather would be pretty low. Here is a look at my break down of severe weather threats for Sunday.

SEVERE HAZARD OUTLOOK NEW

Again, I’ll be watching to see if the cold front slows a bit and gives us a better chance for a few severe thunderstorms.

One thing is for sure, once the cold front passes to our South we’ll begin to feel a MUCH cooler air mass settle in. Monday will still be around 80 for a high, but by Tuesday and Wednesday temperatures will STRUGGLE to break the 70 degree mark! This is thanks to a deep southern dive in the jet stream over the Great Lakes region that will allow these colder temperatures to filter in out of the north.

notpolarvortex

You may have heard of this as the Polar Vortex making a return. I personally hate that terminology, especially in July (Here’s why) One thing is for sure though, temperatures next week will likely be about 15 degrees below average for this time of year.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Again, if you haven’t downloaded our Weather App you should definitely check it out! It’s a wonderful tool for tracking storms and getting our latest forecasts!

APP PIC

-Kyle

 

 

 

Why Are We Talking About A Polar Vortex In July?

When I think of the term “Polar Vortex” I think of conditions we had back in January. Temperatures 10 below zero, ice EVERYWHERE and wind chills from 30 to 40 below! All we needed were some resident Polar Bears (Could ONU or Hardin Northern help us out?) and we would have been all set! So why am I hearing this buzz word being thrown around again, in JULY? The answer is simply that, because it’s a buzz word(s) that generates hype! Before I go on, here is a good explainer as to what the definition of a Polar Vortex is thanks to the NWS.

Viewer Photo 4

Here is a look at what is very likely headed our way next Tuesday/Wednesday.

300 mb

That right there is a BIG dip in the jet stream that will bring us temperatures WELL below average for this time of year! Here is a look at a chart from the NWS that shows the probability of BELOW AVERAGE temperatures for the next 6 to 10 days. REMEMBER, the average high for this time of year is in the mid 80’s!

610temp_new

So watch out West Central Ohio, the big bad “polar vortex” is going to bring us…..drumroll please….FRIGID temperatures in the upper 60’s and low 70’s! BRRRR!!!! Ok, I’ll admit, technically it is a piece of the polar vortex that will break off and give us some very cool temperatures. But on average this is also the warmest time of the year, so should the term polar vortex even be used? In my opinion, no!

Call me old school, but this is something that can only lead to unrealistic expectations. As I mentioned before, I don’t think I’m very far off when I say that when someone hears that term, at the very least, they might think of snow. Are we going to see snow? Heck no! This is nothing more than a big cool down in the middle of July thanks to a far southward traveling jet stream. So while you may hear the term Polar Vortex in the coming days, I can guarantee you that you won’t hear it from me! This is simply using buzz words for the sake of using buzz words and nothing more. End rant.

-Kyle

 

Severe Storms Today But Better Weather Ahead!

Today we had a first for 2014 here in West Central Ohio. The National Weather Service issued their very first tornado warning here in the viewing area of the year. The warning came with an early morning thunderstorm over Shelby and Southern Auglaize County that was exhibiting strong signs of rotation. This storm put down several tree limbs near Fort Loramie, but thankfully didn’t do any other damage and likely did not produce a tornado.

Early Radar

This cluster of thunderstorms eventually grew into a MUCH larger line of severe storms that put down (as of this writing) Three confirmed tornadoes in Northeast Ohio including TWO confirmed tornadoes in Medina County and one in Mahoning County. Here was a look at the line around 2PM Tuesday afternoon.

Midday Radar

Furthermore, this line continued to race across Pennsylvania and ultimately towards the New York City area with severe thunderstorm warnings practically along the ENTIRE line, over 400 miles long!

Late Radar

THE GOOD NEWS is that we’ll really calm down for the second half of the week with much calmer and comfortable weather. A big reason for this is thanks to lower dew points that are expected to settle in on Wednesday.

Future Dew Points

This is a big improvement from our 70 degree plus dew points from Monday!

High pressure will accompany the cooler readings over the next few days keeping conditions calm through the end of the workweek.

Kyle RPM 12KM Futurecast

-Kyle

 

Muggy Monday Ahead With Storms Possible Into Tuesday

Temperatures on Monday will likely near the 90 degree mark here in West Central Ohio, and this heat is going to come with some VERY muggy conditions outside! Dew point temperatures to begin the new week will likely exceed the 70 degree mark into the afternoon hours on Monday.

Future Dew Points

And when you couple readings like that with temperatures near 90 degrees, you’ve got a very soupy air mass in place with heat index values likely reaching at or above 95 degrees across much of the Buckeye State.

With that kind of heat and humidity in place, pop up showers and thunderstorms could develop into the evening hours here in West Central Ohio, but it’s honestly not something I’m very concerned about during the day. Our Futurecast model shows that potential here by about 6 or 7 Monday evening.

Monday PM Future

A MUCH more organized squall line of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to develop late evening tomorrow across parts of Iowa and Illinois and move East. It’s for this reason that NW Ohio is right on the edge of a “Slight Risk” area for severe thunderstorms on Monday.

DAY 1 OUTLOOK

But the timing for this anticipated line of showers and thunderstorms will NOT be favorable for severe weather here in West Central Ohio. You can see here, the latest short-term models don’t even have the line of thunderstorms into Indiana until well after midnight.

Monday Night Future

By the time the line reaches the Ohio/Indiana border it will be in a MUCH weakened state.

Tuesday AM Future

As of now it’s pretty clear the timing on this system is off with this system for any severe weather here. It’s something I’ll definitely be paying attention too on Monday, but for now I’m not too concerned. I’ll keep you updated, stay cool Monday!

-Kyle

2014 Severe Weather Season, So Far…

I’ll get right to the point, it’s been slow for severe weather thus far this year here in West Central Ohio! (everyone knock on wood right now!) As a matter of fact, according to the NWS office in Northern Indiana (they warn storms for Van Wert, Paulding, Defiance, Putnam, Henry and Allen counties) as of the middle of June, 2014 was on pace to be a record low year for severe weather!

NWS Slow Start

Statistically speaking, this last week of June is typically when West Central Ohio has the best chance for severe weather. As we head into the beginning of July the chance gradually begins to taper off. Here is a graphic from the NWS that shows the probability for severe weather within 25 miles of any point for the last week of June.

NWS Severe Chances

As I mentioned, once we head into July the chance begins to drop off.

NWS July Chance

If you want to see more on our chance for severe weather on a week to week basis, check out this link here.

Here is another cool link that paints a more nation wide picture of how the 2014 severe weather season has panned out so far. 2014 NWS Severe Weather Summary

It looks as if the rest of June will be pretty calm as far as severe weather is concerned with just pop up variety showers and thunderstorms expected into this weekend. Anytime there are storms in the region our new weather app is a great way to track storms!

APP PIC

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Kyle

 

 

 

Severe Weather Possible Wednesday

The heat is on here in West Central Ohio with a high today here in Lima of 93 degrees! We’ll likely top out around 90 once again on Wednesday but unlike today, we’ll see a legit chance for some severe weather developing in the region. A cold front will continue to slowly shift south during the day on Wednesday bringing the potential for scattered showers and thunderstorms to the region by the afternoon and evening hours. Any storms that develop during this time could become strong to severe especially with CAPE values over 2,000 j/jk expected. Here is a look at the SREF ensemble probabilities of CAPE over 2,000 j/kg tomorrow afternoon and evening. Almost all of Ohio has a better than 50% chance of achieving CAPE values that high. That would provide more than enough fuel to initiate storms.

Wednesday CAPE

Unlike today, we’ll actually have a front in the region to provide a trigger for potential storms. There is the possibility that at some point during the late afternoon and evening Wednesday an MCS type system could develop and move through. This has been shown in the latest RPM model runs. Here is a look at what could POTENTIALLY be moving through by late evening tomorrow around 10 PM.

Wednesday Future

In this case my biggest concerns tomorrow late afternoon and evening would be hail and damaging wind potential, the threat for an isolated tornado would be pretty low. Flooding could also become a concern for any slower moving cells that develop.

SEVERE HAZARD OUTLOOK NEW

Here is the NWS Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for severe weather on Wednesday.

DAY 1 OUTLOOK

I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Keep an eye to the sky and stay cool. Don’t forget our free weather app if you haven’t downloaded it yet! It’s a great tool for tracking storms!

APP PIC

-Kyle