Why This Picture Is Funny, Sad And True All At The Same Time


Hurricane Track

I have a cousin that lives in Florida who shared this meme with me today as Hurricane Joaquin makes headlines all across the country. While my initial reaction was to laugh at both at the picture itself and the obvious misspelling, it really got me thinking about how I communicate the weather.

The above picture, while clearly exaggerated, highlights that uncertainty that meteorologists see every single day when they look at forecast models. Here is a perfect example of that uncertainty with Wednesday’s forecast models showing their projected Joaquin track.

Tropical Spaghetti Models

And now today’s (Thursday’s) models showing the projected Joaquin track.

Tropical Spaghetti Models 2

In just 24 hours there is a BIG difference in the two pictures with the latter showing a much greater potential for a track out to sea and hopefully away from the United States. The forecast will continue to become more accurate in the days to come as the storm moves further north and closer to the U.S.

Now back to my original picture.

Hurricane Track

I want to share a couple of thoughts that go through my head every day and especially when there is the potential for something to have a big impact like a winter storm, severe weather outbreak or even in this case a hurricane.

1) Before social media I’m willing to bet the majority of the public didn’t know plots like this even existed. Social media makes it SO easy to share information and I think that’s a great thing. But how much information can we really digest in any given day? I can’t help but think that your average Joe is perusing through his or her Facebook feed thinking this. “Oh, that’s a cute (insert animal here), looks like so and so had a great vacation! I can’t believe how big their kid is getting! Oh my goodness, what the heck is this?”

Tropical Spaghetti Models 2

“Don’t those meteorologists have ANY idea on where that dang hurricane is headed, how dumb can they be?”

I LOVE sharing information on how the weather process works, how it develops and how it is forecasted. But I think it’s an honest question to ask when I say “Is this information overload on a platform like Facebook or Twitter? Or is this something that people genuinely want to see and learn more about?”

2) Are meteorologists shooting themselves in the foot when they share images like this? I have been a meteorologist for nearly 10 years professionally. I have seen the climate both before and AFTER the social media boom. There is immense pressure to be the first to post, the first to give a forecast even when it’s 7 or 8 days out and the overall expectation to make sure whatever it is you post on social media gets attention, likes and shares. This inherently creates a “what if” climate in the weather world (which I myself am guilty of too!) What essentially is happening is that meteorologists are taking the uncertainty in forecasts that has ALWAYS existed and sharing it publicly exposing that uncertainty to the public. A running joke that I always hear time and time again is, “I wish I had your job, I wish I could be right half the time and still keep my job!” I know that 95% of the people who tell me this are joking, but there is truth to a joke sometimes. The fact of the matter is that most meteorologists are right the vast majority of the time, unfortunately it’s just human nature to remember the few busted forecasts rather than the successes. I constantly wonder if we are only perpetuating that notion by sharing these “what if” scenarios even if we make it abundantly clear that they are not forecasts.

I’ve seen meteorologists in the camp that says limit your sharing to social media and I have seen meteorologists who share everything they can. Who am I to say what’s right? All I know is that I’m pretty lucky to be in such a changing industry, and it’s a challenge everyday to try to figure out the best ways to communicate across all these new and exciting platforms.







Joaquin Could Be The First Hurricane To Make Landfall In The Continental U.S. Since July ’14


First thing’s first, Joaquin is pronounced “Wah-Keen”. Now that that’s out-of-the-way let’s take a good look at where this potentially land falling hurricane could impact in the coming days.

As of now, Joaquin is sitting nearly stationary about 175 miles ENE of the Central Bahamas. It’s currently a Category 1 Hurricane with winds of 85 miles per hour.

Sat Shot

Over the next couple of days Joaquin is expected to make a much-anticipated north turn while quickly strengthening and reaching low Category Three status with winds of 110 mph by Friday morning.

Joaquin 1

The storm is projected to move north and maintain its category three status into Saturday afternoon.

Joaquin 2

And then by Sunday morning could be looking at a landfall either as a strong Cat 2 storm or weak Cat 3 in the Carolinas/Virginia coast.

Joaquin 3

Again, this forecast could change but forecast models seem to be honing in much more today on the Carolina Coast today. Here is a look at what’s called a spaghetti plot showing numerous computer forecast models and their trajectories.

Tropical Spaghetti Models

Even though the majority of forecasts now point this storm towards the United States, there is still one major forecast model, the ECMWF (otherwise known as the European model) that has maintained a north/northeastward track out into the Atlantic Ocean for the past two days. This would no doubt be some very good news but it appears that the vast majority of forecast models now show this storm making a U.S. landfall.

If indeed Joaquin makes landfall this weekend it would be the first time a hurricane made landfall in the continental United States since July of 2014 (Arthur). It has been since 2005 (Wilma) that a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) has made landfall with the United States. Here is a list from NOAA of ALL the recent land falling hurricanes.

If the track continues on its current path we could see a cloudy, cool and rainy weekend here in West Central Ohio. But as far as any increased wind or flooding, that appears VERY unlikely here in Ohio due to this storm. I’ll keep you updated!

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Blood Moon/Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse, Here’s Everything You Need To Know!


West Central Ohio is in for quite the celestial treat late Sunday evening if we can manage to keep the skies clear! The fourth total lunar eclipse in 2 years will be seen around much of the world as the moon is expected to pass completely into the earth’s shadow!

No doubt you have probably heard the terms “Blood Moon” and “Super Moon ” being thrown around with this upcoming eclipse, these terms both sound pretty intimidating until you look at what they actually mean and what we can expect when viewing this event.

Blood Moon: As far as I know and understand, every TOTAL lunar eclipse can be considered a blood moon. Think of when the sun sets and changes color. As the light from the sun is blocked by the earth’s horizon and is refracted, the light begins to be filtered leaving mostly orangeish/reddish colors remaining. The same process takes place during a total lunar eclipse when the sun’s light is blocked and refracted around the earth as moon moves into the earth’s shadow.

Eclipse Graphic

Super Moon: The “Super Moon” term refers to the full moon where the moon is closest to the earth during its monthly cycle, or otherwise known as its “perigee”. The perigee this month happens to both fall on the full moon AND the day of the eclipse (Sunday Night). At this time the moon will be roughly 220,000 miles from earth making it appear slightly bigger.  According to NASA, this won’t happen again until 2033.

So when can we expect to see this phenomenon?

The eclipse will technically begin just after 8 PM Sunday evening but probably won’t be visible to the naked eye until 9:07 PM when the moon begins to pass into the earth’s umbral shadow.

Eclipse 1

The total eclipse will begin shortly after 10 PM.

Eclipse 2

The total eclipse will be visible for over 1 hour and come to an end at 11:23 PM.

Eclipse 3

Then onto another partial eclipse with the event nearing its end by 12:27 AM Monday morning.

Eclipse 4

As of now the forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies on Sunday, this definitely isn’t ideal for watching the eclipse, but I’m still confident that because of the length of this event we should be able to see parts of it! I’ll keep you updated!



Severe Weather Threat Wednesday


The threat for severe weather will return to West Central Ohio on Wednesday thanks to a strong cold front expected to move into the region late in the day. Today (Tuesday) the aforementioned front is stretched across the Midwest sparking isolated severe weather through Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri.


On Wednesday the front will shift to the Great Lakes with the parent area of low pressure expected to track across northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. Looking at the severe weather outlook on Wednesday, it’s no surprise that the better chance for severe weather will be to our north and closer to the dynamics of the low pressure system.


But that doesn’t mean that we here in West Central Ohio should let our guard down. As this front approaches during the day we’ll likely see some of the remnants of Tuesdays storms affecting the viewing area sometime in the 11 AM to 3 PM timeframe. Here is a look at the Futurecast around 2 PM Wednesday.

Future 1

These showers and thunderstorms that move through during this time will have moved well out ahead of the actual cold front. This means that they will be detached from the better forcing along the front and will likely be sub-severe.

By the time the front begins to approach into the evening hours I’ll be paying close attention to how much sunshine can break out after any storms earlier in the day.

Future 2

Most forecasts call for modest destabilization after the first line of showers and thunderstorms moves through. By the time the actual front arrives later in the evening the strength of any storms will be directly related to the amount of instability that is built up thanks to sunshine. There is some good upper level wind shear accompanying this front as well, but the good news is that the best upper level wind support will likely lag behind the surface front. In the picture below I have the strongest upper level winds circled, this is the RPM model projection around 2 PM Wednesday afternoon.

500 Wind

Here is the RPM model projection of the stronger upper level winds around midnight, closer to the time the actual front will be moving in. Notice that the strongest winds are still to the north and west of Ohio.

500 Wind 2

So what does this all mean?

Ideally in a severe weather outbreak you look for the strong upper level winds, instability and frontal passage to come together at the same time. In this case it doesn’t appear as if any of the above three will come together. The upper level wind support will be behind the surface cold front and the instability will probably be waning as the front moves through into the overnight hours. The ingredients for this one just don’t seem to be coming together as of now to give us a great severe threat. I think there will be a few severe thunderstorms possible with isolated damaging wind, but other than that most of the storms tomorrow should be below severe limits.


I’ll be sure to keep you updated if things change! Remember to download our weather app to stay up on the latest radar and weather alerts!

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Heavy Rain/Severe Storms Possible Into Next Week


Just what we here in West Central Ohio need to hear right? As we venture through the weekend we’ll start things off with a partly to mostly sunny day on Saturday but by Sunday the chance for showers and thunderstorms will return.

The same stationary front that has been sitting to our south for the last 3 or 4 days will creep back northward as a warm front for the second half of the weekend. AS OF NOW it’s still up in the air as to how far this warm front will be able to lift north. The further north the front lifts, the better chance we will see for both more heavy rain and severe weather. Here is a look at the position of the front based on the RPM forecast model as of late Sunday. (Keep in mind, that I’m thinking any showers and thunderstorms on Sunday will probably be below severe limits.)

Future 1

This front will be the boundary for a VERY warm and unstable air mass into next week. Due to increased heat and humidity CAPE values have the potential to be very high especially Monday here in West Central Ohio. Forecast models are still divided on how far north the front will make it on Monday. The GFS has the front the furthest north and brings the very unstable air mass into NW Ohio on Monday. Here is a look at the CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values into Monday evening. Numbers above 2 or 3 thousand j/kg indicate the potential for an explosive storm environment. Notice much of the region is in the 3 to 4 thousand j/kg range.


When you couple that high CAPE with a warm front in the region that definitely catches a meteorologists attention! This scenario for Monday is still 3 days away and is definitely not set in stone, just something to watch over the next 24 to 48 hours to see if it pans out or not.

Here is a look at the NAM forecast model CAPE on Monday. Notice it’s shifted further west and south but still extremely high!


Basically the point I’m trying to make is that somewhere in the Southern Great Lakes region will be in line for a severe weather outbreak on Monday. It’s all dependent on where exactly that warm front sets up. You can bet I’ll be watching, especially Monday!

If you haven’t yet, check out our weather app to stay up on the latest radar and any watches/warnings that may be issued!





Severe Thunderstorms Possible Wednesday With an Active Weather Pattern Ahead


After a couple of stormy days here in West Central Ohio on Sunday and Monday, a dry day today will likely be the last in the region for the remainder of the week. Temperatures and overall mugginess will really climb into Wednesday out ahead of a weak cold front expected to drop in out of the north. Highs on Wednesday have a very good chance to reach into the upper 80’s along with dew points into the upper 60’s that will make for quite the “sticky day” outdoors. Here is a look at projected highs and dew points tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Future Temperatures

Future Dew Points

A warm and humid air mass combined with a weak cold front edging into West Central Ohio Wednesday afternoon will set the stage for thunderstorms to potentially develop during the afternoon/evening hours. As of now West Central Ohio is under a “slight risk” for severe weather per the Storm Prediction Center.


When I look for severe weather outbreaks I generally look for three things. CAPE, Some sort of trigger and wind shear. In Wednesday’s case, two of these three elements appear to be available.

CAPE- You have probably heard me talk about CAPE before. The acronym stands for Convective Available Potential Energy. CAPE is a large product of temperature and dew point, if the temperatures are high along with dew points (or moisture in the air) CAPE generally rises. With such high temperatures and dew points Wednesday CAPE values across West Central Ohio should easily rise above 2,000 j/kg which is getting moderately high. This would be more than enough potential energy to spark off thunderstorms. Here is a look at CAPE values from both the NAM and GFS Wednesday evening.



A Trigger: In this case it’s a cold front. A weak cold front will drop in out of the north tomorrow afternoon providing just enough lift necessary to spark off thunderstorms in a very warm and moist environment. Here is a look at the front placement Wednesday afternoon and evening along with showers and storms developing along it.



Wind Shear: In this case there is VERY little wind shear available with this set up, which is a good thing if you don’t want long-lived severe thunderstorms. Wind shear can be best characterized by a change in wind speed or direction with height in the atmosphere. Without very good wind shear Wednesday storms will likely be confined to a very small area along the cold front where they can tap into the high CAPE. Because of the lack of wind shear these storms will likely die as quickly as they flare up. It’s the high wind shear that helps to maintain thunderstorms once they develop, and in Wednesday’s case there isn’t much at all.

So what do I think?

I definitely think scattered storms will develop somewhere in NW Ohio late Wednesday afternoon and evening. Once the storms develop they will likely grow very fast due to a pretty unstable atmosphere that’s in place thanks to high CAPE. These storms probably won’t be very long-lived with the window for these storms developing being between 4 to 9 PM. Because of the low wind shear I don’t foresee much of a tornado threat, but there will be the chance for some very gusty winds that could lead to some isolated damage. Hail will also be a possibility, but not so much as the wind in my opinion. Overall it’s a pretty low-end chance for severe weather, but something that I will definitely be keeping an eye on all day Wednesday!

Also! Don’t forget to stay up with the latest radar and warnings with our weather app!





Monday Afternoon Severe Weather Threat For West Central Ohio

A cold front will move through the region later today bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms to Ohio.


As this front moves in there is the chance it could spark some severe weather here in Ohio. Here is a look at the current severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Monday.


Notice that all of Ohio is under a “Slight Risk” area. This means that the overall threat for severe weather is low with the biggest concern this afternoon and evening being some isolated damaging wind and hail. There is the chance for an isolated tornado or two in the Great Lakes region. Here is a look at the probability of a tornado within 25 miles of any point on the map from the SPC. Based on the map below the overall chance is low, but 5 percent over Ohio is worth noting.


One thing that could in fact dull our chance for severe weather this afternoon here in West Central could be our current cloud cover hanging around much of the morning and early afternoon. A look at the high-resolution visible satellite across the region shows very few breaks in the clouds through NW Ohio and Indiana.


If we manage to stay under mostly cloudy skies our chance for severe weather will lessen simply due to the fact that our daytime heating potential won’t be reached. Basically, if we see some good sunshine late this morning/early afternoon our chance for severe storms goes up. If we see mainly cloudy skies and no sunshine, it goes down.

You can see here based on the HRRR which is a high-resolution weather forecast model used for severe weather that the CAPE values (Convective Available Potential Energy) are fairly low. They will generally be between 500 and 1,000 j/kg. Here is a look at CAPE around 4 PM this afternoon.


These are not high CAPE values by any means. But there is also one other ingredient that may be strong enough to overcome this low instability to help form stronger storms.

Wind shear

As this cold front moves through wind shear values look pretty high. Wind shear is any change in wind speed OR direction with height in the atmosphere. This change helps to maintain and grow thunderstorms. A quick look at wind shear values along the front as it passes through this afternoon look to be more than enough to fire up thunderstorms in conjunction with the lower CAPE values I noted above. Here is a look at shear around 4 PM this afternoon.


In the above map we’re generally looking at 30 to 40 knots of shear in the 0 to 6 kilometer level of our atmosphere. 30 to 40 knots is pretty high, anything above 50 or so is getting VERY high and more than enough to spark a pretty wide outbreak of severe weather.

So what do I think?

Forcing mechanism (cold front), check. Wind shear this afternoon, check. Instability (CAPE) half check.

I generally look for these three ingredients to all come together at the same time for severe weather. They do a decent job of this at best this afternoon but I have seen much better collaboration in the past. Because of this, our overall threat is low but damaging wind, hail or even an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out this afternoon/evening between 2 PM and about 8 PM.

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated through the afternoon! And remember, you can download our weather app to keep up on the latest radar along with watches/warnings that may be issued.






A Frosty End To The Month Of April?

As we near the end of April, temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s are becoming increasingly unpopular here in West Central Ohio. But that is what we can expect in the coming week as highs will struggle to break 50 degrees for the remainder of the week ahead. As a matter of fact, temperatures are expected to drop near freezing both Wednesday and Thursday night. Here is a look at The anticipated low temperatures Thursday morning.

Future 1

With temperatures that cold this time of year it’s important to protect any sensitive plants. And even though it may seem as if this is late in the season to be seeing frost/freezing conditions, it’s still pretty early based on historical averages.

Last Frost

The bad news is that temperatures look as if they will stay anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees below average through the end of April and into May. Just look at the jet stream pattern by this time next week. The main energy from the jet looks to stay south of Ohio, this keeping the focus for wetter conditions and warmer temperatures well south.

Viewer Photo 5

Here is a look at NOAA’s 8 to 14 day temperature outlook through May 5th confirming that expected pattern. .


Stay warm everyone! And if you haven’t yet, please check out our weather app! It’s a great tool to stay up on all the latest West Central Ohio weather!





Wednesday Night And Thursday Severe Threat For West Central Ohio

A nearly stationary front has plagued the region all week-long and will eventually lift to the north as a warm front later Wednesday night. We have already felt the presence of this front lifting north with temperatures approaching 70 degrees for much of  West Central Ohio today. As this front continues to shift further north into Thursday morning it’s looking as if we can expect another round of showers and thunderstorms during the 9 AM to 2 PM timeframe


Kyle Futurecast Thurs Noon

There is the possibility that few of these storms could turn severe, but the timing of them won’t be that great for a widespread severe weather event due to them moving in during the morning and not being able to take full advantage of daytime heating. If some of these storms do end up becoming severe Thursday morning/early afternoon, the biggest threat would be hail and damaging wind. After this cluster of rain and thunderstorms moves through we’ll likely see another break in the rain into the evening hours as we wait for a strong cold front to approach. This is when we’ll see the best chance for severe weather on Thursday.

Kyle Futurecast Thurs 8pm

As you can see from the picture above we’ll probably see a break in the precipitation on Thursday much like we did on Wednesday into the afternoon. But any storms that can fire later in the day (afternoon and evening) would absolutely have the potential to be severe here in West Central Ohio with damaging wind, hail and even perhaps an isolated tornado possible. Because of this threat a very large area is included in The Storm Prediction Center’s Thursday severe weather outlook. It’s going to be important to be weather aware all day long.


Late in the evening the aforementioned cold front will move into Indiana and Ohio by midnight. Severe thunderstorms will likely develop along the front through Illinois during the late afternoon and eventually track towards Ohio into the overnight hours. Here is a look at our Futurecast around 1 AM as that line of possible storms moves in.

Friday 1 AM

This will definitely have to be watched, any of these storms that can hold together into the overnight hours here in West Central Ohio could easily become severe with damaging wind, hail and perhaps an isolated tornado possible. I will be sure to keep everyone updated, and remember, you can get the latest radar and all the watches and warnings on our weather app!

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Late Week Severe Weather Threat For West Central Ohio

Showers and a few thunderstorms have been on and off here in West Central Ohio for our Tuesday but will have the potential to be on the stronger side later this week. As of now, our Wednesday will play out much like what we say for Tuesday thanks to a stationary front draped across the region. By late Wednesday evening this front will lift back to the north of West Central Ohio making way for a cold front late Thursday and Thursday night.

Future 1

For Wednesday as this front moves into the Midwest there will be a chance for severe storms to develop. This threat will stay off to our west though with just a VERY SLIGHT chance for strong storms here.


By Thursday this cold front will begin to shift east, you’ll notice the threat areas shifting too.


As you can see from the picture above, West Central Ohio is just on the edge of the yellow slight risk area, this is because the aforementioned cold front will be moving through Thursday night. I’m thinking that at some point during Thursday afternoon and evening thunderstorms will begin to develop in the “enhanced risk” area where they will likely be at their strongest. These storms will then move into Indiana by late evening Thursday and then possibly (if they can hold together) move into West Central Ohio after midnight and into Friday morning. This is something that will definitely have to be watched as any storms make their way east. ‘ll be sure to keep you updated!

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