Possible Severe Weather (June 29th, 2012)

With a VERY hot and unstable air mass in place today we have the possibility to see strong to severe thunderstorms developing along a weak cold front that is sitting just to our South.

Currently we have a severe thunderstorm WATCH in effect for most of Central and Northern Indiana in anticipation of showers and thunderstorms that are likely to develop later this afternoon.

The storms that will develop over the watch area will ride along the front through Indiana along an area rich with moisture and CAPE values approaching 6,000 (basically this means there is a very unstable atmosphere in place over Indiana) Here is a look at the CAPE which measures the atmospheres instability and ability to produce quickly developing thunderstorms.(Values at 2,000 to 3,000 and above is on the high-end of CAPE)

As you can see, the highest values are into Central Indiana and SW Ohio, because of this expect any thunderstorms that move into WC Ohio to mostly stay South of route 30. Here is a High Resolution Model showing where the storms are predicted to be around 5 PM this evening. As you can see the strongest storms are into SW Ohio.

If storms can develop and move into parts of WC Ohio later this afternoon and evening I would expect a line of showers and thunderstorms to impact mainly areas South of Route 30 between 4 and 8 PM. The biggest threat would be the potential for damaging wind and hail. I’ll be watching and keeping you updated!



Get Ready for Triple Digit Heat!

   We’re only about a week into Summer but temperatures in the next few days will be at levels we haven’t seen in quite some time here in Lima. With temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees Thursday, this will likely be the first time since 1988 that the “Bean” has reached the century mark. The last time we came this close to 100° was July 21st of last year.

  There is no doubt that this extreme heat is being aided by our recent VERY dry conditions here in WC Ohio. Most of the region is already in what is considered by the National Weather Service as a “Moderate Drought” with conditions likely to worsen over the next several days.

I like to think of it this way. Think of a pool or any other body of water during the summertime, it is usually much colder than the air temperature. Water warms much more slowly than air (it also cools at a slower rate too!), because of this, temperatures near the surface are prone to warm at different rates. If the soil is moist, air around it will tend to rise a little bit more slowly than if it were bone dry. (and we’re pretty darn close to bone dry for this region!) Because of the dry weather and strong area of high pressure in place, expect this hot weather to continue well into next week with nothing more than an isolated shower or thunderstorm possible.  

Try and stay cool!


D-Day, How the Weather Helped Shape the Battle of Normandy

Today is the 68th anniversary of the historic battle that helped the United States and its allies secure victory in Europe during the Second World War. In reflecting back on the day, what many people may not realize is that extensive weather forecasting was a major part of  the decision-making process regarding when to land the troops in the days leading up to the June 6th,1944 invasion.

When planning for the invasion, weather forecasters did not have the luxury of computer forecast models like we do today. Meteorologists relied on data from ships at sea to monitor observations, reconnaissance flights, weather balloons and visual observations. Through these methods, meteorologists were able to successfully give the go ahead for the June 6th invasion date. However, June 6th wasn’t the original day officials had marked for the invasion. Originally, the invasion was set to take place June 5th, 1944, but due to a report handed directly to General Eisenhower from his meteorological adviser the landing was rescheduled for the next day. That report included the summary of several factors that needed to come together to make for ideal conditions for the troops coming ashore. The first was that the landing needed to be around the time of a full moon to help illuminate as much of the beach as possible. The second was that it be during a period of high tide so the vehicles could make it inland as far as possible; and the third was the obvious calm weather conditions needed both in a lack of clouds and subdued seas.  Thanks to a re-analysis by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and data From the US National Weather Service we can see the conditions graphically as they were in early June 1944. Meteorologists were able to successfully predict an occluding area of low pressure and frontal system bringing clouds and high winds to Western Europe and more importantly the English Channel on June 5th, 1944.  

The decision was made to postpone the invasion until the early morning hours of June 6th, and though the conditions weren’t ideal, they were good enough to launch the assault. The alternative would have been to wait until the next month when The moon would once again be full. Here is an analysis of the cloud cover and winds 24 hours later during the early morning hours of June 6th, 1944. With a full moon to illuminate the beach, a high tide and calmer weather conditions the early morning assault began…

Pictures taken of that day confirm that partly cloudy conditions were present.

After the initial invasion, the rest is history! Thank you to all our veterans who are serving and have served. Especially both of my grandparents!

Capt. Donald Block, WWII B-26 Marauder Pilot, Europe                       Capt. William Adams, WWII B-24 Liberator Pilot, Europe

Here is the ECMWF report on the Normandy Invasion http://www.ecmwf.int/research/era/dday/

And here is a link to the US Naval Historical Research Center where my pictures are from   http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-eur/normandy/normandy.htm


Is It Really June Already?

Friday is the beginning of June and ironically enough we’ll feel some of the coolest temperatures we have felt in quite some time. After a Memorial day weekend where we tied a record high on Saturday and set new records Sunday and Monday, we’ll struggle to top 60 degrees for the beginning of meteorological summer. With the cooler temperatures will come some much needed rain as well, up until this past week we had went almost three weeks here in Lima without any significant rainfall! The beginning of June looks promising for at least some rain in the region, we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the month has in store!