A cold front rolls in Monday

Good Sunday, everyone. We have a true fall cold front rolling into the region late tonight and Monday. This bad boy will bring a few showers and storms our way and will also unleash some normal late September air. This is the first of two fronts set to visit the state in the week ahead.

Before we get into the weather discussion part of the blog,I want to make sure to mention what’s coming up on The Weather Channel tonight. Storm Stories is doing a special on the March 2nd, 2012 West Liberty tornado. The program airs at 8pm and 11pm, with the West Liberty portion of the show airing in the final half hour. Your friendly weatherdude will be making an appearance to talk about that devastating twister.

As far as the weather is concerned, today is another toasty one with temps in the 90 degree range. Winds will be rather gusty as we wait for a cold front to arrive.  A line of showers and thunderstorms will be gathering steam to our west and northwest, but shouldn’t impact us until late tonight. You can see this line on our regional radar:

A broken line of showers and thunderstorms will then sweep across the rest of the state late tonight into Monday. This isn’t a soaking rain and many areas may not see much, but we will take what we can get. Winds will be gusty as normal late September temps move in here. Monday temps will come down into the 70s, but lows by Tuesday morning may reach the upper 40s in some areas:

Tuesday afternoon looks awesome with low humidity and 70s.

Another cold front will work our way late Wednesday and Thursday with our next chance for some showers and storms. Could another one try to sneak in next weekend? A few models are trying to show this:



This will keep our temps near normal, but the heat is on next weekend into the following week as another huge ridge develops across the eastern half of the country. 90 degree temps are a good bet and we could be talking about record highs into early October.

Have a great Sunday and take care.

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Another warm weekend

Good Saturday and welcome to another warm weekend in Kentucky. Temps continue to run much above normal and this is a pattern I don’t see giving up anytime soon. As a matter of fact, don’t be surprised if we stay very toasty well into December.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have a few cooler shots of air, but the numbers should average very warm.

Speaking of very warm, that’s where we are today. Temps are back into the upper 80s for many with a mix of sun and clouds. A few upper 80s can’t be ruled out.

Sunday is another very warm day as southwest winds crank. This could lead to an increases brush fire threat, so abide by all local burn bans. Clouds will increase later in the day as we get ready for a cold front dropping in from the northwest.

Those clouds are ahead of our cold front that will have a line of showers and thunderstorms with it. This looks like the first of two systems set to impact our region next week. The second arrives around Thursday. Watch how the models handle these systems:




That run of the Canadian actually shows three systems bringing, at least, some rain into the state. Temps look much better during this time, but those numbers won’t stay near normal for long. A heat wave is likely to develop for the last few days of September into early October. As we bake, the west turns very cold:

That pattern can produce record highs around our part of the world.

Earlier this week, I broke down some of the prior years that match up well with this hot and mainly dry fall pattern. Out of all those, 1939 looks to take control with the early October heat.

Have a great day and take care.

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Looking for rain threats

Good Friday to one and all. Our dry weather rolls on into the start of the weekend, but some subtle changes are showing up next week. These changes look to bring our best chance for rain in nearly a month, but that’s not saying much given how little it’s rained.

Let us focus on today before we get too far ahead of ourselves. Highs are generally in the upper 70s and low 80s with a mix of sun and clouds showing up. Just like the past couple of days, there’s a VERY small chance for a popup shower.

I wouldn’t be holding my breath on seeing one, but our regional radar is there just in case:

Our weekend looks warm and rather windy, so abide by local burning restrictions. A cold front will then work in here Sunday night and Monday, bringing the potential for showers and storms. Here’s how the NAM sees it arriving Sunday night:

Here’s the Canadian through Monday night:

This isn’t likely to be a full blown soaking rain, but we will take whatever we can get at this point. Temps will be very pleasant and near normal behind this front.

The pattern continues to look a little active behind this boundary and could throw one or two more rain chances at us later next week:

After we get through whatever comes at us next week, the setup for the final few days of September into the first week of October looks super toasty. Folks, this is a very warm pattern that will continue through the middle of October. The setup is there for a bad forest fire season in our neck of the woods.

Happy Friday and take care.

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A little closer to normal

Good Thursday, everyone. Our mainly dry weather continues, but our temps are getting closer to normal for the next several days. This is certainly something many of us have been wishing for, but we are still likely to average just a bit above average.

In terms of the rain, it goes without saying that we need it. The bluegrass state started drying out in August and we continue to be REALLY dry as we roll through September. As I look ahead, I am seeing a good chance for some rain late this weekend and early next week.

Before we get to all that, let’s focus on today. Low clouds may hang tough across parts of central and eastern Kentucky. These clouds may even spit out isolated showers and storms, but most areas stay dry. Here’s regional radar just in case:

Temps today may not make it out of the 70s for areas keeping clouds into the afternoon. For those who don’t…80-85 likely shows up.

Friday looks similar with a mix of sun and clouds and pleasant temps. There is still a tiny chance for a stray shower going up. Overall, Friday looks like a pretty nice weather day.

Hurricane Humberto continues to churn toward the open Atlantic and will have zero direct impact on the US. What’s left of Imelda continues to drench parts of east Texas and Louisiana.

Jerry should become a hurricane today as it works toward the Caribbean through the weekend:

cone graphic

This storm is likely to curve and take a similar track to Humberto, but the transition between the two should allow for a couple of cold fronts to sweep into the region next week. The first arrives Monday with some showers and storms, with the other moving in around Wednesday. There’s pretty good model agreement on this scenario:




On paper, those two fronts should bring the best rain chance to our region in nearly a month. Those fronts should also mean temps could actually be seasonal for a few days.

Don’t get used to it because I firmly believe this warmer than normal setup carries us through early October.

Enjoy the day and take care.

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A few changes finally show up

Good Wednesday, folks. The pattern continues to look and feel more like the heart of summer than the beginning of fall. The extreme heat has moved on and temps are coming down in the coming days. We may even throw out a stray shower or storm.

We are watching the eastern sky today for some clouds working against the grain. This is courtesy of a disturbance working from east to west and this may produce a shower or storm. The best chance is across the south and southeast:

Temps will be very warm in the west and could flirt with 90. Lots of middle 80s show up elsewhere.

Cooler winds come at us on Thursday and we have to be on guard for some low clouds and even a few stray showers. If those clouds do stick around, temps could be held in the 70s and that’s exactly what the NAM is showing:

Friday has the makings of a pretty nice weather day with fairly low humidity and near normal temps as a weak high builds in from the east:

Temps recover some as we head into the weekend as our flow becomes southwesterly. This is ahead of a front that sweeps in here late Sunday into Monday. This looks to give us the best chance for rain in nearly a month. It may also be followed by another system:

That’s a much better looking setup for temps and rainfall, so let’s hope it pans out.

Looking farther down the road…

One of the many seasonal models I look at is the Canadian. The latest run shows the propensity for a ridge in the west and a trough in the east from November through March. Check out the month by month progression:



The trough really deepens in JANUARY…



If you’re a winter weather lover, you would love to lock that look in and roll with it. Of course, it’s only a seasonal model and will likely change with the next update at the end of the month. Other seasonal models don’t agree with this, but do they ever agree on anything?

Have a great day and take care.

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In search of fall

Good Tuesday, everyone. As we continue to roll through one of the hottest Septembers on record, many of us fall lovers are ready to throw up the surrender flag. Is there anything resembling fall in the near future? I’ll help you look for it and focus on how hot Septembers of the past turned out for the rest of fall and winter.

Let us begin with today. Temps are down a bit compared to the past few days, but are still on the warm side. A weak cold front is draped across the region and could touch off a shower or storm. Here are your tracking toys:

Hurricane Humberto continues to push farther east out to sea, but the storm appears to be slowing down as it does so:

cone graphic

That slow movement continues to clog up the pattern behind it across North America. Notice how we do get in on more of a east to northeast flow over the next few days:

The farther east you are in Kentucky, the more pleasant it will be. The farther west, the warmer. Can we squeeze out an isolated shower or storm? Maybe.

Further complicating matters is a system near Texas and a stronger system out in the Atlantic that may develop:

The Atlantic system is handled differently by the models and that impacts how strong a late weekend cold front would be:



The tropics continue to be the bully on the block that’s ready to take on all challengers.

Let’s talk about this hot September and how it stacks up with similar years. As you are aware, we are on pace for one of the warmest Septembers on record. I’m going to use Lexington for this little trip down memory lane.

The top 5 warmest Septembers go like this:

1. 1925 2. 1939 3. 1936 4. 1998 5. 1954 & 1941 (Tie)

1925 featured 14 90+ degree days in September and was very dry. The following October turned cold after the first week and turned into the snowiest October on record with nearly 3″ late in the month. The cold kept going into November with the following winter turning even colder relative to normal and very snowy.

1939 featured a whopping 18 days of 90+ and was very dry. The rest of the fall turned much colder and the following winter turned very cold and gave us one of the snowiest winters on record with nearly 40″.

1936 gave us 14 days at or above 90 and had near normal rainfall. This was during the dust bowl era and we had just wrapped up the hottest summer on record. As we made our way into October, temps skewed much colder and we had a little snow toward the end of the month. November was very cold with an early month snowstorm and other lighter snows later in the month. The winter averaged a little warmer than normal with near normal snowfall.

1998 only gave us 9 days of 90+ and was a very dry month. This was coming off of the, at the time, strongest El Nino ever recorded and was transitioning into a potent La Nina. The fall temps were normal and with a pretty wimpy winter that turned warmer than normal with below normal snowfall.

1954 gave us 12 days at or above the 90 degree mark, but was wetter than normal thanks to a 3″ rain day later in the month. The following October produced much colder temps and it snowed on the final 3 days of the month, giving us the 4th snowiest October on record. November gave us a few inches of snow with the following winter averaging slightly colder than normal and a touch above normal snowfall.

1941 featured 16 days of 90 or better for temps and was very dry. The rest of fall was normal for temps and snow. The winter started warm then went cold for January and February with near normal snowfall.

What about more recent years that have been similar? The year that keeps jumping out at me is 2010. That September gave us 10 90 or better days and was also super dry. That warmth and dry weather lasted through October. November made a slow transition to colder and then it was on. December was one of the coldest and snowiest on record with nearly 17″. The rest of the winter followed suit with the 10th snowiest overall on record with bitter cold.

2016 gave us 13 90 degree days and was very dry. I put an asterisk beside this year because of the tainted thermometer at Blue Grass Airport. Even the NWS is finally admitting to me it is running too hot and they’re trying to find a solution to it. Regardless, that was a warm fall and warm winter with very little snow. But, this was similar to 1998 in that it was coming off the strongest El Nino Ever and transitioning to a La Nina.

2018 is another year with an asterisk but “officially” gave us 8 90 degree or better days. Where it’s a horrible match is it was also the wettest September on record with nearly 11″ of rain. Get this… even with all that rain, the airport thermometer still manged to give us the 7th warmest September ever. THIS is why I rail against the official thermometer in Lexington. Anyway, last winter was actually very close to becoming a big one around here, but the southeast ridge kept the core of the cold just to our north and west.

So, what can we take from all this, if anything? It’s always difficult to find a direct correlation to anything with weather, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find clues. For instance, several of the years did feature some snow in October and that certainly stands out. The majority of the following winters were near normal snowfall or well above normal snowfall, a few even historic.

We can whittle a few years off the mix fairly quickly. 1998 and 2016 were coming off the two strongest El Ninos ever recorded.. 2018 was the wettest September and year on record, so most of it can be thrown out. 1936 could be another one to throw out because of the historic dust bowl and overall historic heat/drought of that entire year.

Have a great day and take care.

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More of the same starts the week

Good Monday, folks. Our toasty September rolls on across the bluegrass state as we head into a brand spanking new week, but this week shouldn’t be anything like last week. Can a hot September give us any clues to the rest of fall or the winter ahead? I’ll take a look at some numbers here in a bit in what may be one of the longest blog posts in KWC history.

Let us begin with the toasty present. Highs today are back into the 90s for much of the state, but a weak cold front could touch off a scattered shower or storm this afternoon and evening. This front is dropping in from the north and that’s initially where the storms fire up. Here are your tracking toys…

That front may slow down across the state early Tuesday, keeping a shower or storm around:

This boundary will knock the numbers down from today, but we are still likely to roll on the warmer than normal side for many.

From there, things continue to run MUCH warmer than normal through the week. Timing a few fronts into the area from late week through early next week remains tough because of a stubborn pattern, due in part to the tropics. Humberto continues to look like a fish storm:

cone graphic

There’s also a system behind Humberto that should develop into a hurricane in the coming days. Plus, a sneaky little system may try to ramp up near the Texas coast:

Have a great day and take care.

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The heat takes a weekend break

Good Saturday, folks. We’ve made it to the weekend and we have a much cooler air mass settling into the state. This is exactly what the weather doctor ordered, but you should enjoy it because it gets steamy again early next week.

Let’s start with where we are now and roll forward.

Highs today range from the upper 70s to low 80s in most areas with MUCH lower humidity. The air is actually going to feel pretty darn awesome today as a cold front drops to our southeast. This front may still have a stray shower or storm with it across the southeast. If it does, that will show up on your tracking toys:

The weather looks awesome for folks heading out to Kroger Field this evening for the Cats and that team from the Sunshine State. Kickoff temps will be in the upper 70s then drop to the upper 60s by the end of the game.

Sunday starts in the 50s then ends with temps well into the 80s. Skies stay partly sunny, with humidity levels staying low.

Monday will feature temps closing in on 90 ahead of a weak front. That front may spit out isolated showers and storms by the evening. Behind that temps may come down a bit, but things still look much warmer than normal next week.

Much of what happens depends on the tropics and things are very active. Our system off the southeast coast continues to graze Florida and  skim the southeast coast. Here’s the latest from the National Hurricane Center:

cone graphic

There’s another system that may try to fire up behind that across the Caribbean:

Have a great day and take care.

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Changes show up this weekend

Good Friday, everybody. We are putting the wraps on one of the hottest September weeks on record for Kentucky. Our run of 90s looks to come to an end after today as a cold front drops in to kick off the weekend. This is all part of a major pattern change taking place over the next week or so.

This front won’t arrive until tonight so that means temps hit the 90s again ahead of it. A few showers and storms may develop this afternoon, but the best chance for storms comes this evening into tonight as the front slides in. A few of the storms could even be on the strong side.

Here are your tracking tools for the day:

The front continues to press into the state overnight as showers and storms push farther south and east into the state. This still isn’t a widespread rain event by any means, but some locally heavy downpours will show up.

This front sags to our south on Saturday as much cooler and drier air settles in, but a few leftover showers and storms should linger in the south and east. Temps are still a bit above normal, but nothing like what we’ve been seeing of late.

Sunday starts in the 50s then warms deep into the 80s. 90 degree temps are a good bet AGAIN early next week. At the same time, a tropical system is gathering steam and should get named early this weekend as it heads across the Bahamas and into Florida. This storm no longer looks like it will cross into the Gulf. Instead, it may hug the southeast coast…

cone graphic

With this storm no longer looking like a Gulf system, that totally changes the look around here for the rest of next week.

As this storm meanders across the southeast coast, it may have another one developing quickly behind it in the Caribbean…

The potential of two tropical systems not far from the east coast at the same time means some wild model swings are coming. What happens with these two will obviously have a huge say in the weather across our part of the world. That’s especially true with a deepening trough likely to dig into the eastern part of the country.

Have a great day and take care.

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Hot temps and scattered storms

Good Thursday, folks. Our middle of September summer sizzler of a pattern continues for central and eastern Kentucky. There are some changes showing up by the weekend, but our temps should still run above normal.

Today’s temps are back into the 90-95 degree range for most of the area. Tack on the humidity and the heat index will be hotter than that. That same humidity may also help fire up a scattered shower or storm, especially this afternoon and evening.

Here is your daily dose of tracking tools:

A cold front moves in here late Friday with another 90+ temp day ahead of it. A few scattered showers and storms will also go up with a line of showers and storms pushing in along the front by evening. This could impact high school football action.

This front appears to have a little more push to it and may actually drop just to our south on Saturday. A few showers and storms could be noted early on,especially in the south and east. The air behind this front looks MUCH cooler with lower humidity. Here are the forecast highs on the NAM…

The air may actually feel comfy through early Sunday with lows hitting the 50s.

Steamy air returns by late this weekend and early next week as the overall pattern becomes pretty interesting. Let’s begin with the tropics where we are likely to see a depression form soon with this system near the Bahamas. It will then dross Florida and go into the Gulf:

That may very become a storm as it heads toward the Gulf Coast. From there, there’s a chance to get rain from that system into our part of the world by the middle of next week.

Here are the latest forecasts from the tropical models:

The European Model brings that system our way:

You will also notice a big dip in the jet stream across the plains. That’s the major trough idea I’ve been talking about for a while now. The Euro brings that in here by the end of next week as a potential hurricane bears down on the southeast:

There is a lot going on in this pattern, so we have wait and see how it all plays out, but it is a vastly different setup from the one we are in now.

Make it a great Thursday and take care.

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