Kentucky Derby Weather: (For the most recent update click here) On the one hand, my previous assessment that Wednesday would be generally dry for most people was pretty much on the mark. The front sagged to the South. There was rain to the South and scattered heavy downpours to the north but Louisville was in decent shape and Snow White and I had a good time watching the Great Steamboat Race. There is an important change in the data though for Derby Day and handicappers need to keep an eye on this before wagering. In fact, I would suggesting holding your bets until Saturday. This forecast was put together based on data available late Wednesday night.
Now, we still have a pretty healthy chance for rain on Thursday. The front lifts back north as a warm front. The temperatures aloft will again be relatively warm so lapse rates will be weak. The jet streak across the area should also move out. But, lower level winds may increase creating a forcing situation in which air is forced upward. For that reason, the Storm Predicton Center has put us on the edge of the slight risk for severe thunderstorms on Thursday. If we get storms, they would probably be independent guys and bring the potential for gusty winds. The moisture in the atmosphere is through the roof so there would be the potential for heavy downpours. Should one or two of these guys go supercellular, then there could be a risk for an isolated tornado.
Friday, we have similar surrounding circumstances but this time we have a cold front approaching. That guy should create enough lift to create line segments of thunderstorms, some of which could be rather strong. For the Kentucky Oaks, it is entirely possible that there will be rain from time to time during the races with rain chances and the threat for strong storms near the end of the day. If race goers are lucky, the front will be pokey enough that the storms would hold off until after the Oaks race itself.
Saturday is the biggest change. It had been advertised as being dry on Saturday, squeezing a good day in between unsettled ones as the front slides south. Well, the front still slides south but there a rather deep low up around the Great Lakes that will be wandering by and from that a trof may extend through the Ohio Valley. That weakness in the atmosphere as it rolls through may create some shower activity. Handicappers need to check the drying potential of the track. I think they’ve done a pretty good job with drainage over the years. Now, the weakness coming through does show up as rain showers off and on both the 18Z Wed GFS and NAM vertical profile based indecies. But, since it’s post frontal, the deep and abundant moisture should be south and so I would not expect there to be heavy rain, just passing showers. Temperatures will top out in the mid to upper 60′s but I think that the biggest issue would be that, if the track is not dry from the Friday rain, then the passing showers would only aggravate the situtation. If it does dry out, then I would think the conditions would be livable, unless your horse doesn’t like to run in the rain. Guess here is that the track is taken care of such that it won’t be that wet regardless of the Thursday and Friday rain amounts and that the passing showers or light rain on Saturday will not aggravate the conditions much. However, keep in mind…I don’t know much about horse racing. Hold your bets to make sure that the front does indeed move through on Friday night. I have not seen any data that would suggest otherwise. Sunday rain chances increase again.
See the severe weather discussion below for Friday 8 am to Saturday 8 am from midday Thursday 4.30.09.
On This Date In History Lots of things happened on this date: Washington’s first inaugural address in 1789, Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” debuted in 1983 and then in 1997, Ellen “came out.” The last two go in the “who cares?” category as far as I’m concerned. I like this one in 1925.
Dodge Brothers, Inc. was sold on this date in 1925 to an investment group (Dillon, Reed and Co,) for $146 million and then they tossed in another $50 million for charitable purposes. $196 million in 1925 would be nearly $2.4 billion in 2008! A! I like this one because it first shows us the derivation of the Dodge Boys. The commercials for Dodge used to say “come and see your local Dodge Boys.” I thought
that modern PC sensativities snuffed that and I always figured that the saying was just from some sexist ad man in the ’50′s. Now I think differently as I suspect the term came from the fact that there were two brothers…the Dodge boys. The Dodge boys died in 1920. Horace Dodge passed away in January 1920 and John Dodge followed suit in December 1920. They had never let any of their family members in on the business. In 1921 there had been a slight recession in the stock market. So, the widows of the Dodge Boys were defacto in charge of the company but really had no clue what they were doing and a few years later the 20′s were roaring again. Afraid of another market dip, the ladies decided to sell in the biggest corporarte sale to that time. I suspect that if you take inflation into account, it would still list as one of the biggest. It was a good move for Dodge Ladies too because just 4 years later, the stock market tanked and there is little doubt it took decades for the stock price to recover. Walter Chrysler’s timing wasn’t so good. A year before the bottom fell out of the market, he bought Dodge Brothers for $170 million.
I won’t talk too much about this date in 1945 when Hitler committed suicide except to point out some things that may have been missing in your history class. Just before he pulled the trigger, Hitler expelled Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler from the Nazi party for not carrying out some of his last, insane commands. That is why he named Admiral Karl Doenitz to take his place and it was Doenitz who ultimately surrendered for Germany. A book by a man named C.L. Sulzberger that I would describe as something for
public consumption and not necessarily an academic work nonetheless has an interesting observation. He described Eva Braun as “plump.” Never heard of that before. At 3:15 Eva took poison. At 3:30 Hitler shot himself. Joseph Goebbels had an SS guy shoot he and his wife…not sure if the wife agreed with that…but, I bet shooting old Joe was an easy order to follow. Here’s what I don’t get…they got shot after they poisoned their six kids! What did they do except get born to a moronic man? And then Hitler made sure his favorite dog was poisoned before he killed himself. I guess he thought the dog might talk. This stuff is important only in that people need to know that there was nothing redeeming about these people or their ideas and they were totally warped in every sense. Kids need to know the totality of their insanity before anyone can come and convince them that there is anything admirable or enviable to emulate.
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1229 PM CDT THU APR 30 2009
VALID 011200Z – 021200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS LATE FRI AFTN/FRI NIGHT ACROSS
PARTS OF THE SRN PLAINS THRU THE OZARK PLATEAU….
MODELS SUGGEST THAT THE STRONGER WESTERLIES WILL GENERALLY BECOME
CONFINED TO THE NORTHERN TIER STATES EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
VALLEY…NEAR THE BASE OF THE AMPLIFIED EASTERN CANADIAN UPPER
TROUGH…TO THE EAST OF A BLOCKING UPPER HIGH CENTER OVER THE YUKON
TERRITORY. HOWEVER…A STRONG ZONAL JET ACROSS THE PACIFIC IS
PROGGED TO BEGIN DEVELOPING EASTWARD TOWARD THE CALIFORNIA COAST BY
THE END OF THE PERIOD. GUIDANCE INDICATES THAT A
WEAKENING…SPLITTING SHORT WAVE IMPULSE EMANATING FROM THIS STREAM
WILL CONTRIBUTE TO MID-LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN
STATES. AT LEAST WEAK DOWNSTREAM HEIGHT RISES ARE EXPECTED TO
GRADUALLY SPREAD EAST OF THE CENTRAL/SOUTHERN PLAINS AND LOWER HALF
OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY…THOUGH THIS MAY BE SUPPRESSED
SOMEWHAT…ACROSS PARTS OF UPPER OHIO VALLEY INTO THE NORTHEAST…BY
A SIGNIFICANT IMPULSE MIGRATING EAST NORTHEAST OF THE UPPER GREAT
LAKES REGION. A COLD FRONT ACCOMPANYING THIS LATTER FEATURE WILL
PROBABLY ADVANCE THROUGH MUCH OF THE NORTHEAST…BEFORE SLOWING OR
STALLING NEAR NORTHERN MID ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS AND THE OHIO RIVER
INTO THE SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS.
…UPPER OHIO VALLEY AND MID ATLANTIC INTO THE NORTHEAST…
FORCING ASSOCIATED WITH THE EASTERN CANADIAN IMPULSE…AND A REMNANT
SOUTHERN BRANCH IMPULSE…APPEARS LIKELY TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY
CONSIDERABLE CONVECTIVE CLOUD COVER ACROSS MUCH OF THE
NORTHERN/CENTRAL APPALACHIANS INTO NEW ENGLAND EARLY IN THE PERIOD.
THIS…COUPLED WITH THE POSSIBLE STABILIZING INFLUENCE OF WEAKENING
EARLY DAY CONVECTION ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY INTO THE
WESTERN SLOPES OF THE NORTHERN/CENTRAL APPALACHIANS…SUGGESTS THAT
POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT DESTABILIZATION AHEAD OF THE FRONT
ADVANCING INTO THE REGION WILL BE LOW…DESPITE LOW-LEVEL
MOISTENING. FRONTAL FORCING COULD BE SUFFICIENT TO CONTRIBUTE TO
THE EVOLUTION OF A BROKEN LINE OF STORMS BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON
FRIDAY…PARTICULARLY WHERE BETTER SURFACE HEATING OCCURS TO THE LEE
OF THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. HOWEVER…GIVEN GENERALLY WEAK
LARGE-SCALE MID/UPPER FORCING ANTICIPATED ALONG THE FRONT…STRONG/
SEVERE STORMS PROBABLY WILL BE SPARSE IN COVERAGE AT BEST.
…SOUTHERN PLAINS INTO THE OZARK PLATEAU…
AS A GULF RETURN FLOW CONTINUES…DEW POINTS ARE EXPECTED TO RISE
TOWARD 70F…TO THE SOUTH OF THE SLOWLY MOVING OR STALLING SURFACE
FRONT. THIS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO POTENTIALLY MODERATE TO STRONG
INSTABILITY BENEATH STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES…BUT ELEVATED MIXED
LAYER CAPPING WILL TEND TO SUPPRESS DAYTIME CONVECTION IN THE
ABSENCE OF STRONG MID/UPPER FORCING. LIFT NEAR THE DRY LINE/ FRONT
INTERSECTION OVER WESTERN NORTH TEXAS OR SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA SEEMS TO
OFFER THE BEST POTENTIAL FOR THE INITIATION OF LATE AFTERNOON
STORMS. IF THIS OCCURS…CAPE ON THE ORDER OF 3000+ J/KG WILL BE
SUPPORTIVE OF INTENSE UPDRAFTS IN THE PRESENCE OF MODERATE TO STRONG
DEEP LAYER SHEAR…GENERALLY SUPPORTED BY PRONOUNCED VEERING OF
WINDS FROM SOUTHERLY TO WESTERLY WITH HEIGHT. ISOLATED SUPERCELLS
ARE POSSIBLE…WHICH COULD LINGER INTO THE EVENING HOURS.
OTHERWISE…STRENGTHENING FORCING ALONG/ NORTH OF THE FRONTAL ZONE
OVERNIGHT…ON THE NOSE OF A NOCTURNALLY STRENGTHENING LOW-LEVEL
JET…BENEATH INCREASINGLY DIVERGENT UPPER FLOW…PROBABLY WILL BE
ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASING CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT. LARGE
HAIL…PERHAPS GUSTY WINDS…MAY ACCOMPANY EVOLVING STORM CLUSTERS
ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN KANSAS/NORTHERN OKLAHOMA INTO THE OZARKS.