Isaac and Ohio - 1 Day Out
We're less than 24 hours away from seeing the first Isaac-related precipitation, and honestly the first significant rainfall we've seen in quite a long time. It appears that models have come in to agreement on Cincinnati-based track, which should give us the bulk of the rain from this system. This is amazing news for our drought.
The HPC's latest QPF still is sticking us somewhere between 3" and 4" of rain from this event:
In terms of the actual event, it'll be a slow start to any precipiation, with an eventual ramp up to a Monday soaker when the center passes over Ohio.
With the southerly flow on the east side of this system we should expect to see this storm tap in to some Gulf moisture and rotate multiple waves of precipitation in to the Great Lakes region.
In the ECMWF model you can see the best example of a northward progressing line of rain that should be experienced multiple times before the bulk moves in:
I feel like the HPC's estimates are high for a reason. We have no idea how much rain these waves will produce, where they'll be, and if we'll see any training.
I still feel confident in saying a solid 2" for this weekend in to early next week. The entire weekend won't be a wash out, but chances are you won't see much sun after today, either.
I don't plan on updating until Tuesday unless flooding starts to ramp up this weekend. Happy Labor Day, everyone!
Isaac and Ohio - 2 Days Out
With Isaac's slow movement in to northern Louisiana this afternoon we're getting more changes in the latest computer models. Yesterday's runs were decidedly north, while today we're trending south. Much further south than yesterday.
New ensemble is showing a large hook, one that almost makes it look like future runs will have Isaac make a full circle. Instead of yesterday's concensus of headed toward Chicago, now we're looking at Cincinnati as a target:
With this much run to run variation, it's really hard to tell where this thing is going now. However, Isaac's current path of NNW makes me believe it'll turn sooner rather than later. That makes me feel more confident that the reminants will go south.
With that I'm beginning to think it may go so far south that our rainfall totals could go down. The latest QPF isn't indicating that however, with parts of Central Ohio looking more around the 3"-4" zone:
As always, placement is everything. And this track is just too tough to call this far out. I'm still thinking rain will sent in by mid-morning on Saturday and last straight through to Monday, and I'm sticking with a 2" rain total also. Tomorrow's model runs will be the real ones to watch, and we should have an idea whether we're looking at flooding rains or just a wet weekend. I'll post again tomorrow.
Isaac and Ohio - 3 Days Out
The nation has been watching has Hurricane Isaac made its way toward Louisiana this week. Right now Isaac still sits as a hurricane as it skirts the coast and its large eye is currently centered over Houma, Louisiana. I love watching the tropics, but I don't write about it as much on here. However this storm is important for Ohio, as the reminants may bring us some much needed rain.
Right now the computer models aren't in 100% agreement with the track of Isaac much past Friday or so. I layered the "cone of uncertainty" on top of the model ensemble to show exactly how wide of a swath the center could go:
You always hear forecasters warn people not to focus so much on where a hurricane is supposed to make landfall because of the large area the storm can impact. Obviously that is very true of an inland storm. So while consensus takes the center north of here, the real impact is coming from where the precipitation will fall. Right now it appears as the storm curves to the east, most of the rain will be in the eastern quadrant of the low pressure. With that, we're looking at a pretty good amount of rainfall with this storm.
As of now the HPC has a 5 day precip forecast that puts us in an area of about 2.5" - 3" through Monday:
Still, the heaviest rain seems to be trending a little north of us here in Central Ohio. Also, each model run has Isaac losing more and more mositure content as it moves further east. The one thing we have going for us if we have hopes of a heavy rain maker, is each model also brings the center closer and closer to Central Ohio.
I always like to go conservative on forecasts and estimates. I do think we will definitely get some kind of measurable rainfall this weekend, but timing and amount is still up in the air. I say rain starts Saturday morning and goes clear through until Monday morning, giving us about 2" here in Columbus.
I'll update as Isaac gets closer.
Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 8
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 12
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 8
Excessive Heat Warnings: 6
Red Flag Warnings: 1
A Station Upgrade
In December of 2007 I got my Oregon Scientific WMR968 weather station for Christmas. It was something I'd wanted forever, and I did lots of research looking for the best weather station in a limited price range. I was aware it was't a top of the line station, but I figured it did what I wanted. It recorded wind speed and direction, temperature, dewpoint, humidity, rain, indoor temp and barometric pressure. Everything you'd need, right? The kicker was it could also be plugged in to your computer and upload the conditions almost in real time to Weather Underground. Since I'm a computer nerd by profession, it sounded perfect.
Getting the weather station set up, though, was not perfect. When you get a weather station you never really consider what you will need to do to get everything in a good position for taking accurate readings. At first I had the hygrometer and its solar panel mounted to a wooden stake that I just pounded in to the ground in the back of my yard. It didn't look good, and it was in direct sunlight so the readings weren't accurate at all. I also had the anemometer set up the same way, which was terrible for wind readings. The rain gauge was the worst. I literally just had it sitting on the ground. Nothing was the way it should be.
Over time I began moving things in to better positions. The hygrometer moved to a shaded part of my house next to my chimney. The summer after I got the station I eventually bought a shield for the hygrometer and that definitely helped readings. The rain gauge eventually sat on a wooden platform I built until I cut the wire with a weed eater and had to splice it back together. The anemometer was the only thing that got a proper home pretty quickly. In March of 2008, right before our massive blizzard, I bought a chimney mount and installed it high above our roof line. Over time I migrated all of my components to the roof. The hygrometer hung nicely from the anemometer mount and the rain gauge fit perfectly on top of the chimney.
I cannot count how many times I got on top of that roof to fix a component that dropped its signal. Too many. I've been up there in rain, wind, and one time even snow. Stupid, I know. The WMR968 was absolutely horrible at reception with the console. Sometimes barely moving the antenna on one of the sensors an inch would drop signal. I've probably only had all sensors working at once about 20% of the time.
So when I moved three times in a year the WMR968 came along. And it didn't fare well. When I stayed with my parents for a few weeks it sat propped up against their back deck. Wind was blocked on three sides, rain was shielded by a roof to the north, and the hygrometer got direct sunlight and heating from a deck floor. The apartment setup was a lot of the same. When I got to my new house, the WMR968 had just about had enough. The radiation shield finally broke off of its mount, the rain gauge got a hole in it, and the anemometer just wouldn't spin right anymore.
As of right now the only thing my station is reporting is temperature. The anemometer and rain gauge, despite their close proximity to the station base, refuse to communicate anymore. I've got an expensive thermometer at this point.
So the search is on. I've started saving money and researching what my next weather station will be. My initial thought right now is the Davis 6250. It'll be pricey because of the stupid part you have to buy for hooking it up to your computer, but Davis is a solid product I think. A lot more solid than Oregon Scientific.
So tell me... what does everyone else recommend? What do you use and what have you heard about Davis or any other brands?