Although most of the day will be dry and cloudy, a few showers or a storm is possible... especially during the morning and early afternoon. Temperatures will stay in the 70s today and tomorrow for highs, and Sunday brings in 80 degrees!
A weak cold front approaches the area today bringing a few showers, but it fades away as it moves into WAVE Country. Our temperatures today won't be as warm as yesterday (Thursday high: 79°), but we are hoping to at least hit 70° this afternoon.
The best chance of rain is during the first half of the day. After that, the chances go down. Here's your hour by hour forecast through the afternoon.
We've had to tweak the Thunder forecast just a bit. Temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, and we will have a very small chance for a shower. The odds are in our favor for the rain to stay away, but I wanted you to be prepared on the off chance that you may see a few raindrops. After the fireworks, the temperatures will be falling to the 60s as you walk back to the car, so you may want to bring a jacket for the end of the night.
Busy weekend ahead with an important forecast...
The Thunder Over Louisville forecast is always one of the most important of the year. Hundreds of thousands of people outside all day. Aircraft flying through the sky at high speed. People out on the river on boats. Thousands of fireworks going off above our heads. It's a big deal. And even small changes in the forecast reverberate through the event and all of its aspects.
At this point the Thunder forecast looks pretty good, but it's not perfect. Temperatures will top out in the low to mid 70s depending on cloud cover but it's that cloud cover and even a chance of a few sprinkles. Let's break down the model data.
The NAM has rain on Friday night ending in fairly short order and keeps us clear from any rain during the afternoon and evening. It does break out some showers to our northwest but it stays far away from Louisville. More importantly, it keeps clouds with breaks in them here for the afternoon.
The RPM can only see as far as Saturday morning right now but it also gets the rain out of here quickly on Friday night with the front that'll be washing out over our region. You'll notice a few morning clouds in the above image.
On the GFS the rain ends on Friday night and it clears out the clouds somewhat during the afternoon and evening. It tries to develop some light sprinkles and showers in the afternoon (not visible on the model output above due to them being so light) but it has trouble doing so.
The Euro keeps the rain in here through very early Saturday morning before it departs. We're mostly dry during the afternoon but it also tries to break out a sprinkle or shower during that time. Like the GFS, it has trouble doing this.
So, half of the models presented above give us a very small sprinkle/shower chance during Thunder. The preventative force in any shower activity on Saturday would be a capping inversion, which is a warm layer of air aloft that prevents air at the surface from rising to create showers (see atmospheric sounding to the right). How strong will this capping inversion be? At this point I feel that it will be strong enough to keep us dry for most of the day. But I can't rule out a brief sprinkle. This won't be a washout but any small sprinkle/shower will impact the show and attendees for a small portion of time. Regardless, the Great Lawn will likely be wet thanks to Friday's rain. Bring shoes that you wouldn't mind getting mud on!
The showers would be courtesy of a small disturbance aloft (a little vort max) that will be passing through. The bigger trough behind it in California during Thunder will move through late Sunday into Monday, generating a storm chance.
Another issue to address is the clouds. Any sort of cloud deck aloft will affect the airshow because the pilots need to see! I've done some research today and found that the Blue Angels have some rules that they follow for their demonstrations based on how low the cloud ceiling is. Low ceilings prevent them from doing any high-level acrobatic maneuvers and restricts them to low roll moves and fly-bys. They also need around 3 miles of visibility to do anything. At this point I don't think the clouds will clear completely, so the 8,000 ft ceiling might be a stretch to come by for full acrobatics. The other aerial acts likely have similar rules based on ceiling and visibility. But let's not forget winds.
We'll have a southerly breeze during the event, but it should keep to around or not much past 10 mph. The lesser the wind, the better for the aerial acts. As far as the fireworks go, this will drive the smoke from the fireworks toward the north into Indiana. So while folks in Louisville will likely have a clear view of the shells going off, folks in Southern Indiana will have to deal with lower visibility (and the smell) as the show wears on.
Grab the sunglasses! Plenty of sunshine is in the forecast today with spring-like temperatures warming to the 60s.
You may see just a few clouds here and there during the afternoon with highs reaching the mid 60s. Here's a look at your hour by hour forecast for today.
Tomorrow will be warm with highs in the 70s. Winds will pick up tomorrow afternoon with gusts up to 30mph. We will see a chance of showers and storms tomorrow night and especially Friday.
At this time, no severe storms are expecting with this system, but if that changes, we will let you know in our updated forecasts on WAVE 3.
Thursday night and Friday's rain will bring 0.50"-1" of rain to WAVE Country. This will leave the ground soggy for Thunder Over Louisville. If you are heading out to the Great Lawn, you may want to bring plastic to put under your blanket and wear shoes that can get a little mud on them.
The rain should be out of here just in time for Thunder with some sunshine and nice, warm temperatures. You may want to bring an extra layer or a blanket to wrap up with for the fireworks show as temperatures drop to the 60s.
After we rid of today's downpours/hailers...we then will get to enjoy a couple day of nice weather.
The problems return late Thursday night around the midnight timeframe. That is when a front drops in with showers/storms developing along it.
The front will then crawl across the state on Friday. So there looks to be waves of showers/storms scattered around. There is not much forcing along this front, so we are not expecting severe storms, but lightning/heavy rain possible.
The problem for the Thunder forecast will be how quickly will this front fade off the map? And if it doesn't...where will it sag to? Southern KY? Tennessee?
That is the important part of the forecast for Saturday. We have a tendency for these fronts to stall in the area...so we need to watch this. I do think enough high pressure will build in Saturday to limit any rainfall....but I am not so confident on the cloud deck. Hopefully we can get broken to clear skies to allow for a good airshow. We will keep you updated.
RIVER LEVEL: Forecast to have a drop by Saturday ---but if heavier rain than expected falls Friday---that may change. Either way, prepare for mud/soggy grassy.
WINDS: Generally out of the south. Should be light...but winds usually are a bit higher along the river. Roughly 10-15 mph. This means the smoke would likely drift to IN than KY.
TEMPS: Depending on the cloud cover, 75 is reachable. Even if mostly cloudy, 70 still could take place---but again---slightly cooler at riverfront.
Then we prepare for another system Sunday night/Monday. EURO has a front moving through...GFS had a much deeper low tracking to our south. Either way, rain is a good bet during this time...and it could be locally heavy.
Take the umbrella if you're headed out this afternoon. We may even see a few thunderstorms. Because the freezing level is so low today, small hail is possible in some of the storms. We are not expecting severe weather today.
The best chance for rain will be during the mid-afternoon. The rain will taper off as we head into the evening. It will be dry tonight as clouds begin to clear.
The forecast for Thunder looks picture perfect with plenty of sunshine and above average temperatures.
Storms are rolling into Louisville now with fog and low clouds reducing visibilities. Looks like a stormy Monday... perfect for a good nap. ;-)
A low pressure system is moving through our area right now. This center of the storm system allows for heavy downpours and enough lift for strong to severe storms. We will also have very gusty wind today as the system passes. The strongest wind will gust up to 35mph during the late afternoon and evening.
Part of WAVE Country is under a Slight Risk of Severe Storms now through the afternoon.
Chance of storms goes down as we head through the afternoon and evening. The strongest storms will be before 4pm as the cold front moves through.
Today will be beautiful with warmer temperatures this afternoon, but we will have a slight chance of rain late tonight (mainly after 10pm). Rain is likely tomorrow with a slight chance for a few lightning strikes. We do not expect severe storms tomorrow.
This afternoon will be the perfect chance to get outside with sunshine and temperatures near normal for this time of year. You may need a light jacket.
Unfortunately, rain is right around the corner. We will have a slight chance of rain late tonight, but rain is likely tomorrow as a storm system moves right over WAVE Country.
Some models are predicting heavy rain at times... especially for Southern Indiana, so monitor those flood prone areas. A few rivers and streams are still experiencing minor flooding, so additional rainfall tomorrow will worsen the flooding in these ares.
This is our three day rain total from tonight through Tuesday. Many areas could receive close to an inch of rain with heavier rainfall for some areas.