Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kentucky's Failing Grade for Inland Flooding

Climate Central - State of KY Report Card - Full Report
When it comes to responding to inland flooding disasters, Kentucky is spot-on. Prepareing for future disasters with a long-term plan is a different story and we know we can do A LOT BETTER!
For the first time Climate Central released report cards featuring how well each of the 50 states prepares for current hazards and future climate change. A closer look reveals relatively bad grades for states in the Local 6 area. Missouri was at the bottom of the 4-state area coming in with a grade of "F". Kentucky and Illinois followed with a grade of "D" while Tennessee earned highest marks in the region with a "C". The nearly failing grades in Kentucky showed up when looking at future disasters, planning, and long-term preparedness statewide.  The graphic above shows the breakdown of the grades assigned to the different climate related disasters deemed future risks.

The same study/grading showed Kentucky actually scoring very well as it relates to disaster response. Climate Central identified two programs outlining action already taken:
  • Kentucky’s Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan, technical assistance programs, disaster response plans, emergency communications materials, and sector-specific programs are helping the state address its current climate risks. 
  • The Community Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Planning System (CHAMPS) database tracks hazards and impacts at the county level. CHAMPS establishes a coordinated process for disaster management planning and enhancing disaster management efforts through a better understanding of risk.

Looking forward Kentucky is in need of an actual plan. Despite political views, warming is taking place whether you believe it to be human induced or natural, and the state must be prepared for the implications of a warmer climate. For Kentucky, those risks have been identified as extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and inland flooding. The weaknesses in our state preparedness are identified as the following:

  • No evidence of statewide detailed climate change vulnerability assessments across the sectors examined. 
  • No evidence of statewide detailed climate change adaptation plan across the sectors examined. 
  • No evidence of official state funding, policies, or guidelines to improve resilience to climate change-related risks. 
  • No evidence of action to incorporate climate change projections associated with extreme heat, drought, wildfire, or inland flooding into state-level programs, investments, and activities. 
  • No evidence of public outreach about climate change-related risks.
Climate Central "Action Taken Report Card" for Kentucky - 2015
It's up to state and local officials to address these weaknesses to prepare and strengthen our communities.

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place months ago in Paris, France. This meeting involved world leaders negotiating an international agreement to limit emissions and hold planetary warming below 2°C (3.6°F) from pre-industrial levels. To find out why 2 degrees makes such a difference, even here in the Local 6 area, check out the video below.

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 3rd Sunday Severe Storm Risk

Please be sure to have a way to receive severe weather alerts for the holiday weekend, especially Sunday and Monday.

Sunday Afternoon Update: A Tornado Watch
has been issued for most of the Local 6 area until 10PM. A warm front sits across Southern Illinois and Indiana allowing for a more unstable air mass across IL/KY this afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has been watching our region for the past couple of day for the threat of severe storms this afternoon and evening. An isolated tornado is also possible. Damaging winds will be the primary threat with storms that develop. Here is the latest map the Storm Prediction Center put out mid-afternoon. Be alert that conditions will change quickly this afternoon and evening and those who are spending time outdoors or on area lakes should be especially vigilant.

Friday PM Update:
Unfortunate timing with the holiday weekend finally here but a chance of severe storms has crept into the forecast for Sunday the 3rd and Monday the 4th. The Local 6 region is also one of the only areas in the US under the risk of these storms as outlined in the graphic to the right from the Storm Prediction Center.
Damaging winds, large hail, and even an isolated tornado is possible with storms that become severe on Sunday. 
Heavy rain across MO/IL will set in by Saturday night and lift to the NE along a warm front. This warm front will put the Local 6 area in the warm, unstable sector of the storms system moving in from the Central Plains on Sunday. Throughout the morning hours temperatures will grow warmer and the humidity higher. By early to mid afternoon, showers and thunderstorms will develop well ahead of the cold front to our west. These storms will possibly become severe pretty quickly with the heating of the day. The cold front itself will loom back to our west and slowly advance our way Sunday night and Monday the 4th. Scattered showers and storms will continue on and off and some could be strong. The highest risk for severe storms at this point appears to be Sunday afternoon and evening. Flash flooding could also become a risk as storms slowly trek our way along the cold front Sunday night and Monday. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect for the St. Louis area this weekend if you happen to be traveling there for the holiday.

To sign up for the Free Mobile Alerts service for your cellphone: CLICK HERE and make sure you click on the "weather alerts" tab.

To sign up for the Weather Call subscription service: CLICK HERE. Yearly subscriptions range from $9.95 - $11.95 to receive an instant phone call/text if you are in the direct path of a dangerous storm.

Here is a look at the timing of development on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to keep tuned to the weather if you plan to spend time outdoors this weekend and Monday. Bookmark the link to this post...I will be updating several times over the weekend.