Sky Cover and Temperature Forecast for Louisville Area Outdoor Activities


The visible satellite image below depicts sky cover around 1030 AM EDT. Notice the bright white (low stratus clouds) over southern Illinois, Indiana and all of Kentucky. Clouds will slowly move south and east through the afternoon hours, and could begin to lift and scatter out by late afternoon and early evening (5-6 PM EDT). The clouds will lift because as the earth's surface slowly heats, small pockets of air begin to rise more and more. As the clouds lift, they could encouter drier air aloft and begin to "mix" or scatter out. Also, clouds will begin to erode at the back edge of the cloud shield because of the processes mentioned above.

The cloud cover, combined with steady northerly flow will hamper high temperatures today. Expect highs only in the middle-upper 50s. For an explanation on what a cloud "ceiling" means, see the second image below.

When there is an overcast (solid) layer of clouds over an area, the "ceiling" height is considered to be the bottom or base of the layer of clouds. Sometimes, if cloud ceilings are too low, they can affect aviation. For instance, if cloud ceilings are below 1000 feet, aircraft need special crew and equipment to land because they cannot see the runway as they are descending until they are almost ready to touch down. Cloud ceilings can also affect air shows. Aircraft need a minimum ceiling of 1500 to 3000 feet above the ground to be able to perform limited aerial maneuvers. Aircraft need a ceiling of at least 3000 feet to perform acrobatic maneuvers.  Ceilings this afternoon are forecast to remain around 2000 feet for the rest of this afternoon.

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