THE MUCH NEEDED DRY WEATHER CONTINUES… A WARMING TREND IS EXPECTED INTO THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK… AN EXPLANATION OF WHY THE IMPACTS OF HURRICANE MATTHEW WERE WORSE THAN EXPECTED HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS
I want to start off my weekly post with a brief explanation of why the impacts from Hurricane Matthew were worse than forecasted here in the Hampton Roads region. As the storm moved northward along the southeast coastline, it transformed into an extra-tropical cyclone (or a non-tropical cyclone) and its wind field spread out to the north and west of the center of the storm. In addition, there was a frontal system slowly moving towards the East Coast of the U.S. and basically, Matthew interacted with this front. This resulted in an enhancement of precipitation as the warm, moist tropical flow out ahead of Matthew met up with the cooler air to the west. That caused rain to fall extremely heavy across much of Eastern N.C and Eastern VA. In other words, the storm underwent a transition from a tropical cyclone to a nor’easter type storm. Nor’easters get their energy from baroclinic influences, which basically means that they become strong storms due to the difference in air masses. Tropical Cyclones get their energy mostly from the warm water of the ocean and their strongest winds occur near the storm center or eye. In contrast, nor’easters or extra-tropical cyclones can be much larger than tropical cyclones and their effects can be far reaching. Their strongest winds can occur far from the center of low pressure. So, as the storm was undergoing this transformation to a non-tropical cyclone, winds increased across NE NC and SE VA later Saturday night. Rainfall increased in coverage and intensity. Soil already soaked from one of the wettest Septembers in our history caused trees to uproot. The already saturated ground also led to the flooding in some areas as the water could not drain off.
Now, for our current and future weather… The dry weather should continue for much of this upcoming week and there should be a warming trend beginning on Sunday. Temperatures are forecast to be above normal for a few days during the early to mid-week period. Normal high temperatures at this time of year are around 70 degrees. Today (Saturday) will be slightly below seasonal norms. The only issue with the weather the next few days may be some early morning fog in some areas. The increasingly longer nights at this time of year many times causes fog to form during the late night and early morning hours as the temperature drops to the dew point.
Tropical Storm Nicole is moving east-northeast into the open Atlantic after pummeling the tiny island of Bermuda as an intense hurricane. There are no other areas of concern in the Atlantic Basin at this time.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!