A TROPICAL DEPRESSION HAS FORMED OFF THE EAST COAST… THE FIRST ADVISORY ON THIS DEPRESSION FROM THE NHC IS EXPECTED AT 11:00 AM TODAY (SUNDAY)… HURRICANE GASTON IS MOVING SLOWLY NW IN THE CENTRAL NORTH ATLANTIC

I was noticing on the satellite imagery this morning that an area of disturbed weather off the coast about half way between Bermuda and the SE Coast looked very impressive.  Sure enough, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has just declared that it has become a tropical depression. The first official advisory will be issued at 11:00 AM today (Sunday). The thing about this is that it is fairly close to the U.S. and it is moving towards the East Coast. Now, both weather forecasters and computer models did not make a big deal about this system as of yesterday. The atmospheric conditions were not supposed to be conducive to development as it moved westward around the periphery of an upper-level low pressure area. So, we’ll see what the advisory says before we jump to any conclusions.

As far as our weather is concerned, we’re seeing lots of low clouds with the onshore flow this morning. There may be a shower in spots today and tomorrow with temperatures remaining at seasonal levels. We will see sunshine at times. Of course, our forecast now heavily depends on what happens to this newly formed depression off the coast. Please monitor the local media and updates from the NHC.

The area of disturbed weather that has been monitored near Cuba still has a chance to develop when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. However, the models have been all over the place with regards to this system. At one point, there was an 80% chance of development. Wind shear and mountainous islands have been inhibiting this system. Wind shear is expected to ease a bit as it heads westward into the Gulf of Mexico.

I know that most of you in the Hampton Roads area have received significant rainfall over the past several weeks. However, there has not been any significant rainfall in my Virginia Beach neighborhood since August 11th! Just over an inch of rain has fallen in my backyard this month! The normal rainfall is nearly 4 to 5 times that!! The conditions here are very dry since it has been so warm this month.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

 

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A SHIFT IN THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL BRING COOLER AND LESS HUMID WEATHER TO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES… AS TROPICAL STORM FIONA STRUGGLES WITH WIND SHEAR AND MID-LEVEL DRY AIR… ANOTHER TROPICAL DISTURBANCE MAY BECOME A SYSTEM TO WATCH LATER IN THE WEEK

First of all, I have to mention the fact that my Virginia Beach neighborhood did not receive significant rainfall yesterday (8/19), while many locations in Hampton Roads received copious amounts of rain. Parts of Virginia Beach picked up over 5 inches of rain according to reports I saw on the local news! This is not the first time this summer that my area got missed by storms. While some parts of Hampton Roads are having a well above normal summer in terms of precipitation, that’s not the case in my neighborhood. What made it even more frustrating was how close the rain came yesterday. Lightning and thunder was very close by and I know that heavy rain fell just up the road. It’s amazing that as grass in my area gets brown and crunchy, others may not be able to mow their lawns due to standing water.

Now for the future weather, a much anticipated cold front will be crossing the Hampton Roads region Sunday night, and this will usher in a cooler and less humid air mass that will feel wonderful after this long spell of hot and humid weather that we’ve endured. Next week should be absolutely gorgeous with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s and very comfortable humidity levels. The cold front may bring a shower/storm to our region Sunday evening, but most of the activity should occur further north. Of course, since it’s been so dry here in my neighborhood, I’m hoping that we will see a heavy shower on Sunday, but right now, that is not very likely. Of course, any storm can bring gusty winds, flooding rainfall, and dangerous lightning, so keep your eye to the sky and watch the local radar on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The tropical Atlantic has become a bit more active with Tropical Storm Fiona forming this past week. This storm has encountered wind shear and dry air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, which has kept it very weak. Forecasters don’t expect it to amount to much with such a hostile environment. However, there is another disturbed area southeast of Fiona that bears watching. Forecast computer models are predicting this system to develop and possibly intensify into a hurricane down the road. It would be Tropical Storm Gaston. It’s way too soon to predict what land areas, if any, that could be impacted by this potential storm. However, this is one to watch given the time of year and the computer forecast guidance. So, stay tuned!

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

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A BERMUDA HIGH IS GOING TO KEEP PUMPING IN THE HEAT FOR SEVERAL MORE DAYS… WE MAY SEE SOME RELIEF LATER NEXT WEEK

This past week was a very warm week for Hampton Roads. There were a couple of isolated showers/storms but some areas did not see significant rain. My neighborhood actually received a very brief shower this past Thursday, which produced a quick quarter of an inch of rain in my backyard. Some localities received heavier rain earlier in the week, but again, it was very isolated in nature.

There’s not much of a chance of rain this weekend as the Bermuda High is in complete control of our weather. High pressure means sinking air, which inhibits those towering cumulonimbus clouds that bring us rain at this time of year. However, it is possible in some spots to see a shower/storm, but it is highly unlikely in any given location. Sometimes, sea breeze boundaries can cause the lift necessary to create a shower storm, but forecasters don’t anticipate much in the way of any sea breezes today. The clockwise flow around the Bermuda High has been producing a very broad southwesterly flow of air. The high pressure area is refusing to budge so we will see a continuation of the same conditions through Tuesday or Wednesday. With high temperatures in the mid-nineties and dew points in the mid-seventies this weekend, conditions should meet Heat Advisory levels. Try to stay hydrated at all times and make sure you know the signs of heat related illnesses.

Hopefully, by Thursday, a cool front will get close enough to bring some relief from the heat but there is very little certainty to the extended forecast. The computer models have been delaying any breakdown or movement of the Bermuda High.

There have been flooding rains in parts of the Gulf Coast region as a persistent low pressure system has dumped copious amounts of rain in that area. Louisiana was hard hit the past several days and areas further east received a deluge earlier in the week. The Florida panhandle was hit very hard. This system is very much like the remnants of a tropical cyclone.  Rain/storms have extended to the north around the periphery of the Bermuda High extending into the Northeast.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY HAS RETURNED BUT IT SHOULD BE SHORTLIVED… A COLD FRONT SHOULD USHER IN SLIGHTLY COOLER AND LESS HUMID CONDITIONS ON SUNDAY… I THINK THAT WE WILL SEE TYPICAL SUMMER WEATHER NEXT WEEK WITH SEASONAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE MOST PART

The dew point this morning is 74 degrees in Virginia Beach, which is quite high. When the dew point is over 70, it will feel quite uncomfortable for most of us. There is some cloudiness this morning but that should give way to partly sunny skies. A west-southwesterly flow will bring in warmer air later on making for a hot and humid afternoon. There may be an isolated shower/storm today, but most areas should remain dry. As a cold front slowly approaches the region tonight, rain chances will go up. Some of the storms could bring very heavy rainfall along with strong and gusty winds. Remember, lightning is always a threat in a thunderstorm. As the front pushes through the region early Sunday morning, there will still be a lingering chance of showers/storms. However, it appears that the best chance of rain will be in our most southern zones. We should see a break in the heat and high humidity on Sunday. As we go through next week, it looks like we will see typical weather with warm and increasingly humid conditions.

I wanted to comment about the weather earlier this week. Norfolk International Airport recorded nearly seven (7) inches of rain last Sunday! That ranked as the fifth rainiest day ever in recorded history at the airport. Approximately one and a half inches of rain fell that day in my backyard. This past Tuesday, 0.85 fell.

The tropical Atlantic has become active this week with Hurricane Earl that moved into the Yucatan Peninsula and is now dissipating over interior Mexico. There is an area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico that is forecast to bring copious amounts of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast States. The NHC will be watching this area for tropical cyclone development but right now chances are low for the short term period. The remainder of the Atlantic is quiet for now.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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THE INTENSE HEAT HAS EASED BUT IT WILL STILL BE QUITE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR MOST OF US… SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH TUESDAY… THERE ARE TWO AREAS OF CONCERN IN THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC

The weather this weekend will be typical for this time of year. Warm and humid with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms mostly occurring in the afternoon and evening. This past week, there were some isolated storms in the region, but none of them moved through my VA Beach neighborhood. There were even some severe storms in parts of the region which caused some damage. I’m hoping that we get a nice downpour today so everything gets a good watering. The recent intense heat has depleted a lot of moisture from the ground. Temperatures are supposed to be more seasonal today, topping out in the upper eighties to around 90. The wind direction plays a major role in our region when it comes to temperatures. A southeast (onshore) wind can hold temperatures down. A wind with a more westerly component (offshore) can bring very hot temperatures as we saw earlier in the week.

When it is this humid, it doesn’t take much of a trigger to cause showers/storms to develop. A very weak frontal boundary remains over the region and this should be enough to trigger some convection each day this weekend. However, pinpointing what areas get the rain is nearly impossible. Disturbances in the upper-atmosphere also trigger storms.

As it looks right now, the chance of rain should lessen as we head into Wednesday and Thursday.

The tropical Atlantic is starting to come to life as we have two areas that are being watched by the National Hurricane Center. Both are very far out in the Atlantic so there is plenty of time to watch them. As I mentioned in previous posts, early to mid-August is normally the time of year when the tropical cyclone activity normally ramps up. The Cape Verde season also is set to begin in a few weeks. These are the long-tracked storms that develop in the Eastern North Atlantic. They have time to gain strength as they head westward across the Atlantic. However, sometimes a storm that develops closer to the U.S. can be just as much of a threat. You should make sure you are prepared for any threat from the tropics.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

 

 

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