THE WEATHER SATURDAY SHOULD BE A NEARLY PERFECT WITH TEMPERATURES JUST A BIT ABOVE NORMAL… AN APPROACHING FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL BRING INCREASING RAIN CHANCES BEGINNING LATE SUNDAY AND LASTING THROUGH MONDAY

As the headline states, the weather on Saturday will be very nice but keep in mind that if you are going to the beach, there is a high risk for rip currents. Tropical Depression Julia is meandering off the coast of the Carolinas. It is expected to become a remnant low. Wind shear and dry air prohibited the storm from intensifying. It was a very unusual storm as it formed over land. A frontal system combined with increasing moisture coming in from the southeast will increase rain chances as we head through the day on Sunday. Sunday should be decent but clouds and eventually showers should overspread the region by Sunday night. Rain chances are higher on Monday and there may be a thunderstorm in some spots. Then, it appears that we will head into a period of quiet weather with mostly above normal temperatures.

In the tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Karl has sustained winds of 45 MPH as of this writing and is moving westward in the Central North Atlantic. Another area of concern has moved off the African coastline. Although we’ve see quite a few tropical cyclones develop, conditions in the Atlantic have not been favorable for intensification again this year. This is mostly due to dry air at the mid-levels of the atmosphere and wind shear. Water temperatures have been warm enough, but it proves that you need multiple conditions to come together to produce a hurricane. In addition, weaknesses in the ridge of high pressure that extends across the Atlantic have allowed the storms to curve north and then northeast going harmlessly out to sea. High pressure to a storm’s north keeps the storms moving on a westerly track. The Cape Verde season (tropical cyclone development in the eastern Atlantic) will be ending soon, so time will be running out if we are going to see a long tracked hurricane move westward across the Atlantic. As we head into October, tropical cyclone development shifts westward towards the area of the Caribbean Sea.

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

 

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A COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE ON SUNDAY WILL END THE RECENT LATE SUMMER HEAT WAVE… EVEN COOLER WEATHER IS EXPECTED LATER NEXT WEEK

Saturday will be another very warm and muggy day, but relief from the heat will come later this weekend, and I don’t see a return of the heat anytime soon. A cold front will cross the Hampton Roads area on Sunday switching our winds to a northerly direction. This will bring in cooler, less humid air. A more significant cold front is expected to move through on Wednesday, which should drop temperatures even more making it feel like fall is around the corner. I’m definitely looking forward to that! It’s been a long, hot summer. Some scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected on Sunday in some areas ahead of the cold front.

The tropical Atlantic has quieted down but there is an area of concern that is located around 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Currently, NHC forecasters believe that this area has a 90% chance to develop over the next 5 days. However, they also believe that if it does develop, it will eventually move northwestward and then northward, and not threaten the U.S. Hopefully, that will be the case, but it should be monitored should anything change in the projected track.

Today, September 10th is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. What this means is that on this day, the odds are the highest that there will be a tropical cyclone somewhere in the Atlantic basin. From this day forward, chances of tropical development slowly decrease over time. Hurricane season in the Atlantic basin officially ends November 30th. We still have a long way to go, so don’t let your guard down.

Just some brief comments on Hermine. A little over 4 inches of rain fell from this storm in my backyard. Hermine did not have the impact on the Northern Mid-Atlantic/Northeastern States as was originally forecasted by some meteorologists. The storm did stall but it moved further east out into the Atlantic initially than was actually expected. When it moved back westward, it was a weaker storm and was no longer tropical. What is interesting is that the showers that dropped south last Thursday (9/8) were actually an indirect result of Hermine. The storm created a boundary and increased moisture in the flow from the north in the upper levels of the atmosphere. There was also an upper-level low nearby which contributed to the rain that day.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your weekend and thank you for reading!

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WHAT IS NOW TROPICAL STORM HERMINE SHOULD BRING HAMPTON ROADS PLENTY OF RAIN AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS… NUMEROUS WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

Before I talk about the tropical cyclone, I wanted to mention that my Virginia Beach neighborhood finally received significant rainfall yesterday (September 1st) from a very heavy thunderstorm that rolled through the area. I picked up 1.75 inches!!! It had been 21 days since measureable rainfall fell.

Now, the potential impacts of what is now Tropical Storm Hermine: The cyclone moved ashore in the Florida Big Bend area as a category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 80 MPH. As it passed over land, the cyclone began losing strength since it lost its energy source (warm ocean water) and also from the friction moving over a landmass. The cyclone as of this writing is centered in southern GA and it is moving N-NE at around 14 MPH. Sustained winds are down to 60 MPH. However, it is still producing copious amounts of rain. The current forecast track takes it just to the south and east of Hampton Roads. Potential impacts include flooding rainfall, strong winds gusting to tropical storm force, and coastal (tidal) flooding.  To what degree our region will be affected depends on the exact track and how much the storm stays intact. What complicates matters is that it will slowly be transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone which means that it will be acquiring its energy from the difference in air masses along a frontal boundary that it will be interacting with. This is similar to what gives winter storms their energy. This may cause the storm to actually regain some strength as it moves over the waters off the Mid-Atlantic Coastline. In addition, with high pressure building to our north, there is a fairly decent chance that the storm’s forward motion will slow down as it moves up the coast. It may actually stall offshore of the Northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coast. This could potentially prolong the effects of this storm. As it becomes extra-tropical in nature, the storm’s wind field will most likely expand outward from the center which will bring stronger winds to a larger area. Note that some computer models take the storm further east which would lessen the impacts here. However, most (but not all) meteorologists are going with the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) which brings heavy rain and strong winds into Hampton Roads. The worst conditions should be in NE NC and in the Outer Banks.

Please monitor the local media and the NHC for further updates. As it looks right now, conditions should deteriorate tonight and the worst impacts in Hampton Roads should be on Saturday. Not a good start to the Labor Day Weekend. Be safe out there!

Thanks for reading and have a great Labor Day Weekend!

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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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