RAIN CHANCES HAVE BEEN LOWERED FOR LABOR DAY… ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND VERY HUMID CONDITIONS WILL KEEP THE AIR CONDITIONERS HUMMING THE NEXT FEW DAYS

I’m posting to let you know that weather forecasters have lowered our rain chances for Monday (Labor Day). Although rain chances for Monday were never really that high to begin with, the thinking was that we would see a few isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms. As I stated in my post on Saturday, there is no well-defined mechanism to produce rain but the computer models were indicating a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain. I stated that I thought the coverage would be minimal. Now, the probability of precipitation has been lowered to 20%… As I’ve mentioned many times throughout the spring and summer, when it is very humid and dew points are on the high side, it doesn’t take much to trigger a shower or storm. We are now in a very stable environment so there aren’t really any triggers around to produce convection despite the high humidity levels. Also, as we head into September, atmospheric instability tends to decrease since the sun’s intensity is lessening along with other factors. High pressure offshore has been keeping us rain-free and should continue to do so for the remainder of the weekend. See my “Weather Fact” entitled “What is the weather like in September in Hampton Roads?”.

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LABOR DAY WEEKEND WILL BE WARM AND HUMID AS A BERMUDA HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE DEVELOPS OFFSHORE… THERE IS A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND STORMS EARLY NEXT WEEK BUT COVERAGE IS EXPECTED TO BE LOW… WAVE HEIGHTS SUBSIDE ALONG THE COAST

It’s been twelve days since measurable rain has fallen in my neighborhood, which is one of the longest dry spells we’ve seen in quite a while. The dry spell should continue this weekend as there is no forcing mechanism in place to create rainfall, even though there is plenty of humidity around. A weakening front to our south this Saturday morning will soon dissipate as it drifts northward. This caused the clouds that we are seeing this morning. A high pressure area currently moving off the New England coast is expected to build south and east. This will cause a southeasterly flow which will bring in the higher humidity levels making it feel uncomfortable for most of us. The high will transition into a Bermuda High pressure ridge which will keep us in a warm and humid southerly flow throughout the weekend. Parts of the area may see a shower or thunderstorm on Monday (Labor Day), but chances aren’t that high that we will see rainfall… The tropical Atlantic is quiet again, but as I stated before, we are approaching the peak of hurricane season. Wave heights have subsided as Hurricane Cristobal is history. Rip currents are still possible but conditions have improved from earlier this week. So, enjoy the relatively quiet weather while it lasts and have a great holiday weekend! Thanks for reading!

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HURRICANE CRISTOBAL SHOULD TURN NORTHEAST AND HEAD OUT TO SEA… OUR WEATHER HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS WILL BE MORE TYPICAL FOR LATE AUGUST

Currently, Hurricane Cristobal is moving very slowly to the north and forecasters are expecting the category one storm to begin turning northeastward. It’s forward speed is expected to pick up. The only impacts that it will have on the East Coast is an increase in wave heights and a high risk for rip currents. Surfers should enjoy some rare good surfing for a couple of days. By the weekend, the seas will be calming down as the storm moves further away. It’s really a best case scenario as both Bermuda and the East Coast of the U.S. will be spared the worst effects of this hurricane. The storm does not look that impressive on satellite imagery as it is not concentric. The storm will have a brief opportunity to strengthen before it encounters the cooler waters of the North Atlantic later in the week… Our local weather has been absolutely gorgeous over the past few days as the relatively cool northeasterly flow kept temperatures below seasonal norms. Humidity levels were also tolerable. Things are about to change but only slowly. Temperatures will be slowly climbing to more seasonal levels. Humidity levels will also be increasing making it a bit more uncomfortable. A weak front could bring an isolated shower/storm on Friday, but I doubt many of us will see any rain. The next chance of rain is on Monday or possibly late Sunday as another weakening front approaches. It should only bring just a chance of an isolated or scattered shower or thunderstorm. The Labor Day weekend looks like it will be decent weather-wise with typical late August weather…. We’re reaching the peak of hurricane season so forecasters will be keeping their eyes on tropical waves moving westward across the Atlantic. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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A NORTHEASTERLY WIND WILL KEEP TEMPERATURES BELOW NORMAL FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS… HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES IS EXPECTED TO BRING PLEASANT WEATHER ON SUNDAY… A TROPICAL DISTURBANCE NEAR HISPANIOLA WILL HAVE TO BE WATCHED

There will be lots of clouds around today (Saturday) and a northeasterly wind will keep temperatures below normal. There will be some showers here and there but many areas should remain dry today. High pressure slowly building southwestward into the Mid-Atlantic States will bring rather nice weather for our region beginning Sunday and it should last into the mid-week period. The big question is whether we will see any effects of what is now a tropical disturbance north of the island of Hispaniola. This system is expected to become better organized as it moves away from the mountainous island. It is expected to move near the Bahama Islands but there is a lot of uncertainty regarding its eventual track and intensity. Will it move close enough to the U.S. to bring rain and wind? Right now, forecasters aren’t sure. Wouldn’t it be something if Labor Day weekend was impacted by a tropical system just like July 4th was? It could turn out to sea but the computer models are all over the place regarding its track later next week. You should monitor this system as the situation unfolds… Regarding our current weather, we’ll have a northeasterly wind the next few days which means that there will not be any heat waves anytime soon. We should have more sunshine on Sunday and Monday. The weather later in the week depends on the eventual track of the aforementioned tropical system. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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HIGHER HUMIDITY LEVELS RETURN TO HAMPTON ROADS… TYPICAL MID-AUGUST WEATHER SEEMS LIKELY WELL INTO NEXT WEEK

I’ve noticed since I moved to Virginia Beach back in 1998 that whenever a warmer and more humid air mass moves into the region during the nighttime hours in the late spring and summer, showers and thunderstorms sometimes develop. And sure enough, many folks were awoken last night to thunder and lightning. About a third of an inch of rain fell in my backyard but higher amounts were reported further to the north. The relatively pleasant air mass that moved into Hampton Roads on Thursday is now history, and we will be returning to a more typical weather pattern for the middle of August. As I’ve said before in previous posts, when humidity levels are high, it doesn’t take much of a trigger to cause showers and thunderstorms to pop up. Any type of boundary can be a trigger. This time of year, we see weakening cold fronts that stall out in our region causing a focal point for convection. Sea breeze boundaries can also cause convection as well as boundaries from thunderstorm downdrafts. Upper level disturbances, however, are usually the cause of thunderstorm development. So, the bottom line is that we will see a string of typical mid-August weather with a chance each day of a shower or storm. Some days the rain chances will be higher especially when a cold front approaches late on Monday and Tuesday… The tropical Atlantic is quiet for now but a disturbance has just moved off of the African coast that will have to be watched.

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