ALTHOUGH IT WON’T BE THE BEST WEEKEND FOR THE BEACH HERE IN VIRGINIA BEACH, I THINK MOST OF US WILL ENJOY THE MILD TEMPERATURES AND MODERATE HUMIDITY LEVELS THIS WEEKEND… SINCE IT IS THE MIDDLE OF JULY, YOU KNOW THAT HEAT AND HUMIDITY CANNOT STAY AWAY TOO LONG

A relatively cool northeasterly wind, a slight chance of showers, and an increased risk of rip currents is going to make for a less than perfect weekend for folks going to the beach today here in Virginia Beach. However, most folks here in Hampton Roads will probably agree that a break in the heat and humidity is a good thing, especially at this time of year. High pressure over New England is producing a light northeasterly wind off the ocean. A frontal boundary to our southeast and a weakening trough to our west will combine to bring a chance of a shower today and possibly tomorrow. Weather forecasters aren’t predicting a prolonged rain event and it doesn’t appear that any of the rainfall will be heavy. Also, the areal coverage should be minimal. However, a shower can occur at any time today. The Outer Banks will see the highest chance of rain today… The weather pattern this coming week is expected to be dominated by a Bermuda High, which means that heat and humidity will be building again along with a chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm, especially in the afternoon and evenings. The tropical Atlantic remains quiet.

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THE WEATHER THIS WEEKEND WILL BE FANTASTIC BUT HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS WILL RETURN EARLY NEXT WEEK… THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY AGAIN ON TUESDAY AS A COLD FRONT APPROACHES THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES

This past week was quite a week in the weather department. We experienced hot and very humid conditions followed by several rounds of severe weather, including a tornado in Virginia Beach and damaging straight-lined winds caused by severe thunderstorms. Large hail was also reported in several areas. I’m not going to go into details regarding the damage that was caused by the severe storms since that was covered by our local media. It’s very rare to have a tornado in Virginia Beach. Luckily, it was a weak tornado and had estimated wind speeds of 75 MPH. It was on the ground for a very short period. Over three inches of rain fell in my neighborhood Wednesday and Thursday… Today (Saturday), we will get a short break from the heat and high humidity. Temperatures will be on the rise again and humidity will be increasing. You may have heard about an unusual cold air mass that will be plunging into the Northern Plains and Mid-West bringing a rare cool spell of weather during the warmest time of year on average. Meteorologists don’t expect the cool air to make it this far south and east. However, the frontal boundary and upper-atmospheric disturbances/energy should be enough to trigger thunderstorms (some of which may be severe) on Tuesday here in Hampton Roads… As far as the tropics are concerned, things are quiet for now in the Atlantic Basin.

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HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS RETURN TO HAMPTON ROADS ON MONDAY… SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE STARTING WEDNESDAY

What was once Hurricane Arthur is now an extra-tropical cyclone in the Canadian Maritimes. For the most part, Hampton Roads was spared the worst of the storm. Winds in my neighborhood weren’t that bad. Rainfall only totaled 0.80 in my backyard. Many folks are probably wondering why the storm did not bring worse conditions since it was classified as a category 2 storm. In the past, Hurricanes of similar intensity that passed by to our southeast over the Outer Banks have caused more damage to the Hampton Roads cities. There are several factors that determine how severe conditions will be in any given area when a hurricane comes through the region. Every storm has different characteristics and the structure of  each storm does vary somewhat. Some storms are larger than others. Hurricanes that develop from the tropical waves that travel westward across the Atlantic sometimes are larger storms. Arthur did not develop from one of those tropical waves deep in the tropics. Some storms have strong winds that extend very far from the center of the storm. Some storms have heavier rainfall than others in most or all quadrants. For example, back in 2003. Hurricane Isabel  had a very large area of very strong winds far out ahead of the storm. This was due to a steep pressure gradient between high pressure to the north and the hurricane approaching from the southeast. Wind damage was much more widespread with Isabel. Some folks lost power for several days and even weeks. Rainfall totals were higher with Isabel. In 1999. Hurricane Floyd caused massive stream and river flooding in parts of NC and VA, but it also had weaker winds than expected in Hampton Roads… Now to address the current and future weather. The relatively cool and dry air mass that moved into Hampton Roads this weekend in Arthur’s aftermath is now getting set to move off the coast. A south to southwesterly flow will transport heat and humidity back into our region starting Monday as the high pressure area takes up residence off the southeast coast. Tuesday may be a very warm day with high temperatures possibly reaching the mid to upper 90′s! An approaching cold front may trigger showers and thunderstorms beginning on Wednesday and possibly lasting into Friday. The front is expected to wash out so no real relief from the humidity is expected right away from the front. We’ll see if cooler and drier air will be able to make it this far south and east next week. So, enjoy the pleasant weather today (Sunday) while it lasts! Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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HURRICANE ARTHUR THREATENS COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA… THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO TURN NORTHEASTWARD AND ITS FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED TO ACCELERATE.. THE WEEKEND LOOKS GREAT FOR HAMPTON ROADS

The evacuations have been ordered for parts of Coastal North Carolina as Hurricane Arthur moves north-northeastward. It’s a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH as of 8:00 AM this morning. The overall forecast track has remained the same taking the worst conditions east of the Hampton Roads cities. However, I recommend that you monitor the local media and NWS/NHC updates for any possible changes in the track and intensity of this hurricane. Also, if you live in an area that normally floods from higher than normal tides, you should take the necessary precautions. Right now, the forecast is that Hampton Roads will receive some rain and gusty winds later tonight and early Friday morning, but as I said, the worst conditions should be to our south and east. The Outer Banks (i.e. Cape Hatteras) will bear the brunt of this storm. There is  a cold front approaching from the west. The combination of tropical moisture being drawn northward by Arthur and this front may trigger a shower or storm today. However, I don’t see much activity on radar this morning. Daytime heating may change that later today. Sometimes, when tropical cyclones approach from the south, bands of heavy rain/storms develop far away from the actual cyclone. We’ll see if that happens today. Speaking of tropical moisture, the dew point this morning is 75 degrees, which is very uncomfortable. This normally happens when a tropical cyclone approaches the region. On Friday, Arthur’s forward motion should accelerate, so conditions will improve throughout the day. The weather this weekend should be great with high pressure building back into the region. That’s it for now. Have a great holiday weekend!

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A TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS OFF THE FLORIDA COAST… THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS FORECASTING IT TO BECOME A HURRICANE AS IT MOVES UP THE COAST… IN THE MEANTIME, HEAT AND HUMIDITY BUILD IN HAMPTON ROADS

 Tropical Depression One has formed off the east coast of Florida. This should be the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to be named sometime today. At the current time, it is drifting around but it is expected to turn more to the north later today and tonight. Although there is still much uncertainty regarding the forecast track and intensity of this system, the models are starting to come together as to the path of the storm, which should eventually take it northeastward just off the Carolina Coastline. The track has shifted slightly to the right taking the worst conditions just offshore the Outer Banks. However, a westward shift in the track could mean more rain and wind for the coastal areas. Intensity forecasts are less dependable so the actual strength of the storm may be different from what is currently being forecasted by the NHC. What about Hampton Roads? We’re going to be caught between an approaching cold front and the tropical cyclone. The current thinking is that the increase in tropical moisture should result in scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms later Thursday and Friday. Right now, it is not certain how we will be impacted by the storm, but the timing could not be worse as it is expected to make it’s closest approach on Independence Day… In the meantime, heat and humidity will be increasing here in Hampton Roads. A shower or thunderstorm are possible but odds are that most areas will stay dry. On Thursday, rain chances increase as the cold front approaches from the west and tropical moisture increases from the tropical system moving northeastward along the coast. That’s it for now. Have a great day!

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