Archive for October, 2008

WINDS WILL DIMINISH ON MONDAY… FROST MAY APPEAR ON THE PUMPKINS TO OUR WEST SUNDAY NIGHT… WILL THERE BE A STORM LATER THIS WEEK?

The low pressure system off the coast will slowly move away and as a result, our winds will diminish as we head into Monday. Waves will also die down as the low moves away. Temperatures will be quite cool and a Frost Advisory is in effect for counties west of Hampton Roads Sunday night. We warm up somewhat on Tuesday but only to cool down again as another cool high pressure area moves into the Mid-Atlantic region. As we head into the late week period, the models diverge in their solutions. A low pressure is expected to devlelop out west but its track is uncertain. There is a potential for some rain as we head into next weekend but that is far from certain at this early juncture.

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LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS AND INTENSIFIES OFFSHORE… WINDS INCREASE LATE SATURDAY… SUNDAY LOOKS TO BE DRIER

The cold front that moved through the Mid-Atlantic States early Friday morning stalled to our south and east. Meanwhile, a weak area of low pressure or a frontal wave developed along the front producing rain across the Hampton Roads region. So far, I picked up a little under an inch of rain. As upper-level energy moves into the region, the low is expected to intensify off the coast on Saturday. This will increase our winds from the north and enhance the rainfall rates in some locations, most likely to our south and east. How much additional rain we receipve is questionable, but odds are that most of the significant rain will be to our south and east. Southeast VA and NE NC have the best chances of rain. Rain chances diminish Saturday night and Sunday should be drier, but the winds will still be quite strong out of the north. It’s hard to believe that on Thursday, we hit a record high of 87 degrees. I’ll post on Sunday on the forecast for the upcoming week.

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IT WILL FINALLY FEEL LIKE FALL ON FRIDAY… WILL WE RECEIVE RAIN FROM A DEVELOPING STORM OFF THE COAST?

This is just a brief post to update you about a major change to our overall weather pattern. At the time of this writing, a cold front is just west of our area and this front will bring a major change to our weather. Temperatures will be much cooler behind the front on Friday. The temperature on Thursday reached 87 degrees which broke the record of 86. You could say good bye to the 80’s for a while. A weak area of low pressure or a frontal wave will move northeast along the front as it sags south of us. This may bring a period of rain to our southernmost areas on Friday night. Areas to our north may not get much rain at all from this system. We stay cool for the foreseeable future. I’ll have a full update on Saturday.

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HIGH PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO BUILD INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION THIS WEEKEND… TEMPERATURES SHOULD REMAIN AT OR ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS

High pressure building in from the north should keep us dry through the weekend and into early next week. A weak area of low pressure off the Southeastern Coast is expected to be pushed further south and west as the high builds in. Saturday will feature some sunshine along with passing clouds. The further south you are, the more clouds you will see. If you go far enough south such as near the Outer Banks, there may even be a few showers caused by that aforementioned low pressure area spinning off the coast. The gradient between the high and the low will cause breezy conditions, but conditions won’t be that bad at all. Boaters should be cautious, though. When will we see a chance of rain? Right now, forecasters don’t see anything on the horizon that would bring us a decent chance of rain. That is unfortunate as we still have the rainfall deficit and it will be growing again over the next several days. The overall pattern features a trough in the west, which by the way, is causing snow in the mountains of the west. Many times when there is a trough in the west, there is a ridge in the east and that is the case this weekend. High pressure ridges create sinking air that inhibits cloud formation. Eventually, as we move through autumn, the jet stream will start moving south bringing more stormy, changeable conditions to the eastern half of the nation. But, for now, we are in a tranquil and relatively warm pattern. I guess we should just enjoy it and just hope that a turn to a wetter pattern develops as we head towards November. The tropical Atlantic is quiet, although there are a couple of areas of concern.

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SUNSHINE, WARM AFTERNOONS, COOL NIGHTS MAKE FOR A GREAT WEEKEND… WHEN WILL THE STRING OF SUNNY DAYS END?… THE TROPICS ARE QUIET AS THE SEASON SLOWLY WINDS DOWN

I’ve seen this type of pattern many times during the month of October, where high pressure dominates and you can’t find any precipitation for hundreds of miles in any direction from Hampton Roads. This weekend will be fantastic and there is nearly a zero percent chance of rain. Why are quiet weather patterns like these so common in October? Well, there are several reasons and some are a bit complex, but the major reasons are 1) the ingredients for thunderstorms that are present throughout the summer are not there anymore as the sun’s angle has decreased and the length of the day is shortening rapidly. This takes heat and atmospheric instability out ot the equation for the most part. 2) the positioning of highs and lows makes for a lowering of humidity levels as our winds are not usually blowing from the south as they do during the summer months. They tend to blow offshore more often in October which means drier air 3) the jet stream has not made its return yet from the north so extra-tropical storms are not dominating the weather maps across North America. Those are just some of the reasons. Now, in a few short weeks, storminess will increase across the continent as cold air invasions begin to become more frequent and intense. It won’t be long before strong winds begin to blow and we see rapid changes in the weather due to extra-tropical cyclones moving across the nation as well as strong frontal systems and high pressure areas. So, enjoy this perfect “chamber of commerce” weather which will be perfect for many outdoor activities. I’m sure the folks that work outside all year who sweat during the summer and freeze during the winter love this time of year. Only the weather enthusiasts will find something to complain about during this relatively quiet time of year. What about the week ahead? A back door cold front will move through around Tuesday and will swing our winds to the NE. High pressure will build into Eastern Canada and New England later in the week. Now, sometimes during the fall, when highs build to our north and norheast, low pressure areas spin up to our south and east. Remember the nor’easter in September? Well, I’m not saying that this will happen and I haven’t seen this predicted anywhere. But, it’s something to think about late in the week. The tropics are quiet for now. Note that October sometimes has a secondary minor peak in activity, so it’s not over yet. However, tropical storms become less frequent on average with every passing day. The season officially ends on November 30th.

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