Archive for May, 2010

MEMORIAL DAY WILL BE LIKE A TYPICAL SUMMER DAY HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS… A FRONTAL SYSTEM BRINGS WITH IT MORE CLOUDS AND THE CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ON TUESDAY

Memorial Day should be just about perfect for most outdoor activites. Although there may be an isolated shower or thunderstorm late in the day, they should be few and far between. Most places probably will not see any rain today. On Sunday, a dissipating frontal boundary combined with a sea breeze was just enough to trigger convection in some parts of Hampton Roads, including my neighborhood. Showers and thunderstorms erupted late in the day bringing about 0.40 inches of rain in my backyard. I was quite pleased with this rain since Va Beach missed out on much of the rain earlier this past week. Forecasters didn’t predict the rain yesterday but you have to always remember that if there is ample moisture in place, it doesn’t take much to trigger a shower or thunderstorm during the late afternoon on a warm late spring or summer day as long as a trigger is in place. Disturbances in the upper atmosphere moving through, sea breezes,  or old frontal boundaries are just some of these triggers. On the other hand, think about how many hot and humid summer afternoons that we see that have very little if any thunderstorm activity. When the atmosphere is “capped”, that is when it is very warm aloft, the chance of storms is very low. Well, getting back to the forecast… a frontal system should spark some showers/thunderstorms on Tuesday. High pressure builds back in during the mid-week period bringing summer-like conditions for most of this week.

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A SUMMER-LIKE PATTERN TAKES OVER WHICH MEANS GREAT WEATHER FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES… A COLD FRONT MAY BRING SOME SHOWERS/STORMS TO THE AREA BY MID-WEEK

Just in time for the unofficial start of summer, a very summer-like pattern has taken over. This means warm (sometimes hot), sunny days, moderate humidity levels, and just a chance of an isolated thunderstorm in spots. High pressure off the Carolina coast will cause a SW wind for several days. A cold front may bring the chance of showers and/or thunderstorms by mid-week. This front may stall nearby extending the chance of showers for a day or two. Prior to that, with the heat and humidity levels, an isolated shower or storm could pop up at any time but the chance is very slight in any one location. On Saturday, an isolated shower popped up and brought about a quarter inch of rain to my backyard. It wasn’t much but it brought some moisture to the plants and grass. Hurricane season begins onTuesday but the reality is that the season doesn’t usually ramp up until August. However, now is the time that you prepare by stocking up on the essential supplies and formulate a plan should a major storm threaten Hampton Roads. The forecast for this year’s season is for an active season. Here are some things to keep in mind 1) Hurricane activity forecasts this far in advance aren’t always accurate 2) Even if the season is very active, a storm may not affect our region 3) Even if the season is not very active, a major storm could still impact our area. So the bottom line is to be ready and have a plan. I’ll have an update on Monday. Enjoy the rest of the Memorial Day weekend and remember to honor our fallen heroes.

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MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND SHOULD BE DECENT OVERALL AND TEMPERATURES WILL BE ON THE RISE… PRECIPITATION CHANCES SHOULD DECREASE THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

The start of the unofficial summer season is upon us and this past week, forecasters have been trying to nail down the all important holiday weekend forecast. A backdoor cold front moved down from the northeast on Thursday sweeping away the warm air that moved in for a brief stay that day. Cool NE winds made Friday a rather nice day after some rain in the morning in some spots. Speaking of rain, inland areas have been receiving occassional showers periodically over the past week, but coastal areas of SE VA (i.e. VA Beach) have missed out on the heavier rainfall for the most part. That is a typical scenario when the winds blow from the water, especially during the spring when the water is still relatively cool. The cool, marine air is stable until it moves inland where it destablizes due to the heating of the land and also from surface friction and lift due to the higher elevation. The weather on Saturday shouldn’t be too bad but there will be a chance of a shower or thunderstorm at anytime this afternoon and evening. I don’t think the coverage will be that extensive, so I would not cancel your outdoor plans. On Sunday, temperatures should be higher in the afternoon and precipitation chances will be lower than they were on Saturday. On Monday, temperatures may be even warmer as high pressure builds in. By mid-week, we may see a shower or storm as a frontal system approaches. I’ll have an update on Sunday morning.

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AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW SHOULD KEEP OUR WEATHER A BIT UNSETTLED SUNDAY AND POSSIBLY MONDAY… THE CLOUDS WILL KEEP THE TEMPERATURES DOWN BUT HUMIDITY LEVELS WILL BE HIGHER THAN THEY’VE BEEN

A weak upper-level low pressure system will move southward through eastern VA and NC on Sunday and Monday bringing with it a chance of showers and thunderstorms. The coverage and intensity of the rain is very hard to predict. Officially, the NWS states that we have a 70% chance of rain today (Sunday). I think that it will be hit or miss situation. Last night, it rained in some areas to our west and north. The onshore flow will continue which combined with the cloudiness, should keep our temperatures on the comfortable side. Humidity levels will be elevated so it may feel a bit muggy at times. An offshore storm system that is expected to develop may bring breezy conditions on Tuesday, but it’s track is not certain at this time. It appears that most if not all of its rainfall will remain offshore. Forecasters will be watching it for any changes, however. Will it attain warm core characteristics? No one knows for sure. It’s not out of the question since hurricane season will be starting in just over a week. That’s it for now. Have a great day!

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THE WEEKEND MAY BE A BIT UNSETTLED, BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE TOO BAD… IT’S A DIFFICULT FORECAST FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS

The combination of a slow moving upper-level low pressure system, ample moisture,  and an onshore flow will make for a difficult forecast through the weekend. Further complicating the weather picture is the possibility of a low pressure system developing well to our southeast over the ocean, which may actually move towards the coastal Carolinas. Although this cyclone is not expected to be tropical in nature, it may aquire sub-tropical characteristics. One model is very aggressive with this system while most others don’t intensify it quite as much. Either way, forecasters will be keeping an eye on it. The Atlantic hurricane season is only days away. Backing up to the weekend, a light onshore flow is expected to continue all weekend. Weak troughiness to our west will slowly move east causing some showers and thunderstorms, most during the heat of the day. Here in Hampton Roads, Saturday should be mostly dry although some showers could pop up in places. The coverage is expected to increase Saturday night and Sunday, but I don’t think that forecasters are expecting a widespread rain event.  This is not an easy forecast whatsoever. Winds shouldn’t be an issue this weekend (with the exception of areas affected by thunderstorms) , but forecasters will be watching that potential offshore storm come Monday for the possibility of increasing winds next week. I’ll have an update on Sunday morning.

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