Archive for April, 2011

THE WEEKEND LOOKS FANTASTIC WITH PLENTY OF SUNSHINE AND SEASONAL TEMPERATURES… RAIN CHANCES INCREASE AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK

Saturday will be a picture perfect day featuring plenty of sunshine and a northerly breeze which will keep temperatures in the sixties for most of us, with the exception of some inland locations that may go above 70 degrees. Sunday will probably be a tad warmer but again it will be cooler along the coast. Winds will eventually veer to a more easterly direction. On Monday, the high pressure responsible for this beautiful weather will move further off the coast resulting in a more southerly wind flow. This will bring in warmer air. By Tuesday, we will see more clouds and there may be some showers by nightfall as a frontal system moves into the region. Showers seem a pretty good bet on Wednesday. At this point in time, this system doesn’t appear to be a severe weather maker for Hampton Roads. Speaking of severe weather, this past week was a remarkable week for many across the south due to extremely powerful and long tracked tornadoes that devasted many communities. At the time of this writing, over 300 people have been confirmed dead and the death toll may still go higher. Alabama was the hardest hit. What caused these storms to be so intense and so numerous? There are several reasons, but when you combine an active jet stream, a cooler drier air mass moving into a very warm, moist and unstable air mass, wind shear or varying wind direction and speed with height in the atmosphere, you have all the ingredients for a dangerous super-cell tornado. There are other factors but these, I think, are the most significant. It’s nearly impossible to survive a direct hit of such an intense tornado, unless you have a safe room or well fortified basement.

Thursday’s thunderstorms brought about 0.40 inches of rain to my backyard, which isn’t a lot but I’ll take it. The rainfall deficit at ORF is over 4 inches for the year now. I’ll have more on the potential for rain this week in my Sunday morning post.

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SUMMER-LIKE WARMTH WILL DOMINATE OUR WEATHER THROUGH TUESDAY… THE CHANCE OF SHOWERS/STORMS INCREASES AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THURSDAY… MORE SEASONAL TEMPERATURES SHOULD RETURN AS WE CLOSE OUT THE WEEK

Easter Sunday will be a very warm day with temperatures soaring into the upper 80’s in some spots. Southwesterly winds circulating around a ridge of high pressure off the East Coast will keep temperatures above normal into Tuesday. Even the humidity will be a bit high for April making it feel like summer. A frontal system draped across the Mid-West and the Northeast will be the focus of showers and thunderstorms. We probably won’t see any significant widespread rainfall until either late Wednesday or Thursday as a frontal system slowly approaches the East Coast. As I’ve been saying repeatedly, precipitation is well below normal (4 inches currently), so any rainfall would be most welcome.  Once the front moves off the coast, we should return to more seasonal temperatures at the end of the week.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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THE WARMTH IS BACK THIS WEEKEND AND EASTER SUNDAY LOOKS TO BE A SUMMER-LIKE DAY… THE WORK WEEK STARTS OFF WARM AND DRY BUT RAIN CHANCES GO UP BY MID-WEEK

A warm front is currently lifting northward and the air behind this front is almost summer-like with plenty of humidity. The system that brought rain to Northern Virginia missed Hampton Roads for the most part leaving us with only a trace of rain. That is unfortunate as our rainfall deficit grows by the day. Saturday should be dry for the most part but there is a chance, albeit very slight, of an isolated shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon. Easter Sunday looks almost summer-like with temperatures soaring into the middle 80’s. The warm weather sticks around through mid-week, but forecasters say that we will see increasing rain chances by the middle of the week as another frontal system slowly approaches the area. Hopefully, we see some beneficial rain from this next system, but it is way too far out in the future to go into any details.

On Friday, I drove home from Charlottesville, VA in a steady light rain all the way until I got into Hampton Roads. Rain chances will remain rather high up to our north for part of this weekend as the front lingers up there. Here in Hampton Roads, the precipitation deficit is now over four (4) inches for the year! Let’s hope that the weather pattern changes soon before the impacts of the water shortage grows. It may not be critical right now, but as we head towards summer, evaporation rates increase. This combined with increased usage of water could make for a real problem.

I’ll have an update on Sunday. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

 

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A NORTHERLY BREEZE BRINGS COOLER WEATHER INTO HAMPTON ROADS… AFTER A SUNNY THURSDAY, CLOUDS SHOULD DOMINATE THE SKIES ON FRIDAY… THE WEEKEND LOOKS OKAY WITH REBOUNDING TEMPERATURES

A cold front is currently moving through the Southern Mid-Atlantic States and behind it temperatures will be much cooler than they have been of late. Thursday will be a decent day with partly sunny skies. Moisture will be moving in aloft Thursday night and Friday producing cloudy skies. As a warm front approaches, some light rain is expected north of the region and there might be a few showers or a period of light rain here locally later Friday. However, I don’t think that we will see much rain at all from this system and that is unfortunate. The precipitation deficit is growing and is now well over three inches for the year! The situation does not look promising at all in the extended forecast. This is most likely the result of the La Nina in the North Pacific Ocean but there are other factors that are contributing to the dry weather pattern. There might be a shower early Saturday, but the weekend looks nice for the most part. Temperatures will be going back up possibly reaching the 80’s on Sunday.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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AFTER A WILD SATURDAY, SUNDAY WILL BE A BEAUTIFUL SPRING DAY… TEMPERATURES WARM AS WE START THE NEW WORK WEEK

Saturday was one for the record books as North Carolina and Virginia (among other states) were slammed with severe storms including numerous confirmed and unconfirmed tornadoes. These storms caused fatalities and devastation to several communities. I won’t go into details since you can check the local news web-sites which have all the latest information on the damage that these storms caused.  There were several factors that contributed to this unprecedented severe weather event. An active jet stream out of the southwest combined with a S-SE wind flow at the surface were the main culprits for the tornado development. This wind shear, or difference in wind direction and speed between the upper and lower parts of the atmosphere, resulted in the spin needed to create tornadoes. Other factors were present also, but this was probably the most significant factor. Forecasters could not remember the last time that we were placed in a “high risk” zone by the Storms Prediction Center, which is how they characterized our level of risk on Saturday.

What about rainfall amounts? Not much fell in my backyard. I received about three tenths of an inch. So, our deficit keeps growing for the year.

The cold front that was responsible for the severe weather is now well off the coast and we will have a beautiful spring day on Sunday featuring lots of sunshine and seasonal temperatures. We should warm up Monday and Tuesday but another cold front should cool as back down later in the week with a chance of showers.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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