Archive for September, 2011

THE SOUTHERLY FLOW AROUND AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE MID-WEST WILL KEEP US ON THE HUMID AND CLOUDY SIDE ON SUNDAY… SURFACE WINDS SHOULD BECOME SOUTHERLY ON MONDAY POSSIBLY RESULTING IN SOME SUNNY INTERVALS, BUT RAIN CHANCES WILL PERSIST… EVENTUALLY, THE LOW WILL MOVE NORTHEAST AND WEAKEN ALLOWING OUR WEATHER TO IMPROVE

The weather pattern is essentially stalled and as I stated yesterday in my post, forecasters face a real challenge trying to pinpoint when/where rain will fall. Currently, most of the heavier rain is offshore. The upper-level low over the Mid-West, which is cut off from the westerlies that move weather systems along, will be around for another few days, although it is expected to slowly move east or northeast and will open up or weaken. Some dry air has become entrained in the low’s circulation but it is hard to say if that will impact our weather here along the East Coast. We had another three quarters of an inch of rain on Saturday which was on top of an inch that fell on Friday. Most of the heaviest rainfall should be in the coastal regions of the Carolina’s and Virginia, but some inland areas may see a heavier shower here and there. As I said earlier, it is nearly impossible to predict what location (if any) will see significant rainfall. Not much sunshine is expected, but the sun may peak out at times. Very slow improvement is expected later in the week. Let’s hope that next weekend is nice as this is the second weekend in a row that we’ve had significant rain. Tropical Storm Ophelia continues to  struggle against shear and will not be a factor in our weather.

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AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER CHICAGO CONTINUES TO PULL TROPICAL MOISTURE INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES… RAIN CHANCES WILL EXIST THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND AND INTO NEXT WEEK

It doesn’t seem long ago when you couldn’t buy a raindrop here in my Virginia Beach neighborhood. My grass was dried up and the heat was on. Now, it seems as if the rain will never end. The combination of an upper-level low over the Chicago area, a rich moisture feed from the south and small disturbances moving through will continue to bring us a chance of showers through Tuesday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low is causing a southerly flow that is very moisture laden and this pattern is expected to continue for the next few days. It’s hard to pinpoint the timing of the heaviest rainfall during the upcoming days. I’m sure many people have outdoor plans this weekend but there is no way for forecasters to be able to say whether it will be raining over your location at any given time. As a matter of fact, the sun will probably be out at times making it feel uncomfortable for some. Heavy rain is possible but severe weather is not expected to be an issue. Speaking of heavy rain, when I left work in Norfolk yesterday (Friday), the skies opened up and it poured during my entire commute home. After I got home, the rain let up. Go figure.  Eventually this pattern will change but right now, forecasters don’t think there will much of a change through Tuesday…. Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to turn to the north and not affect the East Coast, except for maybe some swells and rip currents. That’s it for now. Have a great day.

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TEMPERATURES TREND UPWARDS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS… AFTER A RAINY SATURDAY, SUNDAY LOOKS DRIER, BUT DON’T EXPECT MUCH SUNSHINE… THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC IS QUIET FOR NOW

It rained nearly the entire day Saturday, which except for Hurricane Irene, I haven’t seen in a very long time. My area picked up about 1.75 inches of rain! Add that to the 1.5 inches on Thursday and we received over three inches in the past week! The low pressure area is slowly moving away but forecasters expect that the clouds will linger today (Sunday). There might even be some spotty drizzle here and there. The sun will appear at times but it will be a cool day for this time of year. As the high to our north moves eastward and our winds eventually veer around to a more easterly and then southerly direction, temperatures will inch upwards through the first part of the week. A frontal system and a southwesterly flow aloft may bring us increased rain chances towards the end of the week… The tropical Atlantic is quiet for now. There are a few areas of concern in the eastern Atlantic. We are now reaching the time of year when the Cape Verde season comes to a close. These are the long tracked hurricanes that develop in the central and eastern Atlantic that move westward and become the monster hurricanes that threaten the United States. Once we get into October, we have to start watching the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico for development. The westerlies have already started moving southward creating a hostile environment for tropical cyclone development. The westerlies are the upper-level winds that blow during the cooler season and which steer our air masses and frontal systems during the fall, winter and spring… I saw in the 5 day outlook from the HPC that parts of Texas may be in for some much needed rainfall over the next few days. That is great news considering how dry it has become there. Even though the long range outlook isn’t that optimistic due to the expected return of La Nina, they’ll take what they can get! Good luck to them as the situation is so dire in this parched region of the country. That’s it for now. Have a great day!

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FALL-LIKE WEATHER ARRIVES IN HAMPTON ROADS… SATURDAY WILL BE CLOUDY, COOL, AND OCCASIONALLY WET… SOME IMPROVEMENT IS LIKELY ON SUNDAY

A cold front moved through late Thursday producing severe thunderstorms in some parts of the area. In my Virginia Beach neighborhood, I picked up almost an inch and a half of rain Thursday evening. The storms here weren’t that strong but the rain was fairly heavy at times. It was the most significant rain that we’ve seen since Hurricane Irene. The winds shifted to the north ushering in much cooler air. Friday was a refreshing day after such a long hot and humid summer. I turned my air conditioner off which I have not done in months. Today (Saturday), the weather map shows that the front has basically stalled well south of here and now we are seeing overrunning precipitation breaking out as the warm, moist air from the south overrides the cool air mass firmly in place here in the Mid-Atlantic states. A large high pressure area has settled in over Northern New England and the clockwise flow around this high is giving us a cool and damp northeast wind. With a disturbance moving through and low pressure expected to develop along the stalled frontal boundary to our south, we will see some light to moderate rain at times today. Drizzle will also occur at times. Breezy conditions are expected and there will be some rather rough surf along the beaches. Even some minor tidal flooding is possible. The NWS gives us an 80% chance of rain today, 40% tonight and 20% tomorrow. So, I guess they are thinking that we will see some improving conditions tomorrow as the low moves out to sea. Temperatures should trend upwards next week…. I saw a very ominous report on the news last night that the incredible drought in Texas may last well into 2012. Forecasters expect La Nina to return which causes the weather patterns that favor dry weather in the Southern Plains. That is such bad news for this parched region of the country. They would love for a decent tropical storm to move across the state, but there is no sign of that happening over the next few days. Speaking of the tropics, there is an area of concern in the Eastern North Atlantic but that is very far away. That’s it for now. Have a great day and thank you for reading.

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A MAJOR COOL-DOWN IS EXPECTED AT THE END OF THE WEEK… TROPICAL STORM MARIA SHOULD STAY WELL OFF THE EAST COAST… WATERLOGGED AREAS OF THE NORTHEAST FINALLY GET A CHANCE TO DRY OUT… THE TEXAS DROUGHT CONTINUES

The climatological peak of the North Atlantic’s hurricane season is September 10th. So now, with each passing day, the chances of there being a hurricane on the weather map decreases. However, we are not out of the woods just yet. Tropical Storm Maria’s only effects on the East Coast will be marine related (i.e. rip currents, large swells, etc). There are no other areas of concern as of this writing. It may feel a lot like summer right now but in a few days, I expect that many folks will be able to turn off their air conditioners for a while. A big cool down is expected and Friday’s high temperature may only be around the 70 degree mark. The question remains as to how much rain (if any) will occur with the frontal passage. As it looks now, it doesn’t appear to be the type of front that will have a line of strong thunderstorms out ahead of it. Perhaps, there will be some rain after the front goes through. The weekend’s weather is very uncertain right now… What about that drought in Texas? It is amazing how the pattern does not want to change to allow rain to move into this incredibly parched state. The tropics haven’t offered any relief and there really isn’t any definitive hope over the next week or so. The waterlogged areas of the Northeast finally get a chance to dry out. River levels are dropping throughout the northeast which is great news. That’s it for now. Have a great day and thanks for reading.

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