Archive for September, 2013

OUR RAINFALL DEFICIT GROWS… AFTER A VERY PLEASANT WEEK OF WEATHER, AN OFFSHORE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IMPACTS OUR WEEKEND WEATHER

The weather here in Hampton Roads has been absolutely perfect! Temperatures this past week have been very pleasant, there’s been plenty of sunshine, the humidity has been in the comfortable range, etc. etc. At this time of year, if we’re not affected by tropical systems, it can be quite nice for long periods. The only problem is the lack of rainfall. Rainfall totals this month are way below normal, and some parts of the area are drier than others. A low pressure system getting organized well offshore may bring a few sprinkles, showers, or even a period of very light rain this weekend, but weather forecasters are uncertain as to how much rain, if any, will fall. Coastal areas will see the best chance of rain, but even there, chances of significant rainfall aren’t that high with the low so far offshore. Can the forecast change? Well, these offshore systems can be tricky. Sometimes, the models underestimate how far they will retrograde towards the west. And predicting the exactly location of the areas of showers and light rain on the western side of these systems is very difficult. The breeze from the northeast will be persistent throughout the weekend making the seas quite choppy. There will be a lot of cloudiness but the sun will be out from time to time.  If we don’t get rain this weekend, odds are that we won’t see much rain throughout the next 5 to 7 days. The tropical Atlantic is quiet but there is an area of concern in the Central North Atlantic.

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AFTER A RATHER LONG PERIOD OF DRY WEATHER, RAIN IS EXPECTED SATURDAY NIGHT… DRY WEATHER SHOULD RESUME LATER SUNDAY THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK

September has been a rather dry month for most of SE VA. At Norfolk International Airport, the total rainfall for the month so far is only 0.39 inches. My Virginia Beach neighborhood picked up more rainfall this month (about 2 inches), but it hasn’t rained since September 3rd. A cold front that is now draped from the Eastern Great Lakes down through Louisiana is expected to bring us a good chance of rain tonight. There may even be some rumbles of thunder. Rainfall totals are expected to range between a half inch to about an inch in some spots that receive a heavier downpour. The rain is expected to be over for most of us Sunday morning, but with the cold front still close by, a shower is still possible in some areas, especially over NE NC. Then, the weather pattern is expected to return to the same general pattern that we’ve been seeing of late. That means dry weather should resume but forecasters will be watching a low that is expected to move to our south during the mid-week period. As it looks right now, the low should stay to our south with high pressure keeping the rain away from us. Temperatures should be seasonal for the most part…. Now for the tropical update…. There are no tropical cyclones right now (Saturday) in the Atlantic Basin. There aren’t any areas of significant concern either. We still have over two months to go with the Atlantic hurricane season. However, the Cape Verde season is just about over, so the odds of a long tracked hurricane are getting lower by the day. Keep in mind that Hurricane Sandy hit in late October last year, so we’re not out of the woods yet… The first day of Fall is Sunday. This means that the sun’s direct rays pass south of the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere.

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COOLER WEATHER MOVES INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES MAKING FOR A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND… THE TROPICS BECAME ACTIVE THIS PAST WEEK, BUT THERE ARE NO AREAS OF CONCERN FOR THE UNITED STATES COASTAL AREAS

The oppressive heat and humidity that plagued us this past week are long gone. A cool refreshing air mass has moved into our region just in time for the weekend. Temperatures should only peak out in the low 70’s on Saturday, which is several degrees below normal. The cold front did not produce much shower and thunderstorm activity in Hampton Roads. Most of the energy and good dynamics moved north of us. Also, the pattern will remain dry as no precipitation is expected most of the upcoming week. This will probably be the longest dry spell that we’ve seen in a very long time. A cold front may bring a shower on Monday, but chances are very low that we will see significant rain… The tropics (Atlantic Basin) have become active, but the storms will not have a direct impact on the United States, except for possibly some swells. There’s Tropical Storm Ingrid in the Bay of Campeche and Tropical Storm Humberto well out in the Atlantic. Ingrid will head into Mexico bringing heavy rain. Humberto should continue moving NW… I noticed on today’s current surface weather map that a low pressure system in Central Canada has numerous isobars around it, illustrating that the system is quite strong. This is definitely a sign that Fall is not far away. Weather systems become stronger as we head towards the winter and it won’t be long when we’ll be seeing these stronger extra-tropical low pressure systems here in the United States.

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WILL A TROPICAL WAVE IN THE EASTERN NORTH ATLANTIC BECOME THE FIRST ATLANTIC HURRICANE OF THE SEASON?… AFTER A WARM SUNDAY, A COOL DOWN IS EXPECTED ON MONDAY

As the headline states, there is a possibility that we may see our first hurricane develop in this remarkably quiet season sometime later in the week if everything works out for this system. While other systems have not been able to overcome the strong winds, dry air, and Saharan dust, this disturbance is further south and may be able to avoid the hostile conditions that have plagued the Atlantic this year. Of course, nothing is certain at this time, but there are differences with this system that may make this one develop. However, even if it does become a formidable storm, the next question is… Can it make it all the way across the Atlantic, or will it get steered north harmlessly out into the northern Atlantic? It’s way too early to say right now. The climatological average peak of hurricane season is September 10th. We’re also in the Cape Verde season, when we are most likely to see a storm develop in the Eastern Atlantic. Speaking of the Cape Verde Islands, the aforementioned system should bring some strong winds and heavy rain to the islands. Is this a sign that the season is about to become more active? Only time will tell… Now to our weather: Sunday will be a warm day but it looks like humidity levels will be tolerable. A cold front moving down from the north will make Monday a much different day weather wise. Northeast to East winds will make Monday a cooler day with probably more clouds. A light shower or even a period of light rain is also possible, but not very likely. Then, dry weather should prevail until we get to late Thursday. Another significant cool down seems likely next weekend.

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AFTER A COOL START TO OUR SATURDAY, TEMPERATURES SHOULD WARM UP TO AROUND 80 DEGREES… IT WILL BE EVEN WARMER ON SUNDAY… STILL QUIET IN THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC BASIN

This past week, we picked up around two inches of rain as a cold front broke the very humid spell that we were in. Today (Saturday), it’s starting off very cool but temperatures will rebound to the upper-seventies to around 80. A southwest breeze on Sunday should boost temperatures to the mid-eighties. Humidity levels will rise somewhat on Sunday. Another cold front will drop temperatures on Monday, along with a slight chance of showers. As it looks right now, after Monday’s slight chance of rain, the mid-week period should be dry with warm temperatures. Rain chances will most likely go up later Thursday… The tropics remain unusually quiet. There has not been a hurricane in the Atlantic Basin so far this year. If this continues, this season is on track to go down as one of the quietest on record. Why were the predictions of such a busy season so wrong? The season is far from over but September 10th is the average peak of the hurricane season so from that day forward, chances of a tropical cyclone developing drop each day. There still really aren’t definitive signs that the conditions will change in the near future. Hostile conditions still exist over much of the Atlantic. You’ve probably heard about the Saharan dust shutting down the season. There are probably other reasons such as wind shear, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the experts over the next few weeks as to what went wrong with the forecast. So, enjoy your weekend and try to get outdoors.

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