Archive for October, 2016

THE NICE FALL WEATHER CONTINUES WITH A VERY WARM DAY EXPECTED ON SUNDAY… WE SHOULD STAY DRY MOST OF THE UPCOMING WEEK ASIDE FROM A SHOWER LATER IN THE WEEK WITH A FRONTAL PASSAGE

We’re very fortunate that our weather pattern became a very dry one after one of the wettest periods that we’ve had in a very long time. It gave the ground the opportunity to slowly dry out. Overall, the dry weather pattern should continue for several more days. After a chilly start this Saturday morning, a southwesterly breeze will bring in increasingly warmer temperatures. On Sunday, we may approach the low 80’s! A cold front will usher in cooler air on Monday (Halloween), but temperatures will warm back up towards the middle of the week. Conditions should be just about perfect for Trick or Treating Monday evening. Another front is expected to approach on Thursday. These frontal passages are not expected to bring significant rainfall to the region. However, there may be a shower in spots on Thursday or Friday, but it appears that we will stay dry most of this upcoming week.

The tropical Atlantic remains quiet as the end of hurricane season is about a month away.

So, there is not much going on in the weather department. This is the time to enjoy the great fall weather!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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THE MUCH NEEDED DRY WEATHER CONTINUES… A WARMING TREND IS EXPECTED INTO THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK… AN EXPLANATION OF WHY THE IMPACTS OF HURRICANE MATTHEW WERE WORSE THAN EXPECTED HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS

I want to start off my weekly post with a brief explanation of why the impacts from Hurricane Matthew were worse than forecasted here in the Hampton Roads region. As the storm moved northward along the southeast coastline, it transformed into an extra-tropical cyclone (or a non-tropical cyclone) and its wind field spread out to the north and west of the center of the storm. In addition, there was a frontal system slowly moving towards the East Coast of the U.S. and basically, Matthew interacted with this front. This resulted in an enhancement of precipitation as the warm, moist tropical flow out ahead of Matthew met up with the cooler air to the west. That caused rain to fall extremely heavy across much of Eastern N.C and Eastern VA. In other words, the storm underwent a transition from a tropical cyclone to a nor’easter type storm. Nor’easters get their energy from baroclinic influences, which basically means that they become strong storms due to the difference in air masses. Tropical Cyclones get their energy mostly from the warm water of the ocean and their strongest winds occur near the storm center or eye. In contrast, nor’easters or extra-tropical cyclones can be much larger than tropical cyclones and their effects can be far reaching. Their strongest winds can occur far from the center of low pressure. So, as the storm was undergoing this transformation to a non-tropical cyclone, winds increased across NE NC and SE VA later Saturday night. Rainfall increased in coverage and intensity. Soil already soaked from one of the wettest Septembers in our history caused trees to uproot. The already saturated ground also led to the flooding in some areas as the water could not drain off.

Now, for our current and future weather… The dry weather should continue for much of this upcoming week and there should be a warming trend beginning on Sunday. Temperatures are forecast to be above normal for a few days during the early to mid-week period. Normal high temperatures at this time of year are around 70 degrees. Today (Saturday) will be slightly below seasonal norms. The only issue with the weather the next few days may be some early morning fog in some areas. The increasingly longer nights at this time of year many times causes fog to form during the late night and early morning hours as the temperature drops to the dew point.

Tropical Storm Nicole is moving east-northeast into the open Atlantic after pummeling the tiny island of Bermuda as an intense hurricane. There are no other areas of concern in the Atlantic Basin at this time.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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HURRICANE MATTHEW HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED TO A CATEGORY 1 STORM… THERE ARE MULTIPLE ADVISORIES IN EFFECT FOR HAMPTON ROADS FOR LATER TODAY (SATURDAY) THROUGH SUNDAY

Here in Hampton Roads, we were all very relieved earlier this week when Hurricane Matthew’s projected track changed from coming directly over us to making a right hand turn out to sea well south of our region. It could have been very bad for us, but it appears that we have dodged the bullet. However, we may still see significant impacts from the storm as it passes to our south later today through Sunday. We should see rain overspreading the region later on today becoming heavy at times tonight into Sunday morning. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for later on this afternoon through part of Sunday. Winds are expected to increase later on and we could see gusts to near 45 MPH (or even higher) later tonight and Sunday. This may result in scattered power outages. There is a Wind Advisory in effect for later today through part of Sunday. Coastal flooding is possible at times of high tide tonight and tomorrow. At this point, moderate coastal flooding is expected. Please monitor the local media and National Hurricane Center for the latest updates.

In Florida, the hurricane could have been much worse had it not been going through an eye wall replacement cycle as it was approaching Florida. That process usually weakens a hurricane a bit as it tries to reorganize. Also, the center of the hurricane did not fully come ashore in Florida as it basically stayed just offshore paralleling the coastline. Storm surge caused by the strong onshore winds and low barometric pressure inundated some coastal areas. The storm is expected to weaken further as it interacts with land and encounters increasing southwesterly wind shear. It is then expected to turn eastward out to sea south of Cape Hatteras and then it’s expected to turn southward. That is a very unusual track for a tropical cyclone!

Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to move a bit erratically and its motion is impacted somewhat by Matthew.  The current thinking is that Nicole will not directly impact the U.S.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! Be safe out there!

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HURRICANE MATTHEW IS A CATEGORY 4 STORM WITH SUSTAINED WINDS OF 155 MPH AS OF THIS WRITING… CUBA, JAMAICA, AND HAITI ARE THE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS… AFTER THAT, THE BAHAMAS AND POSSIBLY THE U.S. SOUTHEAST COASTAL STATES… UNSETTLED WEATHER CONTINUES HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS ON SATURDAY BUT SOME SUNSHINE IS EXPECTED WITH LOWERING RAIN CHANCES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

Well, it is now October and as we close the books on September, I will tell you that it is probably one of the wettest months I’ve ever seen since moving to Virginia Beach in 1998. Over 18 inches of rain fell in my backyard! There may have been much more but my rain gauge overflowed! (I had to empty it 3 times during that storm that occurred from September 20 -22!). First we had Tropical Storm Hermine early in the month, and then we had that stalled low pressure system, which included the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia that dumped an incredible amount of rain. Additional rain fell this past week as we entered a period of unsettled weather with a very slow moving frontal system and moist flow aloft from the south caused by a persistent upper-level low to our west. It rained heavily this morning in my neighborhood as the moist flow continues. Rain chances are expected to slowly decrease as we head through the weekend. The frontal system will slowly move offshore.  Drier weather is expected early next week but a return of moisture associated with a developing onshore flow may bring showers back into the forecast by mid-week. Then, we have to watch what Hurricane Matthew is going to do. It’s still too early to make any type of definitive forecast, especially since the models disagree as to what the storm will do beyond 4 or 5 days. The category 4 storm is moving westward right now in the central Caribbean Sea. It is expected to turn northward due to a weakness in the high pressure ridge to the storm’s north which has been keeping it on the westerly track the past several days. Exactly when and where this turn north occurs is crucial. Right now, the forecast track takes the major hurricane over Eastern Cuba . Jamaica may get impacted and also Western Haiti. The interaction with land and high mountainous terrain should weaken the storm as it will interfere with the storm’s structure and it will lose it’s energy source, warm ocean water. However, this will only be temporary, since once it moves back over open ocean in the southwestern Atlantic, it may regain some of its intensity. Once the storm moves north of Cuba, the forecast track diverges greatly with each model. The GFS moves the storm closer to the Southeastern Coast of the U.S. and the European model takes it out to sea. So, there is much uncertainty in the forecast track and I strongly advise you to monitor the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and local media forecasts. You should also check out Hurricanetrack.com, which is excellent source of information regarding the tropics. If the tropical cyclone does impact our area, it probably won’t be until later next week. Marine areas will most likely be impacted with high waves, rip tides, beach erosion, etc. Of course, the exact track and intensity of the storm once it gets to our latitude will determine how badly the coastline is impacted.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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