Rain Battleship Game, And Ernesto UpdateAugust 8th, 2012 at 8:15 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Lately the heavy rain has been like a game of battleship. Some areas have had a direct hit with the downpours. Others have had big misses. Here is our radar’s estimate of the rain over the last 24 hours. It is more of a guide though as some cities have seen more rain than shown below:
My weather watcher, Greg in Curricuck N.C. had 3.1 inches. Donna in Blackwater (southern Virginia Beach) had 1.5″. But Don in Toano, Pam in Gloucester, and Jan in Reedville have all totally missed the rain. According to the radar, it looks like we got some on the Peninsula, but Don in Toano missed it. My other Peninsula watchers haven’t reported in yet.
Today we will see more showers and storms, but very scattered. The highest chance for rain will be over the Southside and northeast North Carolina. The only surface feature we have around is a stationary front to our north. Otherwise it is just very humid, and there is still a weak trough overhead.
The models are showing the clouds breaking up just a little more than yesterday. So I’m calling for partly to mostly cloudy skies with the bulk of the day being mostly cloudy. Highs will be in the upper 80s, and we’ll see our standard southwest wind at 5-10mph.
Tomorrow the upper level trough should lift north. So the rain chances are only about 20% or slight. It will be nice to get a break from the storms. Then, late Friday into Saturday we’ll have our next system approach the region and produce some strong storms. A cold front will slowly move out of the Midwest into the Southeast. Out ahead of it, the upper level winds will increase. This will help to support a threat for severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center has been highlighting this timeframe for the last couple of days. The models do show the storms. However, the timing has been trending later and later. If the bulk of the storms don’t arrive until the overnight, then this will help reduce the instability. Also, the models used to have an area of low pressure developing at the surface in Central Virginia. Then they formed it over northwest Virginia. Now it looks like it will setup even farther northwest. This is going to do 2 things. First, unless another local low forms, then it will reduce our chance for tornadoes. So the main threat will be straight-lined winds. Secondly, it is a sign that the front will move through slower. If this keeps up, then Saturday could be even wetter. It’s even possible that we’ll have to throw in some storms during the day on Sunday. So stay tuned on that. Either way I think we’ll get a break from the humidity Sunday into Monday.
Wow! I wrote all that, and I still haven’t talked about the tropics. Ernesto was a hurricane as it made landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula last night. This morning it is a strong tropical storm over land:
Ernesto’s pressure came up to 987mb (millibars), and the winds dropped to 70mph from 80mph. It is still moving west at 15mph. It will probably be even weaker in the next update, but then it will move back over water by this afternoon. Some restrengthening is possible in the next 36 hours as it moves west across the Bay of Campeche. Then it is likely to make landfall again somewhere near Veracruz, Mexico. It will then get chewed up over the higher terrain, but not before bringing heavy rain to Mexico City.
There are a couple of clusters of thunderstorms in the central and eastern Atlantic. There is a low chance that they could develop into something in the next couple of days. For now they are just 2 weak disturbances, but they will be moving into areas of lower wind shear.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler