A Few Strong Storms…Local Drought UpdateAugust 15th, 2012 at 9:03 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Recently I mentioned that our area is really split as to who needs rain. So today I decided to put some numbers out there to show what I mean. So far this year Norfolk has picked up 28.06″
My weather watcher, Don in Toano (near Williamsburg), heard these numbers from my weathercast and called me up. He said he has only had 17.54″ up to this point, and his annual average is 43.55″. So unless he dramatically catches up in the next 4 months, then he will end up with a big deficit. Here is the departure from average for the above sites. Notice the big difference between Elizabeth City and Richmond:
So some folks in northeast North Carolina really don’t need rain, whereas the residents and farmers from Williamsburg northward desperately need it. The Eastern Shore needs rain as well. In fact part of Accomack county is under a severe drought according to the US Drought Monitor. That update comes out tomorrow.
Now as far as today goes we are expecting some scattered storms later this afternoon. We’ll start off with sunshine, but clouds will increase later today. The storms will be out ahead of a cool front that will move through by tomorrow.
We’ll have some decent upper level winds and some instability. So we are actually under a slight risk for severe weather. However, I am wondering about the coverage for this afternoon. The models are coming in with different solutions. The NAM has about a 40% chance for rain, but the GFS model only has a 20% chance. Our Future Trak is showing about a 40% chance as well. It’s hard to put your money on a slight risk when the models are coming in with that low of coverage. This goes back to yesterday where we started the day with dew-points (humidity) in the 70s, but then they dropped to the low 60s by the early afternoon as decent mixing (just as it sounds) occurred. That killed the rain chances. With the breezy southwest winds at the surface today it’s possible that we could do some of that again. The upper level winds are a bit stronger right over our region, but it will be a fight with that possible drying. One final factor is the cloud deck that is supposed to roll in. If it comes in during the later morning/midday, then that could work against the severe chances. Either way all models have at least some rain this afternoon. So I am calling for a 40% chance for scattered showers and storms with a few strong storms possible. Isolated severe is not out of the question with strong winds being the main threat.
By tonight the showers and storms will taper off as we lose the heating of the day. The front will slowly press through, and the winds will shift from southwest to west. Tomorrow we will enjoy some nice dry weather. Especially by the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid-upper 80s with clearing skies, low humidity, and north winds at 5-10mph. Friday will also be dry, but it will warm to the low 90s. A stronger more potent cold front will move through by Saturday. So we will expect scattered storms that day. Once again this front is expected to stall in the region. This will set us up for more scattered storms on Sunday. However, it won’t rain the entire time. I think there will be a break early Sunday. I’m hoping it’s a long break, but that will have to be tweaked in the next couple of days.
In the tropics, there is an area of thunderstorms several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda that will probably develop into a depression or storm.
If it does develop, then odds are that it will already start to turn north and then northeast, thereby not affecting the United States.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler