Surf and Turf, Cicada Style

May 15th, 2013 at 3:25 pm by under Weather

Get ready for a BIG warm-up! It will certainly feel like summer across Hampton Roads this afternoon. Folks across the Midwest have seen record heat over the past few days. This warmer air from the west will begin to build in today and with the help of our southwesterly winds, highs will climb into the mid 80s this afternoon. That is about a 20° temperature jump in 24 hours. Record highs are in the low/mid 90s for Hampton Roads, so those records should be safe.

We have received a few phone calls regarding the possible 17-year cicada invasion across Hampton Roads. I did some research and this is what I have found. Brood II is the specific group of cicadas that are expected to emerge now through the next few weeks. These bugs have been underground for the past 17 years feeding on plant roots to stay alive. Brood II is supposedly very large (millions of cicadas). The cicadas will only come out of the ground when the soil temperatures are in the mid 60s, right around 64 degrees. Here are the current soil temperatures according to the 06Z NAM across the region. It shows that our soil temperatures are in the mid 50s, low 60s. That is a little bit too cool for cicadas.

 

NAM Soil Temperatures (10-40cm)

NAM Soil Temperatures (10-40cm)

 

Cicadas come out of the ground to breed. The loud buzzing sound you hear is the sound of the males trying to attract the females. Once the cicadas mate, they die off.  They are only around for about 4-6 weeks but that is long enough to become annoyed with their loud buzzing. You don’t have to be scared of these bugs since they do not sting or bite.

We haven’t had many reports of cicadas here in Hampton Roads and there is still some question whether we will see any at all. You can view the cicada reports across the region by looking at this cicada map.

This map below shows where and when the different broods will emerge from the ground.

Cicada Brood Map

Cicada Brood Map

Credit: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/2013-cicada-swarm-guide/65101/
By looking at this map, Brood II will emerge across Central Virginia, to our west. This means we may not see too many cicadas, which is a good thing for us and for young trees, especially fruit trees, that become damaged when female cicadas deposit their eggs in small branches.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 

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 Surf Update:

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson here; if you are looking to do some surfing in the warmer water and hoping for a nice swell at the same time…the wait continues. The good news is that we are just at the 60 degree barrier for the water temperatures at the oceanfront. (Croatan Beach through the  North End)

Coming up this weekend a weak storm system will bring in some rain. The best chances for it will be on Sunday and Monday as the low will be moving right over us. Once it moves offshore we should see a wind switch.

Offshore Storm Bringing A Windswell

Offshore Storm Bringing A Windswell (Tuesday 8am)

model2

Wind Speeds on Tuesday Morning

Southwest winds at 10-15mph should help to clean up the 2-4ft possible swell we could see next week. Otherwise, the surf still looks flat/minimal for our area for a solid 7-10 days. The good news is that the water will still get warmer with our daytime highs in the 70-80s. I’ll keep watch on the surf continually until late fall/early winter. So tune in at 7:30am on Saturday and Sunday morning to our newscast for a look at the beach forecast in case you are going out. I usually show a surf camera from www.surfline.com at that time on the newscast.

Go Catch Some Surf!

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

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