Cool Weather Lately…But Warming Arctic?July 30th, 2014 at 9:19 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
I talked about the a-typical weather pattern lately and the cooler weather that has followed it. In fact Norfolk International Airport only had a high of 78 yesterday, when the average high temperatures is 87 degrees for this time of year. Incredible! Norfolk is close to the water, so that’s one reason that it was cooler than most Hampton Roads cities. However, the region as a whole has had some coolness. For a while we had a cyclical temperature pattern.
Then we had a longer stretch of cool weather in the second half of July. We are still in that regime. Highs today will be a little warmer (low 80s), but it is still very dry out there. Dew points are in the 50s. Other than a stray shower in the region we’ll have some very nice weather. Nice weather will continue tomorrow, but we’ll see a few more showers move in around Friday. Especially towards the evening. Then over the weekend a boundary will move in from the ocean. That is the current stationary front that now sits near the Gulf Stream.
This boundary may lead to a washout. I’m hoping the models will change their tune a bit. A shower wouldn’t hurt, but we don’t need an all weekend rainout. Stay tuned! Perhaps it will change.
Recently one viewer mentioned that the recent coolness over the eastern U.S. was likely tied to the recent ice on the Great Lakes and over the Arctic Ocean. I believe that there was a good influence from the late thaws up north, but I found a website from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Interestingly it talks about some of the fastest melting on record over the Arctic from late June through July. Here’s the article: Fast Arctic Summer Melt. So there was a late start, but now the melting is rapid. Remember that while we have had some cool air, the entire globe had it warmest June on record according to NOAA. That’s factoring in both air and water temperatures. With the talk about the ice, I wondered how the current water temperatures were faring. These are the current sea surface temperature anomalies (departure from average).
I figured that the Hudson Bay would be well below the average temperatures. But according to NOAA/NESDIS most of that water is above average with a small, though sharp, area of cooler water in the southwest portion of the Bay. Looks like there a little ice there too, but generally that body of water is warmer than average. What really stuck out to me was the very warm water temperatures over most of the Arctic Waters (red areas). This is very recent, and it’s very interesting. Except for the north central Atlantic, most of that ocean and its surrounding waters are above average in the northern hemisphere. It will be interesting to see how our weather pattern changes over the next month. Especially as we go into the bulk of the hurricane season.
Speaking of the tropics. I’m still watching that area of disturbed weather in the central Atlantic. It didn’t look too impressive on satellite, but the National Hurricane Center still says that there is a good chance for development into a depression or storm. If it does develop, then most models take it just east of Puerto Rico in a few days. Then it stays well offshore from the U.S. as it moves northward.
I have some other links to other interesting weather news that I will share in tomorrow’s blog. Until then. Enjoy the coolness.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler