Jeremy Wheeler

Really? A Thanksgiving Blog??

November 27th, 2014 at 6:37 am by under Weather

Yep!  Normally I would take the holiday off and give my typing hands a break for Thanksgiving.  But NO!  I’m toughing it out for the sake of weather.  Ok, I’m being dramatic, but it’s sorta true.  For this Thanksgiving we are looking at some wet weather in the region.  Scattered showers will be falling today.   It won’t be like yesterday with the heavy rain and gusty winds, but rain is in the forecast.  This is coming from a weak disturbance that is riding out of the Tennessee Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

As the system moves east it will encounter warmer temperatures.   So a lot of the region will see scattered rain showers.

Travel Forecast

Travel Forecast

There will also be scattered snow showers over the Appalachians, but it shouldn’t be as heavy as yesterday.  While the surface temperatures will be in the upper 30s to low/mid 40s in our region, the temperatures aloft will be well below freezing.  The freezing level will be at about 2-3,000 ft.

Wintry Mix Explained

Wintry Mix Explained

So there will be snow in the mid-upper levels, but it is likely going to melt as it travels through the bottom 3,000ft.  Sometimes though, if the precipitation gets heavy, then the cold air can get dragged down to the surface.  This is possible today.  So that will allow for some sleet (partially melted snow) and wet snowflakes to mix in with the rain at times.  With temperatures above freezing it should all melt.  But don’t be surprised if you head outside and see a little brief snow.  This all pushes out by tonight. Lows will drop to the 30s.  Then we’ll see dry weather for the rest of the weekend.  It will be chilly tomorrow. Highs will be in the low 40s.  Then we’ll be in the 50s on Saturday and 60s on Sunday.

Hope you have a nice holiday.  Safe travels!

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Nor’easter Hurts Travel!

November 26th, 2014 at 8:33 am by under Weather

It’s a rough go this morning.  Whether you’re a commuter or a traveler , you are going to have to take it slow today.  We’ve had widespread rain since the overnight.

Local Satellite/Radar

Local Satellite/Radar

The rain has been heavy at times. So far we’ve picked up about a half inch to an inch.  The rain is continuing to add up.  The reason we have this rain is due to an area of low pressure that is creeping north along a stationary front.  This is happening offshore.   The system is becoming a weak nor’easter.

Nor'easter Developing

Nor’easter Developing

There is a lot of moisture being thrown back to the west.  This moist air mass is hitting a colder air mass to our west. This is creating snow showers over the Appalachians already.  Snow will be a problem for folks traveling to the west or the north.  Anyone crossing the regional mountains will have to be very careful today.  Winter storm warnings affect a large area.  Some locations will see 3-6″.

Winter Storm Warnings/Advisories

Winter Storm Warnings/Advisories

Our local area will be too warm for snow today, but the rain will plague anyone driving across the region.

Travel Forecast

Travel Forecast

Actually along the entire east coast there will be problems with travel.  There will also be some snow showers from Minneapolis down to St. Louis.
The southwestern U.S. is the place to be today.

U.S. Travel Today

U.S. Travel Today

Fur us, the rain will be widespread through the mid afternoon.  Between 3-5pm the showers will become more scattered.  We aren’t expecting thunderstorms, but we will likely see 2-3″ of rain.

Forecast Rain Totals

Forecast Rain Totals

Ponding on roads will be very common as well as some localized flooding.  This will especially be a problem around tidal areas.  While the tidal flooding isn’t expected to be too bad (mostly nuisance), the problem is a newly common one.  When the tide comes up during big rain events, the rain doesn’t drain very well.  So you get minor tidal flooding even when nuisance is forecast.  This will mostly be along the southern Chesapeake Bay.  Here is the tidal forecast for Sewell’s Point.

Tide Forecast

Tide Forecast

This tidal rise of about 1-1.5 ft above normal will come around the midday hours.

Rain will finally come to an end by this evening.  Unfortunately, another system will impact the area tomorrow.  The nor’easter will be long gone, but a weak upper level disturbance and a small push of colder air will move into the region.  Scattered rain showers are expected from the late morning through the mid afternoon.

Future Trak (Noon Tomorrow)

Future Trak (Noon Tomorrow)

The precipitation should be light.  Keep in mind that it will be below freezing up just a couple thousand feet while temps will be in the low-mid 40s at the surface.  So I would expect some wet snowflakes and sleet pellets mixing in with the light rain showers.  Nothing should stick though as the surface will be too warm.  We should dry up by the time we get to Thanksgiving dinner.

After that we’ll have a nice dry period.  It will be cold and dry for Black Friday.  Lows will be in the 30s and highs in the 40s.  Then we’ll warm up for the weekend.  Highs will be in the 50s on Saturday and 60s on Sunday.  At least folks that are traveling will have some nice weather this weekend.  It will be nice for shopping and decorating as well.

Good luck in your travels out there.  Try to allow plenty of time to reach your destination.  Also, check your flights and your routes.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Holiday Travel Mess Ahead

November 25th, 2014 at 8:50 am by under Weather

The weather is going to be pretty tough for travelers over the next couple of days.  If you are driving out of town or have a loved one coming in, then you will want to continue to monitor the weather.  We’ve already had scattered showers out there today.  This is from a lot of moisture pooling in ahead of a cold front.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The cold front is closing in from the west.  We started with a very warm and humid morning. Temps were mostly in the 60s.  As the front passes the winds will turn from southwest to out of the northeast.  This will drop temperatures to the 50s this afternoon. We’ll be in the low 50s by the evening.  The scattered showers will continue on and off through the afternoon.

Today"s Forecast

Today”s Forecast

The front will push offshore through the evening. However, it is forecast to stall out over the ocean.  An area of low pressure will form along the front and move northward tomorrow.  This will push the moisture back to the west.  So rain is likely for most of the day and most of the region.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

Rain will be heavy at times.  We are looking about about 1-2 inches of rain for our region with higher amounts possible.  If you are traveling south, west, or north you’ll hit at least some rain.

Regional Travel Map

Regional Travel Map

This will be there in the early morning.  So don’t expect to head out early to beat the weather.  It should taper off later in the day as the low begins to move away.  Snow is possible over the Appalachians tomorrow.  So keep that in mind if you are going to travel out that way.  This will impact cities like Blacksburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton.

We’ll dry things out a bit by tomorrow night.  However, another pocket of moisture and an upper level disturbance will move through Thursday morning.  This will bring us some scattered showers.  It’s possible that sleet pellets and/or wet snowflakes will mix in with the rain.  Even if that happens though, nothing should stick to the ground.  Temps will be above freezing.  According to the National Weather Service, there have only be 3 Thanksgivings with snow.  The latest one was in 1912 with 0.5″ of snow on the ground.

We will dry out by Thursday evening.  Highs will be in the 40s.  We’ll be dry and chilly on Friday for the big sales.  Highs will be in the 40s.  At least we’ll be dry and warmer over the weekend.  So that let of the journey will be good for travel.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Record Heat, Then… A Wintry Mix?

November 24th, 2014 at 8:35 am by under Weather

I’ll admit…this week will be very interesting and kind of fun to forecast.  However, this active weather could mean big problems for travelers.  Especially on Wednesday.  Let’s start with today, and then I’ll get to the upcoming holiday.

Overnight we had some heavy rain along with a warm front moving through the region.

Radar From Last Night

Radar From Last Night

The rain pushed out by 5am.  We picked up about 0.5″-0.75″ of rain.  Winds gusted up to 30mph as the front moved through, but they settled a little around sunrise.  We are in the warm zone today as the warm front is to our north and the cold front is back to the west.

Warm Zone

Warm Zone

The warmth is also heading up to western New York.  So between that and some rain showers, they are expecting lots of melting in that region.  This will cause flooding for many residents that had the recent heavy snow.  Meanwhile there is some snow falling over parts of the Midwest.

Locally today, we’ll see partly to mostly cloudy skies and a few rain showers.  The chance for rain is about 30% which is pretty hit or miss.  We may even see some isolated thunderstorms.  We have already cleared out a bit, and temperatures started in the upper 60s to near 70 this morning.  With the southerly winds at 10-20mph and a few higher gusts we’ll manage to rise to near 80 degrees today.  We’ll even see some low 80s in the region.  The record high for Norfolk is 78 degrees (1983).  The high temperature record in Elizabeth City is 77 degrees (also in 1983).  Wallops Island’s record is easy to break.  They had 67 degrees in 1979.  All of these records are likely to fall today.

Monday Record HIghs

Monday Record HIghs

By tomorrow a cold front will move into the region, and will begin to cool things down.  We’ll see highs in the low/mid 60s with a mix of sun and clouds.  A few showers are possible, but the chance is fairly low.

As we get into Wednesday, the cold front will stall offshore.  (Sound familiar).  An area of low pressure will form along the front and move northward.  Deep moisture will try to push west into the the cooler air mass in the region.  This will condense a lot of the moisture right over us.  So we’ll see widespread rain in the region.  We could easily see 1-2 inches of rain.  Some models turn this moisture into a wintry mix by the evening.   Some also have a band of snow from Charlottesville northeast up through D.C. to New York.  Even if it were just heavy rain, then that alone would cause a lot of problems for travelers on Wednesday.  If we throw in a wintry mix, then this will multiply those problems.

Possible Wintry Mix Wednesday

Possible Wintry Mix Wednesday

In the viewing area, the precipitation could become a brief wintry mix from Gloucester county northward.  It’s still a bit early to refine the details, but that’s what some models are showing for Wednesday evening.  The models do agree that Thanksgiving will be cold and dry.  Highs will be in the 40s with lows in the 30s.  It will stay cold on Black Friday with lows in the 30s and highs in the 40s again.  Things look dry for that day.  So shoppers should be able to camp out in some nice warm gear before the big sales.  Stay tuned for updates to all of this.  The forecast will be tricky at times.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Warmer Weather Will Make A Comeback!

November 21st, 2014 at 8:20 am by under Weather

While we warmed up a bit yesterday, we knew it was temporary.  Highs got into the upper 50s with sunshine and southwest winds.  Today we’re headed back to the cold.  At least for a short stint.

Cold Front In The Region

Cold Front In The Region

A cold front has already cleared the region.  It shifted the winds in the overnight, but there wasn’t any precipitation along the boundary.  Winds will be northwest today behind the front. They will run at 10-15mph with gusts up to 20mph.  High pressure is building into the region.  So we’ll have a lot of sunshine.  But it will be cold sunshine.  Highs will only be in the low 40s with some mid 40s over North Carolina.  Tonight as the high builds in stronger, we’ll lighten the winds.  Lows will drop to the 20s with some 30s near the shore.  Then tomorrow we’ll have a light southerly wind.  So highs will rise to the upper 40s. Skies will stay sunny.   We are really going to warm up after that.  On Sunday we’ll see highs in the low 60s.  Rain will move-in, but it may not arrive until the evening.  Then we’ll see scattered rain showers on Monday with highs in the 70s.  There will probably be some thunderstorms near the coast.  Especially over coastal North Carolina.

We won’t cool down much on Tuesday.  We’ll see highs in the 60s with a few more showers.  On Wednesday things could get interesting.  Emphasis on Could.  A colder surge of air is going to move into the region.  Also an upper level disturbance will push into the area.  Some moisture will linger behind a slow moving cold front.  So we could see some cold rain late Wednesday.  Perhaps ending as a brief Wintry mix.  The main part of the upper level disturbance is expected to move through on Thursday….Thanksgiving.  If the moisture is there, then we may see a little wintry mix or maybe even some snowflakes.  At this time it looks like the area will be mostly dry, but some models hint at some pockets of moisture.  This is still far out.  So I’m not putting my stamp on that.

In the Great Lakes area there is a new problem that will be developing.  Warmer temperatures are expected over the next few days.  So all of the snow that is there in western New York could melt soon and cause flooding.  When you have several feet of snow it could potentially melt down to several inches of water.  This will be a developing story into next week.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Attempting To Warm

November 20th, 2014 at 8:12 am by under Weather

Well… temperatures are trying to warm up.  This morning we were running 10-15 degrees warmer than yesterday morning.  That doesn’t mean that it was a warm start.  It was just much better than yesterday’s teens and 20s.  As we go along today we’ll see a brief warmup.  High temps will rise to the mid 50s with lots of sunshine and southwest winds at 10-15mph.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

The average high is 60 degrees for this time of year.  Don’t get too excited though.  Instead of a steady climb into the weekend, we are going to see another quick drop in temperatures.  A cold front will move through tonight.  It will move through dry.  So there won’t be any precipitation with it.  We’ll just see a brief bump in clouds tonight.  Then tomorrow behind the front we’ll have northwest winds at 10-15mph.  This will tap into the Midwest cold pool and let it flow into the Mid-Atlantic.   Highs tomorrow will only be in the low 40s despite mostly sunny skies.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

The good news is that this next cold wave is also going to be short-lived.  On Saturday we’ll re-develop southerly winds.  So high temps will climb to near 50.  Then on Sunday we’ll build the temps even more.  So highs will reach the mid 60s.  The models have held the rain back on Sunday.  So now it looks like the rain will wait until Sunday night.  On Monday we’ll see highs in the 70s, but there will be scattered showers.  Thunderstorms???  Possibly.  But hey it’ll be warm.

Meanwhile in other parts of the country, the lake effect snow machine is in full force.  Parts of New York are looking at 9 feet of snow.  9 FEET?  That’s like me standing on my own shoulders.  Which would be a tough feat to accomplish. : )   Seriously though, they are getting hammered with mountains of snow in western New York.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

When cold air blows over warmer water and the conditions are right, then heavy snow can form in bands.  This is know as lake-effect snow.  There has to be some humidity in the atmosphere, but most of the moisture is supplied by the lakes and evaporation.  The water temperatures have to be a set amount warmer than the air above it.  Plus the winds have to have a long enough fetch (length of the winds over the water).   Usually this type of weather pattern happens in the Winter when the lakes have a lot of ice on them.  However, the cold blast happened very early.  So the lakes are mostly ice-free.  Therefore, the lake-effect snow machine is in full force.

The problem is that many people will be trapped in their homes for days due to the heavy snow.  Some have already been trapped for a couple days.  So unfortunately residents of western New York state could be running out of food soon.  Also, if the snow were to rapidly melt, then flooding could be a problem.  this is slowly becoming a major disaster.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


It’s Cold Out There…But The Planet???

November 19th, 2014 at 8:27 am by under Weather

Welcome to the November ice box.  It is very early in the season to get temperatures like these, but here they are:

Regional Temperatures

Regional Temperatures

We bottomed out around 28 at Norfolk International Airport.  The record there is 25 degrees (1959).  However, we did break a record in Elizabeth City, NC.  It dropped to 20 degrees briefly this morning.  The old record was 21 degrees (1959).  Also Wallops Island broke a record.  The low dropped to 21.  The old record was 25 degrees (2005).  There were many teens and 20s in the region.  High pressure is building into the area.  We have a very dry airmass in place.  So we’ll see a lot of sunshine today.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

We’ll start with light northwest winds.  We’ll end with light southwest winds.  Highs will be in the upper 30s to low 40s.  Tonight the low temps shouldn’t be as cold. Even a light southwest winds sometimes will add a few degrees to the temperatures.  So I’m expecting lows in the low 30s with 20s inland.  We’ll warm up a bit Thursday afternoon, but it won’t be a heat wave.  Highs will be in the low 50s.  Then a cold front will drop temps again on Friday.  Highs will be in the 40s for Friday and Saturday.  We’ll reach the 60s though by Sunday, and we are aiming for 70 by Monday.  The tradeoff is that rain is expected on those days.

Despite this recent cold, there has been a headline that the globe may have just had one of the warmest Octobers on record.  I guess it was warmer over many other parts of the globe, and water temperatures were the main factor.  Here’s an article about the subject.   Warmest October on record?

While many (majority???) scientists believe in Global warming and that humans have had a big part in causing it, farmers mainly have a different opinion.  From a recent study, it seems that the majority of farmers tend to not believe that humans have had a decent factor in Global Warming.  However, many do believe that climate change has occurred.  Here is that article. Scientists, farmers, and Global Warming. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Cold Air Pours Into Hampton Roads

November 18th, 2014 at 8:07 am by under Weather

It felt like Spring for a bit yesterday with the warm/humid conditions around.  We even had a couple of waterspouts pop out of some thunderstorms (Severe Blog).  Then… as advertised…yesterday’s warmth was replaced by a much colder air mass.   During yesterday afternoon temperatures rose to the low 70s across most of the region.  Then the front came through, and we’ve been dropping ever since.  Here is a good example.  Look at Suffolk’s temperatures for the past 14 hours:

Suffolk Temperatures

Suffolk Temperatures

Many temperatures this morning were in the 30s.  Winds were from the northwest at 10-15mph.  This allowed the cold air to pour into the region.

Regional Temperatures

Regional Temperatures

Wind chills were even in the 20s in several cites.  As high pressure builds in today, the winds will stay up out of the northwest.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

We’ll see mostly to partly sunny skies and highs will be in the upper 30s to low 40s this afternoon.  Technically we already hit the highs for the day right after midnight, but the afternoon temps will be cold.  Tonight skies will clear and winds will lighten up.  Temps will be dropping into the mid-upper 20s with a few teens inland.  If you are in some rural/inland locations, then you may want to drip the faucets tonight. It’s waayyy too early to be doing it, but hey.

Forecast Low Temps

Forecast Low Temps

Tomorrow we’ll have sunshine, but temps won’t climb much.  We’ll top out near 40 degrees.  We’ll warm up a bit on Thursday (low 50s).  Then another cold front will move through and drop us to the 40s on Friday.  We’ll get back to some 60s by Sunday, but rain showers will move into the region.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Severe Potential On This Monday

November 17th, 2014 at 12:39 pm by under Weather

We have had some clearing over the region, and this has increased the instability.  The models had some clearing earlier this morning, but not this much.  Temps are already warming to the 70s from northeast North Carolina up to the Southside.

Visible Satellite

Visible Satellite

I looked at the parameters for severe weather.   Nothing is off the charts, but there is a decent amount of helicity (spin with height) in the atmosphere.  Instability (storm potential) is increasing with the sunshine, and the upper level wind support (wind shear) is also decent.  So we’ll be on the lookout for some isolated severe weather this afternoon into the evening.

There were some heavy rain showers around midday, but there actually weren’t too many thunderstorms.  The storms are likely to increase in coverage through the afternoon into the early evening hours.  Here’s what I have for the rain chances for the rest of the day:

Rain Chances

Rain Chances

There is a wider area of rain to our west.  As that gets closer then it should put a cap on temperatures.

Super Doppler 10

Super Doppler 10

The cold front is expected this evening between 5 and 8 pm.  We’ll see a line of showers and gusty winds during that time. Winds will turn from the south to out of the northwest as the front moves through.

Future Trak (5pm)

Future Trak (5pm)

Then the cold air arrives.  We’ll clear out by midnight.  Then temps will drop to the upper 30s.  Despite sunshine tomorrow we’ll only rise a couple of degrees during the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 30s to near 40.  I have more on the cold weather in the previous blog.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


The Adaptable Coat (Update)

November 17th, 2014 at 9:07 am by under Weather

(Update: there is a tornado watch up for northeast North Carolina through the evening as there has been some clearing there and heating.  Keep an eye to the sky today).

I tried to think of a great way to describe the upcoming weather that we are going to see in the region.  I love to personify it, but I’ve been running out of original ideas.  So instead of tackling the weather part of it, I’ve decided to create a new thing!  The super coat.  It will be like those sunglasses that change when the light changes.  Maybe something like Marty Mcfly’s coat in Back to the Future 2.  Yep…A new coat that keeps you warm when it’s cold and mild when it’s cool.  It could have pullover layers.  Kind of like bowhunters gloves.  Maybe a solar cell layer that adds a heating element.  Maybe it can change to lighter colors when it gets warmer out and turn darker when it’s frigid.  Clothiers…there you go.  Make it happen.  Idea is free of charge.

Ahem, so anyway to my point about weather…There’s been a big up and down trend in temperatures lately.  We continue with that…So today we are going to be very warm, and tomorrow we’ll be very cold.   A warm front was moving into the region this morning.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Some moisture moved in ahead of the front and caused scattered fog and isolated showers.  The rain will pick up later today as a powerful cold front approaches from the west.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

Strong southerly winds and the warm front will lift temperatures into the low 70s this afternoon.  This will be despite ample clouds and scattered showers.  The warmth will help to create some instability.  So as we get into the late afternoon/early evening we’ll see some thunderstorms.  Some storms may be strong with gusty winds over 30mph being the main threat.  This is the forecast from Future Trak at 5pm:

Future Trak (5pm)

Future Trak (5pm)

The front will move through Hampton Roads between 6 and 8pm.  At least that’s the latest forecast, but it may have to get tweaked around midday.  The drier weather will get here before the really cold air.  So we aren’t expecting any snow tonight.  Rain should end by midnight.  Then temps will drop to the upper 30s by tomorrow morning.  We’ll have partly cloudy skies Tuesday, but there will also be some breezy northwest winds.   They will run at 10-15mph with a few higher gusts.  So temperatures will be stuck.  They will only rise a couple degrees to the upper 30s to near 40.   Wind chills will be near 30 in the morning and low 30s in the afternoon.  Brrr.  High pressure will build in tomorrow and will settle the winds by tomorrow night. This will set us up for the coldest air of the season so far.  Forecast lows will be in the the mid 20s for Wednesday morning.  That means that inland temperatures will probably be in the teens, and it means that some cities near the shore will finally get their first freeze.  Jan in Reedville says that she still hasn’t had a frost yet.   We won’t warm up much Wednesday afternoon.  Highs will be near 40 with sunshine.  We will warm up a bit Thursday into Friday, but not much.  Highs will be in the 50s.  Then we’ll see more chilly air on Saturday.  Highs will be in the 40s.  It looks like we’ll see a warmer weather pattern next week.  Course things could change before then.  Either way I say….It’s time for SUUUUUUPER COAT.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler