Jeremy Wheeler

Calming Ocean

August 29th, 2014 at 8:21 am by under Weather

The waves have been up recently.  Surfers have been having a great time, while swimmers have mostly watched from them from the beach.  The good news is that the waters will be calming today.   Cristobal is becoming post-tropical, and is moving very fast to the northeast.  I was amazed to see it moving earlier at 50mph and still holding together (somewhat).

Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

That speed may be a record.  I will have to check.  Earlier as a hurricane it had winds of 80mph.  The winds won’t subside too much as an extratropical cyclone.  It may hit Iceland as a strong storm.  However, for us the local waters will be calming.  The waves will be decreasing today.  They’ll run about 2-3 ft with some 3-4 footers along the Outer Banks.  They should be decent swells like yesterday.  Here is the more detailed forecast from Surfline.com

In other weather….We had a few showers in the region since last night as the cold front slowly pushed south through the area.

Few Showers Earlier

Few Showers Earlier

The front will stall out to our south today.  North of the front, winds will be northeast at 5-10mph.  South of the front winds will vary.

Front Stalls Out

Front Stalls OutThis

Gosh!  How many times have I said that this Summer?  “The front will stall out”.  Hampton Roads has become the cold front graveyard this year, and frankly that stinks!  Anyway, today skies will be partly cloudy with a stray shower over northeast North Carolina.  With the northeast breeze it will be cooler near the shore and warmer inland. Highs will be near 80 at the shore, low 80s in the metro, and mid 80s inland and south.   Tonight the front will try to drift back north.   So we’ll see some isolated showers in the region.  Lows will be in the upper 60s to low 70s.  Tomorrow skies will again be partly cloudy. However, the winds will be more out of the southeast.  The front will have pushed through, but a stray shower or storm is possible in the region.  I only  put the chance for rain at 10%.  Highs will be in the mid-upper 80s and humid.  Sunday looks good, but it will be even warmer. Highs will be in the upper 80s solid.  Then on Monday a weak mid-level disturbance will move into the region.  So scattered showers and a few storms are possible.  Highs will rise to near 90.  We expect much of the same for Tuesday.  That could impact the kids heading back to school in Virginia. (most of the North Carolina schools are already back).

The forecast looks good for the American Music Festival, the Outer Banks Pro, and the American Music Festival.  Have fun if you are going to one of those events.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Better Waves. Cool Front Moves In

August 28th, 2014 at 8:29 am by under Weather

Yesterday the waves were big, but very choppy.  It was tough for local surfers to fully enjoy the wave heights of 4-7 ft.  Today the waves should be cleaner.  The cause of the high waves, Cristobal, is actually moving farther away from the U.S.  It was north/northwest of Bermuda this morning by about 300 miles and it was moving very rapidly northeast.

Cristobal On Satellite

Cristobal On Satellite

Cristobal has sustained winds of 80mph, but it looked like it was expanding on the satellite.  By tomorrow it is forecast to make the transition to post-tropical as it wraps in some of the cooler air over the North Atlantic.  As the system moves away from us, it is transforming the local waves.

Waves This Morning

Waves This Morning

The waves were up this morning at about 3-6 ft.  They should drop about a foot or two by this afternoon.  As they decrease in height, they are also decreasing in chop.  So surfers will enjoy some nice sets today.  This is good news for the Outer Banks Pro surf competition over the Outer Banks. Here is the latest surf forecast from surfline.com.  The problem is for anyone wants to just swim in the water.  There will be a high threat for rip currents again at the local beaches.  Red flags will likely fly again at the oceanfront.  Luckily this should improve by the weekend for folks trying to get in a last minute vacation before school starts.

Outside of beach weather we have some pretty good conditions for today.  However, there is one caveat… A weak cool front will move through the region later today.  This may kick off a few isolated showers.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The wind will turn from out of the west to out of the north at about 10mph.   Highs will be in the low 80s north, mid 80s in the metro, and mid-upper 80s south.  Tomorrow the front will stall to our south.  We’ll have a nice northerly breeze at 10mph.  Highs will be in the low 80s with partly cloudy skies.  We may be mostly cloudy at times.  We’ll heat up over the weekend though.  Highs will rise to the upper 80s with a few 90s inland.  A stray shower is possible, but not likely.  The rain chances go up a little on Monday for Labor Day, but the showers look to be pretty hit-or-miss now.  So stay tuned if you have some outdoor plans that day.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Surfs Up, Fog Burns Off, Cristobal Stays Out

August 27th, 2014 at 8:57 am by under Weather

We started the day with some patchy thick fog, but most of that was outside of the metro.  When I say that the fog is going to “burn off”, it means that the atmosphere warms up enough to dry out and unsaturate the atmosphere.  So the fog doesn’t literally burn up, but it does require the temperature to warm.  After that goes away, then we are in store for another nice day.  High pressure will dominate the weather.  Skies will be mostly to partly sunny.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

We’ll still have a northeast breeze at 8-12 mph, but it won’t be too strong today.  High pressure will provide for nice weather today and tomorrow.  Highs will be in the low 80s today and mid 80s on Thursday.  A weak cool front will move into the region Thursday into Friday, but it shouldn’t bring any big changes to our weather.  It could kick off a stray shower in the region, but the chance is very low.

Hurricane Cristobal is over 400 miles west of Bermuda and is moving northward.  It has sustained winds of 80mph.

Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

Once again, it isn’t too impressive on satellite.  This time there is some dry air wrapping into the center.  This exposed the eastern side of the hurricane.  However, it looks like the thunderstorms are beginning to wrap back around the center.  The storm has sustained winds of 80mph.  It will continue with this intensity into the afternoon as it moves north or north/northeast.  By tomorrow it should be moving northeast and it is forecast to strengthen a bit more.

Cristobal Forecast

Cristobal Forecast

The hurricane will probably make the transition to extratropical by Friday afternoon.   While the system is expected to miss the United States (by far) and Bermuda, there will still be one impact.  Waves!  Today we are looking at some high waves in the region.  They will get up to 5-7 ft along the Outer Banks. Especially towards Hatteras.  They will run about 4-5 ft at Virginia Beach.  This is great news for surfers, but bad news for swimmers.  The rip current threat is high.  So many folks heading down to the beaches today will be greeted by red flags from the life guards.  That means that it is dangerous to swim in the water.  Usually folks won’t be able to go in above their waist on days like this.  So keep that in mind.  The waves will subside a bit tomorrow, but the rip current threat will likely stay up for one more day.  It should drop by the weekend. Stay tuned for updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Checking On Cristobal, Rip Currents Stick Around

August 26th, 2014 at 9:10 am by under Weather

Yesterday was nice but very breezy.   The northeast wind has kept up the surf, but that has also kept up the rip current threat at the local beaches.  We ran a great story about how this has been affecting businesses near the oceanfront.  Rip Currents & Business.   Today the wind won’t be quite as strong.  High pressure was building-in over the last couple of days, but now it sits on top of our region.  This will allow for nice weather in the area.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Skies will be mostly to partly sunny.  Temperatures will rise to the low 80s for most cities with a few upper 70s near the shore and a few mid 80s inland.  This niceness will continue into tomorrow, but the wind will be more out of the west.  So temperatures will heat up more into the mid 80s area-wide.  A weak front will move into the region Thursday into Friday, but it probably won’t have too much of an impact on our weather.  It may create a stray shower Friday night into early Saturday as it stalls out near the region.

Here’s the latest on hurricane Cristobal.  It has become an interesting storm, not in its fury, but by it’s randomness.  The past path has been wobbling quiet a bit.  The latest satellite doesn’t look anything like a hurricane.  It almost looks like 2 areas of disturbed weather.

Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

This may be a sign of weakening, but it’s a little early to tell.  There is an old frontal boundary out there.  So perhaps it is trying to interact with it.  The system is a minimal hurricane with  winds around 75mph.  It has finally picked up speed as it is moving north at 12mph.

Cristobal Forecast

Cristobal Forecast

The hurricane is forecast to move north/northeast over the next 48 hours.  It is also forecast to intensify with sustained winds of 90mph by early Thursday morning.  This will be fairly close to category 2 status (96mph).  The latest track looks like it will miss Bermuda.  However, they are likely to see some big waves.  They may see a few high wind gusts too.  The waves could be 10-15ft or higher there.  Meanwhile the waves will also travel west.  So we’ll see waves of 4-5ft near the Virginia coast tomorrow.  There may be some waves to 6-8 ft over the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Wave Forecast

Wave Forecast

This will keep the rip current threat high through Thursday.  However, by Thursday the system will be moving farther away.  So the waves will steadily decrease into the weekend.  Cristobal will head to the north Atlantic, and will become extratropical by that time.  There is a high confidence in it’s current track as many of the models are in good agreement.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

One last thing before I go.   The “Farmer’s Almanac” forecast is out for the upcoming Winter.  It is calling for another cold Winter for much of the U.S (snowy over much of it too).  Here’s the link with more info: Farmer’s Almanac Forecast.  I’ll try to give my forecast for the Winter sometime over the next month or two.  For now I do think it will be an early Fall and (maybe) an early Winter.  We’ll see.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Hot, Cold, Rip, & Cristol Ball?

August 25th, 2014 at 9:08 am by under Weather

Relax!  I misspelled the name of the tropical system on purpose….Cristobal-Crystal Ball.  Get it?  There’s actually a big puzzle of weather across the country with rotating pieces across the board.  It’s very interesting actually.  Today we have a big area of high pressure in the region which is providing for nice weather and a persistent/cool northeast breeze.  In the central U.S. the same system is pumping in the heat.  So they are dealing with highs in the 90s and 100s there and out west.  The winds will be northeast at 10-20mph with a few higher gusts near the shore.  That breeze is creating some waves and a high threat for rip currents today.  High temperatures will be in the upper 70s with some 80s inland.  That is incredible for late August.  So the high pressure area will sit over the region during the next few days.  This will continue to produce nice weather and northeast breezes. It will also help to block Cristobal from moving northwest.

Areas Of High Pressure

Areas Of High Pressure

Right now Cristobal is just north of the Bahamas with sustained winds of 60mph.  Thunderstorms have fired up around the system, but they are stronger and more numerous to the south of the center.

Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

It is slowly moving northward.  Over the next 36 hours it is forecast to move more northeast in-between the two areas of high pressure.  The wind shear is forecast to weaken. So the system is expected to become a minimal hurricane by Wednesday morning.

Cristobal Forecast

Cristobal Forecast

Eventually the upper level winds will dip down and help carry the storm faster to the east/northeast.  The models are in pretty good agreement in keeping the storm far from the east coast.  There are only a couple of outliers that take it closer to the coast.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

There is a low confidence in the 2 models that do bring it closer to the U.S.  The European model (not shown) also keeps it offshore.  This model has had a lot of weight as it’s done well overall for the past couple of years.  The GFS model also keeps it well offshore (red line above).  I wouldn’t say that the forecast is not set in stone just yet, but the odds are good that it will follow the current forecast.

I don’t expect any impacts here in Hampton Roads from the storm other than a continuing high threat for rip currents.  The northeast winds will likely continue as the storm moves away from our region.  So we will see some nuisance type tidal flooding over the next few days as well.  The wind and the rain will stay well away from our region.  Bermuda may see some wind and higher waves, but the most likely path keeps the impacts minimal at this time.  Stay tuned for updates.  Remember the forecast has changed quite a bit over the last few days.  It’s still possible that Cristobal will have a couple of surprises.  One possibility is that the storm may stall out for a bit longer over its current waters.  Again…stay tuned.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


1 Quiet Day…And Then…..

August 20th, 2014 at 8:46 am by under Weather

Most folks would have considered yesterday quiet.  However, if you were up on the lower Eastern Shore, then you may have had to head to higher ground.  My weather watcher Doris in Machipongo said that she was out driving and she saw some of the heaviest rain that she’s ever seen in her life.  Here was the view on the satellite/radar.

Satellite/Radar Yesterday

Satellite/Radar Yesterday

When she got back home she said that she had 2.5″ of rain, but more likely fell north of her home.  Notice the rest of the region just had some scattered light showers.  So most folks had a quiet afternoon.  Today we will be in-between systems.  One weak area of low pressure is moving offshore.  Another is forming over the Midwest.

In Between Systems

In Between Systems

Notice too that a cool front has passed through the region. So we are looking good today.  Skies will be partly cloudy.  We’ll have highs in the low 80s near the shore with mid 80s inland.  Winds will be northeast at 8-12mph with a stronger breeze near the shore.  By tomorrow the cool front will pass back north as a warm front.  Dun dun duhhh.  So we’ll have some scattered showers and a few storms in the region.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

Despite the front, the models aren’t showing much rain for tomorrow.  I put our chance for rain at 40%.  High temps will aim for the mid-upper 80s.  However, an area of low pressure will form along the front on Friday as it stalls out near the region.  So the rain chances will increase.  We’ll see a few lingering showers on Saturday, but I’m a bit dubious as it looks (to me) like the system will be moving out to sea.  Stay tuned for updates. Sunday still looks good regardless.

Speaking of updates.  There is an update in the tropics.  There is a cluster of thunderstorms near the Lesser Antilles that is likely to develop into a tropical depression or storm over the next few days.  Currently it is a couple hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west.  It is forecast to develop and move into the Caribbean.

Forecast Models For Invest 96

Forecast Models For Invest 96

Some models have it going into the Gulf of Mexico and even possibly becoming a hurricane.  We’ll be monitoring this tropical feature over the next few days to see where it goes.  Unlike other recent systems the global models actually do something with Invest 96.  So we’ll see what happens.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Heavy Rain Yesterday, Now Decreasing Chances

August 19th, 2014 at 8:45 am by under Weather

The clouds got very dark, and then the rain moved in yesterday.  We had street flooding over part of the region.  Here was one example of that from Shirl Johnson in Virginia Beach.

Street Flooding

Street Flooding

The rain really dropped over that area in a short period of time.  My weather watcher Donna in Blackwater had 1.3″ of rain in a span of about an hour.  Greg in Currituck, NC  had 0.9″.  Both of these folks didn’t need any rain.  However, my weather watcher Don in Toano had a quarter of an inch.  Also, Doris on the lower Eastern Shore had a half inch.  Both of those regions did need some rain.  Here were some of the reports from the rest of the area:

Rain Totals

Rain Totals

This was all prompted by a pocket of energy in the mid levels as well as an area of low pressure at the surface.  The low is still sitting near our region this morning.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

It will slowly push east and offshore today.  For a while it looked like the low would push away by midday and allow for some drying this afternoon.  However, the models have been trending a little slower for that to happen.  So while the rain chances do look to drop a bit this afternoon, they probably won’t drop much until the late afternoon/early evening.  Highs will be in the mid 80s.  Winds will be northeasterly at 5-10mph.

Tomorrow the front should push away, and the low should move offshore.  So we’ll see quiet weather for Wednesday. Highs will be in the 80s.  Then late Thursday into Friday another system will move into the region.  Heavy rain will be possible once again.  At least the weekend looks quiet for now.

The waves are still fairly low today at the oceanfront.  They are running around 1ft.  However, the waves are forecast to increase a bit tomorrow.  They are currently forecast to pick up nicely by the weekend.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Quick PM Update On The Storms

August 18th, 2014 at 2:38 pm by under Weather

There is a small line of strong storms moving through the area.  It is holding together pretty well as it moves east.  This may produce some damaging winds and large hail over some inland locations.  Perhaps even into Hampton Roads.  Here is what it looked like at about 2:30pm.

Super Doppler 10

Super Doppler 10

The storms are moving east at about 35mph.  Folks will need to keep monitoring the weather.  Especially since many folks are down at the ECSC this afternoon.  It will take a while before it gets to Virginia Beach, but some scattered storms will probably fire up out ahead of it.  What interesting is that there isn’t much shear (upper level wind support) for this system.  However, the instability has increased.  Especially since we had a little sun break out.  There is a severe thunderstorm watch for most of the region until 7pm.  Scattered storms will continue into the afternoon and the evening as an area of low pressure moves in from the west.  It will kick out tomorrow. So the rain chances will decrease as we head through the day.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Mosquito Heaven…For Them…Not Us.

August 18th, 2014 at 9:09 am by under Weather

Well the humidity has increased quite a bit lately.  Also we’ve seen the on and off showers over the past 2 weeks.  It has made for a mosquito heaven in our area.  Especially yesterday.  I noticed that they were swarming in my back yard.  My son had about 5-10 bites within the first 2 minutes.  I sprayed him after 1 minute, but it wasn’t enough.  Mike, my weather watcher in Whaleyville, also noticed the same.  We’ll see more rain today.  In fact the rain chances will keep increasing through the afternoon.  This as an area of low pressure moves east along a stationary front.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The area is very mixed as to who needs rainfall.  I’d say that Virginia Beach into North Carolina is doing just fine on rainfall lately.  However, from about Norfolk through the Peninsula and Middle Peninsula there are some areas that still need some rain.  Jan, my weather watcher in Reedville, said that she still needs rain.  So today the rain chances will increase in the whole region.  Amounts will vary widely.  Most areas will get about a tenth to a quarter of an inch.  Then some folks may get over an inch of rain within the scattered downpours.  High temps will struggle to reach the mid upper 80s.   If there is some clearing, then we’ll hit the upper 80s solid.  The humidity is high with dew points in the low 70s.  The breeze won’t help either.  We’ll see winds out of the southeast at only 5-10mph.

Rain may linger into tomorrow morning.  However, scattered showers will taper off through Tuesday afternoon. That’s when the low should push offshore.  Highs will be in the mid 80s tomorrow.  We’ll hold on to the chance for at least a few showers for the next few days.  Although it looks like Wednesday will only have a slight chance for rain.  That’s not good news for the folks down at the ECSC.  Unfortunately, the surfers will be pretty bummed out today.  Not only is there a chance for rain, but also there are no waves out there.  It is flat.  It may pick up a bit later this week.  The forecast calls for waves building to 2 feet.  Maybe up to 3 feet by next weekend.  Stay tuned.

In national news there are a couple of stories that caught my attention this morning.  The first is that there is a corn surplus across the country.  This despite a bad drought in the west.  However, the Midwest corn belt is booming.  Also, the demand has dropped lately.  Especially with the lower number of cattle in the central U.S.  Less cattle equals less feed.  This is all found in a Wall Street Journal article here: Corn Surplus.    Now if the food prices would just come down as well.  Also, there is an article from the Daily Caller about how last year’s Winter storms put a lot of strain on the U.S. power grid.  I didn’t realize it got that bad.  If we get another bad Winter this year with big storms, then parts of the U.S. may be in trouble.  Here’s the article: 2014/2015 Winter strain.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Cool Pocket Departing Soon

August 15th, 2014 at 8:33 am by under Weather

Brrrr!  Yep it’s August and parts of the Midwest are cold.  Not cool, not a bit chilly, but cold.  Lows this morning were in the upper 30s over parts of Michigan and Wisconsin.  It’s no joke.  Now locally we had low temps in the 60s mostly.  If we kept mostly clear skies this morning, then we might have seen some more 50s.  But a small pocket of clouds did move through early.  It is already pushing out, and overall the day is looking good.  Skies will be partly sunny with high pressure in the region.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

There is a stationary front to our south.  A weak area of low pressure will form along that today and will nudge the front northward.  This will create a few spotty showers over northeast North Carolina this afternoon. Tonight into tomorrow morning we’ll see a few showers in the region, but overall skies will be partly cloudy over the next 24 hours.  We’ll have fair skies on Sunday, however,  the heat and humidity will build in quickly.  So let’s look at the weather pattern causing this big change.

Today there is a rather large trough in the Midwest down to the Mid Atlantic.  This is bordering the cooler/colder airmass.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

The trough would normally produce some thunderstorms in the region, but the air at the surface is very dry.  So only isolated showers in the region are forecast for today (northeast North Carolina).  Highs will be in the 70s in the Midwest with low 80s around here.  Tomorrow the trough will lift north a bit.  Winds will be light out of the southeast.  This will allow for some warming in the region.  Highs will be in the mid 80s.  By Sunday the trough will push back up to the Canadian border.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

So as the trough lifts,  the heat will be allowed to spill east into the Mid Atlantic and the Southeast.  Locally our high temperatures will rise to the low 90s.  Humidity will also increase.  Highs will stay in the low 90s through Wednesday.  There may even be some mid 90s in the region.  We haven’t seen Norfolk hit 90 degrees or more since July 23rd.  That’s when we hit 91 degrees.

Things are getting set up for the ECSC this weekend.  The main events will happen next week into next weekend.  I don’t think we’ll see too much surf this weekend for warmups and practices.  Perhaps we’ll get some waves building next week.  The finals are next weekend, so I’ll cross my fingers for the surfers.  The Atlantic is quiet for now.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler