Before I get to today’s weather blog, I wanted to mention that meteorologist Don Slater did a blog last night about the new Convective Outlooks (Severe Weather Risk Graphics) that are now put out from the Storm Prediction Center. It is a bit controversial when you factor in how different meteorologists present it, but it is something that we will be dealing with nonetheless. I’m not a big fan of the new structure. I think there are too many levels now. I also think the word enhanced is at the wrong tier. However, I do like that SPC tried to be more specific in their forecast. The problem arises when meteorologists change the wording in their presentation (which is allowed). I think with some tweaking and more discussion, we will get to a more unified message.
Anyway, today we won’t see thunderstorms, but we will see a cold rain. This morning we started with temps in the 60s. Then temps dropped to the 40s and 50s. The cold front is moving through northeast North Carolina as I write this.
Through they day the rain will increase. We’ll see scattered to occasional showers.
Future Trak (3pm)
At the same time strong northerly winds (10-20mph with gusts to 25mph) will keep dropping the temperatures. So by the afternoon our temperatures will only be in the low/mid 40s.
Keep in mind that it will feel like it is in the 30s with the wind chills. So make sure you take an umbrella, rain jacket, and maybe even a coat and scarf. It will be wet for the evening commute as well. Rain should taper off later this evening. During the overnight we will hold on to a weak chance for a few showers. Temps will drop to the mid 30s with a few 40s near the shore. By tomorrow morning we should dry out quite a bit. However, some upper level energy will still be around. This could bring us a few sprinkles, flurries, and/or sleet pellets in the morning. The trend has been drier on this. That is good news for some of the weekend events. I know there are a couple of Easter events already this weekend. Highs will only be in the 40s on Saturday with a drying afternoon. Then on Sunday we’ll start with temps in the low 30s. We’ll rise to the upper 40s with sunshine. We might see some 50s mixing in as well.
Next week is looking pretty good. We’ll see a lot of 50s and 60s. We’ll have a nice dry stretch until Thursday. Rain will move back in by Thursday, but at least we’ll get up to 70 degrees.
Walking out the door wasn’t too bad this morning. Even at the hour that I leave. We bottomed out in the 50s and 60s this morning. A warm front has moved into the region. Plus we had clouds and a good southerly breeze. At the same time a strong cold front was moving across the Mississippi River Valley. It caused severe weather and tornadoes across parts of the Plains states.
Today you will notice the humidity increasing. Dew points are already rising into the the 50s. We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds through the day. When the sun does pop out, the temps should shoot up. So I’m calling for highs in the upper 70s. Winds will be out of the south at 10-20mph with a few higher gusts. Keep in mind that any wind off of the water will be a cooling wind. Water temps are in the 40s right now. So places like Cape Charles, Hampton, and some Outer Banks Cities will stay cool due to that effect. We’ve already seen some scattered showers. These will continue into the afternoon. It will be warm and humid enough that we’ll see some thunderstorms forming later today.
Future Trak (3pm)
The chance for severe weather is very low. However, we could see some gusty winds as a wind-shift line moves through Hampton Roads. The highest rain chances will be between noon and 4pm. Rain will taper off this evening. Then it will return after midnight. The cold front will swipe through the area tonight. Temps will drop sharply. We’ll bottom out in the upper 40s. Then we’ll stay in the 40s through tomorrow. The rain will actually pick up in coverage behind the front. Typically we dry out behind a front, but sometimes the moisture lingers. Also a strong upper level trough will dig into the region. Between today through tomorrow night we could see a half inch up to an inch of rain. Most of that will fall tomorrow.
The showers will taper off, but will continue into Friday night. By Saturday morning surface temps will drop to the low 30s. The upper level trough will still be swinging through, but we will dry out quite a bit by then. So there is a chance for a few showers, flurries, and sleet pellets in the morning, but it shouldn’t be much. Maybe an isolated snow shower as well, but limited in area. The ground temps will be well above freezing. So anything that falls should melt. Highs will only be in the low 40s by the afternoon. That is downright cold for this time of year. We’ll stay chilly on Sunday with sunshine. Highs will be in the upper 40s. Then we’ll warm things up next week into the 50s and 60s. It should be quiet for most of the week.
I am ready for some warm air. Luckily…it’s here…starting today. At least for a short while. We started with temps in the low 40s this morning with lots of clouds in the region. I saw a sprinkle or two on the radar, but there wasn’t much with that. High pressure was slowly edging away from us to the northeast while a warm front was closing in from the southwest.
The warm front will lift through late in the day. This will bring us a few more sprinkles, but it will also warm us up. Winds will be light and ENE this morning. They will turn more out of the southeast through the late afternoon. Skies will go between partly to mostly cloudy. With the occasional breaks in the clouds we should manage to warm up to the upper 50s to low 60s. There will probably be some mid 60s over North Carolina. Tomorrow we’ll be in the warm sector. Remember, that is the area south of the warm front and east of the cold front.
Temperatures will get to rise up to the mid 70s in many locations. We’ll see scattered showers at times with isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. It won’t rain the whole day though. There will be some time when you can get outside and enjoy the warmth. Winds will run out of the south at 10-20mph. By tomorrow evening the strong cold front will move in from the west. We’ll actually see the rain pick up behind the front. So as the air cools on Friday, we’ll see scattered to occasional rain showers. A huge upper level trough will ride in behind the surface cold front late Friday into Saturday morning. If some moisture lingers, like the models are showing, then we’ll have a chance for some flurries and/or mixed precipitation Saturday morning. Maybe even a light snow shower or two. This will greatly depend on the amount of moisture around. The models disagree on this feature. At this time no model has any big snow in the region or even moderate snow. There’s still some time before we get there. I would bet that the air will modify a bit before it drops this far south. So the models may start to reflect that in some of the short-term updates. At this time it looks like temps will start in the low 30s in the morning and will only top off in the low 40s Saturday afternoon. We’ll be dry and chilly on Sunday. We’ll start in the 30s and highs will be in the 40s once again. It will be warmer into early next week.
Before I go I wanted you to see a couple of really cool things. First off…early this month there was a waterspout which made it onto a beach in Brazil. It really whipped things up as it moved onshore. I’ve never see a video like this. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0GuRSwtMvo
Also, I found this recent article about the northern lights. It is a timelapse of several auroras around the world. Here is that link: http://mashable.com/2015/03/17/aurora-display/
It’s really cool that we get to see things recorded like that. It is a lot more prominent now that most people have smart phones that can take video.
It’s a bit draining to deliver the message. Another cold day, another rainy day, etc. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve had a couple of nice days here and there. But we haven’t had a decent stretch of mild/dry weather in a while. This is the time of year when we get antsy. We hear that it’s officially Spring, so our minds tend to think that it should just automatically warm up. That’s usually not the case here in this region though. We’ve had plenty of cold Marches, and I remember snow in April during the past 10 years. 2007 comes to mind, and I think we had some in either 08′ or 09′ as well. It is possible to see some flurries in our forecast this weekend, but it’s still a bit early to call that.
First let’s talk about today. We have an area of high pressure in the region, but we did have a weak mid-level disturbance bring a few sleet pellets and flurries early this morning. That has pushed out to sea now.
We’ll be partly cloudy to mostly cloudy today. There will be a breeze out of the northeast, but it won’t be as strong as yesterday. It will also try to turn a little more from the east. Highs will be in the upper 40s. There will probably be a few 50s inland. In the mean time there is some heat building to our west. Look at the forecast high temperatures from the GFS model today:
Forecast High Temps
Highs will be in the 50s, 60s, and 70s (orange areas) to our southwest. This heat is ready to move into our region. Tonight that move will start to happen. We’ll still be cool here with lows in the 30s, but temps may rise a bit overnight. There will be some scattered showers caused by overrunning. Tomorrow the winds will be more out of the east/southeast. So we’ll warm up to the upper 50s to low 60s. A few of the rain showers will linger into tomorrow morning, but they should move out by the mid morning hours. So Wednesday afternoon should be fairly nice. The winds will be stronger and more southerly on Thursday. A warm front will have moved through the region. So high temperatures will make a run for the mid 70s. While the temps will be awesome, the rain chances will also be up. So we’ll see scattered showers through the day with some thunderstorms even during the afternoon. A strong cold front will move through by Thursday evening. Then cold air will keep pouring-in into Friday. Highs will be in the low 50s (which isn’t too bad), but temps will keep dropping. We’ll be in the low 30s by Friday night. Then highs will only be in the low 40s on Saturday. Now there will be some scattered rain showers again on Friday. Then on Friday night the temps will drop enough to produce a few flurries or sleet pellets. This will be along with some spotty showers. The jetstream will take a large dip (trough) over our area. So this will help to produce a little bit of precip. The models don’t show much at this time, but it will be something to watch.
We’ll dry out for the rest of Saturday into Sunday. We’ll still be chilly on Sunday with highs in the 40s again. This is important because there are some Eastern egg hunts already this weekend. So check back for updates to the timing of the precip as well as the temps.
Before I get to the weather of the day. I have to show you this great image:
Tower Cam This Morning
It’s ironic that the sky looked like it was on fire. Because the temps were down to freezing in some areas this morning. The wonderful warmth that we had yesterday is gone! Norfolk International Airport hit a high of 80 degrees. It felt so nice. Then the cold front moved through in the evening, and we’ve been cooling down ever since. As high pressure started building in last night the winds became very strong. When I came in there was a wind gust to 37mph in Virginia Beach. The winds have settled down since then, but the high continues to move closer to the region.
We’ll see a lot of sunshine today, but high temperatures will only be in the upper 40s. Winds will be out of the north at 10-20mph. By tonight the high will sit right on top of us. We’ll see a little bit of clouds moving in from the west/southwest. Winds will be light. Where there is still clearing, the temperatures will drop down to the low 30s. Otherwise we’ll see lows in the mid 30s.
Tomorrow we’ll see quite a bit of clouds as the high slowly edges offshore. The rain should hold off through the day. We’ll see highs in the upper 40s. A weak area of low pressure will move into the region Thursday night into Friday. This will bring us a good chance for rain. It will be on and off through the day on Friday. Then the low will move out by the weekend. So Saturday looks pretty good. Partly sunny and highs in the upper 50s. However, more cool/cold weather will move towards the area from Sunday into early next week. Highs will be back in the 40s for a couple of days. Yep! Yesterday was just a taste of Spring, even though Spring officially starts on Friday. Sigh!
In international news… I found a really neat article that talks about how this year could break a record for the lowest maximum amount of sea ice in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice typically maxes out about this time of year, but this year it is running very low. This is interesting since the eastern U.S. has had a lot of cold air over the last 2 months. Here is the article: Possible record low-peak sea ice in the Arctic.
Enjoy it while you can. We are going to have one more warm day, and then it will get much cooler around here. This morning we started so warm that I heard birds chirping at 3:30 in the morning. It was nice. This time of year is very nice for several reasons. When it warms up you still don’t get the high humidity, and the insects still aren’t out in full force. Also, it’s still a little early for the pollen to come out. Plus, you can get away without running the A.C. or heat for a couple of weeks. Longer if the weather cooperates.
So yes… We are looking at a nice warm St. Patrick’s Day. With a mix of sun and clouds and a southwest breeze at 10-15mph we’ll warm temps up to the upper 70s. There will be a few 80s inland, but it will still be cooler near the shore. (60s/70s). The breeze should be enough to push back any sea breeze.
There is a cold front to our north. It will try to move in during the evening. This may kick off a stray shower, but the odds are low. We’ll be mostly dry over the next 48 hours. Tomorrow the cold front will drop as far south as South Carolina. We’ll be cold and dry behind it.
Winds will run out of the north at 10-20mph. So highs will only be in the upper 40s. That will be about a 30 degree drop in temps in a 24 hour period. By Wednesday night low temperatures will drop back to the low 30s. This is important as many plants and flowers are starting to bud and maybe even bloom. So we may have to start protecting the sensitive plants with these cold shots over the next couple of weeks.
On Thursday an area of low pressure will move into the region. It will run into a pretty chilly airmass. Now it will be too warm here for snow, but a wintry mix of sleet and snow will be possible over parts of central and northern Virginia. Again, this is on Thursday. It would likely melt, but keep it in mind if you are traveling or commuting. Locally we’ll see rain showers on and off from late Thursday into Friday. Highs will be in the 40s on Thursday and near 50 on Friday. The low will push out by Friday evening. High pressure will settle in for the weekend. However, we will get another surge of cooler air Sunday into Monday. It might be a while before we see a long stretch of warm weather.
Meteorologist Tiffany Savona did a good blog last night about the weak earthquake in Virginia and the record snow in Boston. I just wanted to add a couple of quick topics. Tropical cyclone (hurricane) Pam has caused major destruction over the island of Vanuatu, as well other parts of Oceania. It was on the level of a strong category 4 hurricane with some winds gusting up to 190mph. This was one of the strongest hurricanes in the Pacific since typhoon Haiyan in 2013. There will be more reports about Pam’s damage coming in over the next couple of days. Here is one of the latest reports: Cyclone Pam.
Locally, we’ll see some nice weather around here. It will be another mild day with highs in the upper 60s to around 70. It will be another one of those days where it is cooler near the shore and warmer inland. We do have some strips of clouds coming in from the northwest, but they should thin out at times today.
High pressure is centered to our southwest, but it reaches into our region. Winds will be light and southwest. This could allow for a sea-breeze to form today. However, tomorrow we’ll have a stronger atmospheric breeze out of the west/southwest. This should push the warmth to the shore. That’s why I’m calling for mid 70s in the forecast for St. Patrick’s Day. Skies will be partly cloudy. Nice!
A cold front will move through the region Tuesday night. This could bring a few showers, but it will also drop the temps quite a bit. So we’ll only see highs in the upper 40s on Wednesday and Thursday. Youch! Not the deep freeze, but far below the average high temperature of 58.
We’ll see some rain move in again late Thursday into Friday as an area of low pressure moves into the region.
It was a beautiful morning, but a cold morning. At least by March’s standards. We had lows in the mid 30s in the metro, but it dropped to the upper 20s to low 30s in our inland sections. I mentioned that folks should bring in their potted plants in yesterday’s blog. Hopefully, they did. We will have a lot of sunshine this morning, but clouds will build-in through the afternoon. High pressure is retreating off to our northeast, and showers were slowly moving towards us from the southwest.
As the showers move east they will encounter some pretty dry air. So they should fall apart as they move into central Virginia/North Carolina. With the strong March sun, temperatures should get a chance to warm up quite a bit. Highs will be in the mid 50s with a few 60s inland. There will be a breeze out of the northeast, but it will be light. So temps will be cooler near the shore, but the coolness should stay close to the shoreline. We’ll probably see a few sprinkles by this evening. Then scattered showers will arrive between 7 and 10pm.
Future Trak (9pm)
Scattered showers will continue overnight into tomorrow morning. Now the models go back and forth a bit as to whether or not there will be a break in the rain around mid-morning Saturday. However, I think they are basically saying that there will be passing showers throughout the morning. Having said that…here is what the latest update from Future Trak shows at 10am.
Future Trak (10am Saturday)
This will impact the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ocean View, Norfolk. So take the umbrella. At least it will be warm. (60s). Scattered showers will continue on and off through the day. We’ll have a steady breeze out of the south at 10-20mph. High temps will reach 70 degrees, and it will be humid. Because of this there may be a few thunderstorms in the afternoon. We’ll be east of the cold front and south of the warm front. This is known as the warm sector.
The cold front will arrive by tomorrow evening. This will create one last line of showers after 8pm until midnight. Then we’ll dry things out. We’ll see drier weather on Sunday with gradually clearing skies. Highs will be in the upper 50s. It should be pretty nice. Then we have something very rare here (at least lately). A long stretch of dry/quiet/mild weather. Dun dun duhhhhh. Highs will be in the 50s and 60s between Monday to Wednesday with a mix of sun and clouds. Love it!
It’s nice this time of year when we get a batch of fresh/dry air moving into the region. It was warm yesterday, but the humidity was up. The cold front moved through yesterday evening. It caused widespread rain showers, but the temperatures didn’t drop too much at first. Now the front is south of Cape Hatteras, NC.
Temps did drop this morning to the mid 40s. There were a few 30s inland. Through the day we’ll have high pressure building in from the west. We’ll see a lot of sunshine. However, the winds will be coming in out of the north/northeast at 10-15mph. With the water temperatures near 40 degrees, it will keep the air cooler near the shore. So highs will be in the upper 40s there. Meanwhile inland locations will see some mid-upper 50s.
Tonight we will return to some cold air. Skies will be clear with light northeasterly winds. so lows will drop down to the low/mid 30s. Many folks have probably put some potted plants back outside recently with the warmer weather. If that is the case, then you should bring your plants back inside tonight. We could drop to the freezing mark in several cities. Especially inland locations.
Through the day on Friday we’ll see increasing clouds. We probably won’t see rain until the evening, but a spotty shower is possible inland by the late afternoon. Highs will be in the low/mid 50s. A warm front will lift into the region by Friday night. So temps will warm by the evening. Also we’ll see rain showers increase. Rain will fall across most of the area from Friday night into Saturday morning. The timing is important. A lot of people are starting to have outdoor events on the weekend. One big event Saturday morning is the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ocean View, Norfolk. At this time it looks like it will be wet for the parade. It’s possible that the scattered showers will miss the Ocean View area (or yours), but at this time there is a pretty decent chance for rain.
Future Trak (Saturday Morning)
The showers should break up a bit by Saturday afternoon. Although some of the latest updates keep the rain going until Saturday evening now. Either way it will be pretty warm with highs near 70. A cold front will move through by Saturday evening. This will cool things down for Sunday. It won’t be too bad though. Highs will be in the upper 50s. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. We’ll see mild/dry weather for the first half of next week. Nice!
Oh by the way….we picked up about a quarter to a half an inch of rain in the region in the last 24 hours.
It’s been very warm around here lately. Yesterday evening I was out biking around the neighborhood in shorts. It was warm and even a bit humid. Quite a contrast from last week’s cold weather. We still have one more warm day, and then a big cool down will rush in by tonight. The cold front that will cause the change is up towards D.C. this morning.
The front is slowly marching south. We’ve seen a few scattered showers south of the front already. Through the day we’ll warm up even more, the rain chances will increase, and the winds will change. Winds will be out of the southwest through the early afternoon. Then as the front comes in they will turn out of the northwest. Temps will warm to the low/mid 70s despite lots of clouds. It will probably stay in the 60s north of the metro. Temps will drop a few degrees by the early evening. The rain will increase in coverage and a little in intensity by the afternoon. Here is what Future Trak forecasts for 3pm today:
Future Trak (3pm)
Most of the rain will be light, but some moderate showers with isolated thunderstorms will try to mix in this afternoon. Scattered showers will continue through the evening commute. Then we’ll dry out later this evening. We shouldn’t see too much rain today. I’m expecting a quarter to a half an inch.
Forecast Rain Totals
We will dry out overnight. Winds will be out of the north at 10-15mph. This will let that cold air pour on in. So by 6-7am tomorrow morning we’ll see low temperatures in the upper 30s. Through the day tomorrow we’ll see fair skies and winds out of the northeast at 10-15mph. This will keep the temps in the upper 40s for highs. We’ll be dry on Thursday and for most of Friday. Then a warm front will bring us some rain again Friday night. A broad area of low pressure will move through the region on Saturday. There is a pretty high chance for rain that day. Highs will be in the mid 60s. Then we’ll dry out on Sunday with highs in the upper 50s.
In national news…There has been talk lately about how the contiguous United States had a very polarized Winter. Somehow it was the 19th warmest Winter on Record according to NOAA. I guess the heat in the west outweighed the cold in the east. Remember too December and January were fairly mild in the eastern U.S. (overall). It’s amazing the record cold that was in the east during February. Meanwhile there was record heat in the west. I found a great article that talks about this in more detail. It compares Boston to San Francisco. Here is the site: Winter that Divided America. Now it looks like the east will start to catch up on temperatures.
On another note I also found another article that talks about groundwater. It talks a little about how groundwater has changed as the climate has changed. It shows a map of aquifers across the United States. Here is that article: Groundwater.