Jeremy Wheeler

Heavy Rain Yesterday. Cool Down This Weekend.

September 5th, 2014 at 8:35 am by under Weather

It was really coming down over parts of Virginia Beach yesterday.  We had several reports of street flooding in the region.  This is how it looked to Tracey Minnich near the Virginia Beach courthouse:

Street Flooding

Street Flooding

The rain came down heavy there, but it wasn’t as heavy in other areas.  Here are the 24 hour rain totals for the region.

24 Hour Rain Totals

24 Hour Rain Totals

Notice that the airport in Newport News had 0.0″.  I did have a weather watcher in Yorktown(Scott) say that he only had 0.1″.  So that could be correct.  Don Roberts said he did get some rain at this house on the Peninsula, but he didn’t give any amounts.  Now there was definitely a lot of humidity in the region.  However, there was also a stationary front nearby.  This helped to create the showers and storms.  Today that front has fallen apart.  So while we are calling for some scattered showers and storms today, there should be less coverage than yesterday.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

Temperatures will heat up to near 90, but it will feel like the low/mid 90s with the heat index.   Winds will be out of the south/southwest at 5-10mph.

Tomorrow a cold front will approach the region.  It won’t make it into Hampton Roads until tomorrow evening.  So we’ll heat up again out ahead of it.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

We’ll rise up to the low 90s, and it will be humid again with dew points in the low-mid 70s.  Folks that have been hoping for a cool-down will get their wish on Sunday.  The front will move through Saturday night into Sunday.  This will create a good chance for showers and storms.  I’ll wait to forecast rain amounts though as the computer models tend to lower the coverage as the rain gets closer to the area.  Highs will be in the upper 70s to near 80.  The front will get hung up just to our south on Monday.  So we’ll hold onto the coolness with more rain in the forecast.  Through next week we will heat up again.  Highs will rise to the upper 80s by Thursday.  By next weekend, the models are showing a BIG cool down.  How cool?  Highs in the low 70s maybe.  Possible lows in the 50s.  Maybe….maybe some lows in the 40s inland, but that may be a stretch.  A possible frost over parts of the Midwest.  It’s still early though. So stay tuned.

The tropics are pretty quiet for now.  Well, the Atlantic anyway.  Have a good weekend.  Hampton Bay Days is happening.  The NASCAR race in Richmond should be happening, but that could be pretty stormy.  Also, I’ll be down at Mount Trashmore for the “Out Of The Darkness” walk for suicide prevention on Saturday.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Waiting For A Cool Down, & Arctic Sea Ice

September 4th, 2014 at 8:49 am by under Weather

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to some loud booms.  It wasn’t my neighbors playing drums.  Rather it was some lovely (sarcastic) scattered thunderstorms.  My yard was happy to get some rain, but my brain is pretty sleep-deprived at the moment.  So if this blog starts to sound like mush, then you’ll know why.  The rain was very heavy over parts of northeast North Carolina into Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Radar Last Night

Radar Last Night

My weather watcher Greg in Currituck, NC had 0.3″ last night.  Donna in Blackwater (southern Virginia Beach) had a whopping inch and a half.  Mike in Whaleyville missed the rain.  There was nothing from the Peninsula northward.  The wide area of showers moved northeast.  A few showers lingered behind it.  A stationary front was the main focus for the rain.  It’s trying to lift north a bit as a warm front. The front is expected to fall apart later today.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

There is a weak area of high pressure to our north.  Winds will be southerly at 5-10mph.  High temps will get into the upper 80s to low 90s.  We’ll be hot and humid today through Saturday.  Late Saturday into Sunday a stronger cold front will move into the region.  This will increase the rain chances and will also drop the temperatures.  So highs will be in the upper 70s to low 80s Sunday into the middle of next week.  The average high temperature is in the low 80s for this time of year.

I found two interesting stories on the web this morning.  The first story is kind of an update as well as an explainer about sea ice.  It talks about how recently some sources have mistaken some short-term trends for a longer term forecast.  It talks about how there is a definite downward trend in Arctic sea ice, and it also talks about some of the local geography over the Arctic.  Here is the article: Arctic Sea Ice Problem.

I am a believer in humans having a contribution to Global Warming, but I also like to point out the opposing view.  I also believe that natural cycles play a role in recent warming.  So I try to show both sides of the argument.  Therefore I also found this other article that talks about how the United States has had twice as many record lows so far in 2014 compared to the record highs.  Here is that article: Record Lows VS. Highs

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Not As Hot Today

September 3rd, 2014 at 8:12 am by under Weather

Yesterday was sweltering.  We even broke a record.  The afternoon temperature made it up to 99 degrees at Norfolk International Airport.  This broke the old record of 97 degrees set back in 1993.  I saw Williamsburg have even made it up to 102.  Wow!  The heat index was well over 100 in many cities.  I’ll admit, I was out working in the yard yesterday morning, and it didn’t feel too bad in the shade.  The breeze really helped.  But as soon as that sun came around  during the early afternoon…Whoa!

Today a cold front is moving through the region.  It is expected to kick off a few showers and storms, but the chance for rain is only about 30%.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

The front will keep the high temps in the upper 80s to near 90 this afternoon.  However, the humidity probably won’t drop all that much.  So it won’t feel too much cooler, but it will be better.  Tomorrow the front should fall apart.  Winds will turn back out of the south.  We’ll heat up to the upper 80s to low 90s.  I’m calling for just a few isolated showers and storms in the afternoon.  We’ll see more of the same temperatures for Friday and Saturday with some pretty quiet weather.  Then a stronger cold front will move through Saturday night into Sunday.  This will bring us our first decent chance for rain on Sunday.  It will also drop the temps.   Low 80s on Sunday.  Upper 70s to low 80s by next Monday.

In the tropics we have Dolly falling apart over Mexico.  The winds are weakening, but the rain is still pretty potent.

Dolly Over Mexico

Dolly Over Mexico

The heavy rain is forecast to create dangerous mudslides in the region.  I hope residents down there will fare the storm ok.  Too bad that heavy rain can’t push up into California.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Back To School Heat

September 2nd, 2014 at 7:37 am by under Weather

You know…August temperatures really weren’t bad this year.  Here is the graph of what the high temps looked like:

August High Temps

August High Temps

Sure we went above the average high several times, but we never really got into the 90s except for one day.  It really was a weird weather pattern, but definitely a cool one.  Notice that the 93 degree day was August 31st.  Then yesterday (Sept. 1st) we hit 95 at Norfolk International.  Then there’s today…. The record high temperature at Norfolk International Airport is 97 degrees set back in 1993 and earlier in 1980.  We are going for a high of 97.  There may be a sea-breeze late in the day.  So it may cool down at the airport and near the oceanfront, but it will definitely hit the mid 90s before that happens.  High pressure is sitting just to our southeast. This is allowing for plenty of sunshine, and southwesterly winds.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

Even though there is high pressure in the region, we may squeeze out a stray shower or storm this afternoon.  Especially if a sea-breeze does kick in.  Still, the chance should be low.  Dew points are in the low-to-mid 70s.  That is almost tropical.   So when you combine the heat and humidity, it will feel like it is between 100-105 with the heat index.  Rough!  The good news is that a cold front is expected to move through tonight.  As it moves through it will produce some scattered showers and storms.   Then by tomorrow it will slowly sink into northeast North Carolina.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

A few showers will linger into tomorrow morning in Hampton Roads.  Some scattered storms may linger into northeast North Carolina.  A lot of the area could use some rain now.  Norfolk finished August 2.51″ below the average rainfall.  Behind the front tomorrow the temperatures will be better. Highs will be in the upper 80s to near 90.  It won’t be too rosy though.  The heat index will still be in the low/mid 90s.  Winds will be northwesterly at 5-10mph.  We’ll be in the mid 80s on Thursday and Friday.  We could see a few showers again on Thursday.  However, we are looking at a higher chance for rain late Saturday into Sunday.  That will be the next cold front which should be a little stronger. Highs could return to the upper 70s by early next week.  We’ll see.

In the tropics there is a new girl in town.  Tropical storm Dolly formed last night and has some decent thunderstorms around its center.

Dolly On Satellite

Dolly On Satellite

The storm is generally moving west, and will move into eastern Mexico as a moderate tropical storm by tomorrow.  Winds shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but heavy rain could lead to mudslides.  That is a common occurrence from tropical systems down there as they have the higher topography.  Stay tuned for updates.

Meteorologist: 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