Our warming trend begins tomorrow in Hampton Roads and the tropics are becoming more active too. First we will talk about our local weather. It was cloudy and cool today with highs only in the upper 60s for many of you. The clouds will stick around on Monday, but it will be warmer with highs in the mid to upper 70s. The reason we are going to be warmer tomorrow is because a ridge of high pressure will build into Hampton Roads. The jet stream will slide to our north as our next storm system gains some energy across the Central Plains.
Our southeasterly winds will increase our moisture levels tomorrow. Since our moisture levels will be on the rise, we can’t rule out a few isolated showers Monday afternoon, but most areas should remain dry. Our latest Future Trak model only has a few showers developing by 3 PM.
The cold front will get closer to us on Wednesday, therefore Tuesday will be even warmer with highs in the lower 80s. Wednesday will be a day of change. We may see a few showers in the morning, but the main area of showers and storms won’t arrive until late in the day on Wednesday. Some of the storms may be on the strong side. Rain will continue into early Thursday morning. The computer models are still in disagreement with the timing of the rain. The GFS model pushes all of the rain east of us early Thursday morning. The European model is slower and keeps the rain here until Thursday evening. We will probably see the models meet somewhere in the middle, so stay tuned for changes. Cooler and drier weather will move in behind the front. Highs will drop into the 70s Friday and Saturday and lows will be in the 50s. Next weekend is looking great so far!
The tropics are also heating up! We have 2 systems spinning in the Atlantic Ocean right now. Fay became a Category 1 Hurricane at 5 PM. Fay brought tropical storm force winds and heavy rain to the island of Bermuda last night and early this morning. There have been reports of thousands without power, downed trees, some roof damage and flooding across the island. Fay is moving east northeast and is forecast to rapidly weaken Monday and Tuesday.
11 PM Update: Fay has now weakened to a tropical storm.
Hampton Roads will see higher surf Monday and Tuesday thanks to the swell from Fay. Expect wave heights to range between 3-4 feet for Virginia Beach and 4-5 feet for the Outer Banks Monday. Wave heights will come down on Tuesday, but should range between 2-3 feet for Virginia Beach and 3-4 feet for the Outer Banks. The water temperature is around 69-70 degrees at this time. Surf conditions won’t be ideal since winds will be strong out of the southeast both Monday and Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo developed just east of the Lesser Antilles around 1:30 this afternoon. Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday as it moves westward toward Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Many of the global computer models have Gonzalo interacting with the same cold front that will impact Hampton Roads this week. This front should steer Gonzalo to the east, which would keep the storm out to sea and away from the U.S. Stay tuned for more updates!
-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona