Weather

Time To Chill Out!

July 17th, 2014 at 8:03 am by under Weather

Yep! After all of the rough weather for the past couple of days, we now have some nice weather on the way.  It wasn’t rough for everybody, but we had some strong-severe storms on Monday.  Then there was very heavy rain over northeast North Carolina yesterday.  My weather watcher in Currituck, NC (Greg) had 5″ in a short period of time.  Elizabeth City didn’t have that much rain, but they did get 1.85″.  This gives them 5.22″ for the month of July.

24 Hour Rain Totals

24 Hour Rain Totals

The rain and the cold front have moved well offshore.  It is going to stall-out offshore near the Gulf Stream today.  The rain will stay east of us as well.

Satellite, Radar, & Fronts

Satellite, Radar, & Fronts

High pressure and drier air are pushing into the region.  Dew points are dropping from the 60s to the 50s.  It is going to be a very dry and comfortable afternoon.  Winds will pick up out of the northeast at 8-12mph with a few higher gusts near the shore.

As far as temperatures go…Here’s a neat look back at high temps for the month of July so far.

Recent High Temps

Recent High Temps

Clearly we’ve had some up and downs.  It’s been nice.  Even though we’ve seen periods of hot/humid weather, there have been some pretty good breaks in-between.  Notice that yesterday we had a high of 77 degrees at Norfolk International Airport.  We’ll see highs in the mid 80s today and tomorrow.  In fact, highs are forecast to be in the 80s for the next 7 days.  Lows will be in the 60s for a couple of mornings.

Other than a few showers on Sunday, the weekend looks great.  I’ll update more on that in tomorrow’s blog.  Till then… enjoy the great weather!

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Cooler Weather And Rain Arrive

July 16th, 2014 at 9:19 am by under Weather

As expected, things got pretty rough yesterday for parts of our area. We had many reports come in of trees down over sections of Virgina Beach.  Here was one photo sent it from Brie Sanders.

Tree Down, Virginia Beach

Tree Down, Virginia Beach

While there were only a handful of official reports from the Storm Prediction Center, we also had many unofficial reports come in. Here are the official reports:

Storm Reports

Storm Reports

In the reportit@wavy.com folder, I saw one report of part of tree down in Suffolk.  I saw one report of a limb down in Hampton.  On the official report I noticed that there was a wind gust report to near 60mph in Yorktown (yellow dot).  I didn’t see any damage reports from there, but I had one viewer on facebook say that they were on the Coleman bridge when that happened.  They said it was very scary, and they were surprised the report wasn’t higher.  I wouldn’t want to be on the Coleman bridge during any type of storm. That thing is taalllll.

It was interesting to watch. The weather was very quiet at the noon hour.  Then within about 45 minutes, the storms flared up.  They started inland and then pushed northeast.  Here is what it looked like around 3:30pm.

Satellite/Radar Yesterday

Satellite/Radar Yesterday

Showers and storms continued on and off during the overnight.  Then this morning they became some light/scattered showers.  Here are the rain totals for the last 24 hours.

24 Hour Rain Totals

24 Hour Rain Totals

The rain from Elizabeth City all fell this morning.  My weather watcher in Currituck had nothing from yesterday, then he also picked up about 0.8″ between about 6 and 8am.  There was a whopping 2.76″ of rain at West Point, but Don in Toano only had 0.67″.  Oceana missed a lot of the rain, but I believe northeast Chesapeake and northern Virginia Beach had about 1-2″.  There was some street flooding reported there.

Today a cold front is still moving through the region, but very slowly.  There is also a weak area of low pressure creeping along the front.  So the rain will hang on for a little while longer.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

The models hold onto the rain through about the mid afternoon.  Then the drier weather should take over and end the rain.  We’ll dry out tonight with low in the 60s.  There may be some patchy fog.  Then tomorrow looks great.  We’ll see mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid 80s.  Winds will be northeast at about 8-12mph.  We’ll see nice weather on Friday and Saturday too.  Just a slight chance for a shower on Saturday.  There’s a little higher chance for rain on Sunday, but the models keep going up and down with the rain chances.  So stay tuned if you have outdoor plans.

Now I looked at some of the technical stuff for yesterday’s storms.  There are some differences between last week’s and yesterday’s weather.  So I’m going to get very nerday ( I made that up) for this paragraph.  Anyone afraid or bored can skip to the end. Ahem… So yesterday we had a lot of instability.  According to the  SPC forecast tools, we started to see a CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) of about 4,000-4,500 J/Kg.  that is huge.  Plus, we had some upper level winds move in.  The 0-6km shear was about 30 knots.  That’s not too impressive, but it’s enough.  That’s also about the same as last Thursday.  However, yesterday we were in a wider area of those winds.  Last Thursday we had a jetsreak at the 700mb (millibars) level. We didn’t have that this time, but we did have some upper level divergence around the jetstream level (300 mb).  This means that winds were set up to spread out in the upper levels.  This promotes rising air underneath to take its place. Which is what storms like.  We had a lifted index of -7 to -8 yesterday.  That is also very unstable.  So the storms yesterday occurred on a larger scale.  (Basically the whole east coast).  They exploded around 1 in the afternoon.  They were roaring for a couple of hours, but then the outflows became widespread.  This shut off a lot of the storms as most temps dropped into the 70s.  So things quieted down during the evening.  Since the cap wasn’t too strong yesterday, the storms didn’t get a chance to build as tall as last week.  So there were few reports of hail yesterday. Also, I believe that there was a pocket of cooler weather at 700mb last week with that jetstreat, but I can’t prove it.  Either way, I am ready for some quieter weather.

The tropics are quiet right now.  Our weather will be quiet for a few days.  So enjoy the peace.  Seems like mother nature has had a little bit of high blood pressure lately.  This weekend is the Jazz Festival in Norfolk.  So let’s hope the weather stays calm for that.  Plus, Don Roberts is going to throw out the first pitch at the tides game on Friday.  We HAVE to have nice weather for that event.  Otherwise Don might have a bad throw.   :  )

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Tuesday’s Severe Weather

July 15th, 2014 at 7:16 pm by under Weather

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler talked about the possibility of severe weather in his blog from this morning. As expected, strong to severe storms quickly developed this afternoon as the upper level trough moved closer to Virginia and North Carolina. There were many boundaries (wind shift lines) across the area, some due to earlier convection. Once we saw enough heating, these storms rapidly developed along these boundaries. The severe storm over Virginia Beach produced a waterspout. Check out this awesome video sent in from Nancy Gorell. Meteorologist Don Slater and I noticed an area of rotation offshore during WAVY News 10 at 4. That area of rotation most likely produced that waterspout.

There were many reports of downed trees and power lines in Virginia Beach. We have also received numerous photos showing tree damage due to lightning strikes.  This photo was taken by Jordan Crute in Kempsville. Notice the large gash down the tree. That is where lightning stuck the tree.

Lightning Strikes Tree

Lightning Strikes Tree

Here is a close up photo of tree damage due to a lightning strike sent in from Jenn in Thalia.

Lightning Strikes Tree in Thalia

Lightning Strikes Tree in Thalia

Check out this tree damage sent in from Patrick Nolan in Virginia Beach. It looks like this large branch snapped off the larger tree that is still standing. Unfortunately, it looks like the branch fell on part of the roof causing damage to the house.

Lightning Strikes Tree

Lightning Strikes Tree in Virginia Beach

We are not done with the rain just yet, but the severe threat is winding down across the region. I wouldn’t be surprised if the severe thunderstorm watch was cancelled early.  Our Future Trak model has been doing a really good job with the placement of the showers and storms that developed earlier, so I am putting a lot of stock into the solution it has overnight. Scattered showers are still possible tonight. Here is what our Future Trak model has at 9 PM. Best chance for rain will be across our western areas.

Future Trak 2

Most of the rain fizzles out after midnight, but then re-develops early Wednesday morning as the cold front moves through Hampton Roads.

Future Trak at 7 AM Wednesday

Future Trak at 7 AM Wednesday

The front will stall out across North Carolina, so I expect scattered showers to continue into the afternoon there. But we should see drier conditions by tomorrow afternoon across Southeast Virginia. Get ready for a much cooler day tomorrow too with highs in the lower 80s. This is a strong cold front for this time of year. Drier weather is expected Thursday and Friday with highs in the mid 80s. Average high this time of year is 88°.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona


Strong To Severe Storms Today

July 15th, 2014 at 8:18 am by under Weather

Once again we are looking at some active weather in the region.  There are some ingredients coming together to produce the chance for severe weather today.  We are under a slight risk, and I wonder if we will be upgraded to a moderate risk for severe.  This risk is put out by the Storm Prediction Center.   We could see some severe winds and large hail.  Heavy rain is likely over parts of the region. An isolated tornado is possible, but it is the least likely of today’s threats. There are several ingredients that are coming together to cause this elevated threat for severe.

First off…it is going to be hot and humid once again.  Temps will rise to the low 90s and the dew points are in the low 70s.  This will make for a very muggy day, and that will lead to a good amount of instability.  The CAPE (Convective Available Potential Instability) is one way to measure instability.  It will be high like yesterday.  It will probably be over 2000.  For reference 500-1000 is about the minimum for some strong storms.  However, today there will also be some upper level wind support to go with it.  Due to the cooler air over the Midwest, the jetstream is taking a large dip.

Weahter Factors

Weahter Factors

It will be coming up just to our west, and it will be edging east.  That is in the upper levels.  This will help to support the storms from above while the instability will let the storms grow from the bottom.  At the same time, the surface a strong cold front will be moving into western Virginia/North Carolina into the afternoon.  So the area ahead of both of these features will be ripe for thunderstorms.   Right now (as I write this) the front is in Ohio and almost to Pennsylvania.

Satellite, Radar, And Fronts

Satellite, Radar, And Fronts

Notice the showers and storms out ahead of the front earlier this morning.  The front will make it to our area by this evening, but storms will fire out way out ahead of it.  In fact our Future Trak model develops some scattered strong storms already by 3pm.

Future Trak (3pm)

Future Trak (3pm)

The front will slowly push through our region.  We’ll continue with a chance for rain through tonight into tomorrow morning.  The rain may even linger through noon tomorrow, but we should start drying out by the afternoon. Overall we are looking at a good 1-2″ of rain through the region.  It will depend on whether or not you sit under one of the local downpours.

Forecast Rain Totals

Forecast Rain Totals

Again… highs today will be in the low 90s with a heat index in the mid 90s.  Tomorrow the front will knock our highs down to the low 80s.  We’ll see nice weather Thursday and Friday with highs in the low/mid 80s.  We will get some of that drier Midwestern air into the region.  Low temperatures will be in the 60s on Thursday and Friday mornings.  I only have a slight chance for a shower on Saturday, but a higher chance for Sunday.  Highs should still be in the 80s.

Please be weather aware today.  Especially if you are heading to the beach or out to the local parks.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


The Polar…I Mean…The Odd Weather Pattern

July 14th, 2014 at 8:46 am by under Weather

It’s Monday.  So I apologize in advance… but coming out of the gate I’ll say that the media is back to using the term Polar Vortex again, and I am not a fan of the name.  This is a very overused and misused term by many.  The Polar Vortex is actually a year-round phenomenon of cyclonic upper level winds around the north and south poles.  Once in a while a piece of it drops south and that typically coincides with colder air at the surface.  Sometimes it’s a huge drop in temps.  The problem is that many people tend to think that the cold air at the surface IS the polar vortex itself.  And that is not right.  Here is the definition and explanation of the Polar Vortex: Polar Vortex.   I guess some of the National Weather Service offices initially used the term, but were instructed to not use it anymore with this event.  This is according to a recent blog from the Capital Weather Gang here: NWS changes tune about Polar Vortex.

Still… there’s no doubt that there will be a very unusual weather pattern developing this week.  Here is what a typical July weather pattern looks like:

Typical Weather Pattern

Typical Weather Pattern

The jet stream typically runs along or near the U.S.-Canadian border.  Heat and humidity sit across most of the country.  High pressure usually dominates a large part of the U.S., and many areas see pop-up showers and thunderstorms.  However, tomorrow into Wednesday the jet stream will take an unusually large dip.  A significantly cooler air mass will surge into the Midwest.

Odd July Pattern

Odd July Pattern

Low temperatures may be in the 40s around the Great Lakes and parts of the Midwest.  I’m from Illinois, and I know that that is a rare thing in July.  They will have highs in the 60s and 70s over that same region.  Meanwhile we’ll see some cooler weather here, but it won’t be that dramatic.  The jet stream is in the upper levels, but a cold front will move through at the surface.  This will enhance our chance for storms late tomorrow into tomorrow night, but it will also cool us down on Wednesday.

So let’s put all this together into our forecast.  We are well out ahead of this cold front today.  High pressure is in the region.

Satellite, Radar, And Fronts

Satellite, Radar, And Fronts

High temperatures will rise into the low/mid 90s with the heat index rising to near 100.  Winds will be southwest at 10-15mph.  So at least there will be a breeze again.  We may see a few isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms, but the chance for rain is only 20%.  Tomorrow as the front moves into western/northern Virginia the rain chances will increase.  Showers and storms will expand and strengthen through the late afternoon.  By the late afternoon into the evening we’ll see strong to possibly severe thunderstorms move in from the west.  I will highlight the particular threats in tomorrow morning’s weather blog, but it looks like straight-lined winds will be the main threat at this time.  Heavy rain will be possible tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. The rain chances should decrease by Wednesday afternoon-evening.  We could pick up another 1-2″ of rain.  My weather watcher Don in Toano said he still needs rain, but we have been doing really good on the Southside after Arthur and last week’s storms.  Highs will be in the low 80s Wednesday.  By Thursday morning lows will be in the 60s.  Highs will be in the low 80s with mostly sunny skies.  Ahhhhh.  It sounds lovely.  Unfortunately, the models show scattered showers and storms next weekend.  Maybe they’ll change their tune before we get there.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Rocket Launch Today

July 13th, 2014 at 8:53 am by under Weather

Here is some additional information about the rocket being launched today. It is the Antares rocket carrying a payload of supplies and equiptment towards the International Space Station. It is scheduled to launch at 12:52pm

Launch Today

Launch Today

Map

Map

Since it is a day launch, it may be harder to see. If you are on the Eastern Shore, you should be able to see it through the clouds. If you are in the Yellow Ring, it will be more difficult, but not impossible as long as you have a clear view towards Wallops Island. The best way to see it is in person in the area, follow the link for more information:

Enjoy the launch!

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 

 


Great Weather This Weekend

July 12th, 2014 at 8:59 am by under Weather

We started this morning with some fog across Hampton Roads. Some areas had visibilities less than 200 ft!

Lynnhaven Inlet Camera @ 8:50am

Lynnhaven Inlet Camera @ 8:50am

The fog cleared out quickly in many cities thanks to the sun rising so early in the morning this time of year. The sun rises at 5:56 AM on Sunday. Around this time of year we are losing 1 minute of daylight each day.

The recent storms brought us several inches of rain, the saturated soils are the main reason why we are seeing this morning fog. We will probably see fog again tomorrow in the same places we saw it this morning.

Future Trak Sunday Morning

Future Trak Sunday Morning

Once again the fog will develop around midnight and stick around until 9am. High pressure is in control which will keep our weather sunny for today and tomorrow. Highs should be in the 80s today and 90s tomorrow once we redevelop a south wind. This hot and humid weather is still only going to be temporary.

Changes Next Week

Changes Next Week

See that cold air in central Canada? That cold air is going to sweep across the central plains and move towards Hampton Roads by Tuesday. The cold air itself isn’t scary, the chance for severe weather is though. The chances for strong storms on Tuesday will be a threat once again. (Especially on Tuesday Afternoon) In the meantime, enjoy the weekend’s forecast. We’ll be watching that cold front and the storm threat for Tuesday.

Atlantic Satellite

Atlantic Satellite (Credit: NASA)

Surf Update:

With the lack of storms in the Atlantic and nothing expected to develop anytime soon the surf will remain down for the weekend.

 

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 

 


EF0 Tornado Confirmed in Virginia Beach

July 11th, 2014 at 5:32 pm by under Weather

The National Weather Service in Wakefield, VA conducted their storm survey today in Virginia Beach.

Tornado Map

Tornado Map

While the storm was moving to the east across the Southside cities, another thunderstorm that developed near Elizabeth City was moving NNE. When these two storms collided the momentum from the NC storm may have helped to add a little spin to the Virginia storm cell. That could be one of the main reasons we had this tornado develop. This tornado injured 10 people.

Other damage in the immediate area was from straight line winds. That was from the heavy rain and hail falling to the ground. That precipitation drags the air with it which thus causes strong horizontal winds once that air reaches the ground. The wind was estimated to be between 65 and 70 MPH.

If you want to see pictures of the damage go HERE.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson


Looking Back At Yesterday’s Storms, And What’s Next?

July 11th, 2014 at 9:09 am by under Weather

(Update on the Virginia Beach Damage. See bold line below:)

Things got rough yesterday.  An isolated area of storms fired up over Emporia.  As they moved east they grew in size and strength.  We were tracking the storms as they showed a high indication of hail over Franklin, Courtland,  and Capron, VA.  So we had reports of golf ball to baseball sized hail.  Here was one of the reports from Robin Eason:

Hail in Courtland, VA

Hail in Courtland, VA

The storms grew into a wide area of heavy rain and strong winds.  It moved east causing wind damage, flooding streets, and more large hail.  Here are some of the official reports:

Storm Reports (Thursday

Storm Reports (Thursday)

The hail reached 1.75″ over western Virginia Beach. That’s huge for this area.  Then there was wind damage near the Oceanfront.  It is possible that it was a tornado, but so far I’ve seen more evidence for straight-lined winds.  While I have seen video of a brief funnel cloud over part of Virginia Beach, it wasn’t big enough or large enough to cause the wide area of damage that has been reported.  We’ll have an update on that later today.

Here is what the storms looked like on radar yesterday afternoon.

Satellite/Radar Yesterday Afternoon

Satellite/Radar Yesterday Afternoon

Along with the damage we also had flooding rain.  It got pretty bad over many cities on the Southside.  Here is one photo of the flooding sent in by Cristina Davis in Downtown Norfolk:

Flooding In Norfolk

Flooding In Norfolk

The rain totals were very impressive.

Rain Totals

Rain Totals

Notice that Chesapeake had 1.23″ yesterday.  The day before they had almost 3″.  So we are talking about 2-5″ over the Southside within 48 hours.  It’s great that we got the rain in the region, but it was too much-too soon for some cities.

Now I’ve looked back at some of the data from this storm system.  So here is some deeper details of what happened.  I’ll warn you that it will be a little technical for this paragraph.  So there was a stationary front in place just to our north.  Moisture was pretty deep in our region to the south of the front.  Dew points were in the low/mid 70s.  Precipitable waters were around 2″.  That is how much water is in the total column of air in the atmosphere over a certain area.  We did have a lot of clouds through the region which typically works against the chance for severe weather.  However, the clouds did thin out by midday.  So the temperatures rose to the low/mid 80s in the region.  CAPE or (Convective Available Potential Energy) aka. “the instability” was decent, but not super high.  It was between 1,000 and 2,000 with one spot up to 2,500.  500-100 is about the minimum for strong storms.  The wind shear was about 30 knots.  That is about the minimum for severe weather.  So there wasn’t a smoking gun there between the instability and the upper level winds.  However, I did notice that there was a 700 mb (level of pressure) jetstreak.  Basically that is a stronger area of winds in the mid-upper levels that rolled on through the region.  It can promote rising air, and severe weather.  Especially if there is a cold pool along with it.  I noticed it yesterday as the storms were forming over Emporia.  I’ve seen these features create severe weather events if they are potent enough.  Even when there is a lot of cloud cover.  The Suffolk tornado of 2008 comes to mind.  It was a different setup, but those were two things in common (cloud cover and the jetstreak).  I also noticed that there was a high amount of surface convergence yesterday.  That is where a lot of surface winds push towards each other.  When the air meets at the surface there is forcing upward since the extra air has to go somewhere.  We were not in a a slight risk for severe weather yesterday until around the midday. Then the Storm Prediction Center upgraded us.  Things ramped up quickly.  So those are my latest thoughts on yesterday’s storms.

(update: The National Weather Service has done a survey of the damage in Virginia Beach.  They claimed that most of the damage was caused by straight-lined winds, however there was one section that appears to have been hit by an EF – 0 tornado.  We’ll have more info as it is put out).

Today we still have the stationary front in place, but it is trying to drift south.  Also the mid-level energy over us yesterday is pushing out to sea.  So we will have less of a chance for storms today.  However, it’s not zero either.  I put it up to a 30-40% chance for scattered showers and storms later this morning through the early afternoon.  These storms are expected to push south and west of Hampton Roads through the late afternoon into the evening.  So by the evening commute we should be looking good.

Future Trak (5pm Thursday)

Future Trak (5pm Thursday)

Highs will be in the low/mid 80s today.  The good news is that we are looking at nice/quiet weather for the weekend.  We’ll have partly cloudy skies and highs in the 80s on Saturday.  It will be near 90 on Sunday.  The chance for rain will resume on Monday.  Then on Tuesday a very strong system (large trough) will drop down out of the Midwest.  As this sinks south it will help to push a cold front through the the Mid Atlantic and Southeast. That will be at the surface.  So we could see some strong storms next Tuesday as that comes through.  Then we will get a nice cool down later in the week.  It’s possible that low temperatures will drop down to the 40s over parts of the Midwest.  Very unusual for this time of year.  Some are calling it the Polar Vortex of the Summer.  Me?  Pfffft.  And that’s not a typo.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Possible Tornado in Capron and Virginia Beach

July 10th, 2014 at 5:29 pm by under Weather

Early in the afternoon we were tracking a storm near Emporia that was moving easterly at 25mph. This storm had a weak area of rotation, or spin inside the storm cell. There have been a few reports of a tornado in the town of Capron in Southampton County. Then, as the storm tracked from Capron to Virginia Beach it left a trail of hail. In Courtland, hail stones were around 1″ in diameter. In Chesapeake (Near the Greenbrier Mall) and also Kempsville in Virginia Beach had 1″ to 1.5″ hail. To see pictures, go HERE.

3rd Story Virginia Beach Home Destroyed

3rd Story Virginia Beach Home Destroyed

This was one of the pictures we received from the VB Oceanfront area. We also got more pictures of blow out windshields from cars parked along this street. (Near 17th St.) We did see something interesting on Super Doppler 10:

Radar @ 3:45pm

Radar @ 3:45pm

Radar @ 3:49pm

Radar @ 3:49pm

You can see over the 4-minute time span there may have been a hook echo or an area of rotation moving across this area. This could have been a tornado or a downburst of wind. Right now it is too hard to say, but the velocities, or the measurement of wind within the storm cell did increase during this time frame near the 17th street area. The National Weather Service may be sending a storm survey crew to this area soon to analyze the area to see if it was a tornado.

Funnel Cloud Video:

For the rest of our evening showers and a clap of thunder is still going to be likely. Tomorrow, we may see more thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson