Weather

A Rainy Sunday; Tracking Bertha

August 3rd, 2014 at 8:53 am by under Weather

We will see more rainfall today, the pattern has hardly changed from yesterday. For today we will again see 1-2″ of rainfall in NE N. Carolina, The Southside Hampton Roads cities and the Eastern Shore.

Weather Pattern

Weather Pattern

Yesterday, another 0.98″ of rain fell in Norfolk which brings the official total for the year to 30.8″ (4.01″ above normal) Other cites across our area picked up between 0.5″ and 1″ of rain. We will see more rain move in this morning and also continue to be off an on this afternoon.

Tropical Update

Tropical Storm Bertha continues to impact the Dominican Republic this morning bringing high surf, heavy rain, and gusty winds. In case you didn’t know there are several islands in the Caribbean which are experiencing drought conditions, so in a way, the rainfall from Bertha will help them out. Now lets talk about the track; The National Hurricane Center still has Bertha going up along the coast.

Tracking Bertha

Tracking Bertha

Bertha may still develop into a Cat. 1 Hurricane on Wednesday morning, just offshore of the USA. Some recent computer models do have a weak area of low pressure forming along it that could help to enhance the rain that this storm can produce. If that happens, we could see a track closer to us. That would mean more rain on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Also, possibly higher winds with speeds around 20mph. We will continue to monitor the storm over the next few days.

Surf Update

The 2-3ft swell we had yesterday morning faded away for this morning. Wave heights will be 1-2ft today with a low threat for rip currents. The swell from Bertha is expected to arrive sometime on Tuesday.

Wave Heights

Wave Heights

For the OBX, conditions should be fun on Tuesday afternoon if this storm can stay offshore and keep the winds light. For Virginia Beach, the swell should push in Tuesday PM. I still believe Wednesday will be the best day, I expect Chest/Shoulder high sets for VB and the OBX on Wednesday morning and afternoon. This swell will fade quickly on Thursday. Get your boards ready!

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 


Wet Weather Continues on Sunday

August 2nd, 2014 at 8:13 pm by under Weather

It has been a wet two days across Hampton Roads. Here are rainfall totals over the past 48 hours. Many areas have picked up between 1-2 inches of rain with some isolated totals over 3 inches.

48 Hour-Rain Totals

48-Hour Rain Totals

A Flood Watch has been issued for all of the areas highlighted in dark green through Sunday evening.

Flood Watch

Flood Watch in Effect Through Sunday Evening

Since the ground is already saturated in these areas, any additional heavy rain that falls could result in flooding. This is especially true for low-lying areas and areas that flood on a regular basis. The rain will continue overnight and during the day tomorrow thanks to a stationary front that is draped across Virginia and North Carolina. This stationary front will become a focal point for rain tomorrow as an upper level piece of energy swings through the Mid-Atlantic. On average, Sunday’s forecast rain totals range from 1-2 inches. Keep in mind that if heavy rain moves over your area, totals could be higher.

Rain Totals Forecast

Sunday Forecast Rain Totals

Showers will be scattered overnight with temperatures hovering in the low to mid 70s. Rain should become more widespread by Sunday morning, so bring the umbrella with you to those Sunday church services.

Future Trak at 9 AM Sunday

Future Trak at 9 AM Sunday

A steady rain will continue into the afternoon hours. The rain and cloud cover should keep highs down into the upper 70s. The stationary front remains in the area early next week, so rain chances stay in the forecast through Wednesday.

Tropical Update:

As I am writing this, Bertha is moving over the eastern Dominican Republic as a weak tropical storm. Bertha has brought gusty winds and heavy rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands earlier today. Bertha doesn’t look too healthy on satellite imagery and is barely a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The official track from the National Hurricane Center has Bertha moving over the Bahamas tomorrow and then taking a turn to the north and northeast on Monday.

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical Storm Bertha

There is a chance Bertha could weaken a little bit more tonight and tomorrow as it moves over land and encounters some wind shear and dry air. Whether Bertha weakens or not, it will move into a more favorable environment for strengthening next week. Bertha will remain well offshore and should pass to the west of Bermuda on Tuesday. All of our local beaches will see bigger waves and an increasing threat for rip currents by Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to Bertha. Stay tuned!

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 


More Rain Today, Bertha Update

August 2nd, 2014 at 9:10 am by under Weather

Last night we had some heavy rain and thunder as a line of rain moved across our area.

Weather Watcher Reports

Weather Watcher Reports

In Gloucester and Virginia Beach around 1″ of rain fell, also Chesapeake and Williamsbug saw totals near 1.5″. Suffolk had a total of 2″. I would count on more rain moving in late morning. At the time I am writing my blog. (9am) An area of rain is developing across the southern half of North Carolina. That rain should arrive around midday.

Heavy Rain Possible This Afternoon

Heavy Rain Possible This Afternoon

Additional rain of 1″ to 2″ is possible this afternoon, evening, and tonight as the pattern continues. I wouldn’t expect any sunshine today or tomorrow with the stationary front over our area. High temperatures should be in the 70s this weekend.

Tropical Update

Tropical Storm Bertha is making landfall in Puerto Rico today.

Camera from the North Side of the Island

Camera from the North Side of the Island

Wave heights will be up to 10ft during the day in P.R. The storm system is still moving quickly to the northwest, which should minimize damage.

Tracking Bertha

Tracking Bertha

Tropical Storm Bertha is expected to remain as a tropical storm until Wednesday. At that point it will strengthen to a Category 1 Hurricane. You can see in the image, the track will keep it offshore. The only concern I have is for beach-goers. Rip Current threats will be high late Tuesday and Wednesday as the swell builds in.

Surf Update

Wave heights are going to be small but fun today with 2-3ft sets coming through for VB and the OBX. The waves were clean this morning, with a south wind developing this afternoon around 10mph. Bertha will push in a swell, models are estimating that this swell will arrive late Tuesday and Wednesday with shoulder high sets possible. Winds will be calm as high pressure sits over Hampton Roads so the waves could be really fun on Wednesday.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding Betha.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 


Heavy Rain This Weekend, Tracking Bertha

August 1st, 2014 at 9:43 am by under Weather

If you didn’t hear the overnight news, the storm system we were tracking in the Atlantic became Tropical Storm Bertha overnight. Here is the latest in my video update for today:

11am Update On The Track:

11am Update

11am Update

Also, if you want to see the rainfall totals map again, here it is:

Weekend Rain Totals

Weekend Rain Totals

Stay Dry this weekend!

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson


Uh Oh! Wet Weekend Ahead.

July 31st, 2014 at 8:03 am by under Weather

Well it’s still a nice day today, but things will get pretty wet as we go into the weekend.  Today will still have dry air and high pressure in the region.

Satellite/Radar/Surface

Satellite/Radar/Surface

Winds will be more southerly this afternoon.  So we’ll see some warmer temperatures (low/mid 80s).  By tomorrow the stationary front offshore will move west.  This will bring us a few showers later in the day, but only with a 30% chance.  Highs will be in the low/mid 80s, but the humidity will be increasing.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

By tomorrow evening the rain chances will increase to 40-50%.  Then….Saturday.  The front will sit right on top of us and give us a high chance for rain.  For now I put the number up to 70%, but I may increase it.  The front will also stick around on Sunday.  So we have another day with high chances for rain.

Rain Chances

Rain Chances

It’s a little early for rain totals, but preliminary estimates are easily over 1″.  I’m hoping that it doesn’t rain the entire time, but let’s just say that the breaks look few and far between.  Stay tuned.  If the front sets up just a little to the east or west, then maybe we can drop the chances a bit.  At least for one of the days.

In the tropics I’m still tracking that pesky cluster of thunderstorms east of the Lesser Antilles.  It is still likely to form into a tropical depression or storm.  So far, though, it has been fighting some dry air to the north of it. The models still run it up close to Puerto Rico.  Then they generally take it towards the Bahamas.  Luckily towards the end of the forecast they keep the system out to sea.

Tropical Forecast Models

Tropical Forecast Models

We’ll continue to monitor, but for now it’s wait and see.

Speaking of the tropics.  There is new research about forecasting hurricane intensity.  New research suggests that the microphysics of the water particles at the surface behave differently as the wind speeds increase in a hurricane.  Here is the full article: Hurricane Intensity Forecast Research.

Staying along the lines of water…Another article that I found comes from NOAA.  It talks about how nuisance flooding (flooding that is below minor tidal flooding levels) has increased in Norfolk. In fact it has increased quite a bit here and in several other east coast cities. Here is that full article: Nuisance Flooding Increase.  I have witnessed this myself.  In fact the threshold for minor tidal flooding at Sewell’s Point has changed from 5 feet to 4.5 feet over the last few years.  While a believer in Global Warming and sea level rise, I also wonder how much the man-made structures have contributed to the increase.  There are a lot of ships, docks, and structures in the Bay.  Also the tunnels must take up a decent amount of space though most of the tunnels are underground.  It’s something that should be studied in my opinion.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Smoke From Canada Arrives In Hampton Roads

July 30th, 2014 at 5:24 pm by under Weather

Have you noticed the haze in the sky over the past two days? If so, that has been from the wildfires in the Northwest Territories in Canada. That means the smoke has been traveling over 2500 miles to reach our area! The recent punch of cool & dry air is the main reason.

Smoke in Yellowknife, CA

Smoke in Yellowknife, Canada

In the Northwest Territories (NWT) there are 160 active wild fires. NWT Wildfire Map.

Looking Towards the James River Bridge

Looking Towards the James River Bridge

 

The jet stream is carrying the smoke towards our region. You cannot smell the smoke since it is in the upper-levels in the atmosphere. Also, since it made that long trip to our area, it has dissipated to unnoticeable levels. As the pattern shifts over the next 24 hours the smoke and haze will clear.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 


Cool Weather Lately…But Warming Arctic?

July 30th, 2014 at 9:19 am by under Weather

I talked about the a-typical weather pattern lately and the cooler weather that has followed it.  In fact Norfolk International Airport only had a high of 78 yesterday, when the average high temperatures is 87 degrees for this time of year.  Incredible!  Norfolk is close to the water, so that’s one reason that it was cooler than most Hampton Roads cities.  However, the region as a whole has had some coolness.  For a while we had a cyclical temperature pattern.

July Temperatures

July Temperatures

Then we had a longer stretch of cool weather in the second half of July.  We are still in that regime.  Highs today will be a little warmer (low 80s), but it is still very dry out there.  Dew points are in the 50s.  Other than a stray shower in the region we’ll have some very nice weather.  Nice weather will continue tomorrow, but we’ll see a few more showers move in around Friday.  Especially towards the evening.  Then over the weekend a boundary will move in from the ocean.  That is the current stationary front that now sits near the Gulf Stream.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

This boundary may lead to a washout.  I’m hoping the models will change their tune a bit.  A shower wouldn’t hurt, but we don’t need an all weekend rainout. Stay tuned!  Perhaps it will change.

Recently one viewer mentioned that the recent coolness over the eastern U.S. was likely tied to the recent ice on the Great Lakes and over the Arctic Ocean.  I believe that there was a good influence from the late thaws up north, but I found a website from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  Interestingly it talks about some of the fastest melting on record over the Arctic from late June through July.  Here’s the article: Fast Arctic Summer Melt.   So there was a late start, but now the melting is rapid.  Remember that while we have had some cool air, the entire globe had it warmest June on record according to NOAA.  That’s factoring in both air and water temperatures.  With the talk about the ice, I wondered how the current water temperatures were faring.  These are the current sea surface temperature anomalies (departure from average).

http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.7.28.2014.gif

I figured that the Hudson Bay would be well below the average temperatures.  But according to NOAA/NESDIS most of that water is above average with a small, though sharp, area of cooler water in the southwest portion of the Bay. Looks like there a little ice there too, but generally that body of water is warmer than average. What really stuck out to me was the very warm water temperatures over most of the Arctic Waters (red areas).  This is very recent, and it’s very interesting.  Except for the north central Atlantic, most of that ocean and its surrounding waters are above average in the northern hemisphere.  It will be interesting to see how our weather pattern changes over the next month.  Especially as we go into the bulk of the hurricane season.

Speaking of the tropics.  I’m still watching that area of disturbed weather in the central Atlantic.  It didn’t look too impressive on satellite, but the National Hurricane Center still says that there is a good chance for development into a depression or storm.  If it does develop, then most models take it just east of Puerto Rico in a few days.  Then it stays well offshore from the U.S. as it moves northward.

Area Of Interest

Area Of Interest

I have some other links to other interesting weather news that I will share in tomorrow’s blog.  Until then. Enjoy the coolness.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Benefit Of Odd Weather

July 29th, 2014 at 8:05 am by under Weather

We are seeing that odd weather pattern again over the United States.  An unusually cool airmass has pushed into the eastern half of the United States, and it has created a large trough in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

Odd Weather Pattern

Odd Weather Pattern

The reason it is odd is because this type of pattern hardly ever happens in the Summer.  Also, the pattern looks like it will be stuck for a few days.  Luckily this will give us some nice weather locally. Highs will be in the 80s and lows will be in the 60s for the next 3-4 days.   Other than an isolated shower in the region, we’ll have a dry forecast.

By next weekend things will change.  The trough will lift north, and we’ll warm up again.  The humidity will flow back northward. This will give us a higher chance for rain.

In the tropics I am tracking a large area of thunderstorms in the east central Atlantic.  It is moving west and is likely to become a tropical depression or storm in the next few days.

Area In The Tropics

Area In The Tropics

The models detect this area and generally strengthen it.  Over the next few days the system is forecast to move west and then northwest towards Puerto Rico.  The GFS model keeps it out to sea, but we’ll see what happens beyond the Greater Antilles.  For now it’s just something to watch.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Dry Air Is The Trick!

July 28th, 2014 at 7:57 am by under Weather

It has been a tough forecast over the last 24 hours.  While we did have a couple of rounds of showers and storms, they weren’t too bad.  Meanwhile there were many reports of severe weather around parts of the Midwest and Southeast. A strong cold front moved from the Midwest into the Appalachians overnight. Showers and storms along the front fell apart since then.

Satellite/Radar/Fronts

Satellite/Radar/Fronts

The trick today was tracking the moisture…or lack of it.  At the surface this morning there was ample moisture and even some instability.  Here were the dew points:

Dew Points (Surface Moisture)

Dew Points (Surface Moisture)

It was warm and muggy.  Temps started in the upper 70s to low 80s.  However, at the mid-levels, there was a strong punch of dry air coming in from the west.  This can be seen very well on our Water Vapor product.

Water Vapor

Water Vapor

This tool shows the dry/moist air at the mid levels of the Troposphere.  I’ll admit it’s pretty complicated how it works.  There’s more info on the link above.  However, all you need to know in this context is that the dry air has reached our area, and that will lower our rain chances today.  Even though the cold front still lies to our west.  The dry air is the dark and orange area on the above map.

Eventually we’ll also dry out at the lower levels.  You will notice it by the end of the day.  Highs will be in the low 90s, but there will be a strong breeze through the day.  It will run out of the southwest, then west at 10-20mph.  Other than a few isolated showers and storms, we’ll see some nice weather.

Tomorrow the front will stall out off shore.  We could see a few isolated showers or storms during the afternoon.  Otherwise, it will be a very nice day.  Highs will be in the upper 70s to low 80s.  Winds will be out of the north at 10mph.  Great weather will follow for Wednesday through Friday.  Highs will be in the 80s.  It will be nice and dry.  Lows will be in the 60s.  By next weekend we’ll up the humidity and the rain chances.  I don’t see a washout, but stay tuned for finer details as it gets closer.

In the tropics there is one small area of disturbed weather in the eastern Atlantic.  This set of showers has a medium chance for development over the next few days as it moves west.

Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

For me…until it’s something, it’s nothing.  Meaning… until NHC gives it a label I’ll only keep an eye on it.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Storm Threat Not Over Yet!

July 27th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Weather

We told you yesterday that we would have a chance for severe weather this afternoon. But that never materialized earlier today. We saw widespread rain and cloud cover instead.  Here is what the radar looked like at 9 AM.

Sunday Morning Showers

Sunday Morning Showers: 9 AM Radar Image

The areas that didn’t see rain this morning saw the rain early this afternoon.

2 PM Radar

Sunday Afternoon Showers: 2 PM Radar Image

The widespread rain and cloud cover held down the severe weather threat this afternoon. Last night’s computer model runs underestimated the amount of rain and cloud cover this morning, therefore overestimated the amount of instability in the atmosphere. Temperatures stayed in the 70s and 80s all afternoon. Future Trak has a few showers and storms developing around midnight.

Future Trak at Midnight

Future Trak at Midnight

An upper level disturbance should be responsible for triggering these storms overnight. These storms could be on the strong side as we will have plenty of wind shear to keep these storms alive. Damaging wind gusts and large hail will be the primary threats with any storms that develop overnight. Tornado threat is low, but can’t be ruled out completely. The wind shear is high, which means that storms will be able to rotate. All storms should weaken before sunrise tomorrow morning. The cold front won’t move into the Hampton Roads cities until late Monday afternoon. Since we are going to be south of the front most of the day, we are still going to see heat up with highs around 90°. The actual cold front may spark off an isolated storm, but the best chances will be across North Carolina, especially the Outer Banks.

Future Trak at 5 PM Monday

Future Trak at 5 PM Monday

Most computer models keep us dry as the front moves through Hampton Roads, but I think we still may see a few storms with all of the heat and humidity in place tomorrow. Once the front moves through, cooler and drier air will move into the area. High temperatures will only be around 80° on Tuesday with less humidity! I’m excited! Tune into WAVY News 10 at 11 for an update. Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler will be on-air Monday morning starting at 4:30, tracking any rain or storms on Super Doppler 10.

Midnight Update: Super Doppler 10 is quiet and I think the chances of us seeing storms overnight is going down. We may see a few showers/storms over the next few hours, but we are not looking at any widespread activity. However, if any storms develop, they could be strong to severe with damaging wind gusts as the main threat.

 

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona