I was going to write a big blog about the pollen today. But due to the recent event in Boston I decided to switch topics. I will post that blog tomorrow. Sorry, this is not a tease. Just a change in plans. So today I will talk briefly about the changes coming out of the National Hurricane Center for this upcoming hurricane season. They include more frequent updates, changes to the tropical warnings and outlooks, and a small reduction in the forecast cone. Here is the full update from the National Hurricane Center: NHC changes to forecast products.
These are all good updates. The change to the warning comes after Hurricane Sandy. At times it was a non-tropical system, but may as well have been a hurricane. Now the National Hurricane Center will track similar systems and give information on them even after they become post-tropical. The more frequent/more detailed “Tropical Cyclone Updates” will be very welcome. It looks like from their wording that updates will come out now when there are important changes in between scheduled updates. Finally, the cone of uncertainty or as I like to call it the possible path will be smaller this year by just a little bit. This is due to the higher forecast confidence based off of the forecast accuracy over the past few years. Remember last year there was a reduction in the cone as well. I’m looking forward to all of these changes.
Locally, we have nice and quiet weather for the next 24 hours. A cool onshore flow will keep highs in the upper 60s near the shore with mid 70s inland. All-in-all a nice day.
Last night, we had some reports coming in of a meteor sighting across Hampton Roads. People were reporting that the meteor was many different colors as it flew across the sky. At first, I though we may have seen the Northern Lights since a solar storm hit Earth Saturday night. However, the Northern Lights can last from minutes to hours. Folks said they couldn’t snap pictures since the meteor sighting was only a few seconds. I am thinking this meteor was part of the Lyrid Meteor Shower which peaks on April 22, about a week from today. The Lyrid Meteor Shower will be visible across the entire Northern Hemisphere beginning on April 16. These meteors come from dust particles in the tail of the Comet Thatcher.
I hope everyone enjoyed the weather over the weekend because changes are on the way! Clouds will be on the increase tonight and the atmosphere will begin to moisten up out ahead of our next system.
Satellite/Radar Captured at 9 PM
Our next rain maker is located to our south. This piece of energy will swing across Hampton Roads tomorrow and should provide enough lift and moisture to produce scattered showers across the region. The rain that falls will be very light. Rainfall totals will likely stay below 0.1″. Here is our FutureTrak at 7AM Monday morning.
FutureTrak @ 7AM Monday
Notice the light rain is widely scattered. Here is FutureTrak at Noon on Monday.
FutureTrak @ Noon on Monday
It will not rain all day. Just expect light showers on and off throughout the day with the rain ending during the late afternoon hours. Rain chances will be the highest across North Carolina.
Monday Rain Chances
Monday will be a cloudy and dreary day with highs in the upper 60s. Some inland areas may see the lower 70s. Pollen levels will come down a little bit tomorrow thanks to the rain, but will still remain in the moderate to high category. Hopefully we will see enough rain to wash the pollen off of the cars. Pollen levels will rise again starting on Tuesday. Temperatures will be rising throughout the week as well. We should be back in the 80s by the end of the week. Grab the umbrella for tomorrow!
This is going to be the first time in over a month we will be looking a a completely dry weekend across Hampton Roads. That cold front that moved through overnight did leave a few of us with a cool breeze early this morning but by the afternoon we should see winds out of the northwest at 5-10mph.
High Pressure in control
This will keep us cooler this weekend…but by no means cold. Temperatures today and tomorrow should still be able to warm up to 70 degrees in the afternoon. The key is that the sun is now at a higher angle to where it can actually warm us up.
Our temperatures should be able to remain above average over this weekend and even next week. We might see a few showers on Monday afternoon, but besides that we will be dry. Pollen Counts will also be high starting today.
The weather is following the general forecast from yesterday. The first line of showers and storms did come through this morning. It weakened as it came off of the Appalachians and moved east, but there were several severe thunderstorm warnings to our west. The tornado watch for some of our inland counties was cancelled before 9am.
There are a few more showers and storms to our west closer to the cold front. This front will make its way towards Hampton Roads through the afternoon.
In between the clusters of storms I am expecting the sun to pop out for a bit. Probably a little after midday, but only for about an hour or two. Depending on how much sunshine we get during that time, we could get a chance to destabilize before the storms get here. I imagine that there will be at least some CAPE (instability). Maybe between 500 and 1000 J/KgK. The wind shear isn’t too shabby either. The second set of storms is expected between about 2-5 pm give or take an hour. We are no longer in the slight risk area for the afternoon, so that’s good. But I still think we’ll get a couple of strong storms. Rain should start to taper off this evening. High temperatures are aiming for the upper 70s. Winds are out of the south at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph. That’s outside of any storms.
Tonight we will clear out. Low temps will drop to the mid 50s. So that will be nice. Tomorrow is looking great. Skies will be mostly sunny and high temps will be near 70. Winds will be westerly at 10-15mph. We’ll cool down a little more on Sunday, but not too much. Highs will be in the 60s with fair skies. We’ll stay warm next week. Highs will be in the 70s. Possibly a few 80s on a day or two.
So far we’ve only seen about a tenth of an inch of rain. We are expecting about another tenth of an inch, unless you get under one of the downpours. Then you could get more thana quarter of an inch.
The pollen has dropped today. It’s at about a 7 or 8 out of 12. It will go up over the weekend. Probably by Sunday. With the recent rain, then I think the trees will say “AH Thanks” and shoot the pollen out like a bag of dropped cooking flower. We’ll see.
There is a tornado watch for part of the area this morning. The watch goes until 9:00am for Franklin, Northampton county NC, Southampton county, and Sussex county.
There was a line of showers and thunderstorms which moved over the Appalachians and managed to survive its trek east across Virginia and North Carolina. As it moved into Hampton Roads the system weakened. There was plenty of humidity in the region and temperatures were warm. We’ve been in the upper 60s to low 70s over the last couple of hours. The showers and storms will continue to press through the region this morning. Heavy rain and strong gusty winds will be the main threat. Severe winds will be a possible threat through the day. I do think storms will refire this afternoon as the cold front comes through. Despite the tornado watch, I don’t see a lot of rotation in the forecast today.
Super Doppler 10 (7:15am)
That’s a quick update. I’ll have a bigger blog out later this morning before 10am.
The Storm Prediction Center has Hampton Roads in a Slight Risk for severe weather tomorrow. Straight line wind gusts and short periods of heavy rain is possible with the storms we could see tomorrow.
Severe Risk Friday
The best chances for seeing the strong thunderstorms and lightning will be more towards the afternoon and not in the morning. In the morning we will see a line of rain move through, and there is a small chance for thunder, but these showers will no be severe. The afternoon will be more likely since we will have warmer temperatures and more energy in the atmosphere. Highs should be near 80 tomorrow.
This is a new model we have, it looks at the chances for thunder/lightning. You can clearly see a line of activity from Delaware down in to NE. N.C.
Front is still to our west.
This line of showers on Future Trak at noon should be part of the morning rainfall. The cold front off to the west, and the possible sunshine before it, will be the areas with the higher chances for thunderstorm activity.
Future Trak in the evening.
One thing on our model for tomorrow evening is that it does not show a significant amount of rain. We have to remember that computer models are not the best at forecasting small thunderstorms compared to large scale storm complexes.
The key factor for tomorrow is the what happens during the middle of the day. If we see some sunshine and heating from the sun the chances for severe storms will go up tomorrow.
Stay tuned to our website and WAVY TV in case there are any watches or warnings issued.
It’s official…Yesterday we broke the high temperature record at Norfolk International Airport.
Elizabeth City also broke a record of 87. This replaced the old record of 85. It was a hot day. Many inland locations hit 90 degrees. Today we are expecting a little bit of pull back as some clouds are expected to move in from western Virginia/North Carolina.
The models kept saying that we would be in the low 80s this afternoon, but lately the temps have been about 2-4 degrees above the forecast highs. So I’m calling form mid 80s today with upper 80s inland and increasing clouds. Winds will be southwest at 10-20mph with gusts up to 25mph.
The breeze has really helped out for the last couple of days with the high heat and light humidity. If it wasn’t for that I think many folks would be complaining. Tonight we could catch a stray shower or thunderstorm, but the bulk of the rain is still expected to hold off until tomorrow morning. To me it looks like there will be two rounds of showers and storms. There will be line of showers in the morning coming across the Appalachians. This could be an outflow boundary ahead of the front. This is expected to weaken as it moves into our area. Then as the cold front moves through in the afternoon there will be another round of storms.
Some models only focus on the afternoon storms. If the first line comes through pretty strong, then it wouldn’t allow much time for the atmosphere to destabilize again before the front comes through. If the first round is weak, then the afternoon storms will have a chance to really tap into the heat. At the minimum we’ll see scattered thunderstorms, heavy rain, and some gusty winds. On the stronger end we could see some severe storms with straight-lined severe wind gusts being the main threat. Overall we can expect about a half inch of rain. If you get under some of the downpours, then it may be closer to an inch. Outside of the storms the general winds will be southerly at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph.
We’ll look to dry things out by Friday night. Then get ready for a nice weekend with lots of sunshine and highs in the mid-upper 60s. High pressure will be in control. We will already warm to the 70s by Monday. The next chance for rain will be next Tuesday night into Wednesday.
The pollen is still high today. It will drop on Friday with the rain, but will go back up over the weekend. Probably by Sunday.
Here we go. It’s gonna be a hot one today. Yesterday we had a lot of heat in the area. Highs were in the upper 80s to near 90 inland with low-mid 80s in the metro. Take a look:
High Temps Yesterday
Notice it was only in the 70s along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That is due to the cooler water temperatures on the sounds. However, I was surprised that the Eastern Shore warmed up that much with the Bay temperatures only in the 50s. We had southwest winds yesterday and a lot of sunshine. We have the same setup for today, but we started even warmer. Lows this morning were in the upper 60s in many cities. The forecast high for today is 87. That’s the average temperature for the area and the single number that I give in a forecast is typically close to the temperature at Norfolk International Airport. The record there for today is…87. That was set back in 1922, so it’s been around for a while. So we may tie it. Dew points are in the 50s which is light humidity. This may add a couple of degrees to the actual temperature for the heat index. We are aiming for highs near 90 in Franklin, Murfreesboro, and Williamsburg. The record for Elizabeth City is 85 today. They will probably break that.
Tomorrow the models all suggest that we won’t be as hot. The cold front is not expected to move through, but clouds are forecast to increase. So I’m calling for low/mid 80s for now, but we may have to increase that. Our model Future Trak also hints at a stray shower or thunderstorm in the late afternoon, but mostly for northeast North Carolina. We could see an isolated shower or storm in Hampton Roads tomorrow evening, but the bulk of the rain isn’t expected until Friday morning. A line of thunderstorms is forecast to move over the Appalachians before sunrise on Friday. Some of the models weaken the storms before they reach Hampton Roads. I don’t usually use it for regional forecasting, but the European model suggests that the storms will move through later in the afternoon. If that were to happen then the storms would tap into some heat, and would be stronger. For now I’m expecting a few strong storms, but the chance for severe is still up in the air. I’ll have a better idea for that tomorrow. Remember, the storms are still 48 hours out. There is no doubt though that there will be some strong storms in the Mississippi River Valley today. At least they will get some much needed rainfall. The rain will clear out later on Friday. Again the timing for that is also not yet set. But it should clear out by Friday night at the latest. Saturday and Sunday still look great. Skies will be mostly/partly sunny and highs will be in the 60s. We will warm up back to the 70s already by next Monday. Looks like the warm weather is here to stay.
The pollen is up today. I put the level at an 11 out of 12. I wish they took pollen counts in southeast Virginia, but I don’t know of any department which does. We used to get if from one of the local health departments, but they axed it due to budget cuts. Pollen will remain high over the next few days.
In one word to answer the title of the blog…heat. Warm weather has engulfed almost the entire eastern half of the U.S. Look at the forecast highs from the GFS model:
I am calling for highs in the low 80s locally. Despite some clouds today, we are going to really warm up again. We started with lows in the mid 60s which were 10 degrees warmer than yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon we already had high temperatures near 80 degrees. So it’s a given that we will be warmer this afternoon. I even think there will be some mid 80s inland. Since it is so warm I threw in the beach forecast this morning. The water temperatures are still cool. 1-2 foot waves are expected for the surfers.
This warm weather is due to an area of high pressure that is parked offshore. This is allowing for southwest winds which are building the heat this week.
Winds will be southwest at 10-15mph. Tomorrow the winds will be a bit stronger and we’ll have more sunshine. So expect mid-upper 80s for highs on Wednesday. Hey, with a little humidity that is some hot weather in my book. Low 80s are expected on Thursday. Keep all of this in mind when you hear the news about heavy snow in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska today:
Blue Is Snow
They are expecting severe storms across parts of the Plains and Midwest today. It has been a while since the country has seen a fair chance for severe storms. As that system moves east I don’t think it will give us a high chance for severe, but I do think it will bring scattered thunderstorms with a few strong gusty winds. Stay tuned for updates on that.
Speaking of updates… The pollen forecast is high today. It is an 11 out f 12. The tree pollens are up. Especially maple and pear trees. The oak spores are high on paper, but I haven’t seen a lot of them blooming yet. Grass pollen is not high just yet. It will probably go to seed in some places later this week. Then it will really contribute. With the pollen it’s a good time to change your air filters on your A.C. unit. Also, you can run your car air conditioners which have a filter on them as well. We’ll try and get out the full “pollen tips blog” out either in the next couple of days or early next week. Remember the season is really just getting started. If you need the pollen forecast for the day, then you can get it on our website here: Pollen Forecast
Other than the pollen it should be good weather for outdoor sports. Maybe a bit hot at times away from the breeze.
Many many folks ordered up some warmer weather over the last couple of months. I don’t think people wanted too much heat, but we wanted out of the 40s and 50s. Well….all of the warm weather is rushing in at once. And so it looks like another year where we skip Spring and go straight from Winter to Summer. Yesterday was wonderful. We had highs in the low 70s along with fair skies. However, yesterday we started in the 40s. Today we started with temps in the mid-upper 50s. It felt and looked beautiful.
Virginia Beach This Morning
We will see fair skies today with afternoon highs rising into the upper 70s to near 80. This warm weather will stick around for several days as ridging takes place across the U.S. That is when the jetstream rises north and allows for high pressure and warm temperatures to build in.
Warm Weather This Week.
The cold weather will migrate to the west for a change. They may even see 1-2 feet of snow in the higher elevations of Wyoming. In-between they are expecting strong-to-severe storms in the Plains and Midwest. Luckily we’ll stay dry along with the warmer temperatures. Local farmers will get a chance to get some planting done. We will be well above average over the next couple of days, but we will still be below record territory.
Highs, Records, & Averages
Meteorologist Tiffany Savona showed this graphic yesterday. I just tweaked the numbers a bit. We will cool down on Friday with showers and storms expected. We are looking at cooler weather next weekend but not cold weather. Highs are forecast to be in the 60s on Saturday and Sunday.
As per the blog title…I found this interesting update from NOAA. It talks about some new technology that can predict where whale traffic is likely in the Pacific Ocean. It doesn’t track them directly, but instead where the conditions are ripe for krill and whales to occur. Hopefully, it will help mariners avoid whale traffic. Perhaps someday it will be used in the Atlantic as well. I’m not sure how much a problem it is in this basin.