Weather

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

 


Storm Threat Today: Afternoon Update

July 27th, 2014 at 1:21 pm by under Weather

The rain and cloud cover basically kept us cool so that the severe storms weren’t able to develop this early afternoon. Earlier this morning I said there would be two chances for severe storms today. Round 1 would have been now, since that isn’t panning out we need to look forward to round 2. That could happen tonight after sunset.

Future Trak @ 10 PM

Future Trak @ 10 PM

That may produce a squall line with damaging wind gusts in excess of 60mph. Remember, it is still a model. Things may change during the afternoon. Watch the video forecast I made below for more information.

Stay Sky Aware, Tiffany Savona will have another update this evening.


Severe Weather Threat Today

July 27th, 2014 at 9:00 am by under Weather

The Storm Prediction Center has us in a slight risk of severe weather. Our threat will be enhanced this afternoon as our temperatures warm up.

Slight Risk

Slight Risk

Threat Index

Threat Index

Straight Line wind gusts are my biggest concern today. I believe the majority of these storms will either develop in West Virginia or in Central Virginia and track to the east into Hampton Roads. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 90s this afternoon which will be the major fuel source for storms. Levels like CAPE, Shear, and the Lifted Index are expected to remain in the favorable category for severe weather development. The high resolution weather models have been showing two different times when we could see thunderstorms today.

Future Trak @2pm

Future Trak @ 2pm

Supercells may develop, like the one from yesterday, across our area today. Future Trak has been hinting at a time frame of 12pm-2pm for development of these storms. Another wave of strong storms may come through tonight.

Future Trak @ 10pm

Future Trak @ 10pm

A Squall Line, or sometime of multicell structure may move through the area tonight into NE NC. This line may also contain damaging wind gusts in excess of 60mph. Remember, you can keep an eye out for the storms with Super Doppler 10 and check our our Alerts page for any watches or warnings that may be issued.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 


Tonight’s Storms Plus Sunday’s Severe Weather Threat

July 26th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Weather

Most of your Saturday was dry, but there were a couple of strong storms that developed across our northern areas as a warm front lifted northward. The storms first developed across the Middle Peninsula. The storms grew in size and intensity and impacted folks across the Peninsula, Eastern Shore and Southside Hampton Roads. These storms dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time. This is what the radar looked like at 6 PM.

Satellite/Radar at 6 PM

Satellite/Radar at 6 PM

The storms held together and made it through Virginia Beach and even south of the state line before weakening. Lots of photos were sent in from viewers showing the low hanging clouds associated with this strong storm. This photo was taken by Susan in Great Bridge and it shows great structure of a supercell thunderstorm. The circular part of the storm is called a mesocyclone, which is essentially a rotating updraft.

Storm Looking From Great Bridge

Storm Looking From Great Bridge

The areas that saw rain tonight saw a lot of it. Some totals are over an inch of rain in just a 1-2 hour period.

Rain Totals

Tonight’s Rain Totals

Storms should wind down before midnight tonight. Another active weather day is in the forecast for tomorrow. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted our area in a slight risk for severe weather. We may see a stray shower in the morning north of the metro, but we have better chances for rain during the afternoon. A wind shift line will move through Hampton Roads tomorrow afternoon along with an upper level disturbance. We will have plenty of heat and humidity to work with since temperatures will be in the low 90s. The upper level disturbance will bring in some cool air aloft allowing the air to rise. Showers and storms should develop along wind shift line anytime after 12 PM. Any storm that develops tomorrow could turn severe with damaging winds in excess of 60mph and large hail as the main threats. Isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out completely, but the higher tornado threat will be located across West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Here is what our latest Futuretrak model has at 3 PM.

Future Trak at 3 PM

Future Trak at 3 PM

Some computer models are hinting that we could see another round of rain and storms late Sunday night into Monday morning. If this happens, then the severe weather threat will be going down during the day on Monday. Stay tuned! I will have another update coming up on WAVY News 10 at 11. Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson will have another forecast for you starting at 6 AM on WAVY News 10 Sunday morning.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 


Isolated Showers Possible Today, Strong Storms Return Tomorrow

July 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am by under Weather

Isolated showers will develop this afternoon as warmer and more humid air works its way back in to Hampton Roads.

Weather Pattern

Weather Pattern

Usually along warm fronts, we get showers and areas of light rain. That will be the theme today. As the warmer air moves in a few isolated showers will develop along the front and around Hampton Roads this afternoon. I don’t expected thunderstorms to develop today. Tomorrow is the better day for thunderstorm development.

Damaging Wind Gusts & Hail Possible Tomorrow

Damaging Wind Gusts & Hail Possible Tomorrow

Damaging wind, hail, and isolated tornadoes may be a result of the severe weather setup we have for tomorrow. That threat is expected to continue into the overnight hours.

Future Trak @ 5pm Sunday

Future Trak @ 5pm Sunday

High temperatures will be in the 90s on Sunday. The dew points will be in the 70s, so it will feel like it reaches over 100 degrees tomorrow. We will continue to monitor the sever weather setup for Sunday and Monday. Stay tuned for another update tonight from Tiffany Savona on WAVY TV and myself tomorrow morning starting at 6am.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson