Monday, June 29, 2009
Regarding possible future development this week, looking at the forecast for winds in the 5,000' level across the Caribbean this week it would not be supportive of wave development in this region so the tropics should continue to remain quiet this week.
Other weather player will be a trough over the Great Lakes and New England. This feature will keep it rather cool to end June and start July for these areas and the 4th will likely be cool and refreshing like a glass of lemonade instead of hot as a firecracker.
Further south, though, just a bit of relief is expected with temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s and dew points in the 50s and low 60s. This compares to last week when temperatures were in the mid and upper 90s with dew points in the upper 60s and into the 70s. However, further west across the Plains it will remain hot this week and the heat will likely build back east as we head into the weekend and especially next week. A possible new heat wave, even hotter that the previous one is possible for much of the first two weeks of July.
Friday, June 26, 2009
A tropical wave that stretches from Cuba through the Cayman Islands into Honduras is causing quite a bit of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. A large cluster of storms of developed across eastern Honduras and these storms will likely track westward tonight.
The enter wave will track west-northwest tonight and through Saturday and showers and thunderstorms will be likely from Belize to the Yucatan of Mexico.
(Current 6-HR Radar Loop for Belize)
As the wave moves off of the northern Yucatan coast and into the Gulf of Mexico later this weekend it will move into a better environment for further development, potentially into a tropical cyclone. I encourage those of you living along the U.S. Gulf Coast to monitor this system this weekend. If the system would develop into a cyclone next week, it would likely track initially north then northeastward as a result of a trough that will be digging into the Eastern U.S.
I will keep close eye on this event and keep you updated.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The tropics have been quiet so far but will they become more active. The general answer is, "likely" as the normal peak is not until September; however in the short term the pattern still remains rather quiet. There are indications that a tropical wave moving through the western Carribean will move up along the Altantic coast of Central America and develop into a compact area of low pressure over the Yucatan of Mexico and move into Gulf of Mexico late weekend/early next week. It is possible this could be something that would develop further once it makes its way into the Gulf. If it would develop, the eastern Gulf of Mexico would be the most likely area to monitor for a possible landfall location as a trough dipping southward into the eastern U.S. would influence a east-northeast motion. I will continue to monitor over the next couple of days.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A strong heat ridge continues across much of the eastern half of the nation encompassing much of the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, The South and Texas. The hottest heat has been kept from Kansas southward through Oklahoma and into Texas where 100s have been common and will remain into the weekend. The current heat wave has lead to records being broken and as folks try to remain cool, electric consumption is on the rise. Texas has been setting daily electrical usage records for June for the past several days. On Monday and Tuesday, Electrical loads have been exceeding 60,000 Megawatts per day across Texas and it is expected on Wednesday that the load will reach 61,500 Megawatts. The previous daily record for June was 59,000 Megawatts set last year.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is forecasting a peak load of more than 63,000 Megawatts on Thursday which would exceed the all-time daily peak of 62,339 Megawatts set in August 2006.
Not only has it been hot is has also been very humid and that has made it dangerously hot. We meteorologists look at the Dew Point, which is a more reliable and accurate way of deciphering how humid it is rather than using relative humidity. Whenever the Dew Point reaches 60 degrees it begins to become humid feeling. By the time it reaches 70 degrees it becomes to feel very uncomfortable.
There is good news as relief is on the way. As we head into late week, a trough that is currently entering into the Pacific Northwest, is forecast to drop southeastward. By Saturday, the trough will be moving into the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
This trough will deepen as it slides eastward into the Great Lakes early next week. This will bring cooler temperatures to many who have been experiencing the recent heat from much of the Plains into the Tennessee Valley. It appears that next week will be 10 to 15 degrees cooler for many in this zone and there will also be an increase chance for rainfall.
The trough dropping southeast will push the heat ridge into the West allowing much of the Western U.S. to heat up next week.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Summer officially started on Sunday and now summertime heat is becoming common place across much of the nation. For the past week the heat has been confined to the South and now it will be spreading northward into the Mississippi Valley the Plains and Texas.
Temperatures will be rising well into the 90s and even into the 100s for much of this week. The heat in addition to high humidity is prompting the National Weather Service to issue excessive heat warnings and heat advisories for many in the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys.
This heat is a direct result of a large dome of high pressure across the southern and central U.S. Along the fringe of the dome has been waves of thunderstorms. With the ridge building northwestward the main focus of storms is across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
However, there will also be some storms from the southern OH Valley into the Carolinas as the northeastern edge of the dome is being squeezed southwestward due to a trough over the Northeast. This trough is also keeping New England cool.
Friday, June 19, 2009
As mentioned yesterday, severe storms developed across Nebraska and South Dakota and drifted eastward through the overnight through Iowa and into northern Illinois. These storms brought two possible tornadoes, one in South Dakota and one in North Dakota. The main report of severe weather was damaging winds and hail. One wind report was of winds of 87 MPH in Garrison, Iowa and another was 72 MPH in Chicago, IL. Some large hail also fell across portions of the Chicagoland. A report of 1.75" hail was reported in Belvidere, IL with several reports of hail between 1" and 1.5", too.
Due to the morning storms, thousands are without power and both Chicago airports have been experiencing delays and even a few cancellations. More storms are likely to develop later this afternoon and continue through the overnight from southeastern Iowa through northern Illinois and continuing eastward into western Pennsylvania. The major threat with again be widespread damaging winds and large damaging hail. To help keep you up-to-date across the Chicagoland area here is a look at Fox Chicago's Dual-Pol Radar.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Intense supercell thunderstorms are expected to develop across Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa Thursday afternoon/evening. Initially, the storms main threat will be damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes. As time passes through the overnight, it is expected that the storms will merge together forming a large complex of thunderstorms. The complex will then shift southeastward through the overnight and into Friday morning. The front edge of the complex may "bow" setting up the potential for widespread wind damage. The highest risk for this occurring would be across eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northern Indiana.
On Friday, the possibility exists that the complex of storms from Thursday night could continue to propagate east-southeast into the lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley through Friday morning. Otherwise, additional strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop across much of the Midwest and Ohio Valleys during the afternoon and evening hours as the environment will remain primed.
I strongly encourage you to monitor local news and NOAA weather radio for the latest advisories and warnings if you live or plan on traveling through the above mentioned areas. I also recommend subscribing to Weather Call, a personal alert service that notifies you of dangerous storms and tornadoes for your specific location. It is highly accurate and affordable at just $6.95 per year. Click here for an example of Weather Call shown live on air.
For more information you can simply click the here.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Some of hottest air of the season, so far, will be affecting the Southeastern U.S. northward to the OH River and westward into the Plains. Temperatures will rise into the mid and upper 90s from Kansas to Florida. The hottest air will arrive Thursday through Saturday with highest temperatures being reached from southern MS-southern GA where the century mark will be met and in some cases topped. Either way, the humidity will be high all across the Southeast allowing heat index values to rise to the 100 to 110 degree range.
As the heat builds and increase in dew points (humidity) will also be occurring across the Heartland in advance of an approaching front that will bring a bit of a change. This will be setting up the scenario for some widespread strong to severe storms from IA/MO eastward into the OH Valley Thursday night-Saturday.
This front will bring a bit of relieve along and east of the MS river but the biggest relieve will be confined along and north of I-70. South of I-70, it will be just a tad cooler, highs in the low 90s with lower humidity. Next week the potential is setting up for the brunt of the heat to be shifting into the Plains with a cooling and wetter trend setting up for the Eastern 1/3 of the nation.
Friday, June 12, 2009
A moist, unstable atmosphere is setting up for widespread severe weather with damaging hail and winds across much of Arkansas and the Mid-South.
In addition, a slowly southward moving cold front will be the triggering mechanism for more strong to severe storms from the Mid-Atlantic/Tennessee Valley southward to the Gulf Coast.
Little change is expected on Saturday with more storms, some being severe, likely from the Plains through the Mid-South and into the Tennessee Valley. The focus will shift a bit further north on Sunday.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
A look today into the tropics shows a continuation of quiet times which is not unusual for this time of year. There was one tropical wave in the Caribbean but it was being sheared and that will continue to keep the area from organizing further. As we head through the next 7 days a rather strong upper level ridge will develop over the Gulf of Mexico. This could lead to an environment more conducive for tropical development. I will continue to monitor and keep you posted.
Regarding the severe storm threat for tonight into Friday, a nearly stationary frontal boundary will continue to be the firing zone for waves of thunderstorms. Some of these will be severe with damaging winds and hail. A few isolated tornados will also be possible. The risk of severe weather, tonight, exists from northern Texas into the Mid-South, Tennessee Valley and Mid-Atlantic. Little change is anticipated for Friday with a continued risk for some severe storms from southern Kansas southward into northeastern Texas and eastward into the Tennessee Valley.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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Around 5:30 PM Monday evening, a tornado touched down southeast of St. Louis in the community of Shiloh, IL in St. Clair County. The tornado first touched down in the Eagles Landing Subdivision near the intersection of Green Mount Rd and Lebanon Avenue. The tornado then continued on a southeastward track and nearly produced a continuous damage path of 12.8 miles. The tornado lifted as it approached the Kaskaskia river. The most heavily damaged structure was within the community of Mascoutah near the intersection of Illinois 4 and Jefferson Road.
Image from National Weather Service-St. Louis Survey Report
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Today is the 1st of June and that means the official start to the 2009 Hurricane Season even though the tropics have already tried to provide the season's first tropical system, twice. First, just a couple of weeks ago an area of low pressure appeared to have had some tropical nature shortly before making landfall along the MS/AL Gulf coast but officially it was never classified a tropical depression or storm. Second, just last week we officially had our first tropical depression ESE of New England. At one point its winds were just 4 MPH short of Tropical Storm strength. So we still wait for the official first named storm of the season.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has released its 2009 Hurricane Outlook and it calls for a near normal Atlantic Hurricane Season. But what does that mean and what are their specifics? On average, the tropical season in the Atlantic includes 10 named storms with 6 becoming hurricanes and 3 of those becoming "Major" hurricanes. The outlook is calling for a 70% chance of 9 to 14 named storms this season with 4 to 7 becoming hurricanes and of those 3 reaching "Major" hurricane status (Category 3, 4 or 5). The NHC's hurricane outlook doesn't provide specifics on potential landfall.
Another popular source for hurricane outlooks is the one provide by Colorado State University professor, Dr. William Gray. His 2009 Outlook also calls for an average Atlantic hurricane season. The outlook forecasts 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 "Major" hurricanes. It also forecast normal chances for U.S. landfall of a "Major" hurricane, 54%.
Now the official "Doppler Dale" Tropical Outlook for the 2009 season. Like the NHC and Dr. Gray I am also foreseeing a near normal tropical season. I am predicting 9 named storms with one storm becoming a "Major" hurricane. I am also forecasting 4 named storms making a U.S. landfall with the highest probability being along the Eastern Gulf of Mexico coast in Florida northward up the Atlantic Coast from Eastern FL to the DELMARVA. Here is the break down per month.
# Named Storms
# Major Hurricanes
Now a bit of clarification on the above monthly forecast. The monthly number is for the number of storms that were initially named during that month. This means a tropical storm named on September 30 and continued through October 10 would be included in September and not October. As a result, some months may see more active named storms that shown above because they were active in multiple months.
Finally, here is the list for this year's tropical storm/hurricane names for the Atlantic.