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Blog

Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

Filtering by Tag: Featured

2:45 PM | *Three day heat wave may end with quite a bang*

Paul Dorian

The next three days will likely be the hottest stretch all summer long in the Mid-Atlantic region with urban areas along Route I-95 likely to make a run at the 100 degree mark (e.g., DCA, PHL, NYC) over the weekend.  (Philly Airport hasn’t reached the 100 degree mark in the last 7 years).  There is significant relief coming to the Midwest, NE US and Mid-Atlantic region next week and temperatures are quite likely going to be below-normal on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The transition from the extreme heat and humidity expected this weekend to the cooler-than-normal conditions next week may very well come with strong-to-severe thunderstorm activity in the Sunday night to early Tuesday time period with more torrential rainfall and potential damaging winds.

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7:15 AM | *There is no "weather" on the moon, but there are extreme differences in temperatures*

Paul Dorian

It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on its surface. There were 5 subsequent Apollo missions that successfully landed humans on the moon and brought them safely back to Earth.  What kind of “weather” did these astronauts need to contend with on the moon? The moon has a very thin atmosphere so it cannot trap heat or insulate the surface.  There is no wind there, no clouds, no rain, no snow and no storms, but there is “day and night” and there are extreme differences in temperatures depending on where the sun is shining.

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10:10 AM | ***Severe thunderstorms, torrential rain a threat for later today, tonight and Thursday…excessive heat and humidity to peak Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a run to 100 degrees possible***

Paul Dorian

There are two big weather stories unfolding for the Mid-Atlantic region for the next few days with the potential of severe thunderstorms and torrential rainfall later today and tonight as the remains of Barry pass through the region and then the hottest weather of the summer so far in the Friday through Sunday time frame. An already very warm and moist atmosphere will get even more unstable later today and tonight as a trough of low pressure associated with what was once tropical cyclone Barry passes through leading to numerous showers and thunderstorms.

Once this large tropical moisture field pushes away from the area, an atmospheric blow torch will setup and cause temperatures to soar on Friday in the I-95 corridor and it’ll stay excessively hot and humid this weekend with a run to 100 degrees possible during this stretch.  There can be scattered showers and storms late Sunday with a weak frontal system and then more showers and storms on Monday associated with an even stronger frontal system which will usher in cooler air by next Tuesday.  In fact, the remainder of July looks much more pleasant across the eastern half of the nation with normal-to-below normal temperatures and we could very well look back on this Friday-to-Sunday heat wave as the worst of the summer in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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3:00 PM | ***Thunderstorm and heavy rain threat tonight into Thursday as Barry’s remains pass through the region…an atmospheric blow torch from Friday into Monday with 100 degrees on the table***

Paul Dorian

There are two big weather stories unfolding in the Mid-Atlantic region for the second half of the week and the upcoming weekend with the potential of some strong-to-severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall over the next couple days as the remains of Barry pass through the region and then the hottest weather of the summer so far in the Friday into Monday time frame. Showers and thunderstorms are possible from tonight into Thursday in the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor - any one of which can produce heavy rainfall.  Once this large moisture field associated with Barry’s remnants pushes away from the area, an atmospheric blow torch will set up and cause temperatures to soar on Friday in the I-95 corridor and triple digits will be possible over the upcoming weekend.  A strong cool front is likely to bring a round of showers and storms to the Mid-Atlantic late on Monday and more reasonable air is likely for the middle and latter parts of next week.

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11:15 AM | **Excessive heat in the Mid-Atlantic for Friday, Saturday, Sunday…Barry’s remains to enhance chance for showers and thunderstorms at mid-week and some rain can be heavy**

Paul Dorian

There are two big weather stories unfolding for the week and weekend in the Mid-Atlantic region with the potential of some heavy rainfall at mid-week from the remains of Barry and then the hottest weather of the summer so far for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday time frame and perhaps even into the early part of next week.  Showers and thunderstorms are likely from later Wednesday into Thursday in the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor mainly as a result of the remains of Barry and some of this rain can be heavy at times.  Once this large moisture field pushes away, the excessive heat will become the main story with mid-to-upper 90’s possible for highs in DC, Philly and NYC this weekend and triple digits is on the table.

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11:20 AM | *Gulf hurricane threat continues with possible Louisiana landfall by the early weekend…strong-to-severe thunderstorm threat this afternoon and tonight in the Mid-Atlantic/NE US*

Paul Dorian

A broad area of low pressure is drifting westward this morning over the Gulf of Mexico and there is not yet a well-defined center of circulation.  As atmospheric conditions become more favorable and the system moves over warmer-than-normal water, intensification will become more likely and tropical storm status could be attained by later tonight or early tomorrow and perhaps (weak) hurricane status can be reached by later tomorrow night.  A turn to the northwest by the early part of the weekend could bring this tropical system into central Louisiana and it’ll likely remain a relatively slow-mover raising the chances for substantial amounts of rainfall across southern Louisiana and parts of Mississippi as well over the next few days.  Elsewhere, there is a threat this afternoon and tonight in the I-95 corridor for strong-to-severe thunderstorms – any one of these storms can bring heavy downpours to an already-soaked part of the country.

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11:50 AM | *Weekend hurricane threat for Louisiana/Texas…recent changes in El Nino may have an impact on the remainder of the Atlantic Basin tropical season*

Paul Dorian

Low pressure that pushed southward yesterday from Georgia to the northeastern Gulf of Mexico is now showing clear signs of strengthening and it is very likely to reach named (Barry) tropical storm status over the next day or two.  While only slow intensification is expected for the next day or two, there are reasons to believe that the combination of favorable atmospheric and oceanic conditions will allow for more rapid strengthening beyond 48 hours and this could result in a category 1 or 2 hurricane this weekend over the Gulf of Mexico.  A key player in the eventual path of soon-to-be named “Barry” will be a strong ridge of high pressure to the northwest that may steer this system towards a landfall Louisiana or Texas by the latter part of the weekend.  In addition, with the building ridge to the northwest, there is the chance that this system becomes a slow mover and this will only enhance chances for some serious rainfall in the Gulf of Mexico region from eastern Texas to the western Florida Panhandle.  Elsewhere, the centrally-based El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is now showing signs of weakening and this could result in a more active Atlantic Basin tropical season during the next few months.

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1:45 PM | *All eyes on the Gulf of Mexico this week for likely tropical storm formation*

Paul Dorian

Overall activity in this still rather young Atlantic Basin tropical season has been pretty much non-existent so far, but it looks like the Gulf of Mexico will be the breeding grounds this week for tropical storm development.  Low pressure will first drift southward to a location over the northern Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of days and then drift westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico and likely intensify into tropical storm status – perhaps even reaching hurricane status.  All eyes from the Florida Panhandle to Texas should closely monitor this unfolding situation as heavy rainfall is likely whether or not there is a named tropical system (would be called Barry).

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7:15 AM | *The deadly heat wave of July 1936 in the middle of the hottest decade ever for the US*

Paul Dorian

One of the most widespread and destructive heat waves ever recorded in the US took place in the summer of 1936 which fell right in the middle of the hottest and driest decade ever for the nation.  The decade of the 1930’s is renowned for the “Great Depression” and the “Dust Bowl”, both of which caused calamitous human suffering in this country.  Not only were huge numbers of crops destroyed by the heat and lack of moisture in the “Dust Bowl” era, but thousands of lives were lost as a result of the heat, drought and economic hardship. Many of the all-time high temperature records that were set in the decade of the 1930’s still stand today.  The heat wave experienced in 1936 began in late June, reached a peak in July, and didn’t really come to an end until September.  This extreme heat wave was particularly deadly; especially, in high population areas where air conditioning was still in the early stages of development.

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10:50 AM | *Noctilucent clouds continue to dazzle around the world*

Paul Dorian

Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds on Earth and are quite rarely seen in the US as they are primarily visible at high latitudes above 55°N.  For the past several weeks, however, they have been seen much more often than normal around the world and at unusually low latitudes. Two possible explanations for the on-going extraordinary viewing season revolve around the current (low) activity on the sun and the high water vapor levels way up in the atmosphere.  Specifically, noctilucent clouds tend to be more prevalent during solar minimums and we are now entering what may be the deepest solar minimum in more than a century.  In addition, unusually high levels of water vapor have been detected in the mesosphere creating favorable conditions for the formation of noctilucent clouds.

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