Tropical Depression Eight May Threaten North Carolina Coastline In The Coming Days! (credit: NWS National Hurricane Center)
DISCUSSION: The National Hurricane Center (NHC/NOAA) in Miami, FL, has recently upgraded a tropical disturbance over the far western Atlantic Ocean to a Tropical Depression. This system has slowly been organizing over the warm waters of the south-to-north running Gulf Stream current which has fostered the development of vigorous storm growth. The visible satellite image below (a picture of the clouds from space) shows the wispy high clouds associated with the tops of the aforementioned thunderstorms. You can also note a swirl in the lower level clouds to the southeast of the wispy clouds, denoting the center of this tropical entity.
Over the coming days, this system will work its way west-northwestward, and then turn northward. As this occurs, some strengthening is possible and a tropical storm may form eventually. While the center of the storm is unlikely to directly affect the Eastern Seaboard, the outer impacts from the storm may be felt along the SC/NC/VA beaches with higher-than-normal wave activity, scattered showers/thunderstorms, and some minor beach erosion. The forecasted track from the NHC is located in the second image below. People living along the coastlines of SC, NC, and VA, should continue to monitor this situation closely as adverse tropical weather may affect these regions in the coming days. More updates on this and other high-impacts weather events across North America can be monitored by clicking here!
@Meteorologist Jake Mulholland
DISCUSSION: As the tropics begin to quickly awake from their season-long slumber, things are beginning to really fire up quickly with a number of weak low-pressure systems across the tropical Atlantic showing signs of slow organization across the Western Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Central to Eastern Caribbean Sea as well. As has been noted repeatedly around social media over the last couple of days, we continue to have strong Tropical Storm Gaston in the East Central Atlantic Ocean as a strong tropical storm. However, based on the recently trending thoughts from forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (located in Miam, Florida), Gaston is expected to become a hurricane sometime during the day tomorrow and ultimately head off to the northeast towards parts of Western Europe.
Having said that, the primary attention is being put on the threat for a tropical cyclone to potentially organize further and strengthen in association with the aforementioned Invest 99L which is currently positioned over the far Eastern Bahamas. Though the environment is currently very unfavorable for further development of this tropical low due to the presence of high wind shear which tears developing thunderstorms near the center of the tropical low's circulation apart which are critical ingredients for tropical cyclone organization and intensification. However, this tropical low is forecast to move into a region which will be more favorable by the Monday/Tuesday timeframe which will be a point at which this tropical low will be monitored much more closely hour-by-hour. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
Fiona fades; Gaston grows; but there is another tropical system (99L) on Florida’s horizon… (H. Michael Mogil, CCM, CBM, DMS)
DISCUSSION: September 10 marks the average day of peak tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin (Fig. 1). As we approach that day, the atmosphere is delivering. Early this Monday morning (Aug. 22, 2016), there were three tropical systems at play in the Atlantic…To read the full story, click here - http://www.weatherworks.com/lifelong-learning-blog/?p=984
Concord, MA EF-1 Tornado: Understanding How Forecasters Predicted and Confirmed the Tornado (Credit: NWS Taunton, MA and NWS Gray, ME)
DISCUSSION: On Monday, August 22, 2016, the National Weather Service (NWS) Boston/Taunton office confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down at around 3:20 a.m. E.D.T. near Concord, MA (About 20 miles northwest of Boston, MA in Middlesex County). The short-lived tornado developed maximum wind speeds of up to 100 mph with a path length of 0.5 miles and a maximum width of 400 yards. The tornado was associated with a larger system of storms that were fueled by an advancing cold front. The well-defined cold front that approached from the Ohio Valley had organized a marginally favorable thunderstorm environment across parts of the Northeast region. The predominant impacts across the Northeast included uprooted trees, torrential rainfall, brief flooding and damaging straight-line winds. NWS meteorologists successfully forecasted and confirmed the tornado by analyzing weather forecast maps, observing atmospheric conditions and assessing storm damages.
DISCUSSION: Coming off the heels of multiple damaging tornadoes yesterday, a slight risk of severe weather exists for Indiana today. This is an interesting case study as just yesterday afternoon/evening the state of Indiana was also under a slight risk for severe weather. However, a slight risk for severe weather materialized into multiple damaging tornadoes across Indiana. The trigger for today’s potential second round of severe weather is a cold front tracking southeast across Central Indiana. This is quite the contrast to yesterday, where the primary trigger for severe weather was an upper trough moving across the area that destabilized the low-to-mid levels of the atmosphere; coupled by further enhancement from the influence(s) of a strengthening low level jet.
High winds should be the main threat tonight, with some storms capable of producing heavy rainfall and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. This poses somewhat less life-threatening factors compared to last night wherein wind, hail, lightning, and isolated tornadoes were all part of the severe weather event that unfolded. Despite the forecast calling for isolated tornadoes, yesterday’s event broke the record for most tornadoes during any Indiana August tornado event since 1950. This came after the previous record of 5 tornadoes was broken just last Monday. The strongest tornado within yesterday’s event so far was an EF-3 tornado that hit Kokomo.
Despite this unexpected outbreak, no deaths have been reported and hopefully tonight any severe storms that erupt tonight will be without casualties. This goes to show that sometimes severe weather outbreaks can be worse than anticipated, despite having less than ideal conditions. This illustrates the importance of the National Weather Service’s responsibility for issuing severe weather watches and warnings (which has greatly been improved upon over the years), as well as heeding these warnings since a few minutes of warning can save lives. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
Significant, but localized, tornado outbreak hits Indiana and Ohio… (H. Michael Mogil, CCM, CBM, DMS)
DISCUSSION: As persistent tropical moisture continued to be advected off of the Western to Central Gulf of Mexico, the stage continued to be primed for heavy rainfall potential across portions of Southern to Eastern Texas through earlier this week. Having said that, in light of the recent flooding across portions of the Gulf Coast, there is tremendous damage being contended with in the aftermath of all of this flooding. This persistent heavy rainfall was a direct result of strong warm air advection processs which facilitated very robust deep-layer moisture to move into the region of concern (as partially outlined in the graphic attached below. Note that although this particular map only shows Southern Texa,s the extent of the extremely large rainfall totals went well beyond the scope of only Southern Texas.
In addition, another factor which contributed to the development of this long-duration flooding event was the influence(s) from a more conventionally studied atmopheric phenomena known as atmospheric rivers. Atmospheric rivers are long/narrow corridors of moisture which typically span long distances across various ocean basins around the world. These long-tracked corridors of deep tropical moisture track across oceanic basins before landfalling over mainland regions of continents which helps to facilitate thermodynamic environments which are conducive for the development of heavy rainfall events. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: September 10 marks the average day of peak tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin (Fig. 1). As we approach that day, the atmosphere is delivering. Early this Monday morning (Aug. 22, 2016), there were three tropical systems at play in the Atlantic…To read the full story, click here - http://www.weatherworks.com/lifelong-learning-blog/?p=966
DISCUSSION: Below is a national visible satellite image of the United States. This image helps meteorologists determine where a variety of cloud systems are and where they are moving. Currently, there is a cold front draped from New York, southward along the spine of the Appalachian Mtns., and into deep south Texas. Behind this cold front, aside from a few fair weather cumulus clouds and sprinkles around the Great Lakes, the weather is picture perfect with fall-like conditions. Temperatures are generally in the 70s F and 80s F with lower humidity readings and breezy northwest winds. This nice weather is headed toward the East Coast by the start of the work week tomorrow! Enjoy it while it lasts! To learn more about other weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As more tropical moisture prepares to enter the Lone Star state over the next 24 to 48 hours, there will again be an increased threat for deep convective storms to fire up over many parts of Southern-to-Central Texas. That being said, if some storms do become severe due to increased convective instability moving into the region, the primary threat will likely be heavy rainfall along with the potential for flooding in some areas. The largest threat for flooding will be focused within regions which are either in low-lying parts of Texas and/or where there is limited drainage capability. Nonetheless, it is still important to be vigilant of changing conditions beng as though heavy rainfall can change a quiet road into a raging (and often times destructive) river in a matter of minutes. As always urged by forecasters across the National Weather Service network, if you are in the path of flooded roadways "Turn Around and Don't Drown"! To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As the leading edge of energy from a weak low-pressure system approach the tri-state area yesterday evening, a combination of sufficient convective instability as well as increased moisture helped trigger strong thunderstorms over parts of Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern New Jersey, and Southeastern New York. Despite many of the storms being fairly disorganized, they still packed quite a punch as they roared through parts of the New York metro area. As seen in the images attached below, you can denote the photogenic multi-channel lightning strike which occurred over the left-field grandstand of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York just after 9:00 P.M. EDT last night. In addition, the second image captured a screenshot of Doppler Reflectivity from the radar site in Upton, New York at the same time.
You can denote how in the attached radar image there was a fairly strong embedded cell within the approaching thunderstorm segment which moved directly over the Bronx and specifically over Yankee Stadium as indicated by the pictographic evidence. As emphasized by initiatives from the National Weather Service, whenever thunder roars you should always head indoors. However, as in many cases, during sporting events this often does not happen which left many people at risk (especially due to them being positioned at a higher elevation within the stadium). Having said that, it is important to remain more cautious than thrill-seeking when observing thunderstorms. Nonetheless, an amazing sight was had by everyone in attendance at Yankee Stadium yesterday evening.
Within the lighting strike itself, you can clearly see several individual channels which branched off of the primary lightning strike which was likely due to the complex charging of the clouds associated with the approaching thunderstorm. This certainly was a classic case of a conventional Summer-time convective event which produced pulse-like thunderstorm effects on the regions it impacted. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
Early this Saturday morning, many parts of southern and central Louisiana were under a flooding emergency. Widespread 10 to 20 inch rainfall totals (Fig. 1) have led to flooding and flash flooding with some places under evacuation orders and others dealing with water reaching and entering homes and businesses…To read the full story, click here - http://www.weatherworks.com/lifelong-learning-blog/?p=956
DISCUSSION: As very strong thunderstorms developed across parts of Connecticut during the early to middle afternoon hours this past Wednesday, there was a very rare development between 4:20 and 4:30 PM EDT in Southern Connecticut and Eastern Long Island. This rare event was defined by a strong thunderstorm which surprisingly developed weak (and very confined) rotation over Southern Connecticut as it slowly headed to the southeast that afternoon. As it moved across the Long Island Sound, it continued to become increasingly better organized and even developed a classic hook echo feature which is often associated with more classic supercell thunderstorms across the Great Plains region of the United States. You can identify this "hook echo" (in the graphic attached below and on the right side) by the small curved notch which is circled in black and spirals counter-clockwise back towards the Long Island Sound.
Having said that, this storm packed quite the punch with a plethora of cloud-to-ground lightning, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and even two brief EF-0 tornadoes. The first of the two tornadoes touched down near North Haven, Connecticut; while the second touched down near Mattituck, New York (located in Suffolk County in Eastern Long Island). It is important to note that although the frequency with which tornadoes climatologically occur in Long Island is relatively rare, they do still occasionally happen. In fact, in going back nearly fifty years, there have been at least 20 confirmed tornadoes. Hence, from a statistical standpoint, a tornado will generally occur once every 2.5 years or so roughly. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As a late-night update on what remains to be a Category 1 Hurricane Earl, it continues on it expected path towards the coastal sections of Belize at this hour. The storm's minimum central pressure has fallen 6 millibars (mb) from 990 mb as of earlier this morning to 984 mb this evening as of the last update from the National Hurricane Center at 10:00 CDT. Moreover, as of the midnght update (just came in "hot off the press."
As you can see in the attached animation below (i.e., from the radar site located near coastal sections of Belize), there center of Earl's circulation is quickly approaching landfall which will likely occur within an hour or so from now. At this point, conditions will continue to deteriorate as the center of this small/compact tropical storm moves ashore through the overnight hours. As it continues moving inland, Earl will likely weaken to a tropical storm and possibly all the way down to a tropical depression until it potentially re-emerges over the Southern Bay of Campeche by around Thursday evening! To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As of just after 4:00 PM CDT there have now been confirmed reports from the NOAA WP-3 Hurricane Hunter Reconnaisance aircraft for the maximum wind speeds in several parts of what was formerly Tropical Storm Earl to have increased up to 75 MPH. Thus, the winds have strengthened sufficiently for it to officially designated as Hurricane Earl. Even though Earl is only a Category 1 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, it is imperative to take the necessary precautions ahead of this tropical cyclone's arrival. As discussed in the previous post when it was still Tropical Storm Earl, it will bring a threat for copious amounts of rainfall for flash flooding conditions and subsequent landslide and mudslide threats to areas in its past as shown in the future-track forecast cone included below in the atached graphic suite courtesy of the national hurricane center forecast office. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: Over the past few hours, there has been a consistent intensification trend associated with a increasingly more organized Tropical Storm Earl. As a strengthening tropical storm continues to make its final approach towards the coast of Belize and ultimately the Western to central portions of the Yucatán Peninsula which is located in Eastern Mexico. As a result of the details noted above, there will be an increasing threat for gusty winds and heavy rainfall capable of collectively producing a threat for mudslides and landslides across much of the eastern portions of Mexico. The future track is likely going to bring Earl over southern portions of the Yucatán Peninsula before a potentially reemerging over the extreme southern portions of the Bay of Campeche for making a second landfall across portions of Central Mexico.
Though Earl remains to be a relatively weak tropical storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale (the intensity scale by which hurricanes are categorized), those in the path of the storm should take adequate shelter and preparations for the storm. The reasoning for the concern that still remains is the fact that this tropical storm still has the potential to do plenty of infrastructural and overall damage to towns and cities in its path both during and in the aftermath of its passage!
Attached below is a need graphic as part of a larger series of images as captured by the lower fuselage radar from the NOAA WP-3 aircraft which is currently flying through Earl to acquire critical data to be included in upcoming forecast model runs to enhance the likelihood of improved forecast output to help forecasters produce the best forecast possible for the remaining life-span of this strengthening tropical storm. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: Only days ago, the meteorology world lost a man who was not only recognized as an icon throughout the science and the broadcast world, but was also an inspiration to many up-and-coming atmospheric scientists from around the world. Dave Schwartz was an unparalleled atmospheric scientist who had an incredible devotion and passion for studying anything and everything pertaining to the atmospheric science way of life and everything that came with it. Beyond working for The Weather Channel for just over 2 decades, Dave was also a loving husband and father who truly embraced all of the good in life and led by example in everything he did. His enthusiasm and excitement for his work was infectious to millions of people and he was a beloved member of the meteorological broadcast world. Growing up, I myself very much enjoyed watching him work and discuss various topics pertaining to the atmosphere and its amazing capabilities. The atmospheric science world has truly lost one of its all-time greats and he will be missed very much! Dave, I know you are in a better place and I want you to eternally know how much you meant to all of us around the world who call atmospheric science our "way of life". Rest in peace Dave.
DISCUSSION: Earlier in the day yesterday, there was several areas of robust convection which fired up across parts of the Dakotas. During the process of convective initiation, there were a few particularly impressive storms which showed very distinct characteristicswhich were indicative of a very favorable convective environment capable of sustaining strong to severe thunderstorms. Note how in the footage below (as captured yesterday afternoon by Evan Ludes) you can clearly denote the very strong updrafts operating within the core(s) of these intense thunderstorms which were developing at the time. It is within this footage that you can clearly observe the effects of a classic impressively buoyant air parcel ascending due to the presence of a strong convectively unstable thermodynamic environment in place at the time in and around Rapid CIty, South Dakota! Physically, these rapdily ascending air parcels are visually-observed as the rapdily exploding vertical towers associated with the tops of the thunderstorms quickly rising through the atmosphere throughout the course of the video footage attached below. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!