Joe’s Weather Blog: Back In The Saddle Again (THU-7/3)
I’m back…for some that is good news…for others…never mind. At least the weather is perfect out there. Certainly a Top 10 Day of 2014…and when you combine the fact that the weather is this cool and comfortable in early July with bright sunshine no less…perhaps a Top 3 weather day for 2014!
Tonight: Perfect with lows 55-60°. Record tomorrow (7/4) is 54° set in 1997…I don’t think we get there but another night where the A/C won’t work too hard.
Friday the 4th: Mostly sunny and warmer with highs between 80-85°. SE winds of 5-15 MPH…humidity still VERY reasonable for July.
Saturday: Thunderstorms possible especially from daybreak through lunch-time and perhaps after in some places. Additional clouds through the day so not exactly the greatest of days. Highs may only be near 80°, especially if we’re cool all morning with rain in the region and the dry surface air that will be in place beforehand.
Sunday: Hotter and drier with highs surging with gusty south winds…close to 90° with wind gusts of 20-30 MPH possible.
I spent some vacation time in the desert SW for the past week…where Phoenix was running day in and day out around 110°. I’d still take that over our 100° + thick humidity every time. With a breeze going…it’s not terrible but the sun is obviously very intense. Then drove up to Sedona for a few days…I shot some pictures of some of the devastation from the Slide wildfire from last month…may get those posted over the weekend some time.
It was nice to come back to very comfortable air. Highs yesterday struggled to get to 70° and today will be a struggle, despite the sunshine, to get to 80° at KCI. As of this writing it’s still 75° (2PM) there…impressive with full July sunshine going to work on a cool airmass.
We’ll moderate a bit more tomorrow with highs back into the 80s…but SE winds will essentially recirculate the same “dry” air back to us from the Ozarks region…so humidity levels will be very comfortable for this time of the year.
Later tomorrow night into Saturday though the focus will be on the potential of storms developing to the west or NW of the KC area and rolling our way sometime on Saturday. As I look into northern TX I can see the thicker dewpoints sitting there and waiting to get tugged back to the north…that will happen tomorrow in the Plains where south winds will bring that moisture northwards…and as that occurs and a ripple in the NW flow moves through NE, we should see storms develop later tomorrow and run towards our area on Saturday. How they hold together is a bit of a question and whether or not we see new convection fire up in our area is a question too but the potential is certainly there and one that bears watching. Here is the way the NAM model is handling the potential weekend rain on Saturday.
For those not familiar with the above maps…this computer model shows the pressures and the 3 hour rainfall amounts from the time the model starts for the next 84 hours. Note the hurricane (Arthur) off the SE coast. These model graphics will update automatically.
For a time reference 00Z is 7PM (i.e. 00Z SAT is really 7PM FRI) 12Z is 7AM 18Z is 1PM and 06Z is 1AM.
The ripple in the flow helping to generate the storms is actually along the leading edge of some pretty decent summer heat that will fight it’s way into the region later Saturday into Sunday and really be felt to finish the holiday weekend.
Early next week, just as the heat is pushing through, another weaker boundary will move into the area giving us additional storm chances MON or TUE. The boundary will fire storms to the north on Monday…whether or not anything can get here (not out of the question) is tough to say including the potential of debris clouds that may hold Monday down a bit…we’ll see how that plays out.
Onward to other things…mainly the seasons 1st named storm and 1st hurricane. Arthur is holding it’s own and during the afternoon has shown better organization. The early afternoon winds were around 90 MPH. It’s not a very large hurricane and my guess is that the actually hurricane force winds are in a small area around the center of the storm, but the storm will certainly track through the outer banks of NC and create a mess there tomorrow.
You can see the eye trying to clear out a bit in the visible images…which is a sign of the storm strengthening. It also looks like some stronger storms are developing around the eye of the storm as well…which also tends to strengthen these types of storms.
Here is a look at the NWS radar from Wilmington, NC. You can see the eye…and it appears to be tightening up a little bit.
Despite the great images from above and the radar data…we still need to get a better idea on the strength of the storm and for that we rely on recon aircraft that fly around and through the storm to get a better idea on the intensity of what we’re dealing with. Check out this next image via tropicaltidbits.com. It puts the latest recon mission into perspective.
This is a recon mission being flown through the storm at around 8-12K feet. They will on occasion drop sensors into the ocean that as they fall send back weather information (like our weather balloons except their instruments go down as opposed to ours that go up through the atmosphere. You can see the surface winds peak in the 2nd map around 80 knots…which is roughly 90 MPH. The storm is forecast to move through the outer banks of NC then off the NE part of the country. it appears the main threats will be rain for the NE with wind and rain the main concerns for the New England area.
As for the next 15 hours of the hurricane…take a look at the HRRR model run that also will automatically update via Weatherbell.
There is a tower off the coast of NC called Frying Pan Shoals Tower…they were reporting 82 MPH wind gusts and 24-30 foot wave heights! Via @FPTower here is a calm day…
and this is what it looks like this afternoon.
Believe it or not it it’s actually a B & B where you can stay! Rates are around $500/night…
That’s it for now…one day back and already over 1000 words in a blog.