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Joe’s Weather Blog: Slow temperature retreat + rain chance? (FRI-2/19)

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Good afternoon! Another fabulous day in the area today with temperatures around 70° as of this writing. Yesterday we tied our record high of 74° set back in 1930. Today we will get close but I don’t think we’ll tie our standing record of 74° also set back in 1930.

The air is VERY dry so it’s responding nicely to the sunshine and the wind that’s out there today. Thankfully the winds aren’t nearly as strong as yesterday. We had gusts close to 50 MPH on Thursday…so far today the winds have been a more reasonable 15-30 MPH and will slowly fade more during the afternoon.

Forecast:

Tonight: Fair skies and cooler with lows in the 40s

Saturday: Another warm day and for areas from KC southwards you will notice higher dew points moving into the region. So the bone dry air will not be as dry on Saturday. It will still be warm though with highs around 70° again. There is a chance of an isolated to scattered showers…maybe even a rumble too in the afternoon on Saturday from KC southwards.

Sunday: Somewhat cooler, but still mild for late FEB air moves into the region. Highs in the 50s with partly cloudy skies

Discussion:

I thought today we’d touch  on a few different things going on with the weather around the world that have caught my eye. Not really connected to KC per say but interesting nonetheless.

Item #1 is a cyclone heading to the Island of Fiji…wayyyy out towards the east of Australia…it’s out there on its own about 1500 miles east of eastern Australia.

The storm in question is named Winston and it’s moving from the east to the west which is what happens in the southern hemisphere. Water temperatures out there are REALLY warm…close to 90°…needless to say that’s a LOT of energy available, all things considered, for this storm.

 

I’m not sure how long this radar picture will work…but the radar there is showing the center of the storm.

Radar from Labasa

The morning advisory had this storm at almost 150 MPH winds with higher gusts…this could be a devastating blow to this region depending on exactly where the eye of the storm ends up going. It doesn’t seem to be the largest hurricane in terms of size…but the strength is impressive and it’s believed to bet he strongest out there in quite some time to threaten and/or hit Fiji. There was a bad storm in 2012 with 135 MPH winds that did a lot of damage to the island. The nation is comprised of 300 different islands…and there is tremendous concern about the storm surge with this storm.

Item #2: How is El Nino doing? Well it’s still chugging along. It may not be as “all that” as it was last month but it’s still considered strong and while it’s slowly fading it appears that it’s still a player in the weather across many parts of the world.

Here is some information from the latest update on El Nino from NOAA

Capture

Notice the warmer than average waters extending east>west along the equator in the Pacific Ocean…that’s El Nino!

Here is a close up of that part of the world…

Capture

What is interesting about what’s happening out there is that beneath all that warm water the farther west you go along the equator or near it at least…is a developing area of cooler than average water

Capture

Notice farther west towards the Dateline and westwards (160°W >130°E) there is cooler sub-surface ocean water…it’s a signal of a developing La Nina

So waters beneath the surface are getting cooler and cooler towards the Dateline…also towards the South American coast as well…model forecasts indicate that La Nina may form heading towards the Fall season. This actually is not that unusual after strong El Ninos.

After one of the strongest El Ninos in the late 1990s…a rather strong La Nina developed…same in the early 1980s as well (although La Nina wasn’t as strong)

Capture

The higher the ORANGE peaks are the strong the El Nino was…the lower the BLUE peaks go…the stronger the La Nina is.

You can also see that La Ninas tend to last longer than El Ninos do. Basically La Nina is the opposite of El Nino. La Nina is an unusual cooling of the equatorial Pacific water temperatures.

This El Nino was hoped to really help out the state of CA and others in the SW part of the country. So far though…most of the best precip has been more towards northern CA  and up the coast…whereas southern CA has been lacking and as a result is still dealing with nasty drought conditions.

Capture1

The darkest RED represents “extreme” drought conditions and there has been little change in the last year.

Since the water year started on 10/1…things haven’t been so great for southern CA especially…

 

So despite the forecasts for continued moisture into southern CA…things are just not working out for them in the big picture.

What’s somewhat surprising is that Los Angeles was actually in better shape LAST year at this time compared to today. Last year from 10/1>2/18 they had close to 6″ of moisture…whereas this time from 10/1>2/18 they have close to 5″ of moisture.

There is some good news with this…and that’s the amount of snow that’s been piling up in the mountains of eastern CA…that eventually melts and streams into various reservoirs etc.

Meanwhile in Phoenix, which was breaking high temperatures left and right earlier this week, including their earliest 90° high temperature in the year…the rain has been a little more than average but NOT a lot. They’ve had close to 2.5″ of moisture which is still about 1″ below average.

Item #3…how about KC? Well it will be turning cooler to colder next week but nothing overly strong or for any length of time. We’ll dabble in some chillier air for a day or two…but I still don’t see any appreciable snow chances next week into next weekend.

That’s it for today…have a great weekend…I’ll get at least one blog done over the weekend but with this nice weather…it’s tough to find a lot to talk about!

Joe

 

 

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