The Northeast Weather Blog...

New Middle Atlantic Weather Blog...

By: Blizzard92, 5:43 PM GMT on July 27, 2009

"Afternoon Thoughts"(Updated 7/27)
Good afternoon!!! This is the new and hopefully improved format for my weekly weather blogs. This format reaches out to a broader zone of areas including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Many bloggers I know reside in some of these other states; so my thought was to broaden the forecast zone, without decreasing forecast accuracy, or else I know I will have to hear about it from some, hahahaha. Anyways the format begins with a general forecast discussion for the next seven days for the broad area of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. This will mention the meteorological data and generic forecast. Below is a section specifically for my home region, the Lower Susquehanna Valley. This will provide detailed forecasts for the next seven days for this region as many bloggers here reside in this area. I have always wanted to throw a specific forecast for my area in a discussion format, so finally I decided this would be a good time to do that. You will also find a marine and boating forecast for the Maryland/Delaware coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake Bay. On down the blog keeps the gardening outlook, severe weather outlook, monthly outlook, and tropical discussion. Maps have changed a bit to add just a different touch from the previous same old same old. I really would like to hear feedback, good and bad and ideas for any slight improvements. I hope everyone enjoys the new blog format and that it will fit the needs for a broader region of bloggers.

Well on to the weather... I looked last night at my weather station records and it showed the last five days have featured rainfall creating a five day total of 2.57inches of rain for a monthly total of 4.20inches. This month sure has been anything, but a typical summer. Still looking at the climate report for KMDT shows every day but one having below normal temperatures. That is pretty darn remarkable during the Summer time. During the Summer it is relatively hard to get below normal temperatures as the air mass has to be remarkably anomalous as the sun is just so powerful in the Summer. Winter is a different story and almost every cold front brings near below normal air. Usually in the Summer cold fronts just bring the air back to normal standards with lower humidity. But warmer weather is coming whether it just is near normal temperatures, it will be warmer. With the deep trough centered over the Midwest, some guidance suggests a weak southeast ridge formation brining warmer anomalies surging northward. H85s will rise near +17-18C across the Northern Middle Atlantic bringing possible 90s to areas as far north as Philadelphia. In the Washington-Baltimore corridor, 90s can be expected at least two or three days during this coming week. But with a cutoff low over the Great Lakes this will bring down disturbances to rotate over the area bringing thunderstorms and rain showers which may prevent some areas from getting to levels they could reach. Then towards the first week in August models bring the trough back east dramatically, which seems a bit too sudden for my current thoughts. I do believe the first week in August will be cooler than this last week in July, but nothing as cooler as we saw in earlier July. The NAO still shows negative predictions for the next 30days so hot weather for an extended period of time is not likely. Maybe an Indian Summer is in store for September and October, otherwise for now Summer weather will be making a short pit stop in the Northeast for this coming week.

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"7-Day Forecast Discussion"(Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware)(Updated 7/27)
The deep trough axis remains over the central United States especially across the Great Lakes with well below normal temperatures. Meanwhile a developing weak southeast ridge is allowing southerly winds near 210degrees to draw up humidity and warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico. H85s remain near 15C allowing temperatures to climb into the mid to upper 80s across Pennsylvania and near 90degrees across Delaware and Maryland. Monday will feature across southern portions of the area the upper level jet moving through coupled with a weak shortwave which will be a catalyst for thunderstorm development from I-80 on southward. Closer to the shortwave, Maryland and Delaware may have a period of severe thunderstorms in the 2pm-7pm time frame as thermodynamics increase with CAPE values up to 2500 j/kg. Current GEFS guidance suggests thunderstorm activity to die down with after the heating of the day. Monday night will be mild at least in comparison to previous nights with lows in the mountains of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the low 60s to upper 60s in the valleys through southern Pennsylvania and Maryland to the low 70s in the major urban areas. Under a developing Bermuda high to the east and a trough to the west we remain in a squeeze play allowing an active storm track to funnel through the region. Tuesday will be relatively quiet though as temperatures warm aloft and in the mid levels near 2 deviations above normal allowing the development of a weak CAP. Despite this a few isolated thunderstorms are still possible especially across the mountains and along any sea breezes that form in Delaware and Maryland near the Chesapeake. Rainfall will remain light under the thunderstorms as PWATs remain near 1.5inches which is not atypical for this time of year. Highs Tuesday will be the warmest of the summer season as H85s increase to near 16C for southern areas. 90s are likely in all major urban areas and 90s are likely across southern Maryland with perhaps western DC reaching mid 90s. Closer to the water highs will be more manageable near the low 80s as southerly winds draws up the cooler waters. Tuesday night will feature dry conditions for most areas, except across northwestern Pennsylvania where another approaching shortwave may feature some nocturnal thunderstorms near Erie. QPF will generally be light. Lows Tuesday night will be dependent on geographic locales as radiational cooling in valleys and mountains will create lows in the low 60s and potentially upper 50s near Bradford, but in urban areas from I-76 on southward through Delaware and Maryland lows will be warmer as humidity levels will be higher with lows in the upper 60s to near 70. Wednesday is a much more active day. The subtropical jet and northern jet across the Great Lakes will phase creating a series of strong shortwaves capable of heavy rain with thunderstorms from Wednesday through Friday. PWATs will rise to near 2inches, several deviations above normal, and dewpoints will rise to near 75 for southern locales. H85s rise to near 17C Wednesday and H7 remains moist with high RH values. The prefrontal trough will approach the region Wednesday kicking off thunderstorms across the entire area. Thunderstorms may become widespread and train over the same areas under the southwest to northeast trajectory. QPF totals from MREF and SREF runs produce up to 2inches of rain in selected locales. Highs Wednesday will be dependent on areas that see rainfall and areas that receive more sunshine. Areas across Delaware and southern Maryland may approach 95degrees. Wednesday night features a lull in the activity as a weak bubble of high pressure moves in. Lows Wednesday night will generally be in the 60s across all locales with near 70degrees from Philadelphia southward to DC.

Thursday and Friday feature similar weather as the region enters the right front quadrant of the incoming strong jet ahead of the upper level trough. Showers and thunderstorms will develop both days with heavy rain as the primary threat as precipitate waters remain several deviations above normal under an anomalous 700mb flow. QPF totals each day are dependent on which areas see thunderstorms, but averages should be around .25inches-.5inches. Highs Thursday and Friday will be in the upper 80s for most locations with lows each night from the mid 60s to lower 70s. Friday night current GFS guidance suggests an 850 low to track over the region, 1012mb, producing a possible MCS complex capable of again heavy rain. Development and track of this possible complex will generally remain uncertain. As the front passes through Friday it will stall and slowly fade out around the Mason-Dixon Line. This will produce scattered showers and thunderstorms through the weekend until another strong cold front moves in towards Sunday capable of a severe weather outbreak. Highs this weekend will be in the 80s for most areas with some low 90s across southern Maryland. Rainfall in thunderstorms will not be as heavy as previous days as moisture aloft begins to thin through the weekend.

"Regional Radars"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Lower Susquehanna Valley Forecast"(Franklin, Adams, York, Lancaster, Cumberland, Perry, Dauphin, Lebanon Counties)(Updated 7/27)
This zone forecast is specifically for the counties mentioned above in southcentral Pennsylvania. The forecast will cover the same time period as the regional forecast above; Monday through Saturday. With warming temperatures aloft near 15-16C in the 850mb level, surface temperatures will be warmer than they have been most of this summer for Monday. Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, and Gettysburg will approach the upper 80s for highs. With strong heating of the boundary layer a few thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon with development likely over the ridges such as Peters Mountain, Mount Gretna Mountains, South Mountain, Blue Mountain, and the York County Mountains. Cells will roll off the ridges later in the afternoon and intensify especially across southern York and Lancaster Counties as isolated CAPE areas approach 1500j/kg. A severe weather report cannot be ruled out despite the best jet dynamics and shear values off the coast. After any afternoon thunderstorm, they will weaken by evening for a warm and humid night. Fog will likely form in areas that see thunderstorms, particularly in the valleys of northern Dauphin, Perry, and Lebanon Counties. Lows will be in rural areas in the low to mid 60s with near 70 as a low in Harrisburg and Lancaster. Tuesday high pressure moves in, but with the heating of the day may be a few pulse thunderstorms particularly over northern Dauphin County and in Franklin and Adams County near South Mountain. Sunshine will prevail most of the day with some cumulus and thunderhead formation over the ridgetops. Highs will be near 90degrees in Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster with highs in the upper 80s in more rural locations from I-76 on northward. Once again any areas that see rainfall during the afternoon may experience some dense morning fog. Lows will be again mild around 70 with mid to upper 60s across Perry and northern Franklin County. Wednesday things get a bit more active as a front approaches the area. Instability will intensify over areas especially across the lowlands of the Maryland border counties Adams, Franklin, York, and Lancaster. The day will feature mostly cloudy skies with intervals between strato-cumulus and cirrus clouds. Haze will be common also as dewpoints rise to near 75 over Lancaster County. Highs will be in the upper 80s across the Lower Susquehanna Valley. Thunderstorm threat remains high for the entire area during the afternoon with the threat of flash flooding high for several areas such as near Lewisberry in York County, Carlisle in Cumberland County, and Chambersburg in Franklin County as those areas saw near flooding rains just a few days ago. Training thunderstorms may be possible as storms cross the Mason-Dixon Line. Watch out in areas in York and Lancaster County for a stronger thunderstorm capable of strong winds as the highest instability develops there. Rainfall totals may approach 1inch for areas that see the most rainfall. Wednesday night will feature weakening thunderstorms and rain showers over the area with areas of dense fog as a lull in the precipitation occurs with a slight clearing of clouds. Dense fog will be likely Thursday morning over many areas especially near and along the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers.

Thursday will be active again as will be Wednesday with thunderstorms common over the area. The true cold front will be approaching the region so winds aloft will strengthen posing the threat for some severe weather. Hodographs seem impressive across the Lower Susquehanna Valley for some isolated severe weather with even the potential for a rotating cell over southern Lancaster County up through southern Lebanon County. Rainfall will once again be heavy in training cells with flash flooding a threat along creeks such as the Conodoguinet Creek and the Yellow Breeches as levels are already heightened from previous rainfall. Highs Thursday will be in the mid to upper 80s through the valley. Thursday night will feature mostly cloudy skies and mild conditions with lows in the upper 60s. An isolated thunderstorm cannot be ruled out. Friday will feature widespread stratus morning clouds from residual moisture. Weak inversion and strong July sun should burn off the clouds by noon creating some more cumulus clouds later in the day. Thunderstorms are once again possible with heavy rain with isolated areas seeing 2inches of rain. Severe weather threat remains low, but an isolated report is possible Friday. Thunderstorms will organize in clusters. Stratiform rain showers will also be widespread. Highs Friday will be in the low 80s as cloud cover will prevent ample warming of the boundary layer. Saturday will feature stratus in the morning thinning out throughout the day. Again a few showers and thunderstorms are possible especially in the southern half of the valley south of I-76 as they remain closer to the stalled front. Highs Saturday will be in the mid 80s in urban areas such as Harrisburg to low 80s across elsewhere locales. Rainfall in thunderstorms will be less of a threat for flooding as moisture aloft thins out. Best chance of any heavier thunderstorm would be in southeastern Lancaster County closer to the Chesapeake Bay.

"Current Lower Susquehanna Valley Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Marine and Boating Forecast"(Maryland and Delaware Coastal Forecast)(Updated 7/27)
A series of weak cold fronts will be rotating in across the region this week. Ahead of these cold fronts will be a dominant southerly wind around 210degrees, especially on the days Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Winds over the Bay will be around 15-20knots during those afternoon periods reaching the threshold for Small Craft Advisories. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect for Monday for the Chesapeake Bay basin and Atlantic Coast. Waves along the Atlantic Ocean will be running high this week around 5-6ft especially on Monday and Wednesday ahead of the cold fronts. Tidal levels are running about 1-2ft above normal thanks to some channeling of water from the southerly flow in the bay, but astronomical tides are low this time of year so flooding is not expected this week for vulnerable areas. Thunderstorms are possible each day this week along the waters raising the risk for heightened wave and wind conditions each day for a slight period of time. Monday shows possible stronger storms along the Maryland coastline near Ocean City and along the southern Chesapeake Bay Basin. Storms will be capable of strong winds. Those with concerns over the water need to have a NOAA weather radio in case a Special Marine Warning is issued. Towards Friday locally heavy rainfall is possible as a front stalls up along the Mason-Dixon line with shortwaves rotating along the front. Locally 1-2inches of rain is possible Friday afternoon. Towards the weekend the front tries to dissolve relaxing the pressure gradient and allowing for a less of a chance of rain showers and thunderstorms creating a nicer weekend at the beach. Also rip currents are possible much of this week with the southerly flow and higher than normal wave heights around 5ft. A moderate threat of rip currents is forecast Monday and possible throughout the week especially on Wednesday and Friday. The moderate threat of rip currents is likely across the Atlantic Coast from Delaware to Maryland. Overall this week does not appear the best for boating or marine activity. But as the saying goes "if you don't like the weather, just wait 5minutes for the weather to change."

"Current Atlantic Coast Forecast Wave Heights and Chesapeake Bay Forecast Wind Direction/Speed"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Agriculture/Gardening 7-Day Outlook"(Updated 7/27)
This week will once again feature an abundance of rainfall similar to last week as shortwaves rotate in along cold fronts from the Great Lakes. One cold front passing through Thursday will stall over the region near the Mason-Dixon line keeping the chance of showers and thunderstorms possible through the weekend. Current drought conditions show abnormally dry conditions across parts of the Maryland/Delaware region along with southwestern Pennsylvania. These areas will see drought improvement this week with a series of thunderstorms each day. Total QPF is each day will depend on your location as thunderstorms will be scattered in nature. But total QPF on average for the week will be from 1-3inches of rain through Saturday evening. Temperatures this week will be warmer than they have been this entire Summer season. Temperatures will likely hit 90degrees the first half of the week in Washington DC through Dover Delaware. One or two 90s is possible from the Mason-Dixon line on northward. But later in the week as the front slowly moves through along with clouds and rain will be cooler temperatures back below normal in the lower 80s. Humidity levels will be high all week with dewpoints in the upper 60s to lower 70s. All in all watering the garden does not seem too likely this week for each day.

My garden is doing wonderful now that temperatures have warmed up slightly. I am really excited with my celery plants as it is amazing to watch the stems thicken into stalks. I planted six plants each going to have many stalks when it is all said and done. The leeks are getting finally larger and now have a thickness of about a half dollar or so with a few larger and smaller. The other herbs are doing well with my Basil adding a bit of flavor next to my tomatoes. My chives and oregano are growing nicely, but my parsley seems to attract an unknown critter that only eats a bit of the parsley each day. The garlic tops are beginning to die back completely so I will likely have to get a farmers fork in a week or two to loosen and dig up the garlic bulbs. My yellow and red onions I haven't picked yet as the tops have completely died of yet, but they will be ready in a week or two with a similar growing period to the garlic. The summer radishes are not doing so well as I believe I did not thin they well enough when they were small seedlings, so now they are not growing bulbs too well due to close proximity. The Swiss chard is growing well, in fact I planted too much. Well the Blueberry story... Ugh I knew when I tried laying netting over the Blueberries that it would cause problems. First off the birds just pecked through the holes in the netting even though I laid the netting over itself three times. Then I walk around to the garden and notice a chipmunk in distress with its head caught around the netting several times. So without getting to close to the chipmunk I cut the netting along its body away from the net and after 15minutes it took off running without any harm to itself or myself. A day or two later I took the worthless netting off the plants and found some sort of petrified animal that could not be classified because it was in back of the netting so long. So next year I am not going to use this killer netting and try more like a cheese cloth. Back to my vegetables... The cilantro plant has died due to the higher temperatures. My melon plants are doing wonderful in which I have a large melon about the size of a small football, and yes I put a tuber ware container lid between the melon and the soil so it does not rot. I have small melons also on the plant. My pepper plants have a lot of green peppers, but I do not pick them until they are red. The yellow wax beans are doing great and I picked about 100 of them for the first batch. The beets are also getting larger bulbs finally. My pickling cucumber plants produce about one cucumber a day. I decided to try to make some refrigerator pickles out of them sometime this coming weekend. It is my first time so if anyone has any advice, please do so in a comment. My zucchini is not too great this year. It grew just as large as last year, but my zucchini grow at a snail's pace; still though I have picked about a dozen or more this year. The tomatoes are also doing well, but take a while to ripen especially the Early Girl.

"Soil Moisture Anomalies and 5-day Precipitation Amounts from Hydro Prediction Center"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Severe Weather Potential/Probability"(Updated 7/27)
This week brings several small chances of severe weather as fronts rotate through the area. Monday there is a decent chance of severe weather across eastern Maryland and Delaware along with southeastern Pennsylvania. The deep upper level trough will continue to rotate east with a shortwave moving across Maryland. Little if any debris clouds can be found across the region so rising CAPE values look over the Chesapeake Basin with values near 2500 j/kg over central and southern Delaware up through Philadelphia. Lacking a major triggering mechanism and little lift will prevent widespread thunderstorm activity. But with shear values near 25knots 0-6km, a few damaging winds reports are possible. Freezing levels remain very high, but any stronger cell core could tap into the cold upper levels of the troposphere. Thunderstorms will form cellular during the early afternoon and form clusters by evening. After the diurnal heating of the day, thunderstorms will weaken by evening. Another wave off the cutoff low in the Great Lakes will move towards the area Wednesday. The best jet dynamics and winds aloft will be found to the north, but the best instability will develop over Maryland up through southern Pennsylvania. A slight isolated chance of severe weather is possible in the afternoon hours with wind damage the primary threat. The front will stall over the southern part of the Northern Middle Atlantic through the weekend causing a chance of thunderstorms each afternoon through Saturday. High winds aloft will be well offshore, but any afternoon thunderstorm day will be capable of a few severe weather reports as the cell cores collapses forming wet microbursts. A strong front approaches late in the weekend into early next week and may bring a more widespread severe weather event with the region being in the right front quadrant of the open jet. Kinematics look very favorable towards Sunday afternoon for severe weather. For now this week appears to be quiet for widespread severe weather, but a few severe storms could occur each day. Stay tuned for updates each day.

"Severe Weather Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Atlantic Ocean Tropical Discussion"(Updated 7/27)
The tropics remain very quiet as we likely end the month of July without a named storm. So far this season we have had several invests and one tropical depression which formed up off the coast of New England and quickly weakened once it entered cooler waters. Several tropical waves are exiting the west African coastline, but with such dry air aloft over the central Atlantic and widespread Saharan dust this year, development will be difficult in the next 96hours. At this time I also do not see any immediate home grown threats as things remain quiet in the tropical basin. It is not unusual to go a season without a named storm in the tropics. Just back in the busy season of 2004, it took until the very end of July for the first storm to develop, Hurricane Alex off the coast of the Outerbanks particularly near Hatteras. Now remember that season got extremely busy towards August and September. So things can go from quiet to extremely busy in just a matter of weeks. If we look the same with no tropical formations come this same time, but in August, then we can consider this to be more of an anomaly than a common occurrence. At this time I do not believe any tropical formation is likely this week as things are just to preventive of tropical development with high dust values, dry air aloft, and high winds aloft in the upper Jet Stream. As far as the current ENSO status, the El Nino continues to look like it will be a dominating feature for at least the next six months. The SOI index appears it will be forecasting negative values, which again strengthens the idea of a developing El Nino. Global models show the potential for a moderate El Nino to be underway come winter 2009-2010. The current ENSO pattern is unfavorable for an active tropical season, so this pattern will help delay tropical activity even further. Currently I do believe the pattern will become more beneficial towards tropical development as winds aloft relax and the African dust becomes less widespread during the month of August. For now though this week remains quiet in both the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic.

"Current SSTs and Tropical Systems/Atlantic Infrared Satellite"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Monthly Temperature/Precipitation Outlook"(August)(Updated 7/27)
After a below normal June and July, August may try to tap into some warmer air. In June temperatures averaged around -.5degrees across Pennsylvania despite few if any 90degree high temperature days. The warmest conditions oddly enough occurred this year in April. But we are entering a slight pattern change. The trough situated over the east coast will begin to pivot westward over an extended period of time. This will keep the core of the cooler air and trough axis over the Great Lakes. But this does not mean warm air is going to be surging up the coast. Further downstream the trough over Europe will still be over eastern areas and until this trough is replaced with a ridge, the east coast of the US will continue to be lacking in above normal temperatures. With the trough axis slightly to the west of the region, this will place the Northeast is an active pattern for disturbances and rainfall. They will develop along the lower end of the trough and move northeast up the trough. Also something interesting is how this deep stubborn trough will stall in the Southeast off the coast and Gulf of Mexico. As mentioned earlier, I am still monitoring the possibility of tropical development on the axis of the lower end of the trough. For now that is just an outside chance, but still I expect the Atlantic tropical season to start getting in gear during the month of August with the Gulf of Mexico and southeast coastline at the highest threat for any land falling system.

Temperature- Temperatures should average around normal from (-.5)-(+.5) with areas across the western half of the state slightly cooler than eastern areas. This Summer will surely be one to remember with the crystal clear blue skies and dry air, but during August I do expect humid conditions to be a common theme during a majority of the month. Temperatures should be warmer in the first half of the month as cool air reloads across the Arctic Circle as the NAO surges near neutral. But during the end of the month I expect a return to near negative NAO values with below normal temperatures along with the trough axis moving back east as the EPO values surge back to negative too.

Precipitation- This month looks to be fairly wet with normal to above normal precipitation thanks to the trough axis to our west, but a flow bringing in Gulf Disturbances on up the coast. Also any tropical influences will likely make landfall and head up the east coast states causing heavier rain. The highest chance of above normal rainfall will be over southern areas thanks to high instability forming stronger thunderstorms with heavy rain. I still have the first week in August open as a period with possible severe weather being likely as disturbances rotate in from the Lakes with possible severe thunderstorm squall lines, but for now that remains about 1-2 weeks away.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Here 10mi Northeast of Harrisburg, PA 2009 Statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 5
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 5
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 26

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 3
Flood Warnings- 1
Monthly Precipitation- 5.03inches
Yearly Precipitation- 23.67inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 0
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree Days- 5
Highest Temperature- 92degrees

Weekly Forecast

Updated: 2:23 AM GMT on August 01, 2009

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch; Middle Atlantic...

By: Blizzard92, 6:41 PM GMT on July 20, 2009

"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 7/20)
Good afternoon!!! So as usual I am always thinking new ideas up for my Wunderground blogs for improvement. Below you will probably notice the removal of the Wildfire and Forest Fire section. Despite living in a state with a wide variety of forests and mountains, there is little to only isolated areas of forest fires each year in the state. So for more popularity I thought I would add on a section detailing the forecasts for the Chesapeake Bay for the upcoming week. While marine influences usually are only forecast for a few days, I can provide an outlook on what to expect for the upcoming week. The Chesapeake Bay Outlook should have a large interest for readers. This brought me to my next idea, what if I expanded the blog to include parts of the other states in the Middle Atlantic specifically the Northern Middle Atlantic including Maryland and Delaware and perhaps New Jersey. Many readers are already in these states asking for their forecasts especially in winter, and it would allow for a larger audience of readers. It would not take much to convert the blog to include a slightly broader area. But before any major changes occur for a while, I would like some feedback on the idea from current readers. Please post comments with feedback below or shoot me a Wunderground Mail. Anyways enough wild ideas for one day. By the way for those interested in some of my Italy/Greece pictures, I hope to post a few towards the end of the week.

I keep looking a weather maps every morning and it amazes me this Summer in the lack of extreme weather. While this is a good thing in terms of injury/fatality/damage, it is odd how really everything has been quiet. After a blockbuster severe weather season last year from the powerful La Nina to a lacking severe weather season especially when the Vortex 2 storm chasers are trying to gather scientifical data to predict tornadoes, meanwhile they are left lacking any severe weather. So now look at tropics, we are nearing the end of July without a named storm in the Atlantic basin. Will we finish the month without a named storm in the Atlantic? Impossible to say but global forecast models are not predicting any storms in the next seven days. Also a quiet season in the eastern Pacific with only four named storms with a late start also. While El Nino and such can be to blame, the idea of lack in extreme weather is still pretty remarkable. There hasn't been any remarkable floods or even EF-5 tornadoes with only two EF-4 tornadoes. The Summer has been pretty quiet, and there even has been a lack of large heat expansion out side the southwest states. And for us in the east the summer has been anything but typical. The climate information for Harrisburg from KMDT shows only one day above normal for temperatures this month with the rest below normal every day, pretty impressive to say the least. But is Summer making a run at the east coast any time soon? Check out my August outlook below. Have a wonderful day!

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion" (Updated 7/20)
A look at the Water Vapor Loop shows an evident trough over the Great Lakes and central US with moisture streaming up the east coast. Temperatures remain below normal across the region with H85s only around 13C across the state. A stratus and cumulus deck will begin to stream across the entire state during the day Monday. PWATs will begin to rise to around 1.3inches across the southeastern part of the state with rising dewpoints into the 60s. Along a stalled frontal boundary will be a weak developing low along the boundary that will move up the coast. A few descrepancies arise thanks to placement of the precipitation with NAM shifting precipitation more to the west and the GFS keeping the highest QPF offshore from Pennsylvania. Despite solutions rain showers will develop in western Pennsylvania with an upper level feature with QPF around .1inch Monday night. Clouds will thicken over the east as the marine layer moves in from offshore. The low pressure off the east coast will move northeast Tuesday and a disturbance will rotate along the trough axis in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. PWATs will rise to near 1.5inches for areas south of I-80. Conditions will decline Tuesday as the stratus deck lowers to MVFR conditions for most locations with ceilings around 1200ft lowering to near 800ft during rain showers. With a marine influence little surface CAPE instability will be able to develop Tuesday preventing widespread thunderstorms. Western Pennsylvania QPF through Tuesday night should be near .25inches and eastern PA QPF near .5inches. Central Pennsylvania may be caught in an area of subsidence, but still rain showers are expected with QPF up to .25inches. Clouds will lower Tuesday night with RH values near 100%. IFR conditions will occur in eastern areas. As the low moves northeast Wednesday dry air will move in for a partly to mostly cloudy day with little if any rainfall. Another disturbance rotates in on Thursday with slightly more humid and warmer conditions. PWATs may rise to near 2inches which is several deviations above normal. H85s will remain near 13C preventing any boundary layer temperature from rising in the upper 80s. Scattered thunderstorms are possible Thursday and Friday in the afternoon. Towards the week several strong vortices of energry may try to rotate in from the Great Lakes, but confidence remains low. The forecast this week remains very difficult in terms of timing and exact precipitation placement.

"Current Surface Map and Weekly History of Jet Stream Position"

(Courtesy of Weather Underground)

"Weekly Forecast" (Updated 7/20)
Tuesday- As the best jet dynamics keep the heaviest rain to the east of Pennsylvania and a wave moves up the trough axis in western Pennsylvania, rain showers will be found across Pennsylvania, but particularily in eastern and western thirds of PA. Central Pennsylvania may be caught in a dry loop for a good portion of the day. Rainfall totals in eastern and western areas should generally be around a quarter of an inch with central Pennsylvania around a tenth of an inch or less. Cloudy conditions will prevail statewide keeping temperatures well below normal by about 10-15degrees with highs in the low to mid 70s statewide. Also low clouds may be common especially be in southeastern areas with ceilings as low as 800ft during rain showers. Towards Tuesday night some light fog may occur in the east in the Allentown to Philadelphia corridor with 2-4mile visibilities. Drier air will move in across the region towards early Wednesday morning behind the coastal low then affecting New England with heavier rainfall. Lows Tuesday night will be in the upper 50s to lower 60s once again a few degrees below normal.

Wednesday- Dry air with an area of subsidence should prevail for a majority of the day with partly to mostly cloudy skies under occasional stratus and cumulus decks. Highs will be much warmer than Tuesday and nearing the 80s in southern areas with mid to upper 70s across the mountains. Winds may also shift during the day from the east-southeast to the southwest causing more humid conditions with rising dewpoints into the upper 60s. A few isolated thunderstorms are possible over the Laurel Highlands and southeast Piedmont with any sea breezes near Philadelphia or orographic lift in the mountains. Wednesday night will feature an increase in clouds ahead of the next disturbance with a few rain showers in the west with rainfall less than a tenth of an inch. Lows Wednesday night will generally be in the 60s statewide right around normal values.

Thursday- Another disturbance moves in over the region with a bit more wider chance of showers and thunderstorms. Also there will be a bit less of a marine influence allowing warmer surface temperatures as highs rise into the upper 70s to low 80s statewide. Showers and thunderstorms will be hit or miss, but areas that see rainfall may see totals for the day upwards of a half an inch or so. Training thunderstorms may also be a threat especially in the eastern half of the state. This day will be more summerlike than the other wet day this week Tuesday which will feature fall-like stratiform rain. Thursday night will feature rain showers across the state with rainfall totals around a tenth of an inch. Lows will be in the 60s statewide.

Friday- A strong disturbance will rotate southward from the Great Lakes. Decent heating of the lower layers will cause temperatures to warm into the 80s for most locations with dewpoints rising to near 70. Showers and thunderstorms will be a common place especially during the afternoon for many areas. Isolated severe weather is possible across the entire state. Friday night will feature dying thunderstorms and rain showers likely totaling rainfall up to a tenth of an inch. Lows will generally be in the upper 50s to mid 60s statewide.

"Chesapeake Bay Marine Forecast" (Updated 7/20)
As you already noticed this is the new addition to my Summer weekly weather blog. I replaced the forest fire section due to low audience interest and low forecast activity. This Bay forecast will provide forecasts for those with interests along the water each week. Although marine conditions change within every hour; this forecast will provide a basis for conditions that can be expected this week. Below is a map posted for current wind speeds and direction for the hour. Feedback on the section good or bad is appreciated.

An onshore flow will be featured for the majority of this week across local waters. As a coastal low works up the coast with high pressure over the Great Lakes, the pressure gradient will begin to tighten over the region with winds increasing over the waters near 13-17knots causing some rougher conditions over the water with possible small craft thresholds being reached for Monday early evening through Tuesday night. Also the onshore flow coupled with the new moon Tuesday should cause astronomical high tide to be several feet above normal (1-3ft). This may cause some splashover at vunerable areas on the western shore. Coastal flood advisories may be needed according to the NWS in Sterling and Mt. Holly. As high pressure moves in later in the week with still disturbances rotating in across the region, the flow will shift from the east to the south-southwest which again will cause water to build up with higher than normal tidal levels about 1-2ft above normal. This period will be from Wednesday through Thursday. Also winds will be slightly breezy near 10-13knots in this time period. As the front remains in the vicinity through the week additional waves of precipitation and tighter pressure gradients could affect the coast through the weekend. Wave levels this week will generally be around 1ft. Thunderstorms are also a threat this week along with periods of heavier rain especially Tuesday and later this week. This may cause periods of more threatening wave and wind conditions. Overall this week does not appear the best for those attempting some leisure time on the water as general small craft advisories will be posted throughout the week.

"Current Wind Speed and Direction along Chesapeake Bay"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Gardening Outlook" (Updated 7/20)
Well the garden is doing wonderful with my perennials looking great as many were planted this year thanks to a new flower bed. I also added a lot of new bird feeders this Summer to replace older ones with one including a cage around it to protect it from the squirrel population and a new feeder catering to Gold Finches with the Nyjer seed. Since I live in the foothills of a mountain, I have an abundant amount of Finches now at the feeder. Gold and other Finches live in the mountains. I wish I had added this feeder earlier as it is wonderful to watch the exotic looking Gold Finches. The vegetables are doing wonderful except for a few exceptions. My celery plants are finally beginning to thicken the stalks and a few stalks may need to be picked shortly. My Swiss Chard is doing wonderful in fact it appears I planted way too many plants (6). The flavor of chard is reminiscent of Spinach. The leeks are getting larger, but still have a ways to go. My other herbs look great with the parsley though be slightly eaten by some little critter. Otherwise my oregano, basil, and chives look great. Sadly though it appears my cilantro plant is slowly dying. The Garlic is doing great and should be ready for picking come the end of August or early September. The Yellow and Red Onions also may need to be picked in a week or two, though I have been picking them throughout the entire Spring and Summer. My Summer Radishes are doing well, but I think I need to do some thinning. My cucumbers are great although I am not completely pleased with the pickling cucumber taste so I will probably go with another variety next year. The zucchini is another story; yes I am picking about one a day but it comparison to last year this year's harvest is much smaller. I think it has something to do with the cooler weather. Something though I noticed today is small red insect eggs underneath a few of the leaves. I am not sure what they are, but I squashed the ones I could find. My tomatoes are doing pretty poor in terms of ripening. I have plenty of green tomatoes of all varieties, but they are just not ripening for picking. Again this is the same case with my peppers. I have green peppers, but I only eat the red ones. The yellow wax beans will be ready for picking within the next few days and they look absolutely wonderful. A little brown butter and sugar with yellow beans is just fantastic. My beets are also growing and I have found they grow a lot slower than radishes and require more room. My melons are doing well in fact I have a large mellon now the size of those miniature footballs. Does anyone know how to tell when to pick them?

This week will feature ample rainfall opportunities and only a few waterings should be required for one's garden. Total rainfall for eastern areas this week will be around 1-2inches depending on tracks of convective rains. Central areas may be more around an inch or less and western areas should be exactly around 1inch. Temperatures will not reach over 85degrees for most areas this week. Dewpoints will not be dry at all as they total around 65 for most of this week. Overall this does not appear to be a typical Summer hot and dry week. Happy Gardening!!!

"Soil Moisture Anomalies and 5-day Precipitation Amounts from Hydro Prediction Center"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Severe Weather Outlook" (Updated 7/20)
This week we are under the influence of a strong southerly flow with a slight easterly component. This flow is never favorable for severe weather across the Northeast as the airmass is generally marine influenced. But gradually the flow will switch slightly more to the southwest towards the weeks end. Rising PWATs in eastern Pennsylvania and higher dewpoints in the 60s will allow for plentiful moisture this week, but with the marine influence little if any instability will be able to develop at the surface during the first half of the week. As the first wave of precipitation moves up the coast Tuesday the only chance of thunderstorms would be from elevated convection, and this will not be widespread generally confined to southern areas. Towards the end of the week the flow aloft will be from the southwest allowing slightly warmer temperatures at the surface during the day. But with weak winds aloft at least initially, I expect little if any severe weather. Freezing levels will be relatively high for a majority of the week also. But as we head into the first half of the week a slightly strong vortex of energy will rotate up the coast with slightly high winds aloft and increasing shear values. With CAPE near 1000 j/kg, isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon. Boundary layer conditions will be beneficial to updrafts in the formation of cumulus-nimbus clouds. Overall though the week will be generally quiet in the severe weather department as generally stratiform rain and isolated elevated convection will be the general rule of thumb. But any day especially the second half of the week could feature a wet microburst severe weather report. Towards the weekend a few strong disturbances may rotate in along with the trough situated this week in the Great Lakes. Severe weather is possible, but confidence is very low at the moment.

"Severe Weather Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Tropical Update" (Updated 7/20)
Currently there is an invest in the Atlantic basin, 97L. But as has been the common theme this Hurrican Season, high shear values are located all across the path of this system especially through the next 48-72hours. Also SSTs across the basin still remain near normal, but this is below normal in comparison with the last few tropical seasons. Any development especially in the next 72hours should be minimal with lack of low level circulation and generally the system should be torn apart by shear. If perhaps any showers and thunderstorms along with low pressure center survive through the central Caribbean then perhaps this system bears further monitoring, but for now the islands should only expect a few periods of heavy rain and gusty winds near 40mph. Elsewhere in the Atlantic there really is not any feature of immediant concern and any African wave looks relatively weak at this time. There is a low pressure though forming off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina that will head along the east coast bringing heavy rain to eastern New England especially Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine with QPF near 1-3inches. But this low pressure will lack any tropical features and should be purely a coastal storm. There may be some slight beach erosion in the coming days on the Outerbanks with the New Moon and easterly onshore flow. Astronomical high tide should be around 1-2ft above normal during the first half of this week. As I mentioned below in my August outlook, I do expect the tropical season to start getting slightly more active in August and that lower trough axis in the southeast may be an initiating ground towards the end of July and early August. For now though all global models do not expect any tropical formation for this coming week.

"Latest Tropical Systems including Sea Surface Temperatures"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Monthly Outlook" (August)
After a below normal June and July, August may try to tap into some warmer air. In June temperatures averaged around -.5degrees across Pennsylvania despite few if any 90degree high temperature days. The warmest conditions oddly enough occured this year in April. But we are entering a slight pattern change. The trough situated over the east coast will begin to pivot westward over an extended period of time. This will keep the core of the cooler air and trough axis over the Great Lakes. But this does not mean warm air is going to be surging up the coast. Further downstream the trough over Europe will still be over eastern areas and until this trough is replaced with a ridge, the east coast of the US will continue to be lacking in above normal temperatures. With the trough axis slightly to the west of the region, this will place the Northeast is an active pattern for disturbances and rainfall. They will develop along the lower end of the trough and move northeast up the trough. Also something interesting is how this deep stubborn trough will stall in the Southeast off the coast and Gulf of Mexico. As mentioned earlier, I am still monitoring the possibility of tropical development on the axis of the lower end of the trough. For now that is just an outside chance, but still I expect the Atlantic tropical season to start getting in gear during the month of August with the Gulf of Mexico and southeast coastline at the highest threat for any landfalling system.

Temperature- Temperatures should average around normal from (-.5)-(+.5) with areas across the western half of the state slightly cooler than eastern areas. This Summer will surely be one to remember with the crystal clear blue skies and dry air, but during August I do expect humid conditions to be a common theme during a majority of the month. Temperatures should be warmer in the first half of the month as cool air reloads across the Arctic circle as the NAO surges near neutral. But during the end of the month I expect a return to near negative NAO values with below normal temperatures along with the trough axis moving back east as the EPO values surge back to negative too.

Precipitation- This month looks to be fairly wet with normal to above normal precipitation thanks to the trough axis to our west, but a flow bringing in Gulf Disturbances on up the coast. Also any tropical influences will likely make landfall and head up the east coast states causing heavier rain. The highest chance of above normal rainfall will be over southern areas thanks to high instability forming stronger thunderstorms with heavy rain. I still have the first week in August open as a period with possible severe weather being likely as disturbances rotate in from the Lakes with possible severe thunderstorm squall lines, but for now that remains about 1-2 weeks away.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Here north of Harrisburg 2009 statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 5
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 5
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 26

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 2
Flood Warnings- 1
Monthly Precipitation- 4.20inches
Yearly Precipitation- 22.84inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 0
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree Days- 5
Highest Temperature- 92degrees

Weekly Forecast

Updated: 7:57 PM GMT on July 26, 2009

Permalink

The Northern CONUS Summer 2009...

By: Blizzard92, 1:57 PM GMT on July 14, 2009

Hardly a day goes by this summer that I do not hear; where is the summer heat? So I thought I explore a bit about the northern CONUS summer 2009 and see possible pattern trends that may even extend into the rest of the summer and possibly winter. When will we hit 90degrees again? Where is the hazy, hot, and humid weather? Why won't my tomatoes ripen? Well this isn't a game of 20 Questions, but I will try to take a look at a few of these questions and answer. Each season I try to take a look at a more analytical explanation for seasonal trends for example recollect my Middle Atlantic Winter Blog which took a look at the typical Winter in the Middle Atlantic also detailing why there has been a lack of snow and will this pattern continue. For more information see this link... Link. One has to wonder why the past two years our seasons have almost been well you could say backwards. We yearn for average snowfall in the winter and yearn for hot weather and thunderstorms in the summer and yet we get neither. Whether it be that we just live in a boring weather zone or that there are forces in the atmosphere beyond our control; there is not fact arguing against that the weather the past two years has been everything and anything benign. First off I want to point out the interesting statistics for this first half of the summer and then I will take a look into the pattern trends, etc.

One of the more impressive statistics this Summer has been the abundance of negative departures and New York City is holding the golden trophy for negative departures...

Central Park...
Day/Temperature Average Anomaly

June 12 +1
13 -4
14 -5
15 -6
16 -8
17 -10
18 -10
19 -2
20 -5
21 -2
22 -3
23 0
24 -2
25 -2
26 0
27 -2
28 -1
29 -1
30 0
July 1 -1
2 -4
3 -3
5 -2
6 -6
7 -3
8 -8
9 -9
10 -7
11 -5
12 -3

So as you can see New York City has not had a positive temperature anomaly since June 12. This isn't the only city with similar conditions across the Northeast. Many cities have yet to see a positive departure during the entire month of July so far. Take for instance the last week temperature departures...

A majority of the country excluding the south and southwest have experienced below normal temperatures. Now in a larger time frame the monthly anomalies from June...

Once again excluding the southeast the majority of the country had below normal temperatures. The weather the majority of us here in the Northeast have been facing is closer that of May or September. Here is a map of the min temperatures in the last 24hours. It is quite impressive to see some of the cold lows across the northern CONUS...

Here are a few more statistics on a few cities across the US and the departure from normal for the month of July...

Boston- (-6.8)
Hartford- (-5.5)
Allentown- (-4.9)
Philadelphia- (-2.9)
Harrisburg- (-4.0)
Erie- (-6.4)
Buffalo- (-5.2)
Concord- (-5.8)
Portland- (-5.3)
Trenton- (-4.0)
Baltimore- (-3.5)
Washington DC- (-2.6)

As you can see all across the Northeast temperatures are well below normal. Here are some record lows for major cities across the northeast during this Summer season...

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE TIED AT HARRISBURG PA...

A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 45 DEGREES OCCURRED AT HARRISBURG PA YESTERDAY.
THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF 45 SET IN 1930.

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT ATLANTIC CITY...

THE TEMPERATURE AT THE ATLANTIC CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DROPPED
TO 54 DEGREES EARLY THIS MORNING, ESTABLISHING A NEW RECORD FOR THE
DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 11 WAS 55
DEGREES SET IN 1998.

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT BRIDGEPORT CT...

A RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE OF 57 DEGREES WAS SET AT BRIDGEPORT CT
TODAY AT 447 AM. THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF 57 SET IN 1990.

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT NEWARK NJ...

A RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE OF 58 DEGREES WAS SET AT NEWARK NJ TODAY.
THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF 58 SET IN 1953.

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT KENNEDY NY...

A RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE OF 58 DEGREES WAS SET AT KENNEDY NY TODAY.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 62 SET IN 1991.

...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE TIED AT HARTFORD CT...

THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED TO 51 DEGREES AT BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT IN WINDSOR LOCKS AT 520 AM EDT. THIS TIED THE RECORD LOW FOR
TODAY WHICH WAS LAST SET IN 1973.

...COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE TIED JULY 2 IN WORCESTER...

YESTERDAYS HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 62 DEGREES AT THE WORCESTER AIRPORT
TIED A NEW RECORD COLDEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE FOR THE DATE. THE
COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 2ND IN WORCESTER...IS ALSO 62
DEGREES SET IN 1986.

...RECORD DAILY MINIMUM TEMPERATURE SET AT PITTSBURGH PA...

AT 510 AM THIS MORNING...A NEW RECORD DAILY MINIMUM TEMPERATURE FOR
JULY 14 WAS SET OF 51 DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS RECORD DAILY MINIMUM
TEMPERATURE FOR PITTSBURGH WAS 52 DEGREES SET IN 1888.

These are only a small samplings of many record lows broken during the past two months across many locations. These cool anomalies are thanks to a persistant pattern of a trough ridge trough. The bubble of heat and humidity has been persistantly across the south especially in Texas and the southwest in Arizona. Now understandably these places are more accustomed to high heat and humidity, but many records have been broken. Teleconnections are to blame for this pattern as we have really not broken the typical jet stream flow that is persistant in a typical winter. The NAO has been very unusually negative for quite an extended period of time even as long as to question whether there are decadal changes among us. I first brought to light in January about my reasoning on a decadal change in the NAO teleconnection.

Above you can note the unusually negative anomalies in the NAO index. While the NAO index is not full understood with its direct effects across North America correlations in the Summer are definitely weaker than in the Winter. But still a trough does form across the Northeastern states with a ridge across the southcentral United States. I do believe we are entering a period of more substantial negative NAO phases as we see changes in the PDO which are quite interesting to say the least. Generally from about 1998 through 2009 we have been in a decadal cycle of negative PDO values which are values of the SSTs in the North Pacific (20N on northward) anomalies. A general rule of thumb suggests negative values to correlate to warmer weather patterns with southeast ridges with positive anomalies correlating to cooler than normal temperatures across the north with the warmth confined to the South. The PDO can directly be related to the near term index PNA which positive suggests ridging in west and troughing in east and negative suggests trough in west and ridge in east. Again this is all a general rule of thumb. Anyways a look at the PDO index during the year of 2009 shows a remarkable pattern...

January... -1.40
February... -1.55
March... -1.59
April... -1.65
May... -0.88
June... -0.31

We have finally peaked in the cycle and potentially are headed for a positive anomaly cycle. Now in each decadal cycle have been slight discrepancies such as in 2002-2003 where we had positive numbers, remember the winter of 02-03 (quite snowy). Whether we have finally seen a turn-a-around or this is just a hiccup; things may be improving in the winter department. The AO teleconnection has also been lending its icy hand down to those of us in Canada and the northern United States. A negative AO typically delivers the built-up cold air away from the arctic circle and down to the central North America region. A negative AO usually brings warmer conditions across Alaska which we have seen...

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
327 AM AKDT FRI JUL 10 2009
...WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES...IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG COLD FRONT THE HIGH TEMPERATURE AT THEFAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT YESTERDAY WAS 71 DEGREES. THISWAS 20 DEGREES COOLER THAN THE RECORD HIGH OF 91 ON WEDNESDAY. ITWAS ALSO THE FIRST DAY SINCE JULY 1ST WITH A HIGH TEMPERATUREBELOW 80.

TEMPERATURES TODAY AND SATURDAY WILL BE IN THE 70S...HOWEVER...ALARGE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL REBOUND ACROSS THE INTERIOR ONSUNDAY. THIS RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN IN PLACETHROUGH TUESDAY BEFORE SLOWLY RETREATING TO THE NORTH. HIGHTEMPERATURES SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE 80S...WITH THE POTENTIAL THAT A FEW SPOTS COULD COME CLOSE TO 90DEGREES ON MONDAY OR TUESDAY.

AS THE RIDGE RETREATS TO THE NORTH MID-LATE NEXT WEEK...TEMPERATURESARE EXPECTED TO SLOWLY COOL BACK INTO THE 70S BY LATE NEXT WEEK. SMOKE FROM A LARGE FIRE NORTHWEST OF NENANA WILL LIKELY PRODUCESMOKE AT TIMES IN THE MIDDLE TANANA VALLEY THROUGH THE WEEKEND. DRY WEATHER IS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...WITH THECHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS INCREASING BY THE MIDDLE OFNEXT WEEK AS THE LARGE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE RETREATS TO THENORTH OF THE AREA.

The current AO index...

The AO index has a direct effect on our temperatures here in the Northeast. Look at the index back in April late April after the 16th, you can see the stark positive index. This meant the cold air was bottled up across the north. Now lets look at actual temperatures during that time period.

Harrisburg, PA KMDT
April 25 (+14)
26 (+16)
27 (+20)
28 (+23)

This shows the warmer temperatures. During the last few winter seasons the repeated warm weather was caused by the lack of funneling of arctic air on southward. If you remember Alaska has had some very cold and snowy winters the last few years. In fact this 2008-2009 season was the snowiest winter ever recorded in Barrow, AK. So all of this cool air this summer has been sweeping directly down from the Arctic. Canada had one of their coldest Springs ever recorded. Here is an interesting record report for Portland, Maine...

RECORD EVENT REPORT ... CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
400 PM EDT THURSDAY JUL 09 2009

...MORE RECORD COLD WEATHER FOR PORTLAND MAINE...

THE TEMPERATURE AT THE PORTLAND JETPORT ONLY REACHED 58 DEGREES
YESTERDAY. THIS SET A RECORD FOR THE COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE ON
JULY 7TH. THE OLD RECORD WAS 59 DEGREES SET IN 1961. TO PUT THIS IN
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE...THE NORMAL LOW TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 7TH IS 58
DEGREES.

THE LOW TEMPERATURE ON WEDNESDAY WAS 55 DEGREES. THIS PRODUCED A
RANGE OF ONLY 3 DEGREES BETWEEN THE HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURES WHICH
IS A RECORD FOR THE SMALLEST DAILY RANGE IN TEMPERATURES ON JULY
7TH. THE OLD RECORD WAS A 4 DEGREE SPREAD SET IN 1963 AND 1995.

THE 3 DEGREE DAILY TEMPERATURE RANGE YESTERDAY ALSO TIED THE RECORD
FOR THE SMALLEST DAILY TEMPERATURE RANGE FOR ANY DAY IN JULY. THE
RECORD WAS ESTABLISHED ON JULY 16TH, 1961 AND OCCURRED FIVE MORE
TIMES BEFORE THIS YEAR.

THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE YESTERDAY WAS 57 DEGREES...WHICH TIED 1961
AS THE COLDEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 7TH.

THE HIGH OF 58 YESTERDAY TIED JULY 6TH OF 1956 AS THE SECOND COLDEST
HIGH EVER RECORDED AT THE PORTLAND JETPORT IN JULY. THE COLDEST HIGH
EVER IN JULY WAS 57 DEGREES ON THE 4TH OF JULY IN 1992.

ON THE 1ST AND 2ND OF THIS MONTH PORTLAND ONLY REACHED 59 DEGREES
BOTH DAYS...SETTING RECORDS FOR THE COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE EACH
DAY AND ALSO TYING SEVERAL OTHER DAYS FOR THE FOURTH COLDEST HIGH
EVER RECORDED IN JULY.

PORTLAND HAS SET A RECORD COLD HIGH TEMPERATURE FOUR OUT OF THE
FIRST EIGHT DAYS THIS MONTH. HERE IS A LIST OF THE RECORD COLD HIGH
TEMPERATURES SO FAR THIS MONTH...

DATE HIGH TEMP. 2009 OLD RECORD HIGH AND YEAR
JULY 1ST 59 DEGREES 62 DEGREES IN 1976
JULY 2ND 59 DEGREES 63 DEGREES IN 1986
JULY 7TH 60 DEGREES 64 DEGREES IN 1956
JULY 8TH 58 DEGREES 59 DEGREES IN 1961

HERE IS A LIST OF THE COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURES EVER RECORDED IN THE
MONTH OF JULY AT THE PORTLAND JETPORT. FOUR OF THE TEN COLDEST
HIGHS OCCURRED IN THE FIRST EIGHT DAYS OF THIS MONTH...

RANK TEMPERATURE DATE
1 57 DEGREES JULY 4, 1992
2 58 DEGREES JULY 6, 1956
58 DEGREES JULY 8, 2009 <===
4 59 DEGREES JULY 8, 1961
59 DEGREES JULY 16, 1961
59 DEGREES JULY 30, 1976
59 DEGREES JULY 3, 1987
59 DEGREES JULY 1, 2009 <===
59 DEGREES JULY 2, 2009 <===
10 60 DEGREES JULY 7, 2009 <===
11 61 DEGREES SEVERAL DATES

THE NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH OF JULY IS 78.8 DEGREES.

ALONG WITH THE COLD WEATHER PORTLANDERS HAVE ALSO HAD TO DEAL WITH
SOAKING RAIN THIS MONTH. THERE HAVE BEEN THREE DAYS SO FAR WITH
AROUND AN INCH AND A HALF OF RAIN. RAINFALL OF 1.41 INCHES FELL ON
THE 2ND, 1.57 INCHES FELL ON THE 7TH AND 1.50 INCHES FELL ON THE 8TH.

THE 1.41 INCHES ON THE 2ND SET A RECORD FOR DAILY PRECIPITATION FOR
THE DATE...TOPPING THE OLD RECORD OF 1.32 INCHES SET IN 1983. THE
1.57 INCHES ON THE 7TH WAS ALSO A RECORD...BREAKING THE OLD MARK FOR
THE DATE OF 1.34 INCHES SET IN 1935. THE 1.50 INCHES ON THE 8TH WAS
FAR SHORT OF THE RECORD 3.66 INCHES THAT FELL ON JULY 8TH, 1915.

TEMPERATURE RECORDS AT THE PORTLAND JETPORT BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 25,
1940 AND PRECIPITATION RECORDS GO BACK TO 1871.

The ENSO cycle is also something causing the consistent cool weather across the northern US. We have finally come to an end in terms of the below normal SSTs in Nino area 3.4. La Nina is to blame for the lack of snow and the cooler summers in the period from 2003-2009. La Nina patterns tend to favor the southeast ridge in the winter giving way to a more western favored jet stream putting us in the warm sector favoring ice storms with snow more across New England. Then in the Summer La Nina favors extended periods of troughing across the Northeast as what has been the case the last two summers. Now we have above normal central Pacific SSTs which are going to change our weather pattern greatly starting in the Fall. Currently we are still under residual effects of the La Nina this summer. But typically with Ninos lasting one year they either develop or dissipate in the summer. In this case we are under the influences of a developing El Nino. This is going to have important influences in the weather for this winter unlike previous years. Ninos have a bad rap in the winter thanks to 1998-1999, but typically they can produce very snowy and cold conditions. The best analog year I can find is 76-77 in which we had above normal April temperatures followed by a cooler Summer then followed by a cold winter. Also 2002 could be a match as the Summer was slightly cool and quite wet as is the case this year. Despite the changing ENSO conditions, this coming winter is no doubt going to have a very different jet stream location this winter.

So wrapping everything up proves to show that this cooler than normal weather pattern is likely to continue through the last few weeks of the month. But latest EURO weeklies and guidance suggests a shift in the trough ridge trough jet stream bringing a more zonal flow at the end of the month. I do expect a warmup as we head into August with brief above normal temperatures. But once again towards the end of August temperatures should surge below normal under the influence of another negative NAO. Something to look out for is definitely severe weather during this slight and brief pattern change. MCS disturbances will be favorably located to travel across the Northern Middle Atlantic. This period of time should be quite exciting weatherwise in the region.

Whether one wants to believe that solar cycles are to blame or cooling of the stratosphere or volcano influences from Mount Redoubt we have been in a period of cooler than normal weather for many locations globally. During my travels in Italy and Greece all of my tour guides remarked how unusually cool and wet the weather pattern was as the dry season is usually in summer yet we had a thunderstorm every day. And typically summer highs in both countries are in the upper 90s with high humidity yet my travels showed highs of the upper 80s and not overly humid. But that does not mean all areas have been cooler than normal; many areas have had warmer than normal temperatures especially in the Arctic and US southwest. I do think Winter will be very interesting this year as it should be quite different that the last few winters, and as usual I will be here to track every last minute of it. It amazes me when I look back at some of the winter blogs and the comments totaled nearly 1000. Anyways I hope this blog makes you a little more aware of this unusual summer on a more wider level and hope that I showed that some of the reasons why this has been cooler than normal this Summer. Have a wonderful day!!!

"Here north of Harrisburg 2009 statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 3
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 5
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 23

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 1
Flood Warnings- 1
Monthly Precipitation- 1.63inches
Yearly Precipitation- 20.27inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 0
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree Days- 5
Highest Temperature- 92degrees

Weather Pattern Observations

Updated: 2:29 PM GMT on July 18, 2009

Permalink

A novice gardener's perspective 2009...

By: Blizzard92, 6:13 PM GMT on July 10, 2009

Good afternoon!!! It is that time of year where I enjoy posting a vegetable gardening blog where I share my pictures and experiences with different types of vegetables and others can also share their pictures and experiences. Last year this blog was a big hit with quite a bit of pictures and people posting and I hope that is the same case for this year too. I have always thought that weather/gardening/photography all go hand-in-hand in similar subject matter and many of us here are attracted to Weatherunderground thanks to those subject matters. I have not been vegetable gardening for too long just about two years for my full garden, but I did grow just plain green beans a few previous years in a very small plot of land which has greatly been expanded recently.

My garden- I now have three 6x2x2 wooden boxes with non-treated wood. These boxes allowed my to create raised boxes which pose several advantages. One being I can create the type of soil that I choose too. In this case I add rich nutrient filled garden soil for a base with a mixture of hummus/manure throughout it along with a mixture of peat moss to aeriate the soil. This year I add a third box to the combination. Also I decided to add a few pots to the mix and instead of taking up room in the boxes; I made a herb pot and pot for the large Early Girl Tomato plant. Then my other garden is on the westside of my home in the ground on top of a small hill which allows the rain water to drain. I used my rich nutrient filled mountain valley soil from Blue Mountain which still has nutrients from the foothills and farm that previously occupied the site. I also enjoy boasting that I have some of the best soil in the Harrisburg region. Anyways this plot of land houses my other vegetables and two blueberry bushes. This area of land is not overly large, but serves it's purpose. In the future I would love to expand and create a small raised bed for a strawberry patch. The year's harvest seems to be slightly lacking in comparison to last year probably thanks to this unusual cool and damp weather we have been having. But the cool weather did allow my large lettuce crop to last through mid June. So here are my experiences this year with different types of vegetables. The pictures posted are all of my garden from this year. Warning: This is the most closely packed use of square foot gardening you have ever seen. Below are also pictures of other gardens around the yard including my miniature water garden and brand new shade garden. I hope this garden inspires others to post their pictures and advice here in the gardening blog. I will be back posting weather blogs in a few day. Happy Gardening!!!

Red/Yellow Onions- I planted my onion sets in early March as I tend to push the boundaries for certain things in terms of planting too early. Anyways my plan was to thin out the onions when they became scallion size and leave the remaining onions to grow into full onion bulbs. This would allow me to get normal sized onions and scallions also. This worked very well and currently my onions are just about beginning to really turn brown on the top and die off. They will likely need picking in a week or two's time. Onions are the prettiest of sights when they get to a certain size as the rain and wind and the heavy shoots bend them over. Also as you can see throughout my garden I did plant marigolds which adds a bit of color and attracts beneficial insects such as bees for pollination.


Garlic- I planted the garlic back in early March along with my onion sets as I read that garlic as two growing seasons with one being in the time frame over the winter in which you plant the garlic in the late fall for picking in next year's early summer or you plant in early Spring for a late summer harvest. The late Summer harvest is what I am shooting for and hopefully everything works out. I have never planted garlic before, but just a week ago I did pull a bulb as I didn't have any garlic cloves from the grocery store for the pasta dish so I thought I would see what would happen if I picked one from the garden. It turned out that the bulb was pretty large with cloves inside so I was ever so pleased. I cannot wait to see what they look like in the end of Summmer as I use garlic in all dinner dishes. As similar to the onions, the garlic is bent over by the pounding wind and rain this summer and also by how heavy the shoots are.


Radish- I have planted two batches of radishes this year; I planted my first seeds in the mid March time frame and just recently I planted a Summer variety about two weeks ago. I enjoy throwing some radishes into salads and give many away to relatives and the neighbors. Many people enjoy a radish sandwich for lunch, but I am not one of them. I find that radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow as all you do is drop them in the ground, thin them out, and watch them grow with a little water. A word for the wise, becarefull not to grow your radishes in the same places as previous crops as small insects will begin to move in and eat away the radish bulbs. Crop rotation should be done for all of your plants every season as this allows an equal balance of nutrients in the soil, prevents disease, and allows for a more bountiful harvest.


Lettuce (Ithica, Buttercrunch, Romaine, Gourmet Bibb)- I went you could say a bit crazy in terms of lettuce this year planting 28 lettuce plants. I planted the lettuce in mid March and was unaffected by any frosts as I did protect them in a few of the sensitive nights. My favorite lettuce was the Romaine which had the least bitter flavor, keep in mind I despise bitter lettuce such as Arugula. Lettuce is also very easy to grow as I bought the plants at the local flower nursery and little care was needed after the initial planting other than harvesting. My lettuce bolted and went to seed much later than normal this year thanks to the cooler and damp weather this Summer. I finally lost my last lettuce plant in mid June, although some of my neighbors still haven't had their lettuce go to seed yet suprisingly.


Broccoli- So here it begins the sad saga of my broccoli plants. I planted six plants from the local nursery into my raised bed boxes. All plants began to grow six heads after a few weeks. But to much dismay one morning I went out to water and found that the plants were completely mauled to the ground by the leaping gazelle groundhog. All that was left was a bare stem and a small piece of a broccoli head with teeth marks in it. So for this year no broccoli was able to be harvested. Here though is a picture of the broccoli before it was eaten a few days later.


Cauliflower- This year was my first year to grow cauliflower and I took it at a slow pace by only planting four plants in mid March. I had no problems with pests and the cauliflower grew at a very fast rate. Harvest from the crop was in early June where I picked three large heads in which I boiled and then had a cheese sauce. The cauliflower tasted absolutely wonderful and is a must plant for next Spring.


Herbs (Leeks, Basil, Oregano, Chives, Parsley, and Cilantro)- This year I planted quite a bit of herbs in comparison to last year. I planted my leeks early in the season around early to mid March and planted them by full plants. I planted around 18-24 leeks plants with three leeks in each plant. The leeks still seem to have a ways to grow and I hope to use them in replacement for scallions in recipes and also use them for potato/leek chowder. My Basil I planted next to my tomatoes as they are companion plants and the basil gives a bit more flavor to the tomatoes. My Oregano, Chives, and Parsley are in a large pot together and have filled in the pot quite nicely and look very attractive. The oregano fills in the pot similar to a ground cover and also has a great flavor. This year I could not find the garlic chives, so they are regular chives. My parsley plant has recovered from the groundhog attack as knock on wood, the groundhog is gone. My cilantro is showing signs of dying and has gone to seed.


Snow Peas- This is my most unfortunate story of my vegetable gardening this year. Now gardening every year is an experience full of trial and tribulations and I think this constant trial and error fuels my interest in gardening every year. I planted snow pea seeds back in early March and they grew quite large to the point of flowers beginning to blossom. But one afternoon in May I came home and noticed the snow pea plants eaten down to the ground. Once again it was the case of the mysterious groundhog. So another plant I was not able to harvest thanks to annoying pests. This picture, though is a few weeks after I planted the seeds. The snow peas got a lot larger than this picture shows.


Blueberry Bushes- Two years ago back in the Fall I planted two different varieties of blueberry bushes and planted them next two each other so they would cross pollinate. Last season to my own stupidity I never put a net over the plants so the birds ate all my berries the very day they ripened. Well this year I am prepared and I put a net over the bushes to protect the berries. Blueberry bush care is very simple and only requires some pruning in the Spring, fertilizer once in the Spring and late Summer, and adding acidity to the soil. This year I do not have as many blueberries as last, but I read this is normal for young plants. My berries are beginning to ripen and will need picking towards the middle of next week. This picture is taken back in the early Spring.


Yellow Wax Beans- I grew green beans last year and decided to try yellow beans this year as there is nothing better than a little brown butter and yellow beans for a side dish. My bean plants are growing quite large and have quite a many flowers which will become beans in the coming weeks. I think I am going to have more beans than I know what I am going to do with. Last year I had many also which tasted wonderful so I hope this year will be the same.


Beets- Something new this year I am trying for an experiment is beets which I planted about two-three weeks ago where my snow peas once were. Beets grow similar to radishes but have a longer growing period until harvest. My beets seem healthy but are quickly becoming overcrowded by the yellow beans and mellon plants so it will be interesting to see how they do. I already thinned out the plants so they should have enough room between each seedling, the problem will be competing for root system space with the nearby plants. Also the beans have become so tall they block the sun from the beets part of the day.


Melon (Watermelon and Cantelope)- This is also something new I am trying this year and so far seems slightly successful. If anyone remembers last year I tried planting watermelon seeds, but the crazy flower nursery sold me eggplant seeds instead. Well this year I bought specifically watermelon whole plants and the vine is getting large with many flowers but I do not have much room so for now this is just sort of an experiment to see if I want to plant it better next year. I also am trying cantelope and once again room is definitely lacking, but I just noticed today that two very small melons have formed so I am crossing my fingers for the best.


Peppers- I am growing three Big Bertha Pepper plants this year and planted them early enough unlike last year in which I planted them way too late. I have quite many peppers growing right now and it appears there will definitely be too many and I will likely have to give most of them away. But with this cooler weather it is taking a while for the peppers to grow and ripen so until hot weather hits, the pepper growth will be small.


Tomatoes (Early Girl, Roma, Cherry, Grape)- I have four tomato plants of different varities growing and they all have small green tomatoes on them with some of them beginning to ripen especially on the grape and cherry tomato plants. I planted my basil plant near the Roma and Cherry tomato plant to add some additional flavor. My Early Girl tomato plant which is in a pot does seem to be having a few problems with some dead growth so I hope it does not have a disease.


Zucchini- I planted two zucchini plants this year in my new raised bed garden box and they seem to be growing very well with some needing to be picked very shortly. I was hoping to get another zucchini plant to put in an empty spot but it appears the flower nurserys are all sold out this year. These cool evenings do not seem to be helping growth and actually slowing the period of when the zucchini grow overnight.


Cucumber- I plant four pickling cucumber plants this year and hand-built two wooden trellises for them which the plants climbed perfectly. I have cucumbers all over the place some of which can be picked any day now. I did plant the plants a bit late this year so my harvest is a bit delayed in comparison to other gardeners.


Swiss Chard/Spinach- I attempted Spinach again this year, but once again it was another failure as was last year. Spinach seeds just do not seem to want to grow in my soil. So I planted six Swiss Chard plants which grow all Summer and it tastes wonderful. Chard adds color to the garden along with being a replacement for Spinach in recipes.


Celery- This is my first year for celery and it seems to continue to grow with finally some thicker stems which may need harvested in a few weeks. I am not sure how it is doing and it is more of an experiment this year.


Links...
Last year's gardening blog... Link.
Vegetable Gardening forum... Link.

"Here north of Harrisburg 2009 statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 3
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 5
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 23

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 1
Flood Warnings- 1
Monthly Precipitation- 1.42inches
Yearly Precipitation- 20.06inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 0
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree Days- 4
Highest Temperature- 92degrees

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Updated: 1:02 AM GMT on December 28, 2011

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Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Undergrad; Research Assist.- Onset of Spring Indices Toolbox; Interests- Small spatial scale climatolology

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