Extreme Heat and Convective Rainfall Patterns...

By: Zachary Labe , 9:15 PM GMT on July 31, 2011

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Excuse myself for the last few months of my tardiness in new blogs. The past few months have been a whirlwind and it is interesting to see how I have grown and developed. August 19 signals the approach of something that seemed so far away. My dorm (I have a single!) items are bought and we are finishing up the last few odds and ends. I have enjoyed these last few weeks after cruising to Bermuda and traveling down to Ocean City with my best friend. I am soon in the process of saying goodbye to my grade school friends as I enter a new chapter in my life. College is not only about academic growth, but of almost equal importance; personal growth. Just as I reflect on the last few years of my social stature, I have very few friends left from my elementary school. My entire social circle through high school was formed during the 7th grade and stayed with me through high school. I have met some of the most wonderful people you could ever want to be friends with whom not only are a pleasure to be around, but also concerned with academics. 'Fitting in' is not a set concept and is always modifying. I am sure everyone can remember their 'group' they paled around during high school with and many of us took time to figure out who we are during these important growth years. Looking back, I would never change a single thing about the friends I have made or the decisions I have made. It is exciting to realize that essentially I am starting from the ground up once again starting college. And yes I will find my fit once again; my social circle of people of all different backgrounds.

I realize that there are very few close friends in high school I will end up keeping close contact with in the coming years. In fact unfortunately, I probably will only keep in correspondence with my best friend and less than a handful of other people. This is not because I chose to, but a fact of life. But I will never forget these people whom made the largest impacts during my impressionable adolescent years. You can say these people were not important, but that would be false. Our friends through grade school do influence the people we become.

So I say goodbye. And for many this goodbye is not a quick bye, it is permanent. The minute I walked across the graduation stage ended the memories of my teenage years as I enter what many would call their peak in their lives. Where ever I end up will always reflect the people who made that positive impact during my youth. My family, friends, teachers, etc. have all been a part of this process. If you can surround yourself with a such circle, you are set.

The Wunderground community has been a major part of my opportunities I have been presented from media attention to my college application. I appreciate the community we have here and this is my formal announcement that I hope to continue it through the future. I still have my reservations about being able to satisfy a blogging schedule, but I hope to remain a more active presence. This being said, we have to rebuild this wunderground community and continue its mature attitude. Attendance has dropped here on the blog, but with the advent of winter, I hope to see that rise. There are a lot of exciting things happening globally in the earth sciences.

The last few months I really have noticed a slight change in my personal growth. Not only I have strengthened existing friendships, I have been able to break my rigidness through set schedules and structure. I have also reflected on my career paths and each day I find myself pulling away slightly from the meteorological field. This may come as a shock to many, but I just see forecasting as more of a hobby. Instead I find myself drawn to the physiological science and research behind other aspects of the environment along with concepts in the renewable energy field. Perhaps I'll become an energy sector meteorologists. My degree will certainly be atmospheric sciences, but I find my graduate work may find itself in a related field. I am very excited by the propositions I have been given in attendance at an ivy leaguer school and where I end up as far as a career is mystifying to consider. If I can continue to use my atmospheric knowledge to further advance society through science and technological advances, then this is where I am drawn.

My upcoming blogs will certainly be shorter than they have in the past, but I hope to offer new perspectives in meteorology by taking a more scientific to understanding the science behind this young science along with taking a look at what may be somewhat controversial concepts on the east sciences and alternative energy. As I advance my studies, I hope to present some of this knowledge in an understandable and relatable manner, because the earth science is certainly important to the future of modern society.

Feel free at any time to shoot me a wunderground mail with any questions or concerns. Also for those looking to follow my 24hr forecasts, please note I write forecasts 24 hours in advance for the Harrisburg area on my new twitter. Link. Please feel free to follow my feed for up to date forecasts. Also one can find information located on my Facebook at Link. But wunderground will always been my number one source for weather events. Please spread the word to help aid our community regain attendance especially as we enter the winter months.


(Fig.1 - Temperature Departures Last 30 Days)

July has been hot. It is as simple as that to describe the last 30 days. In fact a majority of the contiquous United States will end up with positive anomalies with the center of the heat over the drought-stricken land of Texas and Oklahoma with departures upwards of +8F. Much of this heat is courtesy of favorable upper level weather patterns featuring abnormal ridges over the southern United States pushing heights to near obscene values. Many people think of heat waves here in the eastern United States to be in response to Bermuda highs that favor a clockwise flow allowing the low and upper level winds to be out of the southwest bringing in heat and humidity from the Gulf of Mexico up through New York State or so. But in general heat waves with values over 100F for a majority of the continental United States, the pattern is slightly different.


(Fig.2 - 500mb on July 20)

The height of the heat wave across the United States was around July 20 as century degree readings occurred across many central climatological recording sites. Note the 500mb pattern features intense ridging across the southern United States with high pressure in control. These types of setups are much more productive at producing real temperatures at record values. Note also the 588mb contour located well up to almost the US/Canadian border which certainly signals a memorable heat wave. This weather pattern corresponds directly to rainfall patterns across the United States.


(Fig.3 - Precipitation Departures Last 30 Days)

The precipitation departures highlight convective trends common to the summer months due to the lack of middle latitude cyclones. Precipitation during the summer is often connected to localized patterns with convection. As you can see their are terrible drought conditions across Texas and Oklahoma. Both precipitation and temperature patterns are certainly cross-connected. The moisture condition of the ground highly impacts temperature trends as the heating capacity greatly rises with drier ground allowing temperatures to soar. Wetter ground conditions prevent temperatures from rising to their full potential. Also given the relatively stagnant 500mb pattern, this explains the lack of precipitation across Texas given the anticyclone's position.


(Fig.4 - Precipitation Departures Last 365 Days(

Closer to home, precipitation trends have been highly localized with many areas in central and northeastern Pennsylvania receiving quite plentiful rainfall. This pattern looks to continue with highly convective precipitation chances ahead in the coming week or two. Looking at upper level weather patterns it does appear that a negative NAO regime and shift in the MJO will favor perhaps a cooler pattern. Long term GFS/ECMWF outlooks have been highlighting a toughing pattern across the northeast, but recent runs have backed off a bit.


(Fig. 5 - 7/31/2011 12z ECWMF 240hr prognostic)

Looking ahead at this week's weather a few cold fronts will move through region with isolated chances at severe weather including as soon as Monday with damaging winds the primary threat especially for New England down through eastern Pennsylvania. SPC highlights a slight outlook. Precipitation chances will occur every few days allowing some areas that have been dry to get some additional rainfall. Temperatures will remain at or slightly above normal, finally giving us a relief from the 90F heat. Although southern Maryland may continue to feel the heat especially towards Washington DC as they will be closer to the higher thicknesses.

Many eyes are shifting towards the Atlantic as a tropical wave from Africa will be approaching the northern Islands in the coming days. Current models show varying predictions, but recent 12z runs have shifted a bit farther north only scraping the Bahamas. I expect 91L to probably becomes named in the next 24 hours or so as it develops a low level circulation. Given the -NAO pattern and approaching trough along with climatological odds courtesy of the time of year, I expect soon to be Emily to swing away from the US coast well offshore to pose any threat. That being said it is always important to monitor forecast changes. I would say odds for a east coast hit/fish storm are 20/80. We shall see though as so far 91L has kept farther south on the forecast track than expected. I am less confident on the fish storm forecast than I was yesterday. If the forecast changes, I will be sure to update. Also given the state of the atmosphere the majority of the development will be taking place, I do not expect this to rapidly intensify or become too strong.

All in all cooler temperatures closer to climatological norms with several chances of precipitation associated with approaching cold fronts can be expected for the Northeast for the next seven days.

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

"Here north of Harrisburg 2011 statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 10
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 10
Tornado Watches- 3
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 33

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 8
Flood Warnings- 5
Flash Flood Warnings- 7
Current Monthly Precipitation- 7.88in
January Precipitation- 1.12in
February Precipitation- 2.74in
March Precipitation- 6.43in
April Precipitation- 10.47in
May Precipitation- 7.87in
June Precipitation- 4.57in
July Precipitation- 4.09in
August Precipitation- 7.88in
Yearly Precipitation- 45.17in

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 4
Excessive Heat Warnings- 2
Excessive Heat Watches- 1
90F days- 24
100F days- 2
Highest Temperature- 104F - 7/22/2011

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Looks like the majority of the rain will be in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southern New York, and the Delmarva region where amounts can reach 6-8in or so in isolated locations.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
One storm last night most Of the rain to our west and north

1.46 in so far last night and early am
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2788
Quoting weathergeek5:
Well the game was played. We had some light rain at the stadium no big deal. Phillies won 11-3

I saw that the rain pretty much fizzled out right over Philly. I don't think many people saw that coming with the high PWATs that were in place.

Only .07" so far here with a single thunderstorm. We're in a pretty large break at the moment with an MCS in Ohio/Indiana and a large area of rain to the south.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Well the game was played. We had some light rain at the stadium no big deal. Phillies won 11-3
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
956 PM EDT SAT AUG 13 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY NJ HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN BERKS COUNTY...
LEHIGH COUNTY...
NORTHAMPTON COUNTY...

* UNTIL 145 AM EDT...

* AT 947 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATES
AND RAIN GAGE REPORTS INDICATED BETWEEN 2 AND 3 INCHES OF RAIN HAS
FALLEN OVER PORTIONS OF THE WARNED AREA DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS.
WITH ADDITIONAL RAIN ON THE WAY...FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED OR
ALREADY OCCURRING. ROADWAY FLOODING CAN BE EXPECTED...AND
SMALL STREAMS IN THE VICINITY OF HEAVY RAIN WILL EXCEED THEIR
BANKS.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS...THE WATER MAY BE
DEEPER THAN YOU THINK.

PLEASE REPORT FLOODING...HAIL OR WIND DAMAGE TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE...1-877-633-6772.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Blue Mountain east of KMUI is getting drenched right now...

Radar estimated 4" in some spots.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
P mess headed your way
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2788
Quoting Blizzard92:

CTP should probably have a flash flood watch out especially for the LSV just to be on the safe side.

I'm actually more shocked BGM doesn't have a flood watch. The HPC paints nearly 4" over Northeast PA in the next 48 hours. Maybe they will issue one soon now that Mount Holly has?
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Quoting weathergeek5:
Do you think the Phillies game will be delayed? I am headed out to the game tonight. I want to leave the house by 5:00. Game starts at 7:05 in Philly.

It doesn't look too good. Moderate rain will start by 6:30 at the latest. It could be heavy at times thereafter.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Do you think the Phillies game will be delayed? I am headed out to the game tonight. I want to leave the house by 5:00. Game starts at 7:05 in Philly.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
Quoting wunderstorm87:
There are certainly some marginally severe thunderstorms along the mason-dixon line now. Even if we don't see anything severe, flooding will be a concern in some spots especially if training develops. Mount Holly just put out a flash flood watch based on radar trends.

CTP should probably have a flash flood watch out especially for the LSV just to be on the safe side.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Just saw this...
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
There are certainly some marginally severe thunderstorms along the mason-dixon line now. Even if we don't see anything severe, flooding will be a concern in some spots especially if training develops. Mount Holly just put out a flash flood watch based on radar trends.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
I expect most areas in central PA to get a little more rain than last weekend (1 to 2"). This amount still does not exceed flash flood guidance so the NWS is not even mentioning the possibility for a flash flood watch.

But localized flooding is possible again- maybe even over the same areas- given that the basic set-up for this event is extremely similar to last weekend, including conditions that are favorable for embedded thunderstorms. PWATs look a bit lower though so we'll have to see.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
My station went down to 58F this morning. Sweeeeeeeet.
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Quoting TheF1Man:
Tell me its not going to rain until sunday afternoon..it's my birthday and i always like to treat myself to a round of golf. We're playing the the morning so how are my chances? I've had this curse where 9 times out of 10 it rains on my birthday...talk about bad luck.


Yes it is going to rain ALL DAY sunday. It's actually going to start late Saturday and last to Monday
Member Since: October 11, 2009 Posts: 15 Comments: 54
Quoting Blizzard92:
53F was the low at my station this morning!

My low ended up being 49.8F.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
53F was the low at my station this morning!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
As expected the 0z is OTS...

A chilly 55F here currently.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Well I'm not much of a long range model watcher when it comes to tropical systems (for the obvious reason that they're extremely unreliable that far out), but I saw the 18z GFS giving KMDT 4" of rain and of course thought it had a landfalling system so I looked at the model run and it shows it making landfall right where I'll be on vacation that day! Talk about a worst-case scenario!

I need an ignore button for the 18z GFS. lol

I think the most likely scenario at this point is it going out to sea and creating dangerous rip currents just as Hurricane Bill did when I was on vacation there 2 years ago. I guess I'll just have to watch this. The 500mb jet seems way too flat for me to believe:

Of course this is all assuming it develops, which I think it will.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Quoting wunderstorm87:

After reading the article, it seems like his forecast is based more on the La Niña than the solar cycle. What he is trying to claim is that the decrease in solar activity causes an increase in La Niña conditions (or more frequent occurrences). It seems like a reasonable theory but more research would need to be done to prove the correlation.
I know my father used to keep pretty detailed records of sunspots/sun activity vs heavy storm activity for central pa and he found a pretty decent correlation. He relied on it pretty heavily since he was the guy who decided how much salt/trucking/labor was needed for that year so I'll see if I can dig up his old files for it
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Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
Link This guy's main forecasting tool is the solar cycle. Apparently Ireland puts a lot of stock in his forecasts, as he's two-for-two for the last two winters. He's calling for another brutal Irish winter though. Anyone have thoughts on his methods and predictions? Anyone agree that Ireland should expect a frigid wintry wonderland?

After reading the article, it seems like his forecast is based more on the La Niña than the solar cycle. What he is trying to claim is that the decrease in solar activity causes an increase in La Niña conditions (or more frequent occurrences). It seems like a reasonable theory but more research would need to be done to prove the correlation.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Tell me its not going to rain until sunday afternoon..it's my birthday and i always like to treat myself to a round of golf. We're playing the the morning so how are my chances? I've had this curse where 9 times out of 10 it rains on my birthday...talk about bad luck.
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Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
Link This guy's main forecasting tool is the solar cycle. Apparently Ireland puts a lot of stock in his forecasts, as he's two-for-two for the last two winters. He's calling for another brutal Irish winter though. Anyone have thoughts on his methods and predictions? Anyone agree that Ireland should expect a frigid wintry wonderland?

I do not really know enough about European weather to comment, but I do believe the solar cycle plays some part into the Earth's weather patterns although I do not think it is understood correctly yet.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Anyone have an idea of when the first snowfall will be?
Member Since: October 11, 2009 Posts: 15 Comments: 54
Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
Link

Margusity calling for heavy snow for us Central Pennsylvanians - but not for HeavySnow.



Wow, I hope that the forecast ends up being correct.

I love snow, and the best part is that i don't have to drive in it!!!! I have someone to do that for me!!!
I do hope that we don't get all of the ice storms that they are thinking we will be getting
Member Since: October 11, 2009 Posts: 15 Comments: 54
Quoting Blizzard92:
Heavy rain this weekend? Keep an eye out...



Great just what I need. My computer data is already getting full. The graphs are all out of wack as it is now from us being so far above average for the rainfall for 2011. Now what am I going to do?
Member Since: October 11, 2009 Posts: 15 Comments: 54
Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
Link This guy's main forecasting tool is the solar cycle. Apparently Ireland puts a lot of stock in his forecasts, as he's two-for-two for the last two winters. He's calling for another brutal Irish winter though. Anyone have thoughts on his methods and predictions? Anyone agree that Ireland should expect a frigid wintry wonderland?


I sure do. They normally do though don't they
Member Since: October 11, 2009 Posts: 15 Comments: 54
@SSA:

Cousins live on the Mizzen Peninsula in West Cork. Roads froze same time the fuel ran out in Dec. Took a week or more till the roads thawed before fuel trucks ran. No road grit and no chains.
Avg temp was 3-4 deg C.

0.4 IN last night.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2788
Quoting Blizzard92:
Heavy rain this weekend? Keep an eye out...


Thanks for the update. Just what we need. NOT

At this rate KMDT will have it's wettest ever. We still have September, October, November and December. Wow. You just hope that those months aren't dry because those months we need average precipitation
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
Link This guy's main forecasting tool is the solar cycle. Apparently Ireland puts a lot of stock in his forecasts, as he's two-for-two for the last two winters. He's calling for another brutal Irish winter though. Anyone have thoughts on his methods and predictions? Anyone agree that Ireland should expect a frigid wintry wonderland?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Heavy rain this weekend? Keep an eye out...
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
June Precipitation- 3.71in
July Precipitation- 3.26in
August Precipitation- 1.99in
Total for Meteo. Summer (so far): 8.96in

Compared to Blizz: 15.65in

Difference between my rain and Blizz's (~12mi south of me): -6.69"

5" of the difference is from August alone (and even more so the 8/6 & 8/7 event).

This certainly highlights the "localized convective rainfall" mentioned in your blog.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
Yes LT it was very dangerous. I was driving at about 5pm southbound from exit 54 all the way to Trumbull and where it starts to weave a bit puddles had submerged all the way across the road..and still people tried to get around me and scoot by.
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Quoting TheRasberryPatch:


back to our Spring rain pattern huh. ugh...

I am at 5.95" of rain for the month and 5.85" since Saturday and 7.18 since late July

My stats are incredible...

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 8
Flood Warnings- 5
Flash Flood Warnings- 7
Current Monthly Precipitation- 6.99n
January Precipitation- 1.12in
February Precipitation- 2.74in
March Precipitation- 6.43in
April Precipitation- 10.47in
May Precipitation- 7.87in
June Precipitation- 4.57in
July Precipitation- 4.09in
August Precipitation- 6.99in
Yearly Precipitation- 44.28in

*Even KMDT is at its third wettest precipitation total at this point in the year on record.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Quoting Blizzard92:

hahaha... that is probably how it goes for 3/4ths of the people


12z ECMWF printing out a widespread 2-2.5in of rain into Sunday this weekend for much of the Middle Atlantic. Ugh, that could be bad.


back to our Spring rain pattern huh. ugh...

I am at 5.95" of rain for the month and 5.85" since Saturday and 7.18 since late July
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
Quoting P451:




We never actually *read* your blog. We just look for a map predicting a blizzard. If there isn't one we just move to the comments and post "Nice blog Blizz! Thanks!"

;-)



Looks like temps in the upper 50s at night the next couple of nights for me up here....that is unless I head south for another shot at the beach tomorrow - depending on work - it's 70s down there at night in NJ.


hahaha... that is probably how it goes for 3/4ths of the people


12z ECMWF printing out a widespread 2-2.5in of rain into Sunday this weekend for much of the Middle Atlantic. Ugh, that could be bad.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Thanks wxgeek732, just found that out. LT
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7594
Quoting originalLT:
Strange, I went to Levi132's tropical blog to read his blog which was up-dated 2 hours ago, and the whole blog was removed, even the comments, Very weird.


Not at all. That wasn't the actual Levi.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3588
Strange, I went to Levi132's tropical blog to read his blog which was up-dated 2 hours ago, and the whole blog was removed, even the comments, Very weird.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7594
Nice pic. P451. Got 1.12" in my rain guage here in Stamford CT. No lightning or thunder though. TheF1Man, you were right, the Merrit Parkway was dangerous. Saw a car actually hydroplain right into the center guard rail, North Bound, as I was going South bound about exit 60 or 61. Very hard to see. Don't know what eventually happened to him. LT (Was coming back from the Glastonbury area, about 6:30pm.)
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7594
Quoting P451:




We never actually *read* your blog. We just look for a map predicting a blizzard. If there isn't one we just move to the comments and post "Nice blog Blizz! Thanks!"

;-)



Looks like temps in the upper 50s at night the next couple of nights for me up here....that is unless I head south for another shot at the beach tomorrow - depending on work - it's 70s down there at night in NJ.



too funny
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259

Got soaked today, wish I had a gauge but it rained hard for a good 5 hours and at times it seemed like tropical intensity. Was tough driving home on the merritt parkway as it became more and more flooded. Hit a puddle on the way home that just about splashed straight over my car! Didn't even see it haha and I was crawling.
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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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