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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313. TheF1Man
3:01 PM GMT on August 20, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:

Classes start Wednesday!


Awesome!! I start Monday the 29th as well
Member Since: February 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 669
312. anduril
1:39 AM GMT on August 20, 2011
The gf's parents in Clinton county got dominated. Quarter size hail damaged the siding on their house and all their vehicles. Camp Hill got missed again with some strong storms to the east of us (really cool lightning show from the windows at work) but otherwise just some rain

Have to say its very interesting how many of the models are showing a strong storm anywhere from the gulf coast to the lower east coast in the next four to seven days. Interesting to see if any of them actually pan out

Good luck Blizz!
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 168
311. wxgeek723
12:44 AM GMT on August 20, 2011
I'm at around 10.5" inches for the month after the storm today. Craziness.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
309. Hoynieva
12:27 AM GMT on August 20, 2011
Quoting P451:


Yeah you're getting wrecked real good.

That line from the Bronx to Staten Island really pulsed up and solidified while everything else north or south fell apart.

I see a lot of lightning to my south and hear pretty constant thunder.

I'm ~30 miles to the north.


Yeah, that was definitely one of the stronger storms of the summer and watching it envelop Manhattan was pretty awesome. There was one lightning strike that looked like it hit the empire, but I can't be positive. It continues to rain and the house is still intermittently lighting up from distant lightning.
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
308. Zachary Labe
12:26 AM GMT on August 20, 2011
Quoting MariettaMoon:


Good luck. I start Maonday 8/29. When's your first class?

Classes start Wednesday!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
304. pittsburghnurse
11:59 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Lines of severe storms came through with up to .50 inch hail, high winds, tree damage, frequent ctg lighting and worst of all, 3 deaths from flash flooding at rush hour. The storms didn't move. The forecast when I left for work this morning was a 30% chance of storms.
Member Since: October 14, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 639
303. Hoynieva
11:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
This is a monster storm. I don't have an anemometer, but I'll be interested in hearing what the wind gusts were. Lots of CTG lightning, torrential rain, small hail and of course the wind.
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
302. wunderstorm87
11:26 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
97L looks like it's becoming a TD right now. Leaving tonight for Wilmington/Holden Beach, NC.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
301. MariettaMoon
11:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:
Now officially at Cornell; all moved in!


Good luck. I start Maonday 8/29. When's your first class?
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
300. MariettaMoon
11:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Quoting goofyrider:
my point plane flys storm says it is borderline then upgraded asap??

= harvey

squalls coming


Goofy. Are you posessed? Is this Latin?
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
299. MariettaMoon
11:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Statement as of 6:05 am EDT on August 19, 2011

... Record monthly rainfall at Philadelphia Pennsylvania...

Philadelphia... through 5 am Friday August 19... has received a monthly total rainfall of 12.34 inches... surpassing the previous August record of 12.10 inches established in 1911.

The next monthly record to be exceeded at Philadelphia is the all time monthly amount of 13.07 inches that occurred during September 1999.


Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
298. Hoynieva
10:54 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:
Now officially at Cornell; all moved in!


Cool, congrats, and best of luck up there :)
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
297. Zachary Labe
10:53 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Now officially at Cornell; all moved in!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
296. Hoynieva
10:52 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
I don't want to get overly excited, but these storms are exploding on radar as they head directly at NYC.
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
295. Hoynieva
10:48 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Storms are converging at the moment as they're preparing to enter my area from Elizabeth, New Jersey, which will hopefully create some more lovely fireworks.

I'm going to call this our monsoon season.
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
290. Hoynieva
9:43 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Quoting goofyrider:
my point plane flys storm says it is borderline then upgraded asap??

= harvey

squalls coming


Am I the only one who can't decipher this?

Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
289. goofyrider
9:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
my point plane flys storm says it is borderline then upgraded asap??

= harvey

squalls coming
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2646
287. PhillySnow
6:37 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Hi all! Yesterday we had a severe thunderstorm with heavy rain. My street, which is hilly, had a river running down it. As we were looking at all the water, we heard a loud crack and our power went out: Lightning had hit a transformer across the street from us and started a fire in the trees. Luckily it was so wet it didn't spread. Very intense morning; noone hurt.

I just got my new rain gauge in the mail and hopefully will get it up in time for any storms tonight!
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
286. goofyrider
2:36 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
40N,74W

0.25 in last night

lots of action on radar, but fell apart as it approached the seashore.

P: Re nino/nina this year especially with DON, EMILY and TD 8 few common elements it seems 1, inability of the c of c to mobilize consistently, 2 the spin off to the NE of pockets of circ. or the development of multiple centers, the inability of the models to pick out track and intensity(well this is not new) to carry the storms north of the actual path and is likely due to reliance on the initialization of something that is not legit. It seems as if the storm moves from nothing to invest and/or TD/TS in a heartbeat. In the past that took a while say 12-24 hrs to watch development before a staged upgrading.
Last is the inhibiting influence of the SAL early in the season. This still appears to me to be a relic effect that will last quite a few more days in the development area.

Blizz best wishes at Big Red.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2646
283. pittsburghnurse
10:59 AM GMT on August 19, 2011
Quoting wxgeek723:
I'm really eating that complaint I made in early June about not having that many thunderstorms this year. Had a strong one roar through this morning, very loud and very heavy rain. Also had a small but obnoxious one pass through at around 4pm. Just had another one put on a decent light show about an hour ago. Now just light rain, no theatrics.


Wow, just crickets making noise around here and a screech owl. We did get some kind of a bat warning from the health department. No, not about the Batman movie though filming on that has really disrupted this town. Other than that, no weather drama.
Member Since: October 14, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 639
282. TheF1Man
3:01 AM GMT on August 19, 2011
Goodluck Blizz!! You're going to love it!
Member Since: February 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 669
281. wxgeek723
1:56 AM GMT on August 19, 2011
I'm really eating that complaint I made in early June about not having that many thunderstorms this year. Had a strong one roar through this morning, very loud and very heavy rain. Also had a small but obnoxious one pass through at around 4pm. Just had another one put on a decent light show about an hour ago. Now just light rain, no theatrics.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
280. wunderstorm87
12:40 AM GMT on August 19, 2011
Golf ball sized hail was reported west of Washington DC and there was a 62mph wind gust in Philly. Pretty busy for a day that didn't even have a see text (or any category of 5%) from the SPC.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
279. Hoynieva
12:29 AM GMT on August 19, 2011
Storms just went through here 20 or so minutes ago and are still putting on an incredible lightning display. 4th of July has nothing on this.
Member Since: January 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1495
277. wunderstorm87
11:56 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Beautiful thunderstorm and anvil to my east. I bet you have a nice view of it Blizz.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
276. weathergeek5
11:28 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Good luck with college blizz!! Make sure you take time for you. One thing I do not envy you is you taking those math classes!! Storm here a lot of thunder but not a lot of rain as of yet. OK i know whats going on. The core of the thunderstorm is going by to my north.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1743
275. wunderstorm87
11:24 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Baltimore, West Philly, and NYC all under a severe thunderstorm warning at the same time. You don't see that very often.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
273. wunderstorm87
10:32 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:
Thanks everyone!

Vicious storm here last night with terrible CTG lightning. In fact several strikes were so close that they caused interference on my radio and caused our smoke detectors to go off. I received 0.49in of rain; just what we needed, lol.

We didn't get any rain here. The thunder woke me up but it was never close...I wake up during thunder that isn't even that loud for some reason.


I will watch 97L very closely while on vacation next week. Both the ECMWF and the GFS develop it and hit the southeast US next weekend. I'm still hoping it goes out to sea or just fails to develop like seemingly every other system so far.
Member Since: August 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 588
272. TheRasberryPatch
4:20 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:
Thanks everyone!

Vicious storm here last night with terrible CTG lightning. In fact several strikes were so close that they caused interference on my radio and caused our smoke detectors to go off. I received 0.49in of rain; just what we needed, lol.


I guess I was seeing your lightning and hearing your thunder. I was surprised I didn't get any rain.

P451 - thanks for the response
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
270. Zachary Labe
1:25 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Thanks everyone!

Vicious storm here last night with terrible CTG lightning. In fact several strikes were so close that they caused interference on my radio and caused our smoke detectors to go off. I received 0.49in of rain; just what we needed, lol.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
269. TheRasberryPatch
1:12 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
A thunderstorm rolled by last night or should I say early morning. I think around 3am. Lightning and thunder, but no rain.

Good luck with college, Blizz. Make sure you come home on some weekends in the Fall to help your parents out with the gardening. hahahaha

It should be an interesting Autumn. With all of this rain you would think the colors will be brilliant this year. I have one tree that usually loses its leaves by now still full and green. Does La Nina have any affect on the Atlantic tropics?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
268. NYCvort
3:46 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:

Yep! I leave Friday for Cornell; hard to believe.

Good luck in college Blizz
Member Since: June 20, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 144
266. anduril
2:57 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting Blizzard92:

Yep! I leave Friday for Cornell; hard to believe. This winter looks to have the potential to be very interesting! I might try to get a winter outlook out around Labor Day.
It's been interesting following some of the winter forecasts by people on Americanwx.com granted most of them are not mets but all of them are calling for above average precipitation this winter for PA. Now whether that continues the trend of Central PA getting left high and dry or we see some decent storms again who knows. Hopefully you'll continue to forecast us and see some decent storms yourself! :) Enjoy college...lord knows I miss it
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 168
265. MariettaMoon
11:51 PM GMT on August 17, 2011
Quoting wunderstorm87:
@262 I always wonder how many very weak tornadoes like that one go unreported, especially in tropical systems. Obviously if that doesn't hit a populated area it's not going to get reported.


I didn't know about it till yesterday
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
264. MariettaMoon
11:50 PM GMT on August 17, 2011
Looks like we're near to below average temps and above average rain through the rest of August.
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677

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About Blizzard92

Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Student; Central PA SKYWARN Storm Spotter; American Meteorological Society Member; PA CoCoRaHS Branch Member

Personal Weather Stations

Linglestown, PA
Elevation: 520 ft
Temperature: 24.2 °F
Dew Point: 15.2 °F
Humidity: 68%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Updated: 10:37 AM EST on January 18, 2014

About Personal Weather Stations