TD 16 organizing; Mexican landslide kills hundreds; hottest day ever in Los Angeles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:25 PM GMT on September 28, 2010

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The large area of low pressure centered just south of Cuba's Isle of Youth has developed enough of a well-defined circulation to be classified as Tropical Depression Sixteen, and is likely to become Tropical Storm Nicole by Wednesday. The depression has a very broad center, with little heavy thunderstorm activity near the center, and is this very dissimilar to the usual types of tropical depressions we see in the Atlantic. The large size, broad center, and lack of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center of TD 16 will limit the storm's ability to rapidly intensify. TD 16 resembles the "monsoon depressions" common in India's Bay of Bengal or the Western Pacific. A monsoon depression is similar to a regular tropical depression in the winds that it generates--about 30 - 35 mph near the outer edges (and usually stronger on the eastern side of the circulation.) Monsoon depressions have large, calm centers, and can evolve into regular tropical storms, if given enough time over water to develop a tight, closed circulation. Today's monsoon-like depression in the Caribbean was able to form because the atmospheric flow pattern of the Eastern Pacific has shifted eastwards into the Western Caribbean, bringing in the Eastern Pacific ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region of converging surface winds that creates a band of strong thunderstorms). This unusual flow pattern is forecast to remain in place for at least the next ten days.

An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft has been flying at 700 feet in TD 16 since 1:30pm EDT, and has thus far found a central pressure of 999 mb. The strongest winds at flight level seen as of 3:20pm EDT were 32 mph, located about 100 miles east of the center of TD 16. Surface observations show that the strongest winds at any surface station continue to be at Buoy 42057, several hundred miles to the southeast of TD 16's center. Winds were 27 mph, gusting to 34 mph at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Rotation of TD 16 can be seen on radar loops out of Pico San Juan, Cuba, and well as satellite imagery. The heavy thunderstorms are currently quite disorganized, but a curved band is beginning to wrap around the north side of the center, signaling that TD 16 is growing more organized. TD 16 has brought torrential rains to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, and Honduras today.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida and Cuba. TD 16 has brought 2 - 4 inches of rains to the region.

Forecast for TD 16
Because TD 16 is so large, it will take more time than a typical depression for it to spin up into a strong tropical storm. Given that the steering currents are expected to pull TD 16 north-northeastwards over Cuba and into South Florida and the western Bahamas on Wednesday, the storm lacks sufficient time over water to be any stronger than a 50 mph tropical storm for Florida. TD 16 is organizing pretty slowly this afternoon, and I think the top winds in Southeast Florida are most likely to be in the 25 - 35 mph range on Wednesday. Winds are likely to be stronger in the western Bahamas, perhaps 30 - 40 mph, since they will be in the stronger right front quadrant of the storm. By the time TD 16 makes landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday morning, it could be as strong as a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm. However, wind shear will increase sharply on Thursday as TD 16 gets caught in an upper-level trough of low pressure, and NHC is giving TD 16 only a 9% chance of making it to hurricane strength before it becomes an extratropical storm on Thursday. The primary danger from TD 16 is not wind, but heavy rainfall. A potent upper-level low and stationary front over the U.S. East Coast have been pulling moist, tropical air from the Caribbean northwards over the past few days, bringing heavy rains that have saturated the soils. This is called a Predecessor Rain Event, or PRE, since it comes in advance of the actual rain shield of the storm. (A PRE from Hurricane Karl brought southern Wisconsin the heavy rain that caused the levee on the Wisconsin River to fail yesterday.) Wilmington, NC received 10.33 inches of rain yesterday, its second greatest one-day rainfall since record keeping began in 1871. Only the 13.38" that fell during Hurricane Floyd on September 15, 1999 beat yesterday's rainfall total. With TD 16 expected to bring another 6 - 8 inches of rain to the region later this week, serious flooding is likely, and flash flood watches are posted for the North Carolina/ South Carolina border region. South Florida is also under a flood watch, for 3 - 5 inches of rain. Flooding rains of similar magnitude can also be expected in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Western Bahamas through Wednesday night. Both the GFDL and HWRF models are predicting that TD 16 will dump rains in excess of eight inches along narrow portions of its path in eastern Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.


Figure 2. Forecast precipitation for the 5-day period from 8am today through 8am EDT Sunday, October 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Up to 1,000 feared dead in Mexican landslide
Mexico has taken the brunt of the devastation from the hurricane season of 2010, thanks to the landfalls of this year's two deadliest and most damaging storms, Hurricanes Alex and Karl. But Mexico's worst blow yet hit this morning, when heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew triggered a landslide in Mexico's mountainous Oaxaca state that buried as many as 1,000 people in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a town of 9,000. Rescuers have not reached the area yet, but hundreds are feared dead in the 300 homes that were buried by the early morning landslide. Matthew hit Belize on Saturday as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds, and dissipated Sunday over southern Mexico. However, Matthew's remains stalled out over the region of Mexico that had already received torrential rains from Hurricane Karl, which hit on September 18. Satellite estimates of Matthew's rains over southern Mexico (Figure 3) show that a foot of rain may have fallen in the landslide area. Matthew's remains still linger over the region, but are probably only capable of bringing 1 - 2 inches of additional rain through Thursday.


Figure 3. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the five-day period ending at 8pm EDT Monday September 27, 2010. The dark green colors show where rainfall amounts of 300 mm (about 12 inches) fell, due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Once TD 16 moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS model predicts that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression early next week. The GFS also predicts a tropical or subtropical storm will form over the Bahamas late this week, and move north-northeast along the U.S. East Coast, missing hitting land. The NOGAPS model hints at the Bahamas storm, and also predicts development of a tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, about a week from now.

Hottest day in Los Angeles history
The mercury hit a blistering 113°F (45.0°C) at 12:15 pm PDT yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, making it the hottest day in Los Angeles history. It may have gotten hotter, but the thermometer broke shortly after the record high was set. The previous record in Los Angeles was 112°F set on June 26, 1990; records go back to 1877. Nearby Long Beach tied its hottest all-time temperature yesterday, with a scorching 111°F. And Christopher C. Burt, our new featured blogger on weather records, pointed out to me that a station in the foothills at 1260' elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday--the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006. Yesterday's record heat was caused by an unusually large and intense upper-level high pressure system centered over Nevada that generated winds blowing from the land to the ocean, keeping the ocean from exerting its usual cooling influence. Remarkably, Los Angeles had its second coldest summer on record this year, and temperatures just five days ago were some the coldest September temperatures in the region for the past 50 years.

The remarkable summer of 2010
Wunderground is pleased to welcome a new featured blogger--weather historian Christopher C. Burt. Chris is a leading expert in the U.S. on weather records, and is author of the world's most popular weather records book published to date, Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book. He's spent a lifetime collaborating with like-minded individuals from around the world, and no one--including official sources such as the National Climatic Data Center and the National Extremes Committee--has done as thorough a job correlating the various weather records available and determining the most accurate extreme values of such. Each month he'll be reporting on the notable records for heat, cold, and precipitation set world-wide, and his first post takes a look at the remarkable summer of 2010. It's great to have someone like Chris who stays on top of weather extremes, and I hope you'll pay a visit to his blog and welcome him to the wunderground site!

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
My live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", will be airing again today at 4pm EDT. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

I'll have updates as the situation with TD 16 requires.

Jeff Masters

Alone again, naturally (ftogrf)
Lonely Seagull, as a storm associated with TD 16 is approaching.
Alone again, naturally

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2185. HCW
Meso Disco just out

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1904
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0600 AM CDT WED SEP 29 2010

AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS SE FL.

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 291100Z - 291330Z

TORNADO POTENTIAL...THOUGH BRIEF/MRGL AT FIRST...MAY BEGIN TO AFFECT
NEAR-COAST AREAS FROM UPPER KEYS TO PALM BEACH COUNTY DURING NEXT
FEW HOURS...SLOWLY SHIFTING INLAND TO INCLUDE METRO CORRIDOR FROM
HST-PBI.

MIA VWP HODOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN SMALL...BUT STEADILY INCREASING IN SIZE
AND IN CURVATURE DURING PAST COUPLE OF HOURS AS CENTER OF TD 16
BEGAN CROSSING FL STRAITS BETWEEN CUBA AND KEYS. WEAKER HODOGRAPHS
HAVE BEEN EVIDENT IN OBSERVED VWP AND MODEL FCST SOUNDINGS WITH WWD
EXTENT THROUGH KEYS...CONCURRENT WITH MORE NEBULOUS/WEAKER
CONVECTIVE STRUCTURES. THIS TENDENCY SHOULD CONTINUE...REDUCING
TORNADO THREAT FROM N THROUGH NW OF CENTER. FURTHER STRENGTHENING
OF BOUNDARY-LAYER SHEAR IS EXPECTED NE OF CENTER ALONG SERN FL COAST
AND UPPER KEYS AS LOW-LEVEL FLOW INTENSIFIES SLIGHTLY OVER ERN
SEMICIRCLE OF SYSTEM...ESPECIALLY IF IT BUILDS TO TS STRENGTH PER
NHC FCSTS. OVERNIGHT RADAR DATA HAVE SHOWN OCNL TSTM-SCALE
CIRCULATIONS OFFSHORE WITH MOST PERSISTENT/DEEPEST ECHOES...ALSO
INDICATING THAT GREATER SRH IS IN PLACE OFFSHORE. SO IS GREATEST
BUOYANCY...MLCAPE ESTIMATED 1000-1500 J/KG OVER WATER...OWING TO
RELATIVELY MAXIMIZED THETAE THAT IS RELATED TO MARINE HEAT FLUXES
OFF GULF STREAM. STRENGTHENING SELY SFC WINDS WOULD ADVECT MORE OF
THIS AIR MASS AT LEAST A FEW MILES INLAND...PERHAPS ACROSS MUCH OF
MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD/PALM BEACH COUNTIES WITH TIME. MEANWHILE 0-1 KM
SRH 150-200 J/KG SHOULD OVERSPREAD GREATER MERIDIONAL EXTENT OF
COASTLINE AS FLOW JUST OFF SFC INTENSIFIES.


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2184. WxLogic
Quoting whepton3:
Just a novice observation... but it looks like that dry air digging in from the west of the center may keep it from getting closed up. does that make sense?


Well... not circulation wise. A disturbance can still close (becoming a Low or TD or may be a TS) but what the dry air will do is to disrupt convective development which further impedes intensification. In this case you have 2 variables... 1)Shear (15KTS to 25KTS from the SW) and 2) Dry air on the W.

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I don't think that there is going to be much to this storm anywhere...
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2182. IKE
Miami, Florida (Airport)
Updated: 4 min 38 sec ago
Rain
75 F
Rain Mist
Humidity: 96%
Dew Point: 74 F
Wind: 6 mph from the ENE
Pressure: 29.57 in (Falling)
Visibility: 6.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Pollen: .50 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Few 2000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 2700 ft
Overcast 9000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 7 ft

.............................................

Opa Locka, Florida (Airport)
Updated: 6 min 52 sec ago
Rain
75 F
Rain
Humidity: 96%
Dew Point: 74 F
Wind: Calm
Pressure: 29.57 in (Falling)
Visibility: 8.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Pollen: .50 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Few 1000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 2300 ft
Overcast 3500 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 7 ft
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2181. WxLogic
I guess NHC must be basing their obs based on VORT signature:

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Quoting whepton3:
Just a novice observation... but it looks like that dry air digging in from the west of the center may keep it from getting closed up. does that make sense?


No
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Not one in particular didn't mean that, just all in general. If you get run over by a vehicle and are killed doesn't matter what it's weight was. But i have already conceded I'm in the minority on this point. Lastly Ike it's name should be Tropically Institutionalized.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Just a novice observation... but it looks like that dry air digging in from the west of the center may keep it from getting closed up. does that make sense?
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2177. HCW
Live stream for Hollywood FL and Dereck Sibley

Link
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2176. WxLogic
Interesting enough not sure why NHC says:

...CENTER OF THE DEPRESSION EMERGING OVER THE FLORIDA STRAIT...HEAVY RAINS SPREADING ACROSS FLORIDA KEYS AND SOUTH FLORIDA...

Based on SFC obs... the center of this TD appears to be further S, I've marked the spot on the chart below:

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Quoting nash28:
Agree with Wxlogic. FL is getting the worst of it now.. Once this merges with the front, Charleston northward will get the worst conditions as it becomes extratropical.

Good Morning Everyone, Better get a boat up there Nash. 71 out the window this am and 998 pressure in Z-hills Fl.
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I've already had two cups of coffee. After sleeping through the alarm yesterday morning, dreaming it was in the next room and not my room, my shepherd puppy decided to help me this morning, barking when it went off. Barking dogs will get me awake, if only to see why they are barking.
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2173. surfmom
OOPPS - meant to leave the coffee on Ike's -YIKES, I just went to visit and your poof - tried to leave you a pot of coffee

Ahh - UKM - you are right Cot
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Did anyone give credit to the UKM?

They were the only one to get Matthew correct if I recall correctly.
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2171. nash28
Agree with Wxlogic. FL is getting the worst of it now.. Once this merges with the front, Charleston northward will get the worst conditions as it becomes extratropical.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Neapolitan your probably right if it makes some people happy what do I care. m\My point if I have one is you were able to correct the Doc earlier and that storm didn't have a name,1900,1926, 1928and 1933 none had names but I doubt anyone who knows the slightest about storms can't remember them. Sorry I just equate retired names to sport athletes so that's what makes the world go around, just seems to trivialize tropical systems to me.


I guess I see what you're saying about the sports athlete analogy. But the retirements for tropical cyclones aren't honorifics; they're to help everyone talk about a particular storm without resorting to verbal gymnastics. After all, "Hurricane Katrina" is far easier to say--not to mention more evocative--than "Tropical Cyclone #12 of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season" or "The Great Florida/New Orleans Hurricane of 2005". At any rate, I don't see that either naming, or retiring the names of, TCs somehow trivializes them.
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2169. surfmom
Good Morning IKE *big smile* LOL -
thanks for checking me out - Rotfl

Hey Aislinn!

I'm @ 29.58 & dropping -- achhh makes those old sport injuries ache - I may sprinkle the hose just to assure I get rain -- yesterday I was confident I'd have rain & the seedlings went w/out

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Quoting WxLogic:


Morning...

In reality this should be as bad as it gets for SFL. There could be some spots that could received 40MPH wind gusts in heavier showers.

This is a severely sheared TD and it might be lucky if it reaches TS status prior to merging with the front.


I thnk that may be the case... the forecast discussion for here calls for gustier winds in a couple of hours... I just find it hard to imagine it picks up much steam between Cuba and Florida.
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2167. IKE
Quoting tkeith:
Ike your little shower curtain buddy left you a comment on your blog. I read it last night, just lettin you know...


He needs help....serious help.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hmm.. interesting. TS Matthew has killed 23 people, but hundreds are apparently missing.

If all confirmed dead, Matthew might be retired along with Karl.


It was sort of indirect (the landslides which are the reason for the 'hundreds missing'). The rains from the remnants of Matthew which just parked over the area, and not long after Karl's rains, caused the damage.

A bit like a Gustav then Hanna scenario, though Hanna was actually a system at the time.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Have to get one of those Safer Barriers installed!!


I'm looking into it... not sure how my girlfriend will respond to the styrofoam in the living room. Lots of rain here... but nearly no wind in Boca trees are not even moving.
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2164. WxLogic
Quoting whepton3:


Morning logic... your take on S. FL today? Will conditions go downhill or is this as bad as it gets?


Morning...

In reality this should be as bad as it gets for SFL. There could be some spots that could received 40MPH wind gusts in heavier showers.

This is a severely sheared TD and it might be lucky if it reaches TS status prior to merging with the front.
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2163. nash28
Forgot to bring my scuba gear to work today:-)
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Quoting tkeith:
I wish it would get "stuck" right where it's at Trauma...it's perfect to me :)


Some of my buddies were telling me during the night when we get back over to your place that they guaranteed it would be freezing or HOT again..lol
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Morning all - quick in and out. Rain forecast here today - and tonight, and tomorrow, and.....

Looks as if we will be on the eastern side if the track holds. Flash flood warnings starting tonight.
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Quoting whepton3:


I couldn't sleep... up and down all night here in Boca. Wearing my helmet and HANS device.


Have to get one of those Safer Barriers installed!!
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I have noticed that Tampa has their shield up as usual.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
2157. tkeith
Quoting traumaboyy:


Mornin Tkeith....lovin this weather!!!
I wish it would get "stuck" right where it's at Trauma...it's perfect to me :)
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Quoting tkeith:
Ike your little shower curtain buddy left you a comment on your blog. I read it last night, just lettin you know...


Mornin Tkeith....lovin this weather!!!
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Hmm.. interesting. TS Matthew has killed 23 people, but hundreds are apparently missing.

If all confirmed dead, Matthew might be retired along with Karl.
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good morning hurricanecrab was just going to post buoy lciy2 bp. 29.44 ssw wind at 28kt. Also buoy 4057 29.55 s wind at 33 kt. buoy 4056 29.48 nnw wind at 33 kt. so only god knows if and where this center is.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting WxLogic:
Good Morning...


Morning logic... your take on S. FL today? Will conditions go downhill or is this as bad as it gets?
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2152. tkeith
Ike your little shower curtain buddy left you a comment on your blog. I read it last night, just lettin you know...
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Quoting barotropic:
Here in Pompano beach...just north of Lauderdale press is droping 1 mb per hour and now at 1001mb with heavy squalls.


Barotropic... right up the road from you in Boca! whattaya think? Is the rest of the morning gonna get more interesting?
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TD 16 looking better as it gains convection around the COC. Today might have been a bad day to open schools for everyone.
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2148. QMiami
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2147. tkeith
Crab, you're in the belly of the beast :)
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2146. nash28
Preparing for a very wet day here in Charleston.
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Good morning everybody

Blustery out there in Cayman Brac! 12-20 mph wind; gusts earlier to 35. Our pressure is reading 994.8. Looks like we only got about 3/4" of rain last night. I'm surprised at that, but perhaps the wind is driving it away from my rain gauge.

Nice n' cool at 76 degrees.
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Moderate to heavy rain here in Grand Cayman all night and continuing this morning. I drove to work anout an hour ago and all streets OK with very little flooding. Wind has not been a problem here with gusts last night only reaching about 30 mph. Looks like more heavy rain on the way so I am closing the business for the day and returning home to lurk on WU.--LOL
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2143. WxLogic
Good Morning...
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Morning Surfmom and everyone. A nice cool 56 degrees here this morning. 16 looks like it would like the name Nicole, but also looks like that could be ify?
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2141. nash28
Good morning all.
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2140. IKE
Quoting surfmom:
been promised rain here SRQ/SWFL for 2 days - nothing. much here at all - bummer to have to water the veggie garden with soooo much moisture around


I was just looking at your forecast...70% chance of rain today and tonight.

Your airport.....

Fort Myers, Florida (Airport)
Updated: 24 min 34 sec ago
Scattered Clouds
75 °F
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 73 °F
Wind: 8 mph from the ENE
Pressure: - (Falling)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Pollen: 5.90 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Few 600 ft
Scattered Clouds 7500 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft

.............................................

Looking at recon and observations from area airports in south Florida...the winds with TD16 are insignificant.
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2139. surfmom
been promised rain here SRQ/SWFL for 2 days - nothing much here at all - bummer to have to water the veggie garden with soooo much moisture around
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Quoting traumaboyy:


With all the excitement in the tropics....how can you sleep??


I couldn't sleep... up and down all night here in Boca. Wearing my helmet and HANS device.
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2137. surfmom
I see the Morning crew is wide awake -
I'm working on it -when I read Baha's post2113
"many vortices", at first I read many "voices"
better drink more coffee before posting

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2136. IKE
Tallahassee weather office....

LONG TERM (SATURDAY THROUGH NEXT WEDNESDAY)...
UPPER LEVEL PATTERN WILL REMAIN AMPLIFIED ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF
THE NATION. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK CAN MAKE IN TERMS OF
TEMPERATURE. IT WAS JUST A FEW DAYS AGO THAT WE CONTINUED TO SEE
WELL ABOVE AVERAGE SUMMER-LIKE HIGH TEMPS IN THE MIDDLE 90S. NOW THE
EXTENDED FORECAST IS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPS...AND AT TIMES WELL
BELOW NORMAL READINGS. GLOBAL MODELS IN AGREEMENT IN BRINGING
ANOTHER STRONG SHORTWAVE TROUGH SOUTHWARD FROM THE GREAT LAKES
DURING THE UPCOMING WEEKEND. THIS ENERGY WILL CLOSE OVER THE OHIO/TN
VALLEYS...AND THEN HOLD IN PLACE THROUGH THE EARLY PORTION OF NEXT
WEEK.

OVERALL...THE POSITION OF THIS TROUGH/CLOSED LOW WILL KEEP MOST OF
THE SIGNIFICANT WEATHER (IN TERMS OF RAINFALL POTENTIAL) TO OUR
NORTH AND EAST. HOWEVER...THE BIG IMPACT WILL BE THE INFLUENCE OF
THE ASSOCIATED COLD POOL ALOFT ON OUR TEMPERATURES. HIGH TEMPS ON
SATURDAY WILL BE NEAR NORMAL WITH THE SYSTEM STILL WELL TO OUR
NORTH...THEN BY SUNDAY AND MONDAY...WE DROP BELOW NORMAL. HIGH TEMPS
OVER OUR NORTHERN ZONES FROM DOTHAN TO ALBANY MAY STRUGGLE TO REACH
80 EARLY NEXT WEEK...DESPITE AMPLE SUNSHINE. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL
ALSO TAKE A TUMBLE WITH WIDESPREAD 50S. IT IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE
THAT BY SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHTS...A FEW NORMALLY COLDER SPOTS WILL
REACH THE UPPER 40S.

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Have a nice day Baha I mean that. That's what makes the world go round different points of view, and i say on this one I'm in the minority.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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