Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)
By: Zachary Labe , 9:15 PM GMT on July 31, 2011
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)
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"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
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
Heat Advisories- 4
Excessive Heat Warnings- 2
Excessive Heat Watches- 1
90F days- 24
100F days- 2
Highest Temperature- 104F - 7/22/2011
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.