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tropical system & mid-Atlantic

By: cws6196 , 3:47 PM GMT on May 22, 2010

Wednesday evening update

Well, the tropical disturbance is not at all going to effect us. This will make for a nice weather weekend, once we get through Thursday night into Friday that is.

With a cold front moving in and an upper air disturbance, Thursday evening should prove to be exciting. Thursday daytime will be uneventful; sunny, hot, humid; all the key ingredients necessary for storms - now bring in the cold front ....

So, sometime after 5:00 pm most of us will see thunderstorms with some of the cells being severe. There is little threat for tornadoes, but those who do experience the strong cells can expect large hail, winds and potential for flash flooding. The thunderstorms will taper off into the early morning hours of Friday, but expect most of Friday to be cloudy and rainy, with the clouds breaking apart Saturday morning.

I will keep you posted as to any watches/warnings issued. I will keep the Weather Phone updated (443-470-9804) and feel free to leave storm reports / damage on the Phone.

Tuesday morning update

Well, it appears the tropical disturbance will not be an issue for us this weekend. Development is just not happening as the wind shear continues to break it apart and the water temps, even in the Gulf stream, will just not be warm enough to cause this system to form into anything of importance. The system continues to move toward the Carolina coast, but after Wednesday should push back out to sea without ever making landfall. This is a result of a cold front and low pressure system coming in from the North which will push the system out to sea (technically it is referred to as a back door front with a subsequent trough. The east side of the trough will guide the system out to the E and then NE. To graphically think of a trough think the letter "U").

But, this same front that will push away the tropical disturbance has the potential to bring us severe weather Thursday into Friday. We could see severe thunderstorms and some flash flooding. Other then that the weekend should fine. I will keep you posted as to the end of the week storms.

original post

As most of you know, I am not a fan of long range forecasts of weather conditions. I shy away from predictions more then a few days out as there are too many variables. So why am I talking about Memorial Day weekend which is a week away? Since that weekend is an outdoor time for so many people, I want to start looking at what "may" be an issue for us: a tropical system. Yup, you read that right. June 1 is the official start of the hurricane season, but we already have an area of interest NE of the Bahamas officially classified as Invest 90L.

Systems this early in the season typically do not amount to much as the waters of the Atlantic are just not warm enough for development. You may be questioning, what is the issue with a system NE of the Bahamas, isn't it moving out to sea? Nope. If you recall the blizzards of only a few months ago, the dynamic that kept those lows over the mid-Atlantic is the same dynamic (among others) which is moving this system back toward the Atlantic coast. Tropical systems need strong low pressure, warm waters and low wind shear for maximum development. This system is currently over cooler waters with a somewhat strong wind shear.

Ok, enough of the set up. Here is how I see things. 90L will continue to meander toward the SE US coast with the circulation causing gale force winds from S. VA down to FL with some estimates of 18 foot seas along the coast. As this system gets closer to the coast (mid week) it will encounter the Gulf stream (warm water) and much less wind shear, thus allowing for development into at least a tropical storm. By Saturday or so this system (potential tropical storm) could impact the NC coast. Depending on the intensity of the storm and the exact track will determine what we experience. Best case, we have a cloudy somewhat rainy weekend, worst case, Southern MD has moderate winds, high waters, and thunderstorms.

As this system is still weak, the computer models don't yet have a good handle on this. Again, I do not like long range forecasts, so keep in mind that what I just wrote could all break apart and be nothing. But then again, it could be something. I will keep you all posted as the week progresses.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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3. car6846
6:19 AM GMT on May 28, 2010
I was in my car when I saw lightning hit something (probably near a transformer) that was arking and giving out an orange glow. The lightning strike was across my main street (park heights avenue). It also caused the traffic lights to go out for a few seconds and the parking lot lamps. In other words, the lightning was dangerous and vivid. Lucky I was in my car or I would of been badly hurt from the close lightning strikes/exploding transformer. I wasn't able to get video of this 12 A.M dangerous lightning strikes because I was recharging my camera. The thunder was quite loud at that time.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. cws6196
2:31 AM GMT on May 28, 2010
Quoting car6846:
I was successfully able to videotape some lightning and will start uploading it to youtube. I did it taping it outside and in my car (of course).

There was a ton of lightning here. One was so close I hear it crackle through my computer speakers.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. car6846
1:00 AM GMT on May 28, 2010
I was successfully able to videotape some lightning and will start uploading it to youtube. I did it taping it outside and in my car (of course).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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About cws6196

I provide a weather email service for people in MD. I am a storm chaser & Skywarn spotter. For daily weather tidbits follow me on Twitter: @wxmanMD.

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