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A brief review and your Northeast forecast

By: sullivanweather , 7:34 AM GMT on August 01, 2011

If there's one advantage to taking a break from blogging as long as I have; it makes for an easy recap. The winter was cold and snowy. The spring was beyond moist and the summer has been sizzling. How hot? How's does 108°F grab you on the tarmac at Newark Liberty Airport? Hot indeed, and three degrees hotter than the previous all-time record of 105°F. The Connecticut cities of Bridgeport and Hartford both broke their all-time record high temperatures, both recording 103°F. New York City's Central Park tied its 2nd hottest day ever at 104°F. The temperature at my backyard located in the pine forest foothills of the Catskill Mountains reached a blistering 95.6°F. Friday, July 22nd, 2011 will go down as one of the hottest days on record across the Northeast as a whole and one of three consecutive days of widespread 100°F heat with oppressive 80°F overnight "low" temperatures.

Records broken during heatwave of July 21-23, 2011

July 21st record high temperatures
July 21st record high minimum temperatures
July 22nd record high temperatures
July 22nd record high minimum temperatures
July 23rd record high temperatures

July 23rd record high minimum temperatures

What made this heat wave particularly intense were the incredible humidity levels. In conjunction with the Mississippi-like heat were Mississippi-like dewpoints in the upper 70's and low 80's. Even here the dewpoint briefly touched 80°F. The main culprit for such staggering amounts of atmospheric moisture associated with this heatwave was the equally staggering amount of precipitation which occurred during the springtime months over our region and all points upwind to the West Coast. I guess you can call spring 2011 flooding's Manifest Destiny. For the months of March-May the Northeast region as a whole saw its second wettest spring on record. Likewise for the Ohio and Mid-Mississippi Valley regions of the Country. Same for the Northern Plains and the Northern Rockies and not to be outdone, the Pacific Northwest recorded their wettest spring on record. The states of New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania also recorded their wettest spring on record and my tomatoes can attest to this fact.

Precipitation ranking by state for the period March-May.

Image showing statewide precipitation rankings for meteorological spring. Note many states broke their all-time record wettest spring from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast. (Credit: NCDC)

Precipitation ranking by region for the period March-May.

Image showing region-wide precipitation rankings for meteorological spring. Note the record to near-record precipitation across much of the northern half of the US. (Credit: NCDC)

The extremely wet spring heralded an early end to a seasonably cold and snowy winter for the southern two thirds of the Northeast, as heavy rains in early March quickly washed away the winter snowpack. The northern third of the region, for the second consecutive winter, saw mostly mild winter weather as a persistently highly positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation caused infiltration of maritime air on several occasions and kept most of the major blizzards south of the region. New York City's Central Park recorded its 2nd highest monthly snowfall total in January of 36.0" and 3rd highest seasonal snowfall total of 61.9".

Radar Image of December 26th, 2010 blizzard

Radar image showing the height of the Blizzard of December 26-27, 2010. Note the very heavy band of snow across northeastern New Jersey and the Hudson Valley of New York State. 20-30 inches of snow was common within this band, including New York City, which received 20.0" of snow at Central Park. (Credit: HPC/NOAA)

On a personal note (time for my little rant), these so-called blizzards (Dec. 26-27, 2010/Jan. 26-27, 2011) were the biggest tease snowstorms I ever did see. For all the hype, for all the state-of-emergencies, I received 4.1" and 3.2" respectively from those two storms. In fact my greatest snowfall of the "winter" occurred on March 23-24th with 7.9", more than those two storms combined! So, for this upcoming winter I'm expecting all those near-misses of last winter to be direct hits. And by expecting, I mean expecting like The Godfather expects things to get done...or else. In other words, I'm holding winter personally responsible should we not get at least three one-foot snowstorms. I don't know how I'll accomplish this but somehow us weather forecasters are viewed as conjurers of storms amongst some circles. So I'll see what I can do.

Northeast Weather Forecast

After the incredible high temperatures of last weekend a more seasonable pattern has taken shape over the last week for a majority of the Northeast. Most of the hot and oppressive weather has retreated south to the Mason-Dixon line where temperatures have continued to average in the 90's but elsewhere across the region a pattern more typical of mid-summer has taken hold - warm and mainly dry with a progressive pattern aloft bringing through several troughs and mid-levels disturbances to touch of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Once such trough is scheduled to move into the Northeast to begin the work week on Monday, with its parent mid-level low spinning down from Quebec to settle over Northern New England on Tuesday. Another disturbance will ride a quickening west-to-east flow into the region early on Wednesday and be accompanied by a stronger frontal boundary which should bring mainly dry and seasonable weather to the region to close out the week. Next weekend looks much more interesting as a trough drops down over the Northeast while a tropical disturbance approaches the East Coast. Chances are some deeper tropical moisture will be pulled into this trough axis giving the potential for heavy rains and downpours up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Tropical Weather

Latest image of Atlantic Basin tropical disturbance '91L' (Credit: SSD/NOAA)

As of the August 2nd 5PM EDT National Hurricane Center advisory, the center of Tropical Storm Emily was located at 15.8°N, 65.4°W, moving west-northwest at 12mph. Maximum sustained winds have now strengthened to 50mph with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1005mb.

The center of now Tropical Storm Emily formed very quickly yesterday evening near the island of Dominica and about 150 miles west of the mid-level center, which had been trying and failing to build down to the surface over the prior two days. Since forming, Emily has been able to maintain a central core of strong convection adjacent to the center of circulation. This convection has waned some earlier this afternoon but has now begun to reintensify, as evidenced by one overshooting thunderstorm top, and become consolidated closer to the center of circulation. Outflow is good to excellent in all quadrants, except the southwest quadrant where it's virtually non-existent.

The core of Emily is tucked right inside an area of high atmospheric moisture content with a warm sea-surface of 28°C and higher to travel over. Some dry air is noted to the northwest of the storm but not enough to preclude development over the next 24-36 hours as it approaches the southern shores of the island of Hispaniola. Being the case, it's a distinct possibility that Emily will be a minimal hurricane as the center either skirts the south side of the island or comes ashore on the Haitian side of the island. Interaction with the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola will disrupt Emily's development and it will likely be downgraded to a tropical storm, or even a depression, before emerging in the southern Bahamas during the afternoon hours on Thursday.

The long-range forecast for Emily becomes interesting once in Atlantic waters. Emily will be approaching the southwestern periphery of the Bermuda high and start to chart a course towards the northwest, taking the center straight through the archipelago. Environmental conditions at the end of the week appear favorable for steady strengthening, so Emily could once again be approaching hurricane strength by the time it reaches the northern Bahamas. It must be repeated that interaction with Hispaniola will have a tremendous influence in the eventual position and strength of Emily. This forecast is made with the assumption that Emily will track on the south side of the guidance envelope over the next 36 hours, limiting deterioration. Should Emily track more to the north interaction with Hispaniola will take a greater toll on the cyclone and re-intensification will be much reduced.

By this weekend Emily will be somewhere off the Southeastern US Coastline, likely regaining hurricane strength. Attention will be focused on an approaching trough of low pressure over the Great Lakes region of the country, which will begin to erode the western periphery of the Bermuda high and take Emily on a more northerly course. This path could take the center of Emily close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and on up the East Coast to Cape Cod. Whether the cyclone as a direct impact on the Eastern Seaboard or not, tropical moisture from Emily will become entrained into the trough of low pressure approaching from the west, likely resulting in areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms this weekend from Canada to the Carolinas.

Current watches, warnings and advisories.

Eastern US current watches/warnings
Current watches, warning and advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Courtesy of NOAA.


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Radar: Northeast Region Loop

NE radar
Radar loop of the Northeast region. Courtesy of Weather Underground.

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Local SST's

Northeast SST's
Sea-surface temperatures off the Northeast Coast. Courtesy of NOAA.

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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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30. goofyrider
5:05 PM GMT on August 16, 2011
40N, 74W
Total 4+ in over 72 hrs
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. PurpleDrank
7:45 PM GMT on August 11, 2011
you rock sully

thanks for taking your knowledge to Dr. Rood's blog often.

again, thank you.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. sullivanweather
7:41 PM GMT on August 11, 2011

We're up to 4.17" so far this month. The system coming through Monday and Tuesday might bring another 2-4" for my area so I might be up to 8 or so inches of rain by the time this one is over and we'd only be halfway through August.

I'm really concerned about next weekend. Global models have been consistent in showing building heights over Newfoundland and the Davis Strait around that time and many of those models also show one of the 92L/93L and others developing into something. If we get a storm out there riding the trades to the north of the islands (which is nearly universally shown) it's gonna make a run at us. It all depends on how the developing ridge axis sets up. If it takes on a negative tilt then it might shunt the storm due north, keeping it from re-curving. If that happens somewhere on the Atlantic Coast will get hit, it'll just be a matter of where. Being that our area has been in a wet pattern, well, let's just say that persistence is a hard thing to break and overall there's been a very stagnant pattern this summer over North America. It just seems like the odds are stacked.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
27. sullivanweather
7:32 PM GMT on August 11, 2011
Hey everyone!

Been out the last few days. Went to the Wayne County (Pennsylvania) Fair last night and had a blast. Caught the well-oiled capsule on the zipper ride. Tyrone the Terrible made his classic dash for the finish line only to stop and let Hamthony Weiner steal it at the end. Lots of fun.

New blog coming out tomorrow. A touch of autumn early on then big rains in the forecast and a possible brush from a tropical system next weekend?? Lots of interesting weather ahead.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. originalLT
1:57 AM GMT on August 10, 2011
Oh, had another 1.12" of rain today, just heavy showers, no thunder or lightning.Stamford CT.
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25. originalLT
1:56 AM GMT on August 10, 2011
Nice scientific post from your son ,Listener, You both must be very proud of him. Good luck on your wedding this Sat. Hope any showers or storms hold off till Sunday. I know down in Orlando it will be just plain hot and humid, 90-95F and always the chance of T. Storms. Starting our drive Wed. 7AM. Stopping at my sister's house near Blacksburg VA overnight Wed. then hitting the road early Thurs. morning. Hope to get to GA. by nightfall, then leave Fri. to finish that part of the trip and get to Orlando by Fri. PM. Leaving Sunday for Delray Beach, staying there 5 days then heading North. Hope to be back in CT. by Sunday nite. Take care, LT.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
24. listenerVT
1:27 AM GMT on August 10, 2011
Big thunderstorms passing through the region...the kind with really looooonnnngggg rolls of thunder and very heavy rain. These were preceded by some 40mph wind gusts, though presently the wind has settled down.

Here's a link to my son Shiloh's Arctic report, as he's a wildlife biologist presently doing research in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge along the Arctic Ocean.
http://www.manomet.org/blog/arctic-blog/20110808/ trapping-jago-river-mudflats-shiloh-schulte-report s-from-arctic

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. originalLT
4:22 AM GMT on August 09, 2011
Great Met win tonight though!
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22. originalLT
12:14 AM GMT on August 09, 2011
You are right Sully, they really seem to be"snake bit" when it comes to injury this year.--Reyes out again too! I guess its really wait till next year. Maybe they could be the wild card. Nobody will beat the Phillies over a long season.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
21. sullivanweather
10:58 PM GMT on August 08, 2011
Boy am I glad I missed the Mets game yesterday. I just got around to seeing the lolites from that game and let me tell you, after seeing Murph go down I don't know if I want to watch any more games this season. Although in completely different and opposing situations, doesn't it remind you of that Ryan Church play went he slid into second base on that game-ending double play and went right into that guy's knee giving himself that concussion? It was a late slide there too but, as always, the Mets player seems to come out on the worst end of things.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. sullivanweather
9:39 PM GMT on August 08, 2011

We got hit pretty good here over the last couple days.
Yesterday we got a heavy thundershower which dropped 0.52" of rain and on Saturday we got 1.98" of rain. Today most of the storms skipped over us and we got only 0.03".
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. originalLT
8:29 PM GMT on August 08, 2011
Got a good T. Storm around 8:45PM yesterday, and now one here again. In both cases they came in from the NW , from NYS, not from the West,ie. from NJ and PA.LT(This new storm left 0.40" of rain)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. originalLT
9:28 PM GMT on August 07, 2011
Hey Sully, looks like on radar some big thunder storms coming in from the NW into your area. Take care LT.
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17. listenerVT
5:52 AM GMT on August 06, 2011
Thanks, Sully!

Presently the forecast for Son's wedding rehearsal (12th) and wedding day (13th) are picture perfect. Yet with rain and thunderstorms predicted on both sides of those two days, we are not complacent.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. sullivanweather
4:55 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
0.92" here, LT

As far as the Mets go...
I should leave that one alone...lol
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15. originalLT
4:29 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
Well, again, not much rain, only received .10". The Mets were rained out, so again I missed the heavier rain, to my West.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. sullivanweather
3:21 AM GMT on August 04, 2011

Actually, Emily is right on track. Not so much with the intensity forecast but the track has been right on thus far. I thought it would skirt along the south coast of the island before coming ashore on the Haitian side of the island tonight and pop out on the Atlantic side tomorrow afternoon.

I still think it'll miss Florida to the east and basically stay offshore the East Coast. That trough should steer it out to sea but I'm still thinking there will be moisture that the front will absorb and wring out over us by Sunday.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. listenerVT
3:14 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
LT ~ Got rain?? Hope so!

Sully ~ How has Emily's track today affected your prediction? The storm was stationary for a time, but is now still tracking West. No turn to the NW yet. Are you thinking that will bring it ashore in FL or not quite? Doc Masters mentioned Emily was more easterly than expected; is that largely because it marked time for a bit?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. originalLT
1:26 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
First, Thank you Sully for answering my tropical question. Finally, it looks like my area will be hit with some mod/heavy rain showers by about 10:30 tonight. I keep on missing the heavier precip. the lawn could really use it. I water the flower garden, which looks nice, but not the lawn itself.I'll let you know how much I actually get. LT
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. sullivanweather
8:06 PM GMT on August 03, 2011

I agree. I did note in my discussion that the forecast for Emily was made under the assumption of the storm tracking on the south side of guidance but I didn't think the storm would lose as much convection as it has, however. I thought that it would retain much of its convection but the northerly flow on the northwest side of the storm is likely dragging down some of the drier air located in that region, aided by downslope flow off the higher terrain of Hispaniola. I was a little worried about that but yesterday it seemed the convection was strong enough to overcome a good portion of that dry air. But now that Emily should pass south of a majority of the island once it gets about halfway and the downsloping ceases convection should fire back up. It'll catch some of the southerly upper level flow and begin turning towards the northwest. On this track it should cross the eastern tip of Cuba (another mountainous trek but less so than Hispaniola) which is delay in its intensification further, teasing us much in the same way Ernesto did a few years ago.

I still feel we will see moisture from Emily become caught up in the approaching trough this weekend, especially now that it's taking a track further west.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. originalLT
6:35 PM GMT on August 03, 2011
Hi Sully, and all, looking at the Vis. Satellite, it looks like exposed center of Emily will stay South of the southern tip of the Dom. Rep., and probably cross mid way or so on that E-W arm of Haiti that sticks out.What I guess that means is that the circulation will most likely remain intact, as it eventually moves WNW or NW. What do you think Sully?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. listenerVT
3:30 AM GMT on August 03, 2011
Quoting originalLT:
I hear ya Listener. On the 13th, I'll be at a wedding in Orlando Fla. I hope there is no other "Tropical Trouble" by then, as there are a couple of Impressives wave behind Emily.

I'll be thinking of you, LT! :-) Here's hoping the 13th is a gorgeous day from one end of the east coast to the other!

We're putting in our order, Sully. See what you can do. LOL!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. originalLT
2:11 AM GMT on August 03, 2011
Meanwhile, Wed. does look stormy for portions of the North East. I could use some rain here in Stamford CT. We've been just missing the powerful T. Storms here, passing by for the most part JUST to my West. A few missed to the North and East. LT
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. originalLT
2:07 AM GMT on August 03, 2011
Sully, thanks for your up-dated tropical outlook. As I mentioned on another blog earlier in the day, and as you have said here, the exact track and duration of time over Hispaniola will greatly determin just what Emily will look like and it's future strength and possible path, as it re-emerges from being over Hispaniola. Will be interesting for sure. LT
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. originalLT
4:30 AM GMT on August 02, 2011
I hear ya Listener. On the 13th, I'll be at a wedding in Orlando Fla. I hope there is no other "Tropical Trouble" by then, as there are a couple of Impressives wave behind Emily.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. listenerVT
3:28 AM GMT on August 02, 2011
LT ~ I'm okay with Emily paying us a visit as long as she moves right along and is long gone by my son's wedding on the 13th. LOL!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3:11 AM GMT on August 02, 2011
i got me my winter quarters back

thanks for the update
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. originalLT
11:22 PM GMT on August 01, 2011
Thanks Sully. Seems like old times! It's so great to have you back. Yeah, the soon to be Emily could be quite interesting for the East Coast. LT
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. listenerVT
9:29 PM GMT on August 01, 2011
Thanks, Sully!

I'll be especially interested in your prediction for the weekend of August 13th-14th, as Son is getting married on the 13th in Waitsfield, Vermont (a little SE of me, yet NW of the state capitol of Montpelier).

Oh gosh, you've been missed! :-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. sullivanweather
7:35 AM GMT on August 01, 2011
More detail will be added to the forecast and tropics section tomorrow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Thomas is an avid weather enthusiast, landscaper and organic gardener. This blog is dedicated to Northeast and tropical weather forecasting. Enjoy!

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