Hot Weather Finally Reaches the Midwest
August was a month of two tales for the Ohio Valley and the Mid-West. It started off very cool and wet, with temperatures well below normal and numerous showers and thunderstorms dumping plenty of rainfall over the region. Then, the tables turned by the second half of the month, as some the hottest weather of the year moved in from the southwest.
Labor Day Weekend Update
Well some good news... things are looking slightly better for the holiday weekend! Although warmer and more humid conditions will be arriving Saturday, current thinking now keeps much of the day dry for the I-95 corridor as the front stays well northwest over the Great Lakes. Some isolated showers may try to enter Maryland and central PA in the afternoon, but that activity will be spotty. Sunday will likely be the most active day in the Northeast, with showers and storms developing in the afternoon.
The Tropics are Waking Up
Despite a fairly quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic so far, it looks as though we could have a potential storm developing over the next few days. While this tropical wave is currently poorly organized as it moves northwestward towards Hispaniola, the National Hurricane Center has given it a 60% chance of developing into tropical cyclone within the next two days, and an 80% chance in next five days. Let’s look at some of the factors working for and against this tropical wave becoming our next named tropical system.
Stages of Tropical Systems
Hurricane Isabel (2003) seen from the International Space Station, image property of NASA.
With the peak of hurricane season quickly approaching, I think it’s time to brush up on some key terms. As some of you may be aware, hurricanes don’t just pop up out of nowhere, they go through several stages of development. Let’s break down these stages.
Surfs Up, Temps Down
It's been a windy and wavy month along the shores of Lake Michigan. In fact, near record summer wave heights were observed from July 27-28th as persistent strong northerly winds resulted in waves over 10 feet! Additionally, water temperatures were 10 - 15 degrees below normal during this time, dipping into the upper 50s in parts of the lake. Lets examine the causes of the record cold water and high wave heights, along with the connection between the two.
Tornado Strikes Near Boston!
The first tornado in Suffolk County, MA since 1950 struck Revere, MA on July 28th, 2014. Atypical of most severe t-storms in the Northeast, the parent thunderstorm formed over northern RI around 8 AM, then pushed northeast towards Boston. Just before 9 AM, with the storm over west-central Norfolk County, our meteorologists issued warnings for damaging winds in the Boston area as the storm was exhibiting some rotation (indicating the potential for a tornado). By 9:32 AM, the supercell strengthened its rotation, giving a clearer sign that a tornado was likely on the ground:
Five Ways To Be Struck By Lightning
Lightning results in 51 deaths per year in the U.S. on average, but did you know there are 5 different ways to get struck by nature's hottest phenomenon?At 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, any cloud to ground lightning strike is a threat to human life and should not be taken lightly. In fact, lightning can be fatal from a strike that hit the ground up to 100 feet away, or originated from a thunderstorm several miles away. Let's examine the 5 ways lightning can strike a human.
Tropical Outlook: Remainder of August & Beyond
So far this season, the Atlantic Basin has seen two named storms. Bertha’s formation date of July 31st was right on par with climatology, as the average date of development for the second named storm is usually right around August 1st. Similarly, we are right on schedule in terms of seasonal hurricanes…as Arthur passed off the Eastern Seaboard earlier in July. With that being said, what can we expect during the coming weeks and beyond?