Southeast Flooding

The flood risk is high across the Southeast to wrap up February. The storm track, which has been just north of the Southeast, will shift south allowing for several wet storms to move from the Mississippi Valley towards the east and north. As the storm track moves south this upcoming week, several disturbances will move across the Southeast. Each one creating enough lift to generate rain. Periodically, stalled frontal boundaries will be located across this region, which will act to enhance rainfall–increasing the flood threat.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly which area will see the heaviest rainfall but at this time it appears widespread 3-6″ will fall from Louisiana east through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and north into parts of Tennessee and Kentucky this week with isolated 5-10″ amounts (see Fig. 1). The heavy rain axis will also extend farther east in north into Virginia and the Carolinas.

Fig. 1: Rainfall forecast through next week

The soil is saturated in this region from above average precipitation during the cool season. This, paired with a lack of foliage due to the cold season, will allow for quick runoff into area streams, creeks and rivers this upcoming week. Please remain alert of your surroundings. And, as always, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Tropical Update: Harvey and Hurricane Safety

Hurricane Harvey, now 115 miles southeast of Corpus Christi Texas, has seen the maximum sustained winds increase to 110 this morning, just shy of major hurricane status. The minimum central pressure has dropped 947 Millibars. Harvey is expected to become a major hurricane today with winds increasing further to 120 mph. As of this 11 AM EDT, the following watches and warnings are in effect.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to Sargent Texas. Hurricane conditions will be occurring in these areas within the next 12-24 hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from south of Port Mansfield to the Mouth of the Rio Grande River and from North of Sargent to High Island Texas

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for South of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan Mexico

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to High Island Texas. A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from south of Port Mansfield to the Mouth of the Rio Grande. A Storm Surge watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property and be on the look out for rising seas.

Forecast Information

Harvey

Hurricane Harvey continues to increase in strength this morning and is now approaching major hurricane status. Harvey is expected to be a category 3 storm when he moves ashore in Texas. Sustained winds are expected to be between 120 and 130 miles per hour with higher gusts. Harvey will be bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast. Preparations to protect life and property should be completed this morning, as tropical storm force winds will first arrive in the hurricane and storm surge warning areas later today.

Life-threatening storm surge flooding could reach heights of 6 to 12 feet above ground level at the coast between the north entrance of the Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent. Devastating and life-threatening flooding is expected across the middle and upper Texas coast from heavy rainfall of 15 to 25 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 35 inches, from today through next
Wednesday.

Harvey will hug the coast after he moves inland, which could help prevent the quick weakening associated with land falling hurricanes. While Harvey will still weaken, it may be a slower process and he could maintain Tropical Storm strength longer than usual. Harvey is forecast to impact this area for several days.

Hurricane Harvey Hazards

Storm Surge and Storm Tide

Storm Surge and large waves are the greatest threats to life and property along the coast. A storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. Many will remember the surge from Hurrican Ike is 2008. Storm Surge with Harvey is expected to be as high as 12 feet in some locations (was 20 feet in Ike). Please check your local media sources for the exact surge totals expected for your area. Surge related flooding will be dependent on the exact timing and the tide and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves will also be a factor at the coast. Based on the tide charts, Harvey should hit as tides are moving out and close to low tide, but onshore winds are possible during several tidal cycles.

Tornadoes

Hurricanes frequently produce tornadoes, usually in the embedded thunderstorms in the rain bands now beginning to hit the Texas coast line. They can also be associated with the eye wall. Tornadoes produced by these systems are usually weak and short lived, but they can be a threat to where they hit. A Tornado watch is expected to be posted for coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana later today.

Winds

It goes without saying that winds are a major issue with Hurricanes. Sustained winds with Harvey are expected to reach up to 120 mph with gusts reaching as high as 150 mph with some locally higher gusts. Harvey is forecast to be a major Hurricane at landfall.

Rainfall

Forecasts for Harvey have indicated significant rainfall is possible, with some models showing over 30 inches of rain. This will be a very long duration event and flooding and flash flooding will bea major issue for many areas.

Hurricane Safety

Evacuations

Many areas in Texas have had evacuation orders given, for those who are evacuating, you will need to determine a safe evacuation route inland. While evacuating, you’ll want to monitor the latest information to ensure that you will be evacuating to a location that is not also under a risk. Public services in these areas will already be strained and adding many evacuees will only cause more strain for everyone. Learning the location of official shelters will be helpful both in the event that you evacuate as well as for those who do not evacuate. Areas that are not under evacuation orders should also have shelters for the residents who end up in trouble due to hurricane hazards. Tornadoes, lightning, power outages, and property damage due to falling trees can force residents from their homes, even if a mass evacuation isn’t needed. The good news is that a quick check of traffic in this region doesn’t show any, so many heeded these orders in advance.

When evacuating, put together a go-bag. Include a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate. Snacks and stuff to drink will also be good for longer evacuations, especially with children. While you may stop for gas, many others are also evacuating with you so its possible that many supplies will be sold out along your route. If you haven’t already, fill up your gas tank in your local area, gas supplies may also be strained along your route. Cell phones should be charged before you leave. Have one member of your family turn their phone off while travelling together. This will ensure that if one phone does run out of battery, you will have another phone to turn on and use. All family members should have all numbers for your phones and know to call multiple numbers if they can’t get a hold of you.

You should also inform someone of your plans. If you fail to arrive at your destination due to a car accident, your contact can alert the authorities. Having them know the route you planned to take is essential in locating you.

Stay tuned to local news outlets as you travel. Conditions may change and areas you were heading to that were going to be safe may not be anymore. Harvey is brining a large area of rain to Texas and the location you were heading for may end up under a flood warning when it wasn’t before. Always ensure that the safety of your location is the top priority.

Staying at home

For those of you who are not leaving home, I would first implore you to heed local evacuations if you are under them. Evacuation orders are given for a reason. If you are under those orders it is absolutely not safe where you are. While I do realize that some properties remain even in massively damaged areas, you only put yourself and those who would need to rescue you in the event of an emergency in danger by taking that gamble. It is never just your survival on the line.

If you have not been ordered to evacuate, there are several things you should plan for. First, as I mentioned above, have a plan to be able to evacuate to a local shelter if your house if one of the unfortunate locations that falls victim to one of the more local hurricane hazards. Lighting occurs frequently within a hurricane and can strike even in areas where hurricane conditions are not occurring. You should also have a plan for any pets you may have. Not all shelters accept pets so ensure the one you may go to does.

What to bring to the shelter

You will need to make sure that you have everything you need at the shelter. While the shelter will have supplies, they don’t usually carry specific medications or your specific brand of baby food. Ensure that you have a first aid kit with all the medications taken by your family. If you are running low, see if your local pharmacy can give you more. Baby food and diapers will be needed. Your baby should be prepared for a multiple day stay at the shelter. Bring things to do as well. Books, games for children, headphones and a source of music (we all know some of you still have a Walkman) will all be desired. The shelter is not exactly a fun place to be. Bring your toiletries and blankets. The shelter will have some but we all prefer our own. Flashlights and batteries are good to have in case the power goes out at the shelter as well. Also ensure you bring identification, cash and credit cards as well as copies of your essential documentation like proof of insurance.

Protecting your home

Be aware that Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before a hurricane trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. When it comes to repairing your rain gutters, it’s as easy as checking out sites such as https://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk/, finding the right materials and replacing your damaged/old gutters. This will help protect your property, which is what you need to consider, especially after weather conditions like thunderstorms and heavy rain. This can also help keep them lighter and not fall under the weight of all the rain. Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors. Plywood over windows or close storm shutters if your house has them, this can protect them from wind and debris. If you are construction inclined, hurricane clips can be installed in your attic to help secure your roof to the house. You may also want to get in touch with a home improvement service similar to Mastershield Atl that may be able to provide support for homeowners who are looking for a way to protect their roof from water damage. While it is certainly too late to hire a contractor to do this for Harvey, other storms will come along and this can be done for future storms. You can also brace your garage door and doors that lead outside with planks to keep it from blowing in. You should also close all interior doors to compartmentalize the house. This way, if a window does break in one area, the remaining areas will have protection against the elements coming in. Purchasing a portable generator or installing a generator for use during power outages is also a good idea. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. You should never try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. If power does go out, use a flashlight. Candles are a fire hazard.

Keeping food and water safe

The most important thing when it comes to food is to buy nonperishable goods and to store water. You do not need to buy multiple gallons of water for activities like brushing your teeth. Simply refill an old milk or water bottle with tap water and use it. You can do the same thing for bath water, pre-filling your tub is also recommended. Tap water storage can be done with any container from large pots used for cooking to old bottles and even any large plastic container. Always remember to keep using the tap water until it goes out, you don’t want to needlessly use up your supply and not be able to replenish it. For any cold food you do have, turn your refrigerator and freezer to their maximum cold settings and open them as little as possible. This will help keep things cold. Try to use up any chilled foods first so that keeping things cold becomes unnecessary and have a supply of ice on hand to keep things cold longer. While you can buy ice at the store, you can also just use ice cubes. Simply dump your tray into a plastic bag and refill the trays. Dump new ice cubes as they form and keep refilling the trays. You will be able to continue this process for as long as you have power or tap water. This also creates an emergency water supply should you run out of water. Simply melt the ice. You can also use rain water if you have a safe way to get a bucket outside to collect some. You should always try to keep a lid on your water supply. This will keep dust and bugs out of it.

After the Storm

It will be tempting to go outside after the storm has passed or during the calm period in the eye. This should be avoided. The eye is only temporary and hurricane conditions can start very quickly. After the storm, there will be a lot of damage in the region. Floods could still be occurring and the water could be contaminated. You also can’t see what’s in the water. Animals and hazards in the water could be potentially dangerous to your health. The water could even be electrically charged from downed power lines.

We here at Firsthand will do our utmost to keep you up to date with the latest information. Our thoughts go out to those in the areas affected by Harvey. Stay safe everyone.

Robert Millette

Incident Meteorologist

Braintree Emergency Management Agency

Hermine maintains strength over Gulf Stream

Hermine is now a Post Tropical Cyclone,  and is now about 300 miles East of Ocean City, Maryland.  Hermine has slowed down dramatically from yesterday.  Hermine is beginning to make her Northward turn as she re-intensifies and approaches Hurricane Strength and is forecast to have sustained winds over Hurricane strength in the next 24 hours while out over the Gulf Stream.  Areas in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England should expect a long duration event with wind and rain coming in pulses over the next several days.  Heavy surf, dangerous rip currents, beach erosion, and Tropical Storm to Hurricane force wind gusts should be expected along with Coastal Flooding and Heavy Tropical Downpours.  Given the stress many trees are under due to the ongoing drought, they may be more vulnerable than they would typically be given these wind conditions.  Scattered Tree and power line damage is expected in both regions.

tropical storm wind

Hermine has changed little in structure since the last advisory, with most of the deep convection situated well northeast of the center and dry, subsiding air wrapping around the southern semicircle.  Earlier data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft showed that the central pressure had risen to 998 mb, and that 65-70 mph surface winds were present about 70 n mi northwest of the center.  Based on this, the initial intensity remains near 65 MPH.  Little change in strength is likely tonight, but the interaction with the upper-level trough is expected to provide more favorable conditions for strengthening while the system is over well above average sea surface temperatures of 28C or warmer starting Sunday, and the dynamical models all show some deepening during this period.  Based on this, the intensity forecast calls for Hermine to become a hurricane-force low and she could reform into a Sub Tropical Storm by Monday.  .

water temps

HERMINE WATCHES AND WARNINGS

The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued for the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, Chesapeake Bay and South of Duck, North Carolina.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina to west of Watch Hill Rhode Island, including Delaware Bay.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Watch Hill Rhode Island to Sagamore Beach Massachusetts including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket

Hermine

Storm Surge:

The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  Along the immediate coastline, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.  There is a danger of life-threatening inundation through tonight in the Hampton Roads area, and in the next 36 hours from Chincoteague, Virginia, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Port Condition Whiskey has been issued for Southern New England by the Captain of the Port, indicating Gale force wind expectations and the potential for Port Closures in the coming days.  Storm Surge heights are expected to be at..

North Carolina sounds…1 to 3 feet
Hampton Roads area…2 to 4 feet
Chincoteague, VA to Sandy Hook, NJ…3 to 5 feet
Sandy Hook, NJ to Bridgeport, CT…2 to 4 feet

 

 

storm surge 1

Hurricane Hunter aircraft are currently in Hermine and will be bringing the latest data, which we will have here, as soon as it’s available to us.

 

 

hurricane hunter

 

Robert Millette

Severe Weather 101: Floods

Flooding is the overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods can happen during heavy rains, when ocean waves come on shore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. They can occur quickly or over a long period and may last days, weeks, or longer. Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters. Flooding occurs in every U.S. state and territory, and is a threat experienced anywhere in the world that receives rain. If your home has been affected by floods it might be a good idea to consider consulting Water Damage Austin US (https://water-damage-austin.us/restoration-companies/) to start restoring your home.

flood 2

Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods, because they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed and unpredictability. Flash floods occur when excessive water fills normally dry creeks or river beds along with currently flowing creeks and rivers, causing rapid rises of water in a short amount of time. They can happen with little or no warning. These flash floods can cause significant damage to houses. If your home ever experiences flash flooding, it’s important to try and find a company that can remove this water from your home before it begins to cause structural damage. By searching the internet for emergency water damage restoration near me, homeowners will be able to find a restoration company that can help them to get their house back to normal. It’s so important to keep an eye on your home throughout these flash floods, the water can cause significant damage.

In 1993, many levees failed along the Mississippi River, resulting in devastating flash floods. The city of New Orleans experienced massive devastating flooding days after Hurricane Katrina came onshore in 2005 due to the failure of levees designed to protect the city. Dam failures can send a sudden destructive wall of water downstream. In 1889 a dam break upstream from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, released a 30-40 foot wall of water that killed 2200 people within minutes.

Here in the U.S., floods kill more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning. These tragic incidences happen too often and ironically, the people who are rescued from the vehicles reported the reason they drove into the water was to get to the safety of their home.

severe flooding

Where does the idea that a heavy vehicle will keep you safe come from? Many automobile commercials advertise the ability to drive through water. This may lead to the false sense of security at best and tragic consequences at worst.

Many believe that a 3000 lb vehicle will remain in contact with the ground and won’t float. But if you really think about that, a 97,000 ton aircraft carrier floats, why wouldn’t your car?

Vehicles can be swept away in as little as 2 feet of moving water. Trucks and SUV’s don’t fare much better with only an extra 6 to 12 inches of clearance. In moving water, all that needs to happen if for the vehicle to become buoyant enough for the force of the water to push it sideways. Once swept downstream, vehicles frequently flip over, leaving the driver only a few seconds to escape.

The solution is simple. Turn around, Don’t drown. Stay out of flooded roadways. Not only may the water be much deeper than it appears due to washed out roads, but as little as 6 inches of rapidly moving water is enough to sweep a person off their feet. You must be especially cautious at night, as flooded conditions can be hard to see.

The best thing to do is know when you’re at risk. Consider carefully when you camp or park alongside a river, especially during threatening conditions. Keep alert for the latest watches and warnings and pay attention to local weather conditions. Also plan a safe route. Find a hill near the river that you can go to should flash flood conditions occur.

Robert Millette

Heat, Severe Storms, Flooding, and Everything In Between

Cold front temperatures

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Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida:

A trough is going to continue digging into the Great Lakes region, and this trough will actually eventually extend as far south as the southern Appalachian regions. A low pressure system, now located in Canada, has a cold front associated with it that will eventually dig into northern parts of this zone. As we have become used to, this front will stall out somewhere along the northern Gulf coast states most likely by early weekend and will probably eventually lift back northward. This front may get a little farther south than that in places, since it’s not likely that the front will be perfectly oriented west to east across those states. The most noticeable relief will likely be across Tennessee and Kentucky late week into early weekend, where dew points could drop slightly, but even still, temperatures will likely still climb into the 80s/90s. Elsewhere, temperatures will be climbing into the 90s and even 100s in spots. You’re used to it at this point though.

Drought conditions have worsened for many of you, although Kentucky, northern Tennessee, a good part of North Carolina, and northwest Arkansas into the Ozarks, have gotten above average precipitation so far this month. Elsewhere, drought has continued to expand and worsen across a large part of this region. Luckily, Florida is 100% drought-free though.

Generally, there will be storm chances through Saturday, especially along and south of the front. This basically includes most everyone in this zone. I want to point out a few more specifics though, and then briefly touch on next week. I discussed the ridging that will be over the Southwest in the other section, Arkansas/Louisiana will be on the far eastern side of this ridge (although far enough east to not be influenced by it too much initially) and also on the southern edge of the trough swinging farther north. So this will open the door for disturbances to slide in from the west/northwest and could bring storminess across Arkansas and more scattered activity into Louisiana Thursday and Friday.

The trough will be far enough south for several disturbances to ride in and move across most of this zone from now going into Saturday. So storm/rain chances are pretty high across most areas between now and then, and some of this activity could persist into the overnight hours. With Bermuda high pressure just off and along the Southeast coast (a very typical summertime pattern in the Southeast), this will allow a moist south/southwest low-level flow to be prevalent in the coming days. Will this bring significant drought relief? Some will surely benefit more than others, but any chance is good given the drought situation. It’s going to take more than this to erase the drought though.

There’s one last thing I want to discuss and will have more updated info in Sunday’s newsletter. As I mentioned in some of the other sections, a heat wave is on the way, especially for the central third of the U.S. A very prominent high pressure ridge will build across the central U.S., but the eastern half of this zone will most likely be on the eastern periphery of the ridge. What this means is that the door will likely remain open for stormy activity to continue (some of which could be severe) for parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida and eastern parts of Alabama and Tennessee. Disturbances tend to ride on the outskirts of these ridges, and those locations may end up in that zone. So, I’ll have more details on that soon.

West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine:

I’ll actually be keeping the discussion for this region pretty brief compared to everyone else’s. The same front will be swinging through that I discussed in the section below along with the same trough. The biggest difference is that the front won’t move through most of these areas until Saturday and Sunday (for far eastern zones). Temperatures will be most pleasant on Saturday (the hottest regions will be the coast), and actually not too bad on Friday for those northwestern portions of this zone.

A brief warmup will be on the way Sunday and especially into Monday, but another trough will dig into the region with surface high pressure building in behind the trough. This will bring really nice temperatures by mid-next week for most in the area. So this is going to be the place to go to avoid most of the heat for now.

There are chances for storms late this week into early weekend, and then another decent chance coming up next week. Embedded disturbances within both troughs will be responsible for enhancing those chances.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio:

A cold front currently extends from the North Plains into the Upper Midwest. South of the front, it’s pretty humid, and an embedded disturbance will continue to move across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio tonight. A trough is going to continue to build into the region, and the cold front will continue to move across this region, which is associated with a low pressure system now in Canada. Temperatures will be cooling down behind the front with surface high pressure building over the area by the weekend. By Saturday, temperatures will generally be in the 70s and around 80/lower 80s for those in the southern portions of this zone. For most of this area, the humidity levels will come down on Saturday, although it will be very temporary (especially farther south and west in this region).

Wet conditions will be possible across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan early on, associated with a couple of disturbances that will move across the area late this week. Missouri will likely remain on the stormy side as a couple of pieces of energy will move across that area from the west on at least two separate occasions between now and this weekend. A pretty potent disturbance may move into the Northern Plains on Sunday and come west into western parts of this zone late weekend and into eastern parts of this zone by Monday. This has to chance to bring storms/rain to a large section of this region. As you know, it’s difficult to be too specific on that since this discussion covers a large region.

I want to go ahead and give everyone an early heads up on a heat wave that will begin building into parts of this zone (Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana) early to mid next week and could even expand farther east by late week. The humidity levels are going to be rough, to say the least, and those in the Corn Belt are going to really know it. I’m probably going to put out a separate article on this and will be discussing this further in this Sunday’s newsletter.

Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota:

Before I get into the forecast for this week and weekend, let me just go ahead and give you a heads up that a heat wave is going to expand across this entire region next week. High pressure ridging will build into the area, and it won’t be going anywhere fast, given the overall pattern. With this region being in the center of the high pressure, this will basically cut off most rain/storm chances next week, with the exception maybe being along the outer edges of the ridge. So get ready for upper 90s and 100s.

Now, let’s get back to this week and the weekend. Temperatures are pleasant across the Central and Northern Plains, as a cold front is/will be moving through the region, associated with a system that is now moving across Canada. Troughing is particularly prevalent across the Northern Plains, and while the trough will be moving into the Great Lakes region later in the week, temperatures will remain nice across the Central and Northern Plains through the early weekend.

It will be a different story across Texas where temperatures will still be getting into the 90s/100s during the day. The front will make it most likely all the way into central Oklahoma, but temperatures below the front will be hot. Storm chances will persist from the Northern Plains down to Oklahoma this week as several disturbances (some stronger than others) could allow for an increase in storm coverage with the northwest to southeast flow regime in place late week/this weekend. It’s not uncommon to have disturbances like that embedded within the overall wind flow.

Ridging will build into Texas enough to keep the area mostly dry although storms may manage to move into or develop in extreme northern portions of the state. Severe weather/flooding will be possible from Oklahoma/Kansas Thursday and maybe again towards the weekend, with damaging winds and hail being the main hazards. However, I can’t rule out a lower-end tornado threat, too. Another area to watch will be the Northern/Central Plains later in the weekend as a potent disturbance moves through, which could bring widespread storm activity.

Again, all of this will take place before the big heat wave on the way starting next week.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico:

Some of you in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming actually got snow earlier this week, which is incredible. To be honest, I’m actually not sure how often this occurs in July, but I’d say that it’s pretty rare even at higher elevations. The system responsible for the major cool-down and the snow has since moved on, but temperatures remain on the cool side in the Pacific Northwest with the opposite occurring across the Southwest.

Right now, the pattern is pretty flat across the northwest quadrant of the U.S. (generally west to east wind flow). Although temperatures in the region aren’t as cool as they were, temperatures won’t get a chance to moderate too much initially before another trough digs as far south as northern California and northern Utah this weekend. This trough will eventually try to retrograde west (moving just off the coast) as ridging starts to build in from the east. This means a warmup is on the way from east to west early next week; however, temperatures could stay cooler near the coastal regions from northern California to Washington, depending on where the axis of the trough sets up.

A broad high pressure ridge will continue to build and stay centered over the southwestern states through the weekend and even beyond that. This means temperatures will stay hot, and conditions will be dry. So, California, New Mexico, Arizona, much of Utah and Nevada will stay dry. The best chances of rain/storms will be across eastern Colorado (due to a disturbance moving through) and northern Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, and parts of Wyoming due to the disturbance that will be swinging across the region.

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Monday, May 2nd

Severe Weather is forecast in the Piedmont of the Carolina’s to the Mid-Atlantic as the system that brought a few tornadoes to Indiana yesterday moves east.  Meanwhile in Texas, showers and thunderstorms will continue to exacerbate the flooding problems across that region.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

A quasi-stationary front extending from the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians southwestward to the Lower Mississippi Valley will slowly sag south and eastward to the Southern Mid-Atlantic to the Southeast and parts of the Eastern Gulf Coast by Tuesday evening. Showers and thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of the boundary from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southern Plains that will extend from the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast to the Central Gulf Coast by Tuesday.  Rain will also develop over parts of the Great Lakes to the Northeast that will slowly move into Southeastern Canada by Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, upper-level energy over Southern California will move slowly eastward to the Southern Plains by Tuesday. The energy will produce rain with embedded thunderstorms that will have a diurnal component to the areal coverage over parts of Central California to the Central and Southern Rockies that will end over the Region by Tuesday morning.  Another area of upper-level energy will move southward from the Northern Plains to the Southern Plains by Tuesday evening.  The energy will trigger rain over parts of the Northern Plains on Monday morning that will move southward to the Central High Plains by Tuesday morning.

Furthermore, a front moving southward out of Central Canada on Tuesday morning will move to parts of the Upper Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley and Northern Plains by Tuesday evening.

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model

On Monday, one batch of rain moves out of the Northeast as another prepares to move in. Rain should stop for a time in New York and New England as the second batch comes through the Ohio Valley.  This system did produce a couple of Tornadoes on Sunday and brought several instances of severe weather across the Ohio Valley.  This risk will continue from Virginia down through the Gulf Coast along the cold front.

Showers and storms will continue to exacerbate the flooding issues down in Texas throughout the day though conditions will begin to dry out later in the forecast period.

High pressure will dominate the western half of the country but a couple of weak disturbances will be enough to generate some rain  and snow showers from the Pacific Coast into the 4 Corners region.

18 hour model

 

Monday afternoon, the rain shifts east and is now impacting the East coast from Florida to Maine within this broad circulation and along the cold front.  Areas near Dallas should begin to dry out as the front pulls east toward the coastline.  Rain and thunderstorms should be expected along the entire Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard at some point during the day.

High pressure will completely dominate the western half of the ountry Monday afternoon with only a few spot showers and a small batch of rain showers in the Dakotas associated with a weak low in Canada.

36 hour model

By early Tuesday, High pressure dominates the West with only the remnants of a cold front draped across the Country from Massachusetts to Coastal Louisiana. Low pressure in the Mid-Atlantic will continue to bring rain to nearly the entire East Coast.

Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

No critical fire weather expected

Severe Weather Analysis

Summary

A few severe storms are forecast today across the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont of the Carolinas into the Mid-Atlantic region.

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SLIGHT 70,267 19,724,039 Baltimore, MD…Charlotte, NC…Washington, DC…Greensboro, NC…Durham, NC…
MARGINAL 155,209 27,778,806 Philadelphia, PA…New Orleans, LA…Virginia Beach, VA…Atlanta, GA…Raleigh, NC…

Analysis

Weak to moderate boundary layer destabilization is expected by this afternoon near and east of the lee surface trough from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic. Moderate instability and strong southwesterly low and mid tropospheric winds are forecast to be sufficient for convective development.  These thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts and some hail.  Storm coverage east of the Appalachians is expected to become more widespread this afternoon with the approach of a upper level disturbance emerging from the west.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Sunday, May 1st

Today’s forecast brings rain to the East Coast and another risk of severe weather to the Gulf Coast.  Heavy rain will bring several Texas waterways back into moderate to major flood stage for a short time with the risk for flooding now spreading into Louisiana.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

 

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

A front extending from the Lower Great Lakes to the Western Gulf Coast will become quasi-stationary with the boundary inching to New England Coast southwestward to the Lower Mississippi Valley by Monday evening. The system will develop showers and thunderstorms from the Ohio Valley to the Lower Mississippi Valley that will move to the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast to the Lower Mississippi Valley and Western Gulf Coast by Monday evening.  Rain will develop over parts of the Central Plains eastward to the Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast as well as parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic.  The rain will come to an end over the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley by Monday morning and over the Great Lakes by Monday evening.  The rain will move into Northern New England by Sunday evening.

 

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model

On Sunday, thunderstorms will continue across the Appalachian region. Storms will not be as severe as they have been over the past several days but severe weather will continue to be a threat.  The low bringing this risk to the mountains is very broad, and continues to have rain and snow across Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado this morning.

Dual disturbances in the Southeast continue to bring showers and some storms to the 4 corners region.

While rain won’t be a big factor in the Northeast early this morning, it will be by this afternoon and most of the East Coast, from Northern Florida up through Pennsylvania and New Jersey will begin to see rain by this morning.

18 hour model

Sunday afternoon, the rain shifts east and is now impacting the East coast from Florida to Maine within this broad circulation.

Rain and snow will begin to let up during the afternoon over the Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

A low over Arizona will begin to bring rain and snow to the 4 Corners region as a weak and moisture starved low moves into California with nothin to show for it.

36 hour model

By early Monday, High pressure dominates the West with only the remnants of a cold front draped across the Country from Massachusetts to Texas. A weakening low pressure system will set the stage for what looks to be a very wet week along the East coast.

 

Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

No Critical Fire Weather areas

Severe Weather Analysis

Summary

Scattered Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible across Southern and Central Texas and the Central Gulf Coast Region as well as in the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachians.

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
MARGINAL 309,811 43,672,165 Houston, TX…San Antonio, TX…Indianapolis, IN…Columbus, OH…Austin, TX…

Analysis

With moderate destabilization forecast from the Ohio Valley to the Central Appalachians, strengthening mid to upper level wind fields will allow for marginally conducive conditions for severe storms.  Deep layer sheer will be strong and supportive of supercells, but lower level wind shear is forecast to me weak.  This will minimize tornadic potential in this area but severe hail and strong surface gusts are forecast in the strongest storms.  These storms are expected to be widely scattered this afternoon and evening.

Along the Gulf Coast, Upper level flow is forecast to be moderately strong between the divergent jet streams. Instability will be high ahead of the advancing frontal boundary which could lead to severe weather development.  While some storms are forecast near Upper Texas and Louisiana Coastal areas, most storms will develop near the higher terrain of the Rio Grande River late this afternoon and evening.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

 

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Saturday, April 30th

Additional severe weather is Forecast after several days of Tornado Watches and multiple tornadoes across multiple states.   Yesterday featured one Tornado that came pretty close to Matt in Norman Oklahoma but fortunately all is well and he continues on with school to get ready to come back to us in a couple of weeks after finals.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

A strong storm over the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley will slowly move eastward to the Ohio Valley by Sunday evening. Showers and thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of the associated front from parts of the Lower and Middle Mississippi Valley and the Western Gulf Coast. This convection will move to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and Central and Southern Appalachians while extending southwestward to the Lower Mississippi Valley by Sunday morning.  The showers and thunderstorms will expand into parts of the Southern Mid-Atlantic and Southeast by Sunday evening.

Rain and higher elevation snow will develop over parts of the Central Rockies and Central High Plains through Sunday morning.

Rain will develop over parts of the Central High Plains eastward to parts of the Western Ohio Valley on Saturday morning that will expand into parts of the Upper Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast and Northern Mid-Atlantic by Sunday morning. Rain will continue over parts of the Central High Plains and Central Plains through Sunday afternoon.

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model

On Saturday, strong to severe thunderstorms are forecast to move through Coastal Texas up into Arkansas. The cold front causing this convection will slowly slide east during the day.  This system is also bringing rain back across Kansas and Nebraska with heavy snow falling in Colorado, Southeastern Wyoming and portions of Western Nebraska.

Over the remainder of the Rockies and the Pacific coastline, showers and snow showers abound as a weak low pressure system makes it south towards Arizona.

Another weak low moves away from the East Coast and could bring some rain showers to the Mid-Atlantic states and Southern New England.

18 hour model

Saturday afternoon, the cold front will move quickly east and shift the axis of severe weather away from the Southern Plains and into the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. Heavy rains should be expected in Southern South Dakota and Nebraska.  Snow will continue into the afternoon over the Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

A low over Arizona will begin to bring rain to Southern Nevada and Northern and Central Arizona as shower activity dies out during the afternoon over the remainder of the Pacific Coast.

The Northeast looks dry after the rain moves out this morning.

36 hour model

By early Sunday, Rain will be making its way through the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic states on its way to the Northeast. Heavy rain should fall in the Appalachians and help dent the drought in the region.  Further west, Mountain snows will continue as weak low pressure systems continue to pivot through the Rockies.

Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

No Critical Fire Weather areas

Severe Weather Analysis

Summary

Strong to Severe thunderstorms are forecast today into this evening. Storms will develop across the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the Ozarks, and the Ohio Valley.

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SLIGHT 291,734 28,685,188 Houston, TX…Memphis, TN…Nashville, TN…New Orleans, LA…St. Louis, MO…
MARGINAL 214,264 32,249,913 Indianapolis, IN…Charlotte, NC…Atlanta, GA…Cincinnati, OH…Montgomery, AL…

Analysis

A closed upper level low is forecast to move slowly over the Central Plains and Middle to Lower Missouri Valley today. The cold front associated with this system moved east southeast across the Ozarks and ArkLaTex regions to the Upper Texas Coastal Plain bringing severe weather to the area.  We expect extensive early day convection along and ahead of this front near Coastal Texas this morning.

A relatively strong belt of deep layer southwesterly winds is forecast to overspread the area from the Ozarks to the Central Appalachians. The warm sector ahead of the cold front is seeing Dewpoints rise behind the warm front to the north.  Modest destabilization is expected due to day time heating even with the cloud cover from earlier convection.  Expect strong to severe thunderstorms to develop across Missouri and into Northeast Arkansas up into the Ohio Valley.  These storms will be in an area of strong veering wind profiles that could support supercell development.  These supercells would likely have severe hail and wind and possible develop a couple of tornadoes.

Further south, Severe Thunderstorm Watches were in effect overnight from Monroe Louisiana and near McAlester Oklahoma down to the Texas and Mexico border near Del Rio. Multiple squall lines moved through the area and continue on at this hour.  While activity is expected to weaken mid-morning, cold pool and outflow boundary focused reintensification is forecast, especially in the moist and unstable warm sector over parts of Louisiana Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.  A few tornadoes may be possible as these storms progress to the east through strong low level winds in the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee River Valleys.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

 

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Saturday, April 23rd

The forecast for river heights in Texas looks better than in days past as many rivers continue to fall out of major flood stage.  While some rain is expected in the area later this week water levels should have decreased by then.  The real story during this week is the chance for a major severe weather outbreak centering around Oklahoma and Kansas.  We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds and have all the details for you over the coming days.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

An upper-level low over the Great Basin is forecast to move eastward to the Northern Plains by Sunday evening. The system will produce rain with embedded thunderstorms over parts of the Northern Rockies/Northern High Plains that will expand into parts of the Central/Southern Rockies by Saturday evening.   Overnight Saturday, a region of rain and thunderstorms will develop over parts of the Northern Plains that will move into the Upper Great Lakes by Sunday morning.  By Sunday evening, showers and thunderstorms will develop over parts of the Central Plains/Middle Mississippi Valley.  Rain and highest elevation snow will develop over parts of the Great Basin/Central Rockies on Saturday morning into parts of the Northern Rockies by Saturday evening.  Rain and highest elevation snow will continue over the Northern/Central Rockies through Sunday evening.

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model

The middle of the country is taking some time to dry out this morning and will be able to do so for the weekend. While many of the rivers and streams have begun to drop back below flood stage, major flooding is still a concern for some locations as the flood waters move down stream.

Wet weather will begin the day along the East Coast with showers and a few embedded thunderstorms early this morning taking place along a frontal boundary. High pressure moves in from the North to push it all so temperatures won’t quite be as warm to begin the day.

On the West Coast, Southern California remains dry while the Pacific Northwest gets rain and snow showers and could pick up some decent snowfalls in the Northern Mountains of California.

18 hour model

By Saturday afternoon, rain along the East Coast is mostly off shore with some excpetions in Eastern New England, along the DelMarVa and the Outer Banks. High pressure moves in over the Great Lakes and takes control of most of the area.

A Low pressure system moving over the Northern Rockies will bring some Valley rains and mountain snows From Nevada and Utah north into Montana.

The rest of the country should remain relatively dry.

36 hour model

By early Sunday, the system in the Plains over South Dakota begins to strengthen and expand bringing rain and snow from Eastern Idaho to Michigan and as far South as Nebraska.  Some daytime heating showers will pop up over Southern Texas as the next Low pressure system bring rain and snow to the Pacific Northwest as it moves southeast from Canada.

Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
MARGINAL 127,641 593,807 Rapid City, SD…Garden City, KS…North Platte, NE…Pierre, SD…Lexington, NE…

Severe Weather Analysis

SUMMARY

Isolated Strong to Severe Thunderstorms are forecast across the Northern and Central Plains Saturday evening.

Analysis

Early morning water vapor imagery depicts a well-defined mid-level trough over Nevada. This trough will move over Western Wyoming before reaching the High Plains by daybreak Sunday morning. Low level moisture will begin to advance northward across the Plains as dewpoints rise into the 50s.    It is expected that strong heating along the boundary layer will allows surface parcels to reach their convective temperatures late this afternoon.  Isolated thunderstorms should develop along the lee trough and Dryline, aided by the approaching trough.  Gusty winds and marginally severe hail will be the greatest risk until well after nightfall.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

 

Daily Weather Forecast and Severe Weather Outlook for Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A quick look at the current and forecast weather events for the continental United States.

Here is a look at the current Surface Map.

Surface Map

and todays Forecast Map

Weather Forecast map

A powerful storm system is pulling out of the Northeast with snow and rain falling in Northern New England and Upstate New York. A shot of very cold air for this time of year will follow this storm with lows in the teens in Northern Maine and below freezing temperatures along the I-95 Corridor from Boston to Philadelphia. Most of the country is dominated by high pressure and generally warm with temperatures into the 60s and 70s throughout the plains as seen on this model analysis.

6 hour model

 

A weaker system in the Rockies will bring snow to the mountains in higher elevations and rain to the lower valleys. A marginal risk for severe weather exists in southeastern Wyoming and Western Nebraska with this system.

Warm air along the gulf coast could potentially lead to some spotty showers and thunderstorms across the gulf coast states with the greatest risk for severe weather being in Southern Florida along the cold front pushing south. Flash flooding will be an additional threat through the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Deep South through the beginning of April.

 

18 hour model

By Tuesday afternoon, only light snow remains from the Northeastern storm as it pulls into the Canadian Maritimes.  The cold front associated with this system will be across Southern Florida and will be triggering heavy rain showers and potentially severe thunderstorms. Snow will continue to fall in the higher elevations of the Rockies before the system there begins to move out into the plains.

 

36 hour model

By early Wednesday, the storm system moving into the plains will begin to deepen and drag a cold front across the plains. This will be the impetus of a severe weather threat later on Wednesday across Eastern portions of Texas, up through Nebraska into the Mississippi River Valley. This threat will continue to push East on Thursday with the greater threat across the Gulf Coast states from Louisiana to Alabama with a smaller risk up north towards Indiana and North Carolina.

 

Here is today’s Current Severe Weather Outlook,

Severe Outlook

 

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
MARGINAL 20,361 6,008,210 Miami, FL…Hialeah, FL…Fort Lauderdale, FL…Pembroke Pines, FL…Hollywood, FL…

 

THERE IS A MARGINAL RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE

Southern portions of Florida, Southeastern Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle

 

***Severe Weather Analysis***

 

A mid/upper level low over the Great Basin will move east while a surface low develops over the Central High Plains in response to 1 mid-level vorticity max rotating through the base of the Western United States trough. A Dryline will extend southward through the Southern High Plains and a Pacific cold front will push eastward through the Desert Southwest and into the Southern Rockies overnight Tuesday.  Further East, A mid-level ridge will build into the Mississippi Valley concurrent with a shortwave trough exiting the northeast into the Canadian Maritimes.

Water Vapor Imagery taken overnight Monday shows a mid-level disturbance over the Western Gulf of Mexico. This feature is forecast to rapidly move to the east and reach the Florida Peninsula by the afternoon.  Dewpoints in the lower 70s located to the South of a nearly stationary cold front and normal day time heating will contribute to moderate buoyancy and CAPE values between 1500 and 2000 Joules per kilogram.  Ample high level outflow and local sea-breeze circulations may support to development of thunderstorms with hail and strong winds being the primary risks.  This threat will diminish late in the evening.

The warm moist flow in the plains will interact with the developing surface low over Eastern Colorado and lead to high based showers and thunderstorms over the Cheyenne Ridge. Steep Lapse rates and adequate deep layer shear may result in the stronger storms being capable of marginal hail and severe gusts during the late afternoon and early evening.

 

 

***This week’s Flood Risk***

Flood Risk

 

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

Storm Reports

 

 

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather