We've officially entered the time of the year when we are concerned about humidity. It can have a profound impacts on how we feel on a given day. If you're a true diehard fan of Summer, chances are you LIKE high heat and high humidity. If you're like me, however, you like it as comfortable as possible.
When trying to figure out how humid it is going to be, look at the direction the wind is coming from. If it's from the west, northwest, north or northeast, chances are a drier airmass will be in control and dew points will be in a comfortable place. If there's ANY southerly component in the direction of the wind, the opposite is true. In the Summer we often get broad areas of high pressure near Bermuda. Winds shift out of the southwest and really pump in the moisture from the gulf.
Don't lie to me. You're currently jamming out to Johnny Cash right now, aren't you? A lot of people have asked me why these storms are happening all of a sudden. Is it the new norm? No - probably not - it's just a result of the pattern we've been stuck in this week. At the very core of it all, it's pretty basic. We've got cool/dry air to the north fighting with warm/moist air to the south. The pattern is called "Ring of Fire".
Here's the look at the 500mb (roughly 18,000 foot level of the atmosphere) layer. The orange area is high pressure, the blue is low.
To get a better understanding of what each airmass looks and feels like, let's take a gander at the national dew points. Dew point is a value we look at and use to describe the level of moisture in the air around us. As a point of reference 60 and below is GREAT...65 is sticky...70+ is BAD.
We're back at it today with the threat of storms. Sigh. The window we're watching is 3pm to about 7pm. The Storm Prediction Center has outlined our region in a "slight risk for severe weather". That just means you should be weather aware. Not looking at storms as intense as yesterday and like the past couple days, not everyone will see them.
Here's what radar COULD look like this afternoon...
Damaging winds, lots of lightning, heavy rain and even a brief spin-up is possible. The values for tornadic thunderstorms aren't as high as they've been. That's good news. Stay tuned!
Yikes. It's almost as if I could copy and paste the blog I wrote on Monday night and it would suffice for what's going our way today. We had some scary storms roll through the region yesterday - even a TORNADO WARNING for portions of Cumberland county. Talk about rare. Here's a photo of the waterspout that was taken aboard the Bonanza II last night. Photo credit: Mike Rothman
Could we do it all over again today? Unfortunately the answer to that question is yes. The storm system that will be moving through mid to late afternoon is the same one that impacted the plains states yesterday. It's potent. The atmosphere will yet again be super charged because we've got sun out there. Remember: in these situations, the sun is NOT our friend. It contributes to the high level of instability needed for strong storms to develop.
Yup... that's red over us again. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we found ourselves under a tornado watch AGAIN for the second day in a row. Severe T-storm watch at the very least. After all, here are the ingredients we've got in place: