Let's talk Dew Point. We are entering the time of the year where this number means a lot. It is a measure of moisture in the air. The higher the number, the more humid it becomes and more uncomfortable it is on our skin. When the Dew Point and Air Temperature match up, that means there is 100% humidity, and that is when water condensates leading to Fog.
This is disgusting! It feels like a sauna when you walk outside... you're sticky and immediately want to take a shower, right?
Finally I want to show you a graphic that highlights the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. If you experience any of these, take immediate action. It's going to be a long, hot week. Stay safe!
Cover Photo: Ray Skwire
Today we will likely see another round of storms that could bring damaging winds, frequent lightning, small hail, flash flooding and maybe an isolated tornado. I know - it's old news at this point. Here's the Storm Prediction Center's Outlook for our region:
While the worst of the severe weather will be down to our south over portions of North Carolina, we can't rule out a few fast-paced strong storms riding through late afternoon and early evening and THAT is the reason we are in the "slight risk" zone.
The current tornado threat is 0% but I believe there could be a storm or two that could have some rotation within. We will see. Definitely don't want to let your guard down because rotating storms has been a common theme this severe weather season.
High pressure builds in for tomorrow and the weekend and we will finally get a much needed break from the overbearing weather pattern we've been stuck in!
Cover Photo: Vinny Vonnoni
The first frame shows the reflectivity... this is the radar image you're all familiar with. Very intense rain and lightning indicated there. You can almost make out what looks to be a "hook" to the northwest. To give you a better idea of what's going on inside the storm, it's important to look at the velocity tool within the radar. This tells us where the winds are going.
There's a bullseye on the Philly Metro area as well as South Jersey today. As noted above in the "basic facts" I believe the best chance for the most turbulent weather will be through portions of Salem, Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties today. Everyone has a CHANCE of seeing a strong storm so I'm not going to answer questions for individual towns. Less of a chance at the coast, better chance on the mainland. Just because one town doesn't see anything doesn't mean the next one over couldn't get clobbered. It's the nature of thunderstorms and severe weather. What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.
A 5% chance of storms with large hail...
And a 5% of tornadic thunderstorms...
Here are a couple of the parameters we look at when trying to forecast turbulent weather.
2. CAPE. This shows us how much convective energy is potentially available. The higher the number, the better the chances. Look at all the red. Now, with morning clouds there could be a limit here so that may be overdone but WATCH OUT if the skies clear early afternoon. That will only exacerbate the situation.
3. And of course, future radar. This shows where storms are most likely to be at a given time.
Reach out anytime. I do my best to get you the answers you need. If there's anything I left out, let me know. I hope you learn a little something from these blogs. I have fun putting them together!
Photo Credit: Karen Perna - Brigantine June 16th
The two biggest concerns I have today are straight line wind damage and flash flooding. Why? Well here's the SPC's outlook for wind:
Personally I think the chance is a little higher (25-30%). Look for cells to create conditions possible for gusts to over 55mph late in the afternoon.
Models did a very good job yesterday at outlining what radar COULD look like, so can we do it two days in a row? Here's our in-house model showing some strong storms around these parts after 6pm.
As with every event, I feel the need to explain that not everyone will see a storm. We use models to get an IDEA of where they could set up but just because one town gets one, doesn't even mean the town right next to it will. That's the nature of thunderstorms.
Stay safe and be "weather aware"! I will break-in through the afternoon should a situation arise that I deem dangerous.
It feels like we keep living the same thing over and over and over again... kinda like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, right? The fact is, we are stuck in a pattern conducive for severe weather. It's not very typical, but it DOES happen. It's not completely unheard of. We had some bad years in the 70s and 80s so there IS historical precedence. It's just been awhile since we've had so many events in a short period of time. A lot of it has to do with frontal boundaries and the positioning of high pressure to our southeast creating a "ring of fire" type pattern.
The next category we will look at is potential for damaging winds... I believe THIS is the biggest concern so I'll focus on this first. The SPC has us in the 15% risk. I think it's probably a little higher... 20-25% in my opinion.
The tornado threat is certainly there. Yes - the map says 2% but as I've explained countless times in the past, 2% is NOT 0%.
As an area of low pressure approaches the region there will be added vorticity meaning the likelihood of storms taking on some spin increases slightly. For this reason, I would NOT be too shocked is the NWS issued a tornado watch later, if not for us, then down to our Southwest. This is a look at our in-house weather model showing where rotation is possible. The brighter the color, the better the chance...
As mentioned above, the timeframe we are looking at is after 4pm. Most of the day will be dry. It concerns me that we've got the sun out there right now, winds out of the south on the surface but out of the west aloft, this means there is decent wind shear.
Now, take into account this is just a MODEL and the actual results could vary. It's just super important to pay attention. Not everyone will see storms. That's the disclaimer I always put out there. Just because you're not seeing something doesn't mean someone else isn't. The closer you get to the coast the less of a risk you're in.
We've covered a lot material over the course of the past week concerning hurricane season. We talked about how the storms form, where they form, why they form, structure and forecasting that goes into them. There are only a few more things to cover before I wrap this series up. Today's topic is understanding WHO TO TRUST. This is a BIGGY!!!
As always - stay "weather aware"... feel free to ask questions as they come up. That's what I'm here for!
Hey guys! Welcome to part 4 of my 7 part series where we focus on all things Hurricane season. We've covered development stages, formation zones, forecasting and now we will go into structure and how South Jersey gets impacted by these monsters.
Did you know the worst part of the storm is NOT the wind? In fact, most casualties are a result of the STORM SURGE...the severe flooding that occurs.
There are 3 ways we will flood in South Jersey:
Scenario # 2: South to North INLAND motion
Scenario # 3: West to East Motion
Here's a look at some historic high tides with storms:
I hope you find this info helpful - as always PLEASE ask questions if you don't understand something or want further clarification!
Thanks so much for following along as I embark on a week-long hurricane awareness blog series. On Tuesday we discussed how and why storms form, yesterday we talking about where they form and today I'm going to cover how we forecast these things AFTER they form. There is A LOT of info to get out there when it comes to hurricanes and tropical weather so I thought it would be easiest to break it down in parts so you're not overwhelmed with info. Please feel free to ask questions! That is what I'm here for - to teach. The more YOU know, the easier MY job becomes.
Look at how things have changed in the past 30 years. In 1989 we could only tell you the approximate point of impact within roughly 200 miles 48 hours out. Today we can hone in on about a 50 mile area. Within 12-24 hours out we can tell you almost exactly where the landfall is going to occur.
Why is this all possible? Technology is getting better. We have new satellites orbiting the Earth that are dedicated to getting high resolution images of our atmosphere which help forecasters determine what's going on in real time. All this info is getting fed into our computer models (and there are a lot of them) to come up with better forecasts. The better info that goes INTO models, the better info comes OUT.
Here's a look at the GOES 16 Satellite. The hurricane featured here is Harvey - it went into Texas back in 2017. Look at the attention to detail. This is MUCH different than how things were even 10 years ago.
Once a disturbance starts coming together and if it looks like it will enter an environment that will be favorable for development - we keep a very close eye on it. The National Hurricane Center will start tracking storms early on to give the public an idea of where they may go. They will eventually issue a "cone of uncertainty". This takes all forecasts into account and gives a range of where the center of the storm could track. The cone widens as the days go on because just like with the 7 day forecast we issue daily, the level of confidence goes down beyond 72 hours.
That cone can be updated as many as 4 times a day, so it's important to pay very close attention to it should a hurricane or tropical storm be threatening our area.
Forecasting a storm in its infancy stages is stressful because solutions amongst the models can vary so greatly. This image goes back to October 2012. The storm i'm referencing is Sandy. Look at how tightly packed together the lines are initially. This means there was good model consensus showing that outcome. Each line represents a different model. Look at where they converge. Several were out to sea, but many picked up on the "lefthand turn" Sandy ultimately took into our region. It's important to understand that when these are posted on social media, they are NOT official forecasts. The meteorologist posting is showing you the progression of how the forecast is developing. These are tools we use to predict what's going to happen in the future.
I hope this blog did it's job to give you a better insight as to what goes on behind the scenes and what we look at. Stay tuned for more this week!
Welcome to part 2 in my week-long series talking about all things Hurricane season. Yesterday we covered how tropical systems develop. Today we will talk about WHERE they develop.
When you go back 100 years or so, you'll find that most tropical development in June is located in the shaded blue area. This includes all of the Gulf of Mexico and the northwest section of the Caribbean Sea.
While there are two main tracks storms this early in the season usually take, the most common is track "B" up through Florida and out over the southeast coast. Why? There is usually high pressure situated off shore. You follow the flow of air around those high pressure systems and you'll find it goes clockwise. That flow guides these storms.
In tomorrow's blog we will take an in-depth look at how exactly we forecast these tropical beasts. As always - feel free to ask questions!
Over the course of the next week, I will be presenting a series of blogs that deal with every aspect of Hurricane season. Instead of bombarding you with information, I've decided to break it down into easy to read, manageable & shorter blogs that won't have you scratching your head. We will talk about everything from what you should have in an emergency kit to how we forecast storms to explaining how every storm has a different impact on our region.
Typically it takes several days to over a week for a storm to mature. Occasionally, as we saw with Hurricane Micheal last year the process of going from a disturbance to a major hurricane can happen within just a couple days! It all has to do with the temperature of the ocean the storm is traveling over and how stable the air is above where the storm is forming.