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A warm front will be located to our north this afternoon and this will lead to a warmer and much more humid air mass compared to yesterday. Temperatures this afternoon will be around 85 Degrees with dew point temperatures between the mid 60s and low 70s expected. A surface trough of low pressure will make its way eastward from central and eastern New York State reaching our area late this afternoon and this evening. The forcing and energy from the trough will combine with the warm and very humid air to set off some scattered thunderstorms that should move first into far western Mass and northern parts of Mass (near and north of Route 2) around the 5 to 7 pm time frame. From there, these scattered thunderstorms are expected to gradually move southeastward and potentially reach areas around the Western Mass part of the Mass Pike around the 8-9 pm time frame with scattered storms remaining near the Central Mass part of Route 2 during the 8-9 pm time frame. Beyond this, scattered thunderstorms are forecast to reach the Central Mass part of the Mass Pike during the 9-11 pm time frame and then move out of our area by about midnight or so. As for the threat for strong to severe thunderstorms very late this afternoon and this evening – I think that a few strong thunderstorms and a couple of severe thunderstorms are possible with any of these storms capable of producing 45 to 65 mph wind gusts, frequent lightning and torrential downpours that could lead to localized urban, street and poor drainage flooding. The area that looks to be most at risk from any strong to severe thunderstorms will be across Western Mass and near and north of Route 2 in Central Mass. It’s possible that areas closer to the Mass Pike in Central Mass may be on the weakening side of any scattered thunderstorms this evening due to loss of heating of the day. Either way, I’ll be monitoring any thunderstorms that do develop late this afternoon and this evening and will have updates should they become strong to severe.

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For This Afternoon: Sunshine will be filtered through high clouds this afternoon. Additionally, some scattered cumulus clouds will dot the sky at times. Temperatures will be near 85 Degrees with comfortable humidity levels (Dew point temperatures in the 50s). Winds will be West at 5 to 10 mph. Tonight: A southwesterly wind flow will set up across the region leading to increasing amounts of humidity to push into the region. Skies tonight will be partly cloudy with low temperatures near 65 Degrees. Winds will be southwest at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: A warm front will lift northward across the region during the day on Thursday bringing increasing heat and humidity. A mixture of sunshine and clouds is expected throughout the day. A piece of energy associated with an upper level trough of low pressure will cross the region during the late afternoon and evening hours. This will lead to a round of scattered showers and thunderstorms to cross the region between about 6 pm and 11 pm. As for the strong to severe thunderstorm threat, I think the risk for strong and certainly severe thunderstorms is low to very low. Even though the atmosphere looks like it’ll be warm, humid and unstable, there are a few clues that the atmosphere may not produce severe thunderstorms. The first is that there may be a layer of warmer air found at about 5000 feet above the ground, which could create a cap and limit the thunderstorm development. The second is that it appears that there may be a layer of dry air found around 18,000 feet above the ground, which could cause any thunderstorms to collapse due to lack of mid-level moisture. That said, I’m ALWAYS monitoring the weather around Western and Central Mass and will certainly let you know if things change. At this point though, any thunderstorms that do develop Thursday evening should remain below severe levels and be more “garden variety” storms. It will be warm and humid on Thursday with high temperatures near 85 Degrees and dew point temperatures between 70 and 75 Degrees. Winds will be South at 10 to 20 mph. Friday: Another warm and humid day is expected on Friday under partly sunny skies. A frontal system is expected to push through the region by late in the day bringing with it some scattered late afternoon and evening showers and isolated thunderstorms. A glance at the weather guidance upper air soundings reveals that the atmosphere may be pretty hostile towards producing strong or severe thunderstorms (even more so than Thursday). This means that I think any thunderstorms will be far and few between and the severe weather risk looks extremely low. High temperatures will be near 85 Degrees with humid conditions (dew point temperatures in the mid 60s). Winds will be Southwest at 5 to 10 mph. This Weekend: Low humidity, warm temperatures and lots of sunshine are expected on both Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday will be near 85 Degrees. Hot To Very Hot Weather Returns Next Week: Increasing heat and humidity is expected throughout next week with potentially Thursday and Friday being the hottest days of next week. Monday looks partly sunny with high temperatures between 85 and 90 Degrees. Tuesday is expected to be partly sunny with perhaps some scattered showers and thunderstorms during the evening. High temperatures will be between 85 and 90 Degrees. Wednesday looks partly sunny with high temperatures near 90 Degrees. Thursday also looks partly sunny with high temperatures between 90 and 95 Degrees. Friday is expected to be partly sunny with high temperatures near 95 Degrees. Again, all of next week looks quite humid, which means that heat index numbers will likely be quite high leading to the threat for heat related illnesses for those susceptible to the heat or unprepared for the heat. Weather Outlook For August: The month of August potentially looks hot and humid, especially during the first half of month. On average, August is the most humid month of the year across the region and this year will be no exception. Temperatures, on the whole, during August look to be about 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average. As for rainfall, current indications are that very dry weather may continue through the first half of August with perhaps a wetter pattern setting up during the second half of August. All-in-all, it appears that August may average out near normal in terms of rainfall totals, mostly due to a possible wetter second half of the month. Finally, I continue to be very concerned about a tropical storm or hurricane either being a direct impact or a close enough brush to bring impacts to Western and Central during August into September. The time frame I’m most concerned about this occurring is from about August 15 to about September 20. The weather pattern as we get into August and September appears to potentially feature a big sub-tropical high pressure ridge off of the East Coast of the United States and an upper level trough of low pressure centered near the Great Lakes region. If this comes to fruition, it’s extremely concerning as any tropical systems could be steered right up the East Coast of the United States towards Southern New England. Analog years such as 1938, 1955, 1985, 1996 and 2011 continue to show up frequently in the data. This means that our current overall weather pattern is similar to what the weather pattern was like during those past years. It should be noted that these particular years have consistently popped up in the data way back since March and April. This piece of data is quite concerning because all of those previous analog years had either a very close brush or a direct impact from a tropical storm or hurricane here in Southern New England (1938 Hurricane; Connie & Diane in 1955; Gloria in 1985; Edouard in 1996; Irene in 2011). Needless to say, I’ll be keeping a very close eye on any tropical system and will warn you WELL AHEAD of time of any possible threats.

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This will be the final weather update for today. I want to begin this by saying that forecasting the weather can be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT and it can both humble you to your core and frustrate you to no end. Today’s lack of thunderstorm development in the face of what looked like very potent environmental conditions confounds and humbles me. So, why do I think this occurred? While we had plenty of heat and humidity as well as forcing from the front and plenty of shear to sustain storms, I think that two factors may have inhibited the thunderstorm growth. First is that it appears that there may have been a slight inversion, which is a layer of warmer air just above us at about 5,000 Feet. This may have created a cap in the atmosphere, which led to thunderstorms not being able to grow much past that cap and just dying off. The second reason may have been a layer of dry air located at about 10,000 to 15,000 feet above the surface, which could have dried the atmosphere out enough to prohibit robust thunderstorm development. Really, none of this was detected in the various weather guidance and the only way that we could’ve detected this would’ve been with a weather balloon launch this afternoon. Unfortunately, for real-time upper air data, we have to rely on early morning weather balloon data, which many times can mask what may occur later in the day. Even though as meteorologists, we have a lot of data that we can look at and that’s available to make a forecast, there’s still A LOT that isn’t available and that lack of data can sometimes make your forecast go sideways, like today. So, I do apologize for not even coming close to getting today’s forecast correct. I beat myself up pretty bad when I don’t get a forecast right and I try to figure out where I went wrong. The explanation I just gave you is what I figured probably occurred in the atmosphere today. Fortunately, we still have some much drier air that’ll work into the area Tonight under clearing skies after midnight. Low temperatures will be near 60 Degrees. A much less humid day with dew point temperatures in the 50s under lots of sunshine is expected on Tuesday. High temperatures will be between 80 and 85 Degrees. Wednesday also looks sunny with low humidity and high temperatures near 85 Degrees. Thursday looks partly sunny with a little more humidity and there may be some scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm during the afternoon. High temperatures will be near 85 Degrees. Friday also looks partly sunny and there should be some scattered showers around. High temperatures will be between 80 and 85 Degrees. This Coming Weekend looks nice with lots of sunshine on both Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures both days will be near 85 Degrees. It’ll be a little humid this weekend, but nothing compared to what we just had.

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