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October 2010

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Oct 24-31)

A period of warmer weather is in store for the Mid-Atlantic as we head into this week, but thunderstorms and severe weather could impact the region this week as the atmosphere tries to prime The Big One for the region. A subtropical ridge of high pressure over the Southeast will force several systems to lift north before reaching the Mid-Atlantic this week, but it may only be a matter of time before one storm can punch through and unleash its fury.

As low and high pressure systems move quickly across the country, the weather will fluctuate throughout this week and into next week. We will experience a period of above normal temperatures through mid-week, with northwesterly winds behind a cold front bringing a shot of cooler air into the region on Friday before temperatures begin to warm back up to slightly above normal over the weekend.

Depending on the timing of a cold frontal passage Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms will be possible in the Mid-Atlantic, with an isolated severe thunderstorms possible. Pre-frontal cloud cover could be an issue, with less daytime heating and more stable mid-levels hindering severe potential. The second half of the week will feature sunny skies as an area of high pressure moves in from the west. A shallow disturbance could increase cloud cover and bring some showers to the northern parts of the region late this weekend. I have a sneaking suspicion that the storm coming early next week could pack a surprising punch, given the favorable wind shear and decent mid-levels. Dry air at the surface will be the big What If as this storm evolves over the Mid-Atlantic.

Back in the saddle

After a trip for my brother’s wedding, I’m back in Maryland and ready to continue updates! I would not recommend driving on I-95 between Boston and DC… ever.

Weather Jokes

I thought these up while trying to think of weather-related things to include in my Best Man speech. I’m cool like that.

What do you call a fat person who goes after a tornado? A chubby chaser.

What do tornadoes and Michael Bay have in common? They both like destroying transformers.

Tornado rips through a man’s house. The pen in his pocket exploded and got ink all over his shirt. Later someone comes up to the man, looks at him and asks “how did that happen?” Man says “the cap broke.”

A tornado was found guilty by insanity after it was proven that he was twisted. He was put into isolation because he liked to stir things up, was unpredictable and had a destructive personality. The medics were finally able to subdue the tornado they put him in a stable atmosphere.

Yeah I’m going to bed. I’ll get the rest of the WTWF done when I get up.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Oct 18-24

Highlights:

A progressive pattern – Several storm systems will move across the country this week. Could these systems be priming the atmosphere for an epic late-season storm?

Heat returns to the South – A subtropical high will draw warm Gulf air into the South and East late this weekend and into next week.

Severe threat in the Plains – A developing low pressure system could bring severe weather to the Central and Southern Plains Thursday and Friday.

Lake effect snow returning? – There is a chance for lake effect rain and snow across the Great Lakes region later this week.

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Discussion:

The weather pattern will be shifting wildly over the next two weeks as progressive storm systems move across the country. With wild fluctuations, wild storms are more likely, and we will start to see the beginning of that soon as a cut-off low over the Southwest moves into the Plains and brings severe weather to the region Thursday and Friday. This system will tap Gulf moisture and heat, which will work into the South this week and spread into the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest this weekend through the first half of next week.

A series of potent systems will start coming from the Pacific Northwest this weekend, providing much of the northern and eastern parts of the country with above normal rainfall next week. These systems will be something to closely monitor for their Mid-Atlantic chase potential as the time gets closer. The synoptic setup next week actually looks very similar to early spring, in which the Southeast can see it’s biggest severe weather outbreaks. However, a lack of upper-air instability will keep severe storms on the down-low as we finish up with the month of October.

The Great Lakes region to see their first real shot at lake effect rain and snow during the second half of the work week, but any snow accumulation will be light and during the night before melting during the daytime hours. A sign of things to come? This forecaster says yes! It’s just about that time for lake effect to really start cranking away, and the Great Lakes just needs one good arctic blast to send the snow flying.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Oct 17-24)

This is an idea I thought of earlier this week, which is an attempt to get more regional stuff into the site. I will also be posting it at the Forty South Weather Forum, which is a regional forum for people who live on the East Coast near/below the 40N latitude line (down to the Carolinas). The discussions will cover the following general area:

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A mixed bag of fall weather is in store for the region this week as an upper-level trough resides over the region through the work week. A dry “cold” front will move through most of the region this evening and overnight before stalling out near the NC/VA border. Despite the frontal passage, temperatures are not expected to drop off Sunday night going into Monday. A weak area of low pressure along the stationary front will begin to form on Monday, which will induce mostly cloudy skies and light rain in different parts of the region Monday night through Wednesday.

A low pressure system will work across Canada around mid-week, and the southern edge of the cold front could bring mostly cloudy skies and light rain to the northern half of the region on Thursday. An area of high pressure will start to move into the area following the frontal passage on Friday, which will provide the region with mostly sunny skies Friday and Saturday. Most of the region should remain dry on Sunday, but some light showers are not out of the question over the northern parts of the region as another weak disturbance passes to the north.

All-in-all, the region should see normal temperatures through the work week, with some variability as the various fronts and systems move over the region. Weak above normal temperatures are expected to work into the region over the weekend as southerly flow returns on the back side of the area of high pressure.

I hope you like fall weather, because we’re in for a big spoonful of it this week.

11 October 2010 chase pictures (3)

Jason’s set… he has been having laptop issues since the chase, so he hasn’t been able to fix his watermarks or upload the images himself, so here’s the best of his finished shots:

Damage pictures were captured in Exeter, PA (Exeter Township… town name via SPC report). The road the damage was on/near was Apple Tree Rd., which Google Maps puts in the town of Pittston, PA.

Mid-Atlantic Discussion – October 14

Going to bed soon, so the discussion will be brief. Upper-levels look excellent for storm potential if we can get the cells to fire. High shear/low CAPE day as early afternoon convection tries to fire up over SE VA and DELMARVA. Just got off the phone with Jason… looks like if we go we’ll be heading to the southern half of DELMARVA for the fun.

The SPC is rather bullish for the event, but the text does include the necessary “let’s not get to hasty” wordage:

…MID ATLANTIC COAST STATES INTO SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND… CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL DURING THIS PERIOD WILL BE LARGELY DEPENDENT ON THE LOCATION OF THE INITIATION OF STRONGER SURFACE WAVE DEVELOPMENT…AND THE TRACK OF THE DEEPENING SURFACE CYCLONE. SPREAD AMONG THE MODELS/MODEL ENSEMBLES HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLE… BUT THE 13/12Z NAM IS NOW SIMILAR TO THE 13/00Z ECMWF… SUGGESTING RAPID PRESSURE FALLS MAY COMMENCE ACROSS PARTS OF EASTERN VIRGINIA…NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH NORTHERN MID ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. IF THIS OCCURS… POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR NORTHWARD MOISTURE RETURN AND BOUNDARY LAYER DESTABILIZATION THROUGH THE WARM SECTOR OF THE DEVELOPING SURFACE LOW…COINCIDENT WITH STRENGTHENING LOW-LEVEL AND DEEP LAYER VERTICAL SHEAR. INSTABILITY MAY BE WEAK…BUT NAM FORECAST SOUNDINGS AND HODOGRAPHS ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE RISK FOR SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORNADOES…PARTICULARLY ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHEASTERN/EASTERN VIRGINIA THROUGH THE DELMARVA PENINSULA AREA…BEFORE THE LOW MIGRATES OFFSHORE AND BEGINS TO OCCLUDE THURSDAY NIGHT.