83 F. average high on June 30.
82 F. high on June 30, 2013.
11.36" rain fell in June; wettest since 1874 (when 11.67" fell).
60s today, nearly 20F. cooler than average.
First World Problems
"Paul, will there be a T-storm for my 4th of July fireworks show? Will I be able to get a 'safe tan' (oxymoron) next weekend, is there still a no-wake zone on my favorite lake?"
Most people around the world would love to have such worries. Many of them will be too busy finding drinkable water or tracking down their next meal.
No sermons (I'm not licensed) but the 4th of July holiday reminds us what's really important over the long haul: time with friends & family. Weather should be an afterthought.
For the record a few T-storms may bubble up from late Friday into Monday, but no sustained all-weekend-washouts are brewing. Expect 70s on the 4th, 80s Saturday with an outside shot at 90F Sunday; the best chance of storms during the overnight hours.
The wettest June since 1874 gives way to a Canadian breeze into midweek. Showery rains and 60s today (more like October 1) give rise to a clearing trend tomorrow, followed by a spectacular, sun-drenched Thursday. Start your holiday early.
Our 4th of July weather headaches pale compared to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Odds favor the formation of "Arthur", which may strike as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday. Details below.
* Tropical depression off the east coast of Florida already producing 30-35 mph sustained winds.
* Conditions are ripe for strengthening to Tropical Storm force ("Arthur") within 24-48 hours; moderate flooding and storm surge rises are likely from Daytona Beach, Florida northward to Jacksonville, Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston, South Carolina.
* Storm will probably strengthen to Category 1 hurricane strength as it pushes across the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday, July 4.
* No tropical storm/hurricane watches have been issued (yet), but I expect NOAA NHC to place most of the Southeast USA coast under a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch within 24-36 hours. At the rate we're going I would expect evacuation orders to be given for barrier islands by midweek, including portions of the Outer Banks. Mitigating factors: with the holidays imminent coastal populations are much higher than average - it will take even much more time than normal to safely evacuate the most vulnerable barrier islands.
* "Arthur" still expected to veer out to sea, brushing Virginia Tidewater with heavy rain capable of flash flooding and a 2-3 foot storm surge. Some lowland flooding and minor beach erosion can't be ruled out farther north from coastal New Jersey and Long Island to Cape Cod, especially at astronomical high tide Friday and Saturday.
Resources for Emergency Managers:
NC Hurricane evac routes: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/travel/travel_evac_hurricaneroutes.pdf
Storm Surge models: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/GASCNCSurge.asp
Dare County evac route: http://www.darenc.com/emgymgmt/huri3_map.asp
Currituck County evac route: http://co.currituck.nc.us/pdf/Emergency-Management/map-evacuation-routes.pdf
Summary: Every tropical system is different, unique. It may be similar to an earlier system, but it's never identical. We examine a wide range of models, but also rely on historical context before creating these briefings. The forecast, sadly, is never black or white. The future is always some nebulous shade of gray. That said, the trend is for models to gradually ratchet up the intensity of this storm - a good chance it will reach Category 1 hurricane status by Thursday and Friday as it skirts the South Carolina coast and tracks over the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we expect storm surge flooding to be most extensive and widespread. Facilities from Charleston to Wilmington to Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Duck and Virginia Beach that have flooded during previous tropical storms and (minimal) hurricanes should experience flooding this time around as well, and all precautions should be taken soon, rather than later, to be prepared for this storm system. A few factors leave me extra-nervous: 1). This is the first storm of 2014 and there's a fair amount of complacency after a very quiet 2013 season, and 2). the fact that this potential hurricane is falling on the 4th of July holiday weekend, when local populations increase by 10-20X, making for more traffic, more potential evacuation problems getting people off the most vulnerable barrier islands. Leave (far) more time than usual to get staff to safety, in the event Arthur does in fact become a hurricane and impact the Carolinas.
The Confidence Level that this storm will become a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane has risen from a 2 Friday to 3 Saturday, now reaching a 6 on a scale from 1 to 10. Bottom line: the probability of wind, water and wave-related problems, especially for the Carolinas, continues to rise over time.
We'll continue to track this developing storm and have updates on Tuesday.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Friday, June 27, 2014 file photo: "Harriet Island was partial underwater near the Mississippi River." Kyndell Harkness - Star Tribune.
Photo credit above: "All of the Melville's fire trucks are out helping pump water and sandbag where necessary." (Bonnie Allen/CBC News).
Chicago Area Faces $20 Billion Tornado Threat: Study. Here's an excerpt of an article at CNBC that caught my eye, dispelling the myth that large tornadoes can't hit heavily populated metropolitan areas: "If a tornado like the one that ravaged Moore, Oklahoma in 2013 struck the Chicago area, potential damage could exceed $20 billion, reinsurer Swiss Re said on Monday..."Densely populated and developed Cook County, Illinois has the greatest potential exposure to a violent and long track tornado" compared to areas like Dallas and St. Louis, Swiss Re added, with more than 112,000 people living in the damage zone of a Moore-like tornado..."
Photo credit above: "A traffic policeman signaling to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang province." Reuters.
Photo credit above: "Hours after the June 28, 2014, test of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator over the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range, the saucer-shaped test vehicle is lifted aboard the Kahana recovery vessel." Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
TODAY: Mostly cloudy, cool and showery. Winds: W 10-20. High: 67
TUESDAY NIGHT: Evening showers, partial clearing late. Low: 53
WEDNESDAY: Better: becoming partly sunny, less wind. High: 72
THURSDAY: Best day in sight. Sunny and perfect. Wake-up: 55. High: 78
4th of JULY: Sunny start, late-day T-storm risk. Wake-up: 57. High: near 80
SATURDAY: Sticky sun, late night T-storms? Wake-up: 64. High: 83
SUNDAY: Hot sun, very humid with spotty T-storms. Dew point: 72. Wake-up: 69. High: 88
MONDAY: More numerous T-storms, muggy and unsettled. Wake-up: 72. High: 84
Photo credit above: "Yemenis walk through a drought-affected dam on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen. Sana a city is running out of water and many relief agencies feel that it could become the first capital city in the world to run out of a viable water supply." Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA.
Image credit above: NASA. "The Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) is producing a comprehensive record of Earth’s weather and climate from 1979, the beginning of the operational Earth observing satellite era, up to the present."