Good morning! When I was on the air this morning, there were a few showers passing through around 6AM. But after that, we cleared to partly cloudy skies and we ended up with a decent morning. That being said, a front still has to clear the area this afternoon, so the chance of a shower or thunderstorms will still be with us. Overall, there will be more dry time than shower time. Sun will mix with clouds off and on today….we should get a pretty good sunset as dry winds from the west should help clear out our skies. I will leave you with a breakdown of the shower threat. Have a good Sunday! -Pete Mangione
Heavy rain moved in this morning creating problems on many of our roads. The heaviest of the rain ran along and to the west of I-95. There were many reports of street flooding, especially in Cranston, Coventry, and Providence. Here are a few pictures sent via our ReportIt feature.
Coventry Flooding: Courtesy Shannon Moore
Our rainfall amounts ranged from about 1 to 4.5 inches. Here are some totals as of Wednesday afternoon:
I put in the Islip (Long Island, NY) number because it is such an incredible amount of rain! The Long Island Expressway was not a good place to be this morning!
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE DAY AND EVENING?
While the rain won’t be nearly as steady and as widespread as this morning, there will still be a threat of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening. A few of the storms could be strong with a small chance of damaging wind. The threat of showers and rain should be gone by midnight (possibly a few hours sooner).
Our weather improves tomorrow and Friday with low humidity and comfortable temperatures. Have a good afternoon and evening! -Pete Mangione
Heavy rain has moved into a good part of our viewing area. A Flash Flood Warning is in place for much of Providence and Kent County. These warning are in effect until 1:15 this afternoon.
I just looked at the observations at TF Green airport….between 8AM and 9AM 0.91 inches of rain fell, that is almost an inch per hour.
Here are some initial reports coming in courtesy of SKYWARN from the National Weather Service:
East Lyme, CT: 3.90″
Montville, CT: 4.84″
Canterbury, CT: 2.94″
Willimantic, CT: 2.04″
Cranston, RI: 1.56″
East Lyme, CT: 4.15″
Hebron, CT: 2.05″
Hampton, CT: 2.05″
Cranston, RI: 1.61″
Rainfall Reports (1″ or more):
Providence, RI: 1.38″
Coventry, RI:: 1.24″
924 AM: Cranston, RI: Cranston Street between Batcheller Avenue and Cavalry Street closed due to the flooding
Once we get into this afternoon, there will still be a threat of showers and downpours but there will likely be some lulls in the rain as well. The Flash Flood Watch extends through this evening to account for the “potential” of additional flash flooding, even though it will not be raining the entire time.
Please do NOT drive through flooded intersections! -Pete Mangione
There is a threat of some severe thunderstorms on Wednesday. Here is a breakdown of what we know, and what we need to fine tune:
WHAT WE KNOW
-A humid air mass will move in during the middle of the week.
-Low pressure, series of fronts , and an active jet stream will also move in during the same time period.
-When you combine the above ingredients, severe weather becomes a possibility.
-Torrential downpours, lightning, damaging winds, and even isolated tornadoes are possible.
WHAT WE NEED TO FINE TUNE:
-How well do the storm ingredients come together? This will make the difference between a very active weather day and a day with just a few non-severe thunderstorms and rain showers.
-What is the timing? It looks like there is a threat of severe weather anytime from early Wednesday morning to Wednesday evening. As we get closer to Wednesday, we should be able to determine which commute (morning or evening) is at a higher risk of being affected.
STAY TUNED THIS WEEK
Tony, Michelle, TJ, and I will be looking at more data this week. Tune in for our on-air and online coverage to get more specifics. Have a good week! -Pete Mangione
Update at 6:30PM
During our newscast, Tony and I noticed some possible rotation in a storm just offhsore from Little Compton, RI. Here is snapshot from the RADAR….
That same thunderstorm moved to the southeast and we are now getting unconfirmed reports of a water spout just a few miles offshore from Martha’s Vineyard.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA 603 PM EDT THU AUG 07 2014 ..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 0548 PM WATER SPOUT 10 NW AQUINNAH 41.44N 70.95W 08/07/2014 ANZ234 MA AIRPLANE PILOT PILOT REPORTS WATERSPOUT 10 MILES NW OF MARTHAS VINEYARD IN RI SOUND
Stay tuned…we will continue to update you on this.
We have also been tracking isolated but strong thunderstorms this afternoon. Not everyone is getting these storms, but some cities and town have been hit by hail. This picture of hail is from Chepachet courtesy of TeriLyn Colaluca.
There were multiple reports of hail; I saw one from Middetown, RI with 1 inch hail!
There is a very cold pool of air sitting high overhead, and that will act as our trigger for the storms through early this evening. The activity should start to wind down by around 7PM. We will be on t he air from 5 to 6:30 on WPRI, and from 6:30 to 7 on FOX Providence with the latest information. -Pete Mangione
Some more showers to get through today, but overall, not as much rain as what we had on Saturday. This morning, everyone has a good chance of getting showers. They will be off/on and light for the most part (although anytime you have tropical moisture involved, you can’t completely rule out a quick downpour).
The best chance of showers arrives later morning into the early afternoon, and then the chance drops into the late afternoon. Note the graph below:
As shown above, the chance of showers drops in the afternoon, but locations to the south and east of I-95 may hang onto the showers a bit longer. Note the map below:
If you are headed out today, bring the rain jacket or umbrella. While it won’t be raining the entire time, some showers will still be passing through. There may be a few slivers of sun late today, especially for western Rhode Island. Have a good day! -Pete Mangione
Not a very good day for outdoor activities with showers moving through. The showers look like they will be at the steadiest from late morning into the mid afternoon. A few showers could be heavy with the threat of isolated downpours and thunderstorms.
By the late afternoon and night, there are signs that the steadiest of showers will shift to the south and east out towards Cape Cod. This would leave the vast majority of our viewing area getting light and less frequent rain showers.
SUNDAY: The majority of our computer models are keeping the core of moisture offshore for Sunday, giving us just some occasional showers. However, we need to watch this forecast carefully. Tropical moisture can be very tricky to forecast, and any little change in the track of the moisture could translate to big changes to the Sunday forecast. IF the track of the storm were to shift west slightly, areas south and east of I-95 have the best chance of seeing more frequent showers.
BERTHA: As of Saturday morning, Bertha is still a tropical storm with winds of 50 mph. The track from the National Hurricane Center still keeps it offshore form the mainland US into early next week. Have a good day! -Pete Mangione
Updated Friday at 12:30PM
The chance for showers will increase as we head into the weekend. The threat of showers (and even a few downpours) will be with us the entire weekend. It is unlikely that it rains for the entire weekend, so if you are planning outdoor activities, be aware of the potential for interruptions. Best chance of some heavy downpours? That may actually hold off until very early Sunday morning.
However, the timing could still change so stay tuned as we look at more data through out the weekend. I am optimistically putting in some sun for Sunday afternoon, but there is a risk that showers and downpours will still be there.
Tropical Storm Bertha
As of early afternoon, Bertha is a tropical storm with winds of 50 mph. She will move to the northwest over the next several days, and then likely sit somewhere offshore from the mainland US by early next week.
By next week, the forecast becomes very uncertain, so we will need to watch this system carefully. As of now, it is not a threat to the mainland US. -Pete Mangione
Updated at 9:30 AM:
We are currently in a lull as the downpours from this morning have moved up to our north. However, if we can sneak in a little sun today…a few more showers and thunderstorms could fire up. So while there is plenty of dry time, we can’t completely rule out a severe threat.
REST OF MORNING: Plenty of dry time with a little hazy sun possible. There will be a chance of an isolated shower or strong thunderstorm.
FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low
WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low
AFTERNOON: Some breaks of sun are possible, but this could actually fire up a few additional showers and thunderstorms.
FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low
WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low to Moderate
Summary: Even though it won’t be raining the entire day, we need to be on alert for the potential of showers and thunderstorms for the entire day. There is a SLIGHT risk of an isolated tornado.
Stay tuned and we will keep you updated! -Pete Mangione
Updated at 2:00 PM
If we get a little sun late this afternoon and early evening, that would be our best shot to get some strong thunderstorms. I would say the chance of those storms turning severe is low, but it is still a possibility. After that, the next decent chance of severe weather would be overnight into Monday morning. Please read below for more information.
Here is a breakdown of the severe storm threat:
Now to 8PM: While there will be plenty of dry time during this period, there is a slight chance of severe storms (especially if we can sneak in some sun to heat up the atmosphere). Inland areas have the best chance (even though it’s a small chance) of getting flash flooding and wind damage, the coast has as a much smaller chance.
8PM to 12AM: The storm threat will still be there, but there will likely be plenty of lulls in the action.
12AM Monday to Monday Noon: The chance of some strong thunderstorms increases, with flash flooding being the biggest threat.
Please stay tuned through out the afternoon, we will continue to update this blog.
You may have already heard about the cool air moving in next week. It is likely that much of the mid-west, northern plains, and even parts of the northeast will be affected by this cool plunge. However, for our viewing area here in southern New England, the cool-down might not be quite as extreme.
As projected by the European model, here is a look at surface temperatures next Tuesday afternoon/evening.
Image Courtesy accuweather.com
Note the temperatures in the 50s and 60s around the Great Lakes region. That’s pretty cool stuff for a summer afternoon in that part of the country. Also note the 70s showing up for Southern New England. Because of the time zone difference, this actually represents Tuesday evening on the east coast…so 70s on the east coast is really not that unusual.
So why will this affect out neighbors to the west more than us? A lot of it has to do with what is going on high up in the atmosphere. As projected by the European model, here is what is going on at 500 millibars next Tuesday afternoon/evening. (The height of 500 millibars varies by temperature, but it averages several miles above the surface of the earth).
Image Courtesy accuweather.com
The 500mb chart is usually a great way to show large scale weather patterns. If you think of the chart like a mountain range, the ridges often represent the warmer weather and the dips often represent the cooler weather. Notice the major dip from Canada all the way down into the Tennessee Valley…but also notice that New England is more on the edge of the dip than the center of the dip. This suggests that the cold plunge will be more of a “glancing blow” than a direct hit for southern New England.
That being said, we are still almost a week away from the event, and the computer models can sometimes underestimate these cool air invasions. We will keep you posted! -Pete Mangione
New data coming in continues to support the threat of showers and strong thunderstorms Monday into Wednesday. One change I am noticing is the tendency for the front to slow down; this translates to the showers lasting longer into Wednesday afternoon, rather than wrapping up in the morning.
MONDAY: Periods of showers and strong thunderstorms will move through. This still does NOT look like a washout, but Tony will look at more data Sunday night to see if this changes.
*RISK OF LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING: MODERATE
*RISK OF DAMAGING WIND: LOW TO MODERATE (Highest for northern and western Rhode Island)
TUESDAY: Another humid day with the chance of showers and strong thunderstorms. The showers and thunderstorms look like they will be more frequent than on Monday, especially by the afternoon. The heaviest of the rain may fall Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.
*RISK OF LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING: MODERATE TO HIGH
*RISK OF DAMAGING WIND: LOW TO MODERATE
WEDNESDAY: This axis of heaviest rainfall looks like it pulls through on Wednesday morning; therefore the Wednesday morning commute could be a rough one. As mentioned above, the front responsible for the showers and T-storms looks like it will take its time moving through southern New England. Therefore, some showers and thunderstorms are still possible through out the afternoon.
*RISK OF LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING: MODERATE TO HIGH
*RISK OF DAMAGING WIND: LOW TO MODERATE
The timing on all of this could change, so stay tuned for adjustments. Tony will have another look at the data soon. Have a good Sunday! -Pete Mangione
New information continues to come in regarding the showers and thunderstorms for the first part of the work week; this new information is very consistent with previou0s data… it keeps the timing from Monday until about Wednesday morning.
Monday: There will be periods of showers and thunderstorms; some of which could be quite strong bringing heavy downpours and damaging winds. The difficult part of this forecast is determining whether Monday will be a washout or not. For now, I will say no washout with a decent amount of dry time mixed in with the rain. However, one of our computer models is more aggressive and stalls a boundary right over southern New England. I would like to look at more data before making a final call about whether Monday is a “watch a movie” type of day.
TUESDAY: This looks like the best chance for a washout with periods of showers, thunderstorms, and heavy rain. Just like Monday, a few of these storms will have the potential of damaging winds and flash flooding.
WEDNESDAY: Showers and thunderstorms are likely at least through the early morning, and then things should gradually improve during the afternoon. It is THIS part of the forecast that is subject to the most change; if the front speeds up by a few hours, Wednesday afternoon could be a nice day. If the front slows down by a few hours, Wednesday could end up a washout.
We will keep fine tuning the timing and details over the next few days. -Pete Mangione
We never want to see a situation like we did in New Bedford with almost 8 inches of rain. That is WAY too much rain at one time. A lot of our viewing area was a little more fortunate, with rainfall generally between 2 and 4.5 inches. (That’s still a lot in one day!)
So what is the silver lining in the Friday rain? It did bring some much needed rainfall to a lot of lawns and gardens, which really needed it. The graphic below uses rainfall since June 1 at TF Green Airport. Notice how we turned a deficit into a surplus! -Pete Mangione
The impacts of Arthur really started to get going this afternoon….a Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Providence, Warwick, Cranston, and for portions of Kent, Washington, and Providence County. Here was the scene on RADAR earlier.
Arthur is still a category 1 storm with winds of 90 mph. You can see it has started to merge with the front moving over our area.
Arthur will remain offshore and make his closest pass late tonight….he will give us some heavy rain before that happens. Look for showers and downpours to continue until 9 or 10PM. If he speeds up, we may be able to get them out of here a little sooner. It may get windy tonight with gusts around 3o mph, so some isolated wind damage is possible. But our main threat will be street flooding, please don’t drive through flooded roads. More updates soon. -Pete Mangione
Arthur has weakened a little (to a Category 1), his winds are down to 90 mph and he is moving northeast at 21 mph. The storm is still expected to stay offshore during its closest pass tonight.
While we will get high surf and rip currents here in Rhode Island and Bristol County Mass, the biggest impacts will come in the form of rain. In fact, we have already seen some downpours and thunderstorms this morning. Here is a snapshot from 9AM.
A Flash Flood Watch starts at noon and goes through tonight. 1-3 inches possible with higher isolated amounts. Some localized street flooding is possible. Please turn around if you see any flooded roads…..most people are in their cars when they get in trouble during flash floods. More updates later this morning. -Pete Mangione
New update from National Hurricane Center. Arthur still a Cat 2 hurricane with winds 100 mph. It has picked up speed as expected and is now moving to the northeast at 23 mph. While it will get gusty tonight, Arthur’s impacts will be primarily rain. 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible with some higher isolated amounts. That is why a Flash Flood Watch goes into effect at noon and goes through tonight. More updates soon. -Pete Mangione
As of early this morning, Arthur is a Category 2 Hurricane with winds of 100 mph. It is moving to the northeast at 22 mph. After sweeping over the outer banks of North Carolina, Arthur will move back into the ocean. As this happens, Arthur may increase in strength a little, but the overall trend will be to weaken by the time he makes his closest pass to southern New England. That being said, he likely still be a Category 1 hurricane as he makes his closest pass tonight.
-Rain with some heavy downpours, especially from the afternoon into the evening. The morning may end up with a decent amount of rain-free time. Localized street flooding is possible in isolated areas by afternoon and evening.
-High surf and dangerous rip currents, especially out into Cape Cod. The rip currents may last into Saturday and Sunday as well.
-Gusty winds tonight (25-35 mph). Some isolated wind damage is possible, but keep in mind that these wind speeds are not that uncommon here in southern New England.
The evening update from the National Hurricane Center still shows Hurricane Arthur with winds of 90 mph, movement to the northeast at 13 mph. The center is still expected to miss us offshore, but the forecast now has the path close enough for a Tropical Storm Warning to be issued for Cape Cod and the surrounding waters.
This means that it will be especially dangerous for boaters out toward the Cape and Islands. It won’t be quite as bad across the Rhode Island shore, but some high surf and dangerous rip currents are likely late Friday into Saturday (possibly in Sunday as well).
As Arthur makes his closest pass late Friday night, winds will pick up. Damaging winds should be confined to the outer Cape, with Rhode Island and most of Bristol County Mass getting winds that are not quite as strong.
Thunderstorms and showers are possible through Friday morning, but the heaviest of the rain looks to be Friday afternoon into early Friday evening. This might leave a little hope for the 4th of July Parade in Bristol (at least the first part of it). There will likely be some showers and downpours, but we will may get some breaks as well.
We will continue to update you through out the weekend. -Pete Mangione
This will be a very brief update. The first afternoon data just came in from the National Hurricane Center. Here are the stats:
2PM: Winds 90 mph (Category 1 Hurricane)
NNE 12 mph
The storm is just offshore from South Carolina. The new path still takes it offshore of southern New England, but close enough to create dangerous rip currents and high surf into the weekend. As for tropical storm force winds, that should stay well east of Rhode Island, but could happen on Nantucket and on portions of the out Cape.
A front that sweeps just ahead of Arthur (and grabs some of its moisture) will bring some heavy rain for the 4th of July, especially for the afternoon. Localized street flooding will be the primary concern.
In the meantime, some occasional strong T-storms are possible this afternoon and evening. However, much of the time will be rain-free. More updates coming this evening. -Pete Mangione
As of Tuesday evening, Tropical Storm Arthur had winds of 52 mph and was moving slowly to the northwest. Over the next couple of days, Arthur should continue to get stronger and pick up some speed making a potential landfall on the North Carolina coast by Friday morning. At this point, Arthur will likely be a Category 1 hurricane. The next stop would be offshore from southern New England; its closest pass would likely be Friday night or early Saturday morning. At this point, it would likely be just barely a Category 1 hurricane or a strong tropical storm. Here is the Tuesday evening updated track:
The center line is the forecast track of the storm, the yellow represents the “cone of uncertainty”. That means that the storm has a chance of making landfall anywhere in the yellow, but the chance for southern New England is still quite low. While we are not forecasting Arthur to hit us directly, the track could bend a little more to the west which would translate to a more serious situation for us. That is why it’s important to stay tuned to future forecasts for changes.
If our current forecast holds, land impacts would be minimal. However, high surf and dangerous rip currents will likely affect mariners and beach goers.
There is a front just ahead of Arthur that WILL likely impact things on land. As the front approaches, it will pull in some “Arthur influenced” tropical moisture. This will move through Thursday and Friday. Dangerous lightning and damaging winds are possible, but I am most concerned about the heavy downpours. Some localized flooding is possible for both days. The best chance for getting the heavy downpours would be Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
That leaves some hope for fireworks on the night of the 4th of July! The timing on all of this could change so please keep checking back for updates. -Pete Mangione
Michelle and TJ have written great blogs so far about 4th of July thunderstorms and the potential of a tropical storm. I will make this brief and give you some updated information:
Watching “Tropical Depression #1″
As of late Monday night, Tropical Depression #1 was spinning just offshore from Florida . If this end up turning into a tropical storm, it would be Tropical Storm Arthur.
The computer models generally agree that it will meander near the Florida coast for the next couple of days, and then start to turn to the north. The general track has it making landfill on the North Carolina coast, moving back over the water, and then making a close pass to southern New England Friday night into Saturday morning.
If this forecast hold up, impacts on land would be minimal. In fact, Friday night into Saturday would end up being nice with comfortable temperatures. There would likely be some big waves and rough surf so boaters would have to use caution. If it tracks more to the left, then impacts would be much greater here in southern New England. Therefore, we still need to watch this carefully.
THUNDERSTORMS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
As Michelle mentioned, a front will combine with lots of moisture to bring the threat of showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday. Heavy downpours and localized street flooding are possible, but it won’t be raining the entire time. As of late Monday afternoon, the new European Model (a computer model that tends to do pretty well) run has the threat of showers moving out just before fireworks time on Friday night.
We don’t want to take each computer run too literally, but it’s a sign that at least the 4th of July is not a complete washout. The timing of the shower/T-storm threat will likely shift a little bit in the coming days, so we need to look at more data before anything gets cancelled on the holiday. Stay tuned! -Pete Mangione
When we look at March, April, and May at TF Green airport, the meteorological spring of 2014 was 1.6° below normal. This probably comes as no surprise. However, it is a little surprising (at least to me) that the month of May was slightly warmer (0.6°) than normal. While I did not conduct a scientific pole, anecdotal evidence tells me that many of you would also be surprised by this. My anecdotal evidence is based on emails, social media, and personal interactions with viewers. These interactions have a common theme…..”When is the warm weather going to get here?!!!”
So why did May seem to be a cool month when, in reality, it was actually warmer than normal? There is no right or wrong answer to this, but I decided to offer up a few theories for this difference between perception and reality.
TOP 5 REASONS WHY THE MONTH OF MAY “SEEMED” COOL
1) The Memorial Day Bust
I was the on-air meteorologist on Memorial Day for the morning and noon show. During the morning show, my forecast was “morning showers clearing to afternoon sunshine with highs in the 80s”. I will be the first to admit that this forecast did not work out. The high temperature did hit 78°; so in terms of temperature it was actually an above normal day. However, because rain and clouds lingered for much of the afternoon, the day ended up a being a disappointment and “cooler” than expected.
2) Cloudy, Foggy Mornings
Most of my weather shifts are on weekend mornings. During this past May, it seemed that almost every Saturday and Sunday morning had thick fog in place! It is quite common to get fog here in southern New England, but my memory of May 2014 is that it was especially foggy. When a morning is gloomy and foggy, it can sometimes set a “cool” tone for the entire day, even if brighter skies move in during the afternoon.
3) No Sizzling Beach Days
Usually in May, we get a decent stretch of days in the 80s and sometimes even a few 90s. For 2014, we had zero days in the 90s and only 3 days in the 80s….not exactly hot beach weather. Compare this to 2013 when May had 3 days in the 80s and 2 days in the 90s. In 2012, May had zero days in the 90s but 6 days in the 80s. Overall, despite being a little warmer than average, May of 2014 did not have many “hot” days….I think this helped lead to the perception that May was a cool month.
4) Wednesday, May 28th Was a Ridiculously Chilly Day
The month of May was a mix of good and bad weather days, but the worst day came on Wednesday May 28th. Do you remember that? In addition to the periods of rain, the high temperature only made it to 53° and gusty winds kept wind chills in the 40s for much of the day. Not fun! Because that day came so late in the month, I think it is still stuck in our memories when we think back on May.
5) Chilly Ocean = Chilly Sea Breeze
I did a story during the middle of May about the first group of beaches opening for the season. At the time, Newport Harbor water temperatures were in the upper 40s. By the end of the month, they made it into the 50s. When winds come in off of the water (as they often do in the spring), it can have a dramatic cooling effect on the immediate coast. Because official temperatures are kept at TF Green airport, they don’t always reflect the cooler temperature at our local beaches.
The list above contains my theories, so there is plenty of room for disagreement on this topic. Here’s to some warmer beach days this summer! -Pete Mangione
The showers have been hanging around longer than anticipated this morning, but the afternoon will be milder. I trimmed back my high temperatures a little bit. Partly sunny skies will move in during the afternoon, there is a chance of a brief shower or 2 in the early afternoon but overall still a mild day. Here is an updated planner below…it’s still possible that areas north and west of Providence still get close to 80. -Pete Mangione
NOAA released its 2014 Atlantic hurricane forecast on Thursday. Overall, they are forecasting a below to near normal upcoming hurricane season. Because long term forecasting is not an exact science, NOAA wisely uses ranges and probabilities; it is impossible to nail down an exact number.
According to the NOAA, the following has a 70% chance of occurring:
The above ranges are on the lower end of the season averages (listed below):
Average Hurricane Season (Courtesy NOAA based on data from 1981 to 2010)
Named Storms: 12
Major Hurricanes: 3
There are several factors leading to the slightly below normal forecast. One is the cooler ocean temperatures in the Atlantic. Remember, hurricanes and tropical storms like to feed off of warm water, so cooler ocean waters may act to squash out some of the storms.
A second factor is the expected development of El Nino by this summer or fall. El Nino is characterized by warmer than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific which in turn can shift the jet stream to a more southerly track across the United States.
This pattern can increase wind shear in the Atlantic. Wind shear is the change of wind speed with height; this is not a good environment for hurricanes. El Nino can also cause an increase in trade winds (a wind pattern that occurs near the equator). Stronger trade winds can also put a cap on hurricanes or potential tropical storms that are trying to form.
All this being said, it only takes one big hurricane or tropical storm to make it seem like an active season. Category 5 Hurricane Andrew slammed Florida in 1992; this also happened to be an El Nino year. -Pete Mangione
The Rhode Island Air Show will take place this weekend at Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown. When I was looking at the forecast a few days ago, I was not optimistic. But the rainmaker for tonight into tomorrow will move through more quickly than originally anticipated….that is great news if you plan on heading to the show! Let’s break it down by time:
9AM – 10AM (Gates Open): Partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60s to around 70.
10AM – 4:30PM (Show is On!): Some low clouds are possible for the first hour or two, but most of the day will feature more sun than clouds which should make for great viewing! Temperatures will be comfortable; upper 60s during the late morning and mid 70s by the afternoon. Humidity will also be falling through out the day so the “muggy” feeling from the past couple of days won’t be a problem. It will be breezy with winds 10-15 mph with some gusts around 20 mph…nothing the planes can’t handle!
What to wear?: The light jacket, fleece, or sweatshirt might not be a bad idea in the morning, but I’m thinking short sleeves and pants (or shorts) is the rule for most of the day.
9AM – 10AM (Gates Open): It will be a mostly sunny start but also a little cooler than Saturday morning. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s to low 60s at this point so still not too bad!
10AM – 4:30PM (Show is On!): Visibility should make for great viewing through out the day. Humidity will be quite low so low clouds and fog will not be an issue. Skies will be mostly sunny in the morning, but there may be some scattered clouds popping up during the afternoon. After 1 or 2PM , there is about a 30% chance that some showers could be falling from some of these clouds. Any shower that forms should be brief. Breezes will be from the north at around 5-15 mph; so not quite as breezy as Saturday. Temperatures will be a little cooler then Saturday with highs in the upper 60s to around 70.
What to wear? During the periods when it clouds over a bit, a long sleeve shirt might be a good thing to have with you. A rain jacket will be good thing to have with you as well in case one of those showers does materialize. But for much of the day, I think short sleeves are the way to go.
A recap of the forecast is below….enjoy the air show! -Pete Mangione
The Capital Weather Gang, a group of Washington Post seasoned meteorologists, recently posted a great article about a possible link between winter ice coverage on the Great Lakes and cooler summer temperatures in the eastern United States.
During this past winter, ice coverage on the Great Lakes was at an all time high (for records dating back to the 1970s). You can see in the graphic below, maximum ice coverage was at 91.2%.
Image Courtesy Capital Weather Gang
The top 5 iciest years on the Great Lakes are:
Looking at the 5 years listed above, the Capital Weather Gang found that for much of the eastern US, the following summer was cooler than normal. (Most areas, including Rhode Island, fell in a range of 0.5 to 2 degrees below normal).
I decided to look at Providence records during these 5 years for June, July, and August. Here are the normal temperatures for those months:
Normal Providence Temperatures
For the 15 summer months in that 5 year period, 8 months were below normal, 4 months were above normal, and 3 months were around normal. The breakdown is below:
Actual Providence Average Temperatures
June 68.1 – Even
July 71.1 – Below Normal
August 71.1 -Below Normal
June 69.4 – Above Normal
July 76.1 – Above Normal
August 69.9 – Below Normal
June 65.0 – Below Normal
July 73.4 – Even
August 70.1 – Below Normal
June 68.0 – Even
July 71.7 – Below Normal
August 71.3 – Below Normal
June 66.7 – Below Normal
July 74.3 – Above Normal
August 73.0 – Above Normal
So why is there a possible link?
It is unlikely that the ice on the Great Lakes cools enough of the atmosphere to affect our weather here in southern New England. The Capital Weather Gang points out that during these icy years, high pressure was often locked near Alaska and low pressure was often locked near the Hudson Bay. This pattern tends to bring cold air down from the arctic into the eastern United States. During these years, this weather pattern occurred during much of the winter, but lasted into some of the summer as well. Therefore, it’s not that the lake ice causes the cold, but rather, the ice is often in place during weather patterns which favor cold winters and cool summers. -Pete Mangione
Several times this week people have said to me, “C’mon, this is the end of April! This cold weather is ridiculous!” I would have to agree.
As of the writing of this blog, it’s late afternoon (on a Wednesday) and temperatures are in the upper 40s. It’s possible that before midnight, temperatures will rise into the low 50s. If that happens, the official high temperature for the day will be in the 50s and not the 40s. It is also possible that temperatures stay in the 40s all night, which would put our official high temperatures in the 40s.
Whether we “officially” stay in the 40s or not, I decided to look up the last time we had high temperatures in the 40s this late in April. Since yesterday (April 29th) was also a cold day with highs in the 40s, I looked up April 29th in addition to looking up April 30th. Here is what I found for the Providence area according to the Notheastern Regional Climate Center:
Last Time Highs in the 40s on April 29th: 2002
Last Time Highs in the 40s on April 30th: 1962
So it’s been 12 years since we have had highs in the 40s on April 29, and 52 years since we have had highs in the 40s on April 30th!
Of course going into why this happening goes beyond the scope of this blog. There are likely many factors involved in the current cold snap. For the short term, one factor that is certainly contributing is called “blocking”. Blocking occurs when parts of the jet stream become cutoff from the rest of the flow. When this happens, weather disturbances can sit repeatedly over a location instead of moving in and out like they normally do. For much of this week, a big “dip” in the jet stream has been sitting just to our west, but close enough to keep the weather unsettled and cool.
Here is the good news: it does look like the cold weather finally breaks by the end of the week. In fact, it’s possible that a few 60s might be out there as early as Thursday afternoon. – Pete Mangione
After a wet start to Saturday morning, things will improve a bit into the afternoon. We will see light to moderate rain until about noon, then some lulls in the rain for the afternoon. However, we won’t completely get rid of the risk of showers in the afternoon. Here is what the it looks like around noon: note the scattered nature of the showers with some areas covered in green but other areas are not.
It looks rain-free from about 4PM to 8PM, but then a second round of showers could return tonight. A thunderstorm can’t be ruled out either. The good news? There will be a chance of a few showers on Sunday morning, but most of Sunday will be rain-free.
Overall, it’s an unsettled weekend but NOT a washout. Have a good weekend. -Pete Mangione
Happy Easter! TJ has a great description of what to expect for Easter Sunday, so please see the previous blog post (just scroll down) for more details on Easter. For details on the Boston Marathon weather, please keep on reading this post!
The weather looks great as we head into Marathon Monday! Early morning runners will start with temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s. Runners starting in the late morning may already get temperatures in the upper 40s or low 50s. Not too cool, not too warm….almost perfect racing conditions!
By the afternoon, I expect highs in Boston to hit the low 60s. This is because winds will NOT be coming out of the east like they are for Sunday. Instead, they will be coming out of the south. In Boston, a south wind is usually warmer (this time of year) than a wind from the east. That’s because the east wind comes directly off the water, while the south wind can have either land or sea influence.
If you are watching the race or headed to the Red Sox game, take the jacket with you for the morning hours. You may be able to shed that by the afternoon, although if you are in a shaded area it will be a good thing to have with you for the entire day. Have a great rest of the weekend and a great Monday! -Pete Mangione