A typical summertime pattern for us has morning storms along the coast redeveloping inland during daytime heating and decreasing before dark. You know something is going on when storms keep firing AFTER the sun goes down. Usually you can look at satellite & water vapor loops to find an upper air disturbance triggering the action, but that is not the case tonight. In fact, there is a cyclonic (clockwise) rotation centered over central Mississippi with clusters of storms developing, not around it but underneath it. So let’s check the surface map. No clues help us there as we have no fronts around. So I guess it must be some weak disturbances between the surface & 18-20,000’ (500 mb level). Models are taking the upper high farther to the west leaving a general trough over the eastern states including us. That SHOULD mean higher than normal rain coverage for the next 2-3 days. By the weekend, the upper high will try to build back over us decreasing our rain coverage and increasing temps once again. Computer guidance has highs back into the mid-90s, but I’m not so sure for 2 reasons. 1) I see yet another trough trying to push down over the eastern states keeping the upper ridge farther to our west. 2) If we do get lots of rainfall the next couple of days, that should help keep highs to the lower 90s as the sun will need to evaporate all the surface moisture before we really heat up. Bottom line, expect our daily storms to be more numerous through Friday with less activity for Saturday & Sunday.
All quiet over the Tropics with no signs of development. However, I did mention last night, if anything tries to form during the next week, it will be along an old cold front that will push off the Carolina Coast and stall just to our north. Stay tuned!
For several weeks we have seen a large upper ridge (high) centered from the central plains through the Ohio Valley to the east coast. Temperatures have been well above normal summer highs, but that is about to change. Computer guidance is shifting the upper high back over the Southwestern states with a deepening east coast trough. That should start a parade of cold fronts coming out of Canada and the worst heat of this summer maybe over for many places from the Great lakes into the Northeast. Unfortunately it’s way too soon for those fronts to have much effect on us down South except to increase our rain chances as fronts stall over us or nearby. With the MJO in the unfavorable (sinking air) phase, it’s highly unlikely any tropical development will happen, however, that’s how Hurricane Alicia formed back in 1983. A frontal boundary pushed off the LA. Coastline down about 100 miles south of Grand Isle. A swirl developed along this boundary and quickly organized into a Tropical Storm & then a Cat. 3 hurricane. Fortunately for us, it moved westward and slammed into Houston doing lots of damage to the glass towers of downtown. Don’t see anything like that happening, but we always watch summer fronts that push down towards us. With higher rain chances coming, hopefully we’ll seen highs less hot? Otherwise, it’s July, it’s hot, it’s humid with mainly daytime heating type storms. One thing that is not “normal” is the position of the surface Bermuda High/Atlantic Ridge. Usually the axis of the ridge is to our north giving us a SSE wind flow. Lately, the axis is way down over the central Gulf producing a SW thru NW surface flow. If you do any fishing, you know a “west wind is not the best”. In fact, west winds usually mean muddy waters/poor visibilities so it’s really hard to get the fish to bite. That will be the problem for those who want to fish this week. The Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is the following weekend ( July 26-28th) so hopefully the SE flow will be back by then? Stay tuned!
Besides the remains of Beryl trying to reform well off the East Coast, the Tropics are likely to go quiet for the next 10-20 days. None of the computer models are showing development, plus the MJO (Madden-Julian oscillation) has gone into the unfavorable (sinking air) phase. Typically July is not an active hurricane month and it is August 15th thru October 1st when, historically, we have the greatest chances to have a tropical threat, So we have a long way to go before cold fronts start coming and we say good bye to the 2018 hurricane season. We take it one month at a time and, so far, June & July have been nice to us.
Watching the various weather programs this evening reminded me of how difficult it was to keep the viewer engaged when the weather was so boring or the same day after day. We have a large upper ridge centered over the Ohio Valley with clusters of storms rotating around it. One of these days we’ll get some storms rotate on the underside of this ridge increasing our rain chances, but that appears unlikely before early next week. I heard thunder this afternoon and could see the dark clouds to the south, but no rain fell at my location. Coverage looked to be only about 10% this afternoon which is far below normal for summertime. I expect Saturday & Sunday to be no different so if you get wet, consider yourself to be the fortunate ones.
On a serious note, if you have to work or play outdoors during our summer heat, remember to stay hydrated. 3 & ½ hours in the sun today playing golf I drank two 12 oz Powerades & I didn’t have to pee! By hole 15, I wasn’t feeling tired, but my head was in a fog. The sun can really play a number on our bodies, especially if you’re a senior like me. So pay attention to what your body is telling you. Heat exhaustion & heat stroke are real dangers if you’re not careful. Stay tuned!
Every Summer since the early 80s, late July to me means heat, humidity scattered storms & the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. The 2018 Rodeo begins 2 weeks from daybreak tomorrow (July 26-28) and hopefully will be blessed with decent fishing weather. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser is this year’s President with Jim Henderson being “Admiral of the Fleet”. I will co-MC the awards ceremony with Jim on Saturday night (July 28th) in the air conditioned Pavilion on the east end of the island. You can register to fish the Rodeo ($25) for one, two or all three days. Motel space is limited on the island so don’t wait until the last minute. If you register, you are entered to win a 22 foot fully rigged boat & trailer or a Garmin GPS navigation system, Not a fisherman? No problem. You can win the boat or GPS system by just registering for the Rodeo. Go to www.tarponrodeo.org. Each night in the Pavilion are local bands & great food & drinks. The weigh station is at the east end of the island at Sand dollar Marina. Break up the boredom of Summer and spend some time fishing the beaches of Grand Isle. Many families also set out crab traps along the beach and often do really well. I’m pumped hoping I can get back on the leader board and win a prize (2nd place Sheepshead) like I did back in 2014. Time to wet a line Gang.
Weather-wise, another day of spotty, slow moving storms. With the center of a large upper ridge staying well to our north, we should see clusters of storms fire off each day on the underside of the ridge. The usual question is where/location? Sometimes we can track these clusters/disturbances on satellite loops. Sometimes they just erupt during daytime heating. What a challenge for local forecasters. I don’t have that stress anymore!
Chris is booking towards colder waters of the north Atlantic and will likely transition to an extra-tropical storm by tomorrow. The remnants of Beryl could reform once they past northward out of the Bahamas. The issue I see is she would move over waters churned up by Chris so development will be restricted. Regardless, she will not threaten the U.S. No models show any development during the next 10-14 days besides Beryl & Chris. Stay tuned!
After sitting for 2 days churning (upwelling) cooler water to the surface restricting development, Chris started his move to the NE this morning and buda bing, explosive development over the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. This is hurricane # 2 and it’s only July 10th. Tonight’s satellite loop shows a classic hurricane and I’m sure Chris will be upgraded from a Cat. 1 (85 MPH) to a Cat. 2 (100+) on the next advisory. Doesn’t matter since he’s heading to the NE away from the U.S. The remains of Beryl are still churning thru the Turks & Cacaos islands tonight. NHC still thinks he could make a comeback, but again, Who cares since she’ll be well east of the U. S.? With the MJO going into the unfavorable (sinking air) phase, I expect the next 3-4 weeks to stay quiet in our part of the World. That should get us into August when, hopefully, El Nino will strengthen creating more wind shear over the Caribbean & Atlantic basins. Right Now we are running way ahead of normal regarding the “average date” of the 2nd hurricane. Usually that doesn’t happen until early August. A quiet few weeks would get us back to “normal”.
Today’s rain coverage was noticeable less than yesterday’s. I’m glad I’m retired since satellite loops don’t really show why tomorrow will be more active. We remain of the underside of a large upper ridge and storm motion will be from the NNW to the SSE tomorrow. I suspect since today’s coverage was roughly 20%, getting back to our “normal” 30-40% on Wednesday will be a no brainer. Stay tuned!
Last week it was Chateau Country Club that was drenched while my house got nothing. Today my house was dumped on (1.38” in less than an hour) while many others received little. That’s the nature of our Summer storms and why trying to predict them is almost useless. We know every day will be hot & humid and it will rain SOMEWHERE. Sometimes we can see an upper disturbance approaching that will enhance shower coverage or sometimes it’s a surface tropical wave. Usually the storms erupt from daytime heating coupled with land & sea breeze inactions. July, August into early September also see very weak steering currents that result in slow moving storms which is why downpours can dump 1-3” in less than an hour. Whether you’re planning to play golf or tennis or having a wedding outside, this is the time of the year weather can dampen/change/postpone what you want to do. We are not California that has its 6-8 month dry season. Even our “dry” seasons (April & October) are considered wet by most other parts of the country. That’s why I never leave home without it…my umbrella!
Chris remains stationary off the Carolina coasts tonight. He appears to have an eye, but dry air has impinged on the northern side resulting in an asymmetrical (one sided) storm. He may become our next hurricane but his lack of movement has upwelled colder water which should slow development. All models keep him well east of the U.S. Beryl is not buried as it appears she is trying to reorganize over the Mona Passage SW of Puerto Rico. All models turn whatever reforms well east of Florida and not be a threat to the U.S. None of the models indicate development in the Gulf or Caribbean for the next 10-14 days. Stay tuned!
Today we stayed below 90 (87) as a weak upper disturbance created lots of clouds and widespread rain coverage. There is a well-defined upper low over the Southern Gulf with another one over eastern Cuba tonight creating lots of wind shear that should mean no tropical development around us. We’ll just deal with our daily spotty showers that most days form before daybreak over the coastal waters and redevelop inland with daytime heating. As usual, some areas get 1-2” in less than an hour while others nearby get enough to settle the dust. You can expect basic summertime for us this week.
Satellite loops tonight show Tropical Storm Chris getting better organized on his way to becoming a hurricane. Since he is over some of the warmest waters off the Carolina coast, I expect him to easily become a Cat. 1 or 2. Fortunately, all computer models take Chris away from land. Beryl has been downgraded to an open wave, however, NHC says she could reform in 48-72 hours east of the Bahamas. In fact, several computer models are showing this so we may not have seen the end of Beryl. The important thing for us is no model has anything forming in the Gulf over the next 7-10 days. Stay tuned!
While much of the Central Plains, Ohio Valley, Great lakes to the Northeast enjoyed a break from the Summer Heat & Humidify, not so those of us along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida up through the Carolinas. Rarely do fronts make their way down into the Gulf and we usually have to wait until early to mid-September before a real front plows through. Frankly, I thought we would see even more widespread storm coverage today but it ended up kind of basic summertime (40-50%) coverage. An upper low centered south of Pensacola will move across us for Sunday and that should give us above normal (60-80%) clouds and showers. In fact, we should stay on the underside of the upper ridge through most of next week keeping our daily shower chances around.
Beryl was downgraded to a weak Tropical Storm as satellite loops showed an exposed center indicating increased wind shear. She should weaken further as she heads into the Caribbean. TD # 3 looks like it will be upgraded to Tropical Storm Chris later tonight or on Sunday. It has much greater T-Storm activity around the center, but there currently is little forward motion. Computer models suggest he’ll begin a movement to the NE by Monday. For us, the Gulf is quiet. Stay Tuned!
Since I’ve really gotten into golf in retirement, one of the main things is to finish the game (18 holes) no matter how badly you might be playing. Sometimes Mother Nature will not allow that with heavy showers that make playing impossible. Today was one of those days where parts of Kenner received 2+” of rain (1.32” at MSY) while back at my house in Metairie 7 miles to the east, no rain fell at all. We played 15 holes before the last 3 were washed out. It just reminded me of how our daily storms can build up 6-8+ miles in the vertical while only being several miles wide in the horizontal. One part of town can get swamped with some brief street flooding while several blocks away hardly any rain falls. It’s totally different process in Winter where it’s a rain shield that can cover hundreds of miles with cloud tops rarely topping 20-25,000 feet versus Summer where some tops might reach 50,000 feet (10 miles) in individual cells. Daytime heating is usually the main trigger for our storms, but the next several days we’ll have a weak frontal boundary approaching from the north coupled with another upper air low/disturbance that should really enhance rain coverage but also rain totals. NWS & SPC in their discussions are talking about the possibility for heavy, slow moving storms causing local street flooding both Saturday & Sunday so pay attention to the weather if you are going to be out and about town. Be ready to turn around and head for home if storms erupt.
The tropics remain active with Beryl upgraded to a hurricane early today way out in the Atlantic and a new Tropical Depression(#3) just a couple hundred miles east of the Carolina coasts. Satellite loops of Beryl show little in the way of T-Storms around it with lots of dry air to the north waiting to be drawn into her. In addition, there is lots of wind shear ahead of Beryl and NHC still believes she’ll begin a weakening process as she reaches the islands Sunday & Monday. She is a very small system and nowhere near the strength of last Summer’s super hurricanes. Let’s hope she fizzles as many of the islands are still not back to normal. TD 3 is expected to become Tropical Storm Chris with very limited motion for the next 2-3 days before tracking away from the U.S. for early next week. Satellite loops of it find little T-Storm activity, but it won’t take much for NHC to name it Chris soon. There is yet another low level swirl SE of TD # 3 that so far is not drawing NHC’s attention. Focus on our local weather the next 2-3 days as we do have a heavy rain potential not connected to any tropical development. Stay tuned!
NHC quickly upgraded the swirl of clouds out in the Atlantic ,(see last night’s blog) first to a Depression and then to Tropical Storm Beryl. These are the kind of named storms we like since they are so far away and have almost zero chance to ever threaten us. It could be followed later this week by Chris as computer models are showing some development off the east coast of the U.S. IF that happens, it’s likely to steer off the Carolina coast before heading out to sea. That would mean 3 named storms down with only 8 to go if you believe the CSU forecast for 11 named storms. David used a great wind shear graphic on his early programs that shows why Beryl is likely to fall apart as it approaches the islands later this week. Check him out tonight as I’m sure he’ll use it again.
Today was as basic a summertime day as it gets with showers along the coast and offshore before dawn redeveloping inland during daytime heating. Motion has been more typical east to west as several upper lows/disturbances rotate around the big upper ridge of high pressure located to our north. This high is keeping much of the nation seasonally hot (it’s July!) but you’d never know it watching the network newscasts. They keep calling it “extreme” when in reality it’s near to slightly above normal. Shower coverage for us will stay in the 50-60% range tomorrow before increasing to 60-80% for Saturday and Sunday as a frontal boundary sags into the Deep South. Some locations get dumped on ( like Houma 1.25+”) while others get little to nothing. My house only received .05” in a brief downpour today. Keep the umbrella handy as these upper disturbances couple with daytime heating can pop up a storm quickly. They haven’t been lasting long as the brisk easterly upper steering keeps them moving, plus they bring us some brief relief from the heat! Stay tuned!