Colorado sees it’s largest hailstone ever

Last night, massive supercells cropped up in the eastern plains of Colorado. A few tornadoes were reported, though there isn’t much population to really see much of a threat. The hail was more widespread, however, and it was gigantic.

Take a look at the tweeted imge of Colorado’s new largest recorded ahi slone.

The crazy part is that pattern didn’t change much, if at all. Tennis balls fell on the same location the very next night!

Hail stones are caused by strong updrafts, which cause droplets to accrete more and more ice and causes it to become heavier and heavier. The hail stone falls to earth when its weight causes the downward gravitational force to exceed the updraft force. Storms in eastern Colorado have had such intense updrafts so as a half a pound of ice could be suspended. These storms were fueled by the clash of dry air from the west intersecting the heat and humidity in the High Plains.

You can read more about the hail at the Denver Post.

Morgantown, West Virginia

As we head into the latter part of the workweek, lets head off to Appalachia and see what Morgantown is up to the next couple of days!

At 1153pm EDT, the temperature at Morgantown, WV was 70 degrees under fair skies. A weak area of low pressure is traversing the OH Valley region and looks to be the instigator of some afternoon thunderstorm activity. Nothing particularly severe is anticipated, just some good ol’ fashioned summertime thunderstorms. Activity should dwindle down late evening as the system pushes off to the east. Friday looks to be on the dry side with perhaps some isolated shower activity staying up in the mountains to the east.

Thursday: Increasing clouds in afternoon, scattered thunderstorms possible. High 84, Low 64.
Friday: Decreasing clouds in afternoon. High 84, Low 66.

TWC: Thursday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High 85, Low 64.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 64.

AW: Thursday: A strong afternoon thunderstorm. High 85, Low 66.
Friday: Periods of sun. High 86, Low 67.

NWS: Thursday: Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. High 86, Low 65.
Friday: Isolated early morning shower, otherwise mostly sunny. High 87, Low 65.

WB: Thursday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 83, Low 64.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 65.

WN: Thursday: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. High 86, Low 65.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 87, Low 65.

FIO: Thursday: Partly cloudy, few showers. High 86, Low 62.
Friday: Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 87, Low 66.

Quiet conditions are found around Morgantown this evening, with some shower activity found over southern OH. We can expected some more activity tomorrow but then taper down for the weekend.

Some good news this summer

After several consecutive years of drier than normal conditions, and severe drought and water shortages across California, a robust winter and a long spring have nearly reversed the trend, save for a slightly dry patch over the San Diego area.

Additionally, it doesn’t appear as though the drought will return even late this summer. A break is just what all concerned parties need this summer. Hopefully, it will persist next year as well.

PDS Severe Thunderstorm watch issued for northern Kansas

A watch is issued when a dangerous situation is possible, but a PDS, or “particularly dangerous situation” watch indicates a level of certainty for high end severe weather that should give residents within the bounds of a watch pause. The SPC has issued a PDS Severe thunderstorm watch for Northern Kansas and parts of southern Nebraska, including Lincoln.

Usually, PDS watches are for tornadoes, when supercells are expected to produce large, long lived tornadoes. In the case of this severe watch, that massive line bearing down on Hill City, and ultimately posing a threat for Concordia before dawn, the ongoing threat will be extremely violent straight line winds.

The text of the watch includes a threat for winds of 85mph or greater, while there have already been reports of gusts to 80mph as the squall exited Colorado. This storm is going to rage overnight, which means it will likely take many people off guard. Unlike tornadoes which usually bring sirens, but ultimately pick and choose their way across the countryside, this storm will not trigger warning sirens in every county, despite the risks, and will likely impact more residents. The PDS attribution should make all emergency personnel in the area take notice and be ready to respond as necessary.

It’s going to be a noisy night.

Tallahassee, Florida to Grand Forks, North Dakota

Today we embark on a 3-day, 1,687-mile cross-country trip. However, we’re not going coast to coast, we’re going from the Gulf to the Great Plains! Let’s see what the next few days has in store for us as we make our way from Tallahassee to Grand Forks.

DAY ONE

Quiet conditions are expected for our departure from Tallahassee in the morning. As we pass by Montgomery midday, a few isolated showers and thunderstorms look to develop in the region, but most of that should be off to the east of the route. Dry weather should persist for the rest of the day as we pull into Nashville for the night

DAY TWO

Quiet conditions are anticipated for the start of the second day, though as we head northwestward on I-24 into KY, there could be a couple isolated showers during the late morning hours. We’ll pass by Paducah and head north towards Champaign, with partly to mostly cloudy skies along the route. Dry weather persists throughout the day as we pass Champaign and continue north towards Rockford, our stop for the night. There could be some isolated shower activity as we pull in, but thunderstorms might be seen off to the northwest.

DAY THREE

Low pressure shifting through WI and IL to start the day could make for a cloudy and showery morning as we head north towards Madison. Thunderstorm activity, if it’s already started, should be off to the east so that’s some good fortune for us as we start this long day. Dry conditions are expected through the midday and afternoon hours along I-94 through WI towards the Twin Cities, though don’t be surprised if a late-afternoon shower pops up as we make our way into MN. As we continue along I-94 past St. Cloud towards Fargo, dry conditions are expected once again and remain so for the rest of the trip into Grand Forks!

Tropical season is underway in the Pacific

At the time of the GIF The Weather Channel tweeted out, Super Typhoon Lekima was a category 4 storm, doing a quick two-step around Tarama Island southwest of Okinawa. Lekima was one of two typhoons spinning in the region at the time, but fortunately, Lekima was ultimately the only one that made its way to the mainland, striking south of Shanghai.

Krosa ultimately flamed out, but Lekima did lead to 30 deaths, most of which came in a landslide in the populous and hilly Chinese coastal regions. The remnants of the storm are still moving up the coast, and though it no longer maintains the same levels of intensity, the heavy rains are going to continue to bring problems to many communities.

While Lekima was fierce and scarier still when in tandem with Krosa looming on the horizon, we are in a surprisingly calm period, given the time of the year. The Pacific is generally faster to start tropical season than the Atlantic (which remains remarkably dormant) but aside from Lekima and Krosa, there are no other named storms on the planet.

The Eastern Pacific looks next to give rise to another storm, as models seem to hint at something popping up in the next 10 days, but the Eastern Pacific is usually one of the safer places for tropical development, interception with land is rather difficult.

It’s still a month from the peak of the Atlantic season, and the Pacific Season can often come in waves, but through the middle of August, we look to be n a welcome pause this tropical season, especially in eastern China, where recovery is needed.

Sweltering in the South

We’re deep into the dog days of Summer now, as families are enjoying the last couple of weeks of Summer Vacation before they have to worry about kids going back to school. As expected, conditions are hot and humid across the South, but lately it’s been kicked up a notch above even where locals are accustomed too.

Houston has hit 101 degrees for a third day in a row now, the first time they’ve done that since 2015 when they went 102 102 106 (yikes!). Combined with that has been dew points approaching 80, cranking up the heat index around the metro to 115-120 degrees. Doesn’t look like much relief is on the way either in the coming days.

Pensacola hit 97 yesterday, breaking a high temperature record for the 2nd day in a row. On top of that, potent afternoon thunderstorms then parked overhead dumping over 3.5 inches of rain on the city, also a record for the day. Like Houston, these sweltering conditions are expected to persist for the next couple of days with heat index readings around 110.

Luckily, the residents along the Gulf Coast don’t have to worry about any tropical systems developing over the next several days as the Atlantic Basin is in a pretty quiet pattern right now. However, the intense heat and almost unbearable humidity doesn’t look to relent anytime soon. Stay indoors and cool if you can!

Coming soon…

We are getting into the late part of summer, and we start to forget about severe weather (major outbreaks, anyways) and start really focusing on the Tropics. With a light forecasting load, we’ll really be able to dig into the potential storm activity around the world, should it arise.

San Antonio, Texas
Road Trip from Providence, Rhode Island to San Antonio

Monroe, Louisiana

July Forecaster of the Month

Summer time in the forecasting world can be fairly sporadic, and won and lost on the margins, especially if you don’t take into account the tropical season, which has been, this year, fairly dormant. Those margins, though, can be pretty important, particularly in the energy sector, where temperature forecasting becomes crucial, and every degree matters. It may not seem as important to the lay person, but this win for Accuweather, is just as important as any other month.

OutletMonth wins
Accuweather1.58
WeatherNation1.33
Victoria-Weather1.25
The Weather Channel0.75
Forecast.io0.75
National Weather Service0.33
Weatherbug
OutletMonth winsyear wins
The Weather Channel0.7510.7
Victoria-Weather1.259.95
Weatherbug07.58
Forecast.io0.756.75
Accuweather1.586.61
National Weather Service0.335.78
WeatherNation1.335.61

Rochester’s riches

Thunderstorms generally aren’t as widespread in the northern US as they are in the southeast this time of year, and that is a forecasting lesson I would do well to remember next time. There were storms on Monday in Rochester, just as was universally predicted, but none on Sunday, which only one outlet had left in the forecast. Oops! It was a good forecast all the way around, though, and Rochester was able to enjoy a pretty decent weekend.
Actuals: Sunday, High 83, low 64
Monday – .55″ of rain in thunderstorms, High 85, Low 66

Grade: A-B