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Found 12 results

  1. Since we are taking a brief hiatus from winter for the next period of time...and since there is some small instability and good shear available tomorrow (see SPC discussion for day 2) - I figured we'd get a super early start on our 2018 Mid-Atlantic Severe Wx thread. Let's see how badly we can fail this year with storms splitting around DC, storms missing the area entirely, and our typical gusty showers from a pencil thin line. As bad as winter weenies are around here - I think our severe weather folks are even more desperate Ready? Go.
  2. Carvers Gap

    Spring/Summer 2018 Observations

    It is 41 in Kingsport with a windchill of 31. Wind chills are forecast tonight to be in the upper teens to lower 20s. Snow advisories are still posted for mountain communities. Still feels like winter, but spring temps are back in the forecast for this weekend.
  3. I remember be very young and already having a strong interest in thunderstorms, severe weather and winter storms. However it was a storm in the summer of 1993 that really elevated my obsession. It was a sweltering hot day and I was at an indoor gym and pool in central Suffolk county Long Island. All the sudden a dark line of clouds with frequent cloud to ground lightning blew across the sky and flash bang lightning and thunder started. The pool was evacuated and I walked over to the windows and saw torrential rain, pea sized hail and very strong wind gusts. The light poles were swaying violently and the wind gusts were reportedly over 50 mph. Due to historical weather data I think I am able to narrow this storm down to Saturday, July 10, 1993. I remember the radar showing very isolated cells near nyc and central Long Island. Also I think remember the news saying someone on Long Island was struck by lightning in this storm. Unfortunately the historical radar data from GIS only goes back to 1995 so I can’t confirm the exact date for sure. I know it’s a long shot but was wondering if anyone else here had any memory of this storm. Growing up on Long Island it was very frustrating getting severe storms due to the stabilizing marine influence, but this storm stuck out to me as short lived/isolated but very intense. I attended the Long Island philharmonic in heckscher Park that night with my family and I remember even the conductor mentioned the storm as being crazy. Also please feel free to share details of any storm that sparked your interest in weather.
  4. April is just about over and it's time to stark tracking the chance for our first 90 degree day. Here's to a hot May.
  5. Meteorological summer is upon us and already looking at a hot weekend coming up as well as the third tropical storm of the year!
  6. OK mountain folks it is time to dive into spring and hope we see some good thunderstorm activity and start the long haul towards summer.
  7. A new study supports increasing environmental conditions for the formation of more severe thunderstorms days over a wide area especially including The Northeast, New England, and adjacent Southeast Canada but also portions of the West coast and up into Canada. This from what I can tell conflicts with other recent studies about less wind shear baroclinicity in a warming world and the questions of tornado frequency in the future. Severe thunderstorms are one of the primary causes of catastrophic loss in the United States. However, the response of such storms to elevated greenhouse forcing has remained highly uncertain. We use an ensemble of global climate model experiments to probe the severe thunderstorm response. We find that this ensemble exhibits robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern United States. In addition, the simulated changes in the atmospheric environment indicate an increase in the number of days supportive of the spectrum of convective hazards, with the suggestion of a possible increase in the number of days supportive of tornadic storms. Given current vulnerabilities, such increases imply increasing risk of thunderstorm-related damage if global warming continues. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/18/1307758110.full.pdf
  8. thunderman

    Rapid Clearing Expected This Evening

    I have been really slacking as of late on the blogging ... hoping to fix that! Mediocre line of storms developed over the central Shenandoah Valley this afternoon and prompted a local blue box from Sterling around Charlottesville. There was a single report of wind damage in the city limits as well ... so congrats Sterling on the verification. Another line of storms lies further west from west-central Illinois through IND and down into LEX/central Kentucky ... high level blow off from this activity will likely stay clear of the area in at least the near term and allow for good rapid west to east clearing this evening. The clear skies early, excess moisture, and generally light winds will set the stage for some patchy overnight and early morning fog in areas that saw rain this afternoon (mainly the KSHD/KCHO area). This is not really anything new as this general area has seen patchy fog the last several mornings.
  9. HalloweenGale

    Nantucket's longest thunderstorm

    In Ludlum's The Nantucket Weather Book, he mentions the "Long Thunderstorm." It came the week after the LIE of '38. The I&M article mentions that it started a little after 1 PM on the 27th and lasted until after midnight. I know it is possible that thunderstorms can move very slowly, but I find it suspicious. It could possibly have been an MCS moving either north or south of the island. I've been through quite a few MCS's when I did my stint in Missouri. Some of them moved very slowly, others were very fast movers. It's a shame there were no satellites or radar, it would have been a fascinating thing to watch. I don't believe it was a single thunderstorm, but it was as I have stated an MCS. What do all of you think?
  10. thunderman

    VIL Of the Day

    Hail can be a weather enthusiast delight during the Summer time (perhaps it reminds them of snow?). Unfortunately, forecasting hail size can be a bit of challenge. One method that I use is VIL Of the Day (VOTD). It was developed by the NWS back in the 90s. It purely relies on temperatures aloft and while simple, does a surprisingly good job. Obviously there are some limitations, but I will get to those in a minute. The calculation is straight forward and is as follows: VOTD = 750 / [(h5T+h4T) / 2] where h5T and h4T are the absolute values of the 500mb and 400mb temperatures respectively. The VIL value given from this equation is the approximate value at which you can expect 0.75” diameter hail stones to fall. 0.75” was chosen because this used to be the hail criteria for a severe thunderstorm. For operational purposes, the lower the expected VOTD the higher the large hail potential you can expect. I like to use 40 g/m^2 as a rough baseline in the Summer time. For those that are not familiar with VIL (Vertically Integrated Liquid), it is a radar product that operational meteorologists use to locate areas of heavy precipitation and hail. It is available in real time in all GR-LevelX products and some places on the internet (Weather Underground, etc). See the wiki page for a brief overview. Now back to the limitations of the VOTD approximation. It is best used for regular thunderstorms and not those with established mesocyclones (i.e. supercells) … although honestly it still works fairly well on most supercells we see around here. In storms with well-organized and established mesocyclones, there are additional mesoscale lifting mechanisms at work that can work to produce huge hail more efficiently than what you would tend to find in your average non-supercellular severe thunderstorm. Keep in mind that the VOTD can change as the thermal profile aloft changes. Check forecast soundings (remember, there is more than 1 model) for the afternoon ahead instead of relying solely on the 12z observed soundings. Lastly, VOTD gives you the VIL value for 0.75” hail stones and tells you nothing about maximum hailstone size, etc. I have attached a calculator that I wrote to help me compute VOTD quickly. I wrote it a while back, it’s ugly, it’s written in FORTRAN, but it does the job! votd.zip
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