Tuesday Discussion : Somewhat Unsettled

A gorgeous start to the work week, with a crisp fall feel to close out the month of August.  The month as a total was a couple degrees above average in the northeast

US August Temperatures Compared to Average

Tuesday & Wednesday

The next two days will see the eastern US along a boundary between much cooler air in the central US, and a ridge off high pressure off the eastern US coast.  So when we look at the futurecast radar & satellite, you can see a lot of low clouds and patchy areas of showers and drizzle over NY and the northeast.

Futurecast Radar 8am Tuesday – 8pm Wednesday

This appears likely to keep temperatures in the 70s for the most part during the afternoon, and a fair amount of cloudiness.  A sprinkle or rain shower or two… can’t be ruled out as well.  We don’t anticipate any severe weather in the next two days, due to the low clouds and stabilizing atmospheric forces.  Mostly cloudy, and a sprinkle or two… will be the story for the next day or two.

Longer Range

If we look at the projected temperatures compared to average over the following week… you can see this pattern of cooler air in the central US is likely to hold on.  But the western Atlantic ridge will keep our area on the border between air masses.  That should mean some cold snaps… followed by warmer air… as the air masses battle for positioning.  In short… no sustained heat, nor sustained cool air.  In reality, pretty typical of early September

Projected Temperatures Week 2 (September 8th – 14th)

Saturday Discussion: Unsettled and Possibly Stormy

SPC has placed the region under a slight risk for severe weather today, a look at short range models suggests a morning round of rain moving through currently, followed by scattered showers and storms and eventually an organized line of storms this afternoon and evening all though the models have a different take on how the day plays out.

Futurecast Radar:  7pm

Just how much instability can build given periods of scattered showers and cloud cover is to be determined.
Either way, not great Saturday weather, if you try to salvage as much of it as possible between the weather, just keep and eye to the sky, or our Facebook and be prepared for the possibility.

Friday Discussion : The Ups and Downs of Weather

After a very stormy Thursday afternoon, things should quiet down dramatically for Friday.  But before we look forward, we need to look back at Thursday.

We saw widespread reports of damage from severe weather.  But that was to be expected because with an enhanced severe weather threat.  The conditions were in place to allow multiple severe weather cells to push through the Hudson Valley.  We also have an unofficial report of a tornado in Montgomery.  We say ‘unofficial’, but the tornado video shared by viewer Darin Hinman from Hamptonburgh, is quite conclusive.  We’re still compiling information, but it looked every bit like a tornado was possible on radar, and our live updates hinted as much, despite the storm never generating a tornado warning.  That’s why these situations are always very dynamic, and need to be treated seriously, even if a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning has not been issued.

But as we look forward… Friday looks much quieter, and we could use a quiet day.  Sunshine will mix with clouds, and highs are expected to be in the mid 80s.  Unfortunately, the quiet weather is going to be short lived.  The remnants of Hurricane Laura are being pulled into a frontal trough that will stretch up through the Great Lakes by Friday night and Saturday.  That will lead to a very unsettled late night Friday night, into Saturday.

Futurecast Radar : 8pm Friday – 2am Sunday

As you can see it looks like a bout of showers and thunderstorms after midnight Friday night… then scattered showers Saturday morning… and possible T-Storms in the afternoon.  Much of the southern portion of the moisture appearing in the futurecast, is the remnants of Laura.  Which you can then see extending northward along the frontal boundary.  So a rather unsettled start to the weekend.

The payoff comes on Sunday, as we begin to clear out… and cooler, drier air pushes in.  That will bring us a beautiful 2nd half of the weekend.  Something for us to look forward to.  Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday Discussion : High Severe Thunderstorm Threat

Hurricane Laura is approaching landfall in western Louisiana as of this post… and by the time most of you are reading this, Louisiana will have suffered its strongest hurricane landfall on record.  Hurricane Laura is currently a strong Cat 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150mph.  Our thoughts and prayers will be with the residents of Louisiana and eastern Texas in the coming days, as the images of devastation will surely be horrifying.

Unfortunately, we’ve got our own problems to worry about on Thursday.  A warm front will push through in the morning on Thursday with scattered showers, maybe even a rumble of thunder.  That will give way to sunshine and clouds… and temps in the mid 80s for the afternoon.  We’ll have strong SW winds at the surface, and strong NW winds aloft.  So as a cold front begins dropping south during the afternoon, the stage will be set for strong to severe thunderstorms.

Chance of damaging wind gusts: 30% to 45%
Chance of large hail: 15% to 30%
Chance of Tornado: 5% to 10%

An enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms in the Hudson Valley signifies a rather widespread event, with a few intense storms possible.  The percent chance may seem low compared to the tone of this conversation, but the way we calculate that threat is like this…
Let’s say you’re in Poughkeepsie.  If you draw a circle around you that extends 30 miles outward from your location…

The chance that a report of damaging wind gusts occur somewhere within that circle, is between 30% and 45%… 15% to 30% that large hail occurs… and 5% to 10% that a tornado occurs within that circle.  Those are high odds of those events occurring on any given day.  So this is an event that should be taken very seriously.

Timing the Event
The timing on this event can be seen in the futurecast radar shown below

Shower & Thunderstorm threat:  12pm to 10pm
Severe Thunderstorm threat:  2pm to 8pm
Highest Risk Period: 3pm to 7pm

You can see that the line of thunderstorms develops along the frontal boundary near Albany around mid day… and then begins to dip southward into the Hudson Valley between 2pm and 6pm, redeveloping a bit, and slowly tracking southward.  The threat of the severe thunderstorms could be with us for several hours, as the front does not push through very quickly at all.  That may allow for long duration thunderstorms, or some areas to be hit by multiple storms.

The further north you live… the earlier the threat reaches you.  So areas like Hudson, Kingston, Saugerties… the threat is on your doorstep by 2pm, and could last several hours.  Areas like Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, you might not see the storms approach until after 4pm… and closer to 6pm for places like Warwick or Monroe.  We’ll have to adjust the timing as we get closer.

Again the major threat is potentially damaging wind gusts.  But hail and an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.  The atmospheric shear will be quite high, and this could lend to areas of strong rotation, which could result in a tornado.  Everyone should be alert during the afternoon hours, as this has the ability to be a very busy afternoon.

We’ll try to have more updates as we go through the day on Thursday.

Wednesday Discussion : Severe Threat for Thursday

After a great day today of post frontal temps and humidity, Thursday brings a return of severe weather to the region. The SPC has the region under and enhanced risk, which is quite a high risk for our region. Storms on Thursday may be widespread and have the capabilities to produce, damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes. We will as always be monitoring the situation and will work to keep you all one step ahead of any severe weather that may occur. Stay Tuned.

Tuesday Mid Day Discussion : Severe T-Storm Potential

A strong cold front that will bring some noticeably different weather to the region is approaching the Hudson Valley this afternoon. After the showers and embedded rumbles of thunder this morning… we’ll have a chance for more scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.
Futurecast Radar: 12pm – 8pm
– 1pm to 6pm (greatest risk 2pm to 4pm)
– Frequent lightning, heavy downpours, gusty winds
– <15% threat of damaging wind gusts
– <5% threat of large hail
(*% threat of occurrence within 30 miles of your location)
The morning showers and thunderstorms helped to stabilize the atmosphere out ahead of the cold front, and could limit the development of the afternoon thunderstorms. That being said, these storms could be locally severe. You can see on the futurecast radar from 12pm to 8pm on Tuesday, is not very impressive. A few strong to severe T-Storms develop, but not everyone is likely to see storms this afternoon. There is a roughly 40% to 50% chance that a storm will hit where you are, so be alert to the conditions in your area this afternoon. As usual, we will try to pass along any advisories for severe weather that may develop.

Sunday Afternoon Tropical Update : Hurricane Marco & Tropical Storm Laura

The historical peak of the Hurricane season is September 10th. So, since it is 2020 after all… the tropics flirted with the idea of giving us 2 hurricane landfalls in 24 hours along the Gulf Coast. Thankfully, as we’ve gotten closer, the threat is looking less ominous for at least one of the systems.
Hurricane Marco has maximum sustained winds of 75mph with a central pressure of 992mb. There isn’t much between Marco and Louisiana, which is ominous for the folks in that area. But there is a decent amount of atmospheric shear north of Marco, that hopefully will serve to prevent Marco from strengthening, and hopefully even weaken into a Tropical Storm. Computer guidance also likes the idea of Hurricane Marco weakening into a tropical storm, as it pushes for a landfall between Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. We’ll have to watch and see if the wind shear does it what we think it will… and spare folks a hurricane land fall by Monday night.
Tropical Storm Laura is a disorganized system, with maximum sustained winds of 50mph and a minimum pressure of 1004mb. Laura has a lot of convection, but it’s not organized around the center of rotation. It brought considerable rainfall to Puerto Rico, as it now heads for the Gulf of Mexico. The conditions for development out ahead of Laura are much better than what Marco will face. As a result, Tropical Storm Laura is likely to intensify into a hurricane by Tuesday, and could become a major hurricane as it pushes once again toward the Gulf Coast. This is the greater of the two threats for certain, even though it’s currently the weaker of the two systems. It bares close monitoring over the next couple days, and anyone in the area from eastern Texas, to the Florida panhandle, should be taking steps to prepare now.
Futurecast Winds in Gulf of Mexico : Sunday Night through Wednesday Night
Marco is the system in the Gulf of Mexico at the start of the GIF… Laura is the system that tracks in behind it about 24 hours later.  These two tropical systems will be the main weather story for the US over the next 48 hours. Let’s hope that the guidance is correct on Hurricane Marco… and that Hurricane Laura does not intensify as much as some of the guidance is suggesting. More updates as we get closer…

Wednesday Discussion : A Little Taste of Fall?

An early fall feel to the air around the Hudson Valley, as our 1st hint of the end of summer has pushed into the region. Clouds will mix with sunshine today, and afternoon highs will peak in the upper 70s to right around 80°. The noticeable difference will be the VERY LOW humidity levels around the Hudson Valley. Tonight, skies should clear out and with a light NW wind, and low humidity… overnight lows should fall into the low to mid 50s. Even some upper 40s are possible in the Catskills and traditionally coldest places. So a very crisp night, and a chance to open up the windows and let in some fresh, fall-like air.
Another gorgeous day in store for our Thursday, with mostly sunny skies, and highs in the upper 70s. As we push toward the weekend, winds will shift around to the SW once more, and warmer and more humid air will gradually push back in for the weekend. 
Have a great Wednesday!

Weekly Outlook : Changes in the Air

After a prolonged period of warmer than average weather, we’re looking at some noticeable changes over the next 2 weeks.  Let’s start off by looking at the month so far.  First the Temperatures..

If we look at the Eastern US, you can see that the Hudson Valley was roughly 3 to 4 degrees above average for the first half of August.  This should be no shock to most of us, as the heat has been in place consistently, with elevated humidity levels most of the time as well.  In addition to the heat and humidity, most of the region remains very dry, and in need of rainfall.  Even with Tropical Storm Isaias bringing considerable rainfall to the western HV and Catskills… we’re still dry for the summer as a whole.  However, if we just look at the first half of August, it’s been very wet compared to average…

Soaking rainfall went right up the spine of the Catskills, as Tropical Storm Isaias definitely left it’s mark.  Most of the rainfall seen in the first half of August, was a result of Isaias.  So while this rain was helpful, we still could use some more to avoid drought conditions pushing into the month of September.

The 2nd Half of August

So what do we expect for the upcoming work week, as well as the rest of August?  In short, dramatic differences compared to what we saw in the first half of the month.  Remember, the first half of the month saw a persistent ridge of high pressure over the eastern US, that allowed heat and humidity to be the dominant weather story.  So let’s look at the projected Jet Stream for the 2nd half of the month.

Projected 500mb Pattern (Jet Stream) Next 10 Days : August 17th – August 27th

This is almost the polar opposite of what we saw the first half of the month.  We should see a pretty deep trough over the eastern US for the coming 7 to 10 days.  This should allow a cooler and drier flow of air, often out of Canada, to be the dominant air mass over the Hudson Valley and northeast.  If we look at the projected temperatures compared to average over the next 7 days, you can see this reflected.

These temps may not look shockingly cool, and they are not… but they are the combined temps over 7 days, compared to average.  So instead of uncomfortable heat and humidity, we’re more likely to have late summer temperatures and low humidity.  Which could provide some very nice days for the 2nd half of August.  We’ll have to see.

The downside could be a drier than normal pattern as well.  The lower humidity levels will reduce the afternoon T-Storm threat, which minimizes our chances of rainfall for the 2nd half of August…

Over the next 7 days, rainfall amounts of 0.25″ to 0.50″ does not go a long way… as you can see on the left side of the graphic.  On the right side, is how much below average these rainfall amounts are.  So guidance is suggesting that we’ll see roughly 50% of average rainfall over the next 7 days.  Which is not helpful when we factor in that we are dry across the region.  Hopefully things will change over the next few days, and we’ll find a way to get some more moisture into the region.

So in short, the 2nd half of August appears likely to be near to slightly below average in terms of temperatures… with below average rainfall.  That will likely translate into some beautiful days, with great outdoor weather.  But at a time where measurable rainfall would be helpful, a little more rainfall on the guidance would be welcome.

We hope everyone has a great start to the work week!  Thank you for your continued summer time support of HVW!

Monday Discussion : Can’t Beat The Heat

The dog days of summer are here.  The pattern for the coming week looks very much like the pattern we’ve seen over the last month.  A large high pressure over the eastern part of North America will keep us hot and dry.  The heat over the northeast hasn’t been record breaking by any stretch, but it has been consistent.  Here’s a map of the temperatures across America during July.  You can see, that the northeast and Hudson Valley were several degrees above average.

So as we look to the start of the week… expect more of the same.  Increasing humidity levels, and mid summer heat.  Highs on Monday and Tuesday likely in the low 90s.  When you factor in the humidity, a heat index in the mid 90s are likely… even some upper 90s heat index values.

A Heat Advisory is in effect for Monday and Tuesday as a result.  The heat and humidity will be in place through Wednesday, before we have some relief in the form of scattered showers and thunderstorms by late week.  Make sure you take breaks from strenuous activity, as heat exhaustion will be possible.

Have a great start to your work week, Hudson Valley.