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
Timing:
– 1pm to 6pm (greatest risk 2pm to 4pm)
Threats:
– 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
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
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.

Tropical Storm Isaias Recap : 8/4/2020

The Hudson Valley does not experience tropical systems directly very often.  That’s a very good thing.  The topography and vegetation in our area are not conductive to sustained strong winds.  If a severe thunderstorm pushes through with 55mph+ wind gusts, that can cause power outages in localized areas.  So it comes as little surprise that with Tropical Storm Isaias left an ugly mark on our region over the past several days.

Reports of well over 300,000 power outages across the region.  Our friends at Central Hudson alone had nearly 115,000 outages… and other suppliers reported over 213,000 outages.  Many of these over 300,000 have been restored.  However, some may not have power restored until after the coming weekend.  That’s the kind of damage we saw in the especially hard hit areas of Orange, Southern Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties.

So looking back at the data so far, let’s start with the rainfall amounts, and those amounts were quite substantial…

This is a combination of rainfall map and rainfall reports from the National Weather Service.  The totals may be slightly difficult to see, but you can see that the heaviest rainfall amounts were focused in the western HV and Catskills.  This is due to the center of Isaias taking a track roughly from Sullivan County, through western Ulster County, and up into Greene County.  The heaviest rains were on the western half of the storm, and you can see how that played out in reality.  Newburgh only saw 1.81″ of rain on the eastern side of Orange county… while in the western edge of Orange county, Port Jervis saw roughly 4 inches of rain.  Flooding concerns were focused mainly in the Catskills, where some areas saw upwards of 5 or 6 inches of rain in Greene and western Ulster counties.

Rough Winds

When we talk about wind gusts… that’s where the bulk of the damage was generated.  We said this storm would have 2 different sides, the side with torrential rains… and the side with potentially damaging wind gusts.  So we just said the heaviest rains were in the Catskills… so that means the worst winds must have been in the SE Hudson Valley.  This wind gust map shows the storm over the course of roughly 6 hours, in 15 minute increments.

Wind Gusts from 12pm to 5:30pm

This is NY state, and it shows wind gusts in MPH.  The Hudson Valley is in the lower right quadrant, and you can see where the strongest wind gusts were focused.  Here’s a rough scale of the wind gusts on this map:
– Blue : less than 34mph
– Greene : 35mph to 46mph
– Orange : 47mph to 58mph
– Red : 59mph to 68mph
– Gray : 68mph or higher

The worst gusts start out in Orange, Rockland, Westchester county around 1pm… and push northward into Dutchess by 2pm.  The worst winds are roughly between 2pm and 3:30pm in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties.  The closer to the NY/CT border you go, the worse the winds.  Here are the reported gusts from the NWS:

A peak gust of 61mph at Bannerman Island… but multiple reports of wind gusts above 50mph can be found.  The problem is not just the intensity of the peak wind gust… but the fact that gusts between 40mph and 60mph continued for roughly 2 hours in any location.  A strong to severe summer time thunderstorm has gusts of that magnitude for 10 or 15 minutes… the gusts from Isaias lasted nearly 2 hours, and the result was that many of the trees and power lines in the region could not handle the power of the winds.  The end result was what we saw… over 300,000 power outages in our region.

Hopefully in the coming days, we can get the damage cleaned up, and start getting power restored to all of our residents.  For now, please think of your fellow Hudson Valley resident, and lend a helping hand if you can.  We’re tough, Hudson Valley!  We wish you all a safe and healthy remainder of the week.

Wednesday Discussion : What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a day makes. A day after Tropical Storm Isaias dropped torrential rains and brought damaging wind gusts to the Hudson Valley… we have picture perfect conditions for our Wednesday.
 
Beautiful sunshine and blue skies, low humidity, and a NW breeze. Afternoon highs in the low 80s are expected. A very comfortable night tonight, with temps in the upper 50s, followed by another beautiful day on Thursday with low humidity and highs in the low 80s.
 
We’ll be watching an upper level coastal disturbance for Friday that could bring some clouds and scattered showers back to the region. For now, we’ll try and enjoy the nice weather, and use it as a chance to clean up and recoup from yesterday’s storm. A special thanks to all our men and women working tirelessly to restore power, and get us all back on our feet… especially our partners at Central Hudson. We’ll try to pull together some storm data tonight.
 
Everyone please try and have a nice afternoon!

Tuesday Morning Tropical Storm Isaias Discussion

A quick look at Tropical Storm Isaias, and you can see on the 2 hour radar loop that this system is moving FAST. Tropical Storm Isaias has winds of 70mph (as of the 8am update), but continues to weaken. It’s center is currently located over the Chesapeake Bay, as it races NNE at 33mph. It’s speedy movement will mean it arrives (and departs) a bit faster than earlier projected. We’re able to get pretty detailed at this point, so lets look at the timeline

Timeline:

– Now thru 12pm –
Scattered showers and downpours, relatively calm winds, gusting 10 to 20mph. A severe thunderstorm with strong wind gusts and possibly a tornado can’t be ruled out (less than 2% chance)
 
– 12pm to 2pm –
Increasing wind gusts and heavy downpours. Areas from I-84 on south especially will see moderate to heavy rainfall closer to 2pm. The SE wind gusts with the onset of heavy rain will be 30mph to 60mph, with strongest winds in higher elevations. This will be the front edge of the tropical storm, so banding rainfall and bursts of wind will be expected.
– 2pm to 4pm –
Height of the storm! Center of Isaias expected to move right over the Hudson Valley. Ahead of the center, is where the worst weather will be. Strong SE wind gusts between 30mph and 60mph are possible, along with wind driven rainfall. Flash flooding is possible in areas where heaviest bands persist… but the area of heaviest rainfall with Isaias will likely be in eastern PA up toward Binghamton. For that reason, wind gusts in our area will be a considerable concern… and scattered power outages are possible due to down trees and power lines. 1 to 3 inches of rain are possible for the eastern half of the Hudson Valley, with 2 to 5 inches possible in the western HV and Catskills.
 
– 4pm to 6pm –
Heaviest rain shifts north of I-84… as heavy rain begins to taper off in the lower Hudson Valley toward 6pm. Winds will diminish for a time, as the front edge of Isaias pushes north of our region. Winds will intensify again as the wind wraps around the back side of the storm, so expect strong wind gusts out of the NW between 20mph and 50mph, even after the rainfall stops.
 
– 6pm to 8pm –
Rain tapers off from south to north as Isaias exits. Winds will be quite strong and gusty out of the NW… gusting between 20mph and 50mph at times.
 
We’ll try to have more updates as the front edge rain shields arrive in the Hudson Valley between 12pm and 1pm. Once again…
 
WORST OF THE STORM:
1pm to 4pm from I-84 on south
2pm to 5pm from I-84 on north

Monday Afternoon Tropical Storm Isaias Discussion

With Tropical Storm Warnings posted for the lower half of the Hudson Valley (Orange, Rockland, Putnam Westchester), it’s likely that many of you may be feeling a bit of angst and uncertainty this afternoon. This short discussion will try to clear up a few basic points.
What:
– Rain… heavy at times Tuesday afternoon.
– Increasing winds of 10mph to 25mph, gusting over 35mph
– localized wind gusts over 50mph possible
– Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches… locally 5″+ possible
 
When:
– 6am to 2pm : Rain showers likely, periods of heavier rain possible
– 2pm to 6pm : Isaias approaches, increasing gusts and downpours
– 4pm to 10pm : Worst of the storm, periods of torrential downpours
as well as howling winds, gusting 35 to 50mph (possibly over 50mph)
 
Where:
– The entire region will experience the affects of Isaias
– Heavy rains expected for all locations
– Gusty winds over 30mph possible for entire HV
– Strongest wind gusts (over 50mph) likely south of I-84
 
Tropical Storm Isaias will likely undergo a brief period of strengthening before making landfall near the NC/SC border. From there, it will push NNE and head toward the Hudson Valley. It will spread rain northward, well in advance of the center of rotation, so rain showers are likely most of the day on Tuesday. The storm will approach the region between 2pm and 8pm. The winds will increase in that time frame, gusting over 30mph at times, mainly as the outer bands of Isaias rotate into the region. The worst conditions will likely be from 2pm to 10pm on Tuesday. During that time, gusts over 35mph are possible, with the highest chances for damaging wind gusts over 50mph being in areas east of the Hudson River, and also in areas further south (south of I-84). The effects of this storm for the region will be like a powerful nor’easter… with some potential for wind gusts that could exceed 40mph, which is what has prompted the Tropical Storm Warning for portions of the area.
 
We would like to stress, that while some details have changed, the general expectations with Tropical Storm Isaias have not changed. The expectation of a track further west has resulted in expectations for slightly stronger wind gusts than we were initially projecting. This continues to be a potentially significant event, and bares watching. We will try to have more frequent updates as we approach the storm’s arrival.