Note: My twitter name is now accuElliot.
Hot humid air covers the Middle Atlantic states today, and the heat will only slowly ease during the weekend. A few showers and thunderstorms are likely to affect most of the region during the next few days, but at most places it will only wind up raining a small fraction of the total time. This video has more:
The lightning record from the 24 hours ending around 7:30 a.m. EDT is spectacular, with almost a half-million strikes in the northeast third of the country. The pattern has a stunning northern edge... with Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo missing the lightning, but only by a short distance.
On another theme:
Water is an important topic, and its importance is stressed in an unusual way each July 29th because of the Legend of Waynesburg. According to legend, it rains in Waynesburg, Pa., much more often than usual on this date. According to records maintained there, it has rained in Waynesburg on that date in 111 of the last 135 years through last year.
There will be showers in the Waynesburg area today, the 27th. But on July 29ths of the past we have been watching things there. Sometimes it seems truly amazing because they record rain when no satellite picture shows a cloud and no radar returns an echo. But, who are we to say the legend is all wet? Submerge that thought.
Water and terms associated with it can be very important in our everyday conversation. A river of humid air has been streaming from the Gulf of Mexico to New England, and we have an ocean that it'll be sweaty most of the next few days. Our suggestion: to avoid getting all irrigated about the heat; make the moist of it by lounging by the pool, lake or seaside and immerse yourself.
However, and this is important, a stalling frontal system that could cause thunderstorms in Waynesburg any of the next few days could trigger showers and locally thunderstorms elsewhere as it sloshes toward the I-95 corridor.
In the meantime, we expect an increase in sunshine around Chicago as we go into the weekend. Earlier a pool of strong thunderstorms caused damaging winds and cloud bursts of rain. Gutter gushing rivulets turned roads into rivers, streets to streams and lanes into lakes, while high winds knocked out power service to thousands of people. Utilities received a flood of calls.
However, lack of moisture has been a watermark on the records of this summer, with more than half of the nation facing a serious water deficit. And, there no weather systems around right now that will faucet to change.
Back to the subject of rain, when you are on vacation it can be challenging to find alternate activities because everyone else is trying to do the same thing. One idea that could serve you well is visiting a museum and and seeing the work done by painters, sculptors and other artesians.
This map shows a draft of our starting time lines and expected accumulation from tomorrow's quick-moving East Coast storm.
A storm that has brought hardship and danger to parts of Texas and Arkansas with an assortment of ice and snow will send a swath of snow northeastward today and tonight. Here is a map showing our overall estimates as of 10 a.m. ET:
That could lead to tough travel at the end of the weekend. This map for Sunday at 7 p.m. ET shows where those troubles could be (north of the line with the label "snow rain line.")
This table shows the ensemble means for the next two weeks at Philadelphia: It suggests that whereas it does turn cold, any snowfall looks quite limited.
It is too early to be confident about any forecast for Christmas Day (or even the week before). However, the GFS model does go out 16 days, and it has a cold look for the Northeast exactly one week before Christmas.
As the flow aloft becomes southwesterly, mild moist air will spread northeastward from the Gulf States. In summer, this creates a hazy, very warm and humid scene for the Northeast. Now though, the warmth is slowly drained away as the moist mild air advances over cold ground. With temperatures near the saturation point, clouds form.