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Tuesday 8:30 a.m.
Drier air advanced into the northeast quarter of the nation yesterday, but its tenure is temporary and will be quickly terminated. As a high pressure area moves off the East Coast and a low pressure area forms near the lower Great Lakes, more humid air will be drawn northward... and the chance of showers and thunderstorms will increase. This looks like the kind of setup that can unleash 1-2 inches of rain in some areas. However, until we see exactly where the storm forms and how the moisture becomes arranged around it, forecasting rainfall amounts for various places is risky. The video has more.
On this date in 1918, Philadelphia had a high temperature of 106, the highest official reading ever for that city. What did the weather map look like that day? NOAA maintains an archive of weather maps for each day back to 1871. You can view them here The map for Aug. 7, 1918 is below. The map time is 1 a.m., and you may be able to see the 80-degree isotherm for that hour.
In those days, weather records were kept at the Customs House in Center City, Philadelphia. In later years, the observation site was shifted to Philadelphia International Airport. Airport locations are typically somewhat cooler than the middle of our big cities.
The reason for this is a growing and then stalling storm aloft. This map shows the predicted circulation around the storm on Wednesday evening, showing how the moisture could keep going round and round until the storm leaves.
This mornng, showers were moving across the lower Great Lakes region. A band of thunderstorms developed near Chicago before 6:30 a.m. CT and reached the southwest Michigan shoreline an hour later (8:30 a.m. ET). The following maps show the shower zone and Chicago area lightning.
The tropics have been more active recently. This map shows various entities that area being tracked and analyzed. Hurricane Gonzalo stands out clearly.
A couple of days ago, the storm entering the East had a stronger circulation than it does now. Here is the pressure analysis from earlier this morning. Several minor disturbance can be seen, and trough lines representing those have been sketched on the map. Note that there is little difference in temperature from western Pennsylvania to Wisconsin.
The rain band is only 100-200 miles wide, but it is moving slowly. This map shows its location at 10 a.m. today. Once the main rain band passes, it won't be quite as warm as it was when the rain started. However, by mid-October standard, it will still be mild.
On some days, there are so many "little things" that it is difficult to identify the players. Today, we see two systems dominating: the low pressure area on the left (west) and the high pressure area to the right (east). The cold front associated with the low pressure area is helping to support bands of rain.