Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.
The most recent surge of heat and humidity - and yes, I will call it both after what I experienced on Maryland's eastern shore Friday into Monday morning - is now gone. A cold front pushed steadily across New England and the mid-Atlantic states yesterday, erasing the 80s warmth with dew points that were well into the 60s to near 70 degrees - awfully high for so late in the year! Showers and a few strong thunderstorms accompanied the front as it passed, with numerous instances of wind damage from Virginia to Maine:
Quite a bit of rain was tied to the frontal passage all the way down into the Carolinas, with many locations picking up between 1 and 2 inches of rain. In the Carolinas, there were some locations with over 3 inches of rain, with more on the way due to a storm off the northeast coast of Florida at this hour:
As storms go, this will not become a 'hybrid howler,' but it is kicking up quite a bit of wind from the Delmarva Peninsula all the way down the East Coast this morning, and seas of 3 to 6 feet are common offshore, with up to 9-foot seas off Cape Hatteras. This storm will crawl north and northeast over the next few days, keeping the East Coast cool, cloudy, windy and wet all week long.
The model debate at this point is just how far north will the storm come this week, and just how far inland will it rain? And that is something that won't easily be answered for a couple of days, partly because the storm will be trapped underneath a quickly rebuilding upper-level ridge. Look at the projected 500mb flow for tomorrow evening:
The flow around the storm will be weak, and as a result, the storm will move slowly, and at times meander. Furthermore, the contrast from one side of the storm that is fairly impressive now will be gone in a couple of days. Instead of working with the tropical air over the Atlantic and the cool, dry air over the Appalachians, there will be less of a thermal distinction later this week between the two air masses, thus the storm won't have anything to really grow on.
Frankly, I'm glad I was along the Eastern Shore this past weekend. It was warm and summerlike, and I enjoyed a fabulous ride at the Seagull Century out of Salisbury, Md. There wasn't as much wind as I was used to in doing that ride in previous years, and while I was spent at the end from averaging just under 20 miles an hour, you can see I was still smiling:
Naturally, I sported the pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and I even did a little free demo for SkirtSports.com as one of their 'Champions.' (Feel free to ask!) Once done with, I spent the rest of the time soaking up the sun, camping at the beach and seeing many of the wild ponies on Assateague Island:
Had that ride been today, or especially tomorrow or Thursday, it would have been a much less enjoyable time!
A deep upper-level trough of low pressure is caught in between two strong upper-level ridges, locking cool weather into Plains to the Appalachians and beyond.
A much cooler air mass will expand from the northern Plains this weekend to the Deep South and into the East by Tuesday, pushing temperatures much below normal.
Intense heat and oppressive humidity surging out of the central Plains will cause severe weather from the Midwest to the Ohio Valley in the next 72 hours, followed by much cooler weather next week.
Despite the heat and humidity in the East today and a surge of intense heat and humidity coming out of the central and southern Plains for a brief period of time, cool air will dominate the pattern through the end of July from the Plains to the Appalachians.
A pattern of extremes is once again unfolding across the country over the next week, with two shots of cool air interspersed with intense heat.
Despite the heat over the central and southern Rockies this week, an amplified pattern means cool air will dominate in much of the country for the rest of July.