Wednesday 9 a.m.
Today's video shows a strengthening low pressure area moving through the Northeast late this week with widespread showers and thunderstorms. In the meantime, there have been some scattered issues this morning. Dense fog formed in the Philadelphia area, and a band of thunderstorms lined the beaches from central Delaware on past Atlantic City, N.J.
We still do not have model agreement on when or where the heaviest rain will be at any given time. I think there will be a corridor of showers and thunderstorms from southeastern Ohio to the middle of New England tomorrow afternoon with even heavier rain surrounding Lake Michigan. On Friday, the upper air trough may be oriented more north to south, so the heaviest rain band Friday afternoon might be from southeastern Ontario through the middle of Pennsylvania then south to northern Virginia. We should know more about this or other scenarios as the storm system actually takes shape.
From Aug. 10 to Aug. 13 of 1778, a hurricane caused extensive damage along the North Carolina coast then moved up the coast just offshore. The hurricane intervened in a French-British naval battle. The French ships were larger and sustained the heaviest damage. The smaller British ships had a chance to capitalize on this situation... if they had pressed their attack immediately. Instead, they pulled back at nightfall. By morning, more French ships were on the scene and soon dominated the battle.
The weather also played a vital role at the end of the Revolutionary War when British General Cornwallis was trying to evacuate his troops across the York River from Yorktown to Gloucester (in southeastern Virginia). Cornwallis had wanted to ferry the troops across the river then head to the coast where he expected British ships would meet them. Cornwallis may not have known this at the time, but a storm in New York Harbor prevented the rescue ships from reaching the scene. However, that didn't matter. The British had to try to escape at night because otherwise French ships at the mouth of the York River would have seen them and attacked. During the night of the planned evacuation, a squall came down the river and halted operations before 20% of the troops had made the crossing. By the time the storm ended, it was too late to continue the evacuation, and so the troops that had gone across were brought back, Cornwallis was forced to surrender on Oct. 19, 1781. It was clearly a case where the general simply could not get his ships together. The picture below shows the area around the failed river crossing as it appeared in 2001.
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