Tuesday, 11:50 a.m.
Let's face it. As far as the weather goes these days, there's not a lot of exciting things going on. The tropics have been very quiet thus far in the young season, as what few waves we have been able to track across the basin have had little going with them. Furthermore, much of the area from the Caribbean out into the southern Atlantic has been shadowed by some degree of westerly winds aloft, a hostile environment for any kind of tropical system. The only area that has had some thunderstorm activity on a fairly consistent basis has been the far western Caribbean, but even that has been largely close to or over land. Oh, the computer models have tried numerous times to form something from this soup and develop it into a tropical cyclone, but there's really not even been a hint of that.
We've not had to deal with too much in the way of excessive heat, either. The area with the most persistent heat has been the Southwest deserts and California, where temperatures for the month of June area averaging between 2 and 5 degrees above normal to date. Some records have been set, but little of that heat has really been ingested into the pattern, either northward into the Northwest or downstream across the Plains into the East, save for the heat surge last week. Even that was turned back this past weekend by a cold front that turned temperatures back below average across the Midwest, the Great Lakes and the Northeast. Even the cool areas have not been stunningly so. A few record lows have been set, but not a lot.
Perhaps the one thing that has been noteworthy on a consistent basis has been the wetness. As I touched upon in Monday's post, the rains have been excessive across parts of the eastern Plains, the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, the Midwest and parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Look at the most recent posting of the Crop Moisture Index, which is a gauge on the short-term soil moisture:
Contrast that to the long-term Palmer Drought Index:
As I stated in Monday's post, the pattern doesn't change a lot the rest of the week. There will be two main storms to track, and both will add water to places that are already doing well with water. The first one is inching across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley this afternoon and tonight and won't clear the Northeast until late Thursday night. And the second one will get better organized over the northern Plains by Friday, spreading more rain and thunderstorms from the Dakotas into the Midwest.
With regard to the first, there will be limited severe weather. It won't be non-existent, mind you, but the bigger issue is likely to be one of flooding downpours. As I pointed out yesterday, heavy rain is likely in parts of the Ohio Valley, eastern Great Lakes and the Northeast with this lead dog. In fact, if you glance at the 12z June 24 NAM 60-hour total projected precipitation through Thursday evening, you'll think flood watches that are now out for part of Ohio may need to be expanded east and northeastward:
Note that the coastal mid-Atlantic largely escapes the storm with very little rain, though the humidity will be high into Thursday before high pressure noses in to push somewhat drier air into the region for a relatively short period of time.
Meanwhile, system number two will come through the Northwest as a strong cold front - really, two fronts. The first will limp across Montana tomorrow, then more or less die in Montana. The next one will be right behind it, coming through the Northwest late tomorrow and tomorrow night with showers and a few thunderstorms. By Friday morning, an honest-to-goodness surface storm will be developing over the Dakotas, and that promises to spread more rain and strong to severe thunderstorms across the central and northern Plains to end the workweek.
Aside from that, however, there just is not a lot of excitement in the weather department these days. So long as the sun is out, I'll be able to work and play outside, and so can you!
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