July 23: Wet Today (But No Sharknados), Daily Links

WEATHER

Numerous showers and thunderstorms in the forecast today — they’ll travel through the Midstate in waves, with warm and muggy conditions in between the storms.  In general, the individual thunderstorms will move west-to-east, with a slight southward shift throughout the day.  Futurecast depicts this radar simulation throughout the day:
RPM 11A THU RPM 1P THU RPM 3P THU RPM 5P THU RPM 7P THU

Don’t get too hung up on the specific timing and placement of what the model is saying — the pattern of off-and-on storms is the most important part, so keep the umbrella handy.  A stalled-out boundary is acting as the “railroad tracks” for the storms to train along, and that boundary will slowly drift to the south by this evening.  That means southern Kentucky will be the first to see more breaks between the scattered storms today…but it looks like you’ll have to wait until late afternoon and early evening to catch a more prolonged break along I-40:
PAUL RAIN TIMING

Our severe weather potential will be limited, but not absent.  The Storm Prediction Center has pushed even the “Marginal Risk” for severe thunderstorms to the southwest of us:
PAUL SEVERE RISK REGION

After today, the big story will be the heat — after some stubborn Friday morning clouds dissipate, we’ll warm up to around 90 by Friday afternoon.  Mid 90s Saturday through the middle of next week, with limited rain chances:
7 Day PM

 

FICTIONAL WEATHER

Sharknado 3 aired last night.  I didn’t watch it, I didn’t record it, I just looked at the GIF-tastic recap posted on Warming Glow this morning.

The first Sharknado movie was an unexpected delight — deliberately cheesy effects, the barest attempt at a coherent plot, plenty of over-the-top acting…and sharks.  Plus tornadoes.  The second Sharknado movie was fine — a completely-expected effort at recapturing the kitsch (and ratings) of the first.  With this third one now behind us, I hope SyFy is done.  It’s time for ShihTzuNami — get on it, Hollywood.

And in case you missed it, here’s a link to the third annual Sharknado photoshop contest.  Do your worst/best.

 

LINKS

Tons of weather-related nerdery for you this morning…and of course, some space stuff.

  • Lightning photography is pretty tough to pull off, since the actual lightning strike only lasts fractions of a second — but this is one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen.
  • Beyond the “do I need an umbrella” method of forecasting — specific solar and wind forecasts are becoming more important.
  • How climate change could affect your finances.
  • The accuracy of weather forecast models is partially tied to the accuracy and availability of weather observations around the world.  (In order to predict the weather accurately, you have to know what the weather is doing to begin with.)  So the idea of 3-D printable weather observation stations is pretty big news.
  • NASA says we can expect “huge” news at a press conference today, specifically new findings from the Kepler Space Telescope.  Rampant speculation is that they’ll reveal evidence of the most Earth-like exoplanet discovered to date, but their press release gives nothing away.
  • Why is the Earth uniquely suited for life, compared to another planet of comparable size, like Venus?
  • More analysis of the latest images of Pluto that were released Tuesday.  More will be released tomorrow.
  • “Dark matter” and “dark energy” make up 96% of the universe…but we don’t really know what they are.  Here are some possibilities.
  • Some good news from the world of medicine: researchers are closer to a “universal” flu vaccine.
  • My fiance sent me this link, which I interpreted as an apology: the science of “hangry,” or why some people get grumpy when they’re hungry.

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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