Welcome to summer! Well, kind of. While it will certainly feel like summer today, the season doesn’t officially begin until June 20. Meteorologists like simplicity though (hard as that may be to believe) — we round things off to define “summer” as June, July and August, which makes today the first day of “meteorological summer”. You can read more about meteorological seasons here.
The RPM (left) and HRRR (right) models show the spotty pattern, with the HRRR a bit more impressed with our storm chances today:
With this type of activity, it’s virtually impossible to predict a specific “when and where” for the best rain chance — the models are more useful for showing the overall distribution…just start keeping the umbrella handy, since you’ll be more likely to need it tomorrow through at least the first half of the weekend.
The reason for the increased rain chances on Thursday is the approach of a cold front that will essentially stall out overhead Friday and Saturday. Again, keeping in mind that the computer models are better at showing “pattern, not placement,” here’s how Futurecast (the RPM model again) depicts tomorrow’s storm chances:
While there will be enough warmth and humidity to suggest the possibility of a few strong storms, the upper level winds (a few miles above ground level) will be quite weak, which means severe weather will be unlikely. Right now, the Storm Prediction Center just has us outlooked for “general thunderstorms”:
The stalled-out cold front won’t be truly stationary through the weekend — it will wobble back-and-forth to the south and north, which means there will be some subtle fluctuations in our daily rain chances…but the overall theme is that the unsettled pattern will continue through at least Saturday:
At the moment, I’m thinking that the rain chances Sunday will mainly take shape in the early-morning hours, which would hopefully give us some drier weather for outdoor activities Sunday afternoon. (We need the rain along and south of I-40, but of course we’re picky about when it falls!)
Some national weather stories, and other science nerdiness…
- Today is the first “official” day of the Atlantic hurricane season. Here’s a handy guide to some of the tropical terms you’ll likely hear over the next six months…
- …and a comprehensive look at what the 2016 hurricane season might have in store.
- Day-to-day shifts in summertime weather are generally the result of subtle changes in the atmosphere several miles above our heads.
- Parts of Texas have been dealing with excessive rainfall for the second consecutive spring, because the atmospheric pattern has been “stuck” again.
- Some perspective about “chaser convergence” and for-profit storm-chasing.
- NASA’s Juno probe will enter orbit around Jupiter on July 4, but it’s already in the gravitational field of the giant planet.
- We don’t even have any images of the so-called “Planet 9” yet, but some astronomers are already speculating that it originated outside our own solar system.
- There’s a LOT of research ongoing into the possible causes of (and treatments for) Alzheimer’s Disease, with some promising new results.
- A new crash-test dummy could help protect soldiers from IEDs.
- What can canine intelligence tell us about our own intelligence?