The big weather story today is the newest tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Colin. It strengthened from a tropical depression yesterday, and will maintain tropical storm strength as it approaches the Florida coast today — at the moment, it is NOT expected to reach hurricane strength (74mph sustained winds or above). Here are the latest stats on Colin, and the satellite/radar perspective as of 7:30am today:
The official forecast path from the National Hurricane Center brings the center of Colin onshore late this evening or early tonight, with 50mph sustained winds:
50mph winds are certainly strong from an everyday perspective, and some of the gusts associated with Colin’s low atmospheric pressure could exceed 60mph…but that’s not strong enough to produce widespread wind damage. Instead, the effects of Colin will be felt in the form of beach erosion (roughly a 3-foot storm surge kicked up by the winds) and flooding rain. The HRRR model radar simulation shows the widespread rain that will inundate Florida, southern Georgia, and even the Carolinas today:
Total rainfall amounts could exceed 8″ in spots:
That’s way too much, especially in areas of Georgia and South Carolina already soaked by Tropical Storm Bonnie last week.
No such problems for our weather…in fact, most of the week looks very nice! We’ll still be warm today, with temperatures warming up to the mid to upper 80s:
But as winds turn to the northwest today, the humidity will be noticeably lower by this afternoon — dew points will drop below 60 degrees, which is where we want to be on the “muggy meter”:
Wednesday and Thursday will continue the pleasant weather trend…even some windows-open weather with lows dropping to the 50s overnight!
But then the other shoe drops, just in time for CMA Fest and Bonnaroo…highs will climb well into the 90s Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the humidity climbing as well. Just an isolated storm chance this weekend — for outdoor planning purposes, I’d be more concerned about the heat and humidity, rather than the rain chances.
Let’s start off the work week nerdy…
- Parts of the Houston area saw two 100-year floods in the space of 100 hours last week.
- The development of Tropical Storm Colin this early in June marks the earliest that the third named storm of the season has formed since record-keeping began. But the early-season activity doesn’t mean that the entire season will be active.
- New tools for hurricane forecasters this year: storm surge forecasts, and drones.
- How better weather forecasts can help stretch water supplies in drought-stricken areas.
- A question I’m asked all the time: “Why are weather forecasters called ‘meteorologists’ if you don’t study meteors?” Here’s your answer.
- Speaking of meteors…a decent-sized space rock lit up the skies over Arizona last week.
- Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, but it’s not the hottest planet. Why?
- How studying atoms on Earth helps astronomers study other planets.
- The science of football: which positions take the hardest hits?
- Nice to see virtual reality being used for something other than video games…med students are using it to simulate the experience of elderly patients.
- The chemical reactions that make certain foods so tasty.
- As cars become more sophisticated, the problems become more complex: 15% of car recalls are now due to software problems.