I’ll get to the weekend forecast momentarily, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that today looks FANTASTIC. We started off with temperatures in the 50s, and while we’ll warm up to the upper 80s this afternoon, the low humidity means it will be comfortably warm:
Get outside and frolic!
Savor it, because the humidity will creep back into the Midstate tonight and tomorrow.
As the mugginess returns, we could see a few showers to start the day Friday:
I’m thinking that a lot of what you’re seeing on Futurecast’s radar simulation will evaporate before it hits the ground, but the early-morning activity will help set the stage for spotty showers and thundershowers Friday afternoon:
It’s not a high probability that you’ll get wet Friday, but it’s the beginning of an unsettled weather pattern that will linger through the Independence Day weekend.
The troublemaker is a stationary front (essentially a stalled-out boundary between warm and muggy air to the south, and not-as-warm and not-as-muggy air to the north) that will be hung up somewhere nearby. Problem is, we don’t know exactly where — stationary fronts aren’t truly stationary. Little ripples in the upper atmosphere track along the front, and the thunderstorms those ripples produce effectively re-arrange the front on a day-to-day basis. Confused?
The forecast models keep the front mostly to our north — they show the heaviest rain (and the associated highest chances of storms) farther off to our north. Both the European…
…and American models are in rough agreement.
But those models have different scenarios about our day-to-day rain chances, and our position on the southern fringe of the heaviest rainfall is troubling.
Why? A lot of times the computers have a hard time figuring out how far the storms will travel (meteorologists like the word “propagate,” because why use a simple word when you can confuse people).
That means that the forecast models tend to underestimate the southward extent of the higher storm chances. And that’s why the percentages on my 7-day forecast this morning are probably higher than other sources you may occasionally check. (But just occasionally, right? RIGHT???)
The upshot is this: it will be hot, it will be muggy, and there will be at least a chance of storms each day. Typical summertime weather! The best chance of storms could certainly stay to our north, but don’t paint yourself into a corner. I do NOT recommend cancelling any outdoor activities — just be ready to make some last-minute adjustments if you have to. Have an indoor place to duck into whenever there’s lightning in the area, and get off the water! You don’t want to be doing this in a thunderstorm:
Once it passes, shake off the rain…
and get back to your outdoor stuff.
Not much time for me to mine the interwebs for science-y stuff today, since I went down the rabbit hole of dog GIFs. Still, here’s some it’s-almost-the-weekend nerdery…
- A long article, but some interesting tidbits I didn’t know about my own profession: the Stormy History of Weather Reporting.
- The “muggy meter” above applies to most of the eastern half of the country…but out west, what we call comfortable they would call humid.
- The top 30 lightning cities in the United States.
- The flooding in West Virginia emphasizes again that the United States needs smarter disaster planning.
- The long-lasting effects of El Nino could drive an intense wildfire season in the Amazon.
- Counting down the days until the Juno probe goes into orbit around Jupiter — it will be the fastest spacecraft ever just before it starts its deceleration into orbit.
- Ceres isn’t the icy dwarf planet that astronomers assumed it was.
- Astronomers may be able to use the biggest explosions in the Universe to estimate the size of the Universe itself.
- Archaeologists recently discovered a tunnel that 80 inmates dug by hand to escape an internment camp during the Holocaust.
- People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain activity.
- “Work hard, play hard” isn’t just a cute phrase — there’s a scientific correlation between professional motivation and leisure motivation.
- FINE, one more dog item: dogs can smell diabetes. (But we don’t know how.)