July 13: Hot and Humid, Daily Links


Hazy, hot and humid weather will prevail today, with temperature climbing well into the 90s this afternoon:
Factor in the humidity, and the heat index will hover around 100 degrees.

After several days stuck in a will-it-or-won’t-it thunderstorm pattern, today’s forecast is a little simpler: it could storm, but your odds are low of seeing any rain in your neighborhood.  Futurecast just shows a couple of pop-up storms this afternoon, our usual summertime 20% chance:

The unsettled weather pattern returns to the Midstate tomorrow.  The forecast models are, unsurprisingly, all over the place regarding the when/where of the best storm chances.  In fact, I’m generally ignoring the radar simulations, since they’ve been so inaccurate the last several days.  Going from the upper-level forecast data, and some historical perspective about how these things usually play out, here’s what I expect:
– One round of storms moving in from the northwest early Thursday morning.  Storms should diminish as they move in, and be gone by mid-morning.
– Another round of scattered storms in the afternoon, after temperatures warm up to the low 90s.  Plenty of humidity to fuel the storms, but severe chances will be low.
– A weak boundary will drop in from the north on Friday, sparking more scattered thunderstorms.  The presence of that boundary will help to enhance our severe weather potential.  At this point, the Storm Prediction Center is just outlining us for a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) of severe weather:
The SPC’s short-range ensemble forecast model estimates just a 10% chance of thunderstorms capable of producing severe weather Friday afternoon:
Those chances will probably end up in the 30-40% range once the various ensemble members start to converge on similar forecast details.

The rain chances in the weekend forecast are lower than what we’ve been showing so far this week — it looks like the best chance of storms will drift down to our south Saturday and Sunday, leaving us with highs in the low 90s and limited (but not zero) storm chances:
A genuine heat wave looks like it will build into the middle of the country over the weekend, and push eastward early next week.  That will push the jet stream (the main storm track for North America) well to the north, and limit our storm chances to the 20% range:
Expect mid 90s for highs, maybe even upper 90s by Wednesday and Thursday if the current forecast trends hold up.  HOWEVER!  With upper-level winds from the northwest, there will be at least a chance for some thunderstorms to break off from the pack and head our way, instead of following the jet stream directly.  That’s our best chance of avoiding the worst of the heat, but at this point I’m sticking with that 20% storm chance.



The mid-week nerdiness…

  • A recap of the tornadoes and floods that hit Minnesota Monday evening.
  • The FCC is considering allowing mobile phone companies to use frequencies that could disrupt weather satellites.
  • The United States is in the midst of an all-time hurricane drought (since record keeping began in the 1860s, anyway).
  • I’m already on board with the thesis of this article: “Meteorologists Should Openly Discuss Climate Change.”  I would add to that: it should be discussed in a non-hyperbolic, scientifically sound manner.  There’s plenty of Chicken-Little climate coverage that I do NOT link to in this space — if I post something here, I’ve read it, determined that it’s newsworthy, and also determined that it stands up to scrutiny.  Same goes for on-air coverage, but our time there is limited by newscast formats…
  • This weathercaster (I looked it up, she’s definitely not a meteorologist) in England managed to deliver an entire forecast using Ghostbusters references.  Straight-faced.  She’s my hero, I don’t care what her meteorological credentials are.
  • New satellite images show the extent of the toxic algae bloom in Florida.
  • A volcano’s shape can tell you how it will erupt.
  • NASA’s Juno probe sent back its first in-orbit picture of Jupiter and its moons.
  • How artificial sweeteners might mess with your brain.
  • It’s been over 50 years since “The Pill” was approved for public use — why isn’t there a male equivalent yet?
  • Ask any seven-year-old what a dinosaur sounded like, and they’ll give you a (cute) ROAR!  But…did dinosaurs roar?  Or did they hoot?  Or boom?  Or coo?
  • What causes “brain freeze” when you’re eating ice cream?
  • Do pets really have secret lives when you’re away from home?
  • I’m a huge baseball fan, and Mike Trout is my favorite current player to watch.  Especially now that he revealed that he’s a huge weather nerd.
  • While we’re on the subject, everything you wanted to know about physics and baseball.

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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