Archive for January, 2010

THE COLD CONTINUES BUT AN END TO THE FRIGID TEMPERATURES IS IN SIGHT… SNOW AND SLEET IS REPORTED IN PARTS OF FLORIDA

Temperatures this weekend will be very chilly here in Hampton Roads. High temperatures will be around the freezing point and the winds will be a bit brisk. No significant precipitation is expected for several days as we are in a very dry weather pattern. If you look at the visible satellite image, it almost looks like a storm system is trying to develop to our south and will track northeastward to bring us precipitation. That is not the case.  There is a band of high clouds that is streaming in from the southwest and should shift southeastward over the weekend. The upper-level winds that are causing these clouds is actually causing some snowflakes and sleet to mix in with the rain in Central and Northern Florida. The cold high pressure system is quite expansive and as a result most of the nation from the Rocky Mountains to the the Atlantic Ocean are within the grip of the frigid air mass. The high will slowly move eastward and forecasters expect a slow moderation of temperatures next week. We should see temperatures rise into the 40’s by mid-week. I’ll have an update on Sunday morning.

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BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE… WINDS GRADUALLY SUBSIDE BY MID-WEEK

That low pressure system off the New England coast is going to be a factor in our weather for some time to come. The pressure gradient associated with this system is causing our strong NW winds which will only slowly subside towards mid-week.  If you look at a temperature map of North America, you will see that it is actually warmer in Maine than it is here in Hampton Roads. This is due to the relatively milder air that the storm has pulled into its circulation from the Atlantic Ocean. This marine air has raised the temperatures in Nova Scotia and Maine. The counter-clockwise flow around the system has actually created a warm front that is moving westward around the northern part of this system. The low will gradually fill and move away but we will be under its influence for several days. Our blustery conditions will only slowly subside this upcoming week.  The broad upper-level trough over Eastern North America will keep our temperatures below normal and will help to keep us on the dry side. The next chance of precipitation is on Thursday night, and at this time, moisture looks quite limited. However, any precipiation that we receive could be in the form of snow, so stay tuned. Other than that, there is not much going on this week. So, after the 4th wettest year in our recorded history, the pattern becomes a bit drier, but will it stay that way? I think that since El Nino is firmly in place, we will return to a wetter pattern. Could that mean snow for Hampton Roads? As I’ve said repeatedly, we are WAY overdue for snow as it has been over 5 years since we’ve received a significant snowfall.

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A LARGE STORM SYSTEM OFF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST WILL BRING STRONG WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES TO HAMPTON ROADS

A low pressure system still intensifying off the New England coast will cause strong NW winds along with very cold temperatures.  The low may actually retrograde westward over the next couple of days as a strong high builds down from the north to the east of this system. Parts of Northern New England and Southeastern Canada are experiencing a major snowstorm. This low pressure system will affect us for a good part of the week causing very little day to day changes in the weather. The big issue for us here in Hampton Roads will be the winds as they will be quite gusty this weekend… There is an excellent article in the Virginian Pilot today (Saturday) on the very wet 2009, which turned out to be the 4th wettest in Norfolk’s recorded history. 2009 did come very close to being the 3rd wettest year. The total rainfall for 2009 was 64.66 inches which is nearly 20 inches above normal. Will 2010 be another above normal year for Hampton Roads? It’s hard to say, but the continued El Nino in the Pacific Ocean may help to keep us in a stormy pattern over the next month or so. Only time will tell. I’ll have an update on Sunday.

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THE NEW YEAR STARTS OUT SIMILAR TO THE WAY 2009 ENDED… CLOUDY AND DAMP… A MAJOR CHANGE TO BITTERLY COLD IS COMING THIS WEEKEND ALONG WITH STRONG WINDS

As the headline states, the new year is beginning with cloudy, cool, and damp conditions, which is the way 2009 ended. However, a change to windy and colder conditions is coming this weekend. Since today will be the last relatively mild day for quite a while, I am going to take down my outdoor Christmas lights. A low pressure system is going to intensify or “bomb out” off of the New England Coast which will increase our winds tonight and Saturday. A Wind Advisory may be issued, especially for coastal areas and areas to our north. The cold weather will most likely last quite a while. No significant precipitation is expected over the next few days… A quick note on 2009.  The total rainfall at ORF was 64.50 inches in 2009. ORF’s normal annual precipitation is 45.74. The above normal rainfall was most likely caused by the El Nino which developed during the second half of 2009. I’ll have an update on Saturday.

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