We’ve got three days of severe weather on tap. Friday provides a preview into what is expected to be a much more active weekend.
Low pressure shifting east out of New Mexico and carrying a dry line along its southern flank will take advantage of the warm, humid air mass sitting in the Front Range and southern Plains today. The WeatherRadar shows shower activity during the mid-afternoon hours before things ramp up this evening and just after dark.
Isolated severe storms, including damaging winds and large hail, are possible within the marginal risk – level one out of five – area in the central U.S.
To the southeast in Florida, a semi-stationary front will help get isolated severe storms started, and by this afternoon, the sea breeze will bring the lift needed to ignite the rest of the stormy weather. Localized downbursts – heavy-rain producing storms that send out rain-driven damaging gusts in all directions – as well as severe hail are both possible here.
Saturday brings the heat when it comes to severe storms. As much as an enhanced risk – level three out of five – has been issued for the southern Plains and ArkLaTex. The same low pressure triggering Friday’s activity will slowly move east into northern Texas, drawing up plentiful water-laden warm air out of the Gulf.
The dry line will still be present, and this will help provide the lift needed to get the instability rising. Damaging gusts greater than 57 mph, large hail, and isolated tornadoes are possible, especially for places like Dallas and Lufkin, Texas, as well as Shreveport, La.
The WeatherRadar shows these storms igniting in the early evening hours, after a few non-severe afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Your weekend plans will need to include checking your local forecast periodically to be weather aware.
On Sunday, the severe weather shifts east, targeting the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee valleys with slight and marginal risks in place. Not to be outdone, a small area of isolated severe weather is possible in southeast Colorado and northeast New Mexico.
Those who are planning weekend activities to enjoy one of the first weekends of summer break will want to have their alerts switched on, at least three ways to receive a weather warning, and their eyes on the sky.
Hello, it’s your Friday tropical update! Not much has changed since yesterday. Today we want to highlight the fact that there is a model showing a hurricane toward the end of the month entering the Gulf of Mexico. Let us explain that there is more against that than for it.
The good news is that we are heading into the weekend and much of next week without monitoring anything specific in the tropics.
Late next week our eyes might start focusing on the western or northwestern Caribbean for the chance of tropical development. Now the question is... will it develop? And most interesting to many, where would it head to?
Typical early-season crazy spin?
The American model (GFS) has been showing development and a storm entering the Gulf of Mexico. The thing is that this is just one run, one model. It is also typical of the GFS (and the Canadian, too) to try to spin a hurricane during the early season, but it almost never materializes. We look at all models, several runs, and even a group of runs from the same models to pick up on trends. With this there is simply no trend, therefore we think this is just another typical GFS made-up early-season storm.
Go on, enjoy the weekend. There will be plenty of weather happening across the United States to worry about. So, make sure to stay tuned to your local weather forecast. Meteorologist Mary May has your weekend weather forecast and you can consult the forecast throughout the weekend and take us with you!
Summer vacations are underway, but many heading to the Florida Coast and residents already near the beach are having to deal with the smelly sargassum seaweed. Scientists have been monitoring the mass of brown seaweed and new findings are coming out.
The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt has been monitored for months, and it finally made its way to the Florida beaches in the spring. Its memorable smell has had many avoiding the sandy beaches, but recent studies have shown additional details.
Researchers have found that the combination of plastics within the ocean and the sargassum seaweed can create a breeding ground for flesh-eating bacteria.
Not to be outdone, although the belt of sargassum is expected to grow through the summer months, scientists have also found a shrinking effect in the blob of seaweed throughout May 2023. It is down by 15 percent and this is the first time this has happened in recorded history in the month of May.
While the shrinking is good news for beach-goers and Florida residents, people are encouraged to stay away from the seaweed as it can cause poor air quality conditions and now the possibility for flesh-eating bacterial infections.
Severe weather threats are in place for parts of the Northern Rockies, south Texas, and the Southeast Thursday with more threats building in into the weekend.
The WeatherRadar shows storms across much of the U.S. today, but the area that will see the most concentrated threat is Texas. A slight risk, a level two out of five, is in place for Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas, where damaging winds and large hail are possible this afternoon.
Marginal risks, which are a level one out of five, are in place over parts of Central Texas, including Waco, over Montana and the Dakotas, and into south Georgia and South Carolina. These areas may also see a few isolated severe storms that will be capable of producing damaging winds and hail.
Friday also brings a low-end severe weather threat in the form of two marginal risk areas. A few strong storms may develop in the southern and central Plains and in Florida. Cities that may experience damaging wind gusts and hail include Amarillo, Texas, Garden City, Kan., and Oklahoma City. Much of Florida will see storms Friday and a few may be severe in Orlando and Tallahassee.
Folks in the Southern Plains and Ark-La-Tex region will need to stay alert Saturday as a more significant severe weather threat is brewing. Large hail and damaging winds are a concern and a slight risk already extends across this region. Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Shreveport, La., all need to be keeping an eye on Saturday's forecast.
With severe weather possible in the coming days, staying weather aware is essential. Turn on your Weather & Radar app alerts now.
After 3 years with a La Niña in place, its counterpart, El Niño, has officially made a comeback. Models are hinting that this event could turn into a strong one by the end of the year. Let’s explain how it works, what exactly this weather pattern is, and the impacts.
First, its name. El Niño is named after “El Niño de Navidad”, the name given by South American fishermen after they notice that periods of warm water peaked during the month of December in the 1600s.
Like La Niña, El Niño is not a weather phenomenon that can be specifically forecasted when it will start and end. Models often suggest a possibility of El Niño happening as the trends show warming waters, but it is impossible to know exactly when it starts or ends.
Sea surface waters over the tropical Pacific, specifically over the region called Niño 3.4, show positive temperature anomalies or temperatures above average, of at least 0.5C. This anomaly is the mean from five consecutive 3-month measurements of sea surface temperature anomalies. The warmest the anomaly, the strongest it is considered.
The last time we had a strong El Niño, with a warm anomaly at 2.6C or 4.7F, was during the winter of 2015/2016. The last El Niño happened in 2018/2019 and was weak. It was followed by neutral conditions for a year, then 3-consecutive La Niña years.
The trade winds blow east to west along the tropical Pacific. These trade winds push the warmer waters closer to Asia, which enhances rain over that region. Cooler waters rise from the depths of the ocean over the eastern portion of the Pacific, usually keeping storm activity lower. But when El Niño is present, these winds tend to be weaker, keeping the warm waters closer to South America which enhances shower activity over the central and eastern Pacific.
Impacts of El Niño
Since El Niño tends to peak in the winter months (northern hemisphere), this season tends to be the most affected globally, but there are impacts all over the globe year around if this phenomenon lasts for a year or longer.
During the late summer months, when El Niño is present, tropical activity tends to increase over the central Pacific. Luckily these storms do not encounter land, except in Hawaii, as the Pacific is vast. With an El Niño present, the correlation to tropical activity over the Eastern Pacific is not well defined. There could be activity as there is not an exact line that cuts off where the low or high shear is.
Overall, in the Atlantic, activity tends to decrease as wind shear increases. Wind shear serves as a mechanism to kill the top of storms as they develop, not allowing their formation cycle to continue to grow.
If El Niño is present in the winter months, lots of moisture is injected over the southern regions of the United States. The Pacific Jetstream tends to be extended which amplifies the storms’ path, allowing the storms to track across southern regions, and allowing the southern half of the United States to stay wetter and cooler than average.
Drier and warmer conditions are more common across the Pacific Northwest, northern Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley, and parts of the interior Mid-Atlantic. The Caribbean usually suffers from big droughts during El Niño phases, which can put a dent in their economies.