From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for category Forecast Discussion April 2014

Record low tornado count so far for 2014

April 23, 2014 - 07:59 AM

Severe weather season should be in high gear this time of the year with a significant increase in the number of tornadoes reported in the United States starting in April. Not only has it been a slow month for tornadoes, it's been an extremely slow year. In fact, Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma City, says that 2014 has the lowest number of tornadoes on record through April 21st with only 20 reports.




(2014 Tornado Count- Storm Prediction Center)




On average, the U.S. will experience more than 100 tornadoes from January through mid-April. Another bright note on the quiet severe season, so far there have been no tornado-related deaths reported in the country. A cooler spring in the eastern U.S. and the jet stream pattern have suppressed storm development in the plains where most of the tornadoes hit this time of the year.




(Probability of Severe Storms in April- SPC)



In the D.C. region, we have seen one twister so far in 2014.  A rare February tornado tracked from Compton, Md. to Cove Point, Md. on the 21st. It was an EF0 tornado on the Enhance Fujita Scale with maximum winds of 80mph, and it did cause some structural damage. Typically, our area peaks with tornado activity and severe storms in June and July.




(Probability of Severe Storms June/July- SPC)



Atmospheric conditions will be changing this weekend as a potent storm moves out of the Rockies and into the Plains and that could rock our quiet spring. 




(Sunday GFS Computer Forecast- WeatherBell)



A significant outbreak of severe weather will be possible Saturday through Monday.




(Severe Weather Threat Area Saturday through Monday)



As of this writing, while we do expect to get some rain from that system next week,  severe storms are not anticipated in the Mid-Atlantic.









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D.C. cherry blossoms: Days away from peak bloom

April 7, 2014 - 08:14 AM

After a long, snowy, chilly winter, D.C. 's favorite festival shouldn't disappoint. The National Park Service posted this morning that the cherry blossoms are now at the "Puffy White" stage as of this morning. That means peak bloom is 4-6 days away!



(Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms)


It felt like it would never get here. The cooler than average March in D.C. had some (including me) wondering if the early prediction of peak bloom on April 8-12 would have to be pushed back. Luckily, it looks like the experts were right on track. Still, there are questions of weather the next few days will impact the petals or viewing.

Monday will be a wet one with up to an inch of rain possible, so not the best weather to get out there to view the blossoms. 


(Monday rainfall)


Tuesday will be drier, but rather breezy, so we will have to keep an eye out for how the wind will impact the blooms. Right now my thinking is that the blooms aren't quite far enough open for the wind to have a big impact or knock down many petals. Wind will be from the West on Tuesday at 10-15 mph, but a few gusts could reach 20 mph. Conditions will become more tranquil midweek with increased sunshine.

A cold front will pass late Friday or early Saturday and could squeeze out a few showers. So, if I had to pick a day this upcoming week for the best possible viewing and color with sunshine and calm conditions, it would be Thursday. Here's the 7 day forecast:


(Seven-day forecast)


We would love to hear about your experiences at the Tidal Basin checking out the blossoms. Post your photos on the Stormwatch7 Facebook page. You can also post them to my personal facebook page or twitter account and we might just use them on Good Morning Washington. For a list of Festival Activities, click here. Enjoy!!!

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