From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for May 2015

2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

May 28, 2015 - 05:17 AM
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The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins Monday, June 1st.  Even though the 'official start' is a few days away, we've already had our first tropical system of the season.  Remember Tropical Storm Ana?

Tropical Storm Ana - NASA

Ana made landfall, as a tropical storm, along the South Carolina coast on Sunday, May 10th - Mother's Day.  Ana was the second earliest landfalling tropical storm on record in the Atlantic. 

As of this writing, there are no storms the National Hurricane Center is watching in the Atlantic.

National Hurricane Center

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center released its 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Wednesday, forecasting a below-average hurricane season.  Here are the numbers:

NOAA

“The main factor expected to suppress the hurricane season this year is El Niño, which is already affecting wind and pressure patterns, and is forecast to last through the hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño may also intensify as the season progresses, and is expected to have its greatest influence during the peak months of the season. We also expect sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be close to normal, whereas warmer waters would have supported storm development.”

Regardless of the numbers, it's important to be Weather Ready now.  Whether you live along the coast, or inland, now is the time to make sure your Hurricane Preparedness Kit is ready to go!

As always, stay with your StormWatch7 weather team with for all tropical updates.  The National Hurricane Center is unveiling a new storm surge graphic.  This graphic will highlight storm surge hazard and will help warn indiviuals of risks to life and property.  Here is a sample of the new graphic:

New National Hurricane Center Graphic

Peak hurricane season doesn't arrive until August, but now is the time to prepare for tropical hazards, so you're not caught off guard in the future.

Oh, and wondering if a troipcal storm or hurricane will be named after you this season?  Here's a list of the 2015 names:

2015 Hurricane Names

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May much warmer than average, hot week ahead

May 25, 2015 - 04:21 PM
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May has been an exceptionally warm month in the D.C. area, with 18 of the 24 days so far experiencing above average temperatures. There have been three 90 degree days and 15 days with high temperatures above 80 degrees. Our averages for May 25th (Memorial Day Monday) are 78 for the high and 59 for the low, so chalk up another day with highs 5 to 10 degrees above average.

Latest 7-Day Outlook here

Here are the five warmest months on record in D.C.:

1991 - 73.0F

2004 - 71.8F

1944 - 71.6F

2012 - 71.4F

1880 - 70.5F

Thus far, May 2015 is averaging 71.1F putting the month solidly as the 5th warmest. Temperatures this week are expected to consistently be in the upper 80s, which is right around 10 degrees above average. This could easily put the month as the 3rd or 4th warmest on record, but the 73F recorded in 1991 appears safe. Regardless, this will be only the 7th time since 1871 May has experienced an average temperature above 70 degrees.

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Memorial Day Weekend forecast for D.C. and the Beaches

May 21, 2015 - 03:00 PM
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Today happens to be the coolest since May 1st, the fourth time this month with below average temperatures and also as we sit in the 50s is currently 30 to 35 degrees cooler than just 48 hours ago.

These chilly temperatures and pesky showers won't hang around for the weekend though. Big changes are expected by tomorrow as sunshine filters back overhead along with milder temperatures in the upper 70s.

The weekend is looking fantastic. High pressure is expected to filter overhead on Saturday and will move off the east coast Sunday. Sunny skies are expected Saturday with seasonable temperatures in the mid 70s. As the high moves east, a southerly component to the wind will help usher in warmer air once again and highs should reach the low to mid 80s Sunday and upper 80s Memorial Day Monday.

Weekend Outlook

The Beaches

Just so you have the right mindset, water temperatures across the east coast from Virginia Beach to the Delmarva are still in the 60s, so it will be chilly at times right on the beach. South of Hatteras, water temperatures are much warmer in the 70s. I can vouch for this as I swam in the Atlantic at Sullivans Island outside of Charleston, SC last weekend. Very comfortable water there!

Beach Outlook

Right now we're still expecting plenty of sunshine both Saturday and Sunday along the eastern seaboard. Temperatures will be cool in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees each day at the northern beaches, and in the low 70s from Virginia Beach to Nags Head.

Memorial Day Monday appears like it will be a good day to hang around at the beach and head home in the afternoon. Temperatures look like they will be in the mid to upper 70s under mostly sunny skies. Enjoy it if you're going!

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First 90 degree day of the year possible Tuesday

May 11, 2015 - 01:51 PM
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The month of May is currently running nearly 8 degrees above average so far but some relief is in sight by the middle and end of the work week. Temperatures again topped the 80 degree mark today and may possibly reach 90 degrees Tuesday. The average high at Reagan National for this time of year is in the mid 70s. Here's a look at the first 90 degree days over the past five years in Washington D.C.

First 90F Day in D.C. over the past 5 years

You can see just last year, the first occurrence was May 13 when it reached 92F. Last year only had 24 days at or above 90 degrees, which is below the average of 36 days. While it still hasn't reached 90 degrees yet this year, this doesn't mean it will be a cooler summer. 2011 and 2012 featured the first 90 degree day late in the month of May and still experienced 50 and 53 days respectively at or above 90F.

Forecast temperatures Tuesday at 3pm per the 4km NAM Model (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Tuesday our forecast is currently to reach 89 degrees, but with a frontal boundary moving through we may get some additional compressional heating with strong westerly winds helping push parts of the area over 90 degrees. If the region doesn't reach 90 degrees tomorrow, we'll have to wait at least another week or two for the next opportunity. At this point it appears the 18th and 19th might be rather warm ahead of a cold front.

Wednesday through Friday should be much more comfortable with temperatures in the 70s and dewpoints back in the 50s and 40s.

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Eyes on the tropics already? (Saturday Update)

May 9, 2015 - 09:15 AM
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(Update Saturday 5-9-15 9:30 PM)

Tropical Storm Ana has formed and is at its peak strength right now.   Getting the worst of it right now are the coasts of Northern South Carolina and Southern North Carolina (did I get that right :D ), or right around Wilmington, NC.

Satellite / Radar Data Saturday Night


The National Hurricane Center is only issuing a forecast through Monday at 2PM, to where it will only hold any sort of tropical characteristic up through that time.  After 2PM Monday, this storm poses little threat for anything other than ordinary thunderstorms and locally brief heavy rain.

 

NHC Official Forecast

 These two aspects, along with a cold front that also nears the region, confirms that Monday will be the day likeliest for storms in the Mid-Atlantic.  Our Futurecast forecast shows scattered showers and possible thunderstorms over the region by 11AM Monday.

Our Local Futurecast Forecast at 2PM Monday


(Previous Update from Tuesday)

 

We're still keeping a close eye on the disturbance along and east of Florida affecting the Bahamas. This system continues to have a chance for subtropical development over the next few days but as of now appears like it will have little to no affect on the D.C. area.

 

 This area of showers and storms is associated with a surface and upper-level trough, meaning it doesn't have any tropical characteristics at the moment, but may become subtropical over the next few days.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the area for later in the week, and as of Tuesday has a 40% chance for development. For the latest Special Tropical Weather Outlook, the NHC has stated,

A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms extending
from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba, southern Florida,
and the Bahamas is associated with an upper-level trough and a weak
surface trough. An area of low pressure is expected to form in
association with this disturbance during the next day or two. The
low could gradually acquire subtropical characteristics over the
next few days while it moves generally northward at a slow forward
speed. For additional information on this system, see High Seas
Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. The next Special
Tropical Weather Outlook will be issued on this system by 11 AM EDT
Wednesday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...40 percent

Find more on the difference between a tropical, subtropical and extratropical storm here.

Atlantic 5-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook (Courtesy: National Hurricane Center)

As of this morning, the majority of model guidance either keeps the system offshore along the southeast coast or drifts the low into South Carolina on Friday. All guidance as of now keeps the low well south of the D.C. area, but some tropical moisture still may filter its way into the Mid Atlantic byt early next week.

We'll continue to keep a close eye on it as these types of disturbances are notoriously difficult for a global model to accurately forecast. Be sure to stay tuned, especially if you are headed to the southeast beaches within the next week.

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Daylight is dominating

May 1, 2015 - 12:53 PM
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I felt like it was only a few weeks ago when we were waking up and the sunrise was after 7am and the sunset was prior to 7pm. It has now been a solid 8 weeks since we entered daylight saving time March 8th. Sunrise that day was 7:31am and sunset was 7:08pm.

Fast forward to May 1st and the sunrise is 6:10am and sets at 8pm. That means in just 8 weeks the D.C. area has gained 2 hours and 13 minutes more daylight. March 8th featured 11 hours and 37 minutes while May 1st has 13 hours and 50 minutes.

Duration of Daylight

Through May 31st, the area will gain an additional 51 minutes to hit 14 hours and 41 minutes by the end of the month. Through June there's only another 13 minutes to gain, however, as the longest day of the year happens around the summer solstice June 21st. The longest days of the year actually extend from June 18th through the 24th.

The difference between the summer solstice and winter solstice in terms of daylight is 5 hours and 28 minutes, as by December 21st and 22nd, D.C. will be back to 9 hours and 26 minutes of daylight.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend!

Sunrise and Sunset times below.

Sunrise and sunset times looking ahead

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