Friday, April 13, 2018

Sudden Summery Warmth, Ongoing Spring Drought, and Possible Weekend Storminess: Weather Overview and Colorful Update

Daffodils, Historic Ellicott City, Md., 6:37PM April 8, 2018.

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Friday, April 13th, 2018. Year Two of the Lunatic Trump Kakistocracy.

I tried to post an entry last night but I just couldn't make it happen. I had gotten back from the gym and just made dinner and watched the old MeTV late night lineup (including Perry Mason) before going to bed around 230AM.

New York Daily News front page, April 13, 2018.

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The weather has been quite disgusting today with instant summer heat (after all the March and early April chilly weather) combined with intensifying drought and skyrocketing levels of tree pollen. 'Natch, this makes the weather perfect for the CWG crew.

NWS Forecast Surface Weather Maps for this weekend ...

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast valid 12Z April 14, 2018.

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Mercifully, decent rainfall is forecasted here in the Metro D.C. area. However, given how much everything has crapped out or just missed us in the last six months, it wouldn't surprise me if this does as well.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast valid 0Z April 15, 2018.

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There is also uncertainty regarding the placement of a "backdoor front" associated with the larger low pressure system with today's NAM run keeping the entire Baltimore/Washington region in the maritime polar sector and the GFS keeping it nearly entire out of the area and the European model in between.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast valid 12Z April 15, 2018.

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The difference in temps between these scenarios would be highs of about 48F versus 74F. This would also impact any convective activity.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast valid 0Z April 16, 2018.

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As for today, preliminarily, it looks like it reached 86F or a high at KDCA and KIAD while KBWI reached 87F. None of these are daily record highs -- all those were set during that mid-April heatwave of 1977 (which, living in New Jersey at the time at age 7, I vaguely recall).

Baltimore/Washington (LWX) Forecast Office county warning area (CWA) advisories updated 6:04PM EDT April 12, 2018.

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Of note, yesterday there were red flag warnings from the NWS for enhanced wildfire threat but not today -- possibly because it wasn't windy today and the dew point was a bit higher (45F or so instead of 40F).

NWS weather advisories for the United States updated 0431 UTC April 13, 2018.

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Large stretches of the Southern Great Plains and back into the Desert Southwest were under red flag warnings with Oklahoma the focus of a series of wildfires that the regional NWS office calling "historic."

NWS weather advisories for the United States updated 2116 UTC April 13, 2018.

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There are some red flag warnings today in effect for places in West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania -- simultaneously with flood watches for the impending weekend storm system that could bring heavy showers and thunderstorms.

Pittsburgh (PBZ) NWS Forecast Office CWA weather advisories updated 3:53PM EDT April 13, 2018.

As the more "severe" weather advisory product takes precedence when there are multiple advisories in effect, this map doesn't show the fact that Pittsburgh proper was under both a red flag warning and a flood watch at the same time.

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About that developing storm system, the result has been the unusual juxtaposition in Kansas of tornado watches adjacent to red flag warnings and, odder still, blizzard warnings within 100 miles of red flag warnings. Meanwhile, down in the Gulf Coast area, all of Mississippi is under a flash flood watch as the storm system develops.

Wichita (ICT) NWS Forecast Office CWA weather advisories updated 4:17PM EDT April 13, 2018.

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As for the rainfall -- quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) -- the forecast shows impressive totals but bear in mind that these are frequently way overdone in terms of spatial coverage. Here is the current day 1 - 3 forecast:

NWS/NCEP/WPC U.S. Lower 48 QPF valid days 1 - 3, 0Z April 14 - 0Z April 17, 2018.

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Turning to the local/regional springtime drought, here are the precipitation totals for the three main airport climate stations in the LWX CWA (with "spring-to-date" referring to the start of climatological spring on March 1st):

KDCA
Month-to-date: 0.05" or minus 1.33" (1.38")
Spring-to-date: 1.97" or minus 2.89" (4.86")
Year-to-date: 7.70" or minus 2.59" (10.29")

KBWI
Month-to-date: 0.11" or minus 1.34" (1.45")
Spring-to-date: 2.36" or minus 2.99" (5.35")
Year-to-date: 8.66" or minus 2.64" (11.30")


KIAD
Month-to-date: 0.15" or minus 1.40" (1.55")
Spring-to-date: 1.94" or minus 2.99" (4.93")
Year-to-date: 8.33" or minus 2.02" (10.35")

Keep in mind that 2017 ended up below normal and there have been extended dry spells since 2016. It sucks and I wish this would change but it is tied up in climate variability and change.


I'd like to return, if I may, to the Oklahoma wildfires (and, yes, it is a political dig, so if you don't like it, don't read it). Let's count the ways we love that state, shall we??

1. EF-5 tornadoes and softball-sized hail at random times (including in the middle of the night).
2. Fracking, fracking, and more fracking.
3. Earthquakes, earthquakes, and more earthquakes -- thanks to all that fracking "micro-seismicity."
4. Oklahoma's tax-and-spend policy. No taxes for frackers or the ultra-rich and no money for anyone or anything else (not even schools or roads)
5. Governor Mary.

6. Governor Mary when she has to send her state penitentiary people around to the back of Walmarts to buy from unmarked panel trucks all those lethal injection drugs that no Big Pharma company will sell.


7. Scott Pruitt.
8. James "MOUNTAIN" Inhofe.
9. 105F summer weather that starts in April and ends in October.
10. Now we can add "historic wildfires."

I guess this "Discover the Excellence" slogan on the "Welcome to Oklahoma" sign is meant to be deeply ironic.

OK, I'm going to wrap up this entry now since I'm running late. I had another significant section on two new findings published in Nature about a slow-down in the AMOC and the tie-in to climate change. However, I'll never finish the entry in time.


For tonight (Friday night), I'm meeting Andrea -- maybe around Gallery Place/Chinatown. I'll probably end up at Trade and/or No. 9 later. For tomorrow, it's a gym afternoon and regular Saturday night MeTV-viewing at home followed by my Sunday free day. Next weekend, I should be in Florida on that unlikely visit with my mom to see my dad that I mentioned.


I intend to post my usual pair of entries tomorrow night, or at least one of them (a Jukebox Saturday Night edition).

--Regulus

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