Weather

The reasons why winds are so gusty

April 21st, 2015 at 9:44 am by under Weather
Low pressure causing gusty winds

Low pressure causing gusty winds

You may be asking yourself, why is the wind so gusty today? There is a meteorological explanation for this annoying problem.

1. Let’s talk about the ‘set up’: We have low pressure system that is basically over staying it’s welcome here. It’s been cut off from the very strong jet stream winds and so this orphan low pressure area really has no place to go. At least it’s not in a hurry to get there. Upper air winds move very slowly and really will not force a pariah like this to move anywhere quickly. It also has components that take it into the upper part of the troposphere, so it’s quite massive as well.

2. Since this massive upper air low has no place to go it really finds a home across the Great Lakes Region. This region has the perfect set up for one of these systems to sit for days. It creates kind of a wind hole for it to sit in and spin. That spinning is the other problem. Think about a bunch of rubber bands all tied together. If you wrap them around something there is a resistance that you form and eventually the bands will break or in the case of this example they unravel. This unraveling is what a low pressure area does over and over again. It spins like a bicycle tire, round and round. This round and round motion creates pressure differences as the pressure drops lower and this causes clouds to rise without resistance.

3. In our case this unraveling and spinning creates those changes in pressure. The atmosphere is always going to try and equal that pressure differential out and so there is great force and friction created as the forces try to equal the pressure. This creates wind and because this pressure difference is so large it is create very gusty winds over the next 24 hours.

Here's how low pressure looks drawn on a weather map. (AMS Education, Datastreame)

Here’s how low pressure looks drawn on a weather map. (AMS Education, Datastreame)

This drawing of a low pressure area on a map may help to visualize this low. The lines of equal pressure (isobars) are very close together and represent the pressure difference or sometimes called the pressure gradient.


A colder week to come & windy, too

April 20th, 2015 at 9:20 pm by under Weather

Colder air is being channeled in from a storm system centered north of us in Canada.  This puts a colder than average airmass in place for the week ahead.

Our current storm system made for a gloomy, cold start to the week.

This current storm system made for a gloomy, cold start to the week, along with some periods of scattered showers.

It’s going to be a quite windy next couple of days, too, because this Canadian storm system is one big pocket of cold air way up above us in the atmosphere.  Even though it doesn’t feel warm here at our level, in comparison to the air above us, it is.  This difference in air temp here at the ground, compared to the air above us in the atmosphere, results in very strong winds as “Mother Nature” tries to bring things into balance.

For us on Tuesday, sustained winds will be from the southwest – sustained between 15 and 25 mph.  However, wind gusts have to potential to double those values and range between 30-50+ mph.


Hubble telescope celebrates 25 years in space

April 20th, 2015 at 10:07 am by under Weather
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is turning 25 this year. The observatory has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond, and helped us find our place among the stars. Credits: NASA

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is turning 25 this year. The observatory has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond, and helped us find our place among the stars.
Credits: NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope will be celebrating 25 years in space this week. Hubble has made numerous ideas that scientists had about our galaxy reality, studying phenomena like black holes in the center of galaxies.  Astronauts have been up in space to fix the telescope 5 times and have been able to extend its space life even longer.

Here’s more about Hubble for you to discover.


Rain on the way

April 19th, 2015 at 10:32 am by under Weather

What a fantastic day we had on Saturday! Sure, the clouds rolled in during the afternoon, but that still didn’t prevent our temperatures from climbing to near 80°. In fact, yesterday was the warmest day we’ve seen so far this year!

With our summer-like Saturday now behind us, all eyes are on the incoming rain. Rain should arrive by mid-afternoon, spreading from north to south. This batch of rain may be heavy at times, continuing into the evening before becoming more scattered overnight.

We’ll be adding to our monthly rain gauge totals with this batch of rain! Through midnight tonight, many places can expect to see between 0.5″-1″ of rain.

Futurecast rainfall estimates through midnight tonight.

Futurecast rainfall estimates through midnight tonight.


Summer-like Saturday event forecast

April 18th, 2015 at 10:24 am by under Weather

Today is on track to be a near-repeat of yesterday with just a few clouds and highs well above-average for this time of year. Many places will climb into the upper 70s this afternoon. A few 80° thermometer readings are not out of the question, either! It’s a fantastic day to get outside and enjoy this summer-like Saturday, because rain is on the way for Sunday. There are lots of events happening today that will be outside. Look for more clouds building in later today, but we should still see a good deal of sunshine.

If you've never checked out the Old Fort before, today is looking like a top-notch day to visit!

If you’ve never checked out the Old Fort before, today is looking like a top-notch day to visit!


Warm and dry as the weekend begins

April 17th, 2015 at 10:35 pm by under Weather

The sunshine was abundant, the wind was light and here on this Friday, we achieved 2015′s highest temp…so far.

Friday's high temp was the highest we've seen in 2015.

Friday’s high temp was the highest we’ve seen in 2015.

Get ready for a wonderful Saturday with temps in a similar range.  Today’s high of 77° marks the 3rd time this year we’ve hit a high of 70° or above.

You should enjoy Saturday’s sunshine and dry weather because things change Sunday.  The clouds will be back and more rain comes to the area.  The rain starts in the morning and continues during the afternoon and evening, becoming more scattered as the day goes along.

While we’ve experienced some periods of rain on a number of days this week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday), the daily rain on these dates has been below our typical daily April rainfall value (.12″).  That’s why the whole week appears as brown below.  With 17 April days in the books, we currently sit at just over a half-inch below average in terms of monthly rainfall.  This weekend’s rain could level the playing field – a half inch to an inch of rainfall is possible on Sunday.

We've been drier than average all week, despite some occasional rounds of rain.

We’ve been drier than average all week, despite some occasional rounds of rain.


Not done with the cold

April 17th, 2015 at 11:42 am by under Weather
Cold air will be here through the end of next week according the the 6 to 10 day forecast (WPC, NOAA)

Cold air will be here through the end of next week according the the 6 to 10 day forecast (WPC, NOAA)

If you weren’t ready to put away the coat then this is your forecast! The 6 to 10 day outlook has below to much below air returning to the forecast next week. From April 22nd through April 26th there is a high probability for below normal temperatures.


Signs of spring

April 16th, 2015 at 11:41 pm by under Weather

Two signs of spring have come back into view in your Live Doppler 15 Fury Forecast:  the UV index and Allergy Report.

For Friday, the UV Index registers as “High” with a value of 7.  We’ll have barely a cloud out there and, thus, LOTS of sunshine.  In comparison, Thursday’s UV Index was only 2, considered low.  So, if you’ll be outside for an extended stretch of time on Friday, make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen.  You can read more about the UV Index scale here.

It may just be spring, but the sunlight's powerful enough to cause sunburn and skin damage.

It may only be spring, but the sunlight’s powerful enough to cause sunburn and skin damage.

With budding and blooming beginning, thanks to the warmer weather and increased daylight, common seasonal allergens are showing up in the air.  Right now, though, these remain at low levels.

Allergy Report 4/15/15

Allergy Report 4/15/15

 

 


Flooding on coast lines

April 16th, 2015 at 11:40 am by under Weather
Coastal flooding website (NOAA)

Coastal flooding website (NOAA)

A new website run by NOAA and the National Weather Service will detail coastal flooding like never before. Not only will it show impacts of flooding but it will show it in high resolution. This is the kind of detail forecast which will become common place over the next several years.


Tracking Thursday’s rain

April 16th, 2015 at 12:05 am by under Weather

The rain has started to fall across the area and we’ll see it continue during the day on Thursday.

Rain is more widespread in the morning, becoming more scattered and less common during the afternoon and evening.

Rain is more common in the morning, becoming more and more scattered during the afternoon and evening.

Rainy times are most likely as the day begins with the potential decreasing later in the afternoon and evening, though some scattered and occasional showers will still be hanging around.