Friday, June 23, 2017

Not Cindy, But A Very Wet Day Up Here In New England. Flash Flooding?


UPDATE


This graphic/radar image from the National Weather Service
in South Burlington, Vermont shows heavy rain over northern
New York and Vermont early this morning, with more downpours
looming to our west for later today.
A flash flood watch has been issued for a strip of north central Vermont, basically and roughly within 30 miles either side of Route 2.
The flash flood watch also covers a good chunk of northern New York.

The rain really came down hard in this region this morning, with up to two inches of rain reported.

The ground is soaked, and more downpours loom.
The warm front that caused the heavy rain has moved to the north, and we're in very, very humid air. Any showers and storms that form will bring torrential rains, and flash flooding is now a real risk in much of northern Vermont.

As of 12:30 p.m., weather radar is frankly ominous. Heavy downpours were lurking in New York state and strengthening. Bands of heavy downpours look like they might want to repeatedly move over the same spots.

Flash flooding, as the name implies, happens fast, so be aware of gushes of water coming down from the hills. Don't drive through flooded roads, because even shallow water can sweep a car away, and you don't know if the road is washed away beneath the water.

Take care this afternoon, northern Vermont and northern New York peeps!

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION

I awoke in northwest Vermont today to gusty south winds, bursts of heavy rain and, occasionally, the sound of thunder.

Tropical Storm Cindy?  

Nah, no and nope, but the now-deceased tropical storm is having some influence on the weather here in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast.

There was impressive band of rain and thunderstorms all the way from Wisconsin, across Michgan, through southern Ontario, across northern New York and on into Vermont and the rest of New England early this morning.

That was a very active warm front coming through. Some warm fronts, like this one, produce a lot of precipitation. Others go by with little fanfare.

This warm front, in part, had some moisture to work with from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy, which was still located in the South and prompting flood watches today from Louisiana to southwest Pennsylvania.

By the way, Cindy did cause flooding and some tornadoes Thursday after coming ashore and weakening to a very wet tropical depression. One tornado caused damage and injuries around Birmingham, Alabama.

There might not be much flooding in Vermont or northern New England today, but some of us have already gotten pretty wet, and will get wetter.  If there is any flooding, it's most likely across northern Vermont and New York, which got the biggest soaking this morning, with more than an inch of rain.

And those storms this afternoon will be torrential. Plus, I saw one weather model that showed up to five inches of rain in parts of  the northern third of Vermont today, which would cause some pretty substantial flash flooding.

That's not a definite, but it's something to watch. It depends on whether thunderstorms develop and repeatedly go over the same areas. If there is flash flooding today, the best bet is north of Route 2.

Later this morning, the warm front will have lifted into Canada, taking its occasionally heavy rain with it.

However, we will be in a warm, somewhat unstable and very humid atmosphere, due, again, in part to the remnants of Cindy still sitting well to our south.  The lull in the rain late this morning and maybe early this afternoon will come to an end.

With a cold front well to our west, but approaching us, showers and thunderstorms will break out again this afternoon and evening.

 Unlike the morning's rain, which pretty much gave everybody in the northern half of New York and most of Vermont a good soaking, the showers and thunderstorms later today will be more hit and miss.

Some people will only get a little more rain, while others get blasted by torrential downpours. It's a roll of the dice.  Again, northern Vermont is the most likely scene of this.

It's possible some storms later today could end up being severe, too, with local strong gusty winds and hail.

This won't be a big time severe event. The atmosphere just isn't right to produce lots of organized, intense storms.   Still, a  few storms could get somewhat wild. But the bigger story will be the heavy rainfall today.

We'll keep showers in the forecast Sunday through Monday, though none of these days will be a washout. Just hit and miss stuff like we had over much of the past week.

Looks like it might turn warmer and drier for a couple days later next week, though.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Deadly Portugal Forest Fire Largely A Man-Made Tragedy.

A huge forest fire in Portugal has killed at least 64 people
I'm sure most of you are horrified by the news out of Portugal last weekend, when a huge forest fire in the central part of that nation killed more than 60 people.

Lots of observers are saying that the disaster was at least in part man-made.

The Portugal forest fire hit during a spell of extremely hot, dry weather, the kind of conditions that climate change and global warming tend to encourage.

There's that, but an even bigger reason for the Portugal disaster has an even more direct line to what humans did.

As the BBC and many other media outlets note,  eucalyptus trees had a lot to do with this.

I'll let the BBC explain:

"Much of the area in flames is dominated by eucalyptus, an Australian species introduced to Europe in the 18th Century, but which really boomed in Portugal with the rise of the paper industries in the mid-20th Century.

It is one of the most profitable trees, but ecologists say eucalpytus sucks up rare groundwater and is bad for native plants and animal life. 

The sap-rich tree that now covers large parts of central and northern Portugal is also highly flammable

Eucalyptus lined route N-236, where 47 people died in their cars while trying to flee." 

On top of all that, a lot of forest in Portugal is privately owned, and much of it isn't managed well. Plenty of underbrush, dead branches and other fuels accumulated in the forests, and that contributed to the fire's intensity as well.

Worst of all, a person might have started the fire. Initially, it was thought that lightning struck a tree during a "dry thunderstorm" sparking the blaze.

But there are now reports that the forest fire was already going gang busters when the lightning struck. The thunderstorm winds might have fanned the flames, but an arsonist might have started the fire ahead of time..

We always hear of "natural disasters" as being "an act of God." and there's nothing we can do about it.

To an extent, that's true, as we can't prevent every storm, every drought, every heat wave, every hurricane, every tornado.

However, every disaster death toll is made worse by something we could have done better. Hindsight is always 20-20, but when people die in a weather calamity, it's always useful to figure out why people died and how we can prevent deaths the next time.

Because there's always a next time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tropical Storm Cindy Drowns Gulf Coast; Southwest Bakes Enough To Cancel Flights

Tropical Storm Cindy and the Southwest heat wave are the big news stories of the day, so we'll get right into those: 
Ragged but very, very wet Tropical Storm Cindy in the
Gulf of Mexico this morning.

CINDY:

Tropical Storm Cindy, as anticipated, formed yesterday in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is already drowning parts of the South in way, way too much rain.

The storm doesn't even look like a classic tropical storm, and although highest sustained winds with this thing were 60 mph early this morning, the wind isn't the big issue with Cindy.

It fact, those winds will probably diminish some by the time it makes landfall tomorrow morning.

However, Cindy is bringing immense boatloads of moisture onshore. The storm could dump up to a foot of rain in a zone between Louisiana and the Florida panhandle. This would cause horrible flooding, as you can imagine.

Especially since that area has had a super wet June already.

Later this week, the remnants of Cindy will move over the area around Tennessee and then toward North Carolina and Virginia, continuing the threat of very bad flooding in those regions.

For my local readers wondering if Cindy will have any local impacts on Vermont, the answer is, not really.

A cold front coming in Friday looks like it will want to scoop up some moisture from Cindy, which means some of the thunderstorms with the cold front could produce heavy rain. But the storms will likely move along too fast to produce any widespread flash flooding.

HEAT WAVE

That long anticipated heat wave in the Southwest hit its stride on Tuesday. Las Vegas, Nevada tied the record for its all time hottest temperature, at 117 degrees.

Also, as the Weather Channel reports, Needles, California ties its all time high temperature record with an, um, balmy 125 degrees.

Fun fact: The Peanuts character Snoopy had a brother named Spike who lived in Needles. If Spike were real, I'd hope someone would have taken him to an air conditioned place.

It could have been worse for Spike: Death Valley reached 127 degrees Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Tucson just missed its all time high temperature by one degree, as it reached 116 degrees there. Phoenix set a record high for the date with a toasty 119 degrees.

Several flights out of Phoenix were canceled because some planes can't take off in such conditions. Hot air is thinner, so they need more speed to take off, thus more runway space, which isn't always available.

As for us here in Vermont, no, the heat out west isn't going to trek across the nation and affect us. Expect near normal temperatures for this time of year during the next few days.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rare Dual June Tropical Storms And East Coast Storm Cleanup

Summer time is often the doldrums when it comes to weather.
This big mess of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to
become Tropical or Subtropical Storm Cindy.

It's hot and humid and nothing much happens. Oh sure, you get your occasional severe thunderstorms, a few searing heat waves, maybe a local flood or two.

But things so far in this young summer are coming fast and furiously.

I've already mentioned a couple days ago that terrible heat wave in the Southwest, where all time record high temperatures are being threatened today.

The Northeast today is cleaning up after punishing thunderstorms and flash floods on Monday. I'll have more on that in a bit.

JUNE TROPICAL STORMS

But first, we have the rare spectacle of two Atlantic tropical storms spinning up at the same time. It's the first time that's happened in June since 1968.

That is, if a near-tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico gets its act together today.

Tropical Storm Bret spun up in the far southern Caribbean yesterday, slashing Trinidad and Tobago and the northern coast of Venezuela with gusty winds and torrential rains.

It's heading toward the west with top sustained winds of 45 mph. It probably won't get much stronger, and forecasters think Bret will fall apart in a couple days. Stronger upper level winds will probably kill Bret before it reaches the coast of Nicaragua.

A bigger worry, at least for us in the United States, is a tropical storm or subtropical storm is  expected to develop in the Gulf of Mexico, possibly today. (A subtropical storm has characteristics of both a tropical storm and a regular old low pressure system.)

The Gulf of Mexico storm has winds of 40 mph, enough to have it declared a tropical storm. However, as of early this morning, it didn't have a nice circular center, which you need to have a tropical storm.

The storm was getting better organized, so the National Hurricane Center gave this storm a 90 percent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Cindy.

Forecasters are worried about wannabe Cindy because it's heading north toward the United States Gulf Coast. Tropical storm warnings are up for the Louisiana coast, and a tropical storm watch is up for the far eastern Texas coastline.

Storm surges in the low lying coasts could definitely cause flooding with this.

A bigger worry is the torrential rains that will come in with Wannabe Cindy. At this point, the storm poses an inland flood threat from East Texas and Louisiana all the way up to Tennessee and Kentucky, and possible east of that in the coming days.

EAST COAST STORMS

As expected, lots of strong and severe thunderstorms popped up in the Northeast Monday, sending plenty of trees and powerlines crashing down, sometimes onto cars and houses. Flash flooding became a real problem, especially in parts of southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

Only one tornado was reported so far, an EF-0 with 70 mph winds that trashed some trees in Maryland.
Departing storm clouds cast an orange glow at sunset last
evening in St. Albans, Vermont.

Here in Vermont, flooding was pretty widespread in and around Brattleboro. A large mudslide closed Route 30 northwest of Brattleboro. The Brattleboro Reformer also reported mudslides along Route 5 and Route 9. Back roads had washouts.

Parts of Rutland City also flooded amid the heavy rains.

Today, only scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely across the Northeast, including Vermont.

No more flooding is expected, except in northern Maine, where the storms might be heavy enough to cause further flash flooding

Here's a video of some flooding along Route 9 west of Brattleboro, Vermont:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Western New York Got It Sunday. Central New England Is Storm Target Today.

Christina Nolan captured this lightning in Georgia,
Vermont last night. Image via @SeanMParker on Twitter. 
Most of the anticipated severe weather and localized flooding on Sunday concentrated itself in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, where there were several reports of strong winds with thunderstorms.

The storms weakened, as anticipated, as they moved into Vermont last night. The only report of storm damage so far in the Green Mountain State was a tree down on a power line in Fairfax.

Today, the storms will fire up again, this time further east. The flash flood watches remain in effect in all but coastal New England, in eastern New York and down into northern New Jersey.

All of these areas are at risk of severe thunderstorms along with the local flash floods today. It appears the biggest threat for damaging wind gusts in thunderstorms would be in central New England, and on up into southeastern Vermont and western New Hamsphire.

The zone under the gun for severe thunderstorms also extends down into New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and into the Washington DC area.

In all these areas just mentioned the atmospheric conditions are even more welcoming for severe storms than they were Sunday over western New York and Pennsylvania, so I expect quite a few reports of mostly straight line wind damage by the end of the day.

I still wouldn't be surprised to hear of a quick tornado spin up or two in, say, western Massachusetts, the lower Hudson Valley of New York and on into the Mid Atlantic states.

Up here in New England,  localized flash flooding remains a concern. It could happen anywhere in the region, but the most likely spots at this point seem to be in southern and eastern Vermont, New Hampshire, western Maine, western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.

Not everybody is going to get flooded out, but moisture levels are high, so if a particular town or region gets bullseyed by an especially strong thunderstorm or two, it'll rain so hard that a flash flood would crop up in no time.

That's why they call them flash floods, to be Captain Obvious.

As I mentioned yesterday, thunderstorms might line up like box cars on a railroad track in a few spots, so a few unlucky spots in the Northeast might get hit by repeated torrential thunderstorms today, and that would make the flash flooding even worse.

I always mention that with summer thunderstorms and flash floods, it's always impossible to tell who's going to get hit the hardest and when even a couple of hours in advance.

Damaging weather in the Northeast today, including here in Vermont, will be hit and miss. The best thing to do is have a weather radio or at least reliable media nearby, as National Weather Service offices throughout the region will be blasting out warnings for severe thunderstorms and flash floods as the storms develop today.

You might also want to cancel - right now - that hiking trip or boating excursion you had planned for today. There will be better weather eventually.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Update On Severe Storm, Flood Threat In Northeast

Aftermath of severe flash flooding in Barre, Vermont in
May, 2011. There remains a flash flood risk in Vermont
and most of the rest of New England Monday, but let's
hope it doesn't get as bad as in this photo. 
Flash flood watches are flying for a big area of the Northeast today through Monday as a slow moving batch of severe storms with torrential rains still seem like a great bet.

The flood watch zone extends through much of New York, and from New Jersey up through all but southeastern New England.

This potential flood alert zone includes northwestern Connecticut, western Massachusetts, all of Vermont, all but eastern New Hampshire and the all of Maine except a zone within roughly 40 miles of the coast

Not every town in this zone will get a flash flood today or tomorrow, of course, but some storms will repeatedly bulleye some towns and regions, resulting in flash floods.

Yesterday, I noted there would be some adjustments to the forecast position and timing of the strongest storms and sure enough there are.

Broadly, the forecast is on track. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has at least a slight risk of severe thunderstorms today along the entire western half of the Appalachian chain.

We're still expecting strong and severe thunderstorms to develop in New York State this afternoon, but they'll move a little faster toward the east than I thought yesterday.

This puts Vermont in play for severe thunderstorms later this afternoon and evening, especially the western half of the state. (Had the storms come through later, after daytime heating had ended, the storms would have been weaker.

The Storm Prediction Center has nudged the risk zone of severe thunderstorms into Vermont.

The upshot is across northern New York and Vermont, there could be some strong, damaging winds and torrential rains with the storms this afternoon and evening. The best shot of severe weather in Vermont is probably toward evening.

The only thing that could limit severe weather is that temperatures don't cool all that much with height. (That's called the lapse rate and would increase instability in the atmosphere.)  That could get in the way of a lot of storms forming, which means this evening wouldn't be that big a deal.

But don't count on such a reprieve.

As the National Weather Service in South Burlington, Vermont notes,  there are plenty of examples when conditions are like today's: A so-so lapse rate, but relatively strong upper level winds, hot and humid conditions and an incoming weather disturbance that have touched off a lot of severe storms. So beware.

And we ain't done after this evening.

I broader chance of severe thunderstorms exists in New England Monday.  The flash flood threat rises Monday afternoon almost regionwide, too.

If enough sun breaks through for a time Monday morning, the storms in Vermont and eastern New York could quickly become severe by afternoon. At this point I think the biggest risk of severe thunderstorms, mostly with damaging winds, would be across the eastern half of Vermont, western New Hampshire and western Massachusetts.

I actually wouldn't be totally surprised if there were a brief tornado spin up in western or central Massachusetts.

The broader threat remains localized flash floods on Monday. The air in the Northeast has far more moisture in it than normal, and the deep moisture extends high up into the atmosphere.

That means any storms that do form could contain torrential rains that come down at a rate of one to two inches per hour.

Here in Vermont, the threat of severe storms might diminish during the course of the afternoon, but there will probably still be thunderstorms around with those torrential downpours.

Since the parent cold front is moving so slowly and the air flow is parallel with this weather disturbance, we'll get into that dreaded "training" that I've referred to in past spells of flash flood threats.

As a reminder of what training is, thunderstorms often form into a line. These lines usually move generally west to east perpendicular to the orientation of the line. That means any one spot would only get a thunderstorm for an hour or less. No biggie.

When training happens, thunderstorms within the line move parallel to that line, which often stalls out. The effect of this is one thunderstorm after another moves over the same spot, like a long line of box cars on railroad tracks.

This can last for a few hours, and can result in six inches or more of rain falling in that time, leading to a local flash flood.

Some of Vermont's worst recent flash floods, including a May, 2011 disaster in and around Barre and the epic flash floods during the summer of 1998, were brought on by training thunderstorms.

There's no guarantee there will be any training box car type thunderstorms in Vermont or the rest of New England Monday, but it's something to watch.

Things start to calm down Tuesday, though the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding might linger over eastern New England.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Severe Storms, Risk Of Floods Coming To Northeast Sunday, Monday

Flash flooding, Jericho, Vermont, July 2013. A few
towns in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast could
have trouble like this on Monday.
Heads up people in the Northeast, including here in Vermont: Some rough weather looks like it might be on the way Sunday and especially Monday.

Some towns might be hit with damaging thunderstorms and local flash flooding during this period.

Let's unpack the details:

Sunday, the severe threat extends from northeastern Texas, through the northern Gulf Coast states and especially on up the western side of the Appalachians into northern and western three quarters of New York.

Western and central New York seem to be in the bullseye Monday for strong straight line winds in some storms.

More dangerous might be the very heavy downpours with these storms. Moisture levels through a thick layer of the atmosphere will be high. Storms will move slowly, or "train," meaning one storm after another might move over the same areas

The New York storms will move into Vermont and the rest of western New England Sunday night while weakening. There might be some gusty winds, and especially  heavy downpours, which could prime the pump for some possible flash floods Monday.

Before that happens, a few rogue thunderstorms might pop up in Vermont, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts, but there won't be many of them. It's just that it will be very warm and very humid, so that could be enough to trigger a storm or two.

MONDAY DANGER?

Monday looks like it will be a very busy day across the Northeast,with fairly widespread severe storms, at least by the standards of the Northeast.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center already has an enhanced zone of predicted severe storms from about Washington DC to southern Vermont.  That they would say there's an enhanced risk this far in advance indicates there's quite a bit of confidence that there will be severe storms.

They'll fuss with this forecast between now and Monday. A lot of factors will go into who is most at risk of strong storms Monday.

Like these: Where will the cold front be? How fast will it move? Will sunshine break out in the unstable air ahead of the front, increasing the instability further and increasing the strength of the storms? Where will the fastest upper level winds be, and where will they most likely veer with height, raising the risk of supercell storms?


Damage from flash flooding in Jericho,
Vermont in July, 2013. There's a chance
we could have trouble like this on Monday.
So yeah, lots of questions.
Just be prepared on Monday for the threat of severe storms, maybe even a few supercells, with the potential for very strong winds, maybe even a quick and brief tornado spin up or two almost anywhere in New England, eastern New York and down into the Mid-Atlantic states.
Again, the usual caveat: It's impossible to tell this far in advance which towns will get severe storms and which ones will have nothing much.   
During all this, but especially Monday and Monday night, flash flooding will become a rising concern in Vermont and elsewhere in the Northeast.

 As already noted, the air will have lots of water in it, and this moisture extends way up in the atmosphere. At this point, Monday afternoon and night could feature areas of very torrential downpours with some areas getting repeated dousings during this period.

In mountainous and hilly eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and southwestern New England, some areas face the risk of damaging flash floods

This is one of those situations where a few towns are hit hard by severe weather or floods, and a lot of other towns get away with just some bad weather.

The forecast will inevitably change somewhat as the Monday event gets closer, with adjustments in the forecast timing and strength of the potential bad weather.

However, this is just a heads up that we're in for some very active - and maybe locally dangerous -  weather over the next few days.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Southwest U.S. Deserts Are Hot, But This Will Be Ridiculous

Let's hope the air conditioning works well at the Furnace Creek
Inn in Death Valley, California as temperatures there early
next week are forecast to soar to the mid and upper 120s. Yikes!
For many, many reasons, I will not travel to visit the fine community of Bullhead City, Arizona early next week.

The principal reason is the forecast high temperature there is expected to be 122 degrees. Ouch!

Could be worse. As of this morning the forecast for Furnace Creek, California in Death Valley for next Monday is 127 degrees.

It will get "colder" there Tuesday through Thursday, when the forecast highs are only 126 degrees.

Northern Hemisphere deserts are hot in June, of course, but even by the standards of southern California and Arizona, this is going to be ridiculous.

This might end up being a heat wave for the record books in the Southwest.

As The Weather Channel points out, Phoenix might approach its all time record high of 122 degrees early next week.

Tucson, Arizona has only been up to 114 or more eight times since around 1900. They might get a few days next week to add to the total.

Of course, all this is a dry heat, but still wicked, horribly hot.

If you're going to get an extreme heat wave in the desert Southwest, it would be in the middle of June. The sun is at its maximum angle of the year to bake the Earth's surface in the Northern Hemisphere.

Also, the seasonal monsoons, which draw moisture into the Southwest from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean, don't usually start until July. That moisture usually tamps the heat down.

When it's dry, the temperature can really soar until clear skies.

How dry is it out there? Yesterday, the relative humidity in Tucson was 1 percent. For comparison's sake, here in Vermont, Wednesday was delightfully dry and free of humidity, and even so, the relative humidity was around 30 percent.

The extreme heat will extend early next week up into central California and into Utah, so it is going to be pretty widespread.

By the way, all this heat is extending up into the Sierra Nevada mountains, where there's still a lot of snow left from a very stormy winter.

This snow will melt very fast in this weather, so there might be some flood problems in rivers that come off the mountains.




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Vermont Heat Deaths Show Risk Is Not Just A Southern Thing

Two elderly Vermonters died early this week in the Brattleboro area during the brief but intense heat wave we had, and officials tied those deaths to heat exposure.

At two separate houses, an 87 year old woman and an 87 year old man were found outdoors near their houses, according to the Brattleboro Reformer and VTDigger.

While the medical examiner has not announced an official cause of these deaths, the fact that it looks like they're heat related offers us a warning:

We can get in trouble during hot weather even up here in northern New England.

In fact, in some ways, the problem can be worse. Many homes don't  have air conditioning. (Hey, some parts of New York and Vermont were in the 30s last night - in June!)

Still, the overall trend has been for more summer hot spells and especially hotter, muggier nights, and that can take a toll on  us.

Any hot afternoon can be risky if you don't take care of yourself. That's especially true among the elderly and people who have health problems.

Even healthy, young pups need to be careful, though.

Back in September, 2015, Vermont State Trooper Kyle Young, 28, died of heat exhaustion during a training exercise on a very warm, humid day.  And a younger man who was a logger died while working during record heat in July, 2012 in northern Vermont.

And a study has shown that emergency room visits in New England increase exponentially during hot spells.

More hot, humid spells are inevitable this summer. It's only mid-June, after all. In fact, it will be muggy with temperatures flirting with 90 degrees Sunday afternoon.

So remember these tips for the rest of the summer:

Check on the elderly. Often. Make sure they are in a cool place or take them there, like to the mall or a movie. Make sure they're drinking a lot of liquids.

Take care of yourself, too. There's no need to mow the lawn at 3 p.m. in the afternoon in the sun when the temperature is 95 degrees. Keep drinking that water, and maybe even throw in a sports drink or two.

If you or someone you're with is in hot weather and start experiencing things like heat cramps, nausea, confusion, dizziness, get to a cool place now if not sooner and drink non-caffienated liquids. If it starts to progress to heat stroke, (super high temperature, dry skin, fainting, call 911 pronto.

Take care of your pets, too. Dogs cool off by panting, and there's only so much they can do. My house is not air conditioned, so when it gets too hot, our dogs and I retreat to the cool basement and hang out down there. We make a day of it.

Also remember: If you take your kids and pets on a car trip, don't leave then sitting in a parked vehicle in the sun for even a couple minutes while you run your errands. And when you get home or do your destination, please, please always remember to make sure you've retrieved your kids and pets and anyone else from the car.

There have been too many deaths in hot cars across the country already this summer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

No Big Storms Here, But Plains States To Take Battering Today For 3rd Day.

Quincy Vagell tweeted this photo of a tornado and
lightning near Grover, Colorado Monday. 
The brief heat blast here in northern New England is slowly coming to an end today, without many fireworks.  

We did have more record highs in Vermont Monday. The temperature of 94 degrees broke a record high in Burlington for the second day in a row.

The day's minimum temperature of 71 set a date record for the warmest minimum temperature for June 12.

Montpelier on Monday had a record high of 88 degrees. So did the summit of Mount Mansfield, at 76 degrees.

Often, when a heat wave ends, as is currently happening, severe thunderstorms break out. But the timing of the front, as noted yesterday is all wrong, so we didn't get severe storms and won't.

There were a few isolated thunderstorms as the cold front sagged south from Canada, but no big deal.

The cold front is moving more slowly than earlier thought, and as of mid-morning the humidity hadn't cleared yet. Plus, an area of showers and thunderstorms along the front will affect portions of Vermont later this morning and early afternoon, especially from about Montpelier south.

Further south, there might be some strong storms in southern New England and the Mid-Atlantic states as the cold front invades the hot weather still sitting over those locations this afternoon.
Aftermath of a big hail storm in Coon Rapids,
Minnesota on Sunday.

While we had nothing scary in terms of storms, the Northern Plains and Front Range area of Colorado and Wyoming and Montana have had lots of bad weather lately.

Sunday, a storm complex and derecho formed in South Dakota, raced across Minnesota, including the Minneapolis area, and on into Wisconsin.

The hail and wind damage was wild with that one, as you can see in the video of the storm below, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, northwest of Minneapolis.

On Monday, there were 32 preliminary reports of tornadoes, mostly in Wyoming and Nebraska. Luckily, no deaths have been attributed to the twisters, though there were a few injuries and some houses were destroyed in strong tornadoes.

There's a video at the bottom of this post of a destructive tornado in Harrisburg, Nebraska on Monday.

Today the action moves back to the northern and central Plains, especially the eastern halves of the Dakotas (watch the skies, dear relatives of mine in Yankton, South Dakota!) and eastern Nebraska and much of Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.

Not everyone in this region will get severe weather of course, but there is the risk of tornadoes, huge hail and damaging straight line winds.

Back east over Vermont, it'll actually feel almost chilly Wednesday behind the cold front with highs only in the 60s and low 70s and lows in the 40s to around 50.

It'll turn more humid again over the weekend with the risk of showers and storms, but it won't turn super, super hot like it's been the past couple of days. Still maybe uncomfortable on Sunday, though, depending on the timing of weather fronts

Here's the incredible hail and wind storm in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota on Sunday (The filmmaker replaced the cacophony of hail with a nice song:



Next, a news video of so much hail in Coon Rapids, Minnesota Sunday that people had to get their snow blowers out to clear it:



Finally, a destructive tornado in Harrisburg, Nebraska Monday:

Monday, June 12, 2017

"Blowtorch Sunday" Fries Vermont; Just As Hot Today

For those of you who want to cool off from this June
heat wave, here's a giant snowbank after a March
blizzard in Richmond, Vermont.
Boy, Sunday afternoon in Vermont felt like a blowtorch, didn't it?

Record high temperatures, a sun angle as high as it can possibly get (it is June after all) and a hot south wind really made for an impressively hot day.

The temperature reached a record high of 95 degrees in Burlington, besting the old record of 92. Sunday also featured the hottest temperature for so early in the season

Yep, there was a breeze, but at that temperature, the gusts as high as 32 degrees felt like an overactive forced air heater.

Montpelier, Vermont also hit a record high of 88 degrees Sunday. The heat extended far to the north. Caribou, in the northern tip of Maine, had a record high of 91 degrees Sunday afternoon. Bangor, Maine also had a record 91 degrees.

I noticed that, a bit like cold weather in the winter, there weren't all that many people out yesterday, except at the beach, and places like the creemee stand I drove past in Milton.

As you might have noticed, we woke up to a warm morning, and it's breezy. Today looks to be similar to Sunday, with just a couple subtle differences.

A weather disturbance was passing through southern Quebec early this morning. It had a package of showers and thunderstorms with it. A few showers might graze far northern areas this morning before the batch moves on into northern Maine, where a few storms could be strong to severe there this afternoon.

Far northern areas, because of the clouds, could be a degree or two "colder" than Sunday but even there, clearing skies later this morning guarantee another hot day.

Today's record high of 92 degrees in Burlington is definitely under threat.

Like the brief two-day blast of heat that brought record high temperatures in mid-May, we're going to quickly cool off, much like what happened after that May heat.

Unlike the May heat wave, we're not expecting the heat to end in a blast of severe thunderstorms. Atmospheric conditions don't really favor strong storms this time. Plus the cold front is expected to come through Vermont early Tuesday morning, at a time of day that does not favor storms.

Thunderstorms tend to fire up more intensely near cold fronts in the afternoon, when the heat of the sun adds instability to the air.

Even so, a thunderstorm or two could fire up near the Canadian border and on into southern Quebec this evening.

Tuesday morning might start off feeling a bit muggy and warm, but a freshening north wind will make the afternoon feel noticeably more comfortable.

Wednesday's highs, under sunshine, will only be in the 65 to 75 degree range. Cool, but not all that unusual for this time of year.

But with low humidity and cool nights by midweek, expect to have much better sleeping weather midweek.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Did Someone Say Snow? Relax, NOT For Us In New England

Sunset atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire Tuesday as
seen through a railing coverd with ice and frozen snow.
No more snow there in the foreseeable future, but the
mountains of northwestern United States look like they'll
get some over the next several days. 
As we head into summer, it seems all my nightime dreams involve snowfalls.

No, I'm not pining for snow right now, but it seems I've got snow on my brain.

Maybe it's because I've been watching the weather patterns and see signs of snow for the next few days - for the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, not for us, so relax.

It's true it did snow atop Mount Washington the other day, but the jet stream flow has changed and we can expect a few days of summer weather here in the Northeast and through most of the eastern two-thirds of the nation for that matter.

It's another story for the Cascades of Washington and Oregon, the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, and parts of the high country in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

A deep dip in the jet stream is drawing cold, stormy air from northwestern Canada, and the result will be some June snow in these mountains. 

It's actually not all that unusual for it to snow in the mountains in the part of the country in June, but still, people are worried about early season hikers and campers that aren't ready for cold temperatures and wet snow.

Already, a winter weather advisory - in June - is up for the Lassen Park area of California for four to eight inches of high elevation snow. Other advisories might go up for the northwestern United States mountains over the weekend and into early next week.

There was already a LOT of snow in many western mountains from a stormy winter. In Wyoming, things have gotten ugly, and the turn to colder weather toward Tuesday there could actually help.

Ahead of the approaching cold front it is quite warm in Wyoming and surrounding parts of Idaho and Montana. That has created some serious snow melt flooding and things will probably get worsre today and Saturday as thunderstorms unleash heavy rain atop this melting snow.

Forecasters are urging voluntary evacuations in some river valleys of central Wyoming. Also,  the Wind River at Riverton, Wyoming has reached a record crest.

Although people in this area will be relieved at the colder weather by Tuesday, I'm sure they won't appreciate the additional snowfall in the mountains, which will eventually have to melt.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hot Times Coming To New England, But If You Think 90 Is Bad......

People try to escape the heat in Lahore, Pakistan recently.
Photo from Getty Images
A spate of summer weather is finally heading toward New England, as temperatures over the past couple of days have climbed to seasonable levels, and will go upward even more by Sunday.

Sunday through Tuesday across the Northeast will see highs well into the 80s in most of northern New England, with 90s thrown in from central New England and points south.

Many people welcome the summer heat, though some people who work outside dread it.

Some record highs will probably fall in several cities from the Rockies to the East Coast over the next few days, but this won't be the nastiest heat wave ever

It could be worse, though..

 However, as I perused Dr. Jeff Masters's Catagory 6 weather blog recently, I found news of some truly awful heat elsewhere in the world.

In the blog, guest writer Maximiliano Herrera detailed incredible heat records that hit big sections of the Middle East, east Asia and parts of Europe in late May and early June.

On May 28, the temperature reached 128.3 degrees in Turbat, Pakistan, making it the hottest May temperature recorded anywhere on Earth ever.

Oman and Pakistan had their all time hottest temperatures. Not hottest for the date or the month. I'm talking hottest ever.

In Iran, the temperature reached 127 degrees, Oman broke its all time record high of 123,

Of course, they're used to heat in the deserts of the Mideast and in places like Pakistan and India, but not like this Extreme heat of this nature is very, very dangerous.

For instance, we know at least 10 people died in an extreme heat wave in parts of India this week, and that toll will likely rise.

In Europe, Norway had its hottest May temperature on record with 90 degrees, and Austria also had its hottest May reading on record at 95 degrees at the end of the month.

One weird record high was set at the top of a 15,584 mountain in the Italian Alps when the temperature reached 42 degrees.  Chilly, yes, but still a record high for that elevation.

Enjoy summer!



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Too Many Reasons To Count Why Trump's Withdrawel From Paris Accord Was Dumb

Donald Trump apparently using his fingers to demonstrate
the firepower of his tiny intellect, including in
relations to climate change. 
I've always said the most dangerous people in the world are those who think they are really smart but are instead really dumb.

By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord Thursday, President Donald Trump proved that point bigly, to borrow a fake word from our Dear Leader.

Heads up: Expect a lot more vitriol from me in this column than you're used to, but I just have to unload.

There are so many things wrong with Trump's "logic" about getting out of the Paris accord that I don't know where to start.

Let's start by pretending that climate change is indeed fake, an falsehood that Trump says is a product of evil Chinese trying to gain economic advantage over the United States, as Trump's paranoia would have it.

I know, I know, climate change is actually real, but go with me here.

By bailing on the Paris Accord, Trump has made the United States less trustworthy on the world's stage, a task he's already been accomplishing anyway.

Since the rest of the world - except the illustrious global leaders Syria and Nicaragua - are on board with the Paris Accord, other leading countries in Europe and Asia are more likely to go it without us on this issue, and anything else that comes up that's important to the world.

This weakens our negotiating position on any number of topics - trade, war, political stability. Trump claims to be this great negotiator, yet he weakened his - our - bargaining position. Nice job, Donald.

"President Trump has turned his back on the world on an issue they care deeply about....This will have repercussions for how other countries respond to the U.S., not just on the climate playing field, but well beyond," said Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and a former State Department officials who focused on climate change during the Obama administration.

Speaking of negotiation, Trump claims he will negotiated a newer, better Paris Accord, one that is more advantageous to the United States.

It takes two ( or more) to tango, and already, major countries are saying they're unwilling to reopen negotiations.  What's Donald going to do, talk to himself? Oh yeah, he does that already, at least probably.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned Trump's paranoia about China?  Well, he just handed them a major victory.

As Huffington Post points out:

"'This move from Trump also gives China the chance to "cast themselves as the new champions of globalization,'  says Andrew Small, a China expert at the Marshall Fund think tank.

'Politically, Beijing sees this as a gift-wrapped opportunity to position itself as a responsible global leader at the expense of the United States,' Small said. 'For countries that see climate change as an existential issue - not least the European leaders who are meeting the Chinese PM for their summit this week - closer cooperation with China now becomes a necessity.'"

In other words, Trump is putting the United States out of the loop. And ceding world leadership to countries like China.

Trump claims the withdrawal from the Paris agreement is meant to boost United States business success and job creation.

If that's the case, why did so many major U.S. corporations implore Trump to stick with the Paris accord?  These businesses famously included fossil fuel behemoths like Exxon-Mobil, Shell and Chevron.

PolitiFact had a field day picking apart Trump's nearly fact-free speech announcing the withdrawal from the Paris Accord.

Trump said the pact would create a $3 trillion drop in United States gross domestic product, and we'd lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.

Says Politifact:

"All of these statistics come from a March, 2017 study, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, that estimates the potential impact of hypothetical regulatory actions necessary to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. The study makes assumptions that gave several economics and environmental professors pause when reacting to the NERA study for ClimateFeedback.org."

I'll say!

The assumptions in the study that Trump apparently bought hook, line and sinker include:

--- That other countries don't make emission reductions in line with the Paris agreement, forcing leading American companies to relocate to other nations.

 -- Industries and static and don't change to adapt to regulations.

--- There is no increase in clean electricity generation compared to a baseline scenario.

In other words, not only does Trump peddle fake news, he also peddles fake studies.

On the bright side, people are starting to get adept at just ignoring Trump, and making end runs around him.

According to Reuters:

"Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted a statement to the United Nations on Monday that over 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses, universities and others will continue to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement abandoned by President Donald Trump last week.

Bloomberg, who is the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy for cities and climate change, submitted the "We Are Still In" declaration to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa."

Of course I'm happy Bloomberg is organizing this, and I'm also glad that here in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott, a moderate  Republican, said the Green Mountain State will also join the coalition to adhere to the Paris climate accord.

It's still shockingly disappointing though, that the supposed leader of the free world, Donald Trump, can't seem to lead anything. If thousands if not millions of people can get ahead of Trump on issues of great worldwide importance, it's really sad.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Finally Some Gorgeous June Weather, But Interesting Things Still Coming (Maybe)

Clouds with a severe thunderstorm in Colchester, Vermont
last week. More strong storms are possible late in the
weekend and early next week.
It was so nice to get up this morning and go outside into a genuinely gorgeous June dawn here in St. Albans, Vermont.

Everything - the trees and gardens - were dripping wet and fragrant from yesterday's soaking rain. The sky above was gorgeous blue, and the day promises to be sunny and dry and perfect.

Yes, most of you were in dense fog early this morning, but you should be in the clear by the time you read this. Or almost everybody, anyway.

Enjoy today, because more "interesting" weather might be on the way. Don't worry, we're not talking about a cold June gloom again, but the weather pattern for the next few days is looking kinda active.

Thursday should be half way decent, too, though we can't rule out an isolated afternoon shower or thundershower.

On Friday, a nor'easter of all things will be lurking off the New England coast. At this point, it's looking like it just might be far enough off the coast to avoid another super cold soaker, but we're still watching it.

In any event, the nor'easter's upper level support will be over New England, so expect a fair number of showers in Vermont and the rest of New England and northern New York Friday into Saturday morning.

Then -- summer returns. However, it won't necessarily be all clear skies.

A "heat ridge" basically a northward bulge in the jet stream, will set up shop over the eastern third of the nation Sunday through at least Tuesday.

That means a surge of very warm and humid air into our area then. Forecasters are very confident of this. Expect 80s, maybe even a 90 or two Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday.

But here's the tricky part. Sometimes, when a heat ridge sets up like this, strong to severe thunderstorms originate in the Great Lakes region and ride along the northern edge of these heat ridges.

We will be on the northern edge of the heat ridge. There is a possibility of strong to severe storms, especially in northern New England, Sunday through Tuesday.  The center of the ridge could be just a wee bit to our west, so the thunderstorms, if they form, might end up blasting down from the northwest on the front side of the ridge.

In these situations, the storms coming in from the northwest, rather than the southwest, can be particularly strong, at least in my experience.

This idea of strong storms is still a HUGE maybe.  I'd still take the idea of big storms Sunday and onward with a big grain of salt.

Perhaps the storms will go further to the north than we think now. Or, enough hot air will "cap" the atmosphere, discouraging the strong updrafts that are necessary for thunderstorms. Or there won't be a "trigger" a weak disturbance in the upper level air flow to get the storms going. It's all a delicate dance as to whether the storms form or not.

We won't know any more specifics until the day of.  In other words, check the forecasts each morning Sunday through Tuesday to see if we're in for any kind of rough weather.

Just count on continued iffy weather here and there going forward.

But enjoy today. Once the fog lifts, it will be the finest possible June day.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Man Mowing Lawn During Tornado Is Turning Into Weather Meme Of 2017

Theunis Wellels mows his lawn while
a large tornado spins in the background
last week in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.
Have you seen the photo in this post yet?

You probably have, but that's OK.  

Last week, a large tornado passed through some open country near Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. As you can see in the photo, as the tornado raged in the background, a buy named Theunis Wessels calmly mowed his lawn.

His wife, Ceclia, snapped the photo, in between entreaties to get her husband to come into the house already.

Hey, you gotta get the lawn work done, right?

According to CBC, Wessels said the tornado was further away from him than it looks in the photo, and that it was moving away from him. "I was keeping an eye on it," he said.

The photo is funny, but still, in a brief serious note, what the guy did isn't safe, as you'd expect.

First, there's a slight chance the tornado could have changed directions, but Wessel is right, it appears by the slant of the tornado it was heading away from him.

But no doubt the tornado was produced by a supercell thunderstorm, which could have touched off another satellite tornado right near him, or suddenly started dropping large, dangerous hail on his head, or zapped him with lightning.

The lawn really could have waited. (Hell, I'm wimping out on mowing the lawn today because there's a steady light rain out there.)

Some people on social media imagined conversations before the photo was taken. Like this imaginary exchange:

Grandma: "Didn't I tell you to mow the lawn?"
Grandson: "But there's a tornado outside.
Grandma: "So is my switch."

This isn't the first time I've seen somebody do something crazy in extreme weather in the name of making the lawn look nice. In the video below, you'll see some oddball six years ago mowing the lawn amid golf ball sized hail.

Must have been painful.

Watch:

Monday, June 5, 2017

New England June Gloom Persisting This Week

It's dark and cool and damp in my St. Albans, Vermont
yard, but at least the Korean lilac is brightening things up a bit
"June Gloom" is usually a coastal southern California thing.

Meteorological setups this time of year often draw low clouds and fog onto the immediate California coast, and you get a bunch of grey, coolish days.  

This year, the June Gloom is a creature of New England, for different meteorological reasons.

A series of sluggish storm systems in the upper levels of the atmosphere have given us here in New England extended visits since early May, and we're contending with another one now.

The reason for these slow storms and extended spells of cool, grey weather largely has to do with a persistent ridge of high pressure near Greenland, which has blocked storm systems and made them linger over or near the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.

The latest one will keep us cold and dark at least hrough Tuesday, and there will probably be a few pockets of heavy rain in some areas mixed in with persistent drizzle and light rain and fog.

Some extra instability in the atmosphere could set off some heavier downpours in northern New York, and strong, wet east winds could create some fairly heavy rain in parts of central and southern Vermont.

The caveat to that is, it's a little hard to pin down precisely who might get up to two inches of rain in heavier downpours. Just keep an eye out for minor flooding in a few spots because of this potential for heavier rain.

During the middle of the week, the upper level low will probably slowly sink toward the south and east, which would gradually help improve our weather. This increased sunshine and warmth will start in southern Quebec and move slowly southward.

Improvement in southern and eastern New England might be delayed until Friday or the weekend. We'll see.

There are signs that early next week, we could get a brief sunny heat blast, perhaps a little like the one we had in mid-May, to give us a break from the June Gloom.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Texas Flash Flood Aids In Extinguishing Car Fire

How to put out a car fire during a Texas flood.
Flash flooding struck the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area on Friday, closing quite a few roads, stranding cars and causing the usual flash flood havoc.  

There were no fewer than 81 rescues of people stranded in flooded cars, and lightning set off five house fires i the Dallas area, says the NBC affiliate in Dallas.

In the video below, the flooding sort of had a silver lining. A car caught fire in a flooded parking lot, and a Texan found a nice weather-related way to put out the fire.

Watch:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lots Of Vermont Severe Weather Reports Wednesday; Today Is Quieter

If there was a (slightly) unexpected dearth of severe thunderstorms Tuesday, we more than made up for it Wednesday as a band of strong to severe thunderstorms hit pretty much the entire state of Vermont.

Although reports of wind damage were common, the real story with this one was the hail. That's not a surprise.

Temperatures aloft, several thousand feet overhead were quite chilly for this time of year. Which helped make the storms prolific hail producers.

As you can see in the photo with this post, you could see a bluish tint in the clouds as the thunderstorms approached. (I took the photo in this post as the storms approached Colchester, Vermont.)

When you see that bluish, greenish hue, you know it's going to hail. A few moments after I took that photo, it hailed a LOT. Mostly pea and dime size, but there were a few nickels and even a couple quarter sized chunks thrown in.

So much hail fell that the ground was still white in spots around Colchester nearly an hour after the storms passed.

I don't yet have time to post video of the storm. I'll try to do it in the next few days.

Also several thousand feet overhead, winds were pretty strong. The thunderstorms were able to tap into those winds and bring them to the surface. That's why we had so many reports of trees and wires down. 

Today will be much calmer, with only a few widely scattered light showers this afternoon.

The weather will remain generally unsettled for the next week or so, with an almost daily chance of showers.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

No Strong Vermont Storms Yesterday, But Today Could Bring 'Em

There's a slight chance of severe storms in areas shaded in
yellow today; Dark green has a marginal risk of severe storms
It turns out no strong to severe thunderstorms hit our fair state of Vermont yesterday.

Those storms stayed in New York and especially Pennsylvania, where there were quite a few reports of sizable hail and wind damage.

Here in Vermont, cloud largely hung in, suppressing storms. Also, some stable, cool air from the North Atlantic was brought in by strong southeast winds and made it all the way through Vermont into far eastern New York.

That marine air also did a lot to suppress storms Tuesday.

Today, we're in a similar weather pattern as yesterday with two differences. There will probably be more sun this morning than yesterday. Plus the wind has more of a south to southwesterly component, which means less stable, damp air from the Atlantic.

Yet another disturbance is coming in fron the west, so we stand a better chance of thunderstorms than yesterday. At the very least, there will be quite a few showers around this afternoon.

It's also slightly more likely that a few storms today will get strong to marginally severe. That means a few locally damaging wind gusts and a few towns will get some garden-punishming hail. These strong storms could happen anywhere in Vermont, but as of early this morning, southern Vermont looks like the most likely target.

Even there, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has a slight chance of severe weather.

As is always the case, most of us won't get strong to severe storms. If they occur, they'll be widely scattered, with maybe a couple of reports of wind and damage here and there across Vermont and much of the rest of the Northeast.

The usual safety precaution applies. If you hear thunder or see dark clouds gathering to the west, time to head indoors and wait it out. And postpone that hiking or boating trip until a nicer day. Tomorrow might even work.

If you're sick of rain and cool weather and clouds, I can't help you much. After a break Thursday when most of us won't get rain, showers are a good bet Friday, and then Sunday through Tuesday.

Oh, well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bit Of A Severe Storm Threat In Vermont, New York Today

Areas in yellow stand a slight chance of getting severe
thunderstorms this afternoon. This includes parts
of western Vermont. 
There's a chance of some severe thunderstorms today in parts of our region, especially around southern Vermont and eastern New York from about Ticonderoga south.

Not everybody is going to get a severe storm, but a few places might.  

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center says the best chance of severe weather - a slight chance -  runs from Addison and Rutland counties in Vermont southwestward through eastern and central New York and then down into central Pennsylvania.

In this zone, a few storms could produce gusty winds, hail, and torrential downpours. Within this slight risk zone, there is even a miniscule chance of a tornado or two. But don't hold your breath on that prospect.

I'll stress that most of Vermont and New York will just get showers and garden variety thunderstorms today. Only a few places will get scary storms.  In fact, there's still a chance we'll get lucky and see absolutely no severe weather.

And no, we can't tell you in advance which towns get the scary storms and which towns just get May showers.

One thing that might inhibit the development of severe storms is overcast skies ahead of the expected storms. Sunshine would have increased atmospheric instability, which would help with the development of storms.

Also, an initial band of showers coming into eastern New York late this morning and Vermont by around noon could also help quash storms later.

However, there's plenty of cold air aloft and a weather disturbance coming in from the west, so that could help set up some pretty good activity.

There is a weather model called the HRRR which forecasts conditions over the next few hours. It's usually relatively accurate with predicted showers and thunderstorms in the near term, but of course it's not perfect.

The HRRR has that initial band of showers and maybe embedded thunderstorms coming into Vermont by noon.

Following that, the HRRR depicts a stronger band of thunderstorms forming in central New York and then moving into central Vermont around 4 or 5 p.m today.  For what it's worth, this forecast model has the strongest storms late this afternoon very roughly within 30 miles of a line from Middlebury to St. Johnsbury.

Within this zone, there could be some locally very heavy rain. Widespread flash flooding is NOT expected, but there could be a couple trouble spots with water here and there if the rain is particularly heavy in a few towns.

Remember, that forecast is NOT a guarantee and NOT set in stone. It's just a general idea. Could come true, or maybe not.

Your best bet today is just to keep an eye on the sky and head indoors if you hear thunder or see dark clouds gathering to your west and south.

By the way, there's also a very good chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon, too.  A few of the storms could be on the strong side, but most won't be.

Worst Thunderstorm in 100 Years Kills 16 In And Around Moscow, Russia

The roof of the Kremlin was among those damaged in
what was probably the worst thunderstorm in recent
Moscow history on Monday. 
Here in the United States, it's the peak of the severe thunderstorm and tornado season, but the worst outbreak of severe weather lately seems to have been in unlikely location of Moscow, Russia.  

An extreme thunderstorm packing winds of at leaset 70 mph swept Moscow and surrouding areas Monday, killing at least 16 people and injuring at least 150, the BBC said. 

Many locals said it was the worst storm to strike Moscow in as many as 100 years.

Five pedestrians were killed by falling trees. Two people died when their summer house near Moscow when a tree fell on it.

 Moscow is not used to such storms and buildings could not withstand the onslaught. Debris flew through the streets of Moscow as roofs blew off, windows shattered and walls collapsed. Hundreds of trees fell throughout the city.  One report said 3,500 Moscow trees toppled.

Even the roof of the Kremlin Senate was damaged. The BBC said a Canadian tourist, Frank Davis, told them debris was flying around in all directions.

 Below are some videos of the Moscow storm. The first one includes footage of a tennis center being torn apart:




Russia is famous for its dash cam videos, since everybody's got a dash cam. Here's a dramatic one in the storm:



Yet another compilation video:



Finally, here's what the Moscow storm did to some revolving doors:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Back To The Wet In Vermont, Northeast

A cloudy early morning this Memorial Day over St. Albans,
Vermont signals the start of another extended rainy period .
I flew in to Burlington, Vermont late last night and am now home from a trip to the Midwest.

Apparently, I missed some pretty nice weather in Vermont Saturday and Sunday (though the weather was pretty decent where I was in South Dakota, too.)  

Now, it's back to the wet.

We're not breaking any kind of rainfall records this month, but precipitation has been consistent, and above normal this May.

So let's close out the month of May with another wet spell, shall we?

As of early this Memorial Day morning, a decent slug of rain was over Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania and far southern New England and it was headed this way.

If you missed your chance for outdoor parties, barbecues and such Saturday and Sunday, you're out of luck.

Today looks pretty wet, especially late this morning and afternoon, though precipitation might taper off this evening.  Don't worry about anything too terribly heavy. It'll be a soaker, but not a flood, that's for sure.

Unlike yesterday, today, under the clouds and rain, look to be fairly cool and raw for this time of year.  Temperatures were in the 50s to low 60s at dawn. Readings might go up a few degrees before the rain sets it, but then it'll settle down to near 60 degrees. Rather chilly.

We'll stay under the threat of rain through Wednesday.  An upper level low pressure system will get humg up near us, mostly to our northwest. That will swing some troughs of low pressure - really mini-cold fronts across our region Tuesday and Wednesday.

The strong spring sun, comhined with instabillity from these mini cold fronts will set the stage for lots of showers Tuesday and Wednesday, especially in the afternoons.

Especially if morning sun breaks through both days, we'll probably see some thunderstorms as well. While most places will have nothing severe, a couple thunderstorms both days could hustle up some gusty winds and small hail across Vermont and the rest of the Northeast.

In fact, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has Vermont and other area of the northeastern United Sttes under a margional risk of severe storms both Tuesdayt and Wednesday.

Beyond that, I don't see signs of any summer heat coming our way anytime soon.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pics, Video From Saturday's Severe Weather

Ominous storm in Edgar Springs, Missouri Saturday. 
As expected, a wide swath of the nation from Texas to Virginia were blasted by severe weather Saturday.

This  including a few tornadoes (though fortunately not that many), but the day especially featured strong winds, giant hail and flash floods.

There was an incredibly 386 reports of strong, damaging winds and nearly 300 reports of large hail, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. 

Hail a little bit bigger than softballs pummeled Adrian, Missouri.

Hail bigger than baseballs in Adrian, Missouri Saturday.
The severe weather went as far east as near Richmond, Virginia, where hail as big as hens eggs punched through car windows and damaged homes in the area.

Severe weather is still expected in a stripe from Texas to Mississippi, and in much of the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states, though it might not be quite as widespread as Saturday.

As bad as Saturday was, it could have been worse, given the extreme instability in the atmosphere across parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.

The instability - the potential for explosive severe storms, was pretty much near record territory.

By the way, a few thunderstorms will probably break out in our neck of the woods in Vermont Tuersday, and a couple of them might be strong. However, I don't expecdt a super big widespread severe outbreak in the Green Mountain State.

Here's a video of some big hail pummeling cars amid some sunshine in Glen Allen, Virginia on Saturday: