Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brief Blast Of Summer Heat, Today And Tomorrow, Then Maybe Summer Storms?

Winds blowing across the cool waters of Lake Champlain
will temper an early season hot spell today and tomorrow
along the immediate shores of the lake. 
This will be a shock to the system.

The heat blast we've been anticipating arrives today and peaks tomorrow with temperatures in a few towns reaching 90 or better in much of the Northeast, including Vermont.

We're not acclimatized to the heat, so if you have to work outdoors, like I do, try to do it early in the morning or in the evening, when it's a bit cooler.

Or do stuff right near Lake Champlain, especially along west and south facing shores.

Water temperatures are only in the 40s, and gusty southwest winds today and tomorrow will pick up that coolness and drive it onshore. I bet a few places along the southern tip of Grand Isle, for example, might not make it out of the 70s.

On the other hand, be careful about getting out on the lake. If you fall in, hypothermia can set in quickly. With expected gusty winds on the lake during this warm spell, you can capsize your boat. The water is too cold to stay in for any length of time with risk of death. Sorry to be so glum there, but that's the way it is.

By the way, us New Englanders don't do all that well with hot weather anyway, although that's probably true in a lot of places.

A recent study shows that in New England, hospital visits increase by 7.5 percent when the heat index is 95 degrees, as compared to days when the heat index is just 75 degrees.

Today's record high of 90 degrees in Burlington, Vermont looks safe, as temperatures should "only" get to the mid-80s there.

Tomorrow's record high of 89 is in jeopardy, though, as temperatures should get to 90 or so, unless the wind has a more westerly component and that cool wind off Lake Champlain reaches the Burlington International Airport, where they keep track of the temperatures at the National Weather Service office.

As noted, this is going to be a windy hot spell, with gusts to 30 mph or more in many areas. Some areas, like New York's St. Lawrence Valley, could get gusts of 45 mph today and tomorrow, which could lead to some minor tree damage.

A cold front will end the heat Thursday night, but that could lead to more trouble: Scattered severe storms in a few spots;


Yesterday was, in fact, a bad day for severe storms and tornadoes across the nation, and that trend will continue the rest of the week.

At least one person died when a tornado hit a Wisconsin mobile home park. There were at least 26 reports of tornadoes, with the most damaging ones in Wisconsin, and around Elk City, Oklahoma.

Today should be a rough day, too, especially around Iowa and Wisconsin, where there is a threat of more tornadoes.
Tornado damage near Elk City, Oklahoma Tuesday. While
things won't get nearly this bad locally, a few severe thunderstorms
are possible Thursday evening in northern New York and
northwestern Vermont. Photo by Lacie Lowry. 

Thursday will probably be even worse, with an even higher chance of tornadoes and severe storms, especially in and around Kansas and Oklahoma.

And oh yes, as mentioned, our area could get a couple severe storms Thursday evening, too. That cold front I mentioned will be approaching, and some big thunderstorms will probably get going in Ontario late Thursday evening.

They'll then march across northern New York and into the Champlain Valley in the evening, but start weakening, especially from the Champlain Valley eastward.

Not everyone will get a thunderstorm Thursday evening. They'll be scattered. And only a few areas will get severe storms. This won't be a widespread severe event. But a few towns will have damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning and torrential downpours

If  you're out and about in the North Country Thursday evening and enjoying the summer weather, it's best to get inside if a storm comes in.

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