Thursday, May 18, 2017

Northeast Heat Overperforms; Wild Weather Everywhere Today

A busy weather day for much of the nation today. Areas in
yellow have a slight risk of severe storms. Dark green
is a marginal risk. That hot pink area in the middle of
the country is a risk for strong tornadoes today. 
Every once in awhile, you get a day where there's lots of wild weather everywhere.

One of those is today. Including here in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast, though it's not nearly as heart-pounding here as it is in a few other parts of the country.  

First, I owe you a bit of a mea culpa. I said in yesterday's post that record high temperatures would not be broken Wednesday in Vermont, as the peak of the odd early season heat blast would hit today, Thursday instead.

Well, that heat really overperformed on Wednesday. Burlington set a record high of 91 degrees Wednesday, besting the previous record of 90, set in 1977.

Montpelier made it to 87, beating the record of 85 degrees back in 1977. And St. Johnsbury reached 89, edging out the 88 in 1991.

The heat is on today, as you may have noticed with the stuffy night we had last night.

More record highs might be set today, depending on clouds and wind speeds, but a few records probably will fall. The record high today in Burlington is 89 set in 1989, and that mark is definitely in danger.

You'll notice it's windier today than yesterday, so at least there's a breeze. But it's more humid, too, so there's that.

The wind will be especially strong in New York's St. Lawrence Valley, were gusts could reach 50 mph. And that doesn't even include the thunderstorms that might develop later.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has northern New York and the northwest tip of Vermont in the slight risk zone for severe thunderstorms.

A little disturbance ahead of a cold front might create a few isolated severe thunderstorms late this afternoon across the North Country. There won't be a lot of thunderstorms, but they'll be working with hot, gusty air, so a couple of those could get really strong.

Another line of storms ahead of a cold front will probably get into northern New York later this evening. Some of those will be severe, with high winds being the biggest threat. There's also the risk of big hail, and and even a teensy, tiny little chance of a brief tornado spin up, too. Heavy rains could accompany the storms.

This line of storms will likely start to weaken as they get into Vermont, but some might still be severe tonight, especially in western Vermont. So we'll watch that.

Yet another dramatic turnaround in the weather comes Friday, with much, much cooler weather. Highs will only be around 60 to 65 degrees, which is only a tad cooler than normal for this time of year, but it will feel dramatically different compared today.

I mentioned that this busy weather in Vermont is not as extreme as other areas of the country and that's surely true.

You'll probably hear on the news tonight and tomorrow of a very nasty tornado outbreak, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma. Conditions there are ripe today for strong, long lasting tornadoes, so that's certain a big danger. Hope the big tornadoes stay out in open country, and not blast through cities like Topeka, Wichita and Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming and Colorado, a HUGE late season snowstorm was getting underway this morning.  Up to three feet of snow is forecast in the high elevations of Wyoming by Saturday. Areas around Laramie, Wyoming could see 20 inches of snow out of this, which is really something.

In Denver, a few inches of wet snow might accumulate tonight on fully leafed out trees. The weight of that snow would break quite a few branches and power lines.

So far at least, I haven't heard of any forecasts of maurading locusts.

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