Warm, unsettled weather continues Wednesday

Strong thunderstorms powered through the area on Tuesday afternoon and evening, as an energetic trough moved through the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Thunderstorms maintained themselves through much of New Jersey on the leading edge of stronger forcing from the mid and upper level trough. As they shifted eastward, weakening occurred due to lesser instability in our area. Still, gust fronts on the edge of the pre-frontal trough mixed down stronger winds aloft, leading to branch and tree damage in many areas. Figure 1, below, shows the storm reports from Tuesday via the Storm Prediction Center. Needless to say — it was a significant severe weather event in the Northeast US.

Figure 1 (NWS/SPC)

Figure 1 (NWS/SPC)

Wednesday will feature somewhat similar weather, although the incoming system will have much less vigor. Scattered thunderstorms are still possible during the afternoon, but will have less instablity to work with, less forcing for development, and weaker wind shear aloft for organization. The end result will be another hot day with temperatures near 90, hazy skies and humid/muggy air. The afternoon will feature scattered storms, some of which could feature lightning and heavy rain.

The unsettled weather is expected to continue into the near future. The good news? A mid level ridge axis between disturbances looks to build into the area just in time for the weekend. Temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday will likely top out in the 80’s with only scattered thunderstorms. As we approach the early part of next week, however, early indications are that another powerful upper level system will emerge from Central Canada and drop southward toward the Great Lakes. This will kick off another round of unsettled weather, including the potential for strong to severe storms, while bringing widespread below-normal temperatures to the Upper Midwest. Figure 2 shows the powerful system next week as modeled by the GFS. 

Fig 2 (PSU Ewall).

Fig 2 (PSU Ewall).

For now, enjoy the warm weather over the next few days despite the threat for some thunderstorms. It looks like another general winner of a weekend is coming up (has been a trend lately, hasn’t it? Shh..) with two more beach days on the table. Next week looks a tick cooler and more unsettled — and we’ll keep you updated on that as we draw closer.

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