Entries by John Homenuk

4.29 AM Zones: Morning storms depart, warm weather returns

If you were somehow able to sleep through the lightning, thunder and torrential rain this morning; well, more power to you. But for the majority of folks in our region, the strong thunderstorms which moved through the region in the pre-dawn hours were a rude wakeup call. The event was, nevertheless, quite impressive by overnight thunderstorm standards! A frontal boundary near the area helped to enhance lift for storms to develop as the moved through the area.

Even during the overnight hours, occasionally, these fronts can serve as highways for thunderstorms to travel. Elevated instability (slightly aloft in the atmosphere, instead of at the surface as it often is during the daytime) helped to maintain the storms development while favorable shear (50kts) aided in thunderstorm maintenance. All things considered, we were lucky this event didn’t come during the day; the presence of an elevated mixed layer would have nearly guaranteed a significant severe thunderstorm event if surface instability was more prevalent.

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4.27 PM Zones: Warmer air arrives late week

Cold and dreary weather had, for the most part, taken control of the areas weather over the past several days. Much of this can be blamed on the development of an upper level low over the Southeast United States last week. This upper level low drifted northeastwards towards the Mid Atlantic coast earlier this week, aiding in the development of a low pressure system which enhanced precipitation across much of the area.

The slow-moving cutoff low, which refers to systems that are detached from the overall jet stream, meandered in the region through this morning while slowly drifting off to the north and east. Residual moisture allowed for fog and drizzle to remain in the area. The good news is that, at long last, the system is departing and pleasant weather will finally return to the forecast.

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4.25 PM Zones: Rain continues, warmer times ahead

Scattered showers with embedded heavy downpours have impacted a large majority of the area this morning, and will continue to do so during the early afternoon hours. Forecast models and regional observations are aligned in the idea that an area of steadier, heavier rain will begin to approach the region this afternoon. The rain may be torrential at times, with rapid rainfall amounts leading to localized flooding.

This rainfall will be occurring as a result of a strengthening low level jet, or the movement of air in the lower levels of the atmosphere. The strong low level jet is associated with a strong system aloft, passing along the East Coast today. The low level jet will transport moisture into the region rapidly, and enhance lift to help develop precipitation from southeast to northwest during the early to mid afternoon.

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Midday Zones: Summer warmth today, unsettled late week

Happy Easter to this who celebrate! We hope you’re able to enjoy the day with the family, friends, and loved ones who are most important to you. Regardless of whether you celebrate or not, we’re all being treated to summer-like warmth today. A deep west/southwesterly flow became rooted at the low levels of the atmosphere this morning and will continue through the afternoon. This has helped to advect a very warm airmass into the area and this air will remain over the region.

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