All that haze in the air, the milky-blue cast to the sky, is evidence of big wildfires in Manitoba, Canada - smoke being swept south into Minnesota. Expect a few Technicolor-Cherry-Red sunsets this week.
Rumor has it this is the biggest week of the summer for family getaways, cabin reunions and camping adventures. Excuse me while I take a few shots of Maalox - with a Tums chaser. My nervous tick is kicking in.
America's weather is still stuck in a holding pattern, unusually big sweeps of the jet stream for July providing a non-stop runway for flooding T-storms out east, while the west wilts under incandescent heat. What does 128F feel like?
On my blog (below) an AP reporter in Death Valley describes it as a non-stop hair dryer inches away from your face, cell phones too hot to touch, using oven mitts because the steering wheel is THAT HOT.
Welcome to one of the best weeks of summer: a string of sunny, warm days into next weekend, when highs may nudge 90F with a few T-storms. We should luck out on the 4th: hazy-blue skies, dew points near 60 (humid, not unbearable) and highs in the mid 80s. 6-7 dry days in a row?
At this rate you might even have to water your garden.
A Long Overdue Case of Summer Bliss. The ECMWF is still fairly optimistic, at least into Saturday, with a slow warming trend and dew points creeping upward over time. An isolated instability T-shower is possible by Thursday, mainly over Wisconsin and Iowa, closer to the nagging trough of cold, low pressure aloft. By Saturday highs may approach 90, with the best chance of showers and T-storms Saturday night into Sunday.
4th of July, 2013. Here is the "Euro" forecast for midday Thursday, showing heavy showers and storm over the eastern seaboard; heaviest rains along the spine of the Appalachians. PM clouds will sprout over the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, the weather improving west of a line from Eau Claire to Des Moines to Kansas City.
84 Hour Forecast. Weather systems (fronts and storms) tend to slow down significantly during the summer months, but the current holding pattern is unusual, even for July. A massive trough of low pressure stalled over the Ohio Valley and Mid South will keep a steady flow of moisture flowing from Florida and Georgia on north toward Asheville and Pittsburgh.
5-Day Rainfall. NOAA HPC models are printing out some 3-4" rainfall amounts from Pensacola to Louisville by Saturday evening; monsoon-related T-storms helping to cool New Mexico and Arizona a bit by the end of the week.
Photo credit above: "Eric Varone, right, takes a picture as Floriane Golay, of Switzerland watches, in Death Vally National Park Friday, June 28, 2013 in Badwater, Calif. Excessive heat warnings will continue for much of the Desert Southwest as building high pressure triggers major warming in eastern California, Nevada, and Arizona." Photo: Chris Carlson.
Photo credit above: "In 116-degree heat, forecasters with the National Weather Service in Phoenix baked cookies in a van as an experiment." (Charlotte Dewey / National Weather Service / June 29, 2013)
"Living With Fire", a must-read Op Ed in the NY Times, is here.
- Flash Flood Warnings posted for northern New Jersey, metro New York City and Fairfield County, CT, for excessive 1-3"+ rains falling on already-saturated ground. Our models are indicating a significant risk of flash flooding for Newark, Paterson and Elizabeth over the next 18 hours:
- Typhoon Rumbia should spare Macau and Hong Kong, direct strike on Maoming and Zhanjiang as a minimal Category 1 storm (70-90 mph winds) within the next 18 hours. 12 foot seas reported offshore pose a risk to shipping, main risk will be 10" rains and inland flooding over Guangdong Province of China.
- Heavy rain sparking flooding in Sydney, Australia - mudslides impacting rail lines and commutes.
- Evidence points to an especially severe fire season for western third of USA; update on blazes underway from Colorado to California.
Image credit above: "This image, captured by the ISERV camera aboard the International Space Station, shows floodwaters from the Bow and Elbow Rivers in downtown Calgary." (Servir Global)
Image credit: "Mr. ZIP, a cartoon mail character created in the early 1960s to entice Americans to use ZIP codes."
Photo credit above: "Firefighters work near a wildfire burning along a ridge in Yarnell, Ariz., in this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Monday, July 1, 2013. The lightning-sparked fire, which started last Friday, spread to at least 2,000 acres amid triple-digit temperatures, overtook an elite group of firefighters, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields." (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)
Image credit above: "Satellite image of Neusiedlersee, one of the lakes where algal blooms are expected to increase with changes in climate." Photo courtesy of Martin Dokulil