Rainy Days, more Tropical trouble brewing

I want to apologize to those expecting updates over the last few days.  My internet has been going on and off ever since Hurricane Irene so it has been difficult to post.  Hopefully that is all squared away; I missed a fantasy football draft last night because of it.  Anyway on to the weather...which has been dreary.  The remains of Tropical Storm Lee have combined with a frontal boundary and together the systems have been dropping heavy rain over areas that do not need it.  The heaviest rain has appeared to shut off for Southern New England.  That will not put us out of the woods; showers are still likely from now until Friday night.  The remnant circulation of Tropical Storm Lee will continue to push northeast and there will be another chance of heavy steady rain Friday night into Saturday morning from the interaction of Lee and Hurricane Katia passing well offshore of Nantucket.
Surface Map

Until Friday night there is a good chance the lulls in between rain will produce manageable weather.  I actually expect tomorrow to be a pretty decent day with very little rain. Tonight we may have to deal with isolated heavy rain bands from Hurricane Katia.  Remember Saturday afternoon before Irene?  Those were predecessor rain bands and some models are hinting at this happening with Katia as well.  The only other effects from Katia will be dangerous surf and rip currents.  Stay out of the water this weekend, it only puts other people at risk when they need to come save your life.  Unless you are an experienced surfer don't even bother going in.

For the weekend, most of Saturday and all of Sunday look to be great here in New England.  The NFL kicks off this weekend, if you pick games (for fun of course) I'll be forecasting each game.  A special Green Bay forecast will be available later tonight and a full forecast for the other 15 games will be available Friday. The tropics discussion will follow below.

Tropics Discussion
Currently in the Atlantic Ocean basin there are two named storms and a third area that has a 60% of developing into a Tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.  First off is Hurricane Katia.  Hurricane Katia took a  textbook track north of the islands and in between Bermuda and the United States.  The winds are currently 85 mph and the central pressure is 976 mb.  While Hurricane Katia peaked with winds of 135 mph, a category 4 hurricane on the outdated Saffir-Simpson scale, Irene had a lower central pressure and thus is still considered the strongest storm of the season.  The track of Katia will send her racing through the graveyard of the North Atlantic towards the British Isles.  The extra tropical Katia will lash Northern Ireland and Scotland with powerful winds and rains in about 5 days.  Here is the Hurricane Center track.

Next up is newly formed Tropical Storm Maria.  Maria is another system that has developed from a wave off of Africa.  The official forecast for Maria calls for only gradual strengthening as she heads west towards the Northern Leeward Islands, a track very similar to Irene.  I buy the slow strengthening of the system because that fits what each system has done so far in 2011 and it fits the climatology of a warm AMO/double La Nina season.  In 2010 most systems rapidly strengthened as they moved off Africa and were controlled by large scale steering features that took the storms out to sea.  Development has been much closer to land in 2011.   I see Maria as a possible threat to the United States in 7-10 days.  I'm much more concerned for Maria than I ever was for Katia.  Here is the NHC track for Maria.

Finally, convection in the Bay of Campeche associated with an old frontal boundary has been firing consistently over very warm waters.  Currently the upper air pattern is not all the favorable for development as upper level shear as well as dry air is limiting the organization of the system.  None the less there is a high chance this system becomes a Tropical Depression and then Tropical Storm Nate.  Some of us may have to call it Tropical Storm Teeks (or Torch).  The bad news for this system is that the model spread is taking it into southern Mexico or the Northern Gulf Coast.  Not one is taking it into Texas where it needs to go.  I hope it heads that way, the fires and drought are terrible for those folks.  Its just like the 1950's, when a 10 year drought severely damaged the Texas region.  Another problem with the system is that if it does head towards the northern Gulf Coast, flooding is going to be a huge problem.  Lee dropped copious amounts of rain in the Southeast.  This is not what they need at all.

Finally the summer drought and rains were consistent with the 100 year average across the United States.  Some folks claimed it was unprecedented.  Well take a look at this chart courtesy of Dr. Roy Spencer (who has created quite a stir recently with a newly published paper calling BS on the global climate models).  He argues that observational evidence should be more important that what the computer is saying "should" happen.  Anyway...
Yes I realize this is only June and July, but data for August is still incomplete.  I am not arguing that we haven't seen extreme weather events in 2011.  We certainly have, but they aren't unprecedented.  The Earth's temperature dropped nearly a full degree in the mid layers from 2010 to 2011.  The lower troposphere also cooled.  That type of atmospheric cooling is going to allow for more water vapor and cloud formation due more mixing of warm and cool air masses.  The same thing happened in the 1950's.  I'm really sick of every weather event being blamed on "global warming".  What the hell caused all the awful storms before the Industrial Revolution?


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