Wednesday May 4, 2016 Daily Weather Briefing

Today we have to start in Canada where a devastating wild fire has forced the evacuation of 80,000 residents in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  Local officials this morning said one neighborhood of 700 houses is 80% destroyed. Approximately 2200 people live in that neighborhood and are now homeless.  The CBC is reporting that the worst of this fire is not over.
CBC photo taken by Terry Realth
Thousands of fire fighters are on their way to battle this blaze and save what is left of the community.  As with every disaster there are signs of human compassion.  The Huffington Post is reporting that other residents of Alberta are tweeting and using facebook to let people know they have rooms in their homes, meals, cash and water.  Often we wonder what is wrong with the world and we believe it is a terrible place.  Each and every time disaster hits humans step up (especially Americans and Canadians).
Wikipedia map of Fort McMurray

Unfortunately conditions will not improve today.  The same weather pattern leading to gray and rain in the east US is responsible for the record heat and dry conditions in Alberta.  Via the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System we see this for today.  Note Fort McMurray is in the Northwest corner of Alberta (second province in from Pacific
Canadian Wildland Fire Information System May 4, 2016
The 500 mb ridge says it all.  It is anomalously amplified high into Western Canada
12z NAM 500 mb vort, heights 2 PM Wed (image NCEP/NOAA)
Yesterday set a record high temperature of 90 F,  Today will again approach 90 which is record territory for May 4
12z RGEM 2 m temps Alberta 4 PM EST (2 PM MDT)  (image Weatherberll)
I really don't see all that much rainfall coming.  Temperatures will return to normal next week.  Until then godspeed to everyone battling this blaze.

Elsewhere it is relatively quiet.  Rain remains in the Northeast.  It doesn't look as impressive as the models promised yesterday.  That is the frustrating part of these blocks.
NWS Northeast Regional Radar 
The latest high resolution guidance keeps showers rest until 4-5 PM before filling in.  Low pressure will ride along the cold front and produce up to 0.5 inch of rain back through Central Mass and perhaps an inch or more on the Cape and Islands.
WPC Surface Analysis 8 AM
The biggest threat for severe weather is also associated with this cold front in Southern Florida.  The biggest threat is damaging wind gusts but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
SPC Day 1 Severe Thunderstorm Outlook
Here is the radar out of the Southeast
NWS Southeast US Regional Radar Loop
I'm still looking for a good this day in weather history.

-Zack Green


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