Friday, June 9, 2017

Weekend Getaway- Bringing the Heat!

An upper atmosphere disturbance will rotate through Southern New England this afternoon which will fire off some showers and thunderstorms.  A coastal storm that largely missed Southern New England will drop a 0.5" of rain throughout much of Maine today.  Tomorrow a boundary will sag south into Central New England.  A few isolated showers and thunderstorms will be possible because of this.  On Sunday temperatures will soar into the 90's.

The radar this morning shows some leftover rain showers across the Cape and Islands and heavy rain in Downeast Maine.  In Eastern New York, showers have developed to the west of the Hudson River Valley.  This is part of the upper atmosphere disturbance.
NWS Northeast Regional Radar 
Precipitation will continue into the afternoon in Maine.  The rain across the Cape and Islands should come to an end by lunch time.  The showers in Eastern NY will move into Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts around noon.  The projected surface chart for 2 PM shows this set-up well.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Friday 2 PM
The future radar keeps most of the action this afternoon north of the MA Pike.  Any thunderstorms would occur between 1-4 PM.   By 6 PM most of the storms will have dissipated.
11z HRRR 18-hr Simulated Radar through 1 AM (image Weatherbell)
Temperatures this afternoon will climb into the mid 70's away from the coast.  Leftover clouds and onshore flow will keep the Cape, Islands, and South Coast in the upper 60's.  In Northern New England, temperatures will be in the upper 60's and low 70's.  Downeast Maine will be in the low 60's as precipitation lingers throughout most of the day.
NWS Max Temperatures Friday (image Weatherbell)
NWS Max Temperatures Friday (image Weatherbell)
There should be no problems at Fenway tonight when the Sox take on the Tigers.  Winds will be out of the West at 5-10 MPH today.

High pressure will try and build across New England tomorrow but it will be buffered by the presence of the weak cold front.  Although there is a chance of showers/storm, storms will be weaker and less numerous than today.  Storms tomorrow will fire between 11 AM and 5 PM.   Southern NH, Southern VT, Massachusetts, Northern RI, and Northern CT will have the best chance at seeing a rumble of thunder.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Saturday 8 AM (image Weatherbell)
In Lakes/Mountains of NNE, the showers will linger a little bit longer.  Temperatures tomorrow will be in the low 80's in Southern New England.  The 80's will stretch into Southern New Hampshire and into Central Vermont.  Temperatures in Maine will be in the mid to upper 70's.
NWS Max Temperatures Saturday (image Weatherbell)
NWS Max Temperatures Saturday (image Weatherbell)
Winds will be light on Saturday but will gradually increase Saturday evening.  Winds will be out of the Southwest.

The Bermuda High will become established on Sunday.  The boundary that will be across the region on Saturday will lift into Canada as a warm front. Warm winds from the SW will bring temperatures into the 90's.   Precipitation is possible in Northern NH/Western ME but this looks like a weak pop-up shower in the highest peaks.
WPC Surface Front/Precipitation Sunday 8 AM 
Temperatures will soar into the low 90's.  If you want relief, Mount Washington is forecast to be around 60 degrees.  The Cape, Islands, and South Coast will also see a sea breeze effect on Sunday thanks to the SW wind blowing over the water.
NWS Max Temperatures Sunday (image Weatherbell)
NWS Max Temperatures Sunday (image Weatherbell)
The heat will linger into Tuesday if anyone is thinking of taking a long weekend.

Boat and Beach Report

Seas will be rough as the ocean storm passes and high pressure builds in.  A Small Craft Advisory is up for today and one will likely be issued again on Sunday.  The Rip Current risk is moderate for all east facing beaches today.  Water temperatures are still in the low to mid 50's.
SST June 9, 2017
10 C = 50 F and 15 C = 59 F.  We are still a few weeks away from enjoying the water.  Some folks don't mind the cold water but I don't find it swimmable until it is in the low 60's.

Have a great weekend.

-Zack Green

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

First Look at the Weekend

A close pass by a coastal storm will bring some rain to Southern New England on Friday.  An upper-level low will cross the region Friday PM which will bring with it a chance of showers.  A front will try to pass on Saturday, but it will be beaten back by a strengthening ridge in the SW Atlantic.  Temperatures Friday will remain below average but a warming trend will begin on Saturday.  Temperatures Sunday will be in the mid to upper 80's (isolated 90's).

The projected surface map Friday AM shows a trough over the Northeast and a coastal low just close enough to bring rain to the Cape and Islands.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Friday 8 AM
Computer guidance has trended east with this system which is good news.  Some interaction with the upper atmosphere trough will likely enhance a band of rain in Central New England.  This may set up near Essex County.  Traditionally, these types of troughs are strongest where the coast has a concave enclave.  Southern ME and NH is a good example of this.
NWS Max Temperatures Friday (image Weatherbell)
You can see the low to mid 60's in Maine as they should take the most rain from this system.  In SNE, temperatures will rise into the mid 70's in the CT River Valley and low 70's for everyone else.   The showers in SNE will be early to mid-afternoon with clearing skies for the evening.

A stalled frontal boundary will linger Saturday AM and PM without ever passing through the region.  The presence of this boundary will touch off a few showers and thunderstorms, but this will be isolated.  Here is that boundary as of 8 AM Saturday.
WPC Surface Fronts Saturday 8 AM
Cloud cover/showers will peak midday before clearing later Saturday PM and evening.  This is not a washout nor a thunderstorm outbreak so if you have plans or parties scheduled continue without worrying.  Temperatures will climb into the mid to upper 70's in SNE.  Temperatures will climb into the low 70's in NH and ME.
NWS Max Temperatures Saturday (image Weatherbell)
The stalled boundary will lift north Saturday night as a warm front.  Our winds will shift and the warm summer-like weather will return.  Lows Sunday AM will be in the low 60's.  Temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 80's, even in Maine.  There will be a bit of a sea breeze but it won't be overwhelming.
NWS Max Temperatures Sunday (image Weatherbell)
As for precipitation, the only place I see the chance on Sunday is in far Northern New England.  A series of disturbances will ride the boundary to our north.  This will be updated as the weekend getaway forecast on Friday.

-Zack Green

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Truly Miserable Tuesday

Between 1 and 2 AM, Worcester Airport reached 50 F for the day.  If we can't get over 51 this afternoon Worcester will break a record for lowest maximum temperature for the date.  Our 3 other major climate sites will come close but ultimately will land a degree or two over the record low max.
The first batch of rain was delivered by a storm tracking south and east of Nantucket.  If we had the temperature anomalies we are seeing today in late January with this storm track we would be in business with a big time winter storm (or at least I would, snowstorms are big $$, thanks!).  Alas, it's June 6 so I apologize for even bringing up snow.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Tuesday 8 AM
Although the low is moving out to sea, rain will return later this AM as the upper-level disturbance that has been squatting to our west for days will finally make its way into the Atlantic.   Here is the regional northeast radar as of 6 AM.
NWS Northeast Regional Radar Loop through 548 AM
Showers are ending across most of Southern New England.  Light showers and drizzle will remain for the AM commute.  You can spot the low-pressure center in Upstate New York on the radar. That will work west throughout the morning. Steady rain showers will return from west to east after 10 AM in Springfield, 12 PM in Worcester, and 1 PM in Boston.
08z HRRR 18-hour simulated radar through Tuesday 10 PM (image Weatherbell)
The heaviest rain today will be in the Berkshires where up to 1" is possible.  Over a 0.5" is likely north of a line from New Haven to Providence to Plymouth up into S NH and VT.
NWS Forecast Precipitation Through Wednesday 8 AM (image Weatherbell)
Winds out of the east will gust up to 40-45 MPH along the east coast of Massachusetts.  Sustained winds will be 20-25.  Elsewhere winds will gust up to 30 MPH with sustained winds 10-15 MPH.
NWS Max wind gust forecast Tuesday (image Weatherbell)
It really is days like this that give New England a terrible weather reputation.  East Northeast winds off the cold ocean with an air mass that will only allow temperatures to rise into the upper 40's and low 50's.
NWS Max Temperatures Tuesday (image Weatherbell)
High pressure will build to our west so showers will begin to wane tonight.  A few leftover showers will be possible tomorrow morning.  The high marks the beginning of a transition phase for our weather.  Another coastal storm is likely Friday before the summerlike weather makes a return next week.

-Zack Green

Monday, June 5, 2017

Damp, Raw Conditions Today

Overnight rain will taper to drizzle and showers this afternoon.  Low pressure developing along a stalled frontal boundary south of New England will bring enhanced rainfall overnight Monday into Tuesday.  Some strong winds will be possible tonight across Coastal Southern New England and the entire region will be breezy tomorrow.  Showers and thunderstorms will be possible through Tuesday evening before we return to drier weather on Wednesday.  Temperatures will remain unseasonably cool to begin the week.

General Overview
A surface warm front is parked in the adjacent SNE coastal waters while a cold front stretches back into the Midwest.  A few waves of low pressure have popped up along this front.
WPC Surface Analysis Monday 5 AM
The regional radar shows rain exiting SNE, but also shows plenty of moisture to our south and west.
NWS Northeast Regional Radar Loop 
There is a sharp temperature divide in the Northeast this AM.  New England temperatures are in the low 50's but in VA/MD/DE temps are near 70.  
RTMA 2 m temperatures Monday 6 AM (image Weatherbell)
Short Range Forecast
Steady rain will taper to a drizzle in SNE as this weather system reloads to our west.  As a new area of low pressure develops along the boundary, precipitation will increase, starting first in Upstate NY.  Here is how this system will evolve at the surface over the next 24 hours.
WPC Surface Fronts, Precipitation Monday 2 PM, 8 PM, Tuesday 2 AM, 8 AM
Low pressure will strengthen as it exits the VA coast and moves Northeast this afternoon and evening.  This low is driving the rainfall in VA right now so we know this storm is loaded with moisture.  Here is the future radar through 11 PM tonight.
09z HRRR 18-hour simulated radar through Monday 11 PM (image Weatherbell)
Those thunderstorms in N PA and E NY sure look like they will be nasty this afternoon.  The SPC currently has this region in a "marginal" risk for severe thunderstorms.  Berkshire and Litchfield Counties will have to keep an eye on this later today.  
SPC Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook
East of the Berkshire, the marine layer will limit the chances for any strong thunderstorms but a few rumbles will be possible this evening.  The Northeast wind off the Gulf of Maine will keep max temps well below average today.  It will be warmest in Western MA/CT and coolest at the coast.  
NWS Max Temperatures Monday (image Weatherbell)
Temperatures tonight will fall into the upper 40's and low 50's.  Although the coastal low will scoot out to sea, the upper-level system will still be hanging around tomorrow.  The radar will be spotty tonight through Tuesday mid-morning.  Steady rain will fill in tomorrow afternoon and early evening, finally ending overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.  Temperatures tomorrow will struggle to get out of the 50's.
NWS Max Temperatures Tuesday (image Weatherbell)
That's good for 20 degrees below average for most of the region!
NWS Max Temp Anomaly Tuesday (image Weatherbell)
Cool air will remain after this system departs Wednesday AM.  Max temps Wednesday and Thursday will be in the 60's, but a warming trend will begin.  

-Zack Green

Friday, June 2, 2017

New England Weekend Outlook 6/2-6/4/17

It's that time of year again when the Thursday PM commute starts to look like the Friday PM commute and the Friday PM commute just sucks.  If you have ever left the Boston area on a Friday in summertime you know exactly what I mean.  The silver lining is a lot of people are heading off to weekend getaway's so let's focus on the positive and give the forecast for the vacation regions of New England.  In this case, it's the destination that matters, not the journey.

Short Term Outlook
An upper-air disturbance with a pocket of cold air will enable the development of scattered showers and thunderstorms across all of New England this afternoon.  The regional radar is showing some shower development in upstate NY and Northern New England.
NWS Northeast Regional Radar 1108 AM
An upper-level trough will serve as the trigger for shower and thunderstorm development.  It is shown here in the projected 2 PM surface chart.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Friday 2 PM
The showers will pop around 1 PM in Southern New England and coverage will be regionwide until 7 PM or so.  It won't rain the entire afternoon, but some communities will see multiple showers/thunderstorms.  Here is the 18-hour simulated radar through 3 AM.
13z HRRR 18-hour simulated radar through Sat 3 AM (image Weatherbell)
The strongest storms today will produce frequent lightning, gusty winds, heavy rain, and small hail.  

Northern VT. NH and ME will struggle to get out of the 50's today.  Temperatures will be in the upper 60's/low 70's in Southern ME and Southeast NH.  Temperatures will rise into mid 70's for much of Southern New England.  Even across Cape Cod temperatures will be near 70.
NWS Max Temps Friday (image Weatherbell)
NWS Max Temperatures Friday (image Weatherbell)
Some AM showers will be possible as the upper-level disturbance continues to rotate through.  There will be more sun than clouds in Southern New England but in Northern New England showers will be possible through the late afternoon.  Rain chances in Southern New England diminish greatly after 12 PM.  Clouds and drizzle will hold on longest for the Cape, Islands, and South Coast in SNE.  Downeast Maine and the higher elevations of NNE will have the greatest chance of PM showers.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Saturday 8 PM (image Weatherbell)
The Dierks Bentley show in Mansfield will be dry.  Tailgate temperatures will be mid 60's.  It's a weekend to avoid the campsite's up north for recreational activities.  Max temperatures will be in the upper 40's and low 50's across VT/NH.  The coastal communities in Southern ME and NH will be in the low 60's.   It will be much warmer in Southern CT/RI so if you want to hit the beach I would go there.
NWS Max Temps Saturday (image Weatherbell)
NWS Max Temperatures Saturday (image Weatherbell)
That makes temperatures in NNE 15-20 degrees below average for this time of year.  
NWS Max temp anomaly Saturday (image Weatherbell)
Minimum temps Saturday night will drop into the upper 40's so if you have outdoor plans pack the jeans and sweatshirt.  

Sunday will start dry across all on New England.  The chilly temperatures will make it feel more like late April than early June.  A storm system approaching from the Great Lakes will bring rainfall to the region Sunday PM into Monday AM. 
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Sunday 8 AM
Some showers are possible around after 1 PM but the steady rain arrives later in the afternoon.  Temperatures will be in the upper 60's/low 70's so its not the worst weekend weather day ever.  
NWS Max Temps Sunday (image Weatherbell)
The 8 PM simulated radar is showing scattered coverage all across New England.
12z NAM hires simulated radar Sunday 8 PM (image Weatherbell)
This rain will be mostly associated with the warm front lifting north.  More rain will fall overnight Sunday into Monday as low pressure crosses the area.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Special Report- June 1, 2011 From A Meteorologist's Perspective

YouTube screenshot of twister in downtown Springfield MA

It has been 6 years since the devastating June 1, 2011, severe weather outbreak that left parts of the region in ruin.  The twister left a physical scar that can be seen in winter time, even years after the event.
NOAA GOES_East visible satellite 2/18/2015 (image Sean Breslin, The Weather Channel)
The emotional scars run deeper as business and homeowners in the path of the twister are still struggling to rebuild and recover.  Three people lost their lives, many more were injured, and millions of dollars of damage was done from Westfield to Sturbridge.  This post will not focus on any of that.  Instead, this will be an account of the storm from a meteorologist's perspective as it happened.   We will start on May 30, 2011, to see how well this event was forecast and we will end on the evening of June 1, 2011.

May 30, 2011

330 AM
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK first highlighted the potential for severe weather on June 1, 2011, two days ahead of time when they put most of the northeast in a "slight" risk in their 3-day convective outlook.  A wise and clever individual would say 6/1 is 2 days after 5/30, not 3.  You would be correct but the SPC Day 1 Outlook is valid from 8 AM that day until 8 AM the next.  So the 5/30/11 day 1 outlook is for 5/30/11 8 AM until 5/31/11 8 AM.  Day 2 is 5/31/11 8 AM until 6/1/11 8 AM etc.
SPC Day 3 convective outlook.  Issued 5/30/2011 for 6/1/2011
734 PM
The National Weather Service in Taunton (NWS BOX) issued its evening forecast discussion.  The forecaster's note the potential for severe weather thanks to an approaching cold front that is forecast to move through Southern New England (SNE) during the late afternoon.  This will pair the frontal passage with peak heating, thus elevating the potential for severe weather.  Despite some favorable parameter's such as wind shear, the forecaster's also noted the potential for high pressure offshore to limit thunderstorm growth and limit the overall severe weather threat.


130 PM
The Day 2 Convective Outlook continues to advertise the potential for severe thunderstorms in the northeast.
SPC Day 2 convective outlook issued 5/31/11 for 6/1/2011
450 PM
The NWS BOX forecast is still unsure about how widespread the severe weather threat will be on 6/1.  The forecaster notes the best dynamics will be in Northern New England closer to the parent cyclone.  However, it is also noted that the severe weather parameters are still high for SNE standards.  The forecast mentions the potential for strong winds and damaging hail Wednesday PM.

1001 PM
For the first time, the NWS BOX discussion mentions the potential for storms Wednesday AM.  The NAM model was forecasting the potential for storms in SNE as a warm front lifted into the region.  This warm front is the leading edge of the warm, humid air thunderstorms need for fuel.  While the forecaster seems to have doubts about this, it is mentioned.

1100 PM
Surface analysis at 11 PM on 5/31/11 shows a parent cyclone north of the Great Lakes with a trailing cold front through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and back into Oklahoma.  A warm front was lifting through Central New England at the same time.
WPC Surface Analysis Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 11 PM

100 AM
Forecaster's still unconvinced of AM storms, but note the presence of the AM storms could impact the development of storms in the PM.

408 AM

Morning convection still not anticipated, but forecasters are now fairly certain Western Massachusetts will see severe thunderstorms.  A significant tornado outbreak is not anticipated.

8-1005 AM
Storm fire along the warm front.  Hail up to 1" diameter falls in NE MA and S NH.  Violent storms rip through Southern Worcester County, Northern RI, and SE MA.
NCEI radar archives 8 AM-10 AM 6/1/2011
The first severe thunderstorm warning of the day is issued at 830 AM for the thunderstorm near Lowell.
IEM Mesonet NWS STW Archive 6./1/11 830 AM
The skies clear after these storms move into the Atlantic.  Meanwhile, in Upstate New York, the sun emerges and thunderstorms begin to fire ahead of the cold front.  The SPC noted a growing damaging wind and hail threat around 930 AM.
The SPC issues the first watch of the day at 1005 AM.  This is a severe thunderstorm watch for PA. NY, Western and Northern New England.

1230 PM
The SPC issues its early PM Day 1 Convective Outlook.  It notes a 5% possibility of tornadoes across much of New England.
The SPC also issues an update to the severe thunderstorm watch.

100 PM
A Tornado Watch is issued until 8 PM

2-415 PM
A Tornado Watch is issued in Maine.
The first tornado warning of the event is issued for Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties in Massachusetts at 328 PM.
IEM Mesonet archive BOX tornado warnings 6/1/11
This cell was the first to get the attention of meteorologists as many TV stations broke into special live coverage.

At 415, a very strong supercell thunderstorm was entering Westfield, MA.  It was not yet tornadic, but the NWS noted rotation on radar.
IEM Mesonet archive BOX STW 6/1/11

Here is the radar loop from 200-415 PM.

NCEI Radar Archive 6/1/11

415-700 PM

The SPC issued an update to the Tornado Watch at 418 PM.

The severe thunderstorm in Hampden County that was showing signs of rotation has now produced a tornado. Law enforcement and media report damage in West Springfield.  The NWS issues a tornado warning at 430 PM.  This developed in the shaded area of MCD 1053 where the SPC believed a strong tornado was possible.
IEM Mesonet Archive Tornado Warnings 6/1/11

Viewers in Western Massachusetts watched the tornado cross the Connecticut River.  The threat shifted towards Worcester County around 5 PM.  The first tornado warning for Worcester County is issued at 501 PM.
IEM Mesonet Archive Tornado Warning 6/1/11
This cell did not end up producing a tornado.  The Springfield cell became a high-end EF-3 tornado.  It is my belief that atmosphere surrounding that supercell robbed this cell of the energy needed to produce a tornado.   Here is the radar loop from 430-800 PM.

NCEI radar archive 6/1/11

The Springfield tornado marched on towards Monson, Brimfield, and Sturbridge before lifting over Oxford, Sutton, and Northbridge.

Supercells continued to fire in Western MA.  Another tornado warning was posted at 607 PM.
IEM Mesonet Archive tornado warnings 6/1/11
Often overlooked, rightfully so, this supercell produced 3 tornadoes in Hampden and Worcester Counties.

700-1100 PM

The atmosphere was stilled primed as we entered the evening.
A tornado watch was issued for Eastern MA as supercells continued to fire in Western MA.

This is the radar from 8-10 PM.

The 3-day forecast verified from the Storm Prediction Center.   What no one predicted was that a high-end EF-3 tornado would cause major damage along a 37-mile path in South Central Massachusetts.
SPC Day 1 Outlook and verification 
The point of this post is to remind everyone that while major severe weather outbreaks are rare in Southern New England, they are extremely difficult to forecast.  This seemed like a run of the mill SNE severe weather event until the morning of.  I didn't expect the AM thunderstorms or tornadoes.   This event is the reason why I launched this weather blog.   Thank you for reading.

Works used
Radar Images

SPC Discussions, Watches, Outlooks

NWS Discussions

NWS Warnings

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