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Today's heat, Labor Day weekend weather & hurricane threats

Posted by David Epstein August 31, 2012 09:44 AM

Temperatures are closing in on 80F and heading towards their highs in the lower 90s around 2PM this afternoon. It's tough to predict if this is the last 90F we will have this year. Nearly every day in September has a record high somewhere in the 90s so hot temperatures can happen well into next month. The highest temperature ever in September was set way back in 1881 on the 7th and stands at a whopping 102F! Sunshine will be abundant all day today and winds will be busy out of the west. Tonight a cold front will come through and usher in more seasonable temperatures. There may be a shower or thunderstorm very late tonight but most of us will remain dry.For more weather insight and to ask questions find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Flooding from Isaac across Gulf, spectacular weather continues in New England

Posted by David Epstein August 29, 2012 11:34 AM

This morning incredible amounts of rain continued to fall across much of the Gulf Coast. Isaac is moving at a very slow speed. The storm is moving so slowly you could actually stay dry by keeping pace and walking in the rain free eye. Rainfall amounts will easily exceed a foot in many places with 20" or perhaps more not out of the question. The amount of freshwater is going to be a problem for many low lying areas. You have to remember much of the area that homes and businesses are built is just marsh land. That type of topography easily floods. Although the levee system is upgraded, there are some levees that are not new and already a few have overflowed.For more information or to ask garden and weather questions follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Hurricane Isaac makes landfall

Posted by David Epstein August 28, 2012 09:47 PM

Hurricane Isaac has made landfall in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish this evening and the storm will continue to move slowly along the coast over the next day. There has been 106-mph wind gust recorded on an rig in the Gulf. Storm surges up to 8 feet have been seen in the area and worse is likely to occur overnight and into Wednesday. The biggest issue with this storm is going to be the slow movement and the large amounts of rain that will fall as a result. Some places will see over a foot of rain between now and Thursday morning. The two images below show the clouds and the rain associated with Isaac. Notice on the radar how clearly the eye is visible. That is the the area in the middle that looks like a donut hole.
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Hurricane Isaac causing flooding Florida to Louisiana

Posted by David Epstein August 28, 2012 04:01 PM

It took longer than expected but Isaac has reached hurricane strength. You can even see an eye that has formed in the center of the storm. Isaac has continued to slowly intensify over the past few hours and has formed a partial eye. The reason this has taken so long to happen was mainly due to the size of the storm and dry air that kept getting sucked into the center. Larger storms take a longer time to intensify and dry air prevents thunderstorms from reaching their full potential. The storm will remain a hurricane and now we will have to watch to see just how strong it gets before landfall late tonight and early Wednesday morning. There are two images below of the storm. I love the second image as it was taken just as the sun was rising over the storm. Notice the textured white areas on the photos. Those are the big thunderstorms rotating around the center of Isaac. For more insight and to ask questions about the weather find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Isaac remains a tropical storm, hurricane warnings in effect

Posted by David Epstein August 27, 2012 05:00 PM

Late this afternoon Isaac remained a strong tropical storm but has not yet reached hurricane strength. Isaac is forecast to move closer and closer to the Gulf Coast over the next day and also become a hurricane. Best estimates are for the storm to be a category 1 storm when it makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday. Wednesday also marks the 7 year anniversary of when Katrina hit. I am not forecasting a repeat of Katrina. There are several reasons a repeat of 2007 isn't likely. First, Isaac is not forecast to be as strong as Katrina. Also, much has changed both in infrastructure and public policy since that storm hit New Orleans. Isaac has not reached hurricane strength partly because of its large size. This might seem counter intuitive but it does make sense. Isaac is like a skater spinning with their arms extended. In order for the skater to gain speed, they must pull in their arms closer to their body. We are waiting for the storm to become tighter and like the skater, put its energy into a small more compact package. For frequent weather updates and more weather information please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Tropical storm Isaac moves into Gulf, hurricane warnings now in effect

Posted by David Epstein August 26, 2012 11:30 PM

As of this evening tropical storm Isaac was moving northwestward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Once the storm is there, the conditions of the atmosphere and the water are ideal for significant strengthening of the storm. I am noticing on radar loops that the storm seems to be gathering strength. Isaac should become a hurricane as early as tomorrow but certainly by Tuesday. The ultimate landfall of the storm is still in question. Hurricane warnings are now in effect from Destin, Florida west to Morgan City, Louisiana. To illustrate how different the various computer models that track the storm are see the image below. Note one model has the storm going as far west as New Orleans while another is 300 miles to the east bringing the storm into the panhandle of Florida. Other models are in the middle. It is somewhat unusual to have this much uncertainty with a storm track when the hurricane (assume it will be) is going to hit an area in just a few days. Since the storm is moving into the Gulf region, I predict we will see energy prices skyrocket Monday and Tuesday as refineries and rigs get shut down. It was 7 years ago this week that Katrina took a similar path and that storm had a major affect on energy costs. For more frequent updates and analysis follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom issacmodels.gif

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Tropical storm warnings for Tampa as Isaac heads for Gulf

Posted by David Epstein August 26, 2012 12:00 AM

Tropical storm Isaac remains somewhat disorganized early this morning as it slowly marches towards the Florida keys. As has been the case much of the week, the energy for the storm is not completely aligned with the center. Until all the pieces of the system become better organized it can't really strengthen very much. Atmospheric conditions over the waters west of the Florida peninsula are forecast to become quite favorable for the storm. Once the storm reaches the Gulf of Mexico's warm water it should easily achieve hurricane strength later this weekend and early next week. Before that happens, the southwest corner and the lower Keys of Florida have the best chance for tropical storm force winds. Thereafter, most of the strongest winds from the storm will remain offshore until the storm hits the Gulf Coast next week. You can see in the image below how the wind field is predicted to move. The cone widens the further out in time we go as there is less certainty to the track and thus where the strongest winds will actually occur.
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Tropical storm Isaac a bit stronger

Posted by David Epstein August 24, 2012 01:52 PM

Tropical storm Isaac has gotten a bit better organized late this morning and is a bit becoming a hurricane today than it was yesterday. The terrain of Cuba and Hispaniola will, in the next 24 hours, interact with the storm so as not to allow much further strengthening. After the storm passes the Islands it will move into the Gulf of Mexico. Current projections are for the storm to remain west of Tampa. While the exact tract is still uncertain, and Tampa is still within the margin of where the storm could go, the chances of a major hit to that city are increasingly slim. This is certainly good news for the west coast of Florida and the participants and organizers of the Republican National Convention. For my latest updates and to ask questions follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com
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Tropical storm Isaac and the latest track projections

Posted by David Epstein August 23, 2012 03:40 PM

Currently, the latest track projection for Isaac takes the storm a bit further west late this weekend and early next week. However, we must be careful about thinking Florida is in the clear based on one new projection. The forecast for this storm will change multiple times in the next two days. Tropical storms and hurricanes tend to impact areas even if they don't hit them directly. Although the storm is still several days away from any possible landfall in the United States the prognosticators and pundits are out in force with what the storm may mean for Florida and the Republican National Convention which begins Monday in Tampa. Issac is still a tropical storm and is forecast to briefly reach hurricane strength before hitting Hispaniola and Cuba. Those islands have a lot of mountainous terrain. This is an important fact because if the core of the storm went over the islands the mountains and land mass in general interferes with the storms development. Isaac would dramatically weaken from this interaction and the storm would then be downgraded to a tropical storm again. The big question after that is will the storm re-strengthen into a hurricane before hitting or passing near the Florida peninsula? I'll be updating my latest thinking about Isaac on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Tropical storm Isaac will likely become a hurricane, threatens US

Posted by David Epstein August 22, 2012 10:21 AM

Our weather looks quiet here in the northeast for nearly the next week with sunny warm days and clear, calm, comfortable nights. Temperatures during the afternoon will reach into the lower and in some cases middle 80s. Overnight, temperatures will stay in the lower and middle 60s with some early morning fog. The tropics are where the weather is turning interesting and even dangerous for some portions of the Caribbean. Tropical storm Isaac is forecast to become a hurricane in the next day or two and then head across Hispaniola, Cuba and perhaps Florida early next week. I'll be updating the latest on Isaac on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Nearly perfect weather the rest of the week

Posted by David Epstein August 20, 2012 03:30 PM

The last two weeks of August are two of the most popular for summer vacation and this week is going to live up to expectations, for the most part. High pressure will be in control for most of the week. There will be a chance of an afternoon shower Tuesday but I don`t foresee any widespread rain and even that day will feature quite a bit of sunshine. The latter half of the week looks fantastic with more sunshine, warm temperatures and comfortable levels of humidity. When I think about how much heat and drought has plagued the country this summer, we are certainly very fortunate to have enjoyed a stellar summer overall. For more details on the weather or to ask a question follow me on Twitter @Growingwisdom

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Showers ending, sunshine returns for Sunday

Posted by David Epstein August 18, 2012 01:30 PM

Our second to last Saturday in August will go down as a cloudy damp one. Showers this afternoon will move east leaving mostly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. Humidity will not be a factor this afternoon. Across the Cape, the showers may linger a bit longer but there will be some dry hours at the end of the day as well. Since you know today won't be a geat day to be at the beach, what about Sunday? By the way, I think this afternoon will be nice to be outside and do some yard work with clouds, cooler temperatures and showers confined to the Cape and Islands. As for tomorrow, clearing will push south and east from northern New England. Sunshine mixed with a few clouds and pleasant temperatures will greet most of us. You can watch my Twitter feed and ask me garden or weather questions on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Some showers to start this weekend

Posted by David Epstein August 17, 2012 03:49 PM

Across the Midwest today there has a been a touch of fall in the air. Humidity is very low, temperatures have barely made it into the 70s and if you dove into Lake Michigan and went for a swim you would feel slightly chilly upon leaving the water. That air mass is moving towards New England tonight and will be here (though not as cool) next week. The problem for the weekend is that the front dividing that air from the hot air we have over us today will move at a snails pace through southern New England. This front, basically stalled to our south Saturday and part of Sunday, will leave clouds and the chance of showers in the forecast for at least the southern areas much of the weekend. The further north and west you travel from Boston the better the weather. So, if you want more sunshine and less chance of a showers head north. Have a weather question or need a forecast for something or somewhere special? Find me, then ask me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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A few storms overnight with more humidity

Posted by David Epstein August 15, 2012 06:54 PM

There are few storms this evening and I will watch the radar throughout the night to see if any more storms do develop. If we get storms overnight they, like the ones this morning, could have torrential rain and vivid lightning. The storms overnight will be scattered and tend to move out of the area by Thursday morning. There could be a leftover showers over extreme eastern areas at sunup but the trend will be for improving conditions early tomorrow. Come connect with me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Nearly perfect afternoon, a few showers later tomorrow

Posted by David Epstein August 14, 2012 11:19 AM

Another fine morning will lead us into a super afternoon. It will be quite hot with temperatures in the 80s everywhere. You will find temperatures on the lower end of the range at the water and the upper end inland. Humidity will be moderate but not excessive, that is coming tomorrow. A front will move eastward during Wednesday. The first signs of this front will be some clouds showing up on the horizon later this evening. Shower will develop Wednesday, but much of the morning and early afternoon should end up rain free. We are not looking at widespread rainfall. The front will be slow to leave Thursday and therefore I am not expecting rapid clearing. The best weather Thursday will be over the western parts of New England with the most clouds east. Got a question about weather or gardening ask me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, best places to view it

Posted by David Epstein August 11, 2012 07:44 PM

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight into early Sunday morning and if the sky above you is clear you are sure to enjoy a spectacular astronomical show. While the meteors are the main billing tonight, there are a few other players on the stellar stage. Look to the east early tomorrow morning before dawn as Jupiter, then the moon and finally Venus will rise, creating a nice diagonal line. planets tonight.gif Of course with any of these events in the sky the weather is the most important variable. It won't matter how great the meteors are if it's overcast. Much of Texas, the Ohio Valley, Tennessee, the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi and the Rockies look to have favorable sky conditions. parts of Florida and a good deal of the West Coast will also be mainly clear.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. If you have a weather or gardening question ask me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and be sure to tell me where you are located.

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Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Posted by David Epstein August 9, 2012 12:54 PM

The annual Perseid meteor shower is this weekend. You can expect to see up to one meteor each minute streaking across the sky. Meteors are tiny fragments of minerals that burn up upon hitting our atmosphere. Some Meteorites can be comprised up of minerals rich in silicon and oxygen. Other meteorites consist mainly of iron and nickel, while some are combinations of all four elements. Most are surprisingly tiny about the size of a grain of rice. They burn up in our atmosphere 30-60 miles above the surface of the earth. If a meteor does make it all the way to the ground, we call it a meteorite. If you are interested in gardening, science or weather check out my Twitter feed
at @growingwisdom

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Great beach afternoon, showers begin weekend

Posted by David Epstein August 9, 2012 12:52 PM

The talk the past few days has been of showers moving into the area for the second part of the week and while this is still the case, it's really the weekend that is going to be impacted. Today is a great beach day with sunshine and some high cloudiness. Temperatures will be very warm again reaching to the upper 80s to near 90. The humidity also will be high for the next 4 days so plan on keeping the air conditioning on unless you don't mind stale crackers and moldy bread. As you might notice, food goes bad very fast in warm humid weather. The threat of showers increases slightly late tonight and during the day Friday but it's from the Friday PM commute through late Saturday that will be the wettest.Have you got a weather or garden question? Let me know on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Perseid meteor shower weather forecast

Posted by David Epstein August 9, 2012 05:15 AM

This year the ability to view the Perseid meteor showering is getting some cooperation from the moon. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights the moon will be in the waning crescent phase meaning it is getting a bit smaller with time. When the moon is full, it is very difficult to see a good meteor shower because of all the added light. The smaller the moon, the less light and we have a very small moon this weekend. Of course, the moon's phase won't matter if it's cloudy where you are viewing the annual meteor shower. While computer models can't predict the weather with 100% accuracy, I can give you an idea of what the weather and sky condition will be the next few nights. If you follow me on Twitter, send me a tweet for a personal forecast at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com I think some of the best viewing will be in the Ohio valley and the west. I might have to drive quite far to get clear skies this year.

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Best times and where to view Perseid meteor shower

Posted by David Epstein August 7, 2012 09:10 PM

For professional and amateur astronomers the Perseid meteor shower is one of the more anticipated events of the year. This annual event occurs as the result of a comet discovered 150 years ago,in the mid-19th century by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle high in the summer sky. A few years later, in 1867, an Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli noticed that the Perseid meteors happened in similar fashion to the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet. His hypothesis, which was eventually proven, was that the meteors were small fragments of that comet breaking away and sweeping through the solar system. Since many of the meteors appear to shoot across the constellation Perseus, the event is called the Perseid meteor shower. If you have any questions about this blog, weather or just want to let me know you saw some shooting stars I would love to hear from you on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Great weather for several days

Posted by David Epstein August 6, 2012 08:15 AM

The air the past several days has been incredibly humid with gobs of moisture suspended in the air. You only had to be outside for a few minutes before your shirt needed to be changed. Although this morning is quite humid, that is going to change hour by hour and by the middle of the afternoon a refreshingly dry air mass will have replaced the sultry one.
I am expecting low humidity, but warm temperatures for the next several days. Humidity will arrive back here later Wednesday and continue into the first part of the weekend. Hopefully we can sweep the muggies back out to sea for the second part of the weekend and the annual Perseid meteor shower.

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Showers, storms humidty overnight

Posted by David Epstein August 5, 2012 06:15 PM

Humidity levels continue to be very high with the amount of moisture in the air about as extreme as we ever see it here in this part of the country. We are watching a cold front headed towards the east coast. This front marks the leading edge of more comfortable air and lower temperatures. Overnight through early tomorrow morning a line of showers and thunderstorms will move through the area. This line will produce a few downpours and possibly some strong storms. To ask me a weather question follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Ernesto and Florence, two tropical storms in Atlantic

Posted by David Epstein August 5, 2012 10:50 AM

August and September are the two busiest months in the tropics. On average, 61% of all the storms that end up with a name each year, form during these two months. This year, there has already been 4 named storms. Currently, Ernesto and Florence are the two storms being tracked in the Atlantic basin. Ernesto is forecast to end up in the Gulf of Mexico later this week after possibly hitting near the Yucatan Peninsula. Florence is further east and will be nearing some of the Caribbean islands this week and perhaps the east coast of the United States in about 10 days. There is a bit more dry air in the tropics this summer than we usually see and this dry air may inhibit these storms from becoming major hurricanes. I will update the latest advisories and information on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Flash flooding far west, hot & humid east

Posted by David Epstein August 4, 2012 03:55 PM

This afternoon we find a lot of different weather across the region. Big storms are firing up in far Western Massachusetts prompting a flash flood warning in western Franklin county (small red area on map). Heat and humidity are combing to the southwest of Boston, prompting a heat advisory. (orange area) box.png The immediate coast is enjoying a sea breeze which is keeping temperatures in the upper 70s. While there could be a thunderstorm this evening, most of the region will remain dry and warm overnight. Sunday will be another very warm and humid day with more storms over night.
For more frequent updates or to ask for a specific forecast for your town, follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Weekend weather mostly good

Posted by David Epstein August 3, 2012 08:51 AM

Over the next four days the chance for storms will remain in the forecast. Most of the thunderstorms through the weekend will occur in the afternoon with the morning being the sunniest. If you are planning a beach outing this weekend, get up early and secure your spot in the sand. After 2PM or 3PM each day the risk for thunderstorms will increase and you might have to find some shelter. Remember, there is just a chance of thunderstorms, it is actually more likely you don't get a storm this weekend, but keep an eye to the sky just in case. For the inside scoop on my weather blog and forecasting follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Tropical weather the next few days

Posted by David Epstein August 2, 2012 02:30 PM

The next several days will feature high levels of humidity and some heat making it feel quite tropical. At the same time, there will be a small chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms each day. If you do see a storm, expect heavy downpours to be the main issue. I don't see any severe weather nor do I see any widespread outbreaks of storms. During the overnight hours it will be warm and muggy with the need for air conditioning to get a good night of sleep through the weekend. Friday looks to be the hottest of the next several days with temperatures reaching for 90F away from the shoreline. Got a weather or gardening question, let me know Twitter at @growingwisdom

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First of two full moons this August rises tonight

Posted by David Epstein August 1, 2012 11:50 PM

Under partly cloudy skies, at 7:30PM EDT, the full moon will rise opposite the setting sun. This is the first of two full moons this month, the second appearing on the 31st. The moon takes 29.5 days to become full so it is possible to have two full moons in a month, if the first one occurs very early in the month. Full Moon.jpegThe moon will technically be full at 11:30 PM EDT this evening in Boston. You will have to convert that to your own local time to get the exact moment of complete fullness for you. The moon will remain full for about a day. Tomorrow when it rises it will be 99.8% full, so still a full moon to most of us. The next full moon will be on the 31st of this month at 9:59AM EDT and will rise in the east at 7:02PM that evening The next time we have a month with two full moons is July 2015.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or answer your questions. Reach me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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