Heat and wild fires out west, flooding in Florida and some big thunderstorms in our area all make the country seem a bit unsettled, one way or another right now. After a line of showers moves through this evening, the weather will remain unsettled through Wednesday evening. If you are headed to the Red Sox game this evening, I expect most of the showers to be past Fenway for the first pitch. If a shower occurred during the game, it would be brief. Tomorrow will be a bit sunnier than today, but that sun will just help to heat the ground and the air above it. This process will then lead to more showers and thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. I’ll be tweeting about all the change on Twitter at @growingwisdom
Tomorrow and Wednesday will be unsettled and cool. Tuesday afternoon, a pool of cool air will reside over the area. The air above us is so chilly that if it rain hard enough, we could see some frozen graupel or hail with a thunderstorm. These cool days are quite the contrast from the previous week, when we had some of the warmest days ever recorded in June. Actually, much of Tuesday may end up dry and I do expect several hours of sunshine. Temperatures will be in the upper 60s and lower 70s tomorrow, reaching the mid 70s Wednesday. Wednesday looks to be a day with clouds and some periods of sunshine. Temperatures will be warmer reaching the middle and upper 70s in the afternoon. We will still have scattered showers and storms, especially in the afternoon.
Why is there weather?
Weather is a balancing act. The planet would like to be in balance. It would love to have the exact same temperature, moisture, air pressure at every spot on the planet. Unfortunately, for the Earth, the sun has a different idea. The sun keeps heating different parts of the planet at a different rate, every day. This difference in heating causes differences in temperature, moisture and pressure and in order to try to bring those back into balance, we have weather.
Storms are nature’s way of moving the air around, trying to achieve the elusive balance of weather variables. Our storm, the first part of the week, is going to attempt to move warm air north and cool air south. Think of storms as mixing machines with two paddles. The warm front, drawn in red, divides the warm sector of a storm and the cold front, drawn in blue, divides the cold part of a storm. The two fronts (arms) spin around the center of a storm. The cold front is pushing the warm air ahead of it, propelled by the cold air behind it. The warm front pushes cool air ahead of it propelled by the warm air behind. Below is an image of a typical low pressure area. Any give spot can stay in one of those sectors for as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. For example, last Tuesday, a warm front passed to our north and we went into the warm sector for the next 4 days. When a cold front went by, we had a nice Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
This weeks weather
The storm affecting us through Wednesday will sit and spin in our area the first part of the week. Think about my paddle analogy from above for a second. On these lows, the cold front ‘paddle’ moves faster than the warm front ‘paddle’. So, eventually, the cold front catches the warm front and causes an occlusion. When this happens, the sectors that made up the low tend to merge together. This leads to the death of the storm. Storms that occlude are dying. They may, at some later point, reform but generally an occlusion is the end of a storm. The problem with the ending, is that often storms don’t end neatly. In other words, we will see improvement as the storm occludes Wednesday and Thursday, but because the storm is going to be so close to us as it falls apart, we will still have clouds and showers. Temperatures will struggle of the 60s the first part of the week.
Below is a series of images that shows how the storm will evolve this week. Notice the occlusion occurs Wednesday, that is the day we see the most improvement. We will move into a new warm sector on Friday with increasing temperatures.There could be a shower or two as we warm up and then Saturday sees temperatures near 90F once again. This oscillation between sectors will occur the rest of the summer.
If we add up the rainfall all week, generally we are looking at 1-3″ of rain between now and Wednesday night.
This map is one of the predictions from one of the many models we review. While the rain will be very widespread and could be significant, after the heat of last week the ground can handle the new water quite easily. Roads however can’t handle a lot of heavy rain. I do expect some minor street flooding in the heavier downpours and if they occur during a commute, traffic will be a bigger problem.
Yesterday, I told you the models were having a very hard time dealing with the track of tropical storm Debby. Some of the models were actually taking the storm towards Texas, now it appears the storm will stall over the Florida panhandle.
It is going to take much of the week for the storm to move inland and finally fall apart. I expect to see 8-12 inches of rain across parts of northwestern Florida and you are going to continue to see this storm make headlines much of the week. One model is forecasting up to 20 inches of rain. (see the precipitation map above) This is more proof that storms don’t have to be hurricanes to create quite a bit of damage.
Gardening this week
The heat, the rain, the sunshine. My garden is doing quite well this year. I hope your garden is growing great too. I have had a few issues this year, mostly with slugs. Take a look at the video below and watch me give an update of my own garden. I hope it helps you in yours.
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