In the book I use for my meteorology class, there’s a lesson on extra-tropical cyclones. The book uses a storm that occurred 40 years ago today to illustrate how intense low pressure systems can become across the eastern half of the United States. If you aren’t familiar with the storm, perhaps you are familiar with the song that recounted the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Click here for the song.
Unsettled 11th Month
November is indeed a stormy month. The tropics are still active and this is born out this afternoon with tropical storm Kate headed north. Although it won’t directly impact and land, the storm nevertheless shows hurricane season is still alive and well.
In the center of the country, severe weather is going to be making the news Wednesday as another large storm pits cold Canadian air against warm, moist air. The map below indicates which regions of the country are going to be at the greatest risk for severe weather.
We usually think of severe weather as occurring during May, but there’s a second spike during November and early December. The cold air from the north can interact with the warm and humid air still prevalent across the southern tier states. Eventually, as more of the atmosphere cools off, the risk of severe weather will decline.
When I think of November, I picture oak leave rattling around the yard during a fall nor’easter. In the area of Portland where I grew up, most of the larger trees were oaks and the leaves could be many inches thick across the lawn.
A low pressure system will move north along the coast overnight and bring a period of rain and wind to the area. The heaviest rain should fall across the Cape and the Islands, but all areas will see at least half an inch of water.
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I don’t expect any flooding issues from the rain, but there will likely be some big puddles in the morning tomorrow as you head into work. This will slow the commute, but at least schools are closed so the traffic will be lighter than average.
Winds will be strongest from around sun-up Wednesday through the afternoon. Along the coastline there is a wind advisory for gusts nearing 45 miles per hour. This isn’t enough to cause damage, but can break off some tree branches and result in a scattered outage or two of power.
Temperatures on Veterans Day won’t get out of the 40s and along with the gusty winds; it will be a raw day all around. I’d say tomorrow’s storm is a typical November coastal system. By the way, if you are hearing the storm described as a nor’easter, this is correct. A nor’easter is any coastal storm bringing northeasterly winds to the region. It doesn’t matter how big or small, rain or snow, it’s still a nor’easter.
Briefly dry weather arrives early Thursday before a few more showers in the afternoon and evening. The weekend is looking seasonably chilly, but dry. Highs should reach around 50 Saturday, but be a bit colder Sunday.