Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Seems like summer!

A busy blog post for sure, all of it having to do with things more typical of the summer than early May! From fires to heat, severe storms to hurricanes, its being talked about:

If you have noticed, about a week or so ago I added a "Fire Threat" section to the thunderstorm forecast (for lack of a better place for it). I have been using this as a guide to how likely accidental brush fires are to occur based on a combination of recent rainfall, winds, humidity, and temperature. Lately, all things have been aligned for a "moderate" to "high" risk of fires. This threat became reality yesterday in Syracuse, when sparks from a welder's torch started a small brush fire. When the threat is high, extra caution must be used. One of the bigger risks is actually from people throwing cigarette butts without thinking. As is evident by yesterday's brush fire in Syracuse, when the threat is elevated, it doesn't take much to get a fire going!

After hitting 86 yesterday, I thought about maybe putting "near 90" for today's forecast, but thought I might be jumping the gun a bit too much. Since 2003 (when I started recording weather data), it has hit 90 in May only twice. Both times were last year, on the 30th and 31st. However, that record has now been broken. Just after 3PM, I got to 90 degrees at my house, topping out at 90.3! You can see my weather software above (click for a larger image). The high temperature is displayed about half way down on the left panel!

Severe Storm Threat:
There is a bit of a threat for severe storms Thursday afternoon as a disturbance aloft moves through. While widespread severe weather isn't anticipated....nor did it occur today over the Midwest....I do think a few of tomorrow's storms may become severe, with hail and gusty winds being the threat. I would anticipate between 2 and 10 severe weather reports, mostly wind, stretching from Western New York, into Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania and over to about Albany. East of that, there may be some additional severe weather.

Subtropical Storm Andrea:
The 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season got an early start today...or did it? The season officially starts June 1st. Today, a low pressure system was classified "subtropical" and was given the name "Andrea." First off, a subtropical low is basically a hybrid: its got some tropical characteristics, and some non-tropical characteristics. (If you want more details, that would make a great "Ask Drew" question for that section of my website (which isn't built yet...)). In years past, these systems did not receive names. However, during the past few years, they have been given names. So, in a way, the Hurricane Season is off to a running start....but in ways, nothing has yet happened.

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