Weather Blog

Welcome to our weather blog that is regularly updated by Forensic Meteorologist Howard Altschule.  Please feel free to leave your comments!!

Dangerous Heat Levels and a Severe Weather Threat Today

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A hot and unusually humid air mass will be in place over the Eastern U.S. today and this will lead to oppressive heat and humidity levels this afternoon.  High temperatures are expected to range from 96 F in Albany, NY (dew point of 71) to 92 degrees in Manhattan (dew point around 74) and the NYC metro area.  This will lead to dangerous heat index values that will make it feel like 100-105 degrees. 


As the region really begins to bake, the hot, humid and unstable air will likely lead to the formation of scattered thunderstorms this afternoon.  A weakening Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) moving through Canada this morning will push an outflow boundary (convergence boundary) over Eastern N.Y. (including Albany) this afternoon.  I expect that scattered thunderstorms will form along this outflow boundary this afternoon.  Not all places will see thunderstorms but those that do will have the potential for severe weather with damaging winds, large hail and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning.  There is some question as to whether the cap/inversions aloft could be broken but 2 highly regarded mesoscale models (SPC WRF-NMM and the HRRR) continue to indicate that this will occur.  I am expecting thunderstorms to develop after 2:00 p.m. today.  These storms will move toward Southeastern New York, Ducthess/Rockland/Westchester Counties and NYC this afternoon and evening but they will likely be non-severe.  Once again, most areas should remain dry. 


It is important to remember some simple safety tips.  As is always the case, DO NOT leave children or pets locked in the car (whether the car is running or not) for any amount of time.  The temperature inside a car will be like an oven after just a couple of minutes. 

If you plan on being outside, make sure to bring plenty of ice water and cold fluids to stay cool and hydrated.  Check on the elderly and children to make sure they are not overheating or on the verge of heat exhaustion/stroke.

Tropical Depression #2 Forms Between Florida and the Bahamas

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7:30 p.m. EDT Update:

NHC has officially classified the tropical low I discussed below as Tropical Depression 2.  The following forecast track map shows the storm likely staying offshore.



11:00 a.m. EDT Update

Whether NHC declares this a Tropical Depression or not, there is little doubt in my mind that this is already a Tropical Depression based on buoy observations showing sustained wind speeds of 18-24 MPH, satellite images and base reflectivit...y doppler radar images showing winds up to 35 mph. Doppler radar out of Melbourne, FL also shows signs of a circulation tightening up. A hurricane hunter is scheduled to investogate the system this afternoon. But this is getting organized as we speak. My forecast, along with the models, do not stregthen this any higher than Tropical Storm status. Monitoring...


8:30 a.m. EDT Sunday morning:

The latest satellite imagery indicated that a weakly organized tropical low pressure system was present just off the East coast of Florida.  Thunderstorms and a broad circulation were increasing in this area and the system appears to be slowly organizing.  This system has been drifting for the past 36 hours and is over the very warm and favorable gulfstream ocean waters.  This is a breeding ground for tropical storms and hurricanes given the right conditions.

As the atmospheric conditions continue to become more favorable, we expect this system to become sufficiently organized to become a tropical depression or tropical storm today or on Monday.  The latest CMC, GFS, GFDL, HWRF and NOGAPS models indicate this as well.  It’s our belief that a moderately strong Tropical Storm could be present off the East Coast of Florida Monday.  We expect that this storm will be a threat to North Carolina or South Carolina in a few days.  Other models bring the storm out to sea.  At this time, no computer models bring this tropical system over Florida.  Stay tuned. 

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the tropical system for observations and recon this afternoon (Sunday).

The Tropical Low can be seen on the Satellite Loop Below: