Some of you probably looked out your windows a while ago and thought the apocalypse had arrived! But, alas, I can assure you it was nothing to worry about. We’re seeing heavy showers develop along an old boundary this morning that stretches right along Interstate 40. These showers are developing in this very humid, unstable air mass that we’ve had in place for two weeks now. Those clouds you saw out your window were what we call “shelf clouds”. They literally look like a big shelf of clouds moving at you. So, thunderstorms have updrafts (that’s what builds the clouds…rising air) and downdrafts (sinking air). The downdrafts are where you get the rain. That’s the falling, cooler air. Sometimes these downdrafts drop to the ground and are forceful enough to then spread out along the ground. That’s what happened to us this morning. A very heavy shower was over the interstate and the downdraft hit the ground and spread this way. We call the boundary along that downdraft an “outflow boundary.” These outflow boundaries act as little cold fronts and often times they kick up new showers and storms. Our’s is doing just that. I circled TAP on the radar image below and the outflow boundary is what looks like a cold front. Notice the new showers developing along that boundary. Pretty neat, huh?
Here’s a pic I took of the shelf cloud and its associated outflow boundary moving toward TAP. Sorry for the glare of our windows.
Expect more showers and storms as we go through the day, though they should become more isolated. Tomorrow should be much of the same. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday look drier now, before more showers and storms move in for eclipse day. The forecast for Monday will feature isolated to scattered showers and storms. Hopefully this forecast will change, but the way this summer is going, I wouldn’t count on it. Too bad the ellipse couldn’t have happened this time last year, when we were in that drought (ha).
I did want to mention that the tropics are about to get crazy! If you have plans that take you toward the coasts in about a week, check with me first! We’re about to enter a very active pattern and I would be really surprised if the US escapes a land-falling storm over the next two weeks. Check out this map! Three disturbances are now in the southern Atlantic with moderate chances of becoming tropical storms. The next one will be Harvey. Hurricane Gert is moving out to sea and is no threat to anyone.
You all have a fantastic day and let me know if you have any weather questions at all!