Watching our next storm system

today

Weather Headlines

–The next significant rain-maker arrives Friday

–Rainfall amounts of at least 1-2 inches should be common across the plateau by Saturday morning

Main threats

No widespread hazardous weather expected this week.

Summary

We’ll see mostly cloudy conditions today, but some sun is likely to peak through by this afternoon. We can’t rule out a sprinkle or two, but it’s certainly nothing to add to the rain bucket.

Speaking of rain bucket, it’s been a while since we’ve seen some good rainfall around here. That means Friday’s rain will be a welcome sight.

After that system pushes through, we should be in store for a nice Sunday and Monday.

I’ve looked ahead and into next week, since it’s a holiday, and it looks like a decent storm system will threaten us by Wednesday. If you know anyone traveling that day be sure and tell them to keep a check on the weather. Right now, heavy rain and strong storms look to be possible. It’s too far off to nail down specifics but it’s something I hope travelers keep in mind. I’ll keep an eye on it!

Almanac

almanac

Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

7day

Records

A violent storm system produced 21 tornadoes across the South on this day in 1988. Mississippi was hardest hit, with 13 twisters sweeping across the state. Baseball-sized hail and up to half a foot of rain also accompanied this system. Two people lost their lives and many more were injured in the storms.

Tropics

The National Hurricane Center now says there is an 80% chance for a tropical storm to develop in the Atlantic by today or tomorrow. It is of no threat to the US. This storm would be named Sebastien.

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Today’s WeatherTAP WeatherWORD

Rime Ice

This forms when supercooled water droplets freeze onto surfaces. When this liquid, often in the form of fog, makes contact with other surfaces that are below freezing it freezes and forms ice. We call that rime ice.

WeatherTAP WeatherFACT

Sometimes water has a temperature that is below freezing but the water remains liquid. As long as water is moving, it can stay liquid for longer, even as temps dip well below freezing. We see this in rivers and in thunderstorm updrafts (just to name a couple of examples). We call that liquid supercooled water. It’s cold enough to freeze, but motion keeps it liquid.

This is why it’s such a dramatic sight when Niagara Falls freezes over. That rarely happens, event though that water is bitter cold. The rapid motion of the water keeps it liquid. Sometimes, however, it gets so cold that even that isn’t enough to keep the water liquid.

With Rime ice, the liquid water droplets are very tiny and suspended in fog. This keeps the water vapor in a liquid form. When that vapor can make contact with a surface that is below freezing, it instantly freezes.

While ice storms rarely result form this (though not impossible), the more likely threat is black ice on roadways. We’ll talk about that in tomorrow’s WeatherTAP WeatherFACT section!

Pictured below is rime ice that occurred in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Monday morning.

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NASA Knowledge

A team of NASA scientists have confirmed something very interesting in space! They have confirmed that there is water vapor above the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

When Voyager first snapped pictures of Europa 40 years ago, it looked as if there were icy oceans on that moon. Now, scientists are nearly 100% certain that Europa possesses large seas of liquid substances.

Determining that there is water vapor raises eyebrows. Aside from Earth, liquid water is hard to find in the universe (at least for now). What’s even more interesting is that, of three things necessary for life, two are found abundantly in our solar system. Those two things are chemical elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur) and energy. The third ingredient is water. Even finding water vapor leads many of us to believe that places like Europa may just have what it takes to possess life in some form, whether it be microscopic or otherwise.

Another spacecraft will launch in the 2020s to further investigate Europa. That is a very exciting mission and one that so many of us are super excited to see what is discovered!

It is worth noting that there is an interesting division within the space community about whether or not we should focus on a mission to Europa, rather than to Mars. Interesting, indeed.

News

Today is the three-year anniversary of the launch of the GOES-16 satellite! This satellite covers the eastern portions of North America, including our area. We have never seen a satellite as sophisticated as this one. It’s quite remarkable.

That following January, I was in Seattle with weatherTAP, attending the American Meteorological Society conference. It was then that they showed us the first images from GOES-16. It was a very exciting day!

The map below shows current weather hazards affecting the country today.

Forecast_Template

You all have a great day!

 

7day

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