Baldwins’ Sunday Story Wx Blog for Aug 23

At a Glance

48-Hour Weather

Threats

Widespread severe weather is not expected over the next seven days, but any storm that does develop could contain deadly cloudy-to-ground lightning, gusty winds, and heavy rainfall.

Baldwin’s Severe Weather Concern

If the remnants of Laura track closer to us, the threat for severe weather will increase for this period. If she tracks farther away, the threat will lessen. I’ll keep an eye on things.

Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

Daily Forecast

Today: Scattered showers and storms are possible this afternoon and evening.

Monday – Thursday: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. A chance for a mainly afternoon/evening shower or storm.

Friday – Saturday: This part of the forecast is heavily dependent on the tropics. As for now, chances for scattered showers and storms look good. Depending on how close Laura tracks to us, rain chances will increase/decrease.

Baldwin’s Hay Day Forecast

Afternoon showers and storms threaten today, but drier weather is on tap for the first half of our new workweek. By the end of the week, influences from the tropics should increase rainfall chances. If Laura tracks closer to us, I’ll have to increase rain chances for Friday and Saturday, which could lead to those days getting red Xs.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 121 at Death Valley, California

Low: 29 at Grand Lake, Colorado

Tropics

Marco is expected to make landfall along the Louisiana coastline Monday afternoon as a cat one hurricane. The storm is very small, to the effects of the wind will be confined to a small location. Heavy rainfall, however, will threaten a much larger area. It is possible Marco will be stronger than cat one.

Tropical Storm Laura is expected to make landfall along the Louisiana coastline about 48 hours after Marco. What an incredible situation! The storm is expected to be at least a cat 2 hurricane at landfall. It is possible that Laura could be much stronger than that at landfall.

Today’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Unsettled weather prevails in the eastern US, but all eyes are on the Gulf today.

Tomorrow’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Severe storms will threaten parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the bigger news story will be the landfall of Marco during the afternoon along the northern Gulf Coast.

Tuesday Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Severe weather is likely all across the Northeast US, which is quite odd for this time of year. Speaking of odd, Marco moves inland as Laura gathers strength in the Gulf. Meanwhile. Marco will still be bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to inland areas of Louisiana. Two storms making landfall within two days within the same state….odd, indeed.

Sunday Story

The Plateau is no stranger to lightning this time of year. When I recently gave a weather talk to some Rotarians, the first question was about lightning. It’s certainly that time of year!

Lightning is one of nature’s most dangerous but poorly understood phenomena. It often makes people anxious and pets nervous. Anyone who works outside is right to worry about where that next strike will hit. 

Thankfully, lightning deaths have trended downward in recent years. We all know that open spaces, tall objects, water, and golf courses are all targets. Horseback riding and working out in the garden and hayfields are also vulnerable activities. 

While thunder is a good warning of lightning, some lightning deaths may be the result of the first strike of a storm, one that came without any warning of thunder. So, if you see dark clouds gathering, that might be your only warning. 

Thunder is caused by the incredible heat of a lightning strike superheating the air around it, sending shock waves radiating outward. As those waves come into contact with objects, the collision results in sound.

If you’re close enough to hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning. Lightning has been known to travel tens of miles from a storm, sometimes even coming down in the blue sky surrounding the storm. We call these “bolts from the blue”. 

Lightning doesn’t just come from storms. Volcanoes produce lightning from the charge difference between the ash and the water vapor. Giant wildfires can cause a strike from sending plumes of hot air upward in the colder atmosphere. This can create clouds and those clouds sometimes produce lightning. We call those clouds pyrocumulus clouds. 

No matter what causes the lightning, just remember this motto; When thunder roars, get indoors!

You all have a great day!

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