Posted on 09/25/2016 at 09:43 AM | Permalink
Will it rain at the Virginia State Fair this year?
If you have plans to go to the fair grounds this weekend it will start out dry and warm, but a bit of drizzle and a few showers could arrive at night. Sunday will be cooler but should be mainly dry.
The cold front in the picture below will bring the weather changes into Sunday
Next week will bring highest rain chances Tuesday. It now looks like weather Wednesday through Friday should be mainly pleasant and dry
We'll have the updated forecast as the week goes on.
Posted by: Meteorologist Jim Duncan at 6:04pm 9/23/2016
Posted on 09/23/2016 at 09:20 AM | Permalink
Written by Meteorologist Ros Runner (9/20/2016)
This Thursday, September 22nd marks the official arrival of Fall and the Autumnal Equinox will take place at 10:21 AM, EDT. So what exactly does this mean? Well, the term "Equinox" comes from Latin and means equal nights. Essentially, the amount of daylight and darkness will be nearly equal in both the northern and the southern hemisphere.
The "Subsolar Point" is defined as the point where the sun is perceived to be directly overhead. So in essence, this is the point where the sun's rays strike Earth at a 90° angle. On the first day of Autumn, the subsolar point is over the equator.
As we move through the Fall months and get closer to winter, the subsolar point continues to move to the south and by the Winter Solstice, the subsolar point is located along the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° S Latitude). This produces a very low sun angle and much less solar energy being received in the northern hemisphere since we are tilted away from the sun. This is why we experience the coldest temperatures of the year during the winter season.
As we move closer to Spring, the subsolar point shifts back to the north and is over the equator again in March on the Vernal Equinox. That subsolar point continues north until it reaches the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° N Latitude) on the Summer Solstice in June. This results in a much higher sun angle and more direct solar energy being received by the northern hemisphere since we are tilted toward the sun. This explains why we experience the hottest temperatures of the year during the summer season.
Posted on 09/20/2016 at 08:53 PM | Permalink
Posted by Andrew Freiden, 9/20/2016
Did you see the glowing blue waves at the beach this past weekend? If so, you weren't alone, and you weren't seeing things!
Rene'e Berry sent this email and picture:
We all saw this last night, & looking forward to it tonight her in Outer Banks
At first, I thought it was just a trick-- I thought the harvest moon was just lighting up the waves. But the emails kept coming in.
Read this from an expert beachgoer:
And even more evidence it wasn't just the moon:
Jessica Valladares From Facebook saw the same thing here in Virginia!
There's even a healthy discussion ongoing on this Outer Banks Message Board as numerous people report seeing it and enjoying the natural beauty.
SO: What's happening?
The ocean is full of organisms that light up when disturbed-- I think that Dinoflagellates are doing this. They usually live in the open ocean. My guess is the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia stirred up the ocean enough to push the organisms close to shore AND the bigger swells caused by the offshore storm agitated the organisms enough to put on a show.
Want to know more? Read this article from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Do you have a better idea? Let me know on my facebook page or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on 09/20/2016 at 07:52 AM | Permalink
Posted by Andrew Freiden
9:17 am 9/19/2016
After some much-needed soaking rain overnight, I think more is on the way. Check out the rain totals SINCE midnight. Some areas got an impressive 1"+ of much-needed rain.
Here's the radar image as of 9:13am. That band of moderate to heavy rain stretching from Beaverdam to Halifax is steadily moving NE.
...and it looks like it's headed right to the heart of our viewing area. Check out the short range model guidance below. It's showing a forecast for radar at 11am.
That line is on the move.
AT 11am, I think it'll be right on top of Richmond.
And here's the model forecast for 1pm:
Although Richmond has had some dry hours this morning...be on the lookout for moderate to heavy rain between 10-2pm. (And there could easily be more downpours this evening).
It's a sharp change from our recent dry weather.
Posted on 09/19/2016 at 09:23 AM | Permalink
Written by Meteorologist Ros Runner (7:00 PM, 9/18/2016)
It's been 10 days now since we've had any measureable rainfall here in Richmond and I think that we are about to see an end to this latest dry spell. A cold front will be approaching the area tonight into the day Monday. At the same time, Tropical Depression Julia off the coast of the Carolinas is pushing moisture north and west all the way up into Virginia. The interaction between the cold front and tropical moisture is likely to occur over Virginia on Monday and there will be some areas that easily pick up more than 1" of rain. At this point, it appears the heaviest rainfall totals are likely to be east of I-95 and closer to Bay and Atlantic coast.
The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center now has Julia making landfall in North Carolina as a tropical depression sometime on Monday afternoon or evening. Once on land, it will weaken to a remnant low. There still remains a question as to how quickly it will move away from the region. Here is the latest forecast track:
This forecast from the NHC would keep the remnants of Julia lingering in eastern North Carolina through at least Wednesday if not Thursday of this upcoming week. There is still a slight chance this system could get picked up and move away more quickly into the day Tuesday, but should it continue to meander in North Carolina as new computer guidance is suggesting today, then clouds and the threat of more showers could be with us Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly into Thursday as well. Even with the slow moving scenario, it appears the best chance of rain will tend to be in areas south and east of Richmond.
There remains a moderate level of uncertainty as how this will play out, so we will continue to monitor the forecast guidance closely and keep you updated!
Posted on 09/18/2016 at 07:00 PM | Permalink
Its active in the tropics this weekend.
We are watching 5 different areas that are circled below. Three of those circled are named storms.
The latest named storm, Tropical Storm Karl, has picked up its westward movement to 14mph as of the 5pm update from the National Hurricane Center. It has a long way to go in the open water, but it's forecasted to strengthen the next several days.
Tropical Storm Julia is still meandering off the Carolina coast. Its now moving to the south slowly at 3mph with maximum sustained winds at 40mph. You can clearly see the eye of the storm, but it will stay out in the open water and not impact central Virginia.
The other named storm is so far to the north that it's almost not worth mentioning. Post Tropical Cyclone Ian is a fast mover at 53mph. It has maximum sustained winds at 65mph and will continue its northeasterly track well away from the continental US.
The other two systems are referred to as Disturbance 1 and Disturbance 2. Disturbance 1 has a 10% chance of tropical development and can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico bringing rain to the Gulf coast.
Disturbance 2 just formed off the coast of Africa and has a 20% chance of tropical development.
Central VA needs rain, but unfortunately we will not see any from any of these tropical systems this weekend.
Posted by: Meteorologist Megan Wise 5:05pm 9/16
Posted on 09/16/2016 at 05:05 PM | Permalink
Updated by Megan Wise at 11:00pm 9/14/2016
Tropical Storm Julia is meandering slowly out to sea as of the 11pm tropical update from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm's maximum sustained winds are still at 40mph since the last update and is moving to the east northeast at 5mph.
Tropical Storm Julia's track has the storm going out to sea for a time before meandering back towards the South Carolina coast through Friday afternoon. This is for the most part a rain storm.
Tropical Storm Warnings are in place along the South Carolina coast. Flash Flood Watches extend along the Carolina coast as far north as Myrtle Beach.
No impact is anticipated in Virginia.
North Georgia (including Atlanta) has been hoping for rain since they are in a severe drought, but we don't expect much, if any rain to head their way. The red and orange indicated SEVERE drought in the area.
Sidenote: Julia isn't the only Tropical Storm right now. Tropical Storm Ian is still producing winds at 50mph in the Atlantic.
Its northward movement will keep it out to sea and have no impact to the United States.
Posted on 09/13/2016 at 10:56 PM | Permalink
Written by Meteorologist Ros Runner (5:00 PM, 9/12/2016)
The late Spring and early to mid part of the summer brought frequent bouts of soaking rainfall to many parts of our region. In fact, May 2016 was the wettest May we had ever recorded here in metro Richmond with nearly 10" of rain. June was the 7th wettest month on record, and while July was not record breaking, we were very near our average amount of rainfall.
All of the sudden, the rain stopped! Take a look at the calendar for August 2016. The check marks represent the days where measureable rainfall was recorded at Richmond International Airport. That's only 4 days totaling 0.53". August ended up being the 3rd driest August on record for Richmond.
So far in September, we've seen 4 days of measureable rainfall, but the totals have been a little bit better. 1.72" is about average for the first 12 days of the month, but there is very little rain in our short term forecast so it will continue to get drier.
As we look at the region as a whole over the last 30 days, there is a large area over the Virginia and North Carolina piedmont areas where there has been a rainfall deficit of 1"-4".
Within that area of deficit, there are a few areas that have actually had a surplus of rainfall during this same time period. This isn't all that unusual because the convective nature of late summertime showers and thunderstorms can provide heavy amounts of rain to some communities while others miss out completely. Take note that portions of Hanover, western King William, and Spotsylvania counties have had plenty of rain!
According to the latest update from the U.S Drought monitor, there is a large portion of southeastern Virginia (the area shaded in yellow) that is currently classified as ABNORMALLY DRY. While drought conditions are not anticipated at this time, this could change if the weather pattern doesn't begin to offer us more frequent periods of beneficial rainfall soon.
On a positive note, the exceptional rainfall that we saw earlier in the season continues to yield an overall surplus for the year. Our groundwater supply is in good shape! It's the upper layers of the soil that are getting bone dry in this short term dry spell.
Posted on 09/12/2016 at 05:35 PM | Permalink