Thursday, August 27, 2015

Quiet next several days; watching tropical storm Erika

The first 40s of the late summer were realized earlier this week across higher, sheltered locations in the central Appalachians... Snowshoe actually made it all the way down to 42 Wednesday morning.
This cooler-than-average, dry air mass will remain over the area through the rest of the week before heat and humidity begin climbing again this weekend. Although none of Virginia is classified as being in a drought according to the Climate Prediction Center's drought monitor map issued this morning, it's definitely getting pretty dry out with most areas running well below average in the precipitation department for the month of August. Even though we're heading into fire season, not too concerned yet since the strengthening El Nino favors above normal precipitation during the fall season.
In other news, the bigger weather story of the next week will be the evolution of Tropical Storm Erika. It's currently struggling with dry air and shear but will eventually move into an area more favorable for strengthening later this week. Models are all over the place in regards how this one plays out---likely being determined by 1) how well Erika maintains itself in tough environment over next few days and 2) how upper level features over the east shape up this weekend. For those along the east coast, just something to keep an eye on for now with multiple plausible solutions on the table.

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