One of the best ways to spend a summer evening is to stand outside and watch a distant storm, the soft rumbles of thunder distracting you from the mosquitoes eating you alive. The most well-known part of these summertime thunderstorms is a phenomenon known as “heat lightning,” which doesn’t really exist.
If anyone is eagerly following news of the strengthening El Niño in the Pacific, it’s California. Strong El Niño events have a history of bringing drenching rain to the West Coast during the winter months, and we could see that play out this year. However, don’t get too wrapped-up in the hype—it’s going to take more than one rainy stretch to ease the damage done by the lasting drought.
Summer’s death grip on the United States might loosen somewhat as we forge through the end of the month, as weather models are pointing to the possibility of the jet stream dragging down some of that cool Canadian air we all know and love (when it’s not January) just in time for the first week of August. Ahh.
If only humans looked this graceful running away from a thunderstorm.
Hawaii is typically a place people think of with a wistful sigh: tropical beaches, lush greenery, and weather so reliable the forecast hardly budges. The fiftieth state has had a hard time living up to that third point, and the state’s long-lasting drought could return and get worse if El Niño lives up to its bluster.
That’s you. That’s me. It’s one giant group photo. Every sucky thing that’s ever happened, is happening, or ever will happen is right there, to loosely paraphrase some brainy guy a few decades ago. Kinda makes you want to fly out there and escape it all, but then you wouldn’t have Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and what’s the point of living then?
The National Hurricane Center gives this sad blob of clouds over the eastern Atlantic a 10% chance of turning into a more organized sad blob of clouds over the next few days as the environment is “marginally conducive” to development. It probably won’t amount to much, but if it miraculously pulls through and becomes a named storm, it would be called Danny.
If you’re reading this at home, chances are you can look up from the screen and see at least one smoke detector. These life-saving devices are able to alert you to smoke from a fire, letting you get out before it’s too late. Weather radios do the same thing for hazards like tornadoes and floods. Every home, school, and business in the United States needs to be equipped with these critical devices that let you act before hazardous weather strikes.
Today is the halfway point in July; we’re firmly in summer’s grip with just as much of the season behind us as we’ve got in front of us. It’s a lonely, miserable time of the year for us heat haters, but for folks in the southwestern United States, it marks the glorious time of year when monsoon season ramps up.
If you ever needed more proof that nature is determined to destroy everything you know and love, consider that a small cluster of thunderstorms that formed in Minnesota on Sunday night grew into a powerful derecho that lasted for 30 hours, traveling nearly 1,200 miles before croaking in North Carolina.
Round two of a three-day severe weather outbreak across the eastern half of the United States is getting ready to unfold across the Midwest this evening and tonight. The atmosphere is getting antsy, and it looks primed to produce more destructive straight-line winds and maybe even a strong tornado or two. The storms also have the potential to develop into another derecho, much like the one we saw today.
A classic summertime severe weather outbreak is likely to unfold over the next few days across the eastern half of the U.S., with each day seeing the potential for extensive straight-line wind damage, large hail, and some tornadoes. The storms could organize into a much-hyped feature known as a “derecho.”
Asia and the Pacific Islands are getting slammed by the tropics this year, as storm after storm spins up and tears toward land, threatening millions with ferocious winds and dangerous surges of water. Here in the U.S., though, it’s quiet—almost too quiet—and it’s likely going to stay that way for a little while longer.
The last thing people in the Mid-Atlantic want to hear is more rain and storms, but that’s exactly what’s in the forecast today. Cities from Pittsburgh to Philly and D.C. to New York will see the risk for strong thunderstorms this afternoon, some of which could produce damaging winds and even a few tornadoes.