WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

9/01 Update - A tricky forecast becoming clearer (and wetter)?

This one is a tough one, that's for sure... Opportunities for rainfall begin on Saturday, and continue right through early Wednesday. I don't think it's going to rain the entire time, but there are certainly indications that those umbrellas will be out any one of those days.

Update (9/1) - Just a quick note here this morning, as the maps below have been updating regularly to help you track the showers and storms. The axis of best moisture still edges toward Ohio and north of I-64, but we will be watching during the day for more of these scattered showers and storms to bunch up and roll through. Anyone who is going to be outside for longer than 3-4 hours should be planning for rain (especially in the afternoon).

Spot flooding would be the primary worry, as severe weather is not expected. Keep in mind though that the ground is quite thirsty, so it would take quite a shower to set that off.

Another sneaky thing to watch for would be some steamy heat. If we're able to squirrel in some brighter skies during a break in the action, the heat index will soar from the combination of summer temps and sky-high tropical humidity.

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Hello Friday... we hardly knew ye. :-)

I don't have much time to put this up, as I have to get in to work to put the show together, but I did want to let you know of a shift in some of the projections recently. Well, namely the HPC precipitation forecast has placed the bulk of the rainfall instead of between I-70 and I-90, to locations a little farther south:

HPC - 120hr Rainfall Projections

It's ambitious, to say the least, to focus 6-7" worth of rain in our direction over a Labor Day Weekend, but obviously it is a system with a tropical pedigree worth respecting. Let's say I'm a little skeptical though :-)

The good news is that we STILL don't have to worry about rain for another day or so... I'll be updating this post soon in the mid-morning hours.

Thanks for your patience!

Update (9:00am) - It's nice to see cooler heads prevail. The above map has been updated to reflect the current thinking of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC). Instead of 6-7" of rain blanketing the entire Ohio River area, now it's confined to points in Illinois/Indiana, with a more modest 2" or so locally spread out of the next several days.

Just to put this rainfall in perspective, Charleston is going to finish the month with just 0.3" of rain-- a record shattered. Then, in just a few short days to start August, they'll be getting more than 5 TIMES the monthy total of the previous month. I guess that's just how the cookie crumbles.

Even though they only go out about 48-hours or so, I find these can be a more accurate local picture compared to the more smoothed large-scale HPC map products:

HAS Precipitation Forecast HPC Precipitation Forecast

 Notice how the arc of highest moisture is still along and just north of the Ohio River. This maintains some of the previous thinking, although does shift it a little bit to the south. 

The other issue is going to be the frequency of rain we'll see locally. Consider these maps:

NAM - Saturday AM NAM - Saturday PM NAM - Sunday AM

The core of the remnants will remain in the Ohio Valley throughout the weekend, perhaps taking all the way until Tuesday to finish out to the east (or fade away entirely). Pieces of it will break off and enter the slow steering current that will focus it on a west-to-east trajectory through the tri-state area. Just like the imagery above suggests, it will arrive in patches-- though unlike the maps suggest, I think it'll be during the heating hours of the day in which the moisture will be most widespread. Storms with a tropical pedigree can do any number of things though, so if you're going to be outside for 4-5 hours at a time, you'll need to plan for what to do when it rains no matter what time of day you choose to head out. If you just need a quick hour or two to get out and go back inside, you will have those opportunities throughout the weekend.

So this is going to be a bummer of a weekend for long-term campers, and those who have had designs on long tailgates and extended barbecues. Also, a word to the wise would be to get all your outdoor chores done today...because the next several days are going to be wet.

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

From the Storm Prediction Center (below): Click For a Larger Image

Activity Overview Storm Outlook Watches Potential Watches Storm Reports
Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
Click For Larger Click For Interactive Radar Click For Larger Click For Larger

Have a great day everyone!

-B

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