WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Clearing skies provide a show at night

A good Saturday morning to you all :-)

Following yesterday's frontal passage, we find ourselves on the back-side of a strengthening low-pressure system anchored up by the Great Lakes region. Here's how our surface map looks today:

HPC - Surface Map - Saturday PM

In situations like this, it doesn't matter that the cold front has long since passed us, because the wind-flow around the low-pressure system is able to pick up moisture from the Great Lakes and connects it to us in the tri-state area. All other things being equal, there are two ways to destabilize the atmosphere: Heating at the surface, and cooling aloft. Either or both will create the ability for air forced upward to continue to rise.

What does that mean for our weather? Well, you might not see anything at first, but as the day wears on, more cold air rides in aloft while the surface continues to be heated (modestly). The afternoon should feature some cumulus cloud development puffing up in the sky, and some folks may even squeeze a shower out of the deal.

In the winter-time, this wrap-around is always known for snow flurries following the passage of a cold front.

Beyond this, the storm system will continue to pull away, allowing the area of high pressure now in the midwest to move into the Ohio Valley. This will be wonderful: setting up some comfortable clear nights and pleasant days, a feel not seen in a long time this summer. We can call it a touch of September no less. Here's a look at high temperatures over the next few days:

GFS - Max Temps Saturday GFS - Max Temps Sunday GFS - Max Temps Monday

Looks good to me :-)  I can deal with an afternoon in the 70s. How about you?

--- Astronomy Tangent (scroll past if uninterested) ---

So while we're enjoying some nice weather with clearing skies, how's about also thinking about checking out an annual event in the sky that's pretty neat: The "Perseid Meteor Shower". Every year, the Earth's path around the Sun just happens to put itself accross the debris field of a comet (the Swift-Tuttle Comet). As the planet moves through this debris field, you can see meteors shoot through the sky as they burn up in our Earth's atmosphere. We'll be just fine at the surface just watching the action above, but naturally our orbiting satellites are a different story, always risking the potential to be disabled by these tiny things on a low-chance encounter.

Anyway, if you want to see the meteor shower-- you're in luck. The 'peak' viewing of the shower is this very weekend! Skies tonight may be still left with some dwindling cloud cover, but between tonight and Sunday night there should be a great opportunity. The way to look for them is to stare at the northeastern sky after midnight, and as far away from city lights as you can get. Here's a picture:

The crescent moon should also be in the mix, but to the right of the action. They call it the "Perseid" meteor shower because they seem to come at us from the Perseus star constellation. You don't have to remember that though-- if you're looking to the northeast sky at night, and are patient, there should be no mistaking the meteors. You do NOT need a telescope to view them.

For those folks who want to sit inside and chill and see something like this from the warm coziness of a blanket and laptop computer, NASA will have a live stream of the event too. There are a few different links out there you can go to; this one should work.

--- End Tangent ---

It's the last weekend before most folks head back to school on Monday... Make some plans for fun. Give the kiddos a good 'last hurrah' :-) There are many county fairs going on, and nature's providing a good show too!

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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